There were many highlights last year but none so inspirational as the India trek in Kashmir that David and Patrick embarked on in August. This is now the stuff of legend in the family: cold, thin air, an altitude of 5400 metres, night time temperatures of -10, mules who wouldn't move and a vast wilderness to call home for a fortnight. I made a soft cover photo book of their adventure which we look at often.
We have had a lovely time being together at Christmas, especially as Patrick is now on a two year master's course at the University of Utrecht and we hadn't seen him since October when we were in Switzerland. Luci has been saving hard preparing for her adventures in 2015. She has booked her flight to the US and is doing a solo tour of epic proportions. There is also a chance she may go back to uni to study anthropology when she returns. Kate and Dan have moved to Oxford for new job opportunities and they are hacking it so far. Kate hardly remembers Oxford - we moved to the Cotswolds when she was 10 - so they have had to find everything pretty much from scratch. Dan is working in R&D and is happy to be back in a lab. For Kate, it's her first year as a newly qualified solicitor.
If you have read recent posts you will know that I have retired a year early to follow my creative spirit. In my house newsletter at the end of term, I wrote …. I am looking forward to the time I will now have to grow and make things and to look after my family both two and four legged….. which is exactly what my plans are to start the new year.
I will continue working for the exam board in June and may do a few days of supply teaching but I am mindful that the point of having this gift of time is to do other things.
So December has been full of celebrations: our wedding anniversary, my retirement, Pat's homecoming, Christmas, my birthday and new year. I think January is bound to feel a bit flat. I've a few ideas though and I am resolved to improve my fitness with and without the dog by my side.
Here's wishing everyone good things in 2015. I will keep posting and tweeting regularly. Happy new year.