It’s the time of year, as I mentioned yesterday, to reflect on the year gone by before looking to the year ahead, and that is what today’s post is all about.
2009 started very badly for us, with the death of my father-in-law in early January from bowel cancer. Quite apart from any emotional issues, this has left Ashley in sole charge of his parents’ highly complicated and extremely precarious personal finances, as well as their failing hotel business 200 miles away. In addition to running his own business, in what hasn’t been the easiest of economic climates.
This situation, unsurprisingly, has caused quite considerable friction at times between me and Ashley throughout this year, not helped by the almost total lack of a finger being lifted to help by Ashley’s unemployed brother, and also to Ashley’s mother’s almost total incapability of doing ANYTHING for herself (writing a cheque, paying a bill, phoning a tradesman, etc etc).
We have, as a family, adapted well to the new situation of Ashley working away far more, and realistically, it isn’t going to go on forever. And I have learnt two very valuable lessons from this year’s experiences:
- Always ensure my finances are in reasonable order so that William will never have to go through what Ashley has had to go through (in addition to the emotional stress) when we die.
- Maintain a level of independence and ability to do things for myself, so that I never end up as helpless and reliant on other people as my mother-in-law.
I mentioned a while ago in my blog that I had decided to cease contact with Ashley’s brother’s ex-wife, with whom I had maintained a sometimes uneasy relationship in the several years since her divorce, for the sake of William’s continued contact with his cousins. Some time on, I am still glad that I made this decision.
Onto happier things ….
William had a great year in 2009: he did brilliantly at school, won the Progress Prize for his year at Speech Day in the summer, and has had very good reports. He’s worked really hard. He’s also now a brown-and-white belt in karate, having recently passed another grading. Go William!
One of the things I mentioned that I wanted to do last year was to get another job: in April I did this, and now work at the primary school in our village as Clerk to the Governors, the same job that I’ve been doing for several years in another local primary school.
I’ve had my most successful year ever with eBay, helped by a new contact for whom I have been selling excess toy stock. My heart (and the best profits) lie in buying and selling, though, so expect lots more Car Booty posts!
We’ve had some wonderful holidays over the year: a weekend break in Poland, five star luxury in Greece, a fortnight at my parents’ villa with them in Spain, and a big family holiday to Antigua. Not to mention several weekend breaks – how lucky we are.
House-wise, we’ve decorated our bedroom this year, though it still needs some finishing off bits; we’ve resolved the spotlight issue in the lounge by having the ceiling redone (expensive but worth it, according to Ashley – personally I never spent much time looking at the lounge ceiling!), and repainted the kitchen.
My Dad had a triple heart bypass and valve replacement in November, and is recovering very well – the wonders of the surgery that can be performed these days is quite beyond me.
It is worth putting on record as well that I have totally failed to lose any weight, and have indeed put some on this year. Am not going to go on any more about this as I’m sure you’re as bored to tears of reading about my continued failure in this area as I am writing about it.
So …. that was 2009.
Thank you to everybody who reads my blog, and in particular to those of you who take the trouble to leave a comment. I have made some lovely friends through blogging, and perhaps 2010 will be the year when I meet some of you in ‘real life’.
Here’s hoping for a fantastic 2010 for us all. xxx