27th december 2021

The lawn is at its lowest ebb in the flow of the seasons. Appearance unloved, forlorn. Staring at it engenders the shutdown of the brain as any real thoughts are smothered by the seemingly hopeless disposition of the grass. Were it frozen there would be some mitigation, justification of the sitch.

In the house Handel’s Messiah is playing quietly. Neville Marriner. A few jobs have been ticked off and I’m taking advantage of the opportunity for a quiet sit down in front of the fire. The fire is set but not yet lit. I’m hoping it will light naturally from the embers. Save a match 🙂 Normally catches light eventually.

It is the day after Boxing Day. The feasting has been in full fling for a few days and a slight toning down is called for, especially as I was asleep by 9pm last night. Again. There is plenty to keep us entertained and I have a swim booked for 1pm. I’m in two minds about this. It will undoubtedly do me good but is certainly a great contrast with what has gone before it for the past few days. There is time yet to decide.

This is the first Christmas with none of our parents around. Last year we had dad here and I sensed it might be his last. He was getting very weak and awash with the problems of old age. It was really fantastic that we were able to have him here. A great contrast with the subsequent “covid” isolation that ultimately did for him.

The passing of parents should send out a strong signal to get on with life. Just having turned 60 I am fortunate to be able to make fundamental directional changes to my own path. In 2022 I shall only be a part timer in the world of telecommunications and internet and have time to devote to side projects, some of which are already becoming mainstream.

Anne’s Vans is such an entity. Having started with one van 5 of 6 years ago we will be going into the 2022 season with four. This will merit me spending more time on that business. It is a very rewarding activity. Customers bring vans back and tell us what a fantastic time they have had. What’s not to like?

I also want to spend more time writing. I have one or two projects in mind that will soak up the days. See how I get on. The other activity is getting out and about more, exercising. I have the pool, the bike and want to do more walking.

Telecoms will still very much be there but I’ve decided to focus more on the bits that I like doing. Hence part time. 6 days a month is the notional plan. It’s all about taking the stress out of life and maximising the fulfilment. I like the people at Netaxis which is a company on a nice trajectory so it will be good to maintain links in there.

That’s it for the mo. I could probably fit something else in if the right offer came along but it isn’t something I’m particularly chasing.

The nice thing about this plan is that it leaves room for ad hoc activities. For example we are eyeing up a trip to see My Fair Lady in May or June sometime. Nice little mid week trip to town. There is here an element of risk. To make sure of seats you have to book early but at this stage the hotels are expensive. They will come down in price, presumably. 

The other curveball is that I am organising a conference in Antwerp (as you do) sometime in the spring. Not nailed the dates yet. Feels as if this is something I need to get on with during the first week in January. It’s an incentive innit.

Nothing feels guaranteed or straightforward these days, certainly from a planning travel perspective. In February Anne and I are looking at a nice little trip to Brussels (work), Antwerp (work and play) and Amsterdam (total self indulgence at the Waldorf Astoria) but this is entirely contingent on these countries being amenable to our turning up without having to isolate in our hotel rooms for the whole trip.

When I booked the Waldorf I was immediately asked for our travel plans and arrival time. I told them this was a little ambitious at this early stage. Amsterdam is handy though as it is a short hop home from there via Humberside, particularly in comparison to the 8 or so hours elapsed time when travelling to Brussels. My gut tells me we won’t be going but the next two or three weeks will give us more of a feel.

Time for a swim. Anne tells me there were only four people in the pool when she went…

By Trefor Davies

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