I live in India, and have never shown you a picture of a monkey. Sorry about that. Here’s one now. It’s called a Hanuman Langur monkey. It’s on a leash, being walked around by a handler because it scares off smaller, more troublesome monkeys. Basically, where I live, this is pest control.
Is it too soon for a quick look back at 2009? Possibly, but with Xmas a week away (not sure quite how that happened), and the end of the decade shortly after that, I might as well have a peek now and get it over with.
It’s been a very strange year indeed. Nine months of it were spent drumming my fingers, waiting for things to happen. One month of it was spent having things happen very quickly indeed, all at once. The rest has been a mix of tentative discovery and more waiting for things to happen, but with nicer weather.
Marriage and emigration were the themes of 2009. I’m glad to be able to say that my wedding to Kirsty was the best day of the year, because with the stress of such things, it didn’t have to turn out that way at all. Having a fairly small bash, albeit in an extremely lovely venue, was a brilliant idea – especially when the hotel does the bulk of the hard work for you. Honestly, until the last week or two, we had next to nothing to do. The day itself was wonderful, and that was mostly due to a mixture of our extraordinary beauty (ahem), the people who came along (including guests from the USA, Australia, and various crannies of the UK), and the ready availability of bacon rolls. It was a fantastic party. All in all, it bodes well for things to come.
And of course, straight after that, we shipped out to India. In this, there was considerably more to organise, from the summer onwards. Paperwork, visas, passports, weeks of hell in Croydon preparing various things, endless Easyjet journeys from Glasgow to London, house sales, car sales, packing, unpacking, and more. It’s hard to pick things out from the ongoing mess of the experience. The strange, floaty experience at the start of February, when it sank in that this was actually going to happen. Putting the house on the market at the exact time people wanted to buy houses again (so it felt). Leaving the former day job. The last couple of nights with Phil, Lorraine, Anne, and Al. Flying out business class and landing in blistering heat. Realising that parakeets and kites dominate the skies, but stars are almost non-existent. Settling in is still taking place, and until our daughter is in school this won’t feel as permanent as it should, but on the other hand, we have a housekeeper, and are contemplating what car we’ll go for as I type. Swings and roundabouts, but we’ll get there. Hell, we are here, there are just niggling details still to iron out. Tomorrow should be good too, as the rest of our stuff should arrive (including a proper TV, DVD player, games machines, and all of our kitchen equipment), which will hopefully fill out our big, splendid, very empty apartment a little.
On the writing front, it’s been a little slow I suppose, at least in terms of material published. To be honest, there’s been so much going on in the rest of my life, I hadn’t really noticed. Three stories were published. The first was a reprint of last year’s Doctor Who story ‘Lonely’ (see previous post, as if you ever want to read it, you’re running out of time to get a copy). The second, ‘Beast of the Air’ was a preview of a novella I have coming next year, and was published in Shroud Magazine. The last was ‘Mopleoli’, now published in the superb Dark Wisdom anthology. In terms of writing things that might be published later, things were better. 2010 will already see two of my short stories in print, and the previously mentioned novella too. I’m fairly confident that won’t be all, but we’ll find out.
Other splendid things? Meeting Heather and Jackie for the first time after knowing them for years, and getting to spend some serious quality time with the latter. Catching up with Mark, after the occurrence of several years and several children. Reading over forty books, and finding an alarming number of them to be brilliant. Meeting up with my brother and his brood for a few days, including a gorgeous niece and nephew I’d never met before. More than that, but those are a few things.
I suppose, in summary, 2009 has been a unique and wonderful way to end the noughties, at least for me. How was it for you?