The year I had in 2018

When you get to my age you can make a resolution to give up new year’s resolutions. The chances of anything getting better fade away as the years fade away. It’s all pretty good as it is. Or good enough. There’s not much room for improvement any more. Or any expectation of it.

I’m not looking at the big picture here. I’m trying to lose interest in Donald Trump. He’s being himself and there isn’t much hope for his country until they find a way to keep the likes of him on the outside looking in. His crimes and misdemeanors might catch up to him in 2019. Or not. There’s not a damn thing I can do about it one way or another.

The same goes for Theresa May over in Britain. She’s carrying the can for a stupid decision her predecessor made. Some people made a noise about leaving Europe so David Cameron decided to teach them a lesson by putting it to a referendum. Seventy-two per cent of voters turned out and taught him a lesson instead. Fifty-two per cent voted to get out. It’s been a mess ever since and likely to get worse this year. If they have any sense, the Brits will never, ever allow the Conservatives to run their country again.

There’s not a lot I can do about this either. If they decide to have another referendum, which they should, my guess is that voter turnout will go through the roof and the result will be reversed. Then these last two years will be like a bad dream that folk will shake their heads and laugh about soon enough. If there is another, I’ll have to investigate whether or not I can vote. I still have latent British citizenship by virtue of being born in the shadow of HMP Barlinnie.

One thing I’ve learned from watching Brexit is that I am eligible for Irish citizenship. My grandfather was born in Carlow, about 90km south-west of Dublin. For a mere 418 Euros (655 loonies) I can get citizenship and a passport for the country with the most Nobel literature prize winners per capita in the world and none of them were James Joyce. Falling into the company of W. B. Yeats, G. B. Shaw, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney will be a decent Brexit consequence. If 2019 brings it about it will be money well spent, don’t you think?

Never mind all that, though. On a personal level it will be nice if 19 is better than 18, but that will involve a tough uphill climb. There were births and deaths, a wedding and a funeral. There was a world to worry about and polemics to write. If it’s true that the devil finds work for idle hands, I lived with the angels. Angels and devils don’t hold down a spot in my belief system, but you catch my drift. It’s been a pretty good year.

Our son Ian, daughter-in-law Meghan, grandson Eddy, and granddaughter Taryn gathered a small crowd together in their back yard and had themselves a June wedding. It was a good one. Their home is in north west British Columbia. Terrace, to be precise. That is about 4700 km west and north from home. About a month later I went to a funeral in Glasgow. That’s about 5300 km east and north from home. Travelling 10,000 kilometres in two months set a new world record for me.

A decent crew of family and friends made the trip out to Terrace. Lynne and I were able to introduce them to a few things we’ve seen but they haven’t. The Nisga’a Memorial Lava Beds Provincial Park was a highlight, as was a drive over to Prince Rupert. Ian took his brothers and brother-in-law out on a charter fishing boat looking for wild salmon. They found some.

The funeral was a low point of the year. I wrote about my cousin’s husband, Michael Logue in a July blog post.

In other highlights, my oldest grandchild had her 11th birthday and my youngest had his first. Two of my nieces had babies. Another one earned a PhD in some sort of brainy earth science thing at Glasgow University. She also let me stay in her apartment while I was over there.

My dart team won the league Group 2 championship trophy in April.

I was marginally and peripherally involved in two elections. Neither of them went particularly well. I cancelled Facebook and Twitter early in the year, reactivated them for the municipal election, then cancelled Twitter once and for all and forever. I’m hanging onto a low-profile Facebook account to keep in loose contact with people to whom I am related either by birth or marriage. That amounts to 22 people in Canada, the United States, England, Scotland and Australia.

I began making my own Kombucha a couple of months ago. It’s getting better, with only a couple of jugs going down the experience drain. If you want to start some of your own, come on over and I’ll see what’s sitting in The Scoby Hotel.

This all unfolded as an almost seamless transition from a carnivorous diet to a flexitarian lifestyle. You may have read recently that Keith Richards quit drinking a couple of years ago and now only has occasional glasses of wine or pints of ale. He didn’t say it out loud, but he copied me when he did this.

The year is starting with me about a third of the way through The Library Book, Susan Orlean‘s excellent study of the Los Angeles Public Library and the devastating fire it suffered in 1986. The Guelph Public Library has a few copies, and you can get it at The Bookshelf. If you love libraries, you’ll love The Library Book.

That’s the kind of year I had, and I’m looking forward to another one.

Happy New Year from me and Lynne.

1 Comment

  1. A good year you had. Happy new one for you both and all the others in your facespaceplace.

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