nostalgia was better last year

30 Dec
It’s the end of 2008 already, if you hadn’t noticed. I like to take a moment to look back and look forward at this time of year, and because I’m a vain blogging type, you get to read my profound thoughts as well. It’s become some sort of tradition, I guess. Better still, do it yourself on Facebook or somewhere.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before?
Became an auntie. Drove on a motorway (for about 100 meters). Got paid for being a Latin Link groupie :o) Got paid for writing. Had something published in a book, which I never bought. Went to Summer Step orientation. Hired a car. Made a casserole. Sat in a court room. Went to night school. Learnt to say "Space Pirates" in sign language. Took a youth group to Soul Survivor. Purposely met my neighbours. Had counselling. Went abroad for business. Cycled 26 miles. Commuted!

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn’t make any. If my resolution was to do sport, my badminton racquet was used a total of once. I did give up sarcasm for lent, which wasn’t a resounding success. Will think about next year…
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My own sister, Tamsyn!
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, hurray. Not a lot of mortal peril this year either.

5. What countries did you visit?
Wales, and Northern Ireland twice. Ever decreasingly exotic, but N. Ireland was a first (and second) for me and is a brilliant place, so it is!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A hand to hold…? There are plenty of things I would like to have, but nothing I truly need, except more of Him. That’s not trying to sound holy, it’s the often-difficult truth. Gosh, last year I flippently said, ‘a car’. Hannah Davis, you are an answer to prayer!

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 13th – Joel’s birthday (and easy to remember as it’s 6 months from mine!)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
What is achievement? The Pygmy Giant has done really well this year, so well I had to recruit help. On a personal note it will be finishing this course if I actually do manage to do so successfully :oS That has been a massive massive slog, great and life changing but so gruelling! I might be most proud of driving that hire car all the way across Northern Ireland, though!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I think I find this hard to answer because I believe everything’s in God’s hands! So nothing’s a waste!

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Well, as I write I am just getting over that flipping winter vomiting virus; that was more extreme than expected. Otherwise not really, I’m too careful now for injuries!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Perhaps a couple of CDs that have become soundtracks to the year… the pirate finger puppets I bought Becky… I bought very, very little this year!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Westi Weston, for letting me stay in her house once a week for the whole year, even though I showed up when she was in her pyjamas and ate all her cereal. You legend. Ditto my siblings in Reading. And Elma Currie, who let me stay in her house even though she wasn’t there, having only met me once. It has been a year of much hospitality.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The usual suspects – Mugabe, bankers, trashy magazine editors. And a couple of people in Oxford who I can’t name, but whose lives make me very sad.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, trains, bills, food (in that order).
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Jesus’ beauty. People coming to know him :o) Singing to him with 11,000 teenagers at Soul Survivor. Wassailing. Seeing a video of my Peruvian Goddaughter greeting me. Joel. Road trips. Matt’s wedding. Doing silly things with my housemates.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
The songs from High School Musicals I, II and III.
"It’s just guy love; between two guys.." (don’t ask)
Five Years Time – Noah and the Whale (car song!)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Certainly more aware of being both!
b) thinner or fatter?
Possibly slightly thinner at this precise moment following the unspeakable illness.

c) richer or poorer?
Poorer! But for much more worthwhile reasons.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Reading for my course, taking time out to properly pray, writing, cycling for fun.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Travelling.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Reading, quietly, while mum was sick and Joel enjoyed his presents.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
No.

22. How many one-night stands?
Approx. zero again.

23. What was your favourite TV program?
I can’t cover up the amount of Doctor Who watching that has gone on..!

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No, can’t manage that any more thanks to God (yeah still stands – I can’t imagine how much effort it must take to hate someone! What a waste of energy!)

25. What was the best book you read?
"Abba’s Child" by Brennan Manning was beautiful and brilliant. I can’t remember what fiction I read other than The Icarus Girl, The Time Traveller’s Wife and The Kite Runner, which were all pretty great, so perhaps they win.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
A Minor 7.
The Feeling – Twelve Stops and Home, which I have still not got sick of listening to after about 6 months, very surprisingly. Soundtrack to the year, really.
I’ve also latterly discovered Noah and the Whale, who are groovy.
27. What did you want and get?
A house near the station.
28. What did you want and not get?
A house near the station that doesn’t have mould.
29. What was your favourite film of this year?
Ummm, did I go to the cinema this year?? Oh yes I did.. to see HSM III – THAT was a very amusing trip, thanks to Hannah shouting "he looks ROUGH!" at the start of the first scene, and waving our arms to the songs in the back row, by far the oldest people in the audience…
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Scarily 25, Sim and I made people barbecue in the rain – they weren’t keen. I had a cake shaped like a pirate ship, it was ace.
31.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Finishing my course in December!!!

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
"It’s possible to wear more layers than you think."

33. What kept you sane?
Obviously Jesus again, he’s good at that – and it felt like a close thing this year. Learning how to go for help to other people more and be less of a hero! And plenty of insanity with my lovely, nutso housemates :o) Love yous.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Zimbabwe – please donate some cash.
35. Whom did you miss?
The Bulan Rouge, Artemis, The Standard Seven, Matt. Steve, encore.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Whom did I meet this year? The Snelsons! They are cool. Debs Brown. And the cool folks on my course.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008:
It is not cool to be a hard nut; it is ok to be a soft nut.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Knowing me, knowing you."

39. So in as few words as possible, how would you sum up your year?
Hardcore. Emotionally exhausting; my housemates, my job and my God got me through.
Lots of pirates.
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