And it’s another year done. Here’s my take and, as per last year, classified as Good and Not So Good. And, as per last year, very personal.
The triple challenges for 2017 were all completed. Lots of words on those already. I will just say……. happy!
I will just say one more thing about the triple challenges….. IT FELT SO F*CKING GOOD!
Moving house is a small upheaval. For several months, you prepare for it to go as smoothly as possible and of course it doesn’t. A lot of work, packing and unpacking and then packing again because the floor needs to be done. Still plenty of boxes but a new home. The stress of moving fades in to the past and you realise that you have moved on to a new chapter, a positive change built around the future.
Not So Good
I have remained very fit but MS can continue to salute me with a middle finger when I least expect it. This was the first year where heat hit me hard. There were also a couple of real dips that resulted in resting because there is not much else to do. My concentration has been impeded and my speech dipped a couple of times to the level that it was quite noticeable. And the feeling that someone is constantly hugging me is a constant reminder. So, this is not so good. MS remains invisible to most but it’s there, every day, and some elements are a little worse.
Not So Good
I don’t complain often – at least not in this blog – and, to be honest, I do understand that it can be difficult for others to understand. Half the rime I don’t get it myself. But I get a little tired of explaining MS sometimes. Nothing against anyone, I just get a little fed up with it. But, in view of the the section dedicated to MS in this blog, feel free to call me a hypocrite.
Did I mention the Triple Challenges? I did, didn’t I…..
(For 2018 there will only be one challenge – alongside a general push to enjoy cycling more…..)
Cycling and MS make strange bed fellows but they are also not the only thing in my life. Music plays a big role and I was lucky to see some fantastic concerts in the last year, despite the ‘challenges’ of attending such events. The National, Primal Scream, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The War on Drugs, U2… Fantastic year. I find it hard to single one out. The Jesus and Mary Chain did little besides play perfectly and loudly. The National were powerful. U2 was an experience.
But, for a combination of a ear-shattering spectacle combined with quite intense emotion, it has to be Nick Cave. A difficult thing to bring intensity to a show and make 15,000 people that they are part of it. Nick and his Bad Seeds managed this. Remarkable.
Not So Good
Depressingly, politics was a low for 2016 and it is for 2017 and for the same reason. Reasoned debate is limited and there seems to be an increase in the branding of opposite ideals as somehow traitorous. I will not expend much more on this, it would read as a repeat of last year’s entry.
I sometimes question the value of this blog beyond personal relief. Then I share the most personal entry I have written so far. It broke all of the records, not that these are huge but still, it means something to me. The previous holder was a bit of a pompous effort about wine study which got a good readership due to good use of hashtags on Twitter. The new record holder was personal, honest and hopefully not that pompous. People who knew me liked it and people who did not know me liked it. That’s the best thing to say.
So, the blog will carry on and it will stay personal. There may be more on music and more food and wine, the original reason behind this blog. There will certainly be more on travel. Cycling and MS remain the central points of this and will continue to be strange bedfellows.
But it will stay personal. If others like it, great. If it means something to one other person, that’s good. More than enough. I just like to write and will continue to do so. I like to ride my bike and will continue to do so. I like other things and will write about them. I don’t like MS but it’s part of my life. It does mean that I will make sure that I can enjoy what I can. I will write about that here. Feel free to take a look.