So – here we are. The last day of 2018. I am not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve, I must admit. I can’t stand all the Resolutions – why set yourself up for failure? I know that sounds quite cynical but to be honest, most Resolutions have hit the dust by February. If I am going to take a monumental decision about my life I can take it at any time, it doesn’t have to be 1st January. And I also hate all the false bonhomie. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have had some great New Year’s Eves but I object to being charged £30 to get into a pub you’ve been patronising all year. And the social pressure of being seen to be having a good time.
A good time for me this year will be sitting with a large glass of Bailey’s watching the fireworks on TV, safe in the knowledge that all my loved ones are well and happy.
As I write this, the Daughter is on the rooftop bar of the Sofitel Darling Harbour, Sydney, where she’s having the time of her life with friends waiting for the fabulous fireworks that are less than half an hour away. She’s been sending pics of the ‘countdown’ fireworks; apparently they put on a small display every hour leading up to midnight. I hope that 2019 will bring her everything she so richly deserves. The Brother is with his Ladyfriend in Mauritius and the Sister is in Clacton and my best wishes for their New Year, of course, goes without saying. And my brilliant exteneded family are all over the place, but thanks to social media we’re always in touch.
2018 has been a strange year in many ways. It was the first year since 2002 that I didn’t spend one day of it in Antigua. It’s more than a year now since I left. Even writing that seems weird. I miss the Fella, and we WhatsApp all the time, but it’s not the same as a hug. However, I was a frequent visitor to Ibiza – it’s so handy and easy to get to see the Daughter and I had two brilliant holidays with J at the Gran Sol. I didn’t stop laughing!
It feels so good to be living back in my own home in Dagenham, although my street and the town have changed so much over the last years. Anyone who thinks FOM is a positive thing might like to come and spend a few weeks here. But all in all, I am happy to be home. And I am pleased of the home I’ve made out of the stinky mess of a place that Anisten Homes handed back to me. Yeuk! I had to put my Marigold’s on to touch the light switches – and that was after they had ‘redecorated’ it! Now it’s feeling like a proper home, especially with having the Daughter here for a couple of weeks and the Sister over at Christmas, too.
Creatively it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. Only the Lonely has been well received. I mentioned in my last blog that it’s going to be part of Into the Forest at William Morris House, Waltham Forest in January. And it’s also going to be part of the British Shorts Festival in Berlin at the end of the month. WE’VE GONE INTERNATIONAL!! Woo! Go us! And Veronique and I have ploughed ahead with a feature script, after doing the hokey cokey with it for a few months, so hopefully I will have more news to tell you about that as 2019 goes by. I haven’t completed any novels and that pains me. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it – I’m halfway through the final Singles Series novel and that definitely WILL be finished soon. Sometimes my writing mojo loses its energy and I just have to go with that. If there’s one thing I have learned to accept in 2018 its that I have been a functioning depressive most of my adult life and that’s all right. I don’t push myself, I do what I can, I say “No” if I have to and all is well. My back has been giving me terrible problems. It aches so much if I go upstairs or walk for more than 5 minutes or so. I’ve had lots of tests and X-rays and have tried various treatments but so far nobody can tell me what’s causing the pain and what can be done for it.
In 2018 I lost one of my oldest, dearest friends and that shook me to the core. I was and still am totally bereft. It was a huge shock and I still find it hard to accept she’s gone, especially as we’d had lunch together just a couple of days before and she was on top form. And I miss her.
A cousin chose to cut me from her life; she blocked me on Facebook. Not unfollowed or unfriended but blocked. Yes, I know; beyond childish. But I accept that’s her choice. I have no idea why but then again that’s not my business. She’s fighting her own demons and I let her go with love and wish her well.
In 2019 we are resurrecting Melabeau and have plans for putting on productions which I am very excited about. I’ve reworked an old play what I wrote and that’s going to be our first show. I’ll keep you posted about what we’re staging and where during the year.
So – here we are then. New Year’s Eve. I shall raise my (large) glass of Bailey’s to you all, dear Readers, to all my family and friends the world over and also to myself. Because with all the set-backs, ill-health and flagging mojo I’ve made it through. And look forward to all the challenges, excitement and good times 2019 is going to bring.