Thursday, 31 December 2015


Usually I'm fairly indifferent to another year passing, and my preference is just simply to go to my bed and let those seduced by the prospect of creating the mother of all hangovers do their thing. I've never really got that to be honest.

But this year, with just 30 minutes of it left, I can confidently say good riddance to 2015. There is very little I recall of it with fondness, and hope that this coming year turns out to be more fruitful.

The start of the year was great, as I enjoyed a weekend away with my buddy Pauline, through Loch Ard forest, with a circular route starting out of Aberfoyle, and a snow capped Ben Lomond as our backdrop.

A couple of months later and my outdoor activities were to be curtailed for a while, as I went under the surgeons knife to correct an old injury in my right foot. Thinking it would take just six weeks before being back to normal activities, I was surprised to find myself still limited some three months later.

Thankfully I was to heal just in the nick of time by the start of July, to fly out to Denver to cycle a 1000 route through Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Less than two weeks in I came off my bike, which resulted in multiple injuries and brought my journey to an abrupt end. Nursing a rather large cast on my right arm, I continued best I could, using motorised transport, only to return to the UK two weeks later.

Two months later, at the end of September, and with plans formulating for getting back to full fitness, I found myself in an ambulance racing across the city to hospital, for an emergency subdural haematoma brain operation. This had been brewing away since the day of the accident. Then, another two months on in November, I was diagnosed with Graves disease, which causes thyroid problems. No one really knows what starts Graves disease, but on the list of possibilities is a severe brain trauma.

After diagnosis came the medication, but after three weeks of starting to feel normal, and once again making plans to get back to fitness, I was back in hospital with a severe allergic reaction to the medication. I am currently fighting back from this episode.

I've stopped making plans.

By no measure do my series of unfortunate events compare to the suffering of the peoples of Nepal during the earthquakes of early 2015, or to the continued challenges facing the people of Syria and the resulting refugee crisis.

So even with all that has happened to me, I do have things to be thankful for at the end of 2015. For one, the help and support from my close friends, even from thousands of miles away whilst I was laid up in a Wyoming hospital. And I'm grateful to the company Bell, for making a bicycle helmet, without which I would not be alive today.

So I say goodbye to 2015 and welcome 2016 with open arms, for the past is just a statement and the future is a question.

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