“In this age of grand delusion, you walked into my life, out of my dreams”David Bowie, Word on a Wing
I had a number of options for the title of this blog post, most included some variation on a theme of fuck off 2021 but given the multiple punches in the guts that this year has provided I decided to go for a heavyweight boxing theme for the whole post. Stick with me, the analogy works.
In the blue corner, obviously, is defending champion Adrian. In the red corner is “that thing called life”.
Rounds 1 and 2 start off pretty well for the champ, lots of snow and the last few months of covid lockdown meant sledging, snowball fights, igloo building and general loved up happiness in our hilltop hideaway. We spent valentines day having a picnic out in the snow and laughing, a lot of laughing. We also got the news that another grandchild was on the way so this was looking good for an easy ride for the champ.
Round 3 continued the good form with preparation for lambing, some deck building to extend the Baa and preparation for the world opening up again giving us some spring cheer. Round 4 initially continued this form with visits from Esme and Liam and lambs starting to appear but just after a full on re-opening of the Baa with friends, family, beer and pizza “that thing called life” starts to get a few shots in. Just as the proper Lanehead spring began and lambing season was in full swing, Jackki started to get ill. As the kids and grand kids left on the 11th April her steely determination couldn’t sustain her any longer, it was like watching an inflatable paddling pool slowly deflate over a period of just a few hours as she just stopped engaging with the world through a total lack of strength. She missed the eggs hatching, chicks growing and didn’t really even notice the lambs this year at all. “that thing called life” got its first big shot in on the 19th April, my birthday, with Jackki whisked off to hospital in an ambulance, covid rules meant I couldn’t go with her or even visit. This hospital visit lasted only a few days and was largely unsatisfactory in that she came home very slightly better but was straight back to bed and clearly a long way from recovered.
Round 5 continued to be dominated by the challenger and a return to hospital on 6th May actually seemed to make some difference, although still non the wiser as to the cause of her illness Jackki’s fighting spirit was returning and her smiling face eating a Maccy D’s on the way home meant the world to us all. Such was her return to form that we were back to our Friday night pub trips to the Cowshill Hotel and it seemed the champion was back in the fight. When we missed the phone call on 28th May to tell us about the safe arrival into the world of our grandson Perry, because we were too drunk in the pub, it was clear that things were looking good and any round that ended with baby cuddles was surely a winner.
Rounds 6 & 7 were a dream for team champion. Although the challenger was always in the ring and couldn’t be ignored we were bouncing back in style. Lots of visits to get to know Perry and precious visits from Esme and Liam were accompanied by trips away in the van with family and friends to Cayton Bay and Shell Island. A precious selfie on 17th July sitting in the pub after a long walk shows everyone just how well things were going. Then just in the last few seconds of the round, the challenger gets in a blow that knocked me to the floor and really was only saved by the bell with it being so close to the end of the month. Filed a complaint with Arkid on the 28th July that he needed to sort his shit out and stop stealing Jackki’s thunder in the crap competition of who could be the most poorly.
Round 8 started positive, we were all there to support Arkid in his fight against Leukaemia but then all too quickly “this thing called life” lands a fucking blunderbuss of a punch and the world became a significantly shitter place. Absolutely devastated to lose Arkid and just cant digest it even now as I write this. Just to make the shit even shitter around the same time as DC leaving us all, Jackki also started to get ill again and as much as I wanted to pretend it wasn’t happening she just got slowly weaker and weaker.
Round 9 and in spite of Jackki’s increasingly poorly spell there was a brief glimmer of hope for the champion with the arrival into the world on 20th September of our beautiful grandson, Charlie, followed by the planned celebration of Esme’s 3rd birthday on the 26th. Sadly this little rally was to be a false hope and Jackki was admitted back to hospital on the 26th and then “this thing called life” properly fucked us all over once again when Jackki slipped away 2 days later leaving the champion flat out on the canvas.
Just about saved by the bell once again the champ held on grimly through round 10, somehow staying on his feet with glimmers of hope mainly centred on time spent with all 4 grandchildren and determined preparation for one final party for my dancing queen.
So now I face the last 2 rounds of the battle of 2021. If you’ve been keeping score above then I think the challenger is sadly ahead on the judges score cards despite the few positive rounds. xxx