That was the year that was....
At the end of each year I spend a little time reflecting what I have achieved over the past 12 months…usually it amounts to not a lot…this year is really no different..although finding a new job, moving cities and finding a new home probably amount to a few little ant hills conquered. My review will not be as detailed or as referenced as Mia’s (hats off to you Mia…I couldn’t be arsed doing all those links!!! – Guess I’m just lazy at heart!).
On a personal level a rather strange year…although I did spend an inordinate amount of time around one man in particular that really fizzled into nothing except I did discover he makes very good banana cake. Another man turned into what could only be nicely described as a “bunny boiler”, and yes, there are male “bunny boilers”…it is not a wholly female trait! The worst part of the year was realizing that - “The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them.” – was a line that rang particularly true for me on two separate occasions….
March was definitely a high point of the year…lots of friends visiting from overseas, a nice holiday in Thailand and the Rugby Sevens…what more could a girl want?! My brother’s wedding in August was fun - interesting meeting all these friends of his that I have heard of over the years but never met. Introducing my Grand-father to the delights of the British Library and the reading room at the British Museum was a wonderful day out…it was actually pay back time for him…when we were in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna the year before, he announced that the problem in Britain was that we didn’t have such wonderful art and museum exhibits…- nothing that a day trip to London didn’t sort out!!
Learning to feel my away around Manila and all things Filipino has been a learning curve, a curve which is still in its infancy….the longer one spends here – the more interesting it gets…unfortunately there is not enough time for me to read as much as I would like in order to learn as much as would like….I need a private tutor!!
The one thing I did bring into being this year was ‘Madame Chiang’…I started writing in February and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience…I have been asked a few questions about the blog when I have met fellow bloggers in the flesh…
Why ‘Madame Chiang’?….Of my two cats, Chairman Mao and Chiang Kai-shek, …I must admit to having a favourite and that is The Chairman; Chiang Kai-shek has a slightly grouchier, less affectionate character and so in honour of her I named the blog…one must be fair in this life!!
Why did you start writing?….I had been lurking in numerous blogs for a while…some like Hemlock,for much, much longer than others….and I figured it was just worth a shot…not because I have anything specific to say to the world, not that I felt my opinions were worth hearing by anyone other than the cats and not to ‘get things off my chest’….just to try!!!
What were you expecting to get out of writing the blog?….I have no idea!!!!! What I have got out of it though is meeting; either by e-mails or in person; a number of great people who ordinarily I would never have crossed paths with. I have also learnt to think about things from a point of view of writing them down…instead of just observing or experiencing life…I think about how I can best convert it to the written word. I have also learnt to carry my camera with me as much as possible…
In summary, 2005 hasn’t been the greatest year ever for me…I spent most of it wishing I were somewhere else…and a lot of the year in a state of limbo…knowing I was moving, but not knowing when…and then finally when I moved spending my first few months in Manila in a glorified ‘pen’….however, things are beginning to take shape now…and as I sat on my balcony the other evening, glass of wine in hand, cat on the lap and The Seven Pillars of Wisdom open on the table…I realized that home is really where you make it….given of course, you have the afore mentioned wine, cats and books!!!!
And so I go into 2006 no more prepared for life than when 2005 started…and also with absolutely no clue what the year will bring – except I know I will be in Moscow on 10th June….otherwise, I will have my mother to answer to!!!
So out in the big, bad world…what happened....2005 has been a year of great tragedy, mostly as a result of natural disasters; every so often something fun or good happened which was quickly overshadowed by another tragedy...
London winning the bid to host the 2012 Olympics
The Ashes (if you are British!)
The public awareness of the the murder of Robert McCartney
The IRA peacefire
Asian Tsumani...technically in 2004 but the news dominated the beginning of 2005
The number of deaths in China from industrial accidents - coalmine disasters, gas...chemicals...
The murder of Robert McCartney
and the totally ridiculous....
Michael Jackson's trial
Janet Jackson's "little slip"
the many 'problems' surrounding Charles and Camilla's wedding
Tom Cruise & the sofa!!
...2006 approaches…a big blank canvas for world leaders to write world history on and us mere underlings to write our personal history on…may it be a peaceful, prosperous and fun year for all of you..