Friday, 31 December 2010

Review of 2010: a year of firsts

  • My brother got married to the lovely Nichola
    • I hope that this is a first & only time he gets married :)
    • I gave a reading at the wedding too, and was proud to do it
  • Rode a bike for a 33mile ride
    • & raised over £450 for RNLI at the same time
  • Baked a cake in the shape of a Newcastle-city pub for a regional Food event (Eat 2010)
    • & received a runner up prize (voted by my fellow-cake bakers)
    • & gave the cake to a local housing-association
  • Joined a 5week drama class in Jan
    • & made 5 new friends, continuing to meet each week since the class ended
  • Made a strawberry gateau
    • & realising how easy it was, made 3 more in the summer
  • Helped to build a community on a facebook page for Brompton Carnival & Sports Committee
    • And reporting on it's events, including photos
    • Attracting over 150 people to the group
  • Create, build and star in my own Carnival Float for Brompton Carnival & Sports May Day Fancy Dress Parade Day (with my niece & nephew)
    • & making an outfit to look like a snowman (in the middle of May)
    • & winning 2nd Prize!
  • My very good friend Claire got engaged to Tee
    • she's been through some tough stuff, and I'm so pleased that she found Tee, I hope they have a long and happy life together
  • I went on a weight-loss drug trial at Newcastle University for Naturex
    • Took a 'pill' (could be drug, could be placebo) stuck to a normal diet (no calorie counting or weighing foods), I lost 10lb in about 10weeks.
  • I made a skirt!
    • Under the careful supervision of my mum, but I made a skirt
    • And it's one that I will wear, not one that I think, nah, that's rubbish I won't bother.
  • I had my feet nibbled by little tiny fish
    • I got it for my mate Kath as a birthday present & we had our feet nibbled together.
    • It felt strange at first (almost like the start of pins & needles), then just tingly like jets of bubbles between your feet. Feet felt very soft afterwards - really unique experience.

Gardening Review
This year's allotment has seen a bumper strawberry harvest, not only had I enough strawberries to make about 20 jars of jam, but I made cheesecakes, sundaes, gateaux, cakes, and gave away a good few punnets of fresh strawberries.  I was also secretly pleased to have outdone my dad's strawberries this year.  My dad has been my allotment mentor, we compare notes on everything we grow, his often outdo mine.  But this year, my strawberries have outdone his tenfold.  And it's me giving him spare strawberry plants so he can grow like mine in 2011.

My potatoes did well, and I'm still eating them - they're in sacks in the garage.
My garlic failed again.
Tomatoes were excellent - another great harvest of greek-tomatoes!
We made elderflower cordial that tasted sublime, it was too nice to give away to anyone!

Home
The kitchen was done in 2009, a year old, and still looking clean, tidy and wonderful (especially the pantry).  We got new window fitted in the front of the house, which has improved the look, feel, sound, and warmth of the house. 
Towards the backend of the year we began the dining room, wallpaper off (every possible surface), walls skimmed, painted, floor laid, furniture purchased and fitted units (quote pending).  The dining room will look fabulous when it's done, fit to entertain. 
And we can start spending our Wedding Gifts: money to buy furniture and vouchers for John Lewis (crockery and cutlery)!

CD Purchases
  • Chemical Brothers, Further - superb, started as a slow-burner, has some super bouncy, feel good tracks
  • Scissor Sisters, Night Work - slow, not as good as the last 2, and to be perfectly honest, I can't remember any of the tracks of this.
  • Goldfrapp, Head First - a real 80s feel-good CD with some sing-along to get you in the mood, "o-o-o I've got a rocket, o-o-o you're going on it, o-o-o you're never coming back!"
  • Goldfrapp, Felt Mountian - their first CD, which means I've got the full collection, I mainly bought it for the tracks 'Utopia' and 'Lovely Head' which they played at their gig in Newcastle in November
  • Ministry of Sound, Electronic 80s (1 & 2), when you just feel like a bit of electric synth classics, wang it on, like back and reminice.
Other than that, not a lot of great music released in 2010, the support band for Goldfrapp, RetroGrade, were excellent, but their album isn't due for released until 2011.

Gigs/Theatre
  • The Girl in the Yellow Dress, Live Theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne went to see this with friends, a strange tale of an obsession that goes a bit out of control.  I came away feeling confused, I feel that I want to like a character when I see a play/film, and didn't like either of the characters in this.
  • Goldfrapp, Carling Academy, Newcastle upon Tyne went to see this with Carl in November. The music was superb, Alison Goldfrapp's sound is out of this world, her voice takes you somewhere else and her eyes are of that ice blue-grey that look almost doll-like, but you can't help looking at them.  She did 3 outfit changes too. She played a range of songs from all of her albums, hence the reason why I had to buy the first album - to hear the song "Lovely Head" again.  It starts out like a James Bond theme tune and turns into a haunting mermaids scream, that sounds wonderful yet painful at the same time.
Fashion
I didn't start it, it followed me. I've been wearing my short lace-up boots since 2009, when I bought them from a shop at Teesside Park for £45.  Carl never liked the brogue pattern on them, he said I looked liked a Victorian street urchin.

I loved them, they went perfectly with the trousers I wore for work, making my feet look a normal size for once. I even had them resoled when they wore out, I couldn't bear to bin them (yet).  In October the time came to say goodbye, the leather was coming away from the sole, a reheel and resole job wouldn't do, and I've be spend more than they were worth, so I bought some new ones and binned the old ones.  However, by this time, the fashion trend was 'short flat boots with laces (and/or buckles) and so I was searching for them in the 'trending' season, double the price and all the same.  I did buy some, but they're not the same as the old ones.

Old skool satchel.  I've wanted one for years, one of those brown ones with the long strap, so I buy one from Ebay.  And THEN, some Alexa Chung starts wandering around with one, and I was worried that everyone would have one.  Fortunately, everyone doesn't. Fashion-victim look averted!

Places I've Visited

  • Naples with my friend Kate




  • Barx, Vallencia and a load of other lovely places in Spain with Carl




  • Hexham & Corbridge (sounds silly, because they're so close, but true)




  • Cragside at Rothbury




  • Novels I've read
    I've read more books this year, than I have in a long while.  I can't say that they're 'quality' novels, just something to read & escape to on the way to work.  It's also down to the fact that my Tuesday night catch-ups seem to include book-swapping too!
    • Once Day, David Nicholls
    • Home Truths, Freya North
    • Misadventures, Sylvia Smith
    • Ralph's Party, Lisa Jewell
    • After the party, Lisa Jewell
    • The Great lover, Jill Dawson
    • Thanks for the memories, Cecilia Ahern
    Sickness & Health
    I didn't get the dreaded cold this winter, I got a version of it which included a sore throat and cough, but no feverish symptoms.  No days off work due to sickness either (since about 2005). 

    I did go to the doctors, who told me that I wouldn't win a competition for the prettiest feet, and suggested to stop my balls from burning whenever I wore the slightest heeled shoe, I should wear an insole, which cost about £20 a pair.  So I do. 

    I also went to the doctors about a little lump on my thumb joint and was told, it's quite common, in the old days folk were told that the cure was to hit them with a bible.

    I had to have dental treatment this year too, I've done blog posts about them, including photos.

    Looking to 2011...
    It seems that there are lots of things planned for 2011 so far, I won't attempt to make any predictions because I'm not Mystic Meg, and I only usually forsee things a short time before they happen.

    But these things are for sure:
    1. A baby...Laura & Roger (due in January),
    2. A new job...Carl is going to do Yacht Club Sailing Secretary duties,
    3. A foreign visitor...Gemma is coming over in the summer with Henry
    
    Google Homepage 31st Dec 2010
    

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