2012 - the year we lost Ede to Feline Infectious Peritonitus at the age of 12. One afternoon she lost control of her bladder, the next day we took her to the vet and less than 24 hours later she was gone. Her passing felt like the end of an era, as we'd bought her not long after we got married, and just before we moved into our first apartment.
It didn't take long for me to call Gaffer's breeder to ask to be put on the waiting list for a lilac Burmese girl. The house felt too quiet with just two cats. Hamish's thoughts however turned to getting a dog, and we started making inquiries into adopting a retired racing greyhound. We spent much of the last half of 2012 reclaiming our back yard from blackberry and building a fence.
I went through a phase of being in love with the Skyline track, before formally adopting Transient and the trails around Polhill and the wind turbine as my spiritual home.
I picked up a cheap mountain bike off Trademe and managed to get Hamish out on a couple of easy rides. Unfortunately his bike needs a little percussive maintenance and he's a bit limited in his gear ratio as a result. Must remember to get that fixed! I headed into Makara Peak a few times, most memorably with my trainer Duck. Duck convinced me to try an intermediate trail and I lost my nerve, however it was on the comparatively easy Lazy Fern that I took my first spill, memorably captured on my helmet cam.
The mountain bike did make it easier to explore further round Wellington's coasts however, and we were blessed with some stunning days in which to do so.
Road cycling was something that, like the running, never got to where it should have this year. The injuries put me way behind schedule when Taupo training started, and I was well over race weight. I'd started my second new job of the year and was in the midst of recruiting and training a new team whilst still trying to learn my own role. A trip to Canberra for work also disrupted my cycling.
And then we brought home a little speck of a kitten and my motivation to leave the house to go for a bike ride plummeted to an all-time low. Meet Bergamo.
Who could have known that such a tiny ball of fluff could be so much work? We spent the first week trying to get her to eat. We would take her to bed with us every night and she would stay there till we rose in the morning. I'd never had such a small Burmese before and felt overwhelmingly protective.
Thankfully after a week Bergamo found her appetite (and her voice) and came out of her shell. She started growing and hasn't stopped. Gaffer was quickly besotted, at least until she grew large enough to be able to jump on him with a modicum of force. Now he sits there and howls until we rescue him from her enthusiasm.
By the time Taupo came around there was no way I was ready to ride 160km. I instead rode the first 80km then executed a planned DNF, making the most of the bus ride back to the startline, a cold cider at the motel and my private spa pool.
Not long after that I was flying premium economy all the way to Geneva for four days of meetings. I had a half day free - long enough for a cruise on the lake. Looks beautiful but it was -11 when I arrived, and we had a full day of snow. What with breakfast meetings at 7.30am, a full day of conference, and formal dinners and evening meetings there wasn't any time to run, even if I'd had the warm gear required.
On the way back I had two days in London for more meetings, and an evening of fun with these two lovely people.
London rained. I was really happy to be home.
Everything at home was. Tissy is still not best pleased with our new addition, but will tolerate her unless she gets too close, then short, sharp retribution is in order.
A last minute hitch with catsitting arrangements led to Hamish heading off to Central Otago for Christmas, and me spending some quiet time at home. A beautiful Christmas day provided an opportunity for a bike ride around the Bays.
Most of the time though it was just me and the cats.
Who continued to be incredibly cute.
So where does that leave things? 2012 was an amazing year. I didn't really achieve my fitness goals, but had a lot of fun all the same. I got into Overload, an extremely intense crossfit style programme at my gym. I also continued to train with Duck, both individually and in groups. However at the end of the year I felt the least fit I have been in a long time, and am certainly the heaviest.
A lot of that had to do with work. Three different jobs in one year is a lot of change, even if it's good change. I love my new role but I do feel the pressure. It's not going to ease off this year either, as my team have two conferences we are organising, both being held in April, and have also taken over as Chair of an important international engagement. Oh, and one of the conferences starts on my 40th birthday. That has scuttled plans to cycle the Central Otago rail trail ...
I finished the year feeling quite drained and in need of a solid break. Unfortunately not being able to go down south has meant I haven't been able to get away and I'm worried I'm going to head back to work in two weeks not feeling refreshed. 2013 is going to be huge as well, especially as we are on the waiting list for our greyhound. If Tissy doesn't like Bergamo then she's in for a real shock ...
So what do I have planned for 2013? Obviously I need to get fit again. I also want to find some of the energy and motivation I had some years ago. Hopefully those two things will go together. I'm going to enjoy watching Bergamo grow, and I look forward to the day we get to bring a dog home. So all up, more of the same, just better!