That was 2013, that was

I had big plans for 2013. They didn’t include my father being taken ill, rushed to hospital and subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the start of the year.

Fast-forward to an enjoyable family Christmas dinner and so far we’ve been lucky. His medication’s working well. He’s still very much the man who cycled the 3 lakeland passes to celebrate his 70th birthday; the man who walked me down the aisle in 1989; the man with whom, a couple of months before, I’d enjoyed a perfect day in the hills when we walked up from the valley to climb Centurion on Ben Nevis; the man who taught me clutch control, how to change a car wheel, how to ride a bike; the man who could mend anything; the man who helped with the plastering, tiling and wiring on various renovation projects over the years. And so many more things. It’s fair to say the prospect of seeing that shared experience being eroded piece by precious piece has cast a deep shadow over the year.

So I had big plans for 2013 but the less important ones fell by the wayside. The big one, though – to Finish The Damn Novel – I made that one happen and it’s out on submission now. Huge thanks are due to beta readers Noosh and Grum for their invaluable input and encouragement.

xmasmogNo top ten lists here. Stand-out reads from the year are Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls and Sarah Pinborough’s Mayhem, while TV brought us the superb Peaky Blinders.

Plans for 2014? Keep working on the important stuff and live every bloody minute of it. I’ll work out the detail as I go along.