Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Sign In with Google Sign In with OpenID
Christmas card letter
  • Good thread duder, nice to hear your news. Liked reading about your daughter and sign language. Have you seen that documentary Sound and Fury? It’s about a deaf family and the daughter wants a cochlear implant and the family has this big furore about it, quite gripping and well-made. Also cool about novel drafts and guitarring etc.

    I’ve posted a lot about my year on FB as a coping mechanism, cos it’s been straight-up the worst; short version is that I got burnt out by a friend in the town I’d moved to who turned out to not have reformed his misogyny/creep ways at all, and had to move back to my hometown/start medication. That was in about May, and I’m basically recovered now and am moving back to that town tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing my friends, I have a really good group there. I’m going to start volunteering for the Prostitutes Collective, which I think will be good cos I’ve been in limbo all year, for which unemployment didn’t help. I’ve been interested in that stuff for awhile so will be good to finally give it a go; I’ve never done union-type work before. I would like to erase most of 2016 from my memory, but I did meet some nice new people and such, and it seems to be looking up.

  • Hi guys,

    Thanks for the updates! It’s good to hear from you all. Alistair, tell me more about learning sign language with your daughter. My wife, who has a hearing impairment, has always resisted learning sign language, but we’ve learned a couple of things recently together (simple stuff, I’ll be right back, that kind of thing that could probably be pantomimed anyway). I’m interested in it for sure.

    Damian, my eldest son, has gone off to college and is doing really well, and the other two are the disorganized space cadets that genetics has doomed them to being but are working very hard on getting better. Max, my 16yo, was the lead in a school play recently and was great. Ian, the 9yo, makes a lot of hilarious fart jokes.

    I continue to make and eat all the sandwiches. I don’t think I’ve written anything really worthwhile since last August but hope that maybe I will again at some point.

    I’ll try really hard not to let the site lapse again.

    Thanks for coming back, everybody

  • Yeah, nice to hear how things have been for you all!

    The main thing that happened in 2016 is that my partner and I bought a house. It’s located in a small village just outside Maastricht, which means it feels a lot less suburban than most of Maastricht itself. It’s an old, quirky house, with a snug porch and beautiful, huge garden. Actually the whole thing is kind of ridiculously big for two people (and, hopefully before the end of the year or the beginning of next at the latest, two cats), but nonetheless manages to feel really cosy. And it’s honestly pretty great that we each have our own office (well, mine will be shared with the two aforementioned cats) plus an extra room for guests. It’s located conveniently close to the motorway, which is good because it does not add much to my partner’s hour-plus-long car commute, and conveniently close to the river, which is good because it means my half-hour bike ride to and from work is pretty flat. It’s inconveniently far from a bus stop, which will be bad when the roads are frozen and I won’t want to cycle, but the winters here tend to be fairly mild, so hopefully that won’t happen too often. It’s also pretty close to some nice hikes, although we have had no chance to take advantage of that so far, as so much of our free time has been consumed by taking care of house-related business, weekly trips to the hardware store and all of that. And more recently, slumping down on our new and very comfortable sofa.

    I’m rather fond of the new place, as you can probably tell, though a little worried that my partner might not share the sentiment to the same extent. The process of buying and moving has been a lot more drawn-out and stressful and frustrating than either of us expected, from which I concluded “let’s stay here as long as we can so we never have to deal with this again”, whereas he seemed to take from it “we probably made a mistake buying this place”. I think he’s coming around to it now that the boxes are finally unpacked and most of our furniture is in the right place (still waiting for the last few pieces to arrive), though.

    Everything else seems kind of distant at the moment, but if I think hard enough, I can think of a few more things that happened in 2016: I got tenured, I had some very entertaining skype calls with my three-year old nephew, I learned a lot of donkey-related facts and skills (and spent a week hiking with an incredibly sweet if somewhat stubborn donkey along the coast of Brittany), I concluded that I don’t really care for craft beer all that much after all but that (French-style) cidre - along with Korean and Japanese green tea - is the best drink in the world, and that’s about it, I think.