A Look Back at my Year

Can you believe it’s nearly the end of 2012?

I write a blog for many reasons, but one of the great things it’s useful for is being able to see what I’ve done over time.  So this week, I thought, before heading into 2013 I’d look back and see what I’ve managed to achieve in 2012.

  • Chillies:

Well, it started off full of enthusiasm and willing in Feb 2012, but by Aug it was apparent this yr was not going to be a outright success.  I set sowing with over 200 seeds and from that 170 germinated.  Some then got bought, others were given away and I was then left with a core set of plants I’d hoped were going to bring me lots of chillies.  In fact the plants did give me a fair amount of chillies but they all stayed green.  As the spring sun turned to summer rain, the temperatures began to drop so light and warmth began to disappear.  My chillies plants grew but grew slowly and so the pods developed slowly and finally the chillies never really saw any summer sun.  Still never to be dismayed by the bad weather, the chillies were used and preserved in vinegar ready for nachos!

  • Gardening:

This year has been a fantastic year in the garden.  I finally saw my two yr old garden design plans come to fruition.  With the help of the boss, friends, and some serious manual labour, the old garden has been taken away, moved, broken, dug up and binned to make way for new constructions, solid raised vegetable beds and at last a garden to be proud of.  Next yr the plants and vegetables, fruits and hedges will all be added over the next few months.

  • Personal Cultivation:

I learnt a lot about myself this year.  I learnt I don’t need to worry about being an introvert, that in fact it makes me who I am and anything else is just not positive.  I learnt I could push myself harder in terms of fitness and whereas I haven’t lost any significant weight, I can tell you I am much happier about my body (which is never a mean feat for any woman!).  I now look at fitness and food both as friends and not enemies.  I discovered some great blogs around mindfulness and areas around zen and generally finding lots of people online, and in life, who are very like me, wanting to find simpler more meaningful lives.

  • Photography:

Its been another great year for taking loads of photographs.  I took nearly 600 of Mouse within six months of her coming to live with us!  Excessive I know, but she is rather cute.  I managed to complete a couple of personal photography skills I have always wanted to achieve, one was around water droplets and the other is around Lego, or what they call ‘product’ photography.  I’ve put all my very best snaps in one place and that can be found over here.

  • Saving the Planet:

This year I’ve casually found myself heading towards a more vegetarian lifestyle, and at the very least I never let any meat in the house unless it’s free range/outdoor reared or any other term that supermarkets coin for supposed high animal welfare.  As a household we’ve also started buying meat from a local pig farmer so we know exactly what the  breed is, how its cared for and what it’s fed.  Its not easy and it’s not cheap but it’s very important to me.  We also started to support a local community group who bought some land and turned it into a sustainable, ethical green business called Green Futures.

In Oct I took part in my first ever protest march, in London, to try and convince the government just how important public service are to local people.  Semi public is not okay, it’s got to be kept 100% public.  That’s not to say any public service doesn’t need to be more efficient, because it has.  It also needs to keep up with changing markets and other boring paper filled exercises but at the very heart it must always only ever be in the interests of the people it serves.

  • Writing:

My old blog, called Grimsby Chillies took off in Jan 2010.  It was the first blog I had ever dabbled with.  It was great to be able to document my chilli growing habits and exploits and it made me do one very important thing.  It made me write, routinely and frequently.  From that my blogging skills (design) have got better so in Oct 2012 I decided to start a new blog, this one.  Now I am writing, about writing!

In Nov I completed, for the first time ever, a novel.  I wrote it in 30 days as per the NanoWriMo rules.  It really focused my attentions to writing and I am pretty proud to have finally got a solid piece of creative writing finished.

This year I was asked to take part in my first ever guest blog for an established blog called The Good Life in Practice, which gave me further excuse to write about chillies.

Along with writing comes reading and another year (my second) was spent making my way further down the list of Top 1,00 novels Everyone Must Read.  I started the year reading Lorna Doone by Blackmore, which was no easy feat (for one that didn’t ready Austen until 2010), but I made it and the year has ended with Bleak House by Dickens.  In between I’ve read the likes of Jurassic Park, Disgrace, Fahrenheit 452 and Ruby Fruit Jungle.  Next year I move up to authors beginning with E.  In someways the list can be challenging but in others I’m reading gems that I would never have read if not for the list.

So, who’s ready for 2013 then…

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