It has just occurred to me that this is the last Thankful Thursday post of 2012. Another year is drawing to a close. Another year when those of my generation are closer to the end of our lives than the beginning. No, I'm not being morbid. That's not in my nature. It's a simple statement of fact. It does, however, make one think. It has made me stop this evening and look out of each of the windows of The Cottage at the various things I can see. It has made me think about the fact that these are things I am so very lucky to be able to see. It is now over 14 years since I was diagnosed with cancer: a cancer that, had it not been treated despite the fact that there were no symptoms and no indication that it was there, might have claimed my life within months rather than years. It makes one think that every day is a day to be savoured.
Since then Dad and Mum and my Uncle have died, Carol's and my son Andy has died and, in fact, countless others have died as well. Two relationships which were very special in my life have also ended.
On the other hand I have become closer to my son than I could ever have imagined and consolidated my friendship with my brother. I have old friends whom I treasure beyond anything I can think of (and some of whom I don't deserve). I have made some of the most wonderful friendships possible with people I didn't even know in 1998. Since that date I have acquired a surrogate family and a second Country and lived a life which back then I could never even have dreamed of.
If I died tomorrow I would die one of the most fortunate people on this planet.
For that I am very, very thankful.
I thought that I would just add a few photos from the 120,000 plus that I have taken since 1998. They have been chosen from the digital images on the computer and are very much what I have spied in my hasty trawl over the last hour or so:
|Gaz before our climb up the Clisham, Isle of Harris, 2004|
|On top of The Clisham, Isle of Harris, 2004: the perfect day - we could see from St Kilda to Cape Wrath to the Ardnamurchan Peninsula|
|The aftermath of The Hurricane, January 2005 two days before Pat and Dave moved to The Island|
|Pat, a born and bred townie, up out of her comfort zone in 2005. Now she's embraced Island life more than most.|
|My New Zealand home|
|One of my longest-standing friends and a daughter - Ontario, Canada at, you guessed it, Halloween, 2005|
|A sight I never thought I'd see: San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge 2004|
|Catriona aged 4|
|Heli-hiking on the Franz Josef Glacier 2005|
And as Bugs Bunny would say "That's all folks.".