Merry Christmas once again

I’m taking the advantage of mum’s absence to indulge in a luxury I haven’t had for 20 odd weeks, to write a blog in one sitting instead of doing a bit every day. As of Friday I’ve been off work and I have 17 days off till I go back on 7 January. As it happens it still took me two sittings to complete it.

Time for some reflection on the year gone. Two major events have happened. In March I moved from a house to a flat. It took 11 months and a lot of patience but the move from a five storey property into a flat on one level was necessary in order for the second major event of the year to occur. Mum moved into the house in July. She is settled, she knows where her room is, she no longer uses the bathroom preferring to use the commode in her room. But she is unsettled also. But that’s Alzheimer’s for you. When people ring her she tells them she’s at home. But she will also tell us she wants to go home to her mother too. I say two major events but I’d forgotten one. I started working part time at the same time mum moved in. Initially it was tough as it didn’t feel like my workload had reduced but it got better but it now feels I’ve got too much to do again.

Other events include a two week holiday to southern Italy in June, where we had a lot of culture but not enough sunshine. Kenan moved to Finsbury Park. Bea qualified as a teacher and is now teaching art at the local college. Kat got a new job in the Science Musuem. My dad is becoming more needy and has started giving me money for his funeral, which is a bit grim. Having not had the dad I deserved all these years I struggle to be the son he would want at this stage of his life. My friend Chris had a stroke and I beat myself up that I can’t visit him as much as I’d like. I met up with John too few times. And I met up with my old school mates in May. And then one of them suffered a gut wrenching bereavement when their son died whilst on a family holiday, and then we met up at the funeral.

And now time for me to dole out my annual awards. No prizes for the winners except the knowledge that they have my approval.

Best thing about Palace in 2019;

We have achieved the goal of being a boring mid-table team. No relegation worries this season. And we have a manager who brings out the best in our team. Watching Palace is a pleasure most of the time, a fine example of teamwork in action.

Best LP’s of the year;

There’s still quite a few LP’s I haven’t heard properly like the new Van Morrison one and the one from Stereophonics. Plus the new one from Michael Kiwanuka. But good LP’s I have heard include Father of the Bride from Vampire Weekend, Encore from my first love in music, The Specials.

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Also worth a mention is the self titled album from Peter Doherty and the Puta Madres. Psychodrama from Dave was worth the wait for a first LP from this talented young man from south London. I’m not sure I can choose between them. The Specials might edge it because I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was. I’m a bit cynical about bands reforming and touring to boost the pension fund so I’ve declined to try and see them live over the last few years. I’m glad they went into the studio to make an album they should have made 25 years ago. I have over 6,000 tracks on my ITunes catalogue and I would have to stay awake for 16 days to hear every one of them once, so it can take a while for me to get a feel for an LP.

Worst moment of the year;

The general election exit poll and the few hours afterwards confirming it was accurate.

Things I recommend; live for the moment. Life is precious and can disappear without warning.

I need to take this opportunity to thank Penny for everything she does for me, for mum and for the boys and everyone else she has contact with. She makes our house a home and it looks lovely this Christmas.

Enjoy your Christmas, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. It’s the best present you could give to them. Unlike the words in this song, you don’t have all the time in the world.

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