So it’s clear that I haven’t made any serious updates to this site for a while. Between the ever-hectic job (where the pressure is currently unrelenting) and having a snuffly, restless four year old (who is more keen to sleep in mummy and daddy’s bed than her own after waking up at stupid o’clock), it is fair to say I feel knackered!

I am in the process of seeking a better path for myself, career-wise. To that end, I have two particularly intriguing prospects that I obviously cannot name on here, but both have their distinct perks and both promise better financial gains.

One is as a salesman, with team leader responsibilities, which is similar to my current job, except with a greater emphasis on the sales aspect. The other is as a manager, with a company on the up, in an industry which is quite secure.

I might not get either job. I might be offered both (in which case I have a tough decision to make). I really hope to hear from one of them soon!

It’s Christmas Eve, I am at work (yes, work – my employers know no mercy), and I feel exhausted after yet another early start, but I am heading into the big day determined that it will be a good Christmas. (Nearly) everything is wrapped, five-bird roast is bought and ready, decorations are up and we’re nearly, nearly there. To all of you, I wish you a merry, and safe, Christmas, and a very happy New Year!

So, we rapidly approach the end of 2014. What sort of year has it been?

It has been a year of struggle at times, especially on the personal front, for reasons that I won’t go into great detail here. Suffice to say, what happens in my family will stay firmly within my family (I will never understand why some people choose to air everything online).

My daughter finished her year at nursery and in September started school, in reception. I really can’t believe how big she’s gotten – she now babbles away excitedly, and continues to make tremendous progress – being with other kids her age, and with some loving encouragement from mummy and daddy, she is astounding me.

She has had a busy year. in June she went on holiday abroad with mummy and daddy, nanny and grandad, her uncle and aunt. We went to Ibiza, to the very same resort that I went to with my mum, dad and brother back in the late 1990s.

It was weird – the place was familiar in many respects, yet obviously, with the passage of time, it had improved and changed. At one stage we were sitting in the lobby, and I could vividly recall sitting there, playing card games, the first time around. The pool looked exactly the same, the weather was gorgeous, and the hotel food was very good for what it was. After what had been something of an exhausting spell at work, the holiday was very much needed!

My daughter loved it – she was babbling away for ages about how she went on a plane, and how she went swimming every day, and how she danced every night. It was wonderful for her, and I hope to one day repeat that holiday – it would be great, when she is older, to revisit that same resort.

Work has been, at times, a real headache. Again, I will not go into all the details, but suffice to say at one stage I felt stretched to breaking point. There was a spell, in July, that tested me greatly, but, I dare say, it was the making of me. Since then, I have felt stronger as a manager, and whilst I know I still have work to do, I have taken some great strides forward.

As far as my beloved Liverpool FC is concerned, they came agonisingly close to winning the league title, but for heart-breaking results in the final few games – and sadly, this season is proving to be a disaster! Still, seeing the scum that is Man Utd flounder last season as a joy to watch!

Watching Lewis Hamilton win the 2014 F1 championship was also pretty special – after the troubles he’d had earlier in the year, it was nice to see him get the glory – he deserved it!

Finally, the World Cup provided some amazing entertainment – not for England mind (I watched one England game on holiday, and wish I could reclaim that time), but watching the hosts Brazil capitulate horribly against Germany in the semi-final is something I won’t forget in a hurry. That wasn’t the only memorable moment – but it was certainly the most memorable!

As one, last footnote – 2014 is the year this website began!

What does 2015 hold? I have no idea. What I want it to hold is good health and happiness for my loved ones and myself. Anything else is a bonus.

So, my little girl is now at school full-time! No more half days, this is where she is there all day! It’s scary to think how quickly this has come about. When we walk her to school I can’t help but notice all the kids in nursery uniform, and all I can picture is my daughter in that same uniform – but now she’s a whole year older and not in nursery colours anymore!

She’s taken to it quite well. She walks on in, quite happily, and whilst part of me wants my little girl to declare she needs a cuddle from daddy before running into class, I am proud that she is confident enough to stroll in without any drama.

She’s growing up so fast! I struggle to get over just how fast. It seems like only yesterday she was born. I remember her first birthday and I vividly remember my dear nan getting to hold my daughter – a very special moment for me.

Each day my daughter makes me smile and warms my heart. I am very lucky.

Yesterday we ventured off to Southend-on-Sea (a combination of cosmopolitan city and seaside resort town) to check out an attraction docked at the end of Southend Pier (which by the way, is the longest pleasure-pier in the world, at over a mile long) – namely, a replica pirate ship! I had hoped to share a few pictures, but the file sizes are too big for poor WordPress to handle!

Nevertheless, it was a great day out – my daughter absolutely loved traveling down to the end of the pier on the little train they’ve got, and she was entranced by the pirate ship (but not before she detoured and did some colouring in and pirate-hat making!).

I’m not sure just how faithful a replica this ship was, but if it’s even remotely accurate, then the sleeping area for the average member of the crew was cramped, to put it mildly, and you have to be very careful of every last bit of rope and rigging or you’re going to have a spectacular accident. Life at sea in those days must have been bloody hard!

My daughter had a great time, exploring and playing on the ship – and she also enjoyed her beach-side picnic too! It was, all in all, a very good day!

 

 

 

Today marks five years since one of the best days of my life (barring only my daughter’s birth). On this day, five years ago, I got married.

I am very lucky to have found a woman who’s prepared to put up with me for so long! She is beautiful, she makes me laugh, and we share so many of the same interests that it feels like we were made for each other. She is a wonderful mother and I worship her. I love you my darling!