A new year started, filled with things that haven’t yet happened.
And what about the one just gone?
Well, it came and went quite quickly it seems. That’s not a bad thing as I am working my way out of debt now that I am working again, and I’ve a bit over a year to go.
Tax form, best forgotten.
I went to Dover for the weekend and had a great meal in a Chinese restaurant. It was my kind of place – fixed price and eat as much as you like. The film ’50 shades of Grey’ had been released and I remember a quite decorative display in a lingerie shop.
February is also memorable for something else. Sophie’s mum went into the maternity unit to give birth to Sophie and I went to visit. We got to chat a little. I enjoy her company but we rarely communicate. I found out the first day we met that I enjoy her company. It’s saddens me that it’s a one way thing. I have since learned that she is a wonderful mother and I would like to see her, Sophie, and sister more often; but I don’t argue about it or push it, because I have another 18 years of this to get through as smoothly as possible.
The big event for me was the birth of my daughter Sophie at the start of March.
I am a proud dad. I had a few meals out when Sophie was quite young and they were great days. A few times we went to Frank and Benny’s in Denton where they play old 60s rock and roll music.
Sophie has a sister that likes dancing and we used to dance in the aisle, often getting in the way of the servers but they never complained.
I got back in touch with an old friend Lars.
And immediately lost touch again.
Had a bank holiday and cleaned the house a little. I even ended up buying a new vacuum cleaner. Okay, I admit it, I had a lot of help.
I am not sure of my dates, but sometime around June I went to Sheila’s birthday party. It was noticeable that all the chess players sat on the same table and we were all single. I got drunk, danced a bit, and generally had a good time.
I went to London for the weekend. It was nice to get away from life as usual. The weather wasn’t too bad and the main activity was walking around public parks and sight seeing. I remember a restaurant too where the pizza was so good I ate the same thing at the same place the night after.
I took part in the Manchester chess congress.
One of the games I lost was to an adolescent whose father is a grandmaster. He played a bishop sacrifice against me and that one move highlighted different chess abilities.
One of our players could not see the move after 5 minutes of studying the position.
Tim saw it immediately. And Ali looked, said well not a bishop sacrifice, laughed, and said that doesn’t work.
I also had a memorable day turning up to a work;s pub crawl on the real ale trail, and — me being different as usual — drinking cider instead of real ale, and only going to one of the pubs.
I went to the wedding of George and Sidonia, and outside the church was a boy
of about 10 with a crush on the bride, chanting her name over and over to himself to while the other lads were sword fighting using branches of fir trees. Kindred spirit.
Halloween. Sophie was dressed as a small Frankenstein with green war-paint smeared over her face with an appearance on her skin rather like grass stains after sitting on a damp lawn in white trousers. It was a rather special day. We were together for a long time enjoying each others company without the desparation to get back to mum, or crying for any of the reasons that babies do cry after a while. And for a change, Sophie’s sister was happy and busy enough to ignore me. No dancing required.
Bizarrely, what I remember most from November was an exchange of e-mails. Francis has not been to the chess club for some time. I certainly miss playing against him. He is a better player and I have a lot to learn from him, but I do beat him at times. I remember winning one game where he told me where I went wrong. He took back what he thought was his
mistake, in order to show me he really had a winning position, and lost again.
Okay, gloating and showing off over. Like I said, Francis is really a far better player
and I am sure I am not the only one at the club that misses him. Come back soon!
December is a basically Christmas and I am not a person that usually likes Christmas. This Christmas in some ways followed the usual pattern. Coming up to Christmas my regular Friday with Sophie didn’t happen. Okay, the mum had something on; I don’t like it, but I can understand it. Then the next week. And Christmas. And New Year. I spent my Christmas alone.
At work we had a few Christmassy events: meals out, a party, Secret Santa etc. But the dance floor was crowded and although it was fun, the dancing doesn’t match rock and rolling at Frank and Benny’s, waltzing down a street, or dancing with a bride on her wedding day.
I will be hanging my 2016 calendar in front of me at work, and starting the year in my brand new scarf and Xmassy pullover with a Reindeer on it: a present from my aunt. I shall wear the pullover for the 12 days of Xmas and the scarf for longer.
Every year I get a new year’s wish from my friend Christof. He takes photos of his friends and makes them look like classic works of art, war time picture etc. He can find hidden qualities and bring out the best in anyone. I have decorated this post with one of his pictures. Many thanks to Xtof and his lady friend for the picture and being allowed to use it.