We-ellll.... Doctor Who's done it, so why can't I?
I am blatantly jumping on the '2013 Summary' bandwagon, and I wouldn't blame you if you just skipped over this piece, thinking 'nothing to see here'. You'd probably be right. I'm about to embark on a self absorbed journey into the last 12 months, nodding occasionally to world events, but mostly just revelling in my own doings.
It has been quite a year for me. Last Christmas was my first as a single person for...well, for ever...and it felt good. NYE was fine too, although that awkward bit at 12am - when everyone else was kissing their partner - was a bit sad. Cold hearted January rolled in and I don't remember much about it, other than I was desperately trying to finish off my pilot exams before I ran out of money. I had passed my written exams and just had the dreaded practical flight test to go.
I've written about the test before so won't bore you with the details; suffice to say that it took two attempts and a whole load of toughening up before I passed, with whoops of joy, on 8th February. The day before I moved house.
My blood pressure must have been through the roof. What the fuckity fuck was I thinking? Moving house is stressful. Moving house on your own, having just separated, is more stressful. Moving house on your own combined with taking your effing NPPL is just crazy talk.
It all got done, of course. The irony is that, now I am not part of the marriage machine, I cannot afford to go flying. It is hideously expensive. And in fact, part of me is glad that I have an excuse not to go up; I'm really not very good. I get lost easily. I don't take much notice of what's going on in the air, preferring instead to look at the prettiness on the ground. I'm not great with the nobs and buttons in the cockpit. I have the confidence of a squirrel.
The Luxor air balloon crash on February 26th had a particular resonance with me. Nineteen people were killed. Being a pilot holds a ridiculous amount of responsibility.
March came and went without much fanfare. I was unpacking, probably, and painting my house white. I don't remember much about it. Maybe I was in some sort of zone.
April is a great month. It's Springy. Life starts appearing everywhere, properly. It gets a bit warmer and generally everyone starts to feel a bit more lively. Apart from Margaret Thatcher, that is, who died.
In May, the boyf and I went off in the campervan to the Gower and, in general, we had a ball. Apart from that HUGE row we had on the beach, that is. Oh. I'd forgotten about that.
Andy Murray won Wimbledon. Yes he bloody did! Still pinching myself. And here's a great pic to prove it.
July and August were surprising in that we had some genuinely glorious weather. We went to Sidmouth with my Dad and his wife and we spent EVERY DAY in the outside pool. We went camping to Wales and we had just ONE day of rain. In fact, generally - it was hot. We had a summer.
Added to which, a Prince was born, and I won the work sweepstake on his name (it was going to be George all the way).
Schools were back in September and the new agreement meant that I had the kids most of the time. It was better - but exhausting.
In October I took my first photography commission. A friend has an all-girl singing group, and she wanted me to take some photos. I did, and by complete fluke, they were quite good. On the back of this, I got two more commissions. I've done one of them. I was shit.
You win some, you lose some.
October and November are fogged up by kids' birthdays. These are complicated when you're separated and barely speaking to their father. Who arranges and pays for the parties (me, it seems), how do we buy the presents (oh, wait, I buy them) and the like. Sitting with my ex at my boys' birthday parties, and pretending to be happy, was very hard.
Still, as a general rule, I quite enjoy November. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it may be my favourite month of the year. Christmas is on the horizon, and my birthday is looming, too. Bonfire night is always good craic. All the good telly is in full swing and this year, the smell of a new Sherlock gives us all hope for the long, dark days ahead.
But on November 29th, a police helicopter came down in Glasgow and killed 8 people. No one knows what happened. No mayday call was heard, meaning that the pilot didn't have enough time to call in. Too busy trying to save some lives.
And now, we're still just about in December. The month catapulted away from us at some speed, like it always does.
I had a birthday, Nelson Mandela died.
I got divorced.
It was Christmas.
That just about sums it all up.