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    « Dumb Diabetes Mistake | Main | Britain's "Diabetes Epidemic" in the News... »

    A Year in Review... Introducing Ian

    Finding an adjective to sum up 2008 isn't easy. The first one that came to mind was "roller coaster". But all things considered, it wasn't much of a roller coaster at all, having, as it did, only one real low point. And that was followed hotly by the biggest high of the year.

    They both came in February. My 16 month relationship with Rob came crashing to an abrupt end in the space of a single phone call. As with the breakup of any relationship that has ever really meant something, it was a painful time.

    Two days later, I trekked up to the Castle Climbing Centre in North London where I met a guy called Ian. We were both in need of a regular climbing partner and so began a friendship that grew through regular sessions battling our way up challenging climbing routes and drinks in the pub afterwards to either celebrate or commiserate our respective successes and failures.

    In the meantime, I took a proactive approach to coping with my new single status. For the first time in my adult life, circumstances came together such that I had the heath and physical ability, the time and the finances to do a lot of things that I'd previously not has an opportunity to.

    I had the chance to catch up with relationships that had suffered through my frequent trips to Liverpool. As I said at the time:

    "I'm living a new, different life. I've done a lot of things in the last six weeks. I've spent more nights at the pub than I should. I've gone out with friends and stayed up all all night to watch the sun rise in the morning. I've stayed out in the rain until I was soaked through to the skin, but had a good time anyway. I've had lunch with two amazing women, one in her eighties and the other in her nineties, both of whom were friends with my grandmother when they were younger than I am now. I've drunk more alcohol than I probably should on more than one occasion. I've aggressively pursued my rock climbing, pushing the grades I can climb, free of fear of not measuring up."

    And I tried new things too. I'd been skiing in Italy and France in the earlier part of the year, for the first time since my catastrophic ankle injury in 2004. In March I swapped two slidy things for one and had a go at snowboarding. Ultimately I think I'm definitely a skier at heart, but it was still great fun to learn. I went powerkiting, and got pretty adept at controlling enormous sheets of silk in a fierce wind. I learned to body-fly (or indoor skydive) in a giant wind tunnel. I took dance classes again for the first time in over ten years.

    In April I went speed dating with a friend for the first time and it actually turned out to be a lot of fun, and would have been even had I not "matched" with someone. We actually met up a few times and this turned out to be the catalyst that pushed me in a clear direction.

    When I met Ian, it was far too soon to think about relationships and our friendship developed uncluttered by even the thought of romantic attraction. I got to simply loving spending time with him. He made me laugh. He listened to everything that I had to say, and amazed me with tales of a year spent travelling.

    I don't really know where it started from, but after my speed date experience, I knew the only person I wanted to be dating was Ian.

    Fortunately for me, he felt the same way.

    "Date" is exactly what we did. Exhibitions (Psycho buildings a big favourite), trips to the theatre (Avenue Q the best show I've seen in a long time) and late night museum visits (Ripley's Believe or Not until almost midnight, believe it or not!)

    We have a lot in common, including a love of photography. In May I finally upgraded my camera and we've spent a lot of time jointly improving our skills.

    The latter half of 2008 also saw a bit of travelling.

    In August Ian and I took our first trip away together and I fulfilled a long held dream to visit Marrakech, which stemmed from my arents tales of a visit there in the 1970's and was intensified when I read Esther Freud's Hideous Kinky some 14 years ago. Marrakech didn't disappoint. We shared the unmade streets in the Medina with donkey carts, dogs and throngs of people. Motorcycles weaved through the crowds, sometimes with a whole family of four perched on the back. We dived into the souks and developed our bartering skills and in the evening wandered through the maze of food stalls that spring up each evening in the Djemaa El Fna as the stall holders battled for our business. It would be wrong to say it wasn't a culture shock, but it was a fantastic weekend.

    In September I took my second trip of the year to Italy with a group of twenty ranging in age from 25 to 80. We stayed in an enormous house which, due to a mix up in booking didn't have quite enough beds! It was a wonderful relaxing week with good food, good wine and great company. It also fired me up for the Italian classes I've been taking this autumn.

    At the end of November Ian and I took the Eurostar to Brussels where we spent an enjoyable weekend exploring the city and the Christmas markets. We encountered a lot of people who spoke no English, but my French held up well enough to get us on the correct train and bus to Liege and back again. We drank a lot of Gluwein, and ate waffles, mussels, steak and fondue, as well as managing to buy a lot of unique Christmas gifts.

    The end of the year has come around alarmingly quickly and I'm shocked to find Ian and I have been together for eight months. As well as all the fun times, he's learned all about lows and highs, pump malfunctions and what it means to live with diabetes. He knows how to check my blood sugar, and seems to know better than me when I'm low.

    Over a meal on New Year's Eve as I fiddled and calculated and was bothered by both my pump and CGM I commented "It's fun this, being with a diabetic, isn't it?".

    Ian shrugged his shoulders and said "It just is."

    There isn't a lot more I can say to that.

    So finally... Whirlwind. This year's been a whirlwind, in terms of how busy it's been. It's also been a whirlwind because this amazing guy walked in to my life.

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    Comments

    Oh Caro, I'm just sitting here smiling that you've found Ian - and he's found you. What a great New Year's post!

    From what I've seen so far, Ian seems like a good match. I'm glad you had a good end to the crappy beginning :).

    It sounds like your year shaped up to be better at the end. You sound at peace. :) I hope 2009 is peaceful and full of blessings for you.

    Sounds like you had a great year!

    We are all very happy for you - and as Cara said, you sound at peace, which is a really great thing that is often taken for granted.

    Wow, I'm so glad you found someone who can just go with the flow -- live with it, as we all do. Congrats, and Happy New Year!

    :) AmyT

    It's great to hear from you. I remember reading your post about your break up and feeling horrible for you.

    Everything happens for a reason.

    Happy New Year!!

    All that we are is the consequence of what we have estimation. Wait… Has anyone exhorted dissertation to you. Keep the articles progressing !

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