It is time to recap the year.
The easiest thing is a default to the positives. An amazingly hot summer, long bike rides and walks through stunning countryside, trips with Maureen to Brussels and the Peak District, general bliss in the garden, and watching most of the World Cup with Rory. Above all the absolutely brilliant, proud and unforgettable day in August when my daughter Lauren married Chris.
What a buzz to give my speech.
And the bumper cars that got us through the evening, rather than the traditional disco. My – everyone’s – enjoyment went through the roof.
Life is nothing without the new. In particular, the joy and therapy of this blog, which began in September. At the start of the year, I began to experiment with affirmations and to keep a daily gratitude diary. Six entries every night before sleep.
I dabbled with the Ubuntu group (Blog 6) and became a member of a witty WhatsApp foursome entitled Mainly Ginger Fuckers. This has refined my sense of when to be quiet and when to contribute.
Must mention psilocybin. Maureen and I were given a batch in mid-year. Not the above ground extension of the mushroom but the underground truffle. It is quite widely acknowledged that a five gram dose will fling apart the gates to the subconscious. I hugely enjoyed a solo walk in the sunshine using half of that dosage. The trees and other flora were waving vividly yet gently to me in the breeze, and the sense of well-being was robust. The next day Maureen sat in the garden and experienced her own transformative visions. I upped my dosage slightly but started to feel sick. We can push on from those yardsticks as and when the opportunity occurs. No rush.
My marriage remained the most important thing, the fulcrum. We notched up the 33-year milestone on April 6. Always a significant number. Maureen had a huge meltdown on January 3, after which she dreamed of us lifting up a healthy plant, for a replant. I like that image. Here is one of our shadows kissing out at Creeksea, near the River Crouch, in early December.
Money has been – and continues to be – a huge challenge. Staying afloat while paying off debt, keeping the taxman off my back and just about maintaining Rory at university. It feels like destiny, that lessons of prudence had to be learned the hard way, over nearly two decades now. So be it. There is always a solution that takes us to the next day, week, and month.
Big chunks of the blog will now be about processing shadow and moonlight. The 21st birthday party was a peak, after which things rolled steadily downhill.