Monday 1 January 2024

Happy 2024 to all Barneteye readers and friends

 So it is 2024 and I am rather pleased to wave goodbye to 2023! It ended pretty much in the way it progressed. We always go away with friends for New Year. Part of the tradition is we have a nice curry on New Years Eve, then see the new year in with a sherbet or two! This year, we booked a lovely mansion near Buxton.

We had booked and paid for the curry for 7pm and  were settling in for a nice relaxed day, when the phone rang. It was my daughter, who was at home looking after our dogs. There was an emergency at home. She had taken one dog out for a walk and the other had somehow managed to lock her out. She was stuck in the rain, and in a bit of a panic. We called her auntie, who attended and also couldn't open the door, so a locksmith was called. We decided to head home, as she was rather upset. Cutting a long story short, the locksmith had attended and for £238 let her in. She had calmed down. As we were now home, it meant she could attend the party my other daughter had arranged. We were stuck in on our own. Now I am normally a pretty sociable person, a friend asked us around for drinks. However our lovely neighbours had already started letting off fire works and the dogs were gettin g very agitated. We decided to stay in. By ten PM, I had reached the point where I couldn't really be bothered with any of it, so I went to bed. One of the dogs joined me. Clare stayed up and watched telly with the other one. At just before midnight, I was awoken with an almighty barrage of fireworks and the dog went mental. In hindsight, I was glad we were home. I hadn't had a drink at all. 2023 was the first year since I was a teenager that I had no alcohol at all on either my birthday (I still had a cathetar following my surgery) or for New Year. So I awoke with a clear head. 

In truth, I really don't feel like drinking at all at the moment. We had a lot at Xmas and I was looking forward to the two week break I always have at the start of the year. We had a really busy December and it was cathcing up with me. Normally at this time of year, I make New Years resolutions. I have decided that this year I won't. There is a saying that "men make plans and God laughs". I have things to do, the band have gigs lined up and a single & album to release. The studio needs some major improvements, that we put off until we knew that the business had a future. We need some serious work on the house. I really feel like I need  a couple of weeks in the sunshine somewhere. 

Last night, I had a terrible nights sleep. I kept dreaming that I was back working as a freelance IT consultant, but it was all going horribly wrong. I had no laptop, the female boss, who I didn't fancy at all, was in the office and sexually assaulted me and demanded sex, I had to explain that following my prostate cancer, I couldn't oblige, which made her very cross (I must add that the person in question was a fictional construct of my mind, not someone I worked with). It was the opposite of a wet dream and clearly belies one of my current anxieties. It was both disturbing and rather unpleasant and I was rather pleased to wake up.  I have been reading a book over the last couple of days, called Facing The Tiger, by Professor Suzanne Chambers, which is a self help guide for men going through prostate cancer. I will review it properly later, but it had clearly stirred up a lot of insecurity. I guess that it was fitting that 2023 finished with my own mind taunting me.

Oddly though, having had such a rotten night, I've woken up in a good frame of mind. Prior to being told I needed an operation, I had been toying with the idea of doing some IT work again. This time last year, the studio had taken out a large loan, simply to pay VAT bills and get us through. We instituted a big hike in our charges and I was terrified that the business was done. This year, we are on a sound footing. We paid off the loan in four months and this year we have the cash in the bank to pay the VAT.  The dream made me realise that I really didn't want to be in that environment again. What I need to do is make the business I spent 44 years building work properly. 

I have been giving a lot of thought recently to the future of this blog. I am coming to the conclusion that social media is dead. The number of people viewing posts on Twitter seems to have plummitted. On Facebook, their algorithms don't show me posts from friends, but do show my span and content I am not interested in. The only way to see what friends are up to reliably is to look at their individual feeds. As for the blog stats, we are still getting a lot of views. July this year was actually the busiest month ever for hits. What often happens is other websites will link to a historic blog as a reference and that will get a huge number of hits, for no apparent reason. The blogs I've written about my struggle with cancer have been really important to me. I have had plenty of messages from people saying it has helped. They do not get the huge number of hits that the blogs about local issues get, but I think they have more value. I was considering changing the name of the blog, as I am focussing less on Barnet these days. I have yet to make up my mind though.

I hope that my two favourite football teams, Manchester City and Hadley FC do as well this year as they did last year. Is that being greedy? 

Anyway, on that note, I sincerely hope your new years night celebration was more fun than mine. 

I will leave you with a song. Perphaps my favourite moment. The False Dots released our first ever digital single, a celebration of the Sci Fi Girls of the 1970's, such as Jo Grant from Dr Who and Lt Ellis from UFO!

No comments: