Having been flooded by xmas cards this year, I am very touched. And frankly surprised so many of you have my address. I’m afraid no such offering from us, but instead an eco-friendly xmas mail to say Merry Christmas to everyone and best wishes for the new year ahead. And for those who I’ve not kept in regular contact with / don’t read the blog / spam filter my mails on purpose, I’ve written a little bit about the year gone by. The rest of you can read it too – you might have forgotten most of it and there will be a quiz later.
The first part of my year was dominated by recovery from the bowel cancer I was diagnosed with back in Aug 2008. I had a lull in treatment at the start of the year, which I used to get a few cheeky days snowboarding in. Then Chemotherapy started again until March, when I had a month off before the surgery in April. This surgery successfully removed the bad parts of my liver, and after a month’s rest, I resumed the last few cycles of chemo to ensure “gold standard” treatment. This ended at the start of July, in time for me to gather more energy for both my good friends’ wedding as well as my cousin’s wedding, both in Scotland, both wonderful events and both great excuses to wear man-skirts (kilts).
These really acted as my initial celebration for treatment being over. There were still a few checkups ahead which externally and internally showed that all looked well and as expected. I think I was just glad it was over, and happy to be able to get on with my life again. So I was truly blown away by a surprise drinks party that Mimi organized for me later in the year, which helped me draw that final line behind me from what had happened.
So the first step in getting on with my life, of course, was to get the ring and ask my sweetheart to marry me. An elaborate setup of hotels and treats over two days in Melbourne whilst visiting Mimi’s family and friends allowed me to spoil my sweetie with food and champagne and then get down on one knee. Not actually with a ring – we had determined she’d like to pick her own (which she later did, a classic, elegant, beautiful and, all importantly, reasonably priced item) – but with a charm bracelet I had taken time to choose before flying out. I am pleased to say she kindly said yes, and made me a very happy man indeed !
I also got to attend the christening of my new nephew Luca, Mimi’s brother’s baby boy with exceptionally cute cheeks ! Along with my wonderful, gorgeous nieces, Liv and Izzy, who I got to spend lots of time with whilst recovering (a totally awesome silver lining from my period of illness) I am a blessed uncle indeed. Almost enough to consider returning the favor someday to my brother and future brother-in-law. But first our thoughts are concerned with wedding bells, as we try and put together a plan and set a date for the upcoming wedding. Late 2010 would be ideal, early 2011 probably the latest we’d like it.
We are decided on Australia as a venue, but will try and celebrate with friends and family on both sides of the globe. This is set to tie in with a move to Australia, continuing our lives together down under. It will be sad to move away from / great to move closer to you (delete as applicable) but certainly it doesn’t mark an end of anything, but more heralds a new chapter for us. A new chapter on the forest moon of Endor. By which I mean Australia.
So I intend to spend this xmas and new year continuing to celebrate the great people I’ve met so far in life, and even try and visit a few out of towners I didn’t get to see much whilst I wasn’t so well. But first I’ve got this next week off to spend some quality time with my family and get some good food, booze and presents, which has got to be the true spirit of xmas for me.
Xmas love and best wishes to all,
Ben (and Mimi)