Posted by: aboutalbion | December 22, 2014

2014 … a very short review of my year

At this time of the year, I send mid-winter greetings from the UK to readers who drop by …

My news headline at this seasonal time of reflection is that I have settled into paddling my own canoe again.  The reality of my single status was confirmed when my petition for divorce was granted last April.  However, over the past year, I have encountered several fresh horizons and I have a feeling of well-being.

Let’s start with my home.  It’s taken most of my first year here (at the retirement development) to carve out the time to redecorate the ceilings and walls, before ordering new carpeting and some new heaters.  However, I am pleased with the overall results of this recently finished project, and I now have the feeling of having taken possession of my new home.

There are some pleasant surprises when doing this kind of work.  For example, in one dark corner of a kitchen cupboard, I found a large jar of home-made chutney that was over five years old.  When opened, it passed the smell test, and I consumed it with grateful thanks to the last but one occupier (and with no ill effects).

There is an exercise room in our development …  Not having picked up an oar since the mid-1960s, I made a resolution last January to exercise myself each morning on the rowing machine.  And I’m glad to be able to report that this fairly gentle work-out has been a healthy addition to my daily routine and a positive contribution to my well-being,

Also last January, I was elected to the committee of the residents association, and within a month I found myself its acting Secretary.  So I have a regular monthly strand of voluntary work as I share in the governance of this development.

My skills at gateau engineering were stretched to the limit when my neighbour asked me to make a ‘showstopper’ cake for her charity Coffee Morning.  My effort (my first opera cake) played a small part in a carousel of fund-raising activities which realised the magnificent total of £700 on the day.

Nature notes for our grounds would include a heron searching for fish, and my first sighting of a very white headed albino blackbird.

Outside the retirement complex, I work voluntarily at a nearby hospice for one day a week.  For half the day, I do kitchen work and, for the other half, I join the team raising money from trust funds.

I try my best to keep up with my three wonderful daughters and their families.  My oldest grandson distinguished himself with a splendid set of A level results and made a smooth transition to studying Maths at University. Meanwhile my youngest grandson has started nursery.  Three of my grandchildren have been in Kuala Lumpur since February, and my big treat of the year was to be invited to KL for a fortnight to join them at the beginning of August.  It was so good to spend family time with them.  I recall family trips to the Petronas Towers, to the science museum, to the Royal Selangor pewter factory, to the KL bird park, to the Batu Caves, and to shop at (and to eat out at) the very modern and extensive and well-appointed malls.

In reflecting on the past year, I count my blessings that I am still alive.  I had what felt like a near sudden death experience when I discovered (after the tragic event) that my flight to KL (on the same day as MH17) was scheduled to be a few minutes behind the Amsterdam flight along the same airway over Ukraine.

May the spiritual mystery at the heart of creation bless us all with peace in the year to come …



  1. Good review – enjoyed reading this –

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