What a difference a year makes …

12 months almost to the day that I bought a my new bike ready for my mini adventure to Espanol. I have never been overly attached to anything material. The experience and adventure of riding has always been the ‘Thing’ not the bike itself (Same with most other things – I much prefer the experience of the journey and destination over the stars above the door of the hotel, the quality of the media over the size of the screen or speakers). However I do really love my Honda. I really miss her at the moment too. Lock down and sub zero temperatures have limited any excursions.

The day that I bought it I was in a rush to get home as it was my good friends 50th B’day party that night up in Liverpool. I rode it home thinking the different riding position felt very weird and I almost had reservations. Will I get used to it? etc.

That night my family and I (less the eldest one as he was working at a music venue – remember them?) headed to Liverpool. I had a few beers to ‘relax’ (reduce my social anxieties that I hide very well). I met my friend’s sister in-law, his wife’s sister, for the first time and only time (I may have met her at the wedding, however booze gives rise to bleary memories). Loud, seemingly care free and full of energy, and a really good laugh. Unbeknown to me she had just got the all clear from cancer. I learnt this week that she had passed away from another cancer aged only 54. Life can be so frigging cruel!!! I feel so sorry for all the family and friends.

For myself, the last 12 months have been turbulent. Giving up booze was in hindsight the best and most well timed decision that I have made in a long while. I am actually quite impressed with myself (I do mention it more than I should and probably bore people to death. I am sure a drunken me was way more annoying however). Covid and lockdowns have been the backdrop to almost everything. My mental health suffered big time (still far from great, however manageable mostly). Family issues and the breakdown of my 23 year marriage have been so very difficult. Devastating in fact. Money and work stresses. However …

My daughter is going to be Mummy!! Which inevitably means that I will become a Grandad!!! All very strange to even imagine but a magical thought.

I have found a house that I am trying to buy. It is not my dream home by any stretch (no picturesque cosy rural pad with a babbling stream and a large barnlike workshop or a house with sea views), however I am sure with a bit of extreme DIY that I can make it my own. I have never before lived on my own for any length of time so I am very nervous and anxious. However, for all the sadness that precedes such an event it is will hopefully be the start of happier times for everyone.

One thing that it does not have is a garage. So I will have to build something for my bike and numerous tools as a priority. As for the other stuff like something to sit on, sleep on etc. I will have to rough it for a while. Minimalist shabby chic, not to be confused with a crack den, will be the unintentional styling. I have plenty of pictures that invoke happy thoughts and memories for the wall which will hopefully influence my mood in a positive way.

I am not superstitious, however the house number is 8, which is considered good luck in some cultures and is also a positive in many religions. The last 3 characters of the postal are the same as a house we have previously lived in. The road opposite has the same name as a US state I once lived in and an adjoining road has the same street name as where I live now (for almost 20 years). All very coincidental but fun to think that the forces that we do not understand are at work 😉 .

So much change, good and bad, happy and sad. Completely unpredictable. I never would have thought that I would be writing a blog about my musings. It really helps however. Anonymous as it is, it does feel like that I am getting stuff off my chest and able to rationalise these crazy times that we find ourselves in.

Take care. Enjoy the now.

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