2014 Review Thingo

I’ve got no bloody idea where January went. I wish I could say it was glamorous book promotion or naked skydiving, but it was mostly stomping around in the snow trying to hit my 10,000 steps per day. A very belated happy new year to you all!

Here’s my untimely annual review. Previous episodes: 2013201220112010 and 2009.

A pot

1. What did you do this year that you’d never done before?

  • visited the most northerly public toilet in mainland Great Britain.
  • got my eyebrows tinted. After a lifetime of invisible eyebrows and furious pencilling, you can’t imagine the delights of 24/7 definition! Until they faded, then my eyeballs got sorta lost in my face again. Does anyone else have this problem? 😉
  • my forearm said goodbye to Wally the melanoma.
  • finally went full-time freelance as a writer/web marketing-y type of person (rubbishness at describing skill set no doubt contributed to taking so long to take the plunge).
  • deadlifted 85 kilos (had set a goal of 100kg for 2014, but had to take five months off deadlifts after Wally!).

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for this year?
I had a word of the year – consistency. It guided me sweetly through the first half of the year but in the second half I quite lost it. I didn’t feel drawn to choosing a word this year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! Including my best mate Jenny on December 23. She said I could be an honorary Auntie so I plan to dote from afar.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Auntie Marg passed away, one of our beloved quartet of Great Aunts. Still can’t believe her twinkly smile is no longer with us.

5. What countries did you visit?
Spain, France (for a day) and Italy.

6. What would you like to have next year that you lacked in this one?
I don’t feel I lacked anything, except maybe for bargain cast iron pots. Sainsbury’s makes these great Le Creuset-esque pots and they were on sale last January. I had a bunch of Nectar points saved up, so I ordered two huge casserole pots and a griddle pan for all of £40. Then I found out about the melanoma and in a fit of morbid madness, I returned the pots.

My reasoning was that since I didn’t actually need the pots, keeping them would be tempting fate like I was arrogantly assuming I’d be around to use them. What use would Gareth have for a pile of cast iron pots if I died? Would he bury them with me, so I could make tasty slow-cooked casseroles with cheaper cuts of meat in the afterlife?

There was nothing logical at all about my thought processes during that period. And now that I’m currently alive and hankering for a hearty stew I really regret returning those bloody pots.

7. What dates from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

  • 23 May – Melanoma all clear!
  • 24 May – After seven fruitless visits, finally spotted dolphins at the renowned dolphin-spotting place Chanonry Point. There were twenty dolphins leaping around very close to shore, with the sun setting in the background. Pure magic! Especially since we went for chips afterwards.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Watching all ten seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix in an alarmingly short period of time.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Watching all ten seasons of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix in an alarmingly short period of time.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Aside from Wally, a couple of colds but otherwise dandy!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Vichy Aqualia serum for dehydrated skin – a Sali Hughes recommendation. Lizard face, sorted!

12. Where did most of your money go?
Groceries? I laid low with the spending this year.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The visiting Neighbour Cat!

The borrowed cat
She’s actually teeny tiny under all that fur!

14. What song will always remind you of this year?
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers. Know when to hold ’em; know when to fold ’em. Great advice, K-Dawg.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?


b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?
Slightly poorer but no worries.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Daily stepping.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Denial of reality through the medium of Netflix binges.
(Have now cancelled the Netflix subscription for my own good!)

18. How did you spend Christmas?
In London with Gareth and my dear sister. Rum punch FTW!

19. Did you fall in love this year?
Definitely that Neighbour Cat.

20. What was your favourite TV program?
I finally watched Breaking Bad and loved it, and The Good Wife was a surprise favourite. But can’t go past Friday Night Lights for pure love and obsession!

21. What was the best book you read?
The Signature of All Things.

22. What was your favourite film of this year?
The Possibilities Are Endless.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 37 and had a low-key day with a walk then lunch at the Dores Inn.

24. What kept you sane?
Bloody brilliant friends! Would not have got through it without you, THANK YOU! 🙂

25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
A toss-up between Jesse Pinkman and a Coach Taylor, Tim Riggins, Matt Saracen combo. I’m sure they have real names!

26. Who did you miss?
The Mothership.

27. Who was the best new person you met?
Does Neighbour Cat count as a person? I love that grumpy nutter!

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for February 2023.

25 thoughts on “2014 Review Thingo

  1. Happy New Year to you despite the date! I just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your posts. I’m glad that you are doing well and congratulations on making the plunge to ALL freelance work. I hope it goes wonderfully for you.

  2. Wow. Amazing list. Makes me think, in a good way.
    1. Holy WHAT?!? I looked up 85 kilos. HOLY GIANT PILE of WEIGHT. You, my friend, are OFFICIALLY an ass-kicker. (Deep bow of respect.)
    2. YES on Netflix (most proud, least proud).
    3. That’s HUGE re: freelance. I may have to officially be doing that as my boss just died (NOT a joke). And she was the sole owner of the business. I GET it re: being crap at talking about you and what you do and are good at and have done. I’m SO there. Hate it and am instantly bored talking about me (I already KNOW about me).
    4. All these caps are not yelling. Should be italics but I’m lazy. Please know I’m enthusing softly. =)
    5. Lack of melanoma is SO great. SO glad to hear it. Hurrah!!!
    6. Your cooking ware thoughts were deep. Wow. Now I want you to buy them.
    7. That cat is the cat’s pajamas, the cat’s meow, the cat’s whiskers. The coolest.
    8. I always learn from you and am left thoughtful, wondering about doing X to make my life better. And THAT is great. Thank you. xoxoxoxo!!

  3. Reading this makes me wish you blogged more often. LOVE your writing. I get the feeling the episode with Wally was much more traumatic than you let on here–returning that beautiful cookware from worry you would not be around to use it. My heart goes out to you! I am so thankful the disease had not spread, be sure to stay on TOP of any future spots you might discover. My husband, a redhead like you, had it in 2006, it had not spread. Thank God, but it sure changes how you view the world. LOVE your kitty cat, who’s not really your kitty cat, but kinda is. Breaking Bad, Good Wife, Friday Night Lights—Yummy!!!

  4. When I saw the title I wondered if you had finally realised that 2014 had finished but I do enjoy your end of year review and it was worth the wait. Did the neighbourhood cat get into netflix? hope she didn’t stop visiting when you cancelled the subscription. Onya for going freelance – that sounds like scary stuff but you seem to have done lots of ground work. Sounds like an interesting year and like this one will be much better without Wally. Belated happy new year

    1. Thanks Johanna! Hmmm I hadn’t considered the impact on the cat, I think she was quite enjoying The Good Wife. Belated HNY to you too!

  5. Good for you on going freelance and double hoorays for blogging. I totally get what you say about not being able to describe your skill set but remember a) you are a blogging pioneer (you were already a veteran when I started reading you more than 10 years ago) b) you are a double published author so know how to get a concept to a product c) you have an amazing global network. Does that help for starters?

    1. I miss you too! I’m busting for another road trip! But hell yeah, let’s coffee/chat in the meantime! I’ll zap you a message!

  6. I’m working my way through Breaking Bad.. binge watching on the weekends. I love Jesse/Aaron Paul..’yo bi$ch’. I’m a big fan of ‘Pit bulls and paroles’. I got hooked on that and I’m working my way through 5 seasons. Also, the Shark Tank ‘bit’ me.

  7. getthepotsgetthepotsgetthepotsgetthepots!
    Love reading your blog posts – SO happy Wally has be vanquished. Here’s to a fabulous freelance 2015.

  8. Darling, I meant to say when I saw you last week….Not to take away from the very poignant reason you returned them, but I got a Sainsbury’s cast iron shallow casserole last year and it was RUBBISH. The enamel came off during cooking! I returned mine too. I say save up for Le Creuset. Get the real thing babe, you deserve it! And you’ll cook with it forever xxx

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