Monday 31 December 2018

Goodbye 2018....

Well, that didn't quite go to plan. Usually at the end if the year I post something carefully crafted and added to over the previous couple of weeks. This year flu decided against that and if you follow my social media you'll know that we really got hit hard. 2 days before Christmas my 10 year old and my partner were so ill they were referred to hospital, and I was so ill that I was told not to go with them. Thankfully my 10 year old was allowed to come back after assessment and my partner was given oxygen and fluids for 24 hours and allowed home Christmas Eve afternoon.

Thank you to every single NHS and public sector employee who gave up part of their Christmas to look after people like me and my family. I honestly cannot thank you enough.

Every year I say just focus on what is really important at Christmas and don't fret about the rest. I was honestly too ill to care about the rest and was struggling with the important, but while I was unable to function, the sparkle and glitter came from everywhere.
Friends offered to cook, to help, to look after the smaller boys. They even offered to finish my Christmas shopping.
Our big kids descended on us, took stock and took over.
One of our Uni kids had to make tricky choices about who to see, without putting older relatives in danger. A very scary choice to make when your Dad has been hospitalised, but we found the perfect solution and there's so much joy in this photo, it brings a tear to my eye every time.

Our other two grown-up children who weren't ill took charge and leapt to the challenge of cooking their first ever Christmas dinner. I couldn't eat much, but it was the most amazing food I've seen or tasted all year. They did an awesome job.

Our Christmas was not the Christmas we expected, and I was more poorly than I think I've ever been in my life, but it had so much magic that it'll be remembered fondly forever. The year the kids saved Christmas.

The rest of our year has been a good one overall. We discovered my partner has Pernicious Anaemia and I was also treated for iron-deficiency, and if you have ever had anaemia then you'll understand just what a massive boost iron and B12 gave to us in the second half of our year.

I end the year with a blogging high and a real achievement. A couple of days go I discovered that the post I wrote to mark 4 years since we lost Elspeth to suicide was nominated and given Readers Choice by Mumsnet, as one of the best blog posts of 2018. I'm truly overwhelmed by this and it's an incredibly honest post which just tells it like it is. No polish and a couple of swear words. Thanks to Colette for proofreading and telling me to just post the damn thing, you were right.

We've ended 2018 in so much better a place than we started. It was uneventful, something rare and wonderful, and we had time to breathe. I have a future, and it's positive. I don't know if it's my flu meds or the fact I still have a temperature, or just a buzz from not throwing up for a whole 48 hours, but I haven't felt this good about the new year in 5 years.

I hope your year has been a good one and you can see your future. The possibilities, the distance you can go. We're all a bit uncertain as to where Brexit will take us, or even if it'll ever happen, but people are beginning to win, voices are being heard. Intelligence can get more shares on Facebook than money.

The pendulum has to swing far enough one way before it can make a true impact on its way back. Let's hope we end 2019 with a social conscience and cohesion which proves to us that humanity really did exist all along.

Some goodbye's from 2018...

Goodbye to politicians who pretended to tell the truth. Goodbye to honest journalism and unbiased media. It may have all been a lie for a long time, but at least they made an attempt to spin it as realistic. If you really want the truth now, a Facebook meme with a photo of a cat in a sunset is less likely to have an agenda or have been funded by one of the supersized multinational empires.

Goodbye to Douglas Rain, the voice of Hal. "What are you doing, Dave?" will forever be your unexpectedly comic legacy, and a premature goodbye to Emma Chambers, UK actress and intentionally hilarious sidekick to The Vicar Of Dibley. The best jokes in TV.

Stan Lee, the best cameo actor ever and the man who taught us that everyone has a super power, finally hung up his cape and pants...

So long to June Whitfield. I grew up with Terry and June and always said she looked just like my Grandma. I'm not sure exactly what my Grandma's opinion of this really was, but it didn't half make her laugh.

You'll never beat a bit of bully. Well, maybe you will, but Jim Bowen was the best thing on TV back in the 1980's, and everyone in Birmingham needed to win a speedboat really... Also goodbye to Bella Emberg, another 80's Saturday night classic, flying the flag for attractive larger ladies a long time before it was trendy.

Goodbye to more of my childhood favourites, and those of my own children. John Cunliffe, the author who created Postman Pat and Rosie & Jim. Geoffrey Hayes, human sidekick to a bunch of oversized stuffed toys on Rainbow, and Barry Chuckle. To you...

Music lost some amazing female voices in the sublime Nancy Wilson and Aretha Franklin, the first woman voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Music also lost Mark E Smith and Pete Shelley, more ridiculous than sublime, but The Fall and The Buzzcocks were a big part of the soundtrack to my early 20's.

Genuine humanitarian, Former U.N. Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan lost his final fight, many battles for peace won and lives changed. Trevor Bayliss also left his mark, bringing the wind-up radio to the world and improving the lives of disabled people everywhere with simple, but life-changing devices.

Peter Firmin and Bob Burra, who created most of the animated memories in my child's eye, thank you. Captain Pugwash and Bagpuss both make me grin with a mere mention.

The world's most famous theoretical physicist, a man who survived 50 years past best predictions, died at age 76 in March. Stephen Hawking, you are made of stars.

Denis Norden, who was there when I first learnt to love movies - thank you. It's a love affair I will hold dear forever.

I will leave you with another beautiful voice lost far too soon and a warning that whoever you are, alcohol should be treated with respect. Dolores O'Riordan, who died aged only 46 from accidental drowning...

I hope as you start 2019, you can see a positive road ahead. If you can not then please don't be alone. There are always people you can talk to, and always people who will miss you. You can be amazing, but sometimes we all need a strong arm to hold to get on the ladder. 

The Samaritans are there 24 hours a day for anyone who needs to talk or is struggling - Call 116123
If you are younger or worried about a young person then you may be happier to contact Papyrus UK - Prevention Of Young Suicide 0800 068 41 41

If you don't understand why you should stay, there are 5 bloody good reasons right here....


  1. All the love to you and yours Jenny - you're a hero x x

  2. It may not have been the Christmas that you were expecting but I am so glad you are all on the mend now! The big kids really did save Christmas and I am super impressed with that turkey! :) There were lots of sparkles there - 2019 is going to be an awesome year, just remember to rest up lots xxxx

  3. Such a lovely post. Very wise words in there. I’m sorry you were all so poorly at the end of the year, you guys have been through enough and didn’t deserve that. I’m just glad you’re on the mend. Happy new year to you all x


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