This year has been one of the worst I’ve ever experienced – and I have experienced 72 of them, good and bad.
Possibly the worst thing about it is the appalling mess that Brexit has become. The worst of that is the uncertainty it has created. The business community has no idea of what the outcome will be. Even a micro-business like mine hasn’t the faintest idea of what will happen after March 29. I’ve received a couple of missives from the VAT people who seem to think I export goods. (I don’t. I translate documents and send them by email to my clients.) I’ve ignored them so far because I still think that Brexit just won’t happen. I think (hope) that there will be a Peoples’ Vote and the country will see sense. Or even that our beloved (!) PM will simply say that Brexit will not happen.
My Brexit hero is Steve Bray, who consistently flummoxes Aunty Beeb (the BBC) by displaying his anti Brexit posters during every broadcast outside the Houses of Parliament.
And then there’s Trump. That big orange baby on the other side of the pond, who throws a tantrum and a thousand tweets when he doesn’t get what he wants. And he doesn’t know how to use an umbrella! Well Donald, just wait till January 3rd when the new Senate takes office with a Democrat majority. I can’t wait.
The World Cup and England’s unexpected progress to the quarters was a brief bright spot and the royal wedding in May was another highlight to take our minds off Brexit for five minutes.
Personally, too, it’s been a dreadful year. It started off with cancer treatment for a tumour in my left breast. Fortunately, I had spotted it myself and caught it early. I think I got off quite lightly really with just four chemo sessions, total hair loss, and three weeks of radiotherapy – all following a lumpectomy in November 2017. The treatment was successful, so a bright point of the year was when they told me my annual scan was clear. I pay tribute to all cancer patients, many of whom have undergone far harder treatment than I did.
You’d think that was enough bad stuff to throw at a person, but after a brief summer which saw us taking a short holiday in Devon during the hot spell in June, the last four months of the year have been very much down (yet with some great up times too). The down bit first: Bob – who is my other half of twenty seven years – started to have serious heart problems. He’s been in and out of hospital since August 29th and as I write, he’s spending New Year’s Eve and the first part of 2019 looking out at East Worthing from Courtlands Ward in Worthing hospital. Courtlands is their excellent Coronary Care unit.
The up bit, and a very high up it was too, was the birth of my first grandchild. I’ve waited an age for this moment. Many of my contemporaries already have great-grandchildren! So I took a trip to Singapore, which is where my dear son met and married my beautiful daughter-in-law and where he has a successful business, to meet Oliver, my gorgeous two-month-old grandson.
So on to 2019! I have absolutely no idea how it will pan out. Will Brexit happen? Will Trump be impeached? Will Bob have an operation? Will I get back to Singapore this spring? I just don’t know.
I close this post by thanking every single one of my friends, whether on Facebook, through the blog, or my local neighbourhood friends. Every single one has offered Bob and me immense support this year with friendship, messages, visits, food, gifts, and yes, drink too.
I close by thanking the readers of this blog, which I may allow to morph into a progress report on Bob’s health and Olly’s development. And I wish you all a great new year. Even if it doesn’t bring complete health, wealth and happiness, there will be bright spots, as I have experienced myself, so treasure them.
I cross your threshold tonight bearing metaphorical coal (for warmth) salt (for luck) and bread (for food on the table) in 2019.
December 31 2018.