There is no doubt that 2015 has been one of the most turbulent in my entire life. Apart from the political nonsense, the new wars, the refugee crisis and the threat of terrorism (which is less fear of the terrorists than the way we respond to it), there has been illness, some of it sudden and, for a while, terrifying. There have been two house moves. There has been a retirement, with a lot of upheaval to finances, time-management and use of space in the house.
And now we are at the other side. Those of us who need it have found sensitive and effective care from the NHS, those of us who need it have found more space to live richer and more independent lives (though I can see that 2016 may well be the year of DIY). One grand-daughter has learned the potential of singing, and the other has started to explore what you can do with talking.
And as for poetry, this year has been a stunner. In summer I won the Poetry Scotland Haibun Competition.
In August my poem Iris was highly commended in the William Soutar Poetry Competition.
In September The Territory of Rain came out, and was launched at the Callander Poetry Weekend, amongst many of my lovely poetry friends. It was a wonderful occasion, made extra special by the fact that my husband had just come out of hospital and was able to be there.
And just last week, at the Tinsel Tales event in GOMA Glasgow, the Federation of Writers (Scotland) named me their Makar for the year 2016. This is a tremendous honour, which has been granted in previous years to outstanding writers such as AC Clarke, Anne Connolly and Colin Will. I have not yet seen the pictures, so can’t share them here, but I am looking forward to doing my best for the Federation in the year to come.
And now the shopping and the cleaning has been done, and the presents are being wrapped. There are mince pies to make, and all the trimmings for the big dinner, so before I disappear into the holiday haze of spice and evergreen and oranges that fills the house this time of year, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas, and an exciting, creative and fulfilling new year.