It’s that time of the year again that I reflect on the past 12 months and plan the next.
My past year has been very much a blur, partially through the amount I have managed to cram into it and partially because I’d rather forget about it.

Looking back to the first half of the year it was particularly challenging with my partner of the time; Jakki who bless her had suffered a difficult childhood… which amongst other things became far too difficult for us both to accept and work through. This made the latter half the most depressing and hardest times of my memorable past with pretty much death threats, suicidal threats for most parts of the day repeatedly day in day out and despite her thinking otherwise this was actually very hard for me as I never thought/intended it to turn out like that… Not only had I failed her, I failed myself. This finally resulted in a harassment order which still stands to this day. But even some 5 months down the line she is still finding it difficult apparently as she has been trying to pass messages to me through friends; “wanting Nick dead” and “he has it coming to him”.

On top of all this, my Grandad Derrick Joynes at the age of 85 was under going his 2nd or maybe even 3rd hip replacement on April 1st of all dates. Something didn’t feel right and my conscience got me to ring him in the afternoon wishing him all the best, in particularly remember saying “are you scared” – simply because I knew I was. The sad thing for me is he thought it was Porl who had rung him! All had gone well over the first couple of days but on the Sunday evening he had taken a turn for the worse and the family were advised to come in; instantly thoughts rush around your head of which I knew this was it “bloody Alex hospital has done it again” I remember saying. I knew he wasn’t coming out, not this time. He later passed away just gone midnight on Monday 6th April. A burning question will lie with me for the rest of my life regarding his last few hours. “What did they do to the poor bloke”?
I have never seen a bloke sweat so much trying to revive a man, I had never seen such a frail, pale old man, that was not just my grandad lay there, that was my grandad with the wrong dosage of drugs or something being pumped around him; I still believe they were desperately trying to flush his system of something they had given him by mistake… The family did not want to pursue any further with enquiries so I felt so low and helpless. People argued “it’s not going to bring him back” but my words meant nothing; “it’s not about bringing him back, it is about helping others from our loss”… If this was a horrible mistake how many other people have to go through what we went through? How many had gone through it before? You never know, but all I feel is I was robbed of the best man in my life that night; he was a brave soldier. RIP.
The death of grandad meant I along with all my cousins had a share of my grandad’s wealth which meant I could now afford to get my bike license; of which I completely passed on Wednesday 9th December… So thank you Grandad.

Friday 6th March saw our lives change somewhat as we were introduced to our first foster children; three in fact all from same family. This has brought significant challenges throughout the year and has brought mixed emotions to all of us at various points. We couldn’t have asked for better children to introduce us to fostering but it still hasn’t been an easy ride. Things could be completely different again this time next year so we will see. Due to confidentiality there isn’t a lot I can say there, it is just an opener to the world and amazes me! Mom you are amazing at what you do, it is a difficult job in difficult circumstances, we are all there for one another so stay strong.

Most of the rest of the year was thankfully far more interesting, as we got heavily involved with our 4×4 plans by registering for the Mac4x4 Challenge 2010, creating our own group; Redditch4x4 and of course breaking our Pyrenees virginity which can be read in older posts!
The 4×4 world has brought me some good friends to date, Porl, Clive & Annie, Russell & Pat, Wayne and Don… Hopefully I can take this even further in 2010 as eventually I want to take an expedition out to Africa which requires good contacts. Seeing as though Redditch4x4 was introduced at the end of 2009 we will see where this takes us in 2010.

Work has been particularly interesting in the past 12 months, with Andy coming back and the general mood around the office really improving I feel like I am becoming a stronger and better person. I really enjoy work when it is there and have been fortunate to work with Aston Martin, Bentley Motors, Honda, Land Rover, Lear, Magna, Nissan, and Toyota. It has been a particularly difficult year with the crunch but being a strong minded and capable team we have all managed to scrape through it with special thanks to the directors. 2010 review is happening soon hopefully so I can see the prospects of the next 12 months, I am hoping for something good to come out of it as I am unsure where I am going to be in 12 months time.
Although it has been a difficult decision for my dad, he finally said fair-well to Protective Finishing where he has been working for over 12 years. He is a very committed man to bringing money in for the family, after all he has been doing it since he was 15; so this has been a big blow to him but I admire his inspiration and determination to stand for what he believes in and I think he has made the right choice in the long run. Best of luck for 2010 and hopefully he relaxes a bit more or finds a job – whichever he prefers!

Wow, just reading my review from last year I started the year on a high! Well, some things were achieved, and some weren’t… In particular my inventions were scarce! That still stands that there is a burning ambition inside me to invent… Maybe this time next year Rodders!

Anyway, 2010… We will be participating in the Mac4x4 Challenge 2010 which will be really exciting and rewarding as it is all for charity. Another trip around the Pyrenees is inevitable and will be some time in June.
My saving last year didn’t go too well, but this year it is a must as I will be wanting my own place in the near future; somewhere closer to work so I don’t spend so much time and money travelling.
But first I want to get a motorbike I think, but that is likely to change as the year progresses, it was a Land Rover Discovery and bike not so long ago, but weighing up my options properly I am not realistically going to be able to buy both and maintain all!

I am to be Dean’s Best Man this year too, on Thursday 7th October we see Sara-Kate Smith wed Dean Sas… Lets hope I don’t cock up like I have in the past with speeches! I am a little scared to say the least! … So thank you very much Dean! Despite my usual moaning I feel highly honoured.

Well that’s it for now, Lets hope I write more this year, it is good reading back on things. This has all been a bit brief really and not entirely reflecting on things as well as I could have as I have been reflecting on things over 12 months rather than the last 12 hours for example.
Keep in touch all. Thanks for reading.
Best wishes for 2010, make it a good one.

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One Response to “Reflections”

  1. Dean says:

    Things can pretty much only get better I suppose!

    I’m sure your speech will go down a storm. 🙂

    It’s not been an easy year I guess, and a large part of that was out of your control, just got to chin up and work on making this one better I guess.

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