Merry Christmas to all our friends and family! Thank you for being part of our lives and making 2016 such a wonderful year.
This is the first time for some years that my boys spend Christmas with me and in my mind this is also the last Christmas that we will spend with just the three of us. John leaves us soon to spend 6 months of his gap year in South Africa. And so the last couple of days have been very precious to me.
As I reflect on the year, I am incredibly grateful for how things have worked out better than I have envisioned. This is the year I turned 50 and I wanted to do so many things and to make changes in my life. Yes, I ticked off some things from my bucket list and some other items which were not on my list.
It has been a fun year – I learnt how to use Snapchat and cringed to find out that I accidentally sent John a flirty emoji. I found my 91 year old aunt stalking me on Facebook 😆 bless her.
This was the end to years of volunteering to lovingly cook nutritious meals for 120 at the Ealing Soup Kitchen. I miss that old man who complains about the green stuff in the meal and asks for re-constituted powdered tomato soup.
David ended his primary school on a high note – getting praise for being a truly honest child, always admitting to his misdemeanours and taking his punishment on the chin. And he received an award for English at the year end for his original and entertaining work.
My travel to New York in March showed me how connected we all are – finding in the Sofitel hotel lobby the book Vertical New Yorkers by Horst Hamann, a German photographer introduced to John by friends he made when he was in Chicago at UPW. John interviewed Horst for his A Levels project.
Travel-wise, we were treated to a long road trip through Romania by Alex who introduced us to delicious Romanian food and absolutely awesome sceneries along the way. We spent the summer in Orlando enjoying the thrilling rides and getting sun burnt at the water parks. We went crazy playing Pokemon there and I stopped after reaching Level 20.
We had our usual camping trip at New Wine and this year I spent many hours at the on-site gym primarily so I could charge all my gadgets. It was fun surprising these guys who had not expected a small middle aged woman to do deadlifts and weighted squats.
At the end of summer, we moved to Kingston to be nearer to David’s new school. Kingston turned out to be more beautiful than I had expected. I feel like I have come a full circle. When I first arrived in the UK 30 years ago, I stayed with my sister who lived in Walton on Thames which is not far from Kingston. In addition we are now living much closer to my lovely Aunt Nancy.
Earlier this year, I joined some dating websites and found out that my most prominent trait is “more nerdy”!!! I am surprised I had as many dates as I did & it has been good fun. It felt very strange initially as the last time I dated I was in my twenties.
The pinnacle of my achievements is the climb up Snowdonia in October. Hard work but well worth the absolutely stunning view at the top.
I am ending 2016 on a high note. I am grateful for the many good friends I have and the family around me, all of whom I truly love. And most of all, I am grateful for meeting someone I truly adore who seems not to mind me being nerdy.