Margarito of Arezzo, detail from The Virgin and Child Enthroned (showing Saint Margaret swallowed by a dragon and escaping unhurt from its belly)that the sun sets too early and rises too late at this time of year. I learn it every winter and forget it again by June
that there are trout, leaches and heptageniids in the tributary of the river Rother, which flows along the bottom of our neighbours' paddock
that my perception of time is quickening and I keep confusing this year and last
that teaching other people to write can be as rewarding as writing oneself
that a small black, fuzzy-haired, green-eyed kitten and a ginger and white solemn-looking one have become two sleek and splendid adult cats
that I shouldn't have got drunk last night and that cask-strength whisky really must be diluted before drinking
that teacher-Sian should quote Pina Bausch to writer-Sian every time she picks up her pen: 'Remember, you need to scare me'
that my friends are quite brilliant and that every year I grow more amazed by their wit, generosity, courage and unique grace. One of the few benefits of getting older is that I am increasingly able to appreciate, admire and feel humbled by the people around me
that, to misquote David Tennant in a recent interview with The Guardian, 'The things you think are going to change your life, often don't'
that last year and the two before it were about commitment. This year I began the Years of Perseverance
that this body, brain and life are what I have, weak or strong, clever or stupid, upside-down, back-to-front, lurching or leaping. It's up to me to make good use of them
that I am really, secretly Italian.