I am working tonight, so this will probably be my last post for 2009. My employer thinks fireworks at midnight for our customers is a good idea, and someone needs to be there to make it all go off without a hitch. That'll be me, then.
To be honest, it's been a lousy year. Anna has borne the brunt of the nasty things that have intruded on our lives, but it has been hard to stand by and watch it happen. The reduction in working hours in June has caused a lot of money problems, which I am only now coming to grips with. The house continues to fall down around our ears, and can only be put right by the expenditure of large amounts of money that we don't have. However, I have been sustained by many things: two daughters who, even if we don't speak as often as we should, always make my life seem less pointless than it otherwise might; by some friends who, through various internetular connections, have stimulated my 'brain' and made me laugh in equal measure; and - unsurprisingly - by the two bikes that are sitting on the drive at this moment. If I didn't have that little bit of 'bike time' every day, I think I would have died of cabin fever. Keeping the XT going has been a bit of a challenge, but worth the headaches, and the trip to Denmark on the Honda was a thoroughly life-enhancing experience.
Above all, the trials of the past 11 months have brought Anna and me closer than ever before, and for that I am very thankful. When you reach moments where there is a serious prospect of losing someone for ever, the time together becomes more precious. She's a tough old trout, and I'm very lucky to have her. It's a shame that I won't be at home tonight to see in the New Year, as I wanted very much to be with Anna to say 'up yours' to 2009, and to raise a glass together to a better 2010. There may be more work in the pipeline, and Anna seems to be making slow but steady progress in her health, so maybe a bit of optimism is not misplaced.
A Happy New Year to all of you, and may 2010 bring you everything you wish for.