2012

Okay, let’s not panic, it’s nearly the end of January and I haven’t written my obligatory end of year/start of a new one post yet. I haven’t missed it since I started the tradition of summarising where I’ve been and where I’m going in 2008. And I’m not going to give it up now. I hope.

Normally, it would go something like this:

Last year was good.  I did fun things with David, went to some gigs, had a few adventures etc. Work is going fine and all is well in the world.

This year, it’s going to be different. For two reasons. One is the quantity and magnitude of life events and two is the gradual decline of my personal blog, the one where I’ve recorded what I’ve been up to for the past 8 years. Without it, I’m ashamed to say I’m a little lost. So, I’ll start with the obvious and try to fill in the gaps later on.

I’m ENGAGED.

David proposed during our holiday to Switzerland in September and it was wonderful and romantic and a massive shock and completely turned our lives upside down. Turns out, everyone and their cat wants to know about ‘The Wedding’. After several months of such questions I’m at the stage where I laugh manically and ask ‘What wedding? No, I don’t know when it is. No, I don’t know where it is. No, I haven’t been dreaming about it since I was 5 and therefore it’s taking us both (because, actually, it’s not just about my dreams, is it) a while to work out what it is we want.’

It’s massively exciting though and I really can’t wait. It has made it hard to think about anything else which happened last year though. I can confirm, without the need to consult livejournal/google calendar, that David and I had a lovely year with lots of adventures. Because I just know we did. I might get lost in the details but I’m confident in the knowledge that we didn’t let up on the fun stuff, with Frank Turner’s ‘England Keep My Bones’ and Noah and the Whale’s ‘Last Night on Earth’ forming our soundtrack.

Still, as is traditional, I’ll try to recount a few of the things we got up to last year. Acutely aware that today is January 31st, I’m going to cheat just a little and summarise, but the content is still the same.

Fun Stuff with Friends

I went to visit Claire and Debs in Cardiff in February. This turned into an impressive effort of also catching up with Owain and Lucy over the weekend. It was lovely as ever to make the time to see people on their own turf and Claire came down to Southampton in June.

April was Cassie’s wedding reception. Aside from the wow factor of Cassie getting married, it was *so* nice for me, Nai and Lucy to all be in the same place, going out at the same time.

Charlie and Joe came to visit! I’m suddenly getting all confused whether this was actually last year? Could it have been the year before?! What was definitely last year was our reciprocal visit to Bristol. We had a lovely day driving around and getting lunch and just generally catching up. I am VERY excited for our next catch up because we definitely don’t see enough of each other.

I’m not really sure this summary method is doing my year justice. In between there were meals out; catch ups with the family; going to see Strictly Gershwin; an engagement party (!); going to see Take That with my parents; spa days with Hayley and Sarah; the monthly catch ups with Charlie which, honest to God, have kept me sane; Christmas in Dorset.

Fun Stuff with David

It’s hard to list the fun stuff I do with David, because inevitably it’s not the weekends where we had plans which I remember the most. It’s the ones where we didn’t and we went for a walk or a drive or something fairly innocuous and it was blissful just being together with nowhere we’d rather be. Still, we did do some pretty fun stuff as well. Aside from the visits to friends, we also had a lovely weekend in Cardiff for my birthday, a weekend in Derby visiting Grandparents and Alton Towers, a blogged about weekend at 2000Trees festival, Noah and the Whale at the Guildhall, Frank Turner in Bournemouth, and a wonderful week involved three films (Drive, Crazy Stupid Love, The Help) and an afternoon in Winchester eating Cornish pasties. After our return from Switzerland everything got a bit crazy so we ran off to Centerparcs for a week. Which was PERFECT. I know it sometimes gets stick for being expensive and such, but we got a late availability deal, packed up the car and off we went. We spent our days wandering about, eating too much, and swimming in the dark in outside (heated!) pools. Plus neither of us had any signal at all which made it feel all the more like the break we so desperately wanted.

Life Events!

In July I left the bars for good. There was quite a lot of crying involved but it was definitely the right time to go. As expected I haven’t really kept up with people and it does still feel abit weird not knowing what’s going on,  but I think when you’ve been there so long and you feel so involved you start caring way too much for a part time job. Before I left, I managed to sneak in a shift at the Grad Ball where Paula introduced me to the One and Only… Chesney Hawkes. Massive life event right there.

Near the end of the year in November, after a long while of searching for my next job, I managed to get an interview, then a second interview, then an offer with Palgrave Macmillan. I’m now in my fourth week and am happy to report that all is going well.

I’m not sure whether it can really be called a ‘life event’ as such, but I’m not sure I’d be where I am now without my Twitter/blogging/social media revelation. Around last March I got myself going with my blog again, I got active on Twitter, I started getting to know people, I made friends. I felt a part of something and I found the boost I needed to keep doggedly pursuing publishing as a direction. Every now and then I took a break from tailoring CVs and writing imaginative cover letters but I always picked it back up again. I received invaluable support and advice from numerous people along the way (I’d name you all, but I feel that’s for another blog post entirely) and it really felt like a revelation. Ask me about Twitter now and I’ll waste no time in extolling the value of it because it really has made a difference. And long may it all continue, especially if I promise to throw more frequent updates into the mix.

And so, on that note, I’m really looking forward to 2012. We’ve got such a lot coming up in the next few months that it feels like I’ve got an endless number of things to look forward to. And in between I’m looking forward to taking a break from being busy and doing as little as possible with David. I hope work continues to go well and I find my feet, I hope all the weddings we are attending go exactly how my friends and family want them to go, and I hope I see as much as possible of all my friends, despite my hectic existence.  I want to use my old blog more, just to record these things, and I want to use this new blog more, to keep active (figuratively speaking, I’m failing miserably at keeping active, physically). Maybe I’d like to get more physically active too (although I don’t want that to sound too much like a resolution, just incase I fail). I want to read more and, better late than never, I want to review all the books I’ve intended to. As ever, I am hopeful, organised, committed and often hungry.

Here’s to 2012. And David xx

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