My Year in Review – 2019

31 Dec

It is the final day of the year (and indeed the decade) so I thought I would do a quick and thoroughly arbitrary review of my 2019.

It’s been a pretty good year for me, certainly better than last year, so here’s hoping that pattern continues into the ’20s.

Oh, and we’re all agreed it’s straight into flapper dresses and feather headbands tomorrow, right?

New Year 2019

The year started in Northern Ireland for me. They’re not very good at New Year in NI, and I had to point out to people that we had reached the Bells, but on the plus side, I was with some lovely people including my best friend, so that counts as a good Hogmanay.

Books

This is an easy one. I’m not very reliable at recording my reading on Goodreads, but I do remember most of the time, so here’s its round-up of my year in books.

The best book I read this year was Of Human Bondage, followed by Invisible Women. The worst book was The Beauty Myth, which I didn’t bother to finish.

Travel

Countries visited:

  • Northern Ireland
  • England, France
  • Albania

And I saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but from the air.

New cities/towns visited:

  • Shkodër, which means I have finally been to every major city in Albania.
  • Rothesay on the Isle of Bute.
  • Also Airdrie and Hamilton (which are less exciting) and Dunfermline, which I liked more than I expected to.

Crochet

This year I made

  • a Yoda
  • a Darth Vader
  • a pair of socks
  • a Christmas-tree angel
  • a Christmas jumper
  • a baby blanket
  • most of a shawl
  • a hot-water-bottle cover and
  • a handful of squares for my ongoing granny square sampler blanket. (And tomorrow I start my temperature blanket!)

I also learnt how crochet ribbing (like on jumper cuffs), which is very handy.

Top facts

Ones that stick out from this year are:

  • Letters are called uppercase and lowercase because printers literally kept the type in a case (or box), and the capital letters were on the top half!
  • The ox and the ass that are mentioned in Christmas carols and found in icons are there because the ox represents Israel and the ass (donkey) represents the gentiles.
  • Viagra cures period pain. (But further trials didn’t get funding – grr.)


Writing career

I brought out one book: How to Get Published

I did three author appearances:

  • a lecture on the Dark Ages for the Bute Literary Society
  • an author visit to my old school, Sheffield High
  • a light-hearted debate on Robin Hood with Carmel Page at Stannington Library in Sheffield.

I had articles published on

Miscellaneous firsts

  • I started a craft project for asylum seekers. So far I’ve had sessions in Dennistoun, Bridgeton and Cardonald.

 

  • I saw Dippy the diplodocus when she visited the Kelvingrove Museum. This was exciting because I had seen the film One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing. It’s hard to believe how long her tail is!

 

  • I tried Lindyhop. It was fun, but didn’t seduce me away from Latin dancing.

 

  • I went to the circus for what I believe was the first time. It was much more enjoyable than I expected.

 

  • I saw live snooker at the Emirates Arena. They were all playing at the same time in a big long room with lots of tables – it was a bit weird! I can see how the Crucible would be better. Maybe another year…

 

  • I bought a fancy painting. I had actually bought a painting from a coffee shop before, by a local artist, but this one was by a professional painter (Lynn Golden), was in a big frame and cost a bucketload. My friend Susan Main says this means I am now a proper adult. That sounds like a good way to end the decade to me!

 

Happy New Year!*



*When it comes, if you are Scottish and reading this before midnight.

 

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