Looking back at 2013 – the highs, the lows, the tears and laughter

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Well folks, roll on 2014.

I always like to look back over the year – the highs, the lows, the tears and laughter.

I don’t linger long, just dip my toe in, and hopefully learn some lessons from what I’ve experienced.

And then on New Year’s Eve I always pray for the world.

That was the influence of my RC fire and brimstone Scots gran.

She was a spiritual lady, loved everyone, she’d give you her last farthing – remember them folks?

Mind you, me praying for the world? I don’t know who I’m praying to, I’m a bit of a heathen dear.

I’ve still got a 1939 farthing that I found when clearing Ma’s flat earlier this year.

If it hadn’t been for Trucinda la Bomba helping me, I never would have had the strength to do it. Many of you who’ve done the same will understand my heartbreak.

It’s eerie isn’t it, just standing there with your black dustbin bags knowing you’ve got to fill them with 80 years of your mum and dad’s lives.

Although, Trucinda and me did have some laughs when sorting out the collection of b/w and sepia photographs.

They say collect your memories with care, as they will become your best friends when you are old.

Those photos I hugged to my heart.

Anyway lovely News readers, I love meeting you when I’m out and about, and thank you very much for all your kind words.

But back in 2002 it was touch and go whether I’d carry on being a News columnist.

After three columns published, a letter appeared in the readers’ section.

Basically the man asked, couldn’t The News do better than print the tripe written by Heather James?.

I rang features editor Simon Toft in tears. He told me that a columnist’s job was to ‘inform, entertain, ignite and irritate. And if you can’t hack it, get out now’.

So I dried my tears, and here I am more than 10 years later.

I feel very privileged to be a Portsmouth News columnist, so from my heart to your hearts...

A very Happy New Year.