I don’t do resolutions – at least not since I gave up believing in Santa Claus! But each new year brings a moment of pause and an opportunity to review where I am and where I want to be.

First there is the dark subject of alcohol. I definitely drink more than I should though fortunately it’s beer rather than spirits. Last year I started the fight back using the units method suggested by the NHS. It’s been a long journey but I have seen some small positive progress. This year I will press on with this as it seems to be working and hopefully get to the place I want to be at by the Autumn.

Just before and during our visit to Florence back in August I experienced very bad pain in my left thigh – so painful that I had to get Alasdair’s assistance to put my boots back on when going through the security checks at the airport. I spent most of the holiday on painkillers. In the Autumn I was diagnosed as having a degenerating hip joint which will need replacement sometime in the future – Doctors are always vague about the ‘when’ part aren’t they! I’m awaiting a referral to the Musculoskeletal people to come back with an appointment. In the interim I suspect that gradually building up the strength in my legs by doing some more walking will be part of what they suggest, so I intend to make an effort to get out more – too much sedentary lifestyle! On a really positive note… I become eligible for my 60+ card this year which will mean significant savings for me when out and about 🙂

This one may seem at odds with the previous paragraph – Computer Gaming. Yes, I know, it involves being sedentary so I need to walk away from the computer more often. With a bit better time management I can continue to enjoy my favourite Elite: Dangerous (and now Elite: Horizons). However, in the wake of the ‘Horizons’ release the game became unplayable for some of us because of continuous server disconnects. One fix for the problem with Elite which I have employed is a Virtual Private Network. And actually, this is not a bad idea either as it enhances the security of internet browsing for a small annual cost. Just think – something / someone out there is interfering with my connection to the Elite servers, so what else are they playing with? Anyway, between periods of testing and posting the logs to Frontier to help resolve the issue (which is ongoing if I turn the VPN off), I rediscovered the joys of relaxing in Train Simulator – just sit back and watch the world drift past with one wary eye on the signals. So the real lesson for me coming out of the angst was to split the time between games more rather than just majoring on one. A final thought about Computer Gaming as we get older… Like blogging, it keeps the mind active and I think that’s a good thing 🙂

Housework – We employed a cleaner after Epi’s illness to keep things under control. That has now stopped and I think I really need to help out a little more! I can sew and I can cook but ironing is something I’ve never done well – even so, I will give it a go. I will need to do more of the cleaning too – hip and lower back permitting. Which reminds me… time to clean out Paul’s cage and hoover up the mess in the TV room!

Photography – well, that’s going to continue much as it has. However, I bought the new Canon EOS7D mkII in the Christmas sales. It will be the camera for my football / sports photography. That releases the EOS5D mkIII from covering night games thus reducing its workload and hopefully meaning that it will last a lot longer before needing replacement. The original EOS7D will pass to Alasdair and hopefully he will progress his photography. The Fuji did a fine job in Florence and will remain the camera of choice when we have to travel light. In line with the going out more – expect more photos to be blogged 🙂 First shot from the new camera…
Arriva VLA40 (LJ53BCK) at Marylebone-2
Blogging – last year was a success for me. I nearly tripled my traffic compared with previous years. The number of followers and people I follow has significantly increased. There is a downside to all this – I don’t get to visit many of you as often as I would like. If only 5 minutes were added to the day every time we followed someone – then we might stand a chance of keeping up though we’d be doing 30 hour days! I’m sure you all have the same problem and hopefully understand that sometimes our virtual paths might not cross very often 😦

That’s enough about me… How about you? 😉