2011 was an annus horribilis for me. It all started at the surprise birthday thrown for me, with balloons, cards and all the usual paraphernalia informing me that I was 60 years old. For some inextricable reason unbeknown to me, I reacted very badly at this news, and felt very depressed and alienated for the entire year..

I seemed to wake up to the reality that I was now officially an OAP. How did it happen that I was now living in the UK after more than 20 years? The shock of losing the printed Positive Health magazine business in Sept 2008, along with the ill-judged and forced cliff-edge decision to sell my house in Portsmouth, not realizing that by the time my partner Mike and I moved to Ramsgate that we would no longer be considered credit worthy to obtain another mortgage - that all the rules of the game had changed.

Another strange feeling that came upon me was an increasing feeling of loss of any Jewishness around me. My partner isn't Jewish and there isn't a reasonable sized Jewish community in Thanet. What is worse, I didn't feel motivated enough about making the effort of going to Jewish functions on my own. Despite that fact that I am not observant, it appears that being Jewish is very important indeed, but beyond my means to hob-nob and meet like-minded people in Ramsgate.

Of course, being tied to the over-present obligations of Positive Health PH Online doesn't help with virtually no spare time, always the looming deadline and crushing workload.

Mike injured himself probably through over-stretching and had a hernia which was operated upon in Oct 2011. Far from being a day surgery easy event, he experienced almost immediate urological complications [I have written about these in great and gory details in my Editorials of Oct, Nov, Dec 2011 and Jan 2012], brought about by his enlarged prostate. When he presented with kidney failure and had to be admitted to A&E for 3-4 days, he then made the sorrowful acquaintance of a urinary catheter, until his second operation to reduce the size of his prostate in Dec. Only following the eventually successful outcome of this TURP surgery and the removal of the catheter at the very end of 2011, did life start to become better for Mike.

It has taken me months to overcome the trauma of this medical near-fiasco.

However, one good thing to report was that, having been tricked by my GP to be weighed, I was shocked into a disciplined program to lose weight from Oct 2011 and that I have lost at least 2 stone and dropped 2 trouser sizes.

To be continued.

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