So where have I been this past month!? Well… I can’t really say. It seemed to fly by and before I knew it the work Christmas party had sprung itself on me, then the mayhem that was Christmas, followed by the typically irritating bout of illness, and the swift passing of the Christmas holiday that right now feels like it’s been somewhat wasted. And I haven’t written any posts!
But this is not a time to whine. This is a time to reflect on the good bits, wave away the bad bits and look forward to next year – just like every other blog!
So what were my highlights of 2012?
At last! I’ve had the confidence to start writing publicly again. Between this blog and The Fashion Lover, I’ve been kept rather busy – flexing the writing muscles, and showing me that I’m quite capable of fitting in writing and life. I have lots of plans for both blogs in the New Year – the first of which is to structure them a bit so that there aren’t long absences, shortly followed by (hopefully) a bit of revamping so there’s more personality and less… well… beige inanity.
As you well know – I was an Olympics cynic. I was not a Londoner, but I sympathised with their worries about the city grinding to a halt, and I wondered if we could really afford this as a country. I couldn’t help but feel that this was yet another British firework that would fizzle out. I was comprehensively, absolutely and most pleasantly, proved wrong. The Olympics were a dazzling, glittering array of hope, confidence and love. I have spent many years apologising for my nationality – my inability to speak another language, the way the British assume so much, our frequent bouts of bumbling idiocy – and 2012 was one year that I felt proud to be British. I felt honoured to be in any way connected to the brilliance of the Games – Olympic and Paralympic – and my faith in my nation was restored.* The London riots were overshadowed by the clean-up operation, the feel-good stories that whisper on the edges of the news became bigger and better and more wonderful. Even the Jubilee felt like it was a time of reasserting our pride in ourselves. I stood on the village cricket green with 1500 other people, dancing in front of the giant screen as the Jubilee concert bellowed out, and had an inkling that this would be a really good year to be British. I am British. I am proud.
I started the year as a flabby, lazy, under-confident 24-year-old, and I have finished the year as a semi-fit (albeit currently injured) runner. I even have those over-muscled runners legs to prove it (meaning I’m avoiding skirts!) It all started here. Next year, Daddio has promised to enrol me in the triathlon club – who knows, by the end of 2013 I might be one of Those Mental People nervously referred to as a Triathlete!
It was mayhem. I was promptly ill on Boxing Day. I ate too much, and did very little (though a 6km run in the morning meant I felt very smug asking for seconds). But Christmas was wonderful. In a world of recession, it was an understated Christmas in terms of presents – which made each carefully-th0ught-out gift all that more special. It wasn’t the presents, or the abundance of turkey and Disaronno and roast potatoes, that made this Christmas so brilliant. It was family. For the first time in many years, we had not only my grandparents, but my Dad’s sister and her family join us at Inkings HQ. Living in West Wales with a horse and two dogs, my aunt, uncle and cousin rarely manage to make it away – one usually has to stay behind to care for the animals. But this year a special effort was made. Last Christmas, Granny still wasn’t well and it was a very subdued affair. This year, it was loud and riotous and filled with laughter – a celebration that Granny and Grandad are here and well, and that our family are together, and we love one another. There is nothing quite like my crazy, loving, ridiculous family – just like there is nothing quite like your family, I’m sure. Christmas this year proved to me how fantastically, annoyingly, brilliant my family are.
They’ve gone through hell. They’ve fallen out with one another, with me and with people I don’t even know. They’ve moved away, they’ve moved back, they’ve gone to different countries. But my friends are just as crazy and loving as my family. It doesn’t matter if we don’t speak in months, even years; if I pick up the phone to any one of them, it’s like nothing has changed. I never laughed or cried so hard as I have with my friends. I’ve got new friends – opinionated, genuine, bonkers new friends that make those awful days pass that much faster, and who promise to be sticking around. I’ve not been the greatest person in visiting people, and in the New Year I plan to change that. But, as a quick message to all my friends who read this (which is none of you, you cheeky beggars):
Thank you, and bring on 2013!
And what do I want from 2013?
- Finish writing a first draft of my novel (that’ll be a first in about 10 years)
- Read more
- Keep running
What were your 2012 best bits and what do you want to get from 2013?
*I still know nothing about sports, and I have rescinded my interest – save in rugby – until Rio in four years’ time.