Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Year in 2015

2015 barely seemed to get here, and now it is at an end. Which seems really strange, but I guess that's just the way of it. Actually, it has been a bit of a strange year, in that I'm left wondering just where the time went.

Anyway, time for another end-of-year round-up. And, as usual, we have the headings...

My Year in... Work

Work has been hard-going this year, but mostly successful. Not the heady heights of late 2013, but little cause to complain, at least for most of the year. Alas, it didn't end well, for reasons I can't go into here. Hopefully, the issue will resolve itself early in the new year. Oh, and there was no call to travel, again.

Probably of more note have been the developments with LC's work. She has spent 2015 working at a high school near Stirling on a year-long contract, which was generally been good. However, at the end of November she managed to get a permanent position near Edinburgh, which is excellent news. So congratulations to her!

My Year in... Health

A middling year, in that the IBS continues to annoy, my neck is never quite as good as perhaps might be hoped, and now my teeth have decided to be a worry (though it's entirely possible that some or all of these are bound up together - the IBS in particular seems to delight in coming up with new effects that leave me wondering "what fresh hell is this?"). But there hasn't been anything serious, which is good news.

The aim of losing weight was slightly more successful than last year, but still not going well. Sigh.

My Year in... Gaming

2015 has been a mixed year for gaming as well. I've run a good few games that have been mostly successful, but I've also had a couple of disappointments. Sticking to the positive, though, I've been very much enjoying my "Firefly: the Lost Episodes" games, and look forward to continuing them into the next year.

On the playing front, this year has been particularly poor, though - I basically haven't managed to get to the other side of the screen, which is a shame.

I'm also a little disappointed that both of the games I play have almost entirely ceased publication. But then, I'm not actually sure that more books really improves things. And anyway, there's always Pathfinder.

For 2016, it's hard to see what will happen - this will depend on where we end up living. So it might prove to be more of the same, with both the "Firefly: the Lost Episodes" and "Eberron: Dust to Dust" campaigns carrying on (and in which case it would be nice to play a session or two on the other side of the screen). Or next year may well see me playing my last, which would be a shame.

My Year in... Band

Band has actually been quite enjoyable this year, mostly, despite a very disappointing competition season. And although we've been downgraded, and lost a number of people as a result, there's a sudden optimism that we'll be able to promote our learners and that things are looking up. Which is odd, but definitely good.

My Year in... Resolutions

As always, the wrap-up of annual goals, and setting of goals for next year, are handled in another post.

My Year in... Travel

There have been several trips this year, taking in no fewer than four countries (or three if you only including independent countries).

In April, LC and I took our annual spring break, heading up to Banff for our anniversary. Which was a good trip, if a long way to travel.

In June, we spent a weekend in the Republic of Ireland, helping out at a church weekend for one of our partner churches (or 'helping' in my case). That was another good trip, but a strange one - it seemed no sooner had we arrived than it was time to pack up and come away. It was also odd driving home, when we crossed the border to Northern Ireland and I suddenly discovered that the hire car's speedometer was marked in metric only!

July saw us spending just over a week in France. Six days of this were spent in La Tranche Sur Mer with my family, and then three days were spent in Paris. Again, my biggest take-away from this one was to do with driving - I really didn't enjoy driving the hire car around the outskirts of Paris. But apart from that it was a really good holiday. The highlight was probably the day we spent at "Puy du Fou", which was great.

Almost immediately thereafter, we found ourselves heading to England for Grandad's birthday party - 90 years old!

And just a few more weeks after that, there was our trip down to Bridgnorth for Bex's birthday party. Another long drive for a fairly short visit, but good to see the extended family again.

Finally, in the recent October break, LC and I spent a few days in a parallel dimension, having driven up to Fort William. That was again a good trip, blessed with really great weather and a steam train.

So 2015 has been a rather busy year, really!

My Year in... Faith

There's not too much to tell, except that this year saw me asked to lead an occasional Bible study - the result of the normal leader being called away for much of the time due to work commitments. That went well, but felt a little odd.

2016 will see me tackling the second volume of Don Carson's "For the Love of God", and consequently going for another read-through of the whole Bible.

Otherwise, there's not much to tell. Things are proceeding much as they have done this last age.

My Year in... Love

2015 has been one of those quiet years where there's not a huge amount to say. LC has been rather stressed out by work, and I think we've both come to find the flat rather oppressive (though perhaps for different reasons). 2016 will see significant changes in both these areas, which means hopefully we'll be able to find a better equilibrium.

My Year in... Departures

This year has, however, been marked with some sadness. We lost Leonard, and we lost Terry, and we lost Christopher...

And then we lost Jack. The passing of LC's Grandfather was one of those devastatingly sad things that you can know is coming and yet you can't actually be prepared for. At the end, though, he passed as well as maybe can be hoped - he fell asleep and never woke up again, with LC's parents with him so he didn't pass alone. I did think the funeral hit exactly the right note, with the minister's observation that we had to say two things: thank you, and goodbye.

Adieu, Jack. You are missed.

My Year... Overall

2015 has been a good year, for the most part, but also tough at times. In particular, the last couple of months have been difficult, and I've felt an increasing discontent with things generally. There's been nothing I've been able to point to as being the issue, but everything has just been... not quite right. I think a lot of that has been down to a combination of generally crappy weather (which has had a greater impact than it really should) and an impatience to just get on with things, and the house move in general. In reality, it's a good thing that this has taken longer than was hoped, in that LC's new job may change our analysis of what's the right next move. But it has been frustrating nonetheless.

It's fair to say 2015 hasn't been as good a year as 2014, but it's also important to note that despite that this was still a good year. 2016 looks hopeful, despite the uncertainties. A lot will become clearer once we've decided where to move, and even moreso once we've actually moved.

As with last year, this will be my last post of this year, so I'll end off by wishing anyone who still reads my nonsense a very happy New Year, and all the best for 2016.

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