Yes, Happy New Year and Good Health to all of you. I'll be uttering this traditional phrase for another couple of weeks, but I can say it to you all in one go! I hope 2012 is treating you well so far.
Once again, life swept me up and drug me away these last few months. So much has happened I hope I can get back through it all. I want to tell you about my & Fry's trip back to the States for Thanksgiving, having my cousin over from Boston for Christmas, and other fun things, but I most importantly want to update on the bookbinding stuff.
So my bookbinding workshop was right at the end of October and I was very anxious to talk to Mr C, the retired bookbinder that volunteers his time on Wednesday mornings to repair books, and then teaches a children's workshop on Wednesday afternoons. The first Wednesday was still a holiday so I knew he wouldn't be there. The second Wednesday, Stéphane had to work so I couldn't get to Troyes. The third Wednesday turned out to be a scheduling snafu and I couldn't get to Troyes that day, but it turned out that Mr C wasn't there that morning anyway. Then Fry and I left for ten days, so that was the rest of November.
When I got back to work at the beginning of December, I was greeted with horrible news: Mr C had passed away while I was gone. Granted, he was 85 and had lived a long and full life doing what he loved, but I was devastated. I didn't even have the chance to show him the books I'd made.
After getting over that shock, I realized I really had to get creative if I was going to make the bookbinding thing happen. I took a huge chance and emailed the woman who lead the workshop in Paris. You may have to jump into the wayback machine for this, but I've mentioned before that even if she has a workshop and does the bulk of her work in Paris, she actually lives about 35 minutes from my house. Since we got along so well and I had such a positive response from her, I decided to email her and let her know that Mr C had died (she knew I'd planned to ask him for help) and to ask her if there was any way she would consider giving me some lessons from time to time at her private workshop. I figured the worst she could say is no.
Well get this: she didn't! She even said that "it would be a pleasure to teach you, after your brilliant debut." Go me! It would be very irregular, weekends only from time to time, but better than nothing, right?
Now I have to figure out a way to pay for these irregular lessons (which will eventually lead to a diploma, by the way!). I floated it with a couple of my colleagues, and they seem to think that my boss would be open to finding some funding to help me with the lessons in exchange for doing some book maintenance at work (which is what Mr C was doing as well). I felt like things were going in a really positive direction and that I would attack all this after the New Year.
So of course the New Year comes and goes and I really need to get myself motivated. By sheer coincidence (or maybe not), Fry happened to knock over my little jewelry box next to my bed a few days ago and I found this, which had been buried deep under a pile of cheap costume jewelry:
I have no idea where I bought this little stone, but I know I've been carrying it around for at least 10 years. I think it's about time I cashed it in.
Yesterday I hammered out a letter to my boss and Stéphane helped me proofread it. By the time you read this, he will have already read it and I'll be waiting for a response, probably on Wednesday when we have our little company New Year's lunch. The worst he can say is no, right?
Make it happen is going to be my mantra for 2012. One way or another, I'm going to make this happen this year!