Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.
It’s not been a good year, has it?
I’m not going to mention politics. I try to avoid that topic as much as possible on my social media accounts. I have beliefs about what went right and wrong this year, but I also respect that other people might have opposing views. In the event of confrontation, I walk away.
The non-political things that affected me this year were the deaths of so many of the celebrities I’ve grown up with.
Here are a few that really made me sad:
- David Bowie – I saw him in concert a long time ago. It was the Earthling tour, where he’d said he would sing any of his previous songs. But, in the encore, he sang several – including Under Pressure, which is one of my favourites. I was so happy.
- Alan Rickman – the man with the most incredible voice. Colonel Brandon, Metatron, Harry (can you name this film?), and of course, Snape.
- Terry Wogan – the sarcastic voice of Eurovision and the host of Children in Need. When I twelve or thirteen, part of my writing dream was to appear on his evening chat show to talk about my latest best seller.
- Ronnie Corbett – I grew up with The Two Ronnies on the telly, the background to Sunday evenings for many years.
- Victoria Wood – a Northern lass, a great comedian, and writer of one of the best sit-coms ever, dinnerladies.
I suppose, though, they’re never truly gone. I’ll be able to listen to their albums and watch their films and TV programmes far into the future. And, at some point, I may be able to do so without a tear in my eye.
Updated: I wrote this post on 23 December – since then, I’ve updated three times as Carrie Fisher had a heart attack, and subsequently died, and Rick Parfitt and George Michael have both gone too. My childhood was filled with every single person I’ve mentioned in this post, I have such strong memories linked to them all. To be honest, I’m struggling right now – I suppose this is part of why I’m a writer, it helps me make sense of the nonsensical…
Okay, deep breath… here’s some happier stuff…
In a year such as this, I think it’s important to remember the simple things, those small good things that happened which, in another year, are the things that might pass by completely unnoticed or taken for granted.
It was a warm, dry summer this year. I wore sandals for months, I didn’t have to wear a jacket or carry an umbrella apart from a few rare days, and I got a tan on my feet (but not my legs, they refuse!)
Some people won’t remember it – they tend to only recall the bad weather, whereas I make sure I appreciate the good. If you ever watch me walking my dog, I’m often staring across the river or up into the beautiful clear sky.
We bought new garden furniture and spent a lot of time using it – eating outside, writing, barbecues. We’d spent the previous year demolishing a garage, building a wall and laying new paving slabs, so it was great to not have anything to do but enjoy it.
We went to the beach, to the moors. On evenings when I was working, I walked home with the sun on my back. We visited the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff, my sister had a baby, my eldest grew taller than me, and my vignette collection, You. I. Us., was published.
I wish you all a very happy New Year. I’m thankful 2016 is finally over, and hope to make 2017 fantastic!
What are you looking forward to in 2017?
Has 2016 affected you? Or did you have a good year?