2015 – The Year to Come

Lots of fellow bloggers are doing wonderful wrap-ups of 2014, a year that’s had variable amounts of success for folks.  Of course, now I come to look for them, they’re proving hard to find.  But you’re resourceful, I’m sure you can track them down.

If you want to know what I’ve been up to in 2014, then hit the archives here on this blog!  I’ve done stuff.  And things.  Occasionally both but never without a proper rest between the two.  I failed spectacularly at NaNoWriMo (total word count on work in progress for November: ~4).  We, as a family, completed our first full year in England.  We’ve seen knights fighting, folk musicians playing everything from the hurdy-gurdy, the hammer dulcimer, assorted shawms…  The wonderfully talented Pete Shaw has introduced us to the joys of the pub folk session and me to the Greenwood Quire.  But enough about last year.  That’s done and dusted.  I didn’t get my head around my own Appalacian dulcimer last year, that’s definitely a job for this year.

So…  2015. Yes…

I already know it’s going to be a year of ups and downs.

My eldest will finish the year staring down the barrel of her GCSE mocks but with her bronze Duke of Edinburgh under her belt.  She’ll be running her school’s Role-Playing Club, most likely GMing 13th Age.  She and I will have begun bell-ringing.  Interesting stuff!

Next down, Thing 2 will’ve finished his first full year of Senior School and be well into his second.  Hopefully he’ll get his head around the clubs, orchestras, string quartets and the like and be attending more than just the squash club.  Not that that’s a bad one to be in, I was more than a bit surprised when he said he was in it!  He might well take his backstroke on a bit more, join a swimming club…

For the other 3, life continues in junior school with little change.  I think I’ve got a year with no SATS or other testing.  Most momentous will be Thing 5 moving from reception to Year 1!  Exciting stuff.

Me, I’ve got to lose at least 15kg.  To do this I’ll be using the patented “eat less and exercise more” diet technique that has served me well in the past.  To this end (and to complete our family) we welcomed Typhon into our pack.  He’s a 14 week old German Shepherd, bright as a spark and with a lovely nature. I’m sure the cats will love him and he the cats.  Eventually.  Anyway, he’s the perfect excuse to get up and about every day.  As he grows, his exercise needs will grow with him, and we’ll all be fitter.  Win-win.


We’ve got a Mark Knopfler concert to look forward to, the Lord Mayor’s Show in London in November, birthdays, family gatherings, more knights and definitely some jousting.  Broadstairs Folk Week, Quire and choir concerts.  Hopefully Blackmore’s Night will be back in the UK this year.  Going to be fun.

On the other hand, this is probably going to be the year I lose my dad.  Mind you, we’ve been thinking that since he was diagnosed with bowel cancer back in 1999.  He’s starting 2015 on chemo – the last in his current cycle, mind you – but his doctors are pleased with what they’ve seen so far.  Even he’s happy with his x-rays – interesting, the skills you pick up!  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.  Who knows, maybe he’ll beat the odds again and I’ll be writing this again at the start of 2016.

Long story short, 2015 is going to be a bit of a rollercoaster.  But then, what year isn’t?

The Big Christmas Movie

I only ever buy the Radio Times once a year.  Their legendary Christmas double-issue is a tradition in my house stretching back as long as I can remember.  It became well-thumbed, with creased-down corners marking the films and shows I wanted to watch.  When we got a VCR I would mark those things I wanted to record and watch later – usually because they were on a stupid times of the day – and leave notes for my parents not to switch everything off (or change the channel on the satellite box for the year or two we had that).

The centrepiece, the star, the thing I looked for first, was the Big Christmas Movie.  BBC and ITV would vie for who had the best film.  Who got the latest blockbuster – and thus who would have the big ratings on Christmas Day.

This year, BBC 1 are showing “Puss in Boots”, ITV aren’t even bothering with a film.  We’ve had Auntie Beeb’s movie for a few years, it’s alright if you’re wanting to see more of Puss from Shrek.  But it’s not great.

I’m blaming the home video market.  Time was we couldn’t get hold of films until they’d been on TV.  Now I can buy five or six of the latest releases  for the same price as taking the family to see one at the cinema.  Just about every movie on TV this Christmas – that I want to watch – I’ve already got.

I guess that just leaves the Dr Who Christmas Special.  And we all know how good they’ve been in recent years.