imageAnd so it begins. Sixty-one today and already the messages are piling up on Facebook. There may even be some on Twitter. Otherwise I’m just a year older and still learning how not to put my foot in it yet again; that the mind and body are slightly less co-ordinated than before; that drooling is now a way of life.

As I look back on the year I remember the highlights. Starting the blog was one of them. I have reconnected with some older friends, especially on Facebook, gained many new followers on Twitter and met so many new people via the blog. I am more content with life and a lot happier – and still very much in love with my wife Trish.

I finally got to Pompeii, Capri and the Amalfi coast. What a trip that was. It may have taken too many years to get there but it was worth the wait! A return trip to Puerto Rico was also fabulous last January. And then there was Achill. What a delightful surprise. How did I put off visiting such an amazing island all these years?

As I celebrate today my children won’t be here, just Trish and I. Even though they’re missing they’re surely thinking of their old dad and how much I loves them.

Trish, of course, is the constant in my life. We’ll celebrate a meal together this evening and no one else is invited. The days of parties for me are over – my birthday ones anyway. I don’t need to know my age anymore. Besides, all that cake is bad for my cholesterol. And it gets harder to blow all those candles out – 61 are 60 too many!

My pen pal Debbie’s father reached 100 yesterday, an amazing milestone. Who’s to say I won’t get there myself in 2053? For the moment it’s probably best if I concentrate on being 61.

If I have a wish for the next 12 months it is to be healthy, make even more friends, and to write that book! In the meantime, thanks for reading the blog. I’ll need your support even more in the months ahead.