This old thing? A fiver in Penneys. Now, down to business…
1. Yes. Everyone is alive and well.
2. Yes. You will get a job. In March. A year’s contract. You’re not enamoured by it, but it’ll do till you move.
3. No. You don’t move. Sorry. You still have plenty of those intense late-night discussions about it. You both vow to make 2015 the now or never moment. Future happiness depends on it. You both learn it the hard way.
4. She is thriving. You still can never quite believe she is yours, and frequently wonder aloud if you’ll still be following her around in her 20’s telling her how much you love her.
5. A million miles an hour.
6. A cross between Herman Monster and Dora the Explorer. She wouldn’t sit still.
7. He is the same calm self. Healthier, and running like Forrest Gump through the town every other day. He’s in a new job with more variety. It’s back in the city so he’s less isolated.
10. No. It doesn’t happen for you both. C’mon…you know the odds are low. But you do make peace with it.
11. You are both fine. He will prove his love many times as you encounter a few rogue horizons before finally hitting the seabed you’ve been hovering above. You’re rising with a wave of hope on the cusp of January 2015. Can’t you feel it? Make it last.
12. They are well. The situation with your brother took its toll on them but they have come out the other side intact.
13. He is steadier on his feet. He meets someone who is also on the rebound. It’s over by Christmas but he has learned a new definition of affection, and everyone is relieved the children seem happier and settled. There is talk of them getting back together but a seat remains empty at the Christmas dinner table.
14. No. The fridge-light remained your enemy but you’re back in respect with your body and relying on looking after it to ensure number 4 is realised. See number 11.
15. Treatment is successful. You meet in September and it will feel like only yesterday. Reconstructive surgery is scheduled for Spring 2015. She will articulate her trauma and reconciliation with a new future in a way that leaves you stunned and full of admiration in equal measure.
16. Yes. You begin to write again. On a blog. You agonise over what to call it and regret it shortly after. You blog about this and that. Waffle mostly. Family life. The North. Whatever annoys or moves you. Sometimes both simultaneously. Many more hours are given over to reading the blogs of others. Some know you’re writing it, but only a few are given the link.
17. Yes! You’ve managed to keep it going after 9 months. Take a bow.
18. Do you really have to ask? Of course you’re a ridiculous procrastinator. The number of books on your bedside locker has doubled. Consistent with the number of those gathering dust.
19. No Electric Picnic this year I’m afraid. And before you get excited at the prospect of the following year – a family member has only gone and announced their wedding plans for the same weekend. You console yourself with some fist chewing. On the plus side you get a ticket to Body & Soul for 2015. It comes like a golden ticket tucked inside of a bar of Green & Black’s on Christmas morning.
20. You only manage a handful. John Grant. John Murry. Neil Young. Joan As Policewoman. John Fullbright.
21. No contest. John Grant doing a cover of Abba’s Angel Eye’s at The Olympia with yer man from Villagers. You pray to God Sinead excuses herself from that one. Then listen to it 14 times in a row when it’s uploaded on youtube.
Musical moment of the year
22. Yes. He comes out. You both hear about it via text driving to Dundalk on a Saturday afternoon. You cry a little with relief and curse that he has to do it at all. Everyone loves him as before. His Dad momentarily wonders if he could’ve done something different before his daughters tell him to cop on.
23. Hardly. What do you think? *arches brow*
24. A wee baby boy!
25. It sadly ended in miscarriage.
26. Not enough. You miss your friends more than ever.
27. Just one. A kindred soul in work you click with immediately. She is hastily pushed out of her agency contract but you stay in touch.
28. A little.
29. Does a new second-hand car count?
30. No. Not even London. A staycation by the sea. Get your passport renewed – it’s due to expire next April. You’ll finally be able to replace the photo of you grossly hung over. You’ll probably look exactly the same when you add on the ten intervening years.
31. Three penalty points. For texting on the straight from Belfast. Numpty.
32. Well, you agree to be a witness at the wedding of a couple you’ve never met before in January. The other witness is a fellow poster on the same forum who turns out to be just as funny and sound as she was while entertaining you on the message board. You both agree it’s surreal. But a laugh. Oh and you eventually abandon the message-board. You haven’t time what with the blogging and the box-sets and making lists of things to do that rarely get done.
33. Mild suspicion of your uncharacteristic optimism.
34. Paralysis. Rogue horizons. Therapeutic outlets. Determination. In that order.
34. Hmmm. Be Brave & Believe by Declan O’Rourke, or Glacier by John Grant.
35. For the love of Christ. I can’t see that far ahead. Now bugger off.