Christmas again. It's been 12 months now since I saw my eldest daughter and the pain of that almost broke me this year. Every aspect of my life was effected by this loss and the damage will, I believe take many years to rebuild. It was sometime in September or October (I think) when something clicked inside and I started to pick up. I feel so much more positive than this time last year. A place will always be available to her in our home and our hearts should she decide to come home. The same cannot be said for my parents who turned their backs on us and refused to support us when we need them the most, the hurt I feel runs deep and I can't see a way back.
Like many, we have felt the pain of austerity imposed on us by the Tory coalition government. No real pay rise coupled with rising costs put paid to our annual holiday this year. All we managed was a day trip to Llandudno, it's the first time in 10 years that we haven't got to our beloved New Quay (Cei Newydd). I'm hoping something can be sorted out for next year, I can't imagine not going back again. We also visited Warner Bros Studios, Harry Potter Tour in Watford earlier in the year.
A new phone back in January changed my mobile window into the online world. The Nexus 4 converted me to Android in a big way and within the time I've had it (and my Nexus 7 tablet) I've learned so much about the art of customisation and automation, I now have brilliant LCARS styled Star Trek devices. They have given me so much fun this year.
My little girl started secondary school this year, I am so surprised at the way she has adapted to life at 'big school' and is doing really well there. I am so proud of her as she grows and becomes more indepenant. She has an active after school life and is at some extra curricular club most afternoons after the school day. She has been involved in performances and concerts over the festive period bringing joy and cheer to local people, shoppers, the elderly and even local dignitaries.
Cycling has always been a large part of my life. I credit it with keeping me together during the dark times. Watching pro cycling also gives me loads of pleasure too and I was thrilled by the 100th Tour de France, the whole race was amazing and topped off brilliantly with the victory of Chris Froome for the 2nd British Yellow Jersey in a row. I restored a vintage bike for use as a commute / hack bike to take the pressure off my Boardman which I spent quite a bit of money getting roadworthy. I signed up for a coast to coast ride for next year which is one of the biggies on my bucket list.
I was involved in two cycling accidents this year, the first was a minor fall whilst at work giving me a bit of soft tissue damage to my knee, I was back up and riding within 2 weeks. The other was about 6 weeks ago where my commute bike was hit by a car and my wrist was broken, the road to recovery promises to be hard and painful.
So what lays ahead for the up and coming year? Lots of physio, that's all I can foresee for the moment. The future is pretty much unknown to me. The ashes of my life lay around me and I have no idea what I need to do to rebuild and I am not giving it too much thought at this moment. I'm getting through a day at a time for the moment.
Merry Christmas to everyone, hope your day is spectacular.
Television is in integral part of the Christmas experience and I have many happy memories of reading through the Radio & TV Times looking for the gems of entertainment. Of course movies were a big part of the Christmas line up in my younger years, not so much these days in an age of DVD, Blue Ray and streaming services.
I still relish the arrival of the TV listings magazines and scour the pages marking the programmes I don't want to miss. This year I've decided to share some of those highlights with the world. Of course with hundreds of channels it's easy to miss things, one thing I haven't missed are the reality show specials which play no part in my Christmas telly line up.
Friday 20 1700 - The Chase Xmas Special (ITV) A special 'Text Santa' celebrity charity edition of this popular quiz show. 2000 - Text Santa (ITV) Charity festive telethon. I'm not a big fan of Ant & Dec but I'm guessing this will be on in my house. 2030 - Citizen Khan Christmas Special (BBC1) One of the best sitcoms of recent times gets a festive special. Disappointed that it didn't receive a higher profile slot (such as Christmas Eve). 2325 - The Matt Lucas Christmas Awards (BBC1) Not the best show on TV but it'll provide a festive backdrop whilst you're wrapping presents. Saturday 21 1740 - Pointless Celebrities (BBC1) A special edition of the tea time quiz with guests Keith Harris with Orville, Rotherham's own Chuckle Brothers and Father Christmas. 1935 - 'Allo' Allo (BBC2) A festive episode from 1991. A classic! 1915 - (movie double bill) Deck the Halls & Four Christmases (CH 4) A couple of films to make you feel Christmassy I hope, don't think I've see either of these. 2200 - Father Ted Christmas Special (More 4) Father Ted is one of the funniest things on TV even after all these years (from 1996).
Sunday 22 1535 - It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas (CH 4) Don't think I've seen this film. 1725 - The Muppets & Lady Gaga at Christmas (CH 4) Muppets are popular in this house. 1850 - Porridge (BBC2) Festive edition of this classic from 1975. 2205 - Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special (Comedy Central) Funny 'un-pc' ventriloquist. No sure if this is new or if I've seen it before, still worth a look.
Monday 23 2000 - The Gadget Show Christmas Stocking (CH 5) Shiny tech that I can't afford. 2030 - Would I Lie To You? At Christmas (BBC1) I love comedy panel shows. 2100 - John Bishop's Christmas Show (BBC1) Comedy from one of the best UK stand ups. 2200 - Only Fools & Horses (Gold) Classic Christmas special from 1992. The one with the 'Peckham Spring'.
Christmas Eve 1310 - It's a Wonderful Life - film (CH 4) I have this on DVD so this is more of a recommendation. this is THE Christmas movie. 1715 - The Nation's Favourite Christmas Song (ITV) Cheap schedule filler. No doubt we'll end up watching.though. 1930 - The Perfect Morecambe & Wise Christmas Special (BBC2) It's not Christmas without Eric & Ernie. 2100 - QI XL - festive edition (BBC2) Love this show. 2145 - Backchat with Jack Whitehall & his Dad - Christmas Special (BBC3) Enjoyed the first series, hoping they can get better guests for this special. 2200 - Not Going Out Christmas Special (BBC1) This show has suffered recently from the departure of some of the major characters leaving Lee Mack to carry the show.
Christmas Day 1500 - The Queen (BBC1) I don't think I've ever seen the Queen's speech, I'm usually asleep by this point. 1815 - Call the Midwife: Christmas Special (BBC1) This one is for the missus. 1900 - The Simpsons - Christmas double bill (Sky 1) I love the Simpsons. 1930 - Doctor Who (BBC1) The wait is over, the Doctor Who is the staple of Christmas Day. A regeneration too. 1940 - Christmas Night with the Two Ronnies (BBC2) Classic comedy that will serve as an excellent background to the festivities - from 1987. 2030 - Downton Abbey (ITV) Another one for the missus. 2130 - Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas Special - 1/2 (BBC1) I'll be drunk by now. Glad I have Sky+. 2215 - Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? Christmas episode from 1974. Boxing Day 1805 - Gangsta Granny (BBC1) Looks good on the trailer. 1945 - Still Open All Hours (BBC1) Follow up to 'Open All Hours', really looking forward to this. 2100 - Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2013 (CH 4) The ultimate comedy panel show. 27 December 2000 - Celebrity Come Dine With Me (CH 4) Only reality style show I'm giving time to. 2100 - Vicious (ITV) Fairly poor sitcom from some heavyweight actors. Seasonal edition. 2100 - Merry Christmas Mr Bean (CH 5) Another classic.
A fairly basic round up of the highlights I'm looking forward to this Christmas. If all else fails I still have Netflix.
So it's been almost a month since I finally got my surgery on my broken wrist following last month's cycling accident. On 1311.21 (21st Nov) I went in for day surgery (which I thought was wholly inappropriate for the kind of operation) to have a metal plate screwed into my wrist bone. The following Tuesday I said goodbye to the cast and am now sporting a wrist brace (which thankfully I can remove to wash and deal with itches).
I have limited movement and little strength in my right hand, I still can't write properly and drawing by hand isn't possible (although I can do a little on my computer).
So I'm off work until the new year which may sound good but the boredom aspect isn't great. How the long term sick or unemployed manage is beyond me. Have you watched daytime TV for a prolonged time? I'm surprised how bad most of it is and how much it repeats itself. I eagerly await the Christmas schedules.
Time is dragging on the run up to the big day as if I was a child, only I'm not excited like a child. My main hobbies have been cruelly taken from me so I spend my days watching Netflix or TV. Occasionally I'll get out and walk but it's cold and unpleasant out there so I limit myself to a couple of half hour strolls a day.
The very neat scar on my wrist, when the hair grows back you won't see it.