Over the last 12 months a lot of things have happened, one of the most significant being the passing of my father who finally succumbed to cancer last November.
The fight in earnest had started back in 2012 when he was informed the prostate cancer he had lived with for 15 years had moved into the bones. We had always known that it would come down to this but in the Autumn of 2013 it seemed to go through a step change. After two different types of chemo and a round of suppressive drug threapy things started to deteriorate with diagnosis of a brain tumour. With the help of Marie Curie Cancer Care he continued to take life day by day, usually up beat with humerus banter with the nursing staff and visitors alike. One friend said at his memorial that my Dad had shown him how to live life to the full with humour and kindness, but had also shown him how to die with dignity and without remorse.
Over the brief Summer weeks my Mum and Dad had their 50th Wedding Anniversary, which allowed for many friends and family to meet up and gather, in some case for the first time in many years. It was a good time and I think my Dad was happiest that he had managed to make to this significant milestone.
On a personal view, I enjoyed taking a road trip through Europe to Lake Garda in Italy with my family. Covering over 1500 miles and visiting 5 countries. Having the opportunity to cycling in the high Alps around Le Grande Bornand, drinking espresso at 8am waiting for the boat on the shores of Lake Garda will stick in my mind. And of cause riding with the Garmin-Sharp boys Dan Martin and Steele von Hoff in the New Forest.
So now moving into 2014 I'm looking forward to guiding my children through some key phases of their childhood as they near the end of school life, taking my wife away to Venice for more Italian style, getting out on my bike more to hopefully race and raise some funds those that helped my Dad through his last few weeks.
Me and Dan, picture by Steele :D