After two divorces in the family, the fire at Windsor Castle and various revelations in the press, The Queen referred to the year 1992 as her annus horriblis.

More prosaically, Dave Allen said that he’d had an annus anus – it had been an arsehole of a year.

You can guess which one I identify with.

The first half of the year wasn’t too bad, all-told. My teamies bought be a new tie for my birthday (it has ducks on it). Work and other things were generally fine. I didn’t get a job I went for in May, but I was at least getting interviews again.

Then mum died – 4 July.

Then Kathi – my first proper boss, and also born on 20 March – died suddenly at the end of August.

Then a family friend died, then someone else I know through Squadron died. That’s four deaths in a little over four months.

And, despite five interviews between mid-September and mid-December I’m still unemployed.

Perhaps, not an annus anus, but a semi one at least. You know what I mean.

Once upon a time at home…

At the start of a new year we generally wipe the slate clean, make plans for how our new year is going to be different. In this respect I am no different to anyone else; although I can’t shake this nagging doubt that the start of 2019 will be just as bad as the end of 2018 (but with hopefully fewer deaths).

I’ve a good half-dozen jobs to apply for over the next four weeks. Mum’s house to sell (once we do the final throw-it-in-the-skip clearance). But, I need a job by February, as I won’t be able to afford the flat after March, which would put a crimp on things (and I can’t move into mum’s as we offloaded the fridge, freezer and washing machine earlier this month, and the heating doesn’t work properly).

Still, it focuses the mind somewhat.

And I’ve got my second year as an iprovision trustee coming up, and my first year no longer on the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Committee, and the first of my final-ever two years on CIPR Council coming up. All I need now is a job…

Happy New Year, folks!