02 January 2010

Wrapping up one year to make way for the next

I'm not having fun with blogger so far this year. Yesterday, I typed a blog post, went to add an image and the whole thing vanished. Not fun. I couldn't face starting again, so I left it for a day.

Today, I'm doing a wrap up of last year and looking forwards to what I'm hoping for from the year ahead. In part, that means I'm looking back over my blog posts from last year and following up on things that I think need wrapping up.

I had two friends pass away last year. Pip, who was in a photo I posted back in March, passed away from cancer. She was in her 70s, had lived a very full life and will be remembered by many, many people. The other friend was Patrick, a fairly quiet man who emphatically disliked people in general. Patrick was mentally ill, drank himself to death in his 40s and will sadly be remembered by few people. I mourned for both of them, but was unable to attend either of their funerals.

Back at Easter, I blogged about almost bumping into one of my wife's cousins while out shopping. I saw him at Christmas, and nothing was said. This fits with my plausible deniability post back in May, where I concluded that most of my wife's relatives know but choose to pretend not to. Also back at Easter, I mentioned that my sister-in-law's husband had asked "Who is Alice?" Some time later, my sister-in-law made it clearly obvious in a message to my wife that she didn't approve, but has since behaved towards the male me exactly as she did before. I suppose that's a good compromise position. I have no idea whether any of them would accept me as a female and for now, I'm not going to push the point.

Over the past few months, I've been making a conscious effort to look after my fingernails. I have been constantly reminding myself of a line that I think I read on the Beauty Heaven forums, which said that nails are jewels, not tools. I don't remember who wrote it, but to whoever it was, thank you. Things that I would have done with my nails in the past, I now consciously stop myself and find some other way of doing. As you'll see in the photo, my nails are now of a nice length, and they're not artificial! Most of the time, I simply wear a clear coat on them to protect them but a few times recently I've put some polish on them. I considered painting them in alternating red and green for Christmas, and even went and bought bright green and red nail polishes, but decided against it because I didn't want to push the point with my wife's relatives.

A few months ago, I added another school friend who now knows about me. She commented that I do makeup much better than she does. :)

The neighbours have been quiet recently. The one who I outed myself to online and blogged about last January and April only talks to me intermittently, but that's always been the case. The neighbours on the other side still have me guessing. A few times through the year, I'd come home from dinner out and the light would be on in a room alongside my driveway but by the time I put the car in the garage and walked out, the light would be off. Whether it was coincidence or they were turning the light off so that they could look at me, I don't know. I have no idea if they know or not, but am assuming that they do. We got new neighbours across the street a few months ago, and a few times when I came home the woman would be standing in the dark on their front veranda smoking by the time I put the car into the garage but I haven't seen the little orange glow for some weeks. Like the next door neighbours, I'm assuming that she knows.

I did a quick count of the number of times I went out for dinner with the girls in 2009. It appears that it was 33 times, down from 36 the year before. I only got out a total of 4 other times, including the one belly dance class that I blogged about some time ago. They are fairly disappointing numbers when I look at them. I averaged going out about once every 10 days. I'm not going to call it a new year's resolution but I'm intending to try to raise that average to better than one in 5. The only way I'll achieve that is to get to the cafe a lot more often, do a few more dance classes en femme and get out shopping more often.

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