Friday, 9 January 2009

Less than a week!

People often tell me that they think that I'm a pessimist and that I should look on the bright side more often than I do. So I resolved to enter this New Year with a brighter outlook, but less than a week into it events have conspired to bring back the pessimist.

When I was younger, I grew up in an Army family. This meant that we moved on a fairly regular basis and making long term friends was difficult because of the transitory nature of our lives. However, whilst in Northern Ireland, I made friends with another Military Policeman's son and daughter, and our mothers became the best of friends as well, mine having been born in Australia, theirs in the US.

Oddly, when we were posted from NI to Hong Kong, they followed a few months later, with Norman, Michelle and myself getting up to all sorts in the New Territories of Hong Kong (it was the early-70s and it was fairly safe for young children to be out and about unsupervised).

There was then a bit of a hiatus, as they were posted to Canada and we were posted back to the UK, and I next saw Norman when he started school in the UK in 1976. Two years later I went to the same school.

When he left school, Norman settled in the States and joined the US Marine Corps, serving for a short time before joining the Dallas Police Department, ending up as a Senior Corporal in the Gang Unit.

After Norman returned to the States, we never met up again although we did talk on the phone sometimes. Sadly, a meeting will not now take place as I found out yesterday that on Tuesday, whilst executing an arrest warrant, Norman was shot and killed by one of the men he was trying to arrest. Sadly I found out too late to be able to attend the funeral in Dallas today.

RIP Norman Smith.

Friday, 2 January 2009

All over for another year

Well, that's it. Christmas and New Year done with for another year. Only 356 shopping days until Christmas.

As is usual at Christmas, the air of 'National Emergency' descended upon the country. Because the shops would not be open on Christmas Day (although most were open again on Boxing day), the Great British public began panic buying and hoarding and by 1200 on Christmas Eve, the local supermarket had sold out of bread and nearly all vegetables!

Christmas was not the most peaceful of affairs as there is a pub very close to where we live. Whilst I am all for people celebrating, some people will use any excuse to get legless. I did have a bit of a sense of humour failure when the pub had closed, but people were still out and about and shouting at 3am! This explains why I was not the most awake of people when Hannah woke me up at 7am.

Pressies were opened and that's when I realised that I'd made a big mistake. Having bought m'Julie an iTouch, she now out-gadgets me and I want one!

Boxing Day saw the arrival of my three kids and more pressie opening before we had an afternoon of board games, and I proved that when it comes to world conquest aka Risk, I can't be beaten!

The rest of the week was very relaxed and lazy, with Drew and myself playing Resistance 2 although I did have to take Maggie and Hannah 'girly shopping', even if m'Julie did oversee most of it whilst I drank coffee.

Midnight on the 31st saw us at home, seeing out what has been a pretty crap year as far as I'm concerned and wondering what this year will throw at us.

So, the kids are now back at their mother's and is less than a week before I go back to work, and therefore get back to normal. Whatever 'normal' is...