It has been a very hard year for me. My health has been terrible. I haven't seen my mother and brother all year, and I've only left London a few times (once to Cambridge, in Spring, and then to see my in-laws in Surrey a few times). I really need a holiday, but I can't say how my health will be on any given day until I get to it, so I've been learning to take things one day at a time. I've spent a lot of the year in bed, but at least my view has changed as the pub across the road from my house has been demolished. I can now see across to the High Road and watch buses going past, which I like. Eventually flats will be built on the site, but there's no timescale for that yet.
2012 was also the year that my beloved dog Cray died. I'm still very sad about that, although I have largely got over the emptiness of the house. If I was well, we could get another dog, but right now when I'm in bed so much and unable to walk one let alone play, train, and so on, it is impossible. So I'm hoping for my health to improve in 2013, and hopefully get well enough to the point where we can get another dog.
What else has happened this year? Art wise, I had my Manholes exhibition in Slate, and currently I'm exhibiting with Mike (and others) in the Stone Space. We are doing a talk on Saturday afternoon, if anyone's interested! The show ends on Sunday. However, there have been some changes behind the scenes at the gallery, and as a result I have resigned as an organiser of the gallery (about an hour ago!) Of course I'll remain interested in the gallery and supportive of it. And now I need to find somewhere else to volunteer so that I have a reason to get up, when I am well enough.
I've only been to a couple of gigs this year - Frank Turner / Billy Bragg / Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip in April, and Tom Williams and the Boat at Victoria Park over summer. In 2013 I'd like to see more live music. However I also spent a day at the Olympics and one at the Paralympics, both were excellent days out, really enjoyable, and it was great to have this global showcase practically on my doorstep.
I suppose if I've learnt one thing in 2012, it is who my friends are. With my ill health I havent been able to go out and meet people in town like I used to, relying instead on them to come to Leytonstone or Stratford, even if that's a long journey for them. And knowing that I may have to cancel at the last minute. Some wonderful people have come to my end of town and I've really enjoyed their company (thank you, you know who you are - one of you even came to stay!) However, I've also been let down by the odd person that I thought would stick by me. Nothing I can do about that.
It goes without saying that Mike has been wonderful - kind, supportive, helpful, uncomplaining. I wish I could do more for him in return, and that I was well enough for a holiday as I think he deserves one. But anyway, I don't know how I'd have made it through the year without Mike's help and I am incredibly lucky - and grateful. He is the one constant that makes my life worthwhile.
So it has been a year of ups and downs - mainly downs. It won't take much for 2013 to be better. I hope by this time next year, that my health will be more reliable and I will be happier as a result.
Happy New Year everybody, wishing you all the best for 2013.