It's two hours before midnight so it seemed appropriate to have a quick look back at the last year. (It's either that or succumb to Second Born's pleas to watch him balancing on the exercise ball. Again.)
This has been an interesting year and pretty good in many ways. I am about 3 stone lighter now than I was at the end of 2006. Unfortunately I am now about 7 pounds heavier than I was at the end of October, but we will gloss over that. Last year I could barely run for a mile without keeling over. Now I can run 6km (that's about 3.5 miles in old money). I still keel over but I am further away from home when I do it.
I ran a real honest-to-goodness race in public for the first time in 2007, a week after I turned 40. I am still not sure which was more traumatic. I also ran two races against my 7 year old son and he beat me hollow in both. I couldn't have been more pleased. I then used this public drubbing to raise money for charity, for which I was rewarded with........further publicising my humiliation on radio and TV. (Well, I wasn't really on TV - you can only see me a couple of times. I now know who Shayne Ward is though!)
And last but not least I discovered the wonderful world of blogging, first reading them and then taking the plunge and writing them. Thanks to the strange intimacy of blogs I now feel like I know dozens of complete strangers around the world. I am on tenterhooks, waiting to hear news of the births of children I will never meet (can't send enough congratulations to Julia!) , celebrating new jobs for people I would not recognise in the street and occasionally weeping at the sad news of people who are, in real life, complete strangers. They don't feel like strangers though and that is what I love about blogs. They give one an insight into other people's lives and experiences and that feels like a rare privilege. Life would feel less rich, now, without them.
So thank you to everyone who blogs, not for money or recognition, but just because it is rewarding to write and extraordingarily exciting to know people are reading. And especially thanks to Isabelle and K, both for their writing, which I love, and for being brave enough to meet me earlier today for coffee. It was just brilliant to meet these two in real life and I could have talked to them all day (especially as we were discussing Shauna's book. My copy arrived, all shiny and luscious, from Amazon this morning and Isabelle was going off to hunt it down in Waterstone's). They even seemed to forgive me for suggesting we meet in a coffee shop which was (1) right in the centre of Edinburgh on Hogmanay, when the town was absolutely heaving with people and (2) closed. Since November. At least now they'll believe me when I blog about my complete lack of organisational skills!
Well, I think I had better stop there as Second Born has just bounced off the ball alarmingly close to the Christmas tree. It is still our only Christmas decoration and I'd hate to lose it to a freak exercise ball accident less than 2 hours before the New Year. Happy Hogmanay to everyone.