Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

New Year Targets

January 1, 2016

I’ll quote the two targets I always wanted to set when I was a working man and had to have management agreed targets each year. Mt two aims for each year were:

1) To still be alive at the end of it.

2) To still be smiling at the end of it.

When the second one was getting a bit hard to achieve was when I decided to quit. I haven’t looked back since then. My only regret? Well not being able to irritate management by offering them those two targets!

Well strictly, I spend a lot of time looking back because I have a voluntary role looking after matters historical where I live. And on this first of January I shall look back to another. It was in 2002 and I took a couple of early morning sunrise photos with the more limited camera of the day.

This one was exposed for the frost covered land.


Getting that right made the sky a white out for it was much brighter than the land so I took a second photo for the sky with the land becoming just about a black out.


It was a simple job using a ‘magic wand’ tool to take this sky and paste it into the other picture to actually capture what the brain thought it saw.


So never believe digital photos. This is the result of merging two images. I love it for it really did capture what I saw. And I thought what I saw was beautiful.

By the way, being the lucky person I am, that’s the view I look out over from my bathroom. There’s no obscured glass for us since it is not overlooked. This is what I see every morning when I carry out my ablutions.

January 1st

January 1, 2015

A Happy New Year to one and all.

I can look back on some highs and lows in 2014. Losing my sister to cancer was probably the low point. She was the only other remaining member of my childhood home; the person who had known me since I was born.

And for a high point, what better than the birth of my new granddaughter. Birth and death surround all of us all of the time.

And my hopes for 2015? When I was a working man I had to set myself targets for the year. I had two and they were always the same and had nothing to do with work. So my targets for 2015 are:

1) To be alive at the end of it.

2) To still be smiling at the end of it

Here are some things that aren’t on a wish list.

I love my clutter, but have little need for material things (although as and when my computer bites the dust I will, immediately, get a new one. I haven’t ventured into smart phones or tablets and whilst I accept their potential use, I seem to manage quite well without. I’m old fashioned and like my books on paper although I think electronic readers are very good and clear to use. We still use the television we bought for mother in law when she went into a nursing home last century. Why change what works. Actually I was given a tablet for Christmas and a spot of mild ill health made it seem very useful.

By and large I prefer to cut down on use of the world’s resources. We don’t go out and buy the latest fads and fashions just because everybody else does. Our current car is now some 11 years old. It, too, would get replaced if it suffered a terminal failure and I’m sure when we do replace it we’ll get more miles per gallon from a newer one. But our annual mileage is quite low so I’m in no hurry to dash off to a car showroom.

I can say this with confidence for I know my wife agrees. We don’t need a new set of kitchen cupboards. Ours are now quite well aged but still serve their purpose. There’s no need to change them. I can’t imagine we’ll change any major pieces of furniture. Our lounge furniture we have had for more than forty years with some rebuilding (done by us) a couple of years ago. Dining table and sideboard are of the same vintage but we replaced the original chairs about twenty years ago.

And something I’d like? More sunrises like this one.


January 2nd – Failed Resolutions

January 2, 2014

Like many other people, we have been either frantically busy or relaxing with family and friends over the festive period. I knew I’d have no time for blog writing so I got a selection of them ‘stacked up’. Yesterday’s, in which I suggested I might eat less liquorice, was one of them.

Well, I had reckoned without the gifts that come at Christmas. Here we have such an appropriate gift for a liquorice addict. I believe these items were found in a Marlow charity shop. No doubt in this somewhat upper crust Thames side town items like these would be regarded as completely non-you. I tend to think I am non-you anyway and I think these bits of china are great.


We, or do I mean I, have a lovely box (with air tight seal) to store liquorice allsorts in and a hefty mug for a warming drink alongside.

Almost needless to say, the pot arrived with suitable contents, in copious quanitities..

The china box carries a ‘Marks and Spencer’ brand name on the base. The mug does not. What delightful items.

So if eating less liquorice was a kind of resolution – it failed even before January 2nd!

New Year Targets

January 1, 2014

When I was an employed man, the bosses always made us workers set targets for ourselves for the next year. Mind you, they were targets which had to be agreed between the person concerned and the bosses

I always went to the ‘review’ meeting with the same two targets for the year. The first target was still to be alive at the end of the year. The second target was to still be smiling.

Of course, the bosses never accepted these targets which always had to be changed into how I was going to improve. But whatever got written down really didn’t matter to me. My targets always remained the same. When I realised I was no longer smiling I decided it was time to change course and retire. And that’s the happy state I am in now.

The person who delivered the speech about me when I retired spoke about how I stuck to principles even at great personal expense. Well part of what he said is true. Had I not stuck to my targets I’d have been better off now financially than I actually am. But what good would more money have been had I not been happy? I tend to trust that I will have enough cash and not worry too much about that. And so far the money hasn’t run out and we do afford little luxuries – like holidays, days out etc.

One of my luxuries is liquorice. I love the stuff. Maybe I didn’t when I was very young, but I don’t remember such a time. I know it doesn’t suit everybody and I do know that if your body has difficulty controlling potassium levels then you need to avoid liquorice. But I don’t think I have a problem there.

Just before Christmas I mentioned that I really didn’t need presents, but of course, I do enjoy them. This one dates from some years ago and amused me.


Now that’s a clever idea – to combine my liking for liquorice with a model of an old commercial vehicle. It has many advantages as a gift. It’s fun and doesn’t take up much storage space.

This model appears on the shelf with my older, much more battered Dinky cars.

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions but maybe I should eat less liquorice!

A card from Great Aunt Sue

July 18, 2013

There are always little mysteries in family history. Great Aunt Sue is a bit of an enigma. We wonder why she didn’t marry until she was fifty. There was a kind of guess that she might have lost a boyfriend in World War One.

Perhaps this card, sent to my gran, provides a clue.


It’s a New Year card although which year is not entirely clear. It may well have been doubling up as a birthday card, for my Gran first saw the light of day on 1st January 1892.


The address shows that gran was in service at Saxon Court. She was there from about 1905 to 1912 so the card was sent in that time frame. And now the message.

image005 It’s that first sentence that might suggest a boyfriend.

‘W can drive motor now so he is getting on alright.’

Now of course we can’t guarantee that W was a boyfriend, but he is clearly uppermost in Sue’s mind. He’s more important than Christmas and New Year let alone Ethel’s birthday.

Sadly, W isn’t much to go on when it comes to tracing people killed in World War 1. But that’s only a rumour – my father thought he might have heard the name Macnamara when he was a boy. There was one W Macnamara killed in World War 1 that I have traced and he was in the Royal Munster Fusiliers which doesn’t seem all that probable for a Brighton resident. That was where Sue lived and it is assumed that the boyfriend would have been in that area.

It’s probably a mystery never to be solved.