fredbassett: (raccoon - cartoon Xmas)
Well, 2016 was consigned to the flames last night. It's a year I'll be glad to see the back of.

2016 started with the death on New Year's Day of J, a close friend for many years. She faced death from cancer with bravery and dignity. I spent the first week of the year arranging her funeral, a splendidly DIY event in which, in accordance with her wishes, we dispenses with funeral directors and did the who thing ourselves, including transporting her body in a cardboard coffin in the back of our car to a natural burial ground in Usk in the Wye Valley.

Then in early February we lost C, a friend for 40 years, also to cancer, followed by B, to bile duct cancer, in mid-March. It's been a vile year for losses. They were all far to young. Then there have bee the numerous celebrity deaths, but worse again the seeming death of decency and common humanity symbolised by the votes for Brexit and Trump. The world is at risk of being taken over by the hard right and that, coupled by the rise in religious extremism and the disintegration of the Middle East leaves little room for optimism, as all those chickens will shortly be coming home to roost. And Brixit threatens us personally, as we rely on the EU pet passport scheme to take our dogs with us to and from France.

The year hasn't been all bad. we've had some lovely visits to France, including the last one of the year in December where we were able to attend the opening of the new Lascaux replica, which was an absolute joy. We also had a great trip to Madrid with friends. On the fandom side, there have been some great weekends, including the Rookwood festival, where a few of us were able to meet James Murray and Sarah Parrish. There was also a fabulous weekend in Wiltshire which include an 'into the stones tour of Stonehenge! Fan friends continue to bring a lot of joy and fun!

On the writing front, it's been a difficult year. I didn't succeed in finishing any of my long standing WIPs and I fear I added to their ranks! My final tally stands at 76,493 of fiction, all on Primeval. Other stuff, mainly magazine articles, came to 8,555, and 62,642 on reviews, the latter being my only growth area this year. My best writing month so far was December, with 17,000 words, all on Secret Santa and various fandom stockings, with second place going to January with 12,992. I hope I can achieve something similar this year. I still have those pesky WIPs to finish and some old ideas to start.

Thank you all for your support and friendship in the past year.

Onwards and upwards, I hope!

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