Very soon we will reach the end of 2011. It’s been an interesting year for me.
To start off the year, my whole family went back to Hong Kong. This was mainly for my sister as she hadn’t gone back to Hong Kong since she married so she needed to sort of officially introduce my brother-in-law to all the uncle and aunts we have (same goes for my brother-in-law). I think this was very much needed after what the family went through just before Christmas. I also visited Japan for two weeks on my own (finally). I felt that if I leave it again, I will end up not going at all, so I was determined to go. I visited Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kobe, Hiroshima, Miya Jima, Kyoto and Iga Ueno. I was also able to meet up with some friends whom I haven’t seen in a while too. It was an amazing experience and I’d definitely want to go there again.
Work was very busy, since the move to marketing I’ve had to start taking on more responsibilities and also did my first video for the company. An induction video to be watched by all the new starters. Many people left, many people joined… it’s also the last year we’ll be at this current office.
Kendo was full of ups and downs this year. At the beginning, everything was going well; I managed to place in a few competitions, attended various Kendo related activities and also had a chance to look deeper into Katori Shinto Ryu. I attained my Nidan at the Watchet Kendo grading in May. But I also took a lot of time off from Kendo due to work and surprisingly, illness. When I was finally ready to get back into practicing, our training session times had to be changed due to construction work and we only had one practice a week. Towards the end of the year, the situation worsened – our practice and end of year taikai were both cancelled. We are due to move into the new hall (which is supposed to be very nice) for our kangeiko so I’m really looking forward to practicing again.
I don’t usually talk about driving but I’ve had some fun driving experiences this year. Driving on the motorway in the middle of the night with poorly lit roads was new. It was difficult to see where the lanes were. The very same night I had to drive through a country lane in the dark (pitch black). The speed limit for the road was 50MPH, but due to poor visuals and unfamiliarity of the road layout, I did about 35MPH – the locals(?) tailgated me for driving too slow. Another scary encounter was when I was driving home from Birmingham after a Kendo competition. It rained so hard that my wipers didn’t actually clear the view for me. I’m surprised I didn’t have an accident (I did nearly hit a bridge though). Driving an ancient camper van also tested my driving skills. Driving it on the motorway where the speed limit is 70MPH when I can only do about 50MPH tops was funny. Maneuvering the van in a tight space at an event was crazy too.
My gaming collection also expanded again. My favourites at the moment has got to be BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II, Final Fantasy XIII, Gears of War 3, King of Fighters XIII and Dishwasher (yes, it’s an actual game!). I’ve also spent a lot of time during the Christmas period to attain achievements too – which was something to do really.
This year, I also met someone who I will never forget. She had an amazing personality, was very popular and a brave person. Having grown up facing similar challenges, she was someone (outside of my family) that I could relate to, someone close. One time I walked her to the bus stop and I told her that I really liked her and wanted to be more than just a friend but unfortunately, she was already seeing someone. She asked if we could still be friends – she looked very unhappy, a face I didn’t want to see. So I stupidly smiled and replied “of course we’re still friends”. The rest of the walk to the bus stop was quite painful. I had to pretend I was ok and smile all the time. Just before we arrived at the bus stop, she told me that she was afraid that I won’t speak to her again. I could only smile back and tell her I’m ok and that I will still be her friend as long as she wanted to. After that night, I did a lot to try and stay friends and I tried to show her that. She also went to great efforts to see me too. But secretly, I still wanted her, I still wanted to be with her, I wanted to become closer to her. We were supposed to meet up during my trip to Japan, but because of her work situation and where she was living, this wasn’t possible. I still see some of her updates from my facebook page sometimes. It’s good to see she’s enjoying life fully and that she’s still smiling. She’s seems very happy at the moment. So in a way, I’m happy, yet unhappy. I don’t want her to forget about me, but I think she already has.
Good bye 2011