You will, no doubt, have noticed that there has not yet been a Little Alfie posting in 2010 – there are reasons for this!
Firstly, since doing the 3000+ word two-parter about my school teachers just before Christmas I needed a rest!
Secondly, and far more seriously, I have had neither the inspiration nor the inclination just lately to do anything of this sort.
To explain THAT I must give you a quick review of the important plusses and minuses of the year 2009 as I saw it:
January – nothing bad happened and I got to go fishing on Aldeburgh beach in -4 Deg. C. temperatures. I did that while my wife and daughters attended my sister’s “hen party” at a nearby health spa. It may surprise you to know that this counts as a plus!
February – my sister got married and Faith and I went to Lincoln for my birthday with my new DSLR camera. They were both plusses. On the minus side the company I worked for sold a large part of its operation to a rival leaving those of us remaining with a lot less to do and a terrible sense of foreboding!
March and April – nothing particularly memorable, either good or bad.
May – was definitely a plus because of a nice relaxing week in Majorca with Faith.
June – another good one for the same reason as May – holidays! A great family one in a cottage in Cumbria followed by a few days in Aldeburgh which was, fortunately, slightly warmer than January. You can of course read about certain aspects of all of those holidays in the May, June and July archives of this blog.
July – began well with me still on holiday but went downhill when the uncertainty about the company’s future was ended by the arrival of “The Administrators” – a bunch of clueless accountants who plainly had no intention of trying to save the company but merely wished to grab as much money from the creditors as they could in order to make sure their fees were covered. At this point I lost my manager but also so many other colleagues that I had even LESS work to do so even that wasn’t all bad!
August – first half fine but then the Administrators found out where the IT Department was located and paid me a visit to tell me that I was redundant as of the 14th of that month. Actually the visit was all that they did pay me – everything else that was due to me I had to claim off the government!
September and October – neutral really – things didn’t get any better or worse during this period.
November – will never be a bad month while I still have my annual Sea Fishing match to look forward to. You may already have read about this so I won’t go on about it further.
December – I was seriously thinking of stopping at November because December was so appallingly awful that it has taken a great effort to bring myself to write ANYTHING about it!
The first 12 days were OK but then I managed to come down with that wonderful variation on a theme – SWINE FLU! There has been a lot of fuss about the coming of the Swine ‘flu epidemic and, more recently, even more fuss about why it hasn’t happened yet! It is typical that I should be the odd one out in this regard and kind of inevitable that I should give it Faith too.
We checked it out online and had more than enough of the symptoms to get allocated courses of the “Tamiflu” remedy which seemed to make no difference whatsoever.
Now, I hate admitting to weaknesses of any sort but whenever I get anything that impedes my airways in any manner I get claustrophobic and panicky! (Oh and glowing green rocks make me feel weak too!) Because of this (the panic attacks NOT the green rocks) I averaged about 2 hours sleep per night while I had the ‘flu and could only get that much by sleeping in the reclining office chair in the study. Some of the stuff about my school teachers was written at that time, so if some of it seems a little foggy and unfocused…….
Gradually, however, things began to improve EXCEPT for my throat. It seems that the bit of Swine ‘flu that takes longest to pass is the sore throat and this left me with a horrible dry cough that made my throat incredibly sore. It also reduced my voice to a quavering squeak that lasted right through Christmas and even at the time of writing (10th January) is only just beginning to come back to normal.
I went back to the Doctor and was told I’d got into a vicious circle – my throat hurts, I cough, this makes my throat sorer so I cough more! His advice with all the weight of 7 years of medical studies and numerous years of General Practice behind it was “Try not to cough”!
And then to make it really a month to forget – my Brother-in-law (Faith’s sister’s husband) went to the gym on the Tuesday after Christmas, had a heart attack on the rowing machine and died before the Medics (they called out the helicopter because the pre-Christmas snow was still causing problems with the roads) could reach him! They had spent the previous Sunday with us and he seemed to be as healthy as ever!
I will miss Steve. I didn’t see THAT much of him really but he was often on the phone (especially in the last few months, strangely) about this or that piece of equipment or software that he had bought for his computer or I had given to him. He was quite a few years older than me but stayed “sharp” as far as technology was concerned. About the only male in either Faith’s or my family (apart from me) who was even remotely interested in having the lid off and poking around inside a computer!
As I have said before of my late Father “Our loss is the Cosmic Overmind’s gain”! And I’ll try to explain what I mean by THAT some other time.
So that was my 2009. I think you’ll agree that from my viewpoint we’re well rid of it.
Hopefully now I’ve got that lot off my chest I can get back to being a bit more lighthearted.