(with 2009 and 2010 answers as well)
1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?
- 2009 – Competed in a kickboxing tournament (v. unsuccessfully), went on the telly, became a UK citizen, grew tomatoes and salad leaves, bought a house.
- 2010 – Visited Italy and Los Angeles, made a souffle, grew parsnips, got counselling. A low key kind of year to be honest.
- 2011 – Started a business, made jam, grew beetroot, made rhubarb wine, went to Belgium, spoke at a blogging conference, rode a bike in Paris, made crumpets, rode in a “bike race”!
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next this year?
- 2009 – I resolved to 1) exercise 20 mins a day 2) write down what I eat 3) internet curfew of 10.30pm. About 37% success. My resolution for 2010 is to do more stuff that I enjoy. That is all.
- 2010 – Success! Aim low, hit target. Definitely made time to do more stuff that I enjoy. Also ate more stuff that I enjoyed. Just too bloody much!
- 2011 – Kept them like a mofo for the first six months then kinda lost my way for awhile. Back on track now. They’re more Good Habits for Life rather than resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
- 2009 – My foxy work colleague, Lorraine.
- 2010 – No but 95% of my lady friends got pregnant!
- 2011 – Lorraine again and Linda. And lots of school pals. The baby avalanche continues!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
- 2009 – My great uncle Gordon passed away. He was a lovely man.
- 2010 – No. Unless you count Peter Pan the sponsor dog!
- 2011 – No. And no Sponsor Dogs died either, for a change!
5. What countries did you visit?
- 2009 – Australia and USA
- 2010 – Italy, France and USA
- 2011 – Belgium, Italy, France and USA
6. What would you like to have next year that you lacked in this one?
- 2009 – A clearer mind!
- 2010 – Focus, drive and, self-belief and the ability to remain calm under pressure.
- 2011 – Consistency!
7. What dates from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- 2009 – Thursday 22 January. Last day in New York. Killer cookie from Levain Bakery.
- 2010 – That San Francisco Saturday with Jillian & Greg. Sushi, booze, cards, brief sail on the bay.
- 2011 – The first day of the Fitbloggin conference – meeting blog pals in a jetlagged euphoria.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- 2009 – Growing tomatoes!
- 2010 – Pretty lame old year in the field of achievement. Hosting the cupcake party, I’ll say, for sheer joy of it.
- 2011 – Starting Up and Running. It blows my mind every time I log on to our forum and see all these amazing women running around and kicking arse in a little corner of the internet that we created. Also reading 52 books in 52 weeks after years of trying to hit that dumbarse target.
9. What was your biggest failure?
- 2009 – Ignoring my health.
- 2010 – Being reactive rather than proactive.
- 2011 – Working too much on the weekend.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
- 2009 – The big D.
- 2010 – Continued big D and 6 seperate colds. Did not eat enough veggies this year it seems.
- 2011 – Just my stupid knee still being a bastard. Almost made it through cold-free until a rotten one right before Christmas.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
- 2009 – iStuff 808 Bass Sound Isolating Earphones – only £16.99 to totally drown out snotty noses and rubbish banter on public transport! I heartily endorse!
- 2010 – Bargain spinning bike so we can exercise indoors when the weather is shithouse.
- 2011 – A decent hairdryer
12. Where did most of your money go?
- 2009 – Airfares to Australia and deposit for Crooked House.
- 2010 – Shrink fees.
- 2011 – Four new windows and a back door. Honestly the most fucking boring purchase in my life. But nice to have windows that don’t leak when it rains.
13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- 2009 – The sausage and onion pie from SimpleSimon Pies.
- 2010 – Wallander! I got just a wee bit obsessive about this Swedish detective and his various incarnations on the telly.
- 2011 – The Killing! And this here Kvikk Lunsj chocolate bar that Gareth brought back from Norway. Wonder if I’ll get excited about anything in 2012 that isn’t either edible or Scandinavian!?
14. What song will always remind you of this year?
- 2009 – Hocus Pocus. Gareth dragged me along to a Focus gig – Dutch prog yodelling ahoy.
- 2010 – All the songs on Dusty Live From Memphis.
- 2011 – Sadness Is A Blessing by Lykki Li. Also my box of CDs finally arrived from Oz and I became addicted to Different Class all over again.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
- 2009 – I was sadder, but i’m doing something about it, so much happier now!
- 2010 – Happier!
- 2011 – I don’t really like this happy/sad simplification coz life is always light and shade. But I’m more content and better at dealing with the shitty bits.
b) thinner or fatter?
- 2009 – Fatter, but again doing something about it.
- 2010 – Fatter, again. Obviously did not do enough about it!
- 2011 – Marginally thinner. Which means still chunkier than I want to be, but really pleased with how it’s going.
c) richer or poorer?
- 2009 – Poorer financially due to mortgage shackles. But feeling very lucky and appreciative to have a good life and know so many groovy people.
- 2010 – About the same!
- 2011 – About the same, but those bloody windows didn’t help.
16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
- 2009 – Look after my mental health. Fun outings with Dr G. Travel. I’ve not been anywhere Euro since 2007! (shitey work trip doesn’t count
- 2010 – Take photos.
- 2011 – Gardening. It’s a jungle out there.
17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
- 2009 – Worrying about what other people think.
- 2010 – Panicking. Overeating. Excuse making.
- 2011 – Staying up too late on a school night.
18. How did you spend Christmas?
- 2009 – Rhi and the in-laws are coming to Crooked House! There will be feasting and port.
- 2010 – Same! Christmas was even better this year thanks to better planning and advance preparation. The timings of the food were perfect on the big day, too. I dunno why that gives me such pleasure. Also: provided entertainment this year in the form of Billionaire card game. So much fun.
- 2011 – Same! But with introduction of Jamie Oliver’s Jerk ham. Bloody beautiful! We also started a new Christmas Even tradition: “Early Edible Present”. Despite my obsessive planning I’d not bought anything in the Snacks To Eat While Watching Cheesy Christmas Movies category. So we raided the Christmas stockings for one tasty ration each.
19. Did you fall in love this year?
- 2009 – Yes, with my cherry tomatoes! And more in love with Dr G. We have both had a real stinker of a 2009 in many respects but we kept each other trucking along.
- 2010 – Still diggin’ the G Man.
- 2011 – With Barney, my Kindle! Gareth also got a Kindle this year and called it Kevin “Bloody” Kindle which never fails to crack me up when I see it on the screen. Also fell in love again with George Harrisson (see #22)
20. What was your favorite TV program?
- 2009 – The Thick of It
- 2010 – Mad Men
- 2011 – The Killing! The Danish one, tak you very much.
21. What was the best book you read?
- 2009 – Forest for the Trees by Betsy Lerner
- 2010 – A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- 2011 – Didn’t really have a particular favourite this year.
22. What was your favorite film of this year?
- 2009 – Didn’t see too many good films, but some oldies I saw for the first time and loved were Blade Runner and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.
- 2010 – Only saw Inception (nae bad) and Sex and the City 2 (urgh) at the cinema. Favourite LoveFilm rental was Etre et Avoir and also finally saw Gladiator which was ace.
- 2011 – I saw five movies at the cinema this year: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (nae bad), The Lavender Hill Mob (classic), Bridesmaids (great), Whisky Galore (ace) and It’s A Wonderful Life (blubbed like a baby). ET was on the telly on Christmas Eve and I blubbed at that too! The best thing I watched was the documentary George Harrisson: Living In The Material World. What a bloke, seriously. I’m a huge Beatles fan so thought it would be a nice thing to watch but it was so emotionally involving and really ripped me up/
23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
- 2009 – I went to the BBC Good Food show in Glasgow then I scrubbed the walls of our putrid house. I turned 32.
- 2010 – I went to work! But the weekend before I had a spa day, dinner with the inlaws at a great pub, and dinner at Chop Chop with Rhi and Dr G. Was 33.
- 2011 – Work again. Gareth took me out for a fancy dinner. It was lovely but we absconded to a cheaper place for pudding!
24. What kept you sane?
- 2009 – Kickboxing and the addictive genius of SJ and the Egg’s brilliant FYCL podcast.
- 2010 – Books.
- 2011 – Books again, but on the Kindle. I love having that instant escape in my handbag at all times.
25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- 2009 – Peter Capaldi. Loved him shouty sweary on The Thick Of It and loved him rambling on as he drew little sketches on that documentary about Scottish art.
- 2010 – Was a pretty quiet year on the celebrity crush front. Quite fancied Don Draper for awhile there but it’s on the wane.
- 2011 – I quite fancied Strange in The Killing II. For awhile! And Jason Isaacs as Jackson Brodie… YES PLEASE!
26. Who did you miss?
- 2009 – Everyone in Australia, especially Peita, Jane and Jen Dog.
- 2010 – Same!
- 2011 – Same again.
27. Who was the best new person you met?
- 2009 – Alison, a sage and hilarious arsekicker
- 2010 – A whole tribe of Girl Geeks.
- 2011 – Julia, in person at last, and a few hundred Up & Runners.