It was freezing, this day last year. I remember finding it hard to keep my balance in my friends' farmyard, especially when an exuberant dog dashed past and caught my leg. Today, it's unusually mild. I opened the bedroom window to check the weather, and so decide what to wear, and there was no difference in temperature between outside and in.
Last year was brilliant, in a lot of ways. Starting with my own rejuvenation, by means of a new hip, ending with the announcement of another grandchild on the way, and along the way Ro and Dora found happiness together, Weeza and Phil both got new jobs, Al left his and Dilly moved hers slightly sideways in a direction she's enjoying. The garden wall was completed, but not a lot more was. The Sage is full of promises, as always, but keener to start on new projects than ever to complete anything. This is also normal, but we don't fall out over it. Better to remember what we love and enjoy about each other than to dwell on the bits that try our patience. His love and care for me when I had my operation are what matter far more than anything else, as they showed his real nature and his real feelings. And blimey, I'm not sure that I'd manage to live with me all these years if I had an alternative.
The greatest sadness of the year was the death of our dog Tilly, of course. I have been thinking about death a lot this year. In January, it was the fortieth anniversary of my father's death, when I was 16 and he was 59, and I've been remembering those lost to us ever since, more sharply than I have for some time.
However, I've always found that a good way of feeling cheerful is to behave cheerfully and, in particular, to write a cheerful blog - I may rant on occasion but, since the early days of this blog, I made a deliberate decision to keep it mainly happy and upbeat.
Of course, when I finally receive the comeuppance that I thoroughly deserve, this may become rather more difficult. But for now, I remain hopeful. And I hope that all of us receive what we would most like this year (as long as it doesn't involve unpleasantness to a third party, obv).
And now I'm off for a long country walk with friends. The same friends I partied with last year, although I couldn't do the walking then.