525,600 minutes..

Glen Waverley, Australia

Well, it’s New Years Eve and I’m currently sitting in my underwear in the living room. My neighbour is doing the dishes and giving me strange looks. Hello. I hope you’re enjoying the view.

So, 2013.. what a year it’s been.

Every year, like a broken record, I always say..

“Wow, this year’s been eventful. Let’s hope next year will be a better one.”

It’s true, isn’t it? Every year, something bad happens.

I have an app on my mobile called Timehop. It’s brilliant. It tells you what you said on this day a year ago, two years ago, and so on. Today, I got this.

‘2012.. what a year. I spent the first 30 minutes of 2012 getting shot at by the police in Barcelona with Sophie, my mother took cancer by the balls and chopped it off, my uncle Umesh got an O.B.E., I gave up smoking, we went to see Steps in Dublin, I did the marathon, Grace gave birth to Niamh, I moved in with my two gay boys Lee and Mark, my mother performed at Shakespeare Globe theatre, Holly gave birth to James, Lydia gave birth to Emily, we had the Jubilee, Olympics and the Paralympics, Sarah-Jane FINALLY got married, road trip in Spain. Laura gave birth to Noah, I got another tattoo and celebrated my wife Caroline’s 30th in London. 😉

Those were the life changing moments this year for me, my family and friends.
I’ve also enjoyed the little moments with my friends; finding new places to eat, drink and be merry, making hoax calls, fighting on the sofa, telling my friend’s children that if they hit me one more time I’ll hit them back, sending naked photos to each other, cuddling, cinema dates, stabbing each other with chopsticks, texting, arguing about the smallest things because we care, and most of all, the new people I’ve met on the way – you all know who you are.
Bring on 2013.’

Sounds like 2012 was a great year for me, wasn’t it?


It was also a hard year for me. BUT instead of choosing to reflect on the bad times, I chose to reflect on the good times.

If I had to choose defining moments that happened this year, I would say it would be Vitalis death, nan nearly dying and moving to Australia.

These aren’t exactly ‘happy’ moments, but they were moments where I had the utmost clarity and perspective on life.

I wrote this when Vitalis was in the hospital.

‘When you kiss the forehead of a beautiful man in a coma, you start to see life a bit differently. You become more aware of your surroundings. You start to see the details on a wandering leaf blowing by. You notice the gentle breeze on your face. You notice your hands, lips and your body moving. You notice the hubbub of conversations, people walking past you, with no idea what’s going on in each other’s heads at that exact moment. But most of all, you notice a huge gaping hole in your heart – that’s where you’re aching. Make no mistake, you will ache several times throughout your lifetime. Yes, it hurts.. it’s horrible, but it also reminds you that you’re alive. Take that pain, and use it as the driving force to make sure that you live your life to the full. Throw caution to the wind and set sail.’

He was a wonderful man who had such passion for life. Those who know him very well will agree with me. Those who didn’t know him very well, will still agree with me.

When nan nearly died, the whole family rushed to the hospital, trying to see her before she went into the operating theatre. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it in time, and I can honesty say that those couple hours, sitting the ICU waiting room, waiting to hear if she would be ok, was one of the hardest few hours of my life.

Thankfully, she made it through.

The next day, I sat down with her and wrote this.

‘Last night, my nan had to undergo a life-threatening operation otherwise she would’ve died within 24 hours. I’m pleased to say I’ve just had a 2 hours long conversation with her about how I know I’m actually secretly her favourite grandchild, that she needs to quieten down because she’s in the ICU and doesn’t realise she’s actually shouting instead of talking, telling me about how the doctor said she was a young lady, and replying with, “I’m not young and I’m not a lady – in fact, I’m foul.”..
But mostly we talked about love. She said that money, possessions, and all that, weren’t important, as long as you had love. “Find a girl. A good girl, who you love, trust and makes you happy, and marry her. Because when things goes wrong, if you lose everything or if someone dies, it’s less painful . Because you’ve got someone to help you through it. That’s what love does.”

So.. do whatever makes you happy, throw yourself out of your comfort zone, meet new people, enjoy life and most of all – be genuine, because you never know who would love the person you’re hiding.’

My nan is 80 years old. She’s lived through the war, lost her sister to smallpox, her father died when she was 12 years old. She also lost another sister to cancer and her husband of 50 years died.

Believe me, this woman has known pain. But do you know what the funny thing is?

You wouldn’t know it.

She’s a ray of ******* sunshine, she is.

If you ask her what she’s most proud of? She’ll definitely say..

“My family.”

It doesnt’ matter what we’ve done or achieved – it’s the fact that we’re all here, the memories we’ve made, the memories we’ll make, and the fact we’re making the most of what we have. The same goes for my mum. She has known pain – but she still soldiers on. I’ve known pain, and I still soldier on.

Do you know why?

Life is short. (well, actually it’s probably one of the longest thing you’ll ever do, but, you know..)

You can wallow in sadness and reflect on the sad things that have happened. OR you can acknowledge that it happened, take the pain, and like I said earlier on, use it as the driving force to make you live your life to the full.

I’m doing that – I’m living in Australia.

Every year, my new year resolution is always the same.. have fun.

525,600 minutes.. a year. Don’t waste a minute.

Happy New Year everyone.


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