I have just read that all the major cities have stepped up security for tonight's celebrations. It reminded me of our trip to London last week, and our entry to the Royal Albert Hall. We mustn't let the current situation stop what we do, say, think or feel. The world is predominantly a good place, filled with good people, with good intentions.
It seems to be a time in blogland to reflect on what we have, and so here are a few of the thing's that 2015 has made me even more thankful for.
She is so unique. A woman who is my soulmate, perfect travel companion, intellectual challenger, listener when things are good or bad, my stabiliser. She understands why it is when I get angry at family making a living in Dubai, or simply losing my scarf. She comforts me when I cry and humours me when I laugh (yes, I am a 'sobber' when the occasion arises). She listens, sometimes eagerly, and at other times patiently when I interrupt her reading with a tale to tell. She 'get's' me on every level, is all I can simply say.
Last August I was very abruptly left feeling fragile, insecure, and fearful. It was only a seizure as I now see it, but then it became epilepsy, a tumor, or a stroke. Tests would tell, and over the coming months the various real threats were ruled out one by one. I couldn't drive for six months, and on being given the all clear had to be careful not to push Amanda straight out of the drivers seat quite literally. I vowed never to ride my motorbike again, for fear of passing out at high speed on two wheels. It's now sixteen months ago, and nothing has happened other than my decision to get the motorbike back on the road again. I am also thankful for the reaction from family members on hearing this.
As my posts have shown at the time, work kind of kicked off big time during April. We didn't get quite......quite.....quite enough new work to move forward as we had hoped, but we are close, and hopefully 2016 will prove as fruitful. We have met some new and wonderful people along the way, and are now working in some new and beautiful gardens, where really lovely people share time with us over tea, biscuits and garden plans.
I am thankful for the opportunity, ability and resources to make a family holiday happen next year. The entire clan are heading to our special place for a week. 2015 has also been a year that I have come to know and hopefully understand my daughters a little more. It's also really quite wonderful that their partners have felt able to see me as a friend.
Although in one of the worst areas of town, we have a beautiful home. Filled with things we have amassed together, with music we both love, quiet, warmth, and a garden. It is our haven, our escape.
We sadly lost our Misty earlier on, but Hobie has missed her more. He doesn't understand that she won't appear at any moment, and howls constantly for her. He used to be a silent cat. He had a strange episode just before Christmas, which must be expected at his 18+ years of age, but he recovered and soldiers on. He has to, as he must now stay forever. He brings us both such comfort, with laughter and frustration thrown in.
We work hard, and make sure that we 'party' hard in the spare time. I have been so lucky to have visited many beautiful gardens and houses in 2015. There has been the Hampton Court Flower Show, The Great Dorset Steam Fair, and our magical time spent in Lisbon. On too many occasions to count, one of them being today, we have walked on Shell Bay, and I am thankful for the way in which this place stills the soul, and enables us to either talk through any issues, or simply switch off as we forage for shells etc.
I know it sounds a bit sad, but having spent most of my adult life immersed in gardening, I don't have many true friends myself. I am thankful however for the small group that Amanda calls her true friends. Although they have brought me a lot of personal fulfillment over the years, my greatest pleasure has been to see their positive influence on my wife.
This is a big one. For many years I was a fired up Christian, and have many tales to tell that would knock your socks of regarding my journey in faith. I wouldn't recommend being a church deacon though, as gardening is far easier. I am a human though, and with that comes all of our weaknesses. I have drifted, and although I am at present finding it virtually impossible to remove my foot from the door, I am trusting that He is on the other side still, waiting patiently.
It's funny, but I never seem to raise my number of followers, and most of those either don't blog anymore or have shut their blogs down. I do seem to get an awful lot of views though, and that is rather exciting. One never knows if the latest post on Miscanthus care or van cleaning will be viewed by someone from places such as Madagascar, Canada or Tibet, or for that matter Worthing Uk. I have found some very interesting, and at times challenging blogs to follow and comment on myself. I thank all of you who have chosen to follow me, and am continuing to get lots of pleasure out of your own blogs. Isn't this whole blog thing rather brilliant?
May I wish you all a super, peaceful and prosperous 2016.
(Takes a bow and theatrically waggles a thrown rose in front of him and casts it away, as the curtains close on another year)
Those in the blog world that I have come to follow.