As I write to you on the week of my 40th birthday, supposedly life begins!
Try telling that to my aching body which has been put through the wringer in recent weeks at a Largs Thistle training session, following by a six-a-side football charity match!
But it was all in a good cause, and I savoured every moment, as it is not often that 'Calum the Cat' gets the chance to return to the goalkeeping sticks.
If anything, it perhaps made me realise, as I was flinging myself across goals, that I am certainly not as young as I used to be. Time and tide waits for no man!
But with a new year comes new resolutions, and getting fighting fit, is my prime aim, as it makes sense to take good care of your body now that you reach your fourth decade, although I am going to party hard for one more weekend, as I had to work through my big birthday.
In kicking off this fitness goal, I managed to get on my bike, and raleigh-ed round the Isle of Cumbrae on Sunday afternoon.
There weren't many of us hardy cyclists out as there was quite a cool breeze, and rain was threatening, but thankfully I managed to cycle round, and met my girlfriend Karen for a hot soup at The Ritz before continuing on my way.
However, festive partying had taken its toll, as I had missed the MV Loch Shira by one minute, despite leaving a good 25 minutes or so from Millport. It was a wake-up call to get going on my fitness regime for 2016!
As usual, I cycled back along the seafront to Largs Pencil, and then onwards to Fairlie using the cycle path, and it made me realise, once more, how nice it would be for a seafront cycle path on Fairlie.
The consultation for the long awaited coastal path in Fairlie ended on the day of my birthday, which is hopefully a good omen, as I absolutely hate cycling on the narrow streets of the village with those juggernauts thundering through. I can only hope that I can be given the opportunity to cycle safely along the village seafront, and that at long last, the proposals come to fruition.
* I won't name any particular shows, as I don't think they need the publicity, but did the television over new year not seem rather flat? The days of Scotch and Wry, and Hogmanay celebrations of the past, are fondly recalled, and much missed.
Having been out at the Largs Players Christmas panto, and the Pint Sized Productions Play and Mince Pie event over the festivities, people were genuinely rolling about the aisles in stitches of laughter. Myself included.
It seems incredible to say nowadays in this multi-media web universe in which we now live, but the quality of entertainment on the small screen is dropping, and your best bet for a great night is heading out on the town - you just can't beat local theatre productions.
I ventured along to Fairlie Parish Church for a Christmas concert with some of the young stars of Phantom of the Opera, who were raising funds for displaced children in Venezuela, and the teenagers raised the roof with the quality of their singing from famous movies and theatre shows. The event was organised by Fairlie's young citizen of the year Chris Kelly, who compared with good natured humour throughout - for £6 it was an absolute bargain - and there was mince pies and coffee too.
The talent in our midsts is amazing,  and in a sense we have come full circle from when Barrfields summer shows were top notch entertainment and a must visit.
At the young age of 40, I am, of course, far too young to remember these particular good old days, but during my time, we have never had it so good!


Calum Corral

Largs Weekly News
Clyde and Forth Press

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