Looking to the future

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Finally it’s the end of that in-betweeny bit of the year. The bit after Christmas but before New Year and then the ultimate limbo days before everyone goes back to work. When we all start analysing what happened in the last 12 months and making resolutions that probably won’t make it past the middle of January let alone anywhere near Easter.

2015 must have been a good year for me, as I don’t really have much of an opinion on it. I’ve certainly have worse ones and probably a fair few better ones, but few have had such big changes in them.

Highlights of the past twelve months have included:

  • Being elected – knew it was likely to happen, but oddly still came as a shock, even if it was somewhat easier than I thought it would be.
  • Having a runner at Cheltenham – standing in the parade ring at Cheltenham where all the greats have paraded was just awe inspiring. It would have been nice to have won, but just being there was fantastic.
  • Buying a boat – that one came as a huge shock to my husband, long suffering & tolerant that he is.
  • Recovering from severe Pneumonia – the alternative would have been a bit grim.
  • Seeing my boys grow & develop into fine, if somewhat difficult, young men – even if they are Minecraft obsessed.
  • Signing up to do part of the 2017-2018 Clipper RTW Yacht Race.

If you’d told me on the 1st Jan 2015 that a year later, I’d be signed up to race across the North Atlantic on a 70ft racing yacht I’d have had you declared insane. I’d always wanted to do the Clipper but it’s one thing to want to do something, it’s quite another to actually go out there and do it!

Being a Councillor has been a bit of a whirlwind. I love it, I’d do so much more if I had the chance to. I’ve met so many amazing people and made so many new friends, that I can only think of it as being an enormously positive part of my life. It’s brought with it some sadness and frustrations as well though –  I never expected to actually lose friends by publicly admitting to being a Tory. I struggle with not being able to say what I really think and not being able to air ideas and views in the way I would like. You start off wanting to change the world and soon realise no-one’s actually listening. It doesn’t mean one should stop trying though. And as for having to put your hand up to speak – Well. That’s taken some getting used to!

So what does 2016 hold? Well, if my Christmas list is anything to go by, it’s going to involve a lot of sailing! The 9th January is our first official Crew Briefing for 2017-2018 Clipper Race Crew, it’s going to be great meeting up with everyone I first met last August and seeing some new faces too. I’ve got my Level 1 Training at the end of March, so over Easter while you’re all tucking into more hot cross buns and chocolate that I could shake a stick at, I’ll be getting cold & wet in the Solent aboard a Clipper Training Yacht. (Note to self – not actually in the Solent please)

In the last few months of 2015 I undertook some of the CWO (Conservative Women’s Organisation) Development Workshops and plan on doing a few more in 2016, so we shall see where they lead.

This coming year will be an interesting one with regional Devolution, it’s quite an exciting time in local government and I look forward to seeing what opportunities it brings to our area.

I look forward to doing more work in my ward and getting to know more of my residents. I have some ideas for local surgeries to create more opportunities to really get to know residents, to understand their concerns and what they want for their local area.

I’ve learnt a lot about myself over the past twelve months, I’ve watched and listened and come to some conclusions. My attitudes have changed and hardened somewhat recently and I know that not everyone is going to like the changes I implement as a result. But it’s not about them, so they’ll have to get used to it. Ignore me, laugh at me and treat me like a silly girl at your peril, for I have a long memory and time to wait.

I know that 2015 was a really tough year for some, a good year for others and the rest of us are still weighing it up. Whichever situation you’re in – I hope 2016 brings you love, light & laughter. May your health and wealth be good and happiness sparkle in your eyes always.

Happy New Year to friends old & new.

For better or worse, we’re in for the ride….


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