A Mixed Year

Dec 19, 2022
elopement ceremony

This is going to be my last blog this year (I allow myself time off for good behaviour between Christmas and New Year!).

As is traditional, I intend to briefly look back on the past year before signing off for 2022.

The Bad

Apart from the expected coughs and colds, healthwise the year has been dominated by quite a lot of hospital visits and checks for me. The main issue has been with an enlarged prostate. This was announced rather suddenly and certainly abruptly when I found myself totally unable to pee. I alarmingly gained a couple of kilos in a matter of hours and swelled up visibly. I became extremely uncomfortable. Fortunately, A & E at Northwick Park were excellent, and basically saved my life.

After unpleasant experiences with catheters, which I won’t go into, I was able to have an operation. The paperwork was inefficient and inaccurate, but the care from the nurses was impeccable. Although the operation gave me my waterworks back, I don’t have quite the freedom that I used to have. However, this is a small price to pay, and I am very grateful to be able to function (to all intents and purposes) normally.

As I write this, I am due for a pre-assessment for cataract surgery in a few days, so all the medical stuff hasn’t quite ended. However, such procedures are nowadays considered routine, so I am grateful it is nothing worse.

Ah, but what it is to grow old! However, I do not feel old, so that is something to be very grateful for.

The other disappointment about 2022 is that I have only had a handful of weddings to conduct and no Vow Renewals. It is true that my attention has been somewhat off the ball due to my various health issues, so this has proved almost a blessing in disguise. However, I am hopeful that 2023 will be more productive on the celebration front.

The Good

Although COVID made us lose out on tickets we had bought for a Lisbon holiday (this is under the heading “Good”?!), we tried out something else. We did manage a flight, so we felt we had gone abroad. This was to Jersey in June, and we had perfect weather for our 4-night stay. It was a real delight, as was our other 4-night trip away.

This second trip (in August) had similar weather. We went to Bath (mainly to see Rob Brydon’s excellent show) and continued to Cardiff. Although a bit of a building-site, Cardiff was worth a visit – especially the castle, and we took a day trip out to the Brecon Beacons, which were in no way a disappointment. Far from it.

On the work front, in my ten years of being a celebrant, this was the second-best year for funerals for me. I am not trying to be ghoulish, but people are always going to die, and somebody has to conduct the funeral. I am willing to be that person.

On a brighter note (and I think we need one!), I conducted my first ever elopement (pictured) The couple came over from the States for the occasion. We had a lovely day for it and the venue (a ruined medieval church) was atmospheric. They were clearly very much in love and it was a delight as well as a privilege to have been invited to participate.

I gather they have a baby on the way!

Last Words for the Year

I do hope the past year has not been too trying for you (whether healthwise or energy-wise or financially etc.) and that you can enjoy the festive period with people that you love. Thank you for reading my blog(s) and I wish you all the very best – health, prosperity, happiness – for the New Year.