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Ah yes, it is time for my obligatory annual review of the year not quite gone. As I will have no time for this post tomorrow I am going to do it now!

Top music this year – This year has been all about Eliza Doolittle and The Script for me. I have listened to those two albums more than anything. Tunes to be forever remembered include a reprise of From Paris to Berlin and also Party Rock Anthem. Adele has also broken my heart a few times this year and I am just now getting into Florence and the Machine properly… Rhianna has dominated the charts and I haven’t hated her for it and Katie Perry has been Waz’s perpetual guilty pleasure. My guilt, his pleasure. Apparently this year has been all about the ladies for me!

Top film – Without hesitating I loved X-Men First Class. It was awesome. ‘Nough said.

Top TV – Downton Abbey all the way. Although I did enjoy watching Vampire Diaries from the start… it was indulgent.

Plans/Resolutions for 2011

I will try to stress less about money – I think I achieved this this year… for the most part. This is not least due to the fact that I am working a better job than I was when I graduated.
I will not panic about moving house – I didn’t and moving house went without much of a hitch on my part, just the mental break down of my now ex-housemate. This was fairly exhausting for all involved but we got sorted and all settled into new abodes.
I will try to bait Waz less and be nicer to him even when I’m feeling grumpy – I think I’m more aware of my bad behaviour now and while I haven’t succeeded in baiting him less I try to be less grumpy at him and when I am unreasonable I apologise which is progress!
I will try to see more of my friends, particularly those who live further away – I think I’ve done quite well in this as well! I visited Suz up in Scotland and have seen more of Annie and made the effort to go to social occasions where friends from further afield attended so.. Another yes. Yay.
I will try to speak to family more often – Again I am managing to speak to me mother about once a week which is good for us. Luke I need to make more effort with this year. It’s not hard to pick up the phone and I need to do it more.
I WILL go to the seaside! I will! I want to see the sea! (This one is easy, right?) – YAY We spent a sunny day in Scarborough and it was one of the highest points of this year.
I will try and organise a weekend away camping for Waz and Marmie and Paul and Stinky and Alex and possibly co. – Yeah this totally didn’t happen. We organised a weekend away with friends but not this. A big family get together is a must for 2012.
I will try and start writing again (although this would be easier if I had a computer… stupid dead laptop and stupid lack of space for desktop) – I totally didn’t do this either. Writing has not happened at ALL this year. I have however crocheted a lot… This is better than nothing... ?
I am going to try and stop losing my larp dagger. That’s twice in two events – I currently know exactly where my larp dagger is. This is good.
I will have a piano! I am saving for the rest of it :o) – My pianny is sat but 6 feet from me as I write this.
I will also save for the wedding, slowly but surely – Totally didn’t happen. Well not entirely – I have a little tucked away but this may get eaten by the car MOT in two weeks time.

So! … That’s not bad actually.  Much better than first thought!

Crafting based:

I am going to knit those mittons for my Wife – It wasn’t ‘those’ mittons but she got some lovely purple wristlets for her birthday.
I am going to continue to get to grips with crochet through making two blankies, one for Marmie one for Waz and I.  – I did make two blankies, one for Marmie and one for the in-laws. Waz and I will get ours eventually
I am going to knit or crochet a cardigan for mine self – Did a half arsed attempt at a cardigan and gave up – but I did make a shrug for me to wear to a wedding!
I am going to knit a pair of socks! And thus learn to use two circular needles (no way am I using 4 straight ones) – Failed this one. No socks knitted or crocheted were made. I did have a bash at using dp needles though and it wasn’t so scary.
I am going to start one of my big cross stitch pieces (and hopefully finish) – Also didn’t happen. I did do a backstitch piece but it was not large and was the only needlepoint I did all year.
I am going to make a new outfit for Maelstrom – It wasn’t for Maelstrom but I made a tartan bustle skirt and a medieval dress for myself this year so not bad going.
I am going to make a roll/case for all my needles and related stuff. – I bought a purple zippered crochet hook pouch in the end. Lazy mare. I did make a cute cherry print bag for my knitting needles though.
I am going to continue to learn embroidery stitches and find stuff to embroider on – As above a failure there was a real lack of needlepoint this year
I’m going to knit something cute and ridiculous and stuff it. – I made a cat-robot, a plushy Cthulthu and a jellyfish mobile (not stuffed but ridiculous). They were crocheted but hey ho =D

Mixed results on the crafting front!

And now the month-by-month review!!

January

I was still working at Guide Dogs, thoroughly bored of it but loving the people and the atmosphere immensely. I’d work for them again just.. in a more taxing position methinks. And I’d totally work in the charity sector again. We were house-hunting for the house I’m currently sat in and life was tough for my soon-to-be housemates.
I bought my piano. We were playing ShadowRun every Monday and I had horrible toothache and Waz was in a car accident.

February

Soon-to-be housemates (as they were then) had an even rougher time of it and I spent much of this and the following months at ‘Mothers Meetings’ comforting Kat.
Bitter Moon tea house player event. This was one of the first times I started to feel like I’d found my larp feet, as it were. Really good event and I gained a lot of self-confidence. A close friend’s sister made a serious attempt to kill herself and oddly enough this was sort of the point where we started to see less and less of each other… February wasn’t a great month beyond the larp. I was ill a lot and feeling sorry for myself a lot.

March

Pancake day at Pennington (my last house) was lots of fun. Mmm.. pancakes.
The tsunami and earthquake in Japan happened which, as I have a fair few friends out in that part of the world, really struck with me so I decided to auction some things for various charities.
Waz and I came out of a rough patch. It was a learning-how-to-do adult relationships month… Sometimes we both forget that I’ve never lived with anyone in a romantic sense before. It’s hard!
The end of the month saw Ann’s hen-do in Whitby and it was a lovely day of posh-Victorian frocks and afternoon tea.

April

Went to the Eliza Doolittle gig which was a high light =D Really good. Waz and I had lots of dates this month – we also went to Kirkstall Abbey and several lunch dates.
I finished the blanket I made for Marmie in time for her birthday. It was the ten year anniversary of Alex’s death. Alex is Waz’s first wife. We spent it in the little village in the Yorkshire dales where we met.
First Maelstrom of the year was legendary and we came back via my parents to meet Poppy the new black lab puppy.
And of course the 29th saw the Royal Wedding – we had a carpet picnic at Hannah and Guy’s and good times were had.
Generally a lovely month

May

Waz took me to Scarborough for the day! =D And we went to see Thor which was awesome. A glorious beautiful sunny bank holiday weekend and a truly high moment this year.
House viewing got serious and Waz and I trekked up to Glasgow for a weekend with Susie.
I did some job-hunting and some soul searching. Decided that I can’t take a job just for the money if I have the option to hang on for something I might actually be happy in. Obviously beggars cannot be choosers but sometimes a modicum of work satisfaction is worth the wait and stretching the pennies to have that wait.
All in all a good and busy month.

June

More Larp and early birthday presents of a sewing machine which I am still in love with, Fairy tale nights out a Wendy house and oh my goodness film of the year was X Men First Call made the good points of May
We moved! And I love this house ^-^ However on moving day Waz lost his job…which was shit. Really shit.
It was also very very hot. Thankfully Waz found a new job quickly (it helps when you’re a qualified electrician, it opens doors that’s for sure) and we carried on regardless. His birthday was a quiet one in at home with me cooking tasty dinner and plying him with wine.

July

I was walking to work from Armley and loving it… I miss that a lot. The weather was still warm and Ann and Char’s wedding was a glorious affair both the quiet reception mid-week and the weekend in a field with lots of friends and beautiful weather. Happy happy times.
My birthday was wonderful this year. Chilled out date-night with my boy and my present was another high light of the year – yaaay aquarium!! I love sea-life. ^-^ After the aquarium which we went to on the Saturday there was a pre-Wendyhouse party which we went along to and I was spoilt with cake and presents and drinks bought which I was not expecting in the slightest. All of this was much needed as I lost my job at Guide Dogs with a teary goodbye between my actual birthday and the trip to the aquarium. Redundancies and a temp position that should have been part time at best meant they no longer needed me… It was with heavy heart I left that place.

August

I sold my soul to started working for Norlands. I was only unemployed for a short while and landed my current job. So far so good! It’s hard. Sometimes it sucks balls. My colleagues are ace though and that makes it sooo much better.
Also the country was rioting… which was new to me. And news, because it took me two days to find out we were rioting due to being in the middle of nowhere, Wales with the in-laws.
I started thus-far failed tattoo plotting.. I have the ideas just not committed to the funds for it yet. What I want is going to cost upward of £300 easily. I’m not prepared to spend that on myself right now and nor I am prepared to settle for anything less so I have met myself with a stalemate.
Oh and we started the Rolemaster campaign! Yay Middle Earth shenanigans. =D

September

I started making the Christmas blankie present for the in-laws. Work continued as it is perpetually – busy and hectic and stressful but…. I still sort of love it.
I had toothache…again -_-‘ I made an attempt at plotting for NaNoWriMo but didn’t bother in the end due to time-constraints/crochet-preference.
I became consumed with Downton Abbey =D We went to celebrate the engagement of two friends of ours ^-^ Yay
I had a massive wibble about Paul’s illness and he goes into hospital for the long over-due tests that will confirm what the hell is actually wrong with him.

October

Hornby Laithe! And it was a massive success and I had an amazing time =D Slightly different crowd but lots of fun regardless. Also a big 40th bash that involved wearing my Marmie’s gorgeous red velvet wedding dress. Lush. And a great weekend away with close friends. Just lovely.
We were however also going through a health scare with Waz and this continues on well into November. This takes a massive toll on me, him and us. We’re still ironing out the creases to be honest.. but we’re getting there. It also brought to light in the backwards way a scare can how much I love him and also how badly I want to have his baby one day. And by ‘one day’ I mean ‘one day sooner rather than later’. He is nearly 40, after all.

December

Busy busy! I make my first ever dress from scratch – this is a big step into the world of textiles for me and I am still chuffed to bits. I throw a great big Christmas party for friends and there is much food, mulled wine and loveliness. The work Christmas do is eventful with inappropriate behaviour including drinking beer from a shoe and flicking sugar cubes at The Boss. After that came Freja’s Christmas German Market birthday bash of cosy wine-drinking and candyfloss eating and the blossoming of an unexpected friendship with Ann whom I had never really been close to until more recently ;) 
Then there was the awesomeness of the weekend in St Brieval’s with medieval banquets and ridiculous amounts of fun. Complete with a very festive dusting of snow and a fake wedding to end all practical jokes. And of course a quiet and family Christmas itself split between his parents and mine. I love December, it is full of festivity and this year was just the right balance. It made me truly grateful for all the beautiful people in my life and I made every excuse to sit and drink and be merry with them.

Review

All in all… a good year! I was employed for most of it in jobs that I didn’t hate. Waz and I are going strong although we’ve had more than our share of downs. I have made a great deal of happy memories with him and with friends and family and I have learnt things about myself and about other things – particularly crafting and making things.
I generally have no idea where I want to be this time next year but I am going to set some modest goals as follows.

Resolutions

Spend less money on things I don’t really need – I have over spent in the latter half of this year and I need to save more and spend less on crap I don’t need.

Continue to say ‘yes’ when invited out and be social, jovial and enjoy my friends and family.

Play piano more – Rekindle the love. Find a new style. Whatever. I don’t play enough and it’s a waste.

Draw more – I have started a drawing project but I would like to continue this current enthusiasm and also learn to use colour. Colouring my work has always been a scary thing and I’d like to get over that a bit this year

Keep up the crochet! – I want to do another blanket this year, actually learn to make socks and also I’d like to pick up knitting again even if it’s just one project

Learn to use my drop spindle – This I am excited for. I have all I need to get going, all I need is a quiet weekend, next weekend perhaps.

Go on a holiday with Waz – A long weekend or a week somewhere, anywhere, just…away.

Read! – Read more, read often. I spend 2 hours of my life a day on a bus. Take a bus-book instead of browsing facebook on my phone. Specifically I intend on reading 12 books this year. It is an achievable target of 1 a month and I have already begun with Frankenstein. Recommendations are welcome.

Be more adventurous in the kitchen – Nights drawing in quickly and early have meant that oven-food has been the staple recently. Less takeaways, food-in-a-box-or-bag and more home-made noms needed.

I think that’s it…=D Yep.

Sayonara 2011… You’ve been a roller coaster. Onwards into 2012 and upwards, I hope!  Happy new year everybody, I hope you welcome it in well. xxxx

P.S. If you read even half of that you deserve a medal and thank you! xxx


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