Sunday, 1 January 2017

That Was The Year That Was

20:01:00 Posted by Jill Reidy Red Snapper Photography No comments
It’s a slightly unreal time, that limbo between Christmas and New Year, where you’re so bloated and full of festive food and drink that you haven’t got a clue what day it is, where you’re supposed to be or what you’re supposed to be doing.  You blunder through the days, posting chocolates into your mouth at regular intervals, sending goodwill messages on Facebook, whilst mindlessly emptying bowls of peanuts and crisps, and simultaneously planning your January 1st rigorous Diet and Exercise Regime

2016 really does feel like the year that was.

I still can’t quite work out whether things are becoming more dramatic, more fearsome and more worrying, or whether it’s just too easy to access the news and the reactions to it via social media these days.  I’m certainly finding it harder to distinguish between propaganda and genuine news.  I’ve decided, for 2017, in order to retain my last vestiges of sanity, I shall take it all with a large pinch of salt.  One of my (long list of) New Year Resolutions is to avoid excessive use of Facebook and Twitter, and to try to live more in the real world.  I’m hoping this might enhance my sense of normality and equilibrium.

There were so many celebrity deaths in 2016 that it began to seem as if the grim reaper were trying to make up for some lean years.  Every death is sad in its own way, but some deaths inevitably have more impact than others.  Those icons from my teenage or formative years caused me to recall memories that affected me more than I would imagine: David Bowie at de Montfort Hall in the early 70s with my new boyfriend, who was to become my husband; Alan Rickman whose voice I swooned over; Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, which moved me deeply when I read it for A Level English; George Martin, so inextricably linked to my teenage idols, the Beatles; Victoria Wood, that plump young girl, about my age, with a pudding basin haircut, who played piano and sang the funniest songs; George Michael, another swoon; Terry Wogan, the Irish lilt that accompanied so many early mornings………

Then there were the twin shocks of 2016: Brexit and Trump.  The least said about these the better.

On a personal level I continue to be thankful for my fantastic family and friends.  It sounds like a cliché but these people who wrap me in their love and friendship mean everything to me.  There were two particularly special dates this year, one for the oldest member of the family and one for the youngest.  On the 10th April my dad turned ninety, and on 15th September twins, Devin and William, were born, nine weeks early, tiny but perfect.

On the whole, despite the usual ups and downs, life has been good in 2016.  

Big Event of 2016 - Dad's 90th Birthday With All the Family

Here’s to the next three hundred and sixty five days!

That was the year that was
by Jill Reidy

It was a roller coaster year
Of deaths and scandals
Politician's lies
Post truth
Deaths of those I never knew
But felt I did
Whose names rolled off my tongue
Like those of uncles, cousins, aunts
Rarely seen but always there
Part of the fabric of my being for so long
There's a melancholy
Not just in their passing 
But in the reminder of our own mortality

But hey!
A birthday!
We're all still here
Ninety years and counting
My dad
Family gathered
Candles blown
Celebrations over for another year
New birth 
Two tiny souls
This family's strength lies
not just in numbers but in solidarity
Born against all odds 
They grow and thrive
And seamlessly they join the clan 
New life to give us hope

Today's another day
Another year
Let's drink a toast 
To love and peace
Kindness, goodwill

And infinite optimism...

Thanks for reading      Jill