2016. What a year.
A year notable mainly for the roster of esteemed celebrities who chose to shuffle off this mortal coil, starting with David Bowie and ending with George Michael via Prince, Leonard Cohen and Hilda Ogden.
Fortunately, my own 2016 was rather less eventful.
In fact, my 2016 looked almost exactly like its predecessor, give or take the continuous development of the little guy who, incidentally, visited his tenth country at the ripe old and of three – “and a half!” – and informed me that he’d be relocating to Spain, via Australia and Germany, on his fourth birthday.
I’ve applied for a deferral.
Actually, travel was responsible for most of last year’s highlights: Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Spain again, Hungary and Germany. All fun, interesting trips … although, it has to be said, not always particularly restful.
When we travel in company, it’s a joy. But I’ve discovered that solo travel with a ‘threenager’ has its drawbacks: small humans tend to throw tantrums when it’s least appropriate and are guaranteed to fall asleep just before the plane lands, leaving you to haul a slumbering sack of potatoes – plus your handbag, your 10kg backpack, their mini-backpack and assorted hats, coats and gloves – down extremely narrow aircraft steps. Bonus points if you manage to pick up the pram from below the aircraft without dropping the infant.
Oh, and there’s no lift to the terminal so I hope you’re good with carrying that lot up the stairs?
Truly, I am a beast of burden.
Anyway, travel aside, the biggest excitement of 2016 has been buying a house. Well, waiting to buy a house. And not a whole house. Obviously.
(In this city? On a single salary? Don’t make me laugh.)
Actually, I’ve been waiting to buy the darned thing – that is, 30% of a shared ownership flat – since June. But here we are in January and … fingers crossed we’ll be done before February, or else the little guy and I will find ourselves sitting on a pile of boxes in the middle of the street.
But what of romance, I hear you ask. Did the fat little fella with a bow and arrow make a last-minute appearance, saving 2016 from the designation of romantic wasteland?
Reader, he did not.
Sure, the Phantom Texter popped up from time to time, promise much and delivering … um … absolutely nothing. But when that’s the romantic highlight of the year, you can be sure that it was a pretty poor vintage.
Actually, last year was possibly the most romantically bereft period of my life. No one notices a mum with a kid. And, let’s face it … if I’m not at work, I’m with the kid.
Not that I hold the little guy responsible in any way. He starts conversations with anyone and everyone – regardless of age, colour or gender – and many a happy exchange has been the result of his chatty nature. I just need him to focus his efforts on single men of a certain age and demeanour.
And here’s the rub: I just don’t know any single men.
Few friends from my single era remain, and every single one of my mummy friends is happily married. Single men are entirely outside my sphere of existence. I probably have a better chance of winning the lottery than meeting my other half.
But I should hate to think I have yet another year of singledom ahead. Sure, I get along fine on my own, but a partner in crime would be nice … if only to help me carry the kid off the plane. (I jest.)
So join me as I raise a glass to the nascent year, and cross your fingers too. Surely there’s someone out there for someone like me?
I guess I’ll have to wait and see.