Sticking to our theme of resolutions for this meeting; this cliché has been lifted from a rather dark poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson that was published in 1850.  It has been recited annually at the national New Year celebrations in Sweden since 1897. 

New Year is a great chance to reflect on what has been, what you have learnt from what you have done this year and what things you might do differently in the new one.  Whilst there may be dark and sinister things in your immediate history that you might want to reflect on, for the purpose of this table topic session we are going to take a light hearted look at the year just past.  Which of the following would you have been happy giving a 2 minute impromtu speech about?

In February – I went snowboarding for the first time ever!  Never, Never again!  This girl is not a one plank snow fan.  This year we are planning a trip to Bled on the safety of two planks.  What was your big waste of time last year and what are you going to do about it?

In March I got a big black gypsy cat called Jack – he was a rescue that came into my life when poor Angus our chocolate lab puppy died of a bladder tumour.  Jack’s had four homes prior to mine and like me, he now spends a significant proportion of time with suit case packed in the car somewhere between Hythe andWeymouth.  What or who came into your life this year when you needed it?

In August I went to Zsiget in Budapest for a week long rock festival there was a downside to this as we took Dave’s two teenage kids.  Never, ever doing that again but the event was just brilliant!  – What have you enjoyed that you have never done before and wished you’d had when you were younger?

I’m a big fan of live shows; whether that is music or theatrics.  And throughout the year I have seen quite a few different shows.  In October I saw the biggest badest blues band and the dancer and the devil at a tiny theatre in Dorchester.  I’d forgotten how much I like the intimacy of a small show where you can see the whites of the actors eyes. What did you do this year that you’d forgotten how much you liked and what are you going to do to ensure it isn’t forgotten again this year?

Finally in December, I did the 10th speech in the competent communicator’s manual – some of you may remember!!  For me, with some considerable rewriting, this was my biggest achievements of the year: coming in on time and without notes.  I am so looking forward to starting the speciality speeches to hone the skills some more.  What did you conquer this year and what are you going to do with those skills?

Lang May Yer Lum Reek – long may your chimney smoke.

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