Yearly Round Up

Saying goodbye to 2016.

Oh blog, how I’ve neglected you. Just one post in 2016, my look back at 2015. I spent much of 2016 wondering whether I’d ever come back to blogging, but it turns out I’m just not ready to stop yet so I’m starting January with plans and already written posts in a hope that in blogging terms at least a new year will bring a new me.

Before I get completely new though it’s time for me to do my annual look back post and say a proper goodbye to 2016 (previous years’ can be found here).

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
I did a resort holiday solo, I visited San Francisco, I attended YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention), I learned how to do papercutting and rag rugging and how to make flowers from felt, and I was part of a team that taught people to knit at the same time as yarnbombing a phonebox.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next this year?
I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions. I did choose a word for the year – Create – and while I didn’t create as broadly as I’d hoped to I definitely kept in mind throughout the year. I’ve chosen a word for 2017, more on that tomorrow.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my cousin and his wife had a little girl, and one of my oldest school friends had a little boy.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
This year no one close to me died, but sadly many people close to me lost loved ones.

5. What countries did you visit?
I was very lucky in 2016 in terms of travel. I went to America, to spend a week in San Francisco, and I went to Mallorca for a week. Both holidays were wonderful, very different from one another but both very loved.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
More time with my family. This year I really felt the distance between us and I hope in 2017 to be able to spend far more time with them.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I’m not sure there are any actually.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
It’s been a pretty quiet year in terms of achievement I think – it’s been more a year of carrying on with everything and steadily improving. There’s certainly no stand out thing.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Still not answering this one!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
This year was, for me, a pretty healthy and safe one. I did start the year with Hand, Foot and Mouth which was a pretty sore and itchy week, but after that it was pretty easy going.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My holidays, and my craft workshops. All experiences which I appreciated so much.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, and travel.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Attending YALC this year was really exciting. In previous years I’ve always had prior commitments that have meant I had to just enjoy all the tweets and photos, so being able to go in person was brilliant. I had such a lovely weekend catching up with friends I don’t get to see anywhere near often enough.

14. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Just Hold On by Louis Tomlinson and Steve Aoki, a release from the very end of the year but a song I love very dearly.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?
These questions have never bothered me before, but this year they do. I’m not sure comparing the years in this way is particularly helpful for me (and I’m definitely done with questions about weight) so these are joining the question on failure in my I won’t answer that column.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Seen my family more, seen friends more, read more, written more, made more. Just generally done more of the things that make me happy.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Like last year commuting is the thing that comes straight to mind. Spending a couple of hours a day on buses, trains and tubes feels like such an inefficient use of time.

18. Did you fall in love in 2016?
No. But I did spend a lot of time thinking about love, about romantic love, about family love and about friendship love.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
20. What was the best book you read?
21. What was your favorite film of this year?
So, so many of all of these. Next year round ups will be part of my December blogging for sure.

22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It was my birthday two days ago, I turned 34. I spent the day seeing family members, and went out for a wonderful lunch with my parents. It was quiet but filled with so much love.

23. What kept you sane?
Making things, and my friends. This year I reconnected with an old friend and she introduced me to new friends, and I really don’t know where I’d be without her and them.

24. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Like always there are too many candidates to choose a ‘most’.

25. Who did you miss?
When I was away from my family I missed them, when I was away from friends I missed them. And like always I missed those family members no longer here.

26. Who was the best new person you met?
I can’t possibly choose a single one. There have been some brilliant additions to my life this year and I value them all.

Yearly Round Up

2012 in review.

CalenderAfter having a wonderful 30th birthday yesterday it’s time to turn my attention back to it being the end of the year, and posting my year in review meme entry. I thought I’d done this meme in the last couple of years but I think it must have been on my old blog instead, that blog doesn’t exist any more so sadly I can’t credit where I first saw the meme – if anyone remembers it please let me know so I can give appropriate credit.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Went to a couple of Doctor Who conventions, ate Thai food, read digital comics.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next this year?

I didn’t make any, I did however fail miserably at my Things Before 30 list which seemed like a good idea at the time but faded over the year.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes, November and December saw the births of Paula, George and Charlie – the children of a cousin and of close friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No.

5. What countries did you visit?

Does Wales count? Spent a lot of time visiting there! Also the USA for my New York holiday.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

A completed degree, a job as a librarian.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Specific dates? Not sure there are any, though there are lots of moments I’ll remember even if I don’t remember which date they happened.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
9. What was your biggest failure?

I’m answering these together because it doesn’t really feel like 2012 was a year of either big achievements or failures, I’m partway through my degree so it was a year of just carrying on.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major, obviously continued to experience my usual health issues but didn’t have anything new.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Convention tickets, this year I went to three conventions and each was a wonderful weekend.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Rent and tuition fees.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
NYPL
My holiday to New York, especially getting to eat proper pizza and cheesecake and visiting the New York Public Library.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Good question, probably two of the songs I saw Brian Nutter perform at Con-2 – his cover of Pink Houses by John Mellencamp (which was a duet with Christian Kane) and his song Red Sundress.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

Happier.

b) thinner or fatter?

A little thinner.

c) richer or poorer?

Poorer.

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

Spent more time with friends, writing.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Watching rubbish shows in the hope they might improve.

18. Did you fall in love in 2012?

Yes, with the Avengers film and cast.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

My favourites were; Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, Arrow, Elementary, Chicago Fire, Castle, and more.

20. What was the best book you read?

I loved so many, but particularly A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne, The Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness, Hollow Pike by James Dawson and the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne.

21. What was your favorite film of this year?

The Avengers, and then The Hobbit was a late entry and love.

22. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

It was my birthday yesterday and I was 30. I had a wonderful weekend, Friday evening I saw The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for the second time (and loved it just as much as the first time), Saturday evening was spent at my favourite local balti house and then the day itself included a family gathering and much cake.

23. What kept you sane?

Friends, books, cross stitching, Twitter.

24. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
TomHardy
The absolute most? Hmm, I think it was probably still Tom Hardy though there are a fair few contenders.

25. Who did you miss?

Friends I didn’t manage to see enough of, there are so many I only managed to see a couple of times over the course of the year.

26. Who was the best new person you met?

I met lots of new people this year, people who were entirely new to me and people who I’d known online for a while and got to meet in person at last. Don’t think I could possibly pick just one!

Book Stuff · Films · TV Stuff

My 2012 Favourites.

I thought this year instead of doing seperate best of 2012 list posts I’d do one consolidated post – my favourite books that I’ve read, films and tv shows I’ve watched this year. Each list is in no particular order, I’m afraid I’m not prepared to spend the next week arguing with myself about ranking the list entries! It’s been a pretty wonderful year for all of these things, there were so many that nearly made the list but had to give way for something I simply couldn’t omit.

My Books of 2012.

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

2. Heart Shaped Bruise by Tanya Byrne

3. Hollow Pike by James Dawson

Books1
4. The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne (Hounded, Hexed and Hammered)

5. Department 19 and Department 19: The Rising by Will Hill

6. Kiss, Date, Love, Hate by Luisa Plaja

7. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Books2
8. Saving June by Hannah Harrington

9. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

10. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

My Films of 2012.

1. Avengers Assemble

2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

3. Dark Knight Rises

Films1
4. The Pirates! In An Adventure With Scientists

5. Magic Mike

6. Lawless

7. Premium Rush

Films2
8. 21 Jump Street
9. Looper
10. The Intouchables

My TV Shows of 2012.

1. The Walking Dead

2. Doctor Who

3. Sons of Anarchy

TV1

4. Leverage

5. Chicago Fire

6. Merlin

7. Southland

TV2

8. Sherlock

9. Castle

10. Elementary

What were your favourites this year?

Geek Stuff · Photography · The Gallery

The Gallery: Love

I haven’t been taking part in The Gallery for the last few weeks, but I thought I’d take part in the final one of the year. Tara has set the wonderful theme of Love.

I’ve already seen some lovely photos being posted, pictures of children, partners, friends and so many more. I had a few photos in mind to share for this prompt but as I was looking through my photo folders I spotted this one and knew it was the right one for me.


I have a lot of loves in my life (though some people around me might prefer to use the word obsessions) and this photo combines two of the biggest – tea and Doctor Who. This mug was a lovely present from Emma, and it’s become the mug I use for tea. Most days I manage to drink about half my bodyweight in tea so this certainly gets plenty of use!

Geek Stuff · TV Stuff

TV Times.

I’m tired today after staying up watching the election results not come in, apparently my constituency declared about half an hour after I called it a night which is utterly typical. I saw this tv based meme on someone else’s blog a little while back and have been saving it for a day just like this.

A show that should never have been cancelled:
I imagine a lot of people answering this are going to be saying Firefly and I’m adding my voice to theirs. I came to the series late, but really wish there had been more.

A show that you wish more people were watching:
Ooh good question. Most shows that I watch have fairly healthy viewerships, I’ll always wish more people were watching Doctor Who though because that would mean there were always yet more people to have geeky conversations with about it.

Your favourite new show (aired this TV season):
It would have to be between Leverage and Castle. I’m not sure I could pick one of them as being a favourite though, and I get the feeling that if I was filling this in a few weeks later I’d be adding Justified to the mix too.

Your favourite show ever:
I always think this is a difficult question because there are so many varied programmes that I love, but it always comes back to Doctor Who.

A show you hate:
I think hate is a very strong word… there are a lot of American comedies that I’m not a fan of, things like Two And A Half Men.

Favourite episode of favourite TV show:
This seems to change on an almost daily basis, today I would have to answer Girl In The Fireplace.

Least favourite episode of your favourite TV show:
After much thinking I can’t answer this one. For each of the weaker episodes that I start to consider I start to remember all of the bits I love about it. Maybe I’ll come back and answer this another time.

A show everyone should watch:
Being Human, the more people are watching it the better the chances are of them continuing to make it, and I love it.

Best scene ever:
Again, so many contenders! I love the poison scene in Doctor Who’s “The Unicorn and The Wasp” and I love the scene from Buffy’s “Hush” in the lecture theatre with the drawings.

A show you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving:
Supernatural. I expected it to be a bit silly and light on plot, but it’s been a wonderful viewing experience that has got better and better with each season. I’ve caught up with the first 4 seasons now and am soon going to move on to season 5.

A show that disappointed you:
True Blood season 1. I had such high hopes for it and by the end of the first episode was feeling completely let down. I’m really glad though that I kept watching because season 2 so far has been excellent.

An episode you’ve watched more than five times:
Oh there are far too many so I’ll go for “In The Dark” from Angel, the first appearance of Spike in LA.

Favourite show from childhood:
Children’s Ward which then became The Ward. From an early age I wanted to be a doctor so a tv show set in a hospital aimed at children was my perfect viewing. Interesting to see Russell T Davies on its list of writers.

Saddest character death:
Without a moment’s thought, Mark Greene in ER. Just the thought of it has been known to move me to tears all these years later.

Fun Stuff

Meme time

After the wittering of my last post I saw Budgie’s version of this and thought I’d have a go.

1. My last kiss… was a while ago, though still fairly memorable.

2. I am listening to… ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ by The Stereophonics. I saw them at the Birmingham NIA on Saturday and they were brilliant!

3. I talk… to the people on the telly even though I know they can’t hear me.

4. I love… books and can happily spend hours exploring a bookshop or library.

5. My best friend… was the circle topic at Beavers this week. It was really funny watching the boys try to remember the names of all their best friends.

6. My first real kiss… was entirely underwhelming.

7. Love is… difficult to define.

8. Marriage is… something I hope to experience one day.

9. Somewhere, someone is thinking… “It can’t possibly be time to get up already!”

10. I’ll always… strive to find the positives in any situation.

11. The last time I really cried was because… I was frustrated.

12. My cell phone… has been set on silent for months.

13. When I wake up in the morning… my first thought is usually tea related.

14. Before I go to bed… I have a final cup of tea. Just like Jackie Tyler.

15. Right now I am thinking about… the answers to the questions I’ve skipped over.

16. Babies are… a wonderful excuse to get crafting.

17. I get on Myspace… if it is the only way to find out about a band. I don’t have an account any more, I couldn’t see the point.

18. Today I… will be having fish and chips for the first time this year.

19. Tomorrow I will be… waving my parents off for the weekend.

20. I really want to be… more confidant.

21. Someone that will most likely repost this is… well I’m not sure that anyone will.