This will be a rather self-indulgent post as I look back over my year. 2016 is a year I will be glad is over. There were all the celebrity deaths (although Bowie’s death was the only one that really shook me) , there was the shock of the Brexit vote and equally the shock of Donald Trump’s election. Of course it wasn’t all bad, Leonardo Di Caprio finally got his Oscar and a vaccine was developped for Ebola. Closer to home both my mother and mother-in-law died within 5 days of each other, my mother’s death was somewhat expected but Zoia’s death wasn’t. I was with my dying mother in England when I heard the news Zoia had died in Georgia, I returned to Georgia for the funeral, on the day of Zoia’s funeral my own mother died. Between Funerals.
I continue to teach English to private students ranging in age from 6 to over 50 years old. It is an interesting job but not something I planned to do, but I guess that is where my career path has ended.
I haven’t posted as much as I did last year. This blog has seen 75 posts published (this will be 76), last year I published 154. This is my primary blog, but I have two others; one for my hobby of diecast car collecting and the other for book reviews. This blog is primarily for photos but I also use it for my travel stories and anything else that stimulates my writing.
This blog has 298 followers (hi there!), I’d be happy to respond to any feedback or comments. My diecast blog is more of a niche interest, it has far more hits but far fewer followers.
Blog views for this blog (left) and diecast blog (right).
This hasn’t been a great year for travelling but I did finally get to visit Rome, the third of the three cities I considered essential to see in my lifetime (the others being Jerusalem and Istanbul/Constantinople). I also visited the beautiful historic cities of Venice, Florence and Bologna. Rome and the Vatican
In Georgia, I visited Bakhuriani in the winter and Racha in the summer.
Visiting England in July was not for sightseeing.
My Georgian Family
I am happily married to my wonderful wife Khato, we celebrated our seventh anniversary this year. I take my granddaughter, Ana to her teacher most days, as most of my lessons are later in the day. It is still strange being a grandfather, as I was never really a father. I met my stepdaughter, Maka (Ana’s mother) when she was 17, heavily pregnant with Ana and married… too late really to be any kind of father. I see my other grandchildren, Elene and Lazare less often than Ana. Ana is usually here in the week and her siblings stay apart from us with their mother.
I take a lot of photos each day. It is something of a passion. I post some to this blog, on Fridays there is a weekly photo challenge and I usually submit one or more photos to interpret the chosen theme.
Ana with a birthday cake
Facebook and the Internet
Facebook is something of an addiction, I check it first thing in the morning and spend far too much time on the site. I usually have windows open on my computer for Facebook, WordPress, the BBC (my primary source of news) and sometimes Yahoo or Goodreads or Twitter or Google. In the Summer I bought my first smart-phone, a Huawei (not sure what model), so now I can access Facebook on the move, too.
My knowledge of the Georgian Language is still pitiful, I’ve been living in Georgia over 7 years and can’t hold a simple conversation in the language. It will yet again be my New Year’s Resolution to learn the language. I have arranged with a friend for an English-Georgian exchange (next meeting 5 January). I really need to take the learning seriously, if I’d spent as much time learning Georgian as I waste on Facebook, I’d be fine now….
We can’t pick up TV stations, we let our cable subscription lapse after Zoia’s death. I have been watching and enjoying some TV series online: Big Bang Theory, Vikings and Breaking Bad.
Happy New Year to all my readers and followers, I hope 2017 brings you happiness and fulfilment.