It’s been a running joke that 2016 was a pretty awful year in pop culture and politics, and unfortunately it wasn’t much better for me on a personal level.
Of course there were good times too: a fantastic family camping trip in in summer, two interesting and fun contracts at the University of Manchester, trips to the science festival and climbing, a couple of adventures in the Peaks and lakes, plus some fond RSPB memories from the start of the year.
But lovely as those were, they were all overshadowed by my step father being diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, the repercussions from our house being burgled a few days before Christmas 2015, my three month trip to monitor prairie dogs in Canada being cancelled, a moderate foot injury that made keeping fit difficult, and my mum separating from her husband.
Thankfully, despite how bleak it looked initially, the cancer turned out to be lymphoma rather than lung cancer as they’d first suspected. So while it was extensive throughout his body, after 6 months of chemotherapy he was given the all clear. Of course life will never be the same for Anthony, not least due to the physical affects from such a strong therapy, but also the mental effects of having been faced with his own mortality – still, it was a massive relief.
I’m hopeful that 2017 will be better (at least on a personal level), not because I believe that last year was cursed, or from some misplaced optimism, but because I will make it better. I’ve already got a few fun things lined up, like archery lessons for my birthday.
Here’s a few snapshots from the year, including camping for a friends birthday, a short trip to Wales, some creative Christmas crafting, and family camping.