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15th. December to the end of 2008
With the exception of seeing family a few times over the last few weeks, I have to say I'm glad Christmas is all over.
I spent from Boxing Day to the 29th. in Southampton and in those days didn't venture out the House atall. This needless to say, made me tired and I spent much time simply dozing.
Another place of fond memories has also left us - Woolworth's. I recall years ago, going into the Sevenoaks Branch every Saturday and browsing through the plethoras of things you didn't really need and those copy versions of Hit Records!
Looking back over 2008 brings about two main themes,
For the first time in 9 years of downshifting I leave a year in the black and if I wanted it, could work far more than I do at present.
Turning 60 is not as good an experience has I was expecting. Sure, the Bus Pass, free Prescriptions, Fuel Allowance are a great benefit, but the older brain goes into overdrive a bit upon thinking of the next ten years.
Also, this year has brought about a few aches and pains I never had before and obviously, this worries me a bit in my line of working.
I went to the Doctors this morning to get the results on my Shoulder and Hip problems. When I was there last, they just put 5th. January on the Appointment Card. If they'd have put Wednesday beside that date, I'd have queried it - so I have to go back in two days time now.
It snowed this morning for the first time this winter and tonight it's expected to go down to -5. Half an inch of snow needless to say caused havoc going to the Doctor's this morning. So much so that, guess what, I'm writing a Blog entry on it !
Oh well, 2009 here we come. Regardless of everything that's going on, I'm very optimistic. I've survived most things and I'll survive with flying colours I know. Well, I think, maybe, with a bit of luck and a following wind !
1st - 15th. December 08
Busy, busy, busy. It seems very ironic that whilst everyone and everything around me is being so badly affected by the Credit Crunch, I have more work available than I can handle and for the first time in 8 years, still maintaining my financial head above water before the year's end.
But how I know too well how it can all suddenly turn upon yourself.
Maybe, just maybe, after eight years of a downshifting experience, I'm actually beginning to understand what it's all about - more apt perhaps is - understanding what it's not about!
I'm afraid I'm suffering from a Downshifters ailment. It's called 'Shirtentienitis'. This is a common complaint at this time of the year when those 'posher' doo's come around.
First there was a Christmas Dinner on Wednesday at the Cricket Club, on Thursday a Kent Cricketers end of Benefit Year Luncheon and yesterday, Sunday, my brother-in-laws Mother's 90th. Birthday Party in London.
After the Party, we took the Tube and alighted at Tottenham Court Road from where we walked back to Charing Cross via Oxford Street, Regents Street, Picadilly Circus and Leicester Square.
With the pound the way it is against foreign currencies at present, it certainly seems to have brought a smile back on the Tourists faces. They all seemed quite happy with it all.
I have to admit to finding this time of the year a bit of a struggle, not financially, but the pure commercialism of it all.
But my Christmas social commitments are now over and I look forward to Boxing Day when I join my family for a few days of proper stuff !
The rest of this week will be spent continuing my work in the big house opposite and I plan the whole of next week doing website work.
I've also just received the Cricket Fixture list for next year. Already it seems that preparation and pre-season training is on the doorstep. Oh how time flies and all you want to do is slow it down.
The recent very cold weather has put my wood levels down, but nature has a funny way of sorting things out. Just at the right time it seems we're about to go into a mild spell and I can have a couple of happy hours milling around the woods finding some of nature's free gifts.
The Chickens are well, but proving to be an overhead financially. That's to say zero eggs in three weeks.