Saturday, 31 December 2016

Come on 2016, let's be having you

In my annual round up of the year I thought I'd cover the obvious first:

It's been a year of celebrity deaths - some have done the sums on whether more famous people have died or if it just seems that way. Well firstly it's that people we all know and have heard of died this year. Also with instant news reporting and social media we all know about them immediately. I'm not going to lie, the deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and Caroline Aherne made me feel sad. However, I didn't know any of them in real life, so it is not my grief to feel.

I know, I know Lemmy was last year

With all the attention on entertainers it was overlooked that some eminent scientists also died this year, including the man who found the smallpox vaccine and many female scientists of great standing. The obsession with entertainers over academics was most clearly demonstrated one recently. I was pretty shocked when on a rare foray into watching TV news (we were away and channel options were pretty limited) the lead news item was the death of Carrie Fisher and Richard Adams was 6th. I realise that TV news is a scheduled 'entertainment' programme, but that's still a bit rude isn't it ?

Talking of entertainment news being taken a bit too seriously there was the big break up. Yep Brad and Ange called it a day and apparently no one could believe it. Really ? Does anyone really know the truth about any relationship ? Well it seems not. Oh well, life went on. 

Political shenanigans included the EU referendum and the US election. I don't think I need to elaborate, unless you have been hiding under a huge rock for the last year that is. I do want to mention, however, that I was listening to the radio during the day when I heard that a Labour MP called Jo Cox had been attacked and was in a serious condition. The subsequent details of how she was stabbed, shot and died leaving a husband and two young children was truly shocking. Colleagues on all political sides paid tribute to her and her widower Brendan gave an inspirational alternative Christmas speech.

So, to my own 2016.

Well it started with a pretty spectacular highlight. Blue Bear officially joined our family. In January we attended court and the judge handed us a certificate and gave him an 'adoption bear' and we took some nice photos in the courtroom. It was a wonderful - if belated - celebration. 

Hubbie and I have been making more time for ourselves so we've been to some pretty amazing gigs: we've been to watch the Pixies, Stewart lee (ok we haven't managed to see him together this year, but it's on the cards. Our annual weekend gig to see the Wedding Present in Brighton every August is a fixture now and we also went to see them in early December for a pre-Christmas treat. Thanks to some bizarre event to celebrate the Great Fire we managed to miss almost all of the Jesus and Mary Chain gig - we made it for the encore - so I've booked for us to see them next year instead.

With my love of theatre and live arts I've also managed to drag Hubbie to the theatre to watch the Shawshank Redemption and he enjoyed the Rogue Theatre outdoor event we took the kids to over Christmas too. Earlier this year we took the boys to see Stick Man at the Leicester Square Theatre and Blue Bear sat and watched all the way through - he can concentrate for almost an hour now. I am so excited that he can go to watch children's shows now. Not quite the 2 hour marathon of a panto like his brother, but still this is progress. 

We went for a child-free mini break in Cornwall in October for our anniversary and discovered a new favourite place to eat in Rock at the Mariners Arms - thanks Nathan Outlaw.

I also had an entirely me only break earlier in the year when I went to a retreat - again in Cornwall. I recall school gate mums being appalled when I said I was going to spend Mother's Day on my own, but I can honestly say it was the best decision. I am mum every day of the year so for the day that is designated to me I chose to have it just for me. It also meant I looked forward to seeing the boys when I did see them.

I did also spend some quality time with the boys and on our summer holiday I went surfing with Brown Bear. It was our first time and I can honestly say I'd love to do it again. I hope he does too. 

Seeing Blue Bear flourish and find his voice has been amazing, he speaks so clearly now. I've also noticed his love of animals has really flourished while we stayed on the farm at Coombe Mill and he has become more confident.

A few milestones then.

In 2017 who knows what is going to happen. I guess we will all just have to sing along with Prof Brian Cox:

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