Sunday, December 23, 2007

Review of 2007

I had every intention of continuing with regular postings here, but for various reasons real life has got in the way of virtual life somewhat, so there are gaps in this Blog. Time then for an update of what's been happening.

The year started with me still in the rented flat in Dowanhill in Glasgow's west end, where I'd moved after leaving Johnstone, in Renfrewshire, when my wife and I separated and we sold our lovely house in summer 2006.

January 2007 saw me starting to look properly for my own place and I had decided I didn't want to waste money on chasing "offers over" properties, so was interested only in fixed price. Not only that, but with Ernie & Elmo, our two cats, living with me I was only prepared to consider ground floor or at a push first floor flats so they could get out. It also had to be in the west end of Glasgow. My choices were, to say the least, limited!

Taking advantage of all t'InterWeb has to offer, I was on various mailing lists, and eventually I was notified of a flat which ticked all of the boxes except that it wasn't in the west end but 5 miles further out, in Clydebank. Long story short, I bought it and have been happily living here since May. More recently I had a cat flap fitted in the back door, so Ernie & Elmo have now got used to 24/7 access to the great outdoors, which seems to suit them well!

In March I was playing badminton, for only the second time in a long number of years, when I ruptured my Achilles Tendon, putting me into a plaster cast for 2 months, and off work for 3 months. That was not a pleasant experience.

My enforced lay-off from singing in the choir of St Mary's Cathedral while unable to stand without crutches, led straight on to a period of time out from singing there for various reasons I don't intend blogging about. I am still not singing in the cathedral, and I have only been back in the building twice, once for a funeral and once to sing in a concert with another choir. I remain very disillusioned with organised religion, which is a shame.

I visited Belgium with my dad over a weekend back in about April to see my brother who was working there for a few weeks, and despite being on crutches which made things difficult, that was the high spot of the year, partly because I haven't done much travelling abroad in my life, and partly because it was great to spend time like that with dad and with my brother who I see so rarely because he lives in California.

In Manchester I attended the civil partnership of the brother of a friend. It isn't all that long since these were first allowed in the UK, and a straw poll conducted during the speeches at the reception confirmed that not one person attending had been at one before!

Later in the year I was in Kent, this time without crutches, at the wedding of friends of a friend, and that was good partly because they're nice people, but also it's a nice part of the country.

In September my divorce came through. As an observation, it's easier to get divorced than married, at least as far as the amount of paperwork which need completing is concerned! We remain on friendly terms, and I sincerely hope it remains that way. No reason for it not to.

Work is good again. I moved out of my comfort zone into a different department a bit over a year ago, and that caused me for a time to consider where my future lay, but thankfully I am now enjoying it again and have no intention of moving. Sticking with my personal policy of not blogging about work, that's all I intend saying about it.

In late summer I embarked on a quest to pass my Institute of Advanced Motorists bike and car tests. It has been the subject of extensive posts over the past month or so, so suffice to say that I have now passed my advanced bike test, and I'm awaiting a date for my advanced car test.

Missing singing, but not missing the cathedral, in September I rejoined Glasgow Chamber Choir. I was one of the original members when it was founded, and I've sung with them on and off since then. I'm enjoying it immensely and, because there are a fair number of people who have joined since 2002 which was the last time I sang with the choir, I have been enjoying making new friends, some of whom look like becoming very good friends indeed.

So, there you have it. The short version of Lay Clerk's 2007.

Put simply, I have come from a real low in summer 2006 to being just about back on track, and the future looks potentially bright for all sorts of reasons.

My New Year's resolution for 2008 is to start to really enjoy life again, and to try to do what's right and necessary for me even if it's not necessarily right for other people. I'm certainly not going to go out of my way to hurt or upset anyone, least of all my friends, but I need to get my priorities sorted, and my priority this forthcoming year is going to be me!

Can I take this opportunity to wish everyone reading this, particularly those (and I am told there are some) who for some obscure reason read this Blog regularly, a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

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