03 January 2015

My 2014: in review

It's time to jump on that blogging bandwagon and review my 2014.

It's been a pretty good year, I've had rather a good time. I set myself some goals wants for the year and don't think I did too badly by them:
FRIENDSHIPS. Yeah, so the idea was to spend more time with friends I've lost touch with, visit them and such like. That didn't really happen. In fact, a couple of my friends came to visit me. But I did make the effort whenever I went home (Walsall and my second-home Manchester) to meet up with friends. And if it weren't for a lot of the work-related travel over the past year, I would've had the availability to go on more friend-visiting adventures. Work is not set to be quite as busy this year so maybe that'll make way for it. 
BLOG. Blogging more is almost always one of my goals for the year. Sadly, quantitatively, I blogged just about the same as the previous year: 51 in 2014 compared with 55 in 2013, so, less in fact. I'd like to say it was richer content but that's not for me to decide. The year did feature more blog series and projects, including:
  • Project365: it began on my 29th birthday and was supposed to culminate in my 30th birthday in February 2015. But I lasted about 3 months. And I don't know for sure because I cannot bare to check. So a massive flop.
  • the year in books: quite a success I'd say, even if I still have some from the end of 2014 to blog. Maybe I'll combine them all into one. 
  • Playlists: I made it three quarters of the way through. But I intend to publish the remainder retrospectively. Basically, in secret so it will look like I made good on this series. 
  • 52 lists: another flop! And barely worth mentioning because I think I composed one list. However, I did discover I like lists that are for a purpose only, i.e. to be ticked off, not just the sake of making them. 
My carefully considered list of blog content for the year, the majority of which remained just ideas, half- and even fully written, but unpublished, is still ripe for sharing though so maybe in 2015? I got more involved with the blogging community, albeit only a little, when I signed up for Janet's Thrifty Christmas Gift Swap, receiving an awesome Christmas parcel from Janet's other half Thomas, and co-host of The Hungry Vegan. I would really like to get more involved and meet some of you lovely people!
CRAFT. This mostly centred around my signing up for a sewing class at the end of 2013 at the Bristol Folk House, followed by a dressmaking course. And I really have the sewing/dressmaking bug! I heart it. To the point that I regularly daydream about starting some sort of business but I'm nowhere near that really so I'm happy with daydreaming at the moment. I have in fact just signed up for the same dressmaking course this spring! Just some of the things I've made this year: 4 dresses, 5 tops/blouses, 2 shorts, 2 pyjama bottoms, 1 blazer, 1 skirt, 1 tie, 3 scarves, 8 bags, 5 zippered pouches, and 7 cushions. I told you; small-time. I did try to blog some of these makes (even creating a sewing page on the blog) but I'm having a little trouble figuring out how to fit that into my blog; I'm not sure the content really fits here. I don't want it to be a blog that tries to be/do lots of different things  all mixed together (although, in essence, that is me!) and I don't want to blog about sewing alone. So for the time being, Instagram is where most of my makes get documented. Like-a-so:

READ. I set myself a Goodreads challenge of reading 20 books in 2014. I read 17. That's 85%. I'll take that since I read hmm 13 in 2013.  I've set myself the same challenge for 2015. Nothing like pushing yourself, right?
EXPLORE. Plenty of travel in 2014 meant I did a good amount of exploring: Germany twice, Italy, and Hawaii. And I just generally did more stuff, and had lots of fun doing it, which was the goal. Like what? 
  • Joined a book club. Left said book club. 
  • Moved house, again. In with another friend and work colleague.
  • Went to watch live theatre in the form of Jane Eyre at Bristol Old Vic which was excellent! And Madame Butterfly at The Tobacco Factory, which was pretty good.
  • Went to a champagne tasting event at The Clifton Cellars. Also excellent! Despite retaining minimal knowledge about champagne.
  • Tried online dating. Twice. After swearing for years that I wouldn't, or rather, that it wasn't for me.
  • Listened to live music at two festivals and three gigs.
  • Was an invited panel member for a University of Manchester careers event.
  • Night-walked from Bath to Bristol for 8 hours to raise money for FareShare South West (FSSW).
  • Went on a mates' holiday to Italy. Molto divertente!
  • Made and sold my wares at a craft fair, again to raise money for FSSW.
  • Became a mini sewing and dressmaking production line, with output including no less than four Christmas presents!
Wow. I'd like to thank Google Calendar for sponsoring that list. 
DECISIONS. BE OPEN. This wasn't the clearest of wants really, was it? It was largely related wanting to explore, above. But I would say I've been pretty open to things this year; said yes to things I wouldn't have in the past, just 'gone with it' in scenarios that my over-thinking would've previously lead me to decline, and certainly tried to be more fun and relaxed. I swear, I immature as I age. That's not supposed to happen. 
And how was everyone else's 2014?

So, what's in store for 2015? Well, I was only going to set myself one goal but the more I've thought about it, I would like to add a couple more so I'll be back in a few days to lay that down. But for now, all that's left to say is Happy New Year to you all!



  1. I'm glad you liked the parcel from Thomas. I love running the swap and will definitely be doing it again this year, so hope you'll take part again.

    Sounds like you had a busy 2014 (am quite jealous of all the travel and also the champagne tasting!), hope 2015 is a good one for you.

  2. 2014 sounded super busy and fun! I think you did really well with your plans - I *always* plan to blog more every year, but it never happens :/

    Have a great 2015 :) x

  3. Wow that's a pretty good list! (a couple of pretty good lists actually) I'm so glad Google calendar and a note app exists on my phone because I'd be lost without them...

  4. It was a pretty busy year really, but yes, in a fun way. Thanks Andrea! Hope you have a great 2015 too. : )

  5. Thanks! Yeah, I suppose it isn't too bad. It's so easy to downplay one's activities or achievements isn't it. Not that I achieved much...ha I'm doing it again! Yes, Google calendar is great. I've set it to sync my work calendar as well now. Me = all the organised!