So that was 2016!
As I sit here having returned from the chaos of a trip to Waitrose Dorking, which was full of hungover shoppers and car park ragers who seemed to have been tipped off that the zombie apocalypse is imminent, no doubt attracted by the odour of recycling bins overflowing with bin bags stretched to their polyethylene limits, stuffed with turkey carcasses and a mound of mince pies past their use by date, it is a time of quiet reflection. Before the New Year celebrations this evening.
There is already a change in the air – C has gone on a cleaning spree muttering “out with the old…..” and I am trying not to stay in one place for too long lest I suffer the same fate as the contents of our fridge.
Our TVs are filled with adverts for Weight Watchers, family holidays (just what you need after a couple of days/weeks of forced confinement with your “nearest and dearest”), Sky subscriptions and imminent war with Russia.
But, 2016 has not yet thrown its last die…..except in Australasia. But what a year 2016 has been.
At a personal level it has been a good year. A rollercoaster for sure, full of big change, uncertainty and frustration. But a good year nevertheless. A new job in a new country. A new car (downsizing). Turning fifty (and spending it with the best friends in the world!). Leaving our lovely house and friends in the North. Our last walk to the Edge. The big move South. Vince’s remarkable recovery from his terrible road accident in New Zealand. And, best of all, C beating breast cancer and the arrival of our gorgeous niece, Ella Rose. A very good year indeed.
It has been a good year despite the abject failure of my personal online campaigns against Brexit, against Jeremy Corbyn, and against the monster which is Trump. I must try harder next year.
As ever, there has been a fair amount of travel with one commute into my London office (yes, just the one!), regular trips to Paris, and quick hops to Rotterdam (including my upgrade to the Presidential suite), Amsterdam, Vienna, Milan, Malaga, Frankfurt and Istanbul, and, long-hauls to São Paulo (not my favourite), Porto Alegre, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. I am fast approaching silver status with British Airways…….as long as they don’t spend the whole of next year on strike!
The best, however, was a wonderful holiday with C in Taormina in Sicily. And, the spa weekend in Brockenhurst in Hampshire. And the walk along the Cheshire Way with the Lads. There have also been a couple of memorable day trips into London. It is nice to have the Big Smoke and Durham-ites on the doorstep.
It was a memorable and very hot first Surrey Hills summer interspersed with visits from good friends and family, drinking gin and cider (not in the same glass) outside the White Horse, meals in the Bray and other excellent local pubs, tickling trout in the Tillingbourne, walking to the farm shop, and watching the Ride London Surrey 100 cycle ride rush past the bottom of our lane……and being attacked by wasps. A summer of Olympic triumph and football humiliation at the hands of Iceland.
We have entertained ourselves with trips to the cinema to watch the Revenant, the latest Bourne (so formulaic and cliched), Louis Theroux’ My Scientology Movie. And we have stayed in with the Affair, the Americans, the Making of a Murderer, the Walking Dead, Episodes and Bloodline. We even spent an evening with Rick Stein…..in the flesh!
And, then there was the kind of entertainment you cannot pay for – C teaching her mom to use an iPad and me getting to “fix” the mother-in-law’s Kenwood mixer on Mothers Day. And spending time with Ella Rose…
It has been a good year. But not for everyone.
So many of our great entertainers, musicians and sporting heroes have been taken from us. Many far too soon. There must be one helluva New Years party going on upstairs.
The political world has undertaken a cosmic shift to the extent that we all now live in a surreal reality TV programme which has still to run its course.
Terrible wars continue to rage in the Middle East. Refugees continue to escape the horrors. Terrorists continue to attempt to invoke the end of days – remember Istanbul, Brussels, Orlando, Jo Cox, Nice, Wurzburg, St-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Berlin and almost daily incidents throughout the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia and the Indian sub-continent. And then there is Putin, Trump’s new best friend ….
And, yet again Pizza Express removed my favourite pizza from their menu….
But we, at least, end the year with good health, great friends, and a long list of Rightmove properties to view. There is so much to look forward to. Not least a new home, hopefully with a big oven, working heating and a shower to die for and without the wasps and the mice. Who knows where we will be theis time next year? Hopefully celebrating with those closest and dearest to us.
True, there may be a deluded, racist, sexist megalomaniac about to take control of the nuclear button in the New Year, as the Tories start to block the Channel Tunnel with the unemployed. And, we might have to all learn to speak Russian. Bt it ain’t going to be dull. So, 2017, bring it on. Do your worst. We can take it!
Have a good one everybody!
Entry filed under: middleman.