So it is 2013 and I thought that I should really go back to the beginning. Go back to my WWW roots and start blogging again. In the old days, when I lived my own life, which consisted mainly of freelance writing and walking Alex the Wonderdog, I had plenty of time to observe the world and ruminate on the things around me. Unfortunately, since late 2007, my life is no longer my own, so I don’t tend to observe public things, I observe private things – I am now a family man and my observations are more introspective and I don’t necessarily want to talk about everything that happens in my life.

But that’s where I am conflicted because the whole point of the blog was to share bits of my life in the hope that common souls would find some benefit from it, be entertained, have their humour zones tickled and even given chance to think. So what now? Am I out of practice for the blogging? Are blogs old fashioned? It’s all viddies and the YouTubes now, you know. Yes, been there, done that, but don’t have the T-shirt – don’t have the right haircut…

2012 was a year I was really looking forward to – I know it is old-fashioned, but I like the pomp and ceremony of our monarchy passing time and was enthused about the London Olympics from the moment we won them back 6 July 2005. So part of the year was good, part of it was bad with employment chances being kiboshed and despite applying for hundreds of positions, only managed to secure three interviews throughout the year, each one more hideous and depressing than the last one.

A long serving pet died, and even now, when I enter a room, I sometimes think I hear the familiar cluck or feather ruffle of Speckle the Cockatiel. Death came back for a return visit when my mother died in late August and that has affected me greatly. We had a difficult relationship, as some mother-son relationships are, but we looked after each other and I always say that our relationship somehow was copied by Galton and Simpson for their “Steptoe and Son” series – such was our dynamic. The pain of grief never leaves and the three people that have had most influence in my life still cause the sting of loss, almost like shingles of the soul, a prickling well of pain that can return unannounced.

September saw Verity starting school, my mother’s funeral, and then a period of ill health of myself that saw me continually sick with various colds, coughs, sniffles and flus that I’ve only just shook off. At one point, I was rendered deaf in my right year, which as someone who listens to and plays music, was utterly depressing. That really got me down, but thankfully my ears have cleared – though things do sound a bit different – everything sounds a bit more bassy and louder. Weird.

Then a short while after taking charge of my mother’s pet dog, a fifteen-year-old Yorkshire terrier called Cappie, we watched him decline as his liver failed. We fed him like a king for the last few weeks of his life and despite him being near incontinent and sleeping for hours on end, it was awful to watch him suffer fits and then one day, not being able to get up. I did my best to raise him, to keep him going, holding his little head over his water bowl so he could have his last drink of fresh water. Man, that was a rotten time.

But the kids are a constant joy and Verity is doing well in school, so well that in January she advances to the next year’s reading and writing classes because her reading skills are off the chart. I am incredibly proud of that because, like my grandmother before me who taught me to read before I went to school, I did the same for my daughter and it is the best tool you can give your children.

As for Herbie, he has his own set of problems to deal with. Despite him being a regular little boy to me, a boy who understands every word you say and obeys instruction better than his sister or the family dog, he has never uttered a word. He is three years old and although he babbles and yells and laughs – he has an incredible sense of humour – and he is more affectionate than his sister and craves our attention – not a word has left his lips. I’m coming clean about it here – some might call him educationally subnormal or a retard or a window licker or what-not, but he can operate an iPad better than you. We have various appointments with speech therapists and doctors and health visitors scheduled for the beginning of 2013. I fear for his future. It scares me because I don’t understand what is wrong.

As life goes on, it doesn’t get any easier. The experience between Sept 2007-Feb 2011 has left me unsure of myself. The lethargy of depression is kept at bay by doing YouTube videos, though I find it increasingly hard to engage with my music. Heigh ho! Been there before and it will come back one day. But I am still amazed by the people that take time and energy to watch my videos – it is still humbling and the response has been greater than any note of music I’ve ever recorded – this probably adds to my issues at playing the guitar. Division of energy and creativity. Engage with the audience you have or the audience you hope to have?

But life gets bleaker and our savings are dwindling and this time next year, there might not even be a blog or a website or a guitar or a YouTube video. Unless either of us can secure stable paid employment in 2013, our future is rocky and, again, I fear that everything we’ve ever worked for was ruined by our dalliance in that stupid business. We both try so hard, but I will never understand how some can breeze through life, move from job to job, career to career, without any grain of smarts or talent. Or maybe that’s just the tired, cynical bitch in me whinging?

Onwards to 2013 – I will not go down without a fight…

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