January 2009 


Minutes to midnight and I open the lounge curtains in readiness for the anticipated fireworks. There is a frost and it is foggy, I pour myself a large tot of whisky, noone is here to supervise the size of the bevvy! An early morning – watch the Straus Walzes from Vienna.Later see "Chocolat" a film I always enjoy! [ Hence the piece of music playing ! ] Collected book from library – "Black Horse Odyssey" A dull cold month comes to an end. 



My Monday trips to the brewery capital of England continue, a snowfall of 4" brings the town to a standstill. Win £50 in premium bond draw and United 8 points ahead of the scousers who have lost an 8 point lead since christmas! My back strain is improving.Begin organising my holiday. 



Apply for visa to chinese embassy and visit doctors for jabs – all 6 of them! Feel bad all weekend – updated Will and ordered currency.



Barclays bank manageress refuses to issue me with cash although current account has sufficient funds available. Cannot believe her ignorant arrogance. Open new account with different bank. Yan has itinery drawn up plane and hotel booked. Nothing else can go wrong – can it ?



A major flu epidemic breaks out in mexico – doom and gloom spreads regarding visiting foreign countries – 300 people held in quarantine at Hong Kong, hotel after much heart searching cancel the holiday.Spend the rest of month opening the new bank account with barlays deliberately prolonging the process and reclaiming as much of my holiday cash payments as possible.Manchester United win the Premiership for the 11th time out of the last 17 years and the third year in succession we now have a total of 18 championships – equal to the scousers.We lose European Cup to Barcelona with a very poor performance. Visited Jorvik.




Barclays finally release MY cash into new bank’s current account – I have money to spend ! Just as well – after eye test buy new glasses and spend day in Burton while car has its annual service. I book 5 day holiday in Paris – flu or no flu ! 




Enjoy 5 day coach holiday in Paris – visit Monet gardens, Palace at Versaille and Fontenbleu. The hotel was less than 100 metres from the Peripherique in Clichy which is not one of the nicer suburbs ! Went around the Louvre and missed seeing the Mona Lisa!




 Started the month with a sore throat. The flu pandemic continues to sweep the world although not as lethal as first forecast. Had my birthday on my own. Sent for travel visa.




Visit to York – visited Jorvik centre and the thursday ‘curry night’ at the Exhibition pub which was enjoyable.Had a meal at the Coachhouse Hotel where I was staying, again enjoyed the best of the menu. The carpark is minute and ‘grazed’ the wall as I attempted to leave !

Suddenly the trip to china for the autumn festival is organised – have passport, visa jabs and a suitcase packed with coat, sweaters – everything not to take to a hot sunny Shanghai in October ! 




Fly virgin atlantic from london direct to shanghai – with a following wind we arrive at 06.45 in the pouring rain!! Fortunately being a Mancunian I had packed an umbrella! I had the best holiday of my life thanks to the patience of my host Yan. A week was just not long enough – so much to see so little time! I am now a devotee of China Tea and Mooncakes !! 




The story I began last year is becoming more difficult to bring to a conclusion, I seem to have ‘lost contact’ with my hero. This month it rains with major flooding in Cumbria.Now have a facebook site but not too impressed. Trips to the library are becoming fewer as I rely more on the internet for data. Family History research is also at a standstill – each line I am investigating ends in a brick wall !   




Posted Christmas cards. Nic came down for a couple of days – I start sneezing ! My cold gets gradually worse – eyes and nose running like a drain – not much sleep and it is almost 3 weeks before the symptoms begin to disappear. Consequently I am not fully prepared when christmas finally arrives – I enjoy the meal followed by Dr Who – the penultimate episode of David Tennant’s tenure in the title roll.Getting ready for Nic,Marie and Alex visiting on 2nd January. New Years Eve and it is snowing cold and icy – I tune my TV into Jools Holland show, and toast my friends with a large glass of special malt in a ‘Glencairn whisky glass.’ They forecast more bad weather to come. . . . .




One thought on “YEAR ON YEAR… .

  1. Quite an eventful year Harold, Flying around the world. hope this year brings you just as much pleasure.Hard to believe I know, but little Boro lost a European cup final once. I was devastated.

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