This year's calendar transition was celebrated in Ireland at a friend's house on the west coast in county Sligo. It's a staggeringly beautiful part of the country and one of those places where you feel like you're genuinely insignificant on planet Earth. Especially so with the full frontal assault delivered by the atlantic ocean and gale force winds, which we experienced the trailing ends of. It was an unpleasant journey across, though; bad weather, mechanical failures and barely competent airline operators meant we didn't get to start celebrating the new year's eve until gone 22:30 in the evening. When we finally got to our destination we were all a little bestraggled from the long day we'd endured but it quickly turned into one of the most compressed and entertaining new year's celebrations I've had. Sinking 3 pints and raising a glass of champagne in the hour before midnight meant we were all nicely merry in our celebrations.
Chilling out on New Year's day with lunch, a small walk to the beach, followed by some Wii time (thanks to stinkygoat and gilesgoat) and a nice gentle session of beer, pub and Monty Python was a perfect way to relax and let the stresses of 2006 fall away. It's a shame we only had a little bit of time over there but it was enough to get a very brief glimpse of how beautiful Ireland is when Gaz, Suze and myself went on a little walk around the head of Mullaghmor. Some pictures of the places and people are up on Flickr
. I'm still getting to grips with my new camera and it's a sometimes frustrating experience where results vary between utterly blurred and noisy to fantastically exposed and coloured. It's great for pictures in good light but it really struggles indoors of when the flash is on. I'll find a better balance soon, I'm sure.
Now, I don't make resolutions for the new year but this year has coincided with a big transitional period caused by finishing Crackdown just before Christmas. It was tight but we bloody did it, the frustrating part being that it's certainly been at significant cost to my own health and stability which needs to be sorted out in the next few months. I have to get my personal space back, which means a new place to live, and I have to sort out my health. My health means a lot less drinking, a lot more exercise and a much better diet. I'm not happy with the weight I've put on, I'm not feeling good about my health at all, I'm getting signs of my body disagreeing with the way I treat it by drinking too much on a regular basis. I'm sure this is all caused by me not being happy at home, i.e., I don't have one. Going back to see my parents at Christmas has reinforced this. I didn't feel at home there anymore, things have changed too much but not enough. The family is entirely centered around my sister and the nephews now. I'm incredibly happy for them but through my own doing I've been away too long to be a close part of it.
2006 was one of the most difficult but fun years of my life. I have many highlights from the year and they are all becuse of the friends I have made, shared and continue to enjoy the company of. Their continued fortune in friendship is how I will remember past, this, and all coming years by.