Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Wow, did we really do all of that ?

Wow is it the end of 2014 already ? I've been out this afternoon with the boy and when people were saying, "Happy New Year," I kept catching myself thinking, really ? It's so hard to recall how one year compares with the last - apart from the ones where momentous things happen like getting married or having a baby - so instead I've been looking back at what I did in 2014.

Early in the year when there was still a hint of Winter in the air it was time for yet another Team Honk challenge. This year it was the Lands End to John O'Groats baton relay where bloggers used any means possible to take part. In London we were fortunate to have a lot of participants and we chose to do 'Honkopoly' visiting places on the Monopoly board. I got jailed at the Tower of London and rode a scooter dressed as a burglar. At one point Honkopoly was trending on Twitter which was a highlight and a massive boost as the day wore on. When I was on the train back home in the dark I was too tired to explain my clothing to onlookers and had no phone battery to call Hubbie, but hey what an achievement !

Honk Honk ! It's me not yet in jail. 
We finally took our son on a plane for the first (and second) time. After a few years of 'staycations' we finally took the plunge and had holiday abroad with our son. He loved the flight and met the pilot and sat at the controls going out to Lanzarote and back. It wasn't plain sailing (when is it ever with small children ?) but it was a positive experience and we decided it would be ok to do it again. He also enjoyed telling everyone he had been on holiday to Spain.

As well as having a birthday in May, I also did the Moonwalk with my lovely pal Soraya who is a breast cancer survivor. I could not believe I was doing this as I remembered that it's the single most difficult challenge I've undertaken in my life so far and for some reason I chose to do it again !  Anyway, we were overwhelmed with support (mostly for Soraya really) and it make being dressed like an idiot totally worth it.

Post moonwalk celebration
This was the year of my celebrity interviews with a run of them - I talked to Mark Steel about his love of sport - he concluded that we were probably married without knowing about it. Then I interviewed Mark Thomas who was fantastic and shares a love of the Fall with Hubbie. I met him again recently and he was kind enough to say he remembered. I also interviewed Andy Kershaw who I last met when we were both in Sierra Leone.

My lovely friend Lesley launched her new business venture Glow, in the Autumn and as part of that she organised a World Record attempt with around 30 of her colleagues. It involved a lot of us taking part in a fitness routine all at the same time across the country while adjudicators from the Guinness Book of Records watched to verify we had done it correctly. We found out later in the evening that we had indeed set a new World Record - with me dressed in a bright orange hula skirt. Oh well, it's not worth doing if you don't make an idiot of yourself is it ?

I'm moving so fast I'm a blur :)
In September this year my boy started school which has been a big milestone for all of us. At one point we didn't know if we would even ever have children so the fact that he is in school now and can write his name, is learning Spanish and is doing simple maths is just astounding. I went with both of his grandmothers to buy school uniform and at the Early Years nativity this month I was amongst the proudest parents fighting for a seat at the front of the hall.

In November I fulfilled a 2 year goal of chairing a session at the Mumsnet Blogfest about diversity and inclusion. It was nerve wracking and I was worried that no one would come or there would be nothing to say, but it was great and I hope that it's the beginning of something that will truly move things along in the world of blogging.

Not long after this - well 2 days later actually - I started a new job. It's the first time I've worked full time since my son was born so it's been a bit of a shock to the system waking up so early and always rushing to make sure I'm back to pick up my son from school. It is also, however, really challenging and reminds me that I have a brain that can do more than plan meals, wash school uniform and plump sofa cushions.

No really, he does know I'm there honest
So, in case any of you didn't already know I met Russell Brand when he advertised a couple of small shows he was doing in trendy Hoxton. He was talking about his plans for revolution and the giggling girls in the front row seemed very keen on political change from what I could tell. It was interesting to hear his ideas and to witness how he thinks. The attention he's had since then has been something else though. I share this photo here as it got such a strong reaction when I put it up on Facebook.

And finally I fulfilled a long held ambition by going away this Christmas. We had the most fabulous holiday in Cornwall in the Summer and stayed at Coombe mill which is perfect for a family like ours with a small boy who loves animals, tractors, trains and generally being outside with other kids. It was so much fun that we went back for Christmas and if you've read my last few posts you will have seen we had a wonderful stay with Fiona and her marvellous family.
My happiness jar - can't wait to read it :)
It has been a big year for all of us in the family and sometimes it's hard to remember everything so I'm delighted I have this jar. At the start of the year my sister shared this idea of keeping a record of the things that go well or make you happy and putting them into the jar to be read on New Year's Eve. I look forward to reading this aloud so I can recall all the best things before the next year begins.

I wish you a Happy New Year and hope that 2015 brings plenty of fun, happiness and joy.

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