In the spirit of positive thinking, I’ve decided to dissect the best things about last year and then talk about what I’m looking forward to this year.
2009 wasn’t the best year I’ve ever had, but there were some things that really made a difference, in various ways. For a start, my sister came home from Uni after months of sadness and indecision, and we both had a lot of time to think and talk about what we both really wanted from life. The start of the year had been rubbish, in general, for both of us – I still hadn’t found a job, I was starting to despair a little bit and felt very lost indeed. I mean, it took a huge leap of faith for me to admit to myself and those around me that I wanted nothing more than to be a writer, to write and hopefully make a difference to people through my writing, fiction and non fiction alike.
In January, I became the voluntary editor of one of the NDCS’s regional newsletters. I still am the editor, and though it’s had it’s ups and downs, its something that is helping me to stick to deadlines and work efficiently. In August, I read a book and reviewed it for the NDCS national publication, although I am yet to read it because we haven’t received the magazine yet (this could be for any number of reasons – the royal mail, perhaps??). This led me to consider being a book, film and theatre reviewer so I’ve set up a blog solely to test my reviewing skills. This year I’m hoping to push myself further and apply for a voluntary reviewing post on a reviews website I’ve found.
The travel highlight was going to Norfolk in September where my parents, my partner and my sister and her boyfriend all stayed at Clippesby holiday park for a few days to enjoy the Norfolk Broads. It was just lovely to get away from everything and I am determined that this year I get a chance to go away, even just for short mini breaks somewhere. I did enjoy parts of going away to Edinburgh to be with my partners family for two months, but I think by the end I was feeling very homesick and like I was in the way. It was the point at which I really started to make a go of writing by taking an online course from York Uni’s Lifelong Learning centre for ten weeks, so it was a good chance for me to get away and think in different surroundings.
There were also other various things that I really enjoyed – the theatre visits, books, cupcakes, getting my sister’s and I’s jewellery venture going, starting the Open University Creative Writing course. In particular, going to see Dirty Dancing and Oliver! was brilliant – especially with captions! Even though it’s a bit shallow, I’ve also really enjoyed clothes and style this year – plenty of 80’s madness. The highlight has to be the variety of dresses and the array of polka dots.
Ooh, and my lovely sister introduced me to Ella’s Cupcakes in Covent Garden – go and check it out if you haven’t already! She bought me an Oreo Cupcake for my 25th Birthday and it was yummy, not to mention very nice looking. I fell in love with Red Velvet cupcakes too – I hadn’t tried them before this summer. Just lovely. The cupcake making and experimentation took a bit of a backseat this year but I’m determined to try a few more of those lovely recipes and post the results in pictures this year!
For me, the film highlights weren’t that plentiful because I didn’t go to the cinema all that much. I definitely enjoyed Star Trek, Coco Before Chanel and New Moon – I felt like I didn’t get a chance to go and see all the films I wanted to see. My sis, partner and I went to see Avatar after Christmas but unfortunately we went to see the 3D one with subtitles and my sis and I got horrendous headaches. Has anyone else experienced this? It felt a bit like motion sickness or something, and I’m not sure why we got it. It was a brilliant film but we missed the beginning – thus probably missed the introduction to some of the characters. It was good but some of the characters seemed a little one-dimensional, despite the 3D! Being such a Sci Fi and Fantasy geek, I definitely loved the whole of that element of the film.
Anyway, that was last year, and this year there are lots of things I’m looking forward to – book releases, films, trips, concerts and festivals. In particular, I’m looking forward to:
– Alice In Wonderland
– The Lovely Bones
– The Wolfman
– Sex and the City 2
– Toy Story 3
– The Runaways
– The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
– The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Narnia)
– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
– Shrek Ever After
– Shutter Island
– Remember Me
I’m fairly sure that there are loads of other releases that I’ll want to see. I also want to rent a few films that I missed out on last year and also watch some older films that I haven’t seen before!
Books – Mostly those that are released this year:
– Waking the Witch – Kelley Armstrong
– Dead in the Family – Charlaine Harris
– The Inkheart Trilogy – Cornelia Funke
– Silver Borne – Patricia Briggs
– Magic Bleeds – Ilona Andrews
– Black Magic Sanction – Kim Harrison
– Shift – Rachel Vincent
I’m looking forward to maybe going for the day to the Reading Festival in August with my sister, and also hoping to see some good theatre and art exhibitions this year. I don’t think I actually went to any interesting art exhibitions last year – or at least I can’t remember if I did! I want to go and see The Real Van Gogh: The Artist and His Letters exhibition, and Irving Penn Portraits.