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December 2011 – End of Year Review

It’s the final month of the year and I’m suffering a dose of the cold. Surely a good time as any to take a ‘Finbar On Tour’ look back at the year!

I started 2011 by celebrating New Years in Sydney, by the harbour watching the fireworks… it was a pretty decent start to the year as I watched the end of the Ashes Series and England securing the Urn for the second time in succession & the first time in Australia in nearly 20 years. I also got to see the Great Barrier Reef as I travelled up the Eastern Coast of Australia before travelling back to the UK.

January also saw me start on an improved fitness regime… as I attempted to complete the recommended 10,000 steps a day by walking to / from work and more generally trying to increase the amount of walking I do. It’s been a good challenge and whilst I haven’t always hit the target, more often than not in my old digs I did and I have to say I do feel much better for it.

February is best forgotten to be honest… the news wasn’t great… and the football was bad…

March was a much better month as it saw Dina get herself a job & flat in Belfast with our time spent getting her ready to move to Northern Ireland. We did flat hunting, she got her UK work permit & bob’s your father’s brother. It was also the month I missed my first competitive Northern Ireland match, in 7 years… thanks Serbia.

April was a busy month… Portadown got to the Irish League Cup Final, only to lose to Distillery, before Rory McIlroy famously blew the field at the Masters away for three rounds, before blowing up himself in the fourth! I also saw the London Marathon, before sleeping on the street to watch the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton – definitely one of my highlights of the year & probably of my 30 so far. And it was also the month that saw my blog reach 1,000 hits. Cheers again folks.

May saw the end of the ‘Celtic Cup’ in Dublin… with Northern Ireland finishing bottom of the table, with no goals… and not much point. Oh dear.

June saw me succeed in getting some Olympic Tickets for the London 2012 festival of sports and a day at the test for the Sri Lanka Tour of England. Rory put his Masters behind him & made everyone look silly as he cleaned up the US Open. I had massive issues with my phone provider O2, and the UK had a heat wave… and what do you know, but the blog hit 2,000 visits!

July saw me head home for the parades, a T20 visit from a friend from India and a visit to see the Olympic Torch in London. It also saw the birth of my little niece Bethany and my engagement to Dina! Clearly I needed a holiday after all of that…

… and so in August we headed to Dallas, Texas… eventually! I managed to miss out on the London Riots due to being holed up safely in Belfast (you might want to reread that sentence, yes, Riots in London, Finbar in Belfast. Safe).

September was a month for football… NI lost to Serbia unfortunately, before getting hammered by Estonia, embarrassingly… It was also the month of Dan & Alexa’s wedding in Devon, which was lovely. Dina & I got a date for our own wedding sorted for November 2012 and I started to pack my flat up as my tenancy was due to expire.

October saw the house move take place, as I shifted my post code from SE to SW London. I also went to Italy for the Pizza & the weather… the football was purely coincidental… I also agreed to raise money for Movember by growing my own Moustache!

And in November, I did grow a Moustache & raised £125 (subsequently doubled by the company to £250) for Men’s Health Charities in the UK. Thank you all for supporting. We also sorted out a few more details for our wedding, with the Videographer booked… as well as a couple of weekends away (Edinburgh & Amsterdam). It saw me reach 4,000 hits on the blog in just about a year and a trip to the new Wembley for England v Sweden. I also managed to fall asleep in the Royal Albert Hall… before finding out where Northern Ireland would be playing their 2014 World Cup Qualifiers! All this whilst growing a moustache!

And so to December… which so far has seen me full of the cold & turn 30. The Christmas Shopping is all done, mostly wrapped & under the tree and I’m back in Belfast waiting for the bus to head to Fermanagh… and Christmas at home with my family. I’m planning to sit down tomorrow to do the annual viewing of Home Alone and also visit some family. I’m really looking forward to this Christmas.

It’s been a big year… I’m an uncle and engaged… next year looks like it’s going to be even larger! I’m looking forward to it though… but that’s for later, right now is for the present… and the presents!

Merry Christmas to you & your dearest.


About Mcfaggen

Having grown up in Co. Fermanagh where most of my family still reside, I thought it would be worthwhile to keep a blog of my travels around the rest of the UK, Europe and the World.


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