2014 is almost over. Hurrah!

Fireworks exploding in the night sky.

The year is just about at an end and we’ll soon be saying hello to 2015. We should be saying goodbye to 2014 too but, to be honest, I’m not sure it deserves a nice send off. I’m as much looking forward to seeing the back of 2014 as I am to welcoming the new year. It’s just been relentlessly depressing. I can’t recall a crueller year in the news; internationally, there have been wars, disasters, diseases and terrorism accounting for losses that beggar belief.

Here in the UK, our clueless Prime Minister and his equally out-of-touch cronies have guaranteed that austerity has plumbed new depths but have been creative with the figures to make it look like things are improving when they’re clearly not. Then there’s the rise of a party of racists and bigots whose leader has been named Briton of the Year. What on earth is wrong with some people?

My favourite song of the year was Maxïmo Park’s Leave This Island. While the lyrics and sentiment are about a relationship rather than dissatisfaction with the way things are politically – listen to another of their many excellent tracks, The National Health for that – the wording of its title has me sorely tempted to give up on Britain and go somewhere else. That isn’t going to happen, of course, so I’ll just sound off on here instead and promise to be positive again by the end of this post.

On a personal level, I’ve had a 2014 to forget. Thankfully, it didn’t end up being a big deal, but it got dangerously close with me unemployed for almost half of it and no money coming in. Fortunately, I got a job just in time – when we were down to our last £50, in fact – and difficult decisions were avoided. I know how lucky I am to have my health, family and a roof over my head. We’re still so much more fortunate than others and I won’t forget that.

There have been some positives, of course. Dylan and Xander started school and pre school respectively and are both doing really well. We’re so proud of how they’re doing. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that they were babies. We also had our first family holiday and welcomed our first family pet/my nemesis, She-Ra.

Things have been pretty good on the blog too. I somehow got named the UK’s number three dad blogger by Cision and, along with my good friends Darren, Lewis and John, was invited to do a live version of the Love All Dads Podcast at BritMums Live. It gets better; at the same conference, we won the innovate category in the Brilliance in Blogging awards. Hurrah!

I guess it’s highlights like these that keep us all going through challenging times. I’m massively grateful that there were some little victories along the way. Hopefully 2015 will be all kinds of awesome with highlights aplenty for everyone.

Thanks for reading and happy new year!


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