So, another year's almost passed us by. Whereas last year was so dominated by the joys of newlywed-ness - so much so that I clearly decided that publishing a review of 2004 was going to impractically require a bucket to be passed round the entire web - this year's been a little more varied in its distractions.
About the first significant event of the year was that I quit my job. It was becoming clear that if I didn't get out, I was going to at least severely maim someone, and that would have been harsh even for those involved. So half way through February I handed in my notice, and a couple of days later "negotiated" my immediate departure with a couple of weeks' pay to keep me happy. I had no great delusions of falling straight into another job but frankly needed the time to think about what I wanted to do in the medium term. But then I got a phone call from a former director of the company I had just left, setting up a new company and wanting my expertise on board. I really shouldn't have been so gullible, because I fell for his smooth talking, and put in a fair number of hours for him before it became clear he was all talk and nothing more. So in the end, I was out of work for almost eight months, before landing a job with a major if somewhat notorious software company. In fact I was offered the job in August but it took until October to sort out essential things like the security clearance I needed, and even then they weren't exactly ready for me on the day I'd agreed I would start... It's not got much better since to be frank, but the pay's all right, the daily commute is in the right direction to avoid too much traffic, and I am fairly hopeful things might begin to improve in the new year.
Then the next significant event was that we sold our house! As I am sure those who have done similarly could have told us, it was by no means as simple a process as it should have been, even with enthusiastic people all the way up and down the (pretty short) chain. So it was about Easter that things started to fall into place, but not until the middle of July that all the solicitors involved were able to pull their fingers out and actually get everyone moved. But it all worked out smoothly enough in the end, and although we didn't hate our old house we were mightily glad to wave it goodbye from our hired Luton van. When we first looked at this new house of ours (not really knowing that we could afford it) we couldn't quite understand the level of desperation on the part of the sellers, wondering what was so wrong with the house that it was so essential that they got out, but having now been through the process ourselves, we can see exactly where they were coming from. When you've got to move, you've got to move... A lot of effort for literally moving round the corner, though - even if we do gain an extra bedroom, a nice garden, a garage and some privacy! But anyway, we've now been here pushing six months, and have now almost got it the way we want it. Thankfully the people before us had good taste and kept it all in good condition so we've not had to get rid of anything much, and things like our living room furniture fitted straight in with the existing decor.
Needless to say, after all this job hunting and house moving, we really were pretty much completely exhausted. So we made what for me was an unusually proactive decision (though perfectly normal for Katy) and booked ourselves a fairly short-notice holiday. Specifically a September cruise up the Norwegian coast, exploring the fjords around Flam and Bergen - with extreme autumnal weather into the bargain! Although we're not sure when or where we would do anything like that again, it was just what the doctor would have ordered, just the right balance between putting our feet up, forced pampering and a liberal dash of sightseeing. It was also just the right level of formality, not too posh but with reasonable expectations especially on the night of the captain's reception. To make it extra fun it so happened that we bumped into some old friends, and we ended up enjoying our five-course meals with them each evening - and narrowly avoided sharing the brig with them for illicit kite-flying!
Somewhere in the midst of all that we found time to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and a couple of birthdays, enjoy quite a few trips to the seaside and to London, and to make a reasonable successful effort at keeping in touch with families and friends. Food and drink played an important part of all that, and this was also the year in which we pushed the boat out a little with regard to our own culinary expertise, and not just when hosting. We've realised - as I am sure our mothers kept trying to explain - that "proper cooking" doesn't have to be complicated and time-consuming, and in fact it's often just as quick as preparing a ready meal or supermarket pizza. We do still sometimes go for those slightly lazier options, but are actually now enjoying being more creative!
There you go: 2005 in five modest paragraphs. Happy Christmas if I don't get a chance to wish you it again, and may 2006 be a year of fulfillment and success.