So it’s that time of year again. Time to have a look at my aspirations for 2017 and see how I got on. But first some of my best moments.
It’s been a mixed year in so many ways but I am so glad to be celebrating the New Year. So let’s hope i can look forward to an even better 2018.
Below, reflecting the collage above, my six key moments:
1. Our last ever trip to The Heaves Hotel in Kendal. Closing its doors. We have gone there as cricketers and retired cricketers since the early 1980s. A great weekend in January.
2. Every February we go to Elios, Italian Restaurant in Barton-upon-Humber because we went there a day after I was diagnosed. It marks each year and I am so happy to be still celebrating. Visit 7, celebrating 6 years in February 2018.
3. March saw a wonderful fund raising evening for Joe and Mark’s bike ride to Amsterdam. But the real memory of seeing the band Rain featuring Sam, Damian and Hannah with their wonderful lead, Kevin in what was to prove to be his last performance. I still miss the great man so much. RIP Kevin.
4. This was taken in Pembrokeshire another annual event since 2012 when my wonderful children, Hannah and Joe take me away for a long weekend. This year we returned to a holiday haunt of their childhood, Little Haven.
5. This cake, signifies not just my 65 birthday but the forthcoming birthday of so many of my uni friends as we gathered for another BBQ. This year we were joined for the first time by Hanne From Norway and another great day was had.
6. In June Joe and Mark completed their 145 mile bike ride to Amsterdam. I was so proud of them raising over £3400 for Prostate Cancer UK. A wonderful weekend.
So many other good times too, so many good memories. I want to make more in 2018.
But what did I specify as my aspirations a year ago? They were:
1. Strive for a ‘reasonably healthy’ year
2. Complete first draft of my novel by May 18th
3. Undertake the photography course #AYearWithMyCamera2017 and improve my skills
4. Connected to 3) my project will be ‘My Yorkshire’
5. Continue creating and building memories
I can’t pretend it’s been an easy year health wise dominated by ancillary problems which I have documented during the year. But it’s about still being here and entering yet another year reasonably healthy. And, despite having to start a new drug, I am still here and hoping I can get another good year. My walking is now problematic but my car with my scooter gives me potential freedom to get out and explore so I am hoping I stay well enough to do just that as the weather gets warmer.
My second aspiration was achieved in part. I managed about 37000 words for review in May. It was an instructive session and gave me plenty of food for thought. 7 months on however no further progress has been made. I think the realisation that I need to put many hours into improvements has proved daunting. I am not convinced I can find the kind of ‘clear head’ time needed to take this project forward. Despite having lots of words done I am facing the thought that this project will not get completed. At the moment it lies in stasis awaiting resuscitation, this year will determine whether I can breathe life into it.
Oddly 3 and 4 never really got going. I have continued to take photos through the commitment to the daily Blipfoto and have loved that. I got a new big lens which improved my bird shots but found systematic commitment to a training course too challenging. I dipped into it and got the accompanying books but psychologically I have resisted learning systematically about photography. I think it’s too late so I’ve taking a more pragmatic approach, looking up particular issues when I have needed them. I am happy with that and enjoying the photography so it’s working for me.
Good memories have been achieved throughout the year as I highlighted at the start of the blog. I love spending time with family and friends and it’s been good to have visitors who just muck in and we can enjoy great weekends. Enjoyed lots of lunches out with old friends and always up for a meet. So what next?
I am unsure what 2018 will bring. I am more cautious about my health prospects with uncertainties over how long the current drug will work and less options left. I remain positive and given six years survival already I ought to and I can only hope for more time. I will continue to keep going as best I can and enjoy the many services which the wonderful NHS gives me, despite the best efforts of the tories to undermine it.
I really hope we can see another election this year, surely the moribund Government with its hapless leader and lack of decent policies will implode. Came so close to seeing a Corbyn Government I will keep the dream ‘for the many not the few’.
The third uncertainty is how long I can remain active in the work of the Probation Institute. I think it’s important and most of the time I enjoy the engagement it gives me with my old world. But physically it’s tiring to go to London and some days I fear I cannot keep going. In any event I will have been chair three years by September so if I last that long, maybe that would be the time to go.
Otherwise I shall endeavour to do more of the same, health permitting. Scarborough is already booked for the Cricket and, with my scooter, trips to Headingley might be easier. So more Cricket, more photography and I hope more ‘scooting’ through the lovely countryside of the Dales. Simple aspirations, simple pleasures. So to summarise my aspirations for 2018 are:
1. To resist whatever my illness throws at me and stay reasonably healthy
2. Continue to build memories with family and friends
3. Make a final decision on the novel
4. Decide how long to remain active in the work of the Probation Institute
5. Be hedonistic – watch sport, go ‘scooting’, enjoy my family and good friends, take photographs.
So my review of the year is complete. A mixed year but with many good interludes. Thanks to my readers for reading (whoever you are!) and hopefully I will be able to blog as frequently as the year unfolds.
My week in photos: