It's been a funny old year this year......hang on, that is such a cliche - do I really mean that? That saying implies that the past twelve months have been weird, strange, or a bit odd - and I can assure you, that the past year has been none of those things. So let me start again:
It's been a perfectly normal mixture of ups and downs, good times and bad times, tears and laughter this year - much like the years before it, and the years to come.
The year started badly for me on the 1st January. I had made a monumental error of judgement based purely on emotions, and had driven home whilst under the influence of alcohol. It was another moment to be added to the long list I already have titled "Not to be Proud of", and I will never be that foolish again.
Shortly after the year began, I was ill for the only time this year (in terms of time off work). For two days I was confined to my bed, my voice stolen from me by my bad throat and cough, mucus pouring from my nostrils like there was no tomorrow, and my bedsheets soaked with my own sweat.
Thankfully I recovered and was not ill again. The rest of January passed by without event.
February was a mixed bag somewhat: Valentines day brought mixed emotions - I received a Valentine (hurrah!) But also remembered the love I had thrown away previously (boo!). Later in February, I decided to do something I had always wanted to do, and learn Sign Language. I enrolled on an online course, and my journey into sign language had begun!
March was a great month for me - but less so for you lot. It was in March that someone inspired me to write a blog. Now I knew nothing about blogs, but did know a little about writing, so I decided to give it a go. On March 16th 2011, 'Larry - An Every Day Blog' was born, and straight away - like Frankenstein's Monster - destroyed everything it came into contact with. In choosing the title of the blog, I had unwittingly (or rather witlessly) condemned myself to a daily ritual of writing it. Throughout this year the quality has fluctuated greatly, and I now know that once I have written this blog for a year, it will be come an occasional blog - for my sanity as well as yours. March also saw a failed romantic interlude - a failure which cost me a great friend. That is on the list as well.
There's not much to say about April except I turned 40, and didn't celebrate it in any great style. This continued the standard of celebration for all my milestone birthdays - 18, 21, not 30 though, I had a big party on my 30th. So that was nice. I will endeavour to celebrate my 50th in style (friends take note and remind me). But 40 came with no fuss, no fanfare. I was a little disappointed.
May was fabulous. I went back to Scotland for the first time in about 7 years. I went with my best friend, his two brothers, his Sister and her husband, and my best friends son. Most of these people I hadn't seen in over 6 years so it was lovely to catch up with them. I won't tell you all that went on, but if you want to find out then check out my blogs from May 2011.
The summer months, June, July and August were a bit of a blur. I did have my first barbecue in my garden utilising my fire pit. I had it on the day that David Haye fought Vladimir Klitschko. It was a small gathering, but a quality gathering nonetheless. In August disaster struck my garden. My neighbour has an old Apple tree in his garden and one bough overhung my garden.
This year the crop of apples from this tree was so great that the bough snapped under the weight of the fruit and fell into my garden. In the end my neighbour had to get a specialist in to remove the fallen bough and tidy everything up. It was a terrible shame. On a positive note, I completed my online Sign Language Course, and registered for an evening class starting in September.
September came around all too soon, and I discovered that what I had learnt online wasn't strictly accurate when it came to Sign Language. But I loved my evening class.
October was busy. It was the busy period at work so I was doing longer days, and was more tired. I had started going walking after work but had overdone this to a degree and had nearly crippled my feet. I developed 'Black Nail' on two of my toes, and completely lost the nail on my big toe. It has grown back since, but the toe will never be the same.
November was even worse, work wise. For a 10 day period I was starting at 5am and not finishing until 7pm or later. This was all my own choice, but it was hard work. My blogging took a setback as my laptop broke. I was forced to write my blog using an App on my Android phone. This made blogging much harder to do and it took much longer. And did I get any sympathy from you lot? Not one bit.
December has been a great month. I got to finish work a week before Christmas, which allowed me to go to Essex and catch up with lots of old friends before staying with my sister and her family for Christmas. It really was the best Christmas I've had in a long time.
And that was my year. I've shed many tears this year, and have laughed loud and heartily too. I have caught up with some spectacularly wonderful people and have made new friends too. I have had some troubling times, and still have some ahead - but I look towards the new year with anticipation and excitement, not fear and dread.
And you dear reader who have been foolish enough to read this blog everyday for 75% of this year, may I just say that you have been a huge part of my year too. I am grateful for the time you have sacrificed to read the rubbish I write, and can only say that if I could give you back the time you have lost, I would.
So here is to 2012, and to all of you. May the coming year exceed your hopes and dreams, and bring you nothing but happiness and joy.
See you next year!