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  • mbwatts

Twenty Twenty Three


At new year, surely I'm not the only one to wonder if 2023 was distinguished in any way?


I base my opinion on my experience. Not politics or the wider world situation. Otherwise, there is no doubt this was a pretty bad year. This discussion is so much more superficial.


Ancestry.com informed me this year that I'm 18% Russian Jew. So my kin are currently devastating Palestine and smashing up Ukraine. Perhaps not our finest hour.

There are those of you who for years summarised your year in a "letter to friends". Often contained in that almost obsolete thing, the Christmas card. So I feel it's ok to take a scan back through NHSOTR's year to punish you for setting that precedent. Sorry.



My ocular health has played a significant role in shaping the year for us. I had reached the stage where I had the strongest contact lenses known to humanity, and still had to wear glasses over the top to almost correct my vision. For those of you who know about these things -11.5 diopters will be understandable as a correction somewhere between a mole and Stevie Wonder. That was my good eye. Cataracts with excellent results in January and February got my year off to a great start. A complete success allowing me to ditch the face furniture. However the operation inherently increases the risk of retinal detatchment. It felt as if nature was keen to prove "I know you don't think so, but you ARE human Mick". I developed that complication. In Hungary. Whilst on holiday. Worst of days.

For once the blog title NHS on the Run proved fortuitous. Running around Europe had left me unwittingly in the hands of one of the very best health care systems in the world. State of the art miracle working Austrian wünder medics. Sight restored after a few weeks.

Like Ron Burgundy, I'm male so I'm prone to exagerate of course. But one day I did drink half a bottle of ketchup thinking it was a 1947 Chateaux Neuf du Pape.

I recovered and stopped feeling sorry for myself. Reflecting now on our time travelling around Europe in Nessa, it was fabulous. A proper adventure.

Generally me and Mrs Nhsontherun have enjoyed a year of good health marked by continued dedication to the Peleton App.. Yoga Pilates Strength and the bike have been almost daily parts of our lives. Finishing the year feeling stronger is the real achievement.


Van life figured large in my blog posts, and obviously the year was fraught with doubts over our commitment to Nessa and life on the road. I think our problems with the conversion, and the traumas of our long trip will still eventually lead us to sell. But at present we are still contemplating and won't bore you with our deliberations any further!

Pottery continued to be a fun part of our weekly routine. We are both pretty proficient potters, away from the wheel. School Year 8 level potting at its finest. However, we still have a long way to go to start the tears flowing on the Great Pottery Throw Down. We will keep trying and certainly continue enjoying our weekly messy play time.

Early year we celebrated the life of my best man, Frank Kelly, at perhaps the most bizarre and joyous memorial I've been to. I am not sure why I haven't written about that day, but perhaps some things are just best as memories.

I've continued to blog when appropriate. It gets easier to write, which was after all the main aim of this blog. Knowing what might be of interest to others and avoiding some bits has helped me nugget up the year. You will be very pleased to know that trips this year to Cyprus and Dominican Republic remain undocumented only because I suspect you can guess what they were like.

November and December were polar extremes. I completed the 100 push ups a day challenge in November, raising both myself and some money for Cancer research. In December we completed the 100 units a week challenge to compensate. Not dry, but only slightly damp January beckons.

2024 holds much in store, our next post is from Tamil Nadu, no we aren't driving there, but five weeks in India will hopefully provide material to get NHSOTR off to a good start.


I'm pleased to say that scrolling back through the blog shows 2023 to have been a very distinguished year.











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