I’m not going to lie to you Marge, 2011 was atrocious. The initial shock and enduring sadness of my split with my girlfriend after almost 6 years together has been the most prevalent detail of the last year and I am not at all sad to see it off into the distance behind me. While I initially struggled to cope with life on my own in a foreign city, there was some ebb and some flow. Though in retrospect, I’m sure I should apologise for my capriciousness, the year did hold some occasional moments of happiness or achievement that, if I chose to look on the bright side, helped me through the arduous times.
In February, my brother and his wife had a beautiful little girl, called Charlotte. I am now an Uncle. I travelled back to Scotland in March to visit and to meet her for the first time and I fell in love with the wee thing. When I returned to Warsaw, and I mean that quite literally, Asia and I split and my life turned inside out for a while. By April I was living in my own little flat in the centre of Warsaw and had decided, mid-term at least, to stay. I spent my evenings practising piano, reading or meeting friends in cafes. I don’t remember too much of the first few months of single life but I do remember, I suppose as a reaction to living on my own and to the split itself, that I started to diet and to exercise – losing just over 20kg (3 stone) since then with only a few more to go before I get to the target I set for myself.
In May, I sat an ABRSM piano exam and passed with merit, before – regrettably – barely touching the instrument for the next few months as I concentrated on DJ sets and shows. Summer passed far too quickly and in early autumn I had trips to Qatar, Orlando, Scotland and Iceland before starting back with my piano teacher in October. Since then, I’ve done little but concentrate on piano, preparing for my next exam and doing everything I can to bounce up through the grades quickly without, of course, compromising on technique and what I still have to learn.
In December, I spent another week in Scotland for my niece’s first Christmas and both good and bad things, expected and unexpected happened. Par for the course while spending Christmas at home. I did, however, get to see Airdrie United play a match away at Forfar Athletic where we won 2-3 with a last minute goal, and I “saw in the bells” at the O2 Academy with the amazing 2 Many DJ’s before coming back to Warsaw the next day – never happier than to sit at the piano again.
Drawing a line under 2011 isn’t difficult and I’m glad it’s in the past but while it almost seems masochistic, I don’t want to forget this year for the lovely things that did happen. I do, very much though, hope that 2012 is filled with a little more to make me happy than its predecessor was. Certainly it has started positively and save for the poorly timed New Year news of the inevitable new man in my ex’s life – and the heavy heart felt thereafter, I feel strangely optimistic. I’m enjoying piano more than I think I ever have – spending 3 to 4 hours daily at the keyboard and while I expect 2012 to be a year of study in technique and improvement, I want to see a progression in my grasp of music theory and composition also.
When 2012 draws to a close, I’d like to feel I’ve done more with the year than I did with the last. Of course, 2012 is the year of Poland and Ukraine’s hosting of the EUFA European Championships so summer is certainly going to be interesting anyway but I would like to explore Poland more and enjoy Warsaw’s cultural life more (and to that end, I’m plan to see at least one show each month at the Filharmonia). I want to spend more time in cafes reading books. I’d like to see my friends more and, besides the passive search for the girl of my dreams, I’d like to meet new people to spend some of my time with.
I seem to say this every year but I hope to spend more time writing for this blog and in 2012, I plan to write more about the music I’ve listened to, the films I’ve watched and the books I’ve read. I will write more about experiences of being in Poland and any trips around the country, or indeed the world, I might have. Inevitably though, I expect, will concentrate on my piano studies and my attempts to compose – both successful and unsuccessful.
For now though, it’s time to end this unexpectedly personal post and simply say to anyone reading, “Have a happy new year and an amazing 2012″.