Hello world! Did you all enjoy seeing in the New Year? For me, the start of a new year reminds me of when I was in school, opening up a brand new exercise book full of blank pages ready to be filled. Ah the anticipation! What shall we scribble on the pages? What little gems of wisdom; what delightful sketches of friends old and new; what hilarious incidents to immortalise in print…? It’s all open before us, with that brand new smell and all the potential in the universe at our fingertips. I just hope I don’t add too many smudges, rips and ink blots.

The Old Boy and I saw in the New Year with a few friends, sitting on a deck under a tree full of twinkling fairy lights, sipping tasty beverages, eating corn chips and dips and waving glow sticks. We talked and laughed, sipped our drinks, then talked and laughed some more. Quite a pleasant, civilized and relaxed way to farewell the old and welcome in the new.

During the conversation I discovered that one of my friends knew some people I was friendly with (a rock band: just a local-play-in-pubs-weddings-and-school-dances group), way back in the mumble mumbles, when I was barely in my teens. It stirred up the memory of an incident that has occasionally reared its ugly head to taunt me, down through the years. I had a major crush on one of the band members. I was invited to a birthday party and encouraged by the b/day girl to bring said young man as my date. With great trepidation I asked, he said yes, and – woo hoo – we went to the party. He was then snatched away in front of my eyes by b/day girl’s best friend. I was asked to “make-do” with the jezebel’s discarded boyfriend. I left the party, shattered, disillusioned and confused. I didn’t blame the lad: we weren’t officially an item and the girl was very pretty. However, I was hurt by the complete disregard for my feelings. I felt used and betrayed by the b/day girl. I told her I fancied the lad and she said, “Why would he want you when he could have her?” Why indeed?

Anyway, I’ve never forgotten it and it still had the power to wield a little pain. Then, talking about the rock band with my friend on New Year’s Eve, I suddenly realised I couldn’t remember the guy’s name! Why should I allow this memory to haunt me? “Should auld acquaintance be forgot…?” Sometimes, YES. As for the b/day girl/the betrayer, our “friendship” faded away within months after the party. So, brrrpppp! to her, as well. There, I shake the bad memory from my mind once and for all.

Now, beginning the year with the diagnosis of cancer isn’t the best way to start off but there are worse things. Even the diagnosis made me chuckle: I have breast cancer in my rib! Isn’t that odd? Anyway, according to my doc, if there is any sort of cancer to get then I’ve got the best kind: non-aggressive, extremely localised, and controllable with medication. Okay, it’s not curable, but there are plenty of other things that could take me out first: earthquake; tsunami; mountain-climbing; sky-diving; an attack by feral mutant ninja turtles…

2012 is the year to make new memories; good memories; happy memories; worth-hanging-on-to memories. What are you going to do?