- We revived the traditions that is Dover Beer Festival and our summer garden party.
- I organised a boat trip out to the wartime sea-forts in the Thames estuary.
- We had some incredibly good walks including a twenty-mile one across the Sussex Downs.
- I had a very good weekend on a European road trip visiting all sorts of place including the French geo-mega.
- We had a wonderful holiday in the New Forest.
- The Snow Dogs came to Ashford.
- We had afternoon tea with my mum and dad (they’d never done it before)
- I caught my biggest fish ever (so far)
- We had a really good pre-Christmas dinner with friends in Brenchley, and an incredible Boxing Day tribal get-together.
- My little girl has opened a corner shop in Margate.
- And all-new “Star Trek” came back to the telly.
31 December 2018 (Monday) - New Year's Eve
Treacle was rather restless last night, and when she is restless, so is everyone else. I managed to put up with her fidgeting, and got up shortly before the alarm was due to go off.
Over a bowl of rather yukky muesli I watched an episode of “Bottom” (in which our heroes had spent four thousand pounds on a weekend trip to Doncaster), then I sparked up the lap-top to see what I’d missed on-line overnight. I hadn’t missed much.
It seemed darker than usual as I walked to my car and drove off to work. The roads were certainly quieter than they have been. As I drove the pundits on the radio were running article after article about Winston Churchill. Today's guest editor would seem to be fixated on the chap. Whilst it was all rather interesting, I prefer it when there is a variety of topics on the radio. After a while you soon get bored with the same old drivel (I certainly do).
Having a few minutes spare I took a ten-minute diversion for geo-purposes. Usually there is a meet-up on New Year's Eve. This year there wasn't for the simple reason that no one had organised one. So I got my New Year's Eve geo-souvenir for acting suspiciously round a village sign in Sandling. As I took my little geo-diversion it became apparent that my phone had upgraded itself overnight. The driving directions were given in a different voice to what it has used in the past, and the distances were given in metric units rather than imperial. I wonder how I turn it back? Personally I'd like it to use metres and miles, but I don't think that's an option.
With a few minutes spare I stopped off at Aldi for a look-see. I got some of their granola. I didn't get any of their muesli. I don't like their muesli; it is like sawdust. I do like Alpen. Trouble is, it ain't cheap. Aldi didn’t have any Alpen, so it was all academic anyway.
Whilst I was in Aldi I got a combination ice-scraper/snow-sweeper for the car as it was in the cheapo-bargain section. It only cost three quid. I suspect it may well collapse on its first usage. We shall see.
Work was work; as the day went on I felt more and more tired and washed out. I seriously considered giving the evening’s party a miss; I was glad I didn’t. Maria put on a wonderful spread, we watched “Mama Mia II”, we did the New Year grapes. We had a really good evening.
We came home rather late and found Fudge was stuck on the window sill. He’d got on there to look for us and couldn’t get back.
And that’s it for another year. I see a lot of people have been posting on Facebook saying what a crappy year it was…
One of my many cringeworthy talents is that I never let the fact that I am incredibly bad at karaoke stop me from having a go. One of my more memorable numbers is my rendition of Belinda Carlisle’s “Total Eclipse of the Fart” which I’ve been howling it since it was first released. One of the lines in the song struck a chord when I first howled it some thirty-five years ago: “every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by”. In my blacker moments I do worry that the best of all the years have gone by. But for all thirty-four of those years I had no cause for concern. Despite losing father-in-law Frank, this year has certainly been one of the better ones.
I wonder what next year has in store?