December 10, 2005


There will always be certain dates which instantly cause the ringing of a thousand jingling bells in my mind. For instance, even at the risk of being called egoistic (which I am anyway, I mean who isn't?), I'll admit that I DO pause for a microsecond to reflect when I glance at the time just as it is 11:04, and because of that it seems to me that every time I check the watch it's four past eleven. For reasons known only to myself (and still very mysterious reasons), 24.7. is a date I always seem to mark for myself. I still use the date of a certain person as a password in some websites(obviously I'm not going to say whose), etc etc etc.
Some will have already guessed where this is leading - a day which, for at least four months now, has seemed to be my only purpose of striving forward through the tangled rainforest of the autumn. Well, this is, of course, exaggerating. Still, it's a date which has lurked in the back of my mind for what seems like forever, rising like the sun in the middle of the bleak reality of all those dark, rainy mornings. First, I was reminded by it every day by my travel card, which proudly beeped out the date when I wouldn't have to use public transport anymore in a while. Then it started pushing itself into my mind as my calendar pages neared it constantly. And then it started appearing as the expiry date on ham and cheese packages! And now it's here. Today is the 11th of December, the time is 0:23 (hard to find a date suiting that) and in ten hours, my family and I will start our ca 40-hour trip to Ecuador.

I have not been to Ecuador in eight years, so the last time I saw my uncle, aunt and cousins was when I was thirteen. My grandmother was here in 2001, so she has seen me more recently.

This autumn has been a very memorable one for me. I've learned many things - first of all, I've realised that no matter how much I try to control my schedules, this is something I just don't know how to do. I started a new job conducting my very first own choir. I made several good new friends and got to study with a new teacher. I visited Africa for the second time in my life (the first time was in 1995). And I also realised that each day I seem to feel more and more convinced that what I study and work for is exactly what I want, and I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else.
Specific highlights include, for example, 21.9. - a memorable day I spent with friends in Tunisia's capital city, 3.12. - when I conducted my first ever full concert with a choir, and of course 12.11., the day of Dominante's 30th anniversary concert and the spectacular party which followed.

Leaving for four weeks to a place entirely different feels like a good end to this year. And what a year it has been! Not to boast or anything, but by the 31st of December, I will have visited North America, South America, the Middle East and Africa in the same year. I will have met both my grandmothers in a period of six months, which is something which happened last in 1997. And I will have realised that every single minute of life ROCKS!! But that, of course, I have already realised. And it's all the same to me if you thought that was overly sentimental.