Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Amsterdam Diary: Out with the old, in with the new!

The cats are holed up in the house, safe from the cracking and banging of fireworks outside. Zaandam has sounded like a far off war zone since 10am this morning. I'm looking forward to the fireworks display outside after midnight when we welcome in the new year.
 
The one benefit of being an Irishman in the Netherlands is that you get to celebrate the New Year on the double, once at midnight, and again at 1am with my far off friends and family in Ireland. It's a chance to restart 2014 if you mess it up first time around!
 
At times, 2013 has felt a little like it overstayed its welcome, and more than once this year I asked "is it over yet!" There was just a few too many bumps and challenges along the road for my liking! If I could sum up 2013, it would be an obstacle course of challenges and surprises, some more pleasant than others, and yet with every low, there was never a high too far down the road to lift the spirit and invigorate you for the next bump.
 
I'm a planner and something of a Mr. Predictability. 2013 was like Forest Gump's Box of Chocolates - you just never knew what you'd be biting into next. I published books this year I never imagined or conceived this time last year, and yet several books I was sure would see the light of day before the year's end, never got past the planning or editing stages - running a small business and everyday life always took precedence.
 
I crossed two continents and tread footsteps in four different countries during 2013. I couldn't have done it without the support and encouragement of family and good friends. 2013 was first and foremost about people, not places or material things, renewed acquaintances, closer friendships and new Dutch friends - thank you Esther, Bill and Amber.
 
We also bid a reluctant farewell to Koos, gone to play upon that big drumkit in the sky. We hope justice in 2014 will see that he is treated with a kinder hand than he was in the final months of his life.
 
Tonight, I won't do what I vowed I would do so many months ago, and slam the door shut on 2013. I'll close it respectfully, and be thankful that's all done with now.2014 is full of partnership, projects and new beginnings, and I'm looking forward to the journey, whatever it brings, maybe even abook or two into the mix!
 
Time to do what we do best...
 
Let's roll together.
 
Happy New Year to all.

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