What a tangled web 2013 proved itself to be. Lows and highs aplenty though I’m not going to dwell on the lows. I will just mention them though in passing because I think I’ve learned something from them and hopefully I will be able to deal better with similar experiences in the future.
Let’s start with the bad bits then.
A good friend of the family died. He left a wife and two sons to whom my heart goes out. To them especially I wish a happier 2014.
I lost another friend too, not through death but, sadly, through misconceptions, mistrust, and misinterpretations. That’s too many misses in any one sentence I know but, hey, blogger’s licence and all that. It taught me a hard lesson and the hard lessons are those from which we reap most benefit in the end so – time now for me to move on.
Dealing with French bureaucracy has been a bit of a nightmare this year though there’s nothing new in that and we will, almost certainly, experience more of it again this year. I’m not altogether convinced that the last debacle (involving the water company shutting our water off for not paying a bill they never sent us) – think about it – is yet resolved fully. We have our water back and a brand new account but still no bill. This may sound like a problem made in heaven but we expect with every new day that we will switch on the taps one morning to find we are again cut off. It’s not happened yet though so let’s not travel the pessimistic road.
I think that’s pretty much it for the bad stuff.
Some of the more positive things were these: Peter started to paint again after a break of I don’t care to remember how many years. He is developing a unique style and the results are wonderful. A neighbour of ours who is, himself, a very successful artist has even suggested that they might hold a joint exhibition at some point. How wonderful would that be? Take a look at Peter’s work here.
As for me, I went through a brief lull in activity and started to feel a little bit down. So what better way to counter the blues than by trying something new? So I threw myself (metaphorically) into providing a free proofreading service to Indie writers. Went away and got myself some training, became a member of Distributed Proofreaders and am now proofreading for the Gutenberg Project as well as for individual authors. As a sort of offshoot of that I also now have the opportunity to record some audio books but am having to work up a little courage to begin that. I think I might just make it my sole New Year’s resolution to be brave and go for it.
A dear friend, Kensington Gore, played an active role in my developing a new skill. He was kind enough to accept a short story I wrote for inclusion in an anthology of shorts which is being sold for charity. I enjoyed the process so much and was thrilled at having something published that I have now written a longer piece which is attracting a lot of very favourable attention. There may be some very good news coming about that in a short while but can’t go into detail just yet.
By the magic of the internet I managed to get in touch (after many years of trying) with an old school friend of Peter’s, Dave Eager. Dave came out to Montpellier for a few weeks in the autumn and much reminiscing was done. Fun fun fun and was so pleased to have been a part of it.
I also ‘met’, in the internet meeting sense, some amazing people this year.
Terry Tyler, an Indie writer whose work has so captivated me that I am currently working my way through everything she has written.
Nicky Haldenby, a really talented musician/song writer/composer. He has a new album out and it has become my music of choice for afternoons working at my keyboard.
And Alexandra Kaczynska who has done me the honour of placing her trust in me to proofread her magical stories before publication and who managed to get herself engaged to my old mate, Ryan Claffey. Ryan – you jammy dog!
Bless you all.
And finally, to my wonderful and ever loving family. You are the best. Happy New Year my darlings.