A very happy new year to each and every one of my three readers, (I know it is sometimes more, but I really can't get used to this, as I think of it as mainly a diary just for me).
That was the year that was.
I can't think beyond my own year at first. I was in hospital for a few very pleasant days. There was a worry that my heart might be ready for failure, but I felt I was coping with that very well. There was no room in the coronary ward, so they put me in organ transplant. While I was there, I met a man who was somewhat sad because he had ruined his liver drinking. He had quit for many years and was suitable for a transplant. After a long wait he had been called in for the operation, only to be told, while I shared the room with him, that once again the donor was found to be unsuitable. Another man had a successful kidney transplant, but he was also miserable. David lent me his laptop and I watched the whole of "Arrested Development" with a headset, so these miserable men were assaulted by my periodic outburst of hilarious laughter. Whatever the outcome, I accepted that I must lose weight. I weighed 264 at the highest and lost about ten pounds fairly easily, keeping a food diary and weighing in every morning. I dipped below 250 a couple of times, but I haven't yet got by that plateau. I joined a fitness club, but haven't been for two weeks, much discouraged by their sauna and steam room both being out of action. I did one free class, which was way too advanced for me, supposedly in Pilates, but, to me, it seemed like basic marine endurance.
Cathy and I went to France for my dear nephew's wedding. My brothers put on a terrific show in the French Alps, which some how included a firework display in the middle of the night. Not one villager protested. For one meal I sat between my first wife, (common law) and my second, Cathy. My younger brother gave me a long promised notebook computer and a lot of money in cash, which covered our expenses and then some.
Soon after our return, we learned that we had to vacate our rented house and we eagerly set about finding a house to buy. We both fell in love with the kooky house we actually bought, just at the wrong time, as house prices collapsed about a month later. We are very happy there and secure in the knowledge that had we waited, (had we known what no one else knew), we would not have the house.
David had to give up his apartment and returned to live in our spare family room. He studied hard and got 78% on his exam. He has an attractive beard. He went through a sort of paranoid anger phase and, as he gains more confidence, it has mercifully passed. He will always think passionately, which can be tiring, but I also admire him for it.
Matthew was doing very well at Davey's as an arborist/ landscape worker, but the dessicans osteo condritis in his knee became too painful and he had to be operated on. He is laid up for at least another four months. His humour is subdued, but healthy and, like our sleepy cat, he is good to have around.
William is thriving on his jewelry course. He has, as Cathy says, found his niche.
Each, in his own way, is excellent company and I wish I was not often too tired to take them somewhere in the one car . Actually, when Matthew started work, he bought his own car, but now that Toyota sits sadly inactive in the garage under the family room. In fact, under our Christmas tree.
We had our first Christmas in the new house, which, for the first time in years, I really enjoyed. I even made up new, favourable words for my grouchy Christmas song. Cathy's stocking turned out to be more rewarding than anyone else's. We did not spend a lot, but each and every one spent a lot of thought on the best gift.
And so we approach Balham, gateway to the South. 2009