Well, what can I say about 2020?
As the whole country teeters towards another national lockdown, is there a new adjective that I can use that has not been used before to describe this unbelievable and unforgettable year?
I started the year separated from wife and family, unemployed and mentally broken. It had to go up from there. A see saw attached to one of Elon Musk’s rockets would be a fitting analogy – preferably not one of the exploding ones.
It was back in February that I did a couple of talks in the University of Scotland. It was memorable in a couple of ways. It was the first one where I had a number of Muslim women who had stopped me after the talk and asked me if it was true that men will get prostate cancer if they don’t get enough sex. The men in the mosque had been telling their wives that lots of sex will stop them from ever developing it.
I laughed long and hard at the men’s ingenuity and one particulars woman’s hand and face gestures regarding her sexual exhaustion.
I will not have made myself popular with the men by telling the women it was complete nonsense. I would finally break the back of a number of uneventful and boring Awareness stands and actually run an Awareness stand that was productive and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have done a couple of virtual talks since but obviously it’s nothing on the real live event.
I got a new job early in March and on the very first day in the office I was told to make sure that I had everything as the office was going into lockdown. That very same Friday the country would go into its first pandemic lockdown. It was a real challenge learning new concepts via Google, YouTube and Zoom during the initial probation period of three months, so it was extended by another three months. It was then that I excelled and secured a permanent role. Then like the rest of the population, I would spend the rest of the year working from home and learning that practically everything could be done virtually.
My little bean head would become a poster for re-imagine and like they didn’t have enough of me I starred in their short video about getting tested during the pandemic. Just had a terrible flashback to the security guard. I hope he did indeed find oil buried deep in his cranium and retired somewhere hot and sunny with the family.
Any talent agents wishing to contact me – I will be unavailable until after the pandemic.
I reminisced on how life was just two short years ago and how I have progressed in that time. I went into hospital and was amazed how loosely pandemic precautions were being actioned. My last PSA reading would reveal that I am officially a ‘fluctuator’ and can expect my PSA readings to rise and fall between tests.
A number of people that I know would catch Covid with varying levels of severity. One was put into an induced coma for six weeks and another would continue to suffer from Long Covid. Other friends thankfully made full recoveries. As a videographer I would sadly attend a couple of funerals where strangers had succumb to it. It’s hard to forget the lack of a final service and how the dead were buried with undignified haste. However, the saddest Covid related events were a well-liked local shopkeeper that died and the tragic passing of Richard. I had interviewed Richard the year before and told the first half of his story this year. I hope to complete the story of his tragic demise early next year.
My radio show continues to go from strength to strength. Next year I will be tackling some even edgier topics and raising eyebrows.
It would also be a year that an old school friend would be given the devastating diagnosis of stage four prostate cancer. I tried reaching out to him on numerous occasions, as I have mentioned in this blog. Finally I had to just accept that he continues to shut everyone out except his immediate family. I have respected his wishes and no longer try to contact him.
Other than the job and staying Covid free the best part of the year was completing another 10k run for prostate cancer. This year the number of runners had grown from five to nine. Many good people that worked at Prostate Cancer UK were let go due to the drop in revenue that all charities have experienced, which was very very sad. I completed the run 5 minutes longer than last year but I didn’t embarrass the brand by falling, not completing the run or crawling across the finish line begging for water or mercy.
I made my last visit to Guys on the 11th of December. I went to have my blood taken for my PSA which I would find out today. The hospital was very different to when I last visited, earlier in the year and the middle of the pandemic. Then it was very much ‘spot the mask’. This time around it was one door for entry and one for exit, arrows on the floor (enforced by a burly security guard), one way around the floor and corridors, hand sanitizers all over the place and almost everyone had masks on. What a difference a few months make eh.
Hot off the press from my virtual appointment that was today at 16.30. My PSA has risen again to 0.07, which is exactly what it was earlier in the year. Not worried at all and they will test again in 3 months.
I intend to start with a happy new year, may yours start the same.
Now get lost.
Not you but that year we are not going to mention by name.