I won’t go further into the past. But if 2007 was a year of touching the emotional and moral bottom, then beginning to rise again; 2008 a year of rediscovering community life, then finding out the immense possibilities the Net offers to somebody as idiosyncratic as me; 2009 a year of being fully involved in the virtual Web life, then learning not to be overdoing it; and 2010 the year of revisiting my country and undergoing a change of perspective with regard to my future life; how shall I describe 2011?
Possibly as a year of tidying up after a lifelong existence in one land then moving into another. Only interested in keeping new jobs for long enough to ensure my financial situation remained more or less unchanged, I was for significant periods of time unemployed. Yet not idle. I finished editing my diaries up to the watershed summer of 2007, cleared a lot of the mess I had done even after that, largely put my laptop and Net matters in (better) order, in short mostly covered my affairs in the old country. And throughout all the time my determination to move was increasing, rather than diminishing. So that when an opportunity of moving presented itself earlier than expected, I was ready to grab it and go.
True, I still may have to return. But if that happens, it won’t be for long. I’ll be back – and I’ll be back for good. This is my country, the one I love above all the rest of the world, the one in which I mean to spend the rest of my life and die.
Friends: All the contacts with my former rehab fellows are broken, except for the therapists. That stage of my life too became a thing of the past, a matter of nostalgia only. Like the Tech: the reunion we had was marvellous, but these reunions no longer constitute the meaning of my life. As for Rob, after two months of living over 900 miles as the crow flies apart, our relationship doesn’t so far show any signs of weakening.
Languages: my English hasn’t improved much, even my knowledge of Scottish English has grown less than would befit a two-month stay; the more progress I have done sa Ghàidhlig. Am fuaimneachadh sa chiad àite, taing do Bhlas na Gàidhlig; ge-tà, taing do rudan eile chaidh am briathrachas (agus fèin-earbsa) agam a leasachadh cuideachd.
Books: I’ve read, both in print and on Kindle, several old ones (most notably the last favourite of mine I still hadn’t read in the original – Monte Walsh) and several new ones, some of them quite good as well, though none as oustanding as a few the year before. Or perhaps a part of my mind was too occupied by the move all the time.
The Web: remains an inseparable part of my life – but since I came here, I no longer spend almost all my leisure time online. I’m able to enjoy “real life” once again. For the first time since I became connected, there are more things I want and plan to do offline in a beginning year.
GLBT: nothing of much importance this year as far as I’m concerned, except the hen at the SNP conference who finally put the thing into the right perspective: there shouldn’t be a discussion of whether or not should gays be allowed to marry in a church. There should be a state marriage as the basic partnership, and a discussion on which churches’ marriages can be allowed to count as if they were state ones.
Global: well there was the Arab Spring, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Euro troubles, the Iraqi nuclear programme, the English riots, Kim Jong-il’s death and so forth and so forth, but from the Scottish point of view they were naturally all overshadowed by the SNP parliamentary victory in May. Although personally I do regret the adverse effect the Westminster coalition had on the Lib Dem vote.
Summary? It would have been a somewhat mediocre year – but the end made it an outstanding one. My only wish for the next one is that it will keep up what this one has begun. And I realize that what 2012 will look like depends a lot on me. But come to think of it, chan ann dìreach sa Ghàdhlig: tha mi a’ cumail a dh’fhàs nas fhèin-earbsaiche san fharsaingeachd.