the last post

Well with just a couple of days left to go in 2013 what better time is there than now to write a little summary of the year.

P1030623

2013 Firsts – Probably most notable was that 2013 was the year of my first trip to Blackpool.  That was a long time coming…. I liked the seaside and the illuminations.  The bar scene was a bit dubious but you can’t have everything, I guess!  2013 was also the year that I had my first authentic bowl of scouse at Birkenhead market thanks to a bit of perseverance from Brent!  Yum yum.

2013 Celebrations – For me, passing my grade 5 piano exam was definitely worthy of celebration,  Ella and Hannah have also done well in Tae Kwon Do each getting a medal at the British Tae Kwon Do championships.  That sounds very impressive, doesn’t it!  On the life changing front, Annalie and Paul have Erik in their lives now and Emily and Simon are going to to get married.  It all makes me smile.

2013 Sadness – There was a bit of this, unfortunately.  We said good-bye to Aunty Olive in November.  It was also November when I represented my Mum at her friend Susan’s funeral in North Wales.  I didn’t know her but I learned what a special person she was.  I was also touched by the tragedy of my high school friend Karin losing her brother.  He was far too young.

2013 Creativity – The biggest creative outlet for me this year has been the reintroduction of photography into my life.  I have Paul to thank for this as he has supplied the tools to enable me to enjoy this and also accompanied me on many occasions at silly o’clock in the morning to take pictures.  He keeps me company, carries stuff and has the unspoken duty of making sure I don’t forget myself and do something stupid – a very real possibility. 🙂

2013 Adventure – The biggest adventure for us this year was the canal boat trip we took with Mum and Dad.  It was a bit of an unknown for all of us – the mode of travel as well as travelling together but it was a memorable trip for all the right reasons.  As part of the trip we stayed overnight in Wells which after the visit secured its place as one of my favourite cities.  I want to get back to that lovely chimney lined street called Vicar’s close with my wide angle lens sometime soon.  

2013 Visitors – There were lots of them this year which always makes us happy.  I am glad to say that Mum and Dad and Brent are quite regular overnight visitors.  We also had a visit  from Lauren and Andre (and associated friends) which was really nice – we particularly enjoyed hosting Thanksgiving Dinner.  Fred and Barbara also came to stay as now that they live in Bradford on Avon, going home after a get together is a bit more of an effort than when they lived in Ellesmere Port…. 😉

2013 Concerts – I have been inspired by my piano lessons to take more time to appreciate music so in 2013 we went to a few more concerts of all different genres of music than we have in previous years.  For me, the Leonard Cohen concert was number one.  He was a fabulous entertainer and at 78, his voice still makes me hold my breath.  Paul’s favourite concert was the Fratellis – which was good as that was his birthday present! – and we both also really enjoyed Ludovico Einaudi.

2013 Weather – There was lots more snow at the beginning of the year than I’ve ever known since I have lived in the UK.  And the summer was also the warmest I’d seen.  I think we took advantage of the extremes of the weather with some lovely winter walks (the village of Reeth looked like a postcard with a blanket of snow covering it) and lots of summer BBQs and time by the seaside.

2013 Food – This year we sampled Sally Lunn’s Buns and Ben’s Cookies in Bath.  Paul’s Bakewell Birthday Cake was also a hit and got made again and again throughout the year.  We revisited a recently refurbished Moby Dick (now called Hickory’s) on a surprise moversary trip for a lovely meal and funny evening together.  I also had afternoon tea with Emily and experienced the Richmond tea rooms which was an Alice in Wonderland, out of this world type experience.

2013 Camping – We enjoyed lots of lovely camping weekends again this year including the discovery of a new site in Hayfield, Derbyshire which was a little delight and is definitely up near the top of my list of favourite campsites.  Our week long adventure was to Northumberland where we explored the beaches and castles and (mostly) avoided the midges.  

2013 Projects – The beginning of the year saw the completion of the great kitchen project of 2012.  This was followed closely by the start of rather major garden works which took a few months to complete.  Frank the van also had a full suspension replacement which Paul did all by himself (I think I held a screwdriver once) which I still find rather amazing.

2013 Family Time – We really enjoyed our first trip away with Paul’s sister and the family to Centreparcs.  The pool was particularly fun and all around favourite.  I was also delighted with a short, sweet trip to Canada with included skating with Dad and going to yoga with Mum.  Perfect.

2013 Walking – I loved the coastal walking in Northumberland and the walk around Kinder Scout (minus the mud bath) was particularly stunning.  A winter walk in the Howgills in Cumbria resulted in a photo-worthy dive as I saved the map from taking off in the wind across the snow.  I ended up lying head first in a snow bank much to Stella’s delight.  There was also good “body-tobogganing” on that walk. We have picked up the mileage towards the end of the year as we prepare for a 23.5 mile walk in January 2014 so that’s been a good new challenge for me.

I am sure that I have forgotten to mention something that was definitely noteworthy about the year and for that I can only apologise…. But I will leave you now for this year with wishes for a Happy New Year and all the best for 2014!

P1030607