that was the year that was

Thunk on or about 3rd January 2005

Well, 2004 seems to have been and gone and we are still on our feet. There have been times when we were beginning to doubt this.

the tough bits

Health has been very up and down (a plague on both your spouses). Partly it has been Robert bringing home the virus du jour from playgroup every month or so. Partly it has been about starting to raise a child when in your forties. And partly both Pamela's parents and mine have been having their own health problems.

The political situation, both at home and abroad, has been uninspiring to say the least (and then a step to the right). In Afghanistan, the "War on Drugs" has been forgotten and the major result of the "War on Terror" seems to be a massive opium crop (and, of course, a huge increase in terrorism).

On the other hand, we haven't been hit by tsunamis or earthquakes. Pamela and I spent some time today sorting out stuff in the attic which we could send across to help. It's amazing what you can find - including a couple of tarpaulins and a tent, some sleeping bags and other useful stuff which hasn't been used for years.

the good bits

Having got the whinge out of the way, there have been a number of positives to the year.

First off there is our boy. It's amazing how children change your view of the world. For instance, I now no longer regard young children just as things which make a noise when you trip over them. I now find I can relate easily to kids who are Robert's age or younger. No doubt I'll get better with the older ones as Robert puts me through the appropriate training.

I don't want to get too carried away with the fond father bit - at least not in this thinks. For Robert in 2004, see Robert's 2004 Archives page.

As Robert gets older there are signs of life returning for both Pamela and myself. We manage the occasional concert, we get out to grown-up films now and then. We have several trained baby-sitters with whom Robert is quite happy to stay. I get out to gaming nights now and again.

I am making some progress on my resolutions from last year, viz to see more of my friends and to do some programming. Of the former, I still have work to do but I do see people occasionally. Such programming as I do tends to be recreational rather than work-related (c and the art of obfustication, programming for orang-utans) but it is something. I had quite a lot of fun bringing the obfusticated chess program into working order.

Oh yes, and keeping this web site up to date has also been more fun that I expected. It has encouraged me to take out the digital camera more often as well.


In 23 days, 16 hours and 28 minutes Robert will start going to pre-school two days a week. This event is marked in large red letters on the calendar. It looks like a winner all round - Robert gets to socialise more, Pamela gets a couple of days a week to concentrate on her writing and this will indirectly give me more time as well.

One thing I have signally failed to do this year is to do any writing. In 2003 I wrote a children's novel which turned out not to be particularly publishable but I have had positive feedback from Pamela's agent to have a go at something else. I have a plot in mind, set in 18th century London and I have been doing some historical research but I haven't yet started writing - mostly due to a combination of lack of time and lack of health (mine and other people's). This year for sure.

I am considering the possibility of working only 4 days a week in the latter half of this year. The company has no particular objection and it would have a lot of benefits in terms of health, writing and other activities. It then merely becomes a matter of managing finances. Merely. I'll report back around June.

That's it for now. A Happy New Year to all my readers.


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