Well, I don't often agree with Tom Harris, as you might remember. However, we have found some common ground. My world is polarising at the moment, into two camps. Those who believe that a new decade starts tonight and those, like Tom and I who believe that, actually, the new decade starts at the end of 2010.
The advantage of the latter position, of course, is that you get to celebrate twice. Tonight with everyone else and again next year.
Anyway, I should probably leave this post until next year, but I won't, for reasons I'll show you, but this, shockingly is the fifth time I've seen a 9 year turn over into a 0 year. That's bound to get me all nostalgic, so I thought I'd look back at those five occasions and how my life was at that stage.
1969 kind of passed me by. I was only two and a half after all.
1979 was the start of a long, dark, scared period of my life. We'd moved from Inverness to Wick in the Summer and I started High School barely knowing anybody, which was quite tough. Already I was being bullied and just didn't have the skills to deal with it. I was far away from two of the greatest sources of light in my life, my Granny and Grandma, who were still in Inverness. Going from seeing at least one of them several times a week to barely ever was horrible.
Those years were desperate in many ways. I'm fairly certain now that I was clinically depressed for at least the first few years of the 80s. There were times when things were so dark that I seriously, and secretly, contemplated suicide. I guess being in that state didn't endear me to anyone which just exacerbated the problem. Thankfully, when I was in third year at school, I met some really super, lifelong friends and that helped but I'd say it's only really in the last 10 years that I've felt free of the shadow that period in my life cast. Why am I writing this now? I guess to say to anyone else in that position as a lonely, miserable teenager who can't see a future for themselves is to have hope that all will be well. I never thought that I'd ever be happy and I am. I'm glad I didn't give up.
It wouldn't seem right to leave out the song of the moment which touched a chord with me. It's also the reason why this post has to be this year as it specifically mentions ten years' time at the end of '89.
One thing I do remember about Hogmanay 1979 is saying, much to my parents' disapproval, that by the end of the new decade, I'd probably be married. As it happened, I was right. Given the circumstances, I think it was something of a miracle that I found someone as good, kind and decent as my husband.
1989 was another time of transition. We'd married in August 1988 and almost immediately made a short lived move to Ayrshire. No sooner had we unpacked than it was clear that my husband was going to lose his job. We had to move again, much further afield this time, to Nottinghamshire. We made what I think we both acknowledge was a huge mistake by buying a house on the edge of a village when I didn't drive. At the time of the New Year, we'd literally just moved into our house and a friend I'd made herself moved away. I have to say that I really didn't like the area and pined for Scotland. It was an unsettling time, but during the 90s I made lots of friends and got more and more involved in the Liberal Democrats to the extent where it completely took over my life.
From 1999 it all gets a lot better. Anna had been born in June and she was a very happy, smiley, chuckly baby. I bought her an ultra cute blue and red velour Winnie the Pooh Christmas outfit which she just about wore out. Our hopes for the Year 2000 were that we'd be able to move back up to Scotland. Bob was applying for all sorts of jobs. Our wishes came true in March 2000 and we've been here ever since.
And now, at the end of 2009 we have a bright, sparky 10 year old who is very individual, confident and independent in a way that neither of us were. We've certainly put a lot of thought into creating the conditions for her to develop that way. I never wanted her to doubt, even for a second, and even when she's strayed from the path of righteousness, shall we say, that she's loved, no matter what. Tonight, we plan to be celebrating with the lovely people on our street. We're lucky to have absolutely the best friends in the world and whether they're with us tonight, or far away across the UK and the World, we'll be thinking of them.
Whether it's the end of a decade or not doesn't really matter, although it's fun to argue the point. Wherever you are reading this, I hope that 2010 is happy, healthy and peaceful.