As I sit typing this the sun has just set on the final day of 2013 and I feel prompted to recollect on the past year and what it has brought for us.
Firstly it has been a good year. We have both been relatively healthy (a much much better year than 2012) with only 1 significant scare when Nigel had to undergo more tests, which came out clear. I tore a ligament in my ankle and was on crutches for too long and also had a series of falls that damaged my knee, but in the scheme of things they were minor and we have been grateful to enjoy good health.
Work has been hard … very hard .., but we are mindful of the fact that it is good to HAVE work. Too many people who would like to have a job don’t have one or are forced into jobs they hate. Whilst mine is stressful and long hours, I do love my job. Working with children, and such wonderful children, is truly the best job in the world and as I need to work, I would rather be doing this than anything else. Nigel has steadily built up his clients and his business and whilst his salary is vastly different to when he was employed full time, the quality of his life, and indeed our lives, is so very much better that a financial sacrifice seems no sacrifice in reality.
We have seen 2013 through with all three cats still with us. It was touch and go whether or not Boo would see Christmas. We feared we would lose her in the summer but she rallied. Now she is fading fast. She is of indeterminate age, but we think she is about 16, and whilst she seems very content and in no pain she is painfully thin, has an inoperable tumour, severe cataracts and is totally deaf. However, she still purrs with contentment and her eye-sight is not so bad that she can’t still be the thief she has always been. We know that 2014 will see us say a last farewell to our little tabby who came for Christmas in 2001 and stayed. We promised the poor little stray we would be her forever family, and we will be.
Kira and Fiki are an amazing 11 years old – seems impossible to believe, and whilst Fiki is still naughty even he has slowed down. In 2012 we feared we would lose him quickly to PKD but he is still healthy, though we know it is like living with a ticking time bomb. All three of the cats bring us daily joy.
2013 was also a great year for the birds in our garden – safe from cats who live indoors. We have enjoyed seeing so many visitors every single day ranging from the numerous robins, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, dunnocks, blackbirds, green and spotted woodpeckers and so on to the more rarely seen greenfinches, gold finches and even a kestrel, the heron and a goshawk who took down a pigeon. They cost us a fortune but it is worth every penny to see these visitors enjoying our wildlife preserve!
2013 saw visits from family from oversees. Jim came in June and July and it was great to share family time, and Sandra and Derek came from Australia in September.
We enjoyed several trips away from home and enjoyed a stay-cation. In February we went to Cornwall for a few days and really enjoyed it and in April we went to Berkshire for our anniversary, enjoying seeing Nigel’s childhood favourite of Bekenscot.
We took a day trip to Venice - but should have known that as it was on 1st April it was likely to be an event. The two days - yes, long story, were really superb.
Our summer holiday involved a tour of some of the north of England and Scotland taking in Harrogate, York, Scarborough, Whitby, the angel of the north, Alnwick, Bamborough, Lindisfarne, the Falkirk Wheel and the Trossachs.
The fabulous summer meant some great days out at home too. Though the year began in January with snow, and has certainly ended with some shocking gale force winds, the summer was beautiful. We enjoyed two trips out on David’s boat, we visited Brownsea and saw a play in London, we went on day trips all round and enjoyed a half term break in October in the Cotswolds and the Black Country.
Nigel’s speedway continues to bring him great joy and he is so good at all he does and is much valued by people. I continue to scrap, both paper and digital, and our hobbies enrich our lives.
It has, indeed, been a good year and we have so much to be thankful for.Not everything noteworthy - mostly just normal day to day stuff.
I end my review with gratitude for a wonderful year, for the friends and family who visit here daily, and I wish everyone a truly blessed 2014, one that I hope is filled with health and happiness, love and laughter for all of us.