So today is my birthday, plum half way through the year.
Many people review their lives around New Years Eve - but I think the dark days of winter are dreary and depressing, the anti climax of Christmas, the sober realisation that other year of toil lies a head makes me long for solstice. The light nights and beautiful green Somerset days is a far more enjoyable and positive time to reflect upon your lot.
So what did my reflection and rumination bring ? Well very quickly the realisation that I couldn't remember a bloody thing! they say old age doesn't come on its own and they're not wrong. A fading memory is something that old age has given me extra portions of at every birthday!
But on the positive side, that lack of memory actually makes reviewing your past year very enjoyable, the diary dates and the photos pop off the screen to a chorus of "oh yeah" "of course" and mostly "how could I have forgotten that?"
So what did I forget ? Well as I don't want to become one of those saddo's on Facebook who actually believe you are somehow interested in what I had for breakfast in Milan last September - I have decided to keep it brief and maybe slightly interesting, I have picked one thing in a category that hopefully we all experience throughout any passing year.
Holiday - New Zealand last July to visit my son Mack who is a chef and working there. We spent 6 weeks driving around the South Island in a RV - stunning (pictured).
Work event - very successful launch of our Interiors collection at the prestigious Summerhouse show at Spring Fair (AND the fragrant Emma joining my team!).
Sports event - Football at the Emirates despite the fact that my team lost.
Meal - taster menu at Wilts in Bristol. I love excellent food and we had some exquisite meals last year - but the variety, quality and service at Wilts was outstanding and so great that it was local.
Honour - receiving the Somerset's Best International Business Award.
Worst Glasto Act ever - Kayne - we've already agreed I am getting too old - but give me Dolly every time !
Sing along - Sound of Music themed Christmas meal at factory. Carole dressed as Mother Superior break dancing on the canteen floor has to be seen to be believed.
Best walk - taking Bromley from Collard Hill out past Red Rock and back. It was the first time he was obedient for the whole walk - 2 hours, nearly 6 miles and he behaved impeccably - something that happens virtually all the time now, but I remember that day as a landmark day, especially after the the "sheep incident" two weeks before.
TV - Night Manager ( Tom Hiddleston for JB !)
Film - Mad Max Fury Road - fantastic cinematography.
Those were just a few of the good times I have fortunate enough to experience since my last birthday.
The sad ones ? Luckily very few - Terry Wogan et al.
And the other one ? JR - A formidable business woman, a lady who I was blessed to call a friend, who despite being the most gifted story teller I have ever met, would never look back (unless it included an Irish accent and a rip roaring punch line) looking and driving hard towards the future, she was a force of nature, always positive, an inspiration.
So on my birthday I will raise a glass and thank God for all my blessings (including my very erratic memory) a fantastic year but with JR's philosophy tapping me on the shoulder and nodding towards the road ahead - time to roll my sleeves up and get on with the next year ahead.