Thursday, 29 December 2016

2016 in review (it was not all bad) and my hopes for 2017

My favourite photo of 2016 - Cornwall with Mum
It seems that the vast majority of people can't wait to say goodbye to 2016 and hope that 2017 brings more happy times. I have spent the last few months coming to terms with losing my mother to bowel cancer. With her diagnosis in 2012 began a four and a half year battle with this awful illness that sadly ended on August 29th when Mum peacefully passed away. Of course the event defines my year and it will not be a year that I look back on as one of my happiest.

However it was not all doom and gloom. The above photo of me with Mum was taken in Cornwall just a week or so before her health began to decline. This is how I remember Mum. A lovely warm and kind woman with a touch of eccentricity about her... 

So I thought I would take a brief pictorial look back on the good times I had in 2016...

My brother Noel's birthday on New Year's Day
My 50th birthday February 21st
Selling Lives & Times at Beating Bowel Cancer 2016 Patient Day
Henley Royal Regatta
The Lives & Times silk screen print by Adam Green has raised lots of funds for Beating Bowel Cancer
Celebrating Mum's 80th birthday shortly before she passed away
I try not to set myself too many new year resolutions. For 2017 I do have some hopes and aspirations. Top of my list is the health of Storm, one of the dogs in the Cornwall photo heading this blog post. Shortly before Christmas she was diagnosed with Lymphoma. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy and even at this early stage is proving herself to be a true cancer warrior. 

During 2017 I am continuing work on the next fundraising book for Beating Bowel Cancer. It is early days with three people photographed so far, which leaves around 50 or so more photos to do. I am not setting myself a strict timescale to complete the book as I want it to be the very best it can be. My gut feeling is it's more likely to be finished during 2018. 

I am still looking for another 15 or so celebrities to come on board and complete the line up. I have big decisions to make about work. Do I continue with the family business or try something new? Finally yet another year has passed with no sign of the future Mrs Darvell appearing, so it would be nice if 2017 saw some kind of romantic development. I think after what has happened during 2016 romance was always rather unlikely. Maybe now is the time for a new chapter to begin...

What 2016 has shown me in absolute abundance is the value of wonderful friendships. The support through all the difficult times has been amazing and I have probably made more new friendships and connections this year than I have ever done. Over £3000 has been raised for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity through sales of the book and print on my website. The generosity of everyone continues to surprise me and is s very heartwarming. In a world where there is so much bad news you don't have to look too far to find an awful lot of goodness still in so many people.

So I wish everyone a very happy 2017 in advance and may as many of your hopes and dreams come true as is possible.

Please keep following this blog to see how the new book progresses.

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