Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Easy A-Z Meme

You'd think that Sunday Stealing would have an Australia Day Meme to celebrate Australia Day - but no.

But these questions aren't too bad - so I'll give them a go.

A. What are your favorite smells?

We covered this last week.

B. Can you go a whole day without caffeine?

Yes - I've been forced to give it up - and I'm managing really well. I miss it, but I'm not as testy.

C. Who knows more about you than anyone else?

Hmmm. Probably the girls in my dream group, Jonella and Blarney - but they know different things.

D. What song did you last listen to?

I still have Alanis Morrissette playing in the car - and the last song that played was this:



E. Do you wear socks to bed?

Never

F. Can you change a car tire?

Yes - I grew up in the country - I can do these things - though I'll normally call the RACV (Auto Club Roadside Assist) if I'm in the city. I pay for it, may as well use it.

G. If you could choose one color to wear for a whole year, what color would you choose?

As much as I wear mostly black, if I could find stylish clothes in Peacock Blue, I'd go for it.




H. Do you cook often?

Not as much as I'd like to. Still cook 2-3 times a week. Made tiramisu this morning - turned out a treat.

I. What’s your least favorite season? 

Summer. Living in Australia, it gets too hot sometimes - those over 40 degree days (try 108 Farenheit) are just too much.

J. Can you sew?

Yes - not well, but I can do mending and use a sewing machine for easy jobs.

K. What is your favorite fruit?

Strawberries and mangoes

L. Are you health conscious?

In the gym 3-4 times a week, watch what I eat, don't smoke, don't drink much, don't use drugs - I think that's a yes.

M. Do you think you’re very conscious of the feelings of others or more self oriented?

I try to be conscious of the feelings of others. There are lapses, but I try.

N. Do you curse a lot?

One of the greatest things about being a middle aged woman is knowing the value of a well placed expletive. Bloody oath I do...

O. Do you remember lyrics easily?

Sometimes.

P. Can you roll your tongue?

Yes

Q. Is there a certain food you often crave for no reason?

Only ice cream.

R. What was the last book you purchased?

For book group and on the Kindle - Lily Brett's "Lola Bensky". On paper, Michel Faber's "The Book of Strange New Things". Love both of these authors.

S. Where was your last vacation?

I went to Tasmania for Christmas, but my last proper holiday was last March when I went to Bali for a fornight.

T. Last movie you watched? Did you enjoy it?

I went and saw "Wild" last night with Jay. And I really enjoyed it . (Birdman and The Imitation Game are excellent too)

U. Think of your oldest friend. If you met them now do you think you would still become friends?

Geetangeli is one of my oldest friends. I reckon if we met now we'd be friends - she tells me I'm the female version of her husband.

V. Paris, London and New York… which one would you live in, which would you visit for a day, which would you visit for a fortnight?

I would live in London again - I'd like to live in London again.
I'd love to spend more time in New York, but I'd give that one a day.
My proviso for spending a fortnight in Paris is that I go with a lover or significant other. Love Paris. Just love Paris.

W. Do you usually sleep with your closet door open or closed?

I prefer it closed but it really doesn't bother me.

X. Have you ever broken a bone? If so, how did it happen?

Just a toe. Collected it on a door frame about 25 years ago. Was horrid.

Y. How do you like your eggs?

Poached. Or Benedict. Or in Shakshuka sauce with feta an olives on sourdough - but plain old poached is great too.

Z. What was your last argument about and who with?

I really can't remember.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Name Your Favourite Meme

Finally, I have energy to do more than sit on the couch and knit. Yay.

This week Sunday Stealing is looking at our favourites. Hmmm. Something nice to talk about for a change.

Here we go - lets see if I can get the ironing done while doing this. One favourite, one piece of clothing ironed - sounds like a fair trade.

Favourite Person:

I don't have a favourite person, I have favourite people. A few of these include, Blarney, Dave and Kaz, Glen Waverley and Merijn, Lachlan... I have lots of favourite people. I'm lucky.

Favourite Colour

That's a tossup between Pillarbox Red and Teal.



Favourite Food

Ice cream - that's easy. Good ice cream. Pity I'm off it for the month.

Favourite Smell

Oh, I'm really smell driven. Here are a few of my favourites:

Freshly baked Cookie Man Cookies
Dogs and cats paws in the morning
Clean man
Roast Lamb
Fresh mint
Coffee just after you've opened a fresh packet.

Favourite Book

I'm going to make this my favourite books from last year - because I have lots of favourite books.
In the last year, the three books that really got to me were:

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Can't recommend them all highly enough.

Favourite Movie

Again, too many to think about - however I'm sitting here watching "The King's Speech" as I write this and iron.

I've also got a great spot spot for "Little Miss Sunshine", and Argentinan film called "The Secret in their Eyes", "Bull Durham" and "Gosford Park".

Favourite Music artist

The Pixies

Favourite thing to do when bored

Read or exercise - one or the other.

Favourite genre of literature

I'm a lit head - the modern novel

Favourite magazine

Currently I'm reading a lot of The Monthly. Great for current affairs in Australia. I don't really read magazines.

Favourite texture

Satin - always has been.

Favourite time of day

First thing in the morning

Favourite day of the week

Probably Sunday, though Friday afternoon is normally pretty good

Favourite thing to learn about

History - particularly English History. I love learning about anything really - learning is one of my favourite things.

Favourite thing about yourself 

I'm lucky that I like myself - but I do like my eyes and my ankles.

Favourite lifehack (a time saving, efficiency technique for life)

Do all your ironing in one go in the evening - that way you never fret about leaving the iron on during the day.
Walk out of the house with your keys in your hand - always - you don't get locked out that way.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The 2014/2015 Blog Part II

It appears that Sunday Stealing is up to his normal tricks and has found some more questions to ask about last year.

Something more to think about:

26.What experience would you love to do all over again?

Not that I could, but I'd watch the lunar eclipse coming over the MCG from the footbridge on the Yarra once again - that was phenomenal.

27.What was the best gift you received?

I didn't receive many gifts last year, but I loved the Fargo DVDs I received for Christmas.

28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?

I think my outlook is still positive.

29.What was the biggest problem you solved?

I think I've worked out how to save money at last.

30.What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?

Seeing Alice dressed up as Columbia at the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Still get a giggle about that. And when I think about "The Grand Budapest Hotel." "Get your hands off my lobby boy!"

31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?

A plane ticket and accomodation in Bali for two weeks. I really needed that holiday.

32.What one thing would you do differently and why?

I might have handled how I tacked leaving that penultimate role. I was miserable. I should have spoken up sooner.

33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?

Going back to university. Learning to be nice to myself.

34.What activities made you lose track of time?

Knitting, binge watching a couple of shows. Reading.

35.What did you think about more than anything else?

Now that would be telling.

36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?

Strangely, that would be Military rape during World War II in South East Asia - a tragic, morbid topic, but I still reckon the subject of "Comfort Women" is one of the most underplayed stories that have not been told from WWII.

37.What new habits did you cultivate?

I've got a lot better at eating only when hungry, changing my earrings and wearing sunscreen.

38.What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?

If you're not happy. speak out earlier rather than later.

39.Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?

No - all is very much the same. The love life is looking up a bit.

40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?

Going back to school has had a huge positive impact on me. Meeting Kaz and Dave at the second job of the year was positive - we got each other through some hard times.

41.What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?

Happiness, peace, success and joy. I'm open to all of these things.

42.What do you want to see, discover, explore?

I'd love to see a new country at some stage, if not a new country, some new places.
I'd also love to explore what it's like to be in a relationship. I think I'm ready for this one even if it scares the pants off me.

43.Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?

I still want to spend time with my friends - and maybe somebody special. We will see.

44.What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?

I'd like to get my writing to a better state. And I'd like to start running again - just 5 kms, but I'd love to do that again.

45.Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?

I'd like to see if I can strengthen my patience tolerance. It's not bad, but it could be better.

46.What do you want your everyday life to be like?

Calm, secure and peaceful.

47.Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?

I'd like to shed the comfort eating thing - I really need to get over that one.

48.What do you want to achieve career-wise?

I just want to stay happily, productively and lucratively employed in work I like with people I enjoy in an environment I find enrichig - just like where I am now.

49.How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

The year that my life changed irrevocably for the better - here's hoping.

50.What is your number one goal for 2015?

Umm, that would be telling. Other than obtaining at least one High Distinction at uni and remaining happily and gainfully employed. The big one I will keep to myself. That's in it's planning stages at the moment.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The 2014/2015 Meme

Finally I'm coming out of my ear infection funk and looking forward to the year at last. It's only taken four days, a course of antibiotics and a lot of knitting to make this happen.

So here is Sunday Stealing's welcome to the new year. Some interesting questions here for a change. Let's see how we go.

1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?

I will never have grandchildren. Step-grandchildren maybe but I won't be having grandkids. If I was to have grand kids I might tell them about Christmas in Tasmania and the dancing people at the picnic ground. I might also tell them about Craig McLachlan playing Frankenfurter in the stage version of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

2.If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be?

Frustration. Tenacity. Hope.

3.What new things did you discover about yourself?

I'm getting better at giving myself a break.

4.What single achievement are you most proud of?

Most probably making it into the Masters program in July. I was quite chuffed to be admitted really quickly after applying.

5.What was the best news you received?

Being notified that I'd got my current job was great. I was miserable in the role I had before that.

6.What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014?

We had a brilliant time in Tasmania at Christmas - so this goes to Northern Tasmania. I want to go back and explore some more.

7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?

I think my inate chirpiness has seen me through some pretty ordinary situations - nothing major, but I'm glad I look on the bright side of things.

8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?

I don't rely on people as a rule. I'm glad my friends are around the place and the inner circle are always there to give counsel, but really, other than the inner circle (Blarney, Jonella, Teddie, Dream group...) there isn't one go to person.

9.Which new skills did you learn?

I can now knit cables - that was something I've always wanted to be able to do. It's not that hard.

10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?

I'm thankful for my health, my friends and my tenacity.

11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?

My life would make a very boring film, however it would be a light drama with a romantic undertones to it.


12.What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014?

Not so much learned, but reinforced - seeing the bright side of things can get you through pretty much anything.

13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?

The obsessive need to lose weight. Yes, I'm overweight - but I'm fit and healthy and I don't need to beat myself up for being overweight. I will do it and I will enjoy it - until then, I'm enjoying my body, big as it is.

14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?

Fairly easy.

Blarney and family - always fun.
Jonella and Teddy - my single girlie friends who I see a lot of
Jay, Elle, Em and the girls from the gym - as well as Slap - my now ex personal trainer (Ex because he's moved to Perth, not because I sacked him)
My former work husband, Davey. He made a bad job great (actually the whole team helped make the job palatable)

15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?

One of two things. Starting the Masters in Writing - that may be a breakthrough - we are yet to see.
Also taking a step back to Tech Writing from Instructional Design was a great thing to do - feel much happier in my current role.

16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?

Stayed at the status quo. No major hiccoughs. We're Methodists - we don't fight.

17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?

Easy. Hannah Kent's "Burial Rites". An amazing book, stunningly written about an unsavoury topic. Thing is, Hannah Kent is a 28 year old upstart from Adelaide. If she can do something like this - so can I. This book is the reason I started my Masters journey.

18.What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?

"You could crack walnuts with your bum cheeks they're so hard." Not bad for a forty-something.

19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?

Walking, cuddling the cat (when he comes over - Maow Maow is a lovely boy) eating mangoes naked in the shower.

20.What cool things did you create this year?

As a creative I make lots of things. Birthday cakes,cat blankets,short stories, poems, berets - I'm always making stuff. I like to think I've created a bubble of calm around me most of the time too.

21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?

Slightly exasperated

22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?

Told somebody I loved them - words that could have been said 20 years ago.

23.What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?

Christmas was wonderful this year. Calm and relaxed for three straight days.
I also loved the night out we had at the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Oh, and watching the full eclipse from the footbridge on the Yarra - that was a really special night indeed.

24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?

A possible literary career
And maybe a relationship

25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?

That I'd be unemployed for long periods of time - I was very lucky indeed - and long may that luck remain.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The New Year Starts Next Week

It is not the new year yet because I said so.

Give me a week off and what do I go and do - get sick. Not just a minor head cold either.

See, in this week off I was looking forward to going to the gym every day.
There was the cleaning out of the cupboards.
And the writing.
Maybe catch a couple of films.
Get the flat sorted out.
Take a ten kilometre walk every day.

None of this happened.

Okay, until Wednesday, I had the snuffles. A functional cold as I call it. You can do most things with a head cold. Fine.

Thursday, New Year's Day, I got up and went for a walk with Jay. Did a lap of the Botanical Gardens, grabbed a juice. Jay, a doctor, mentioned that I had a bad run this year with minor colds and flu. Actually it's not been great. One bout of full on flu, one bout of pleurisy, but a couple of other sniffles and snuffles. I thought this would be just another cold.

Pig's arse.

Got home from the walk and my ear began to ache. And ache, and get worse.
An hour later, I'm on the bed with a hot water bottle strapped to my head, waiting for the panadol to kick in.
And hour after, blood and pus are coming out of my right ear.

Fun times!

On the bright side, this is not the first time this has happened - third time I think - the ear drum burst fairly quickly this time - a blessing in some ways as the pressure goes and most of the pain stops.

So yesterday, I make an appointment for the doctor. Somehow, after a night of getting up and down, finding my temperature was sitting at 38 degrees (100.5 in the old language) taking cool showers and asking the cat for help, I got up, dressed and made my way down the road.

The doctor is a lovely, practical, rather stern woman, one of many at my lovely doctor's practice (Once you find a good doctor's practice hang on to them) She took one look at me, at my ears, throat, glands, took my temperature and smiled.
"You know me. I don't hand out antibiotics unless I really have need to. You needed these yesterday. You, take this prescription down to the chemist. These will knock you around, but they'll fix your ear."she said.
"What do you mean knock me around."
"You might get thrush or the runs."
"I'll live with that. But you don't give out antibiotics."
"Yeah, well if you don't take them you could be in all sorts of bother. Come back next week, I want to check that you've healed properly too."

So there you go. I'm sick. Ear infections suck big time. I know why kids scream when they get them. They're brutal.

So for the last two days I've been sleeping and knitting and talking to the cat. The flat is in a state. I find that popping down the street takes all my energy. The cocktail of painkillers keeps the aches in the face at bay. I'm rather glad I haven't seen anybody.

Not how I wanted to start the new year.

So the new year starts next week, when I'll look to my resolutions, challenges and tasks - when the ringing in my ear has gone and I feel like there is a purpose to life once again.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014

I've done this particular questionnaire on the last day of the year for the last few years. As I've succumbed to some lurgy, been up half the night coughing, I think this is a good, easy thing to do on a New Year's Eve - along with giving the cupboards a clean out and make a start on the jumper I'd like to finish by the time I start uni in March.

It's been an interesting year in many ways - and I'm hopeful that 2015 will be brilliant.

So here we go.

1.What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

I started a Masters degree in September. Never done that before. I also taught myself how to knit cable - something that's elude me for over forty years. That's a real achievement.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I just had a look at what I said at the start of the year and I didn't do too badly. I've managed to keep gainfully employed, remained fit and healthy, have quite a lot of fun and get writing again. I'm not despairing too much about "failing" at keeping my resolutions, but I've started to take measures to get a few more of them off the ground in the near future.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No. My cousin had a son earlier in the year, but we're not close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully no. However, it took a while to come to terms with the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Williams. Both went too soon.

5. What countries did you visit?

Just Indonesia - Bali to be specific. Tasmania is not a country, but it feels like another country in some ways.

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

A bit of job longevity in great places - rather than bitty work. I managed to work 48 weeks of the year  - it was just that it was all over the place which made things feel not to secure. I'm a contractor - you live with it, but I'm really hoping for some well paying, longer term contracts this year - and I really don't want to go back to one company that I spent a bit of time at this year. There are opportunities to be found - lets hope they come in quickly.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 21st. Went with a group to see the Rocky Horror Picture Show with a group of friends. Magic evening. I don't think I've laughed so much in years.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I reckon receiving a distinction for my first subject back at Uni was pretty special. Not going nuts at one particular job was another.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I don't see things that you fail to do as failures, but learning opportunities. I can't think of anything other than not losing weight - but I'm okay with that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I've had a couple of buts of rather nasty colds and flu. One bout of the proper flu in June, something akin to pleurisy in September and a few rounds of the sniffles. My left shoulder (anterior deltoid) has been pinged for a few weeks, but it's just a ping thank goodness. Will hopefully be right next week.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Comfortable heels. Audrey Hepburn gave some advice once about heels - buy they half a size too big - they will wear better and be far more comfortable. As a standard ladies 8.5, it was a bit confronting buying size 9 shoes. I found a pair of block heels on sale. Some of the most comfortable heels I've ever owned.



 12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Hmmm. A hard one that one. I'm giving this one to Julian Burnside QC for standing up for the oppressed and disenfranchised.

Rosie Batty is an amazing woman too - standing up for abused women everywhere. She's an enigma.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Pretty much all of the Australian Federal Government - atrocious mob of luddite, pork-barreling leaners if there every was  mob. Awful people.

Rupert Murdoch gets a mention for still breathing as well.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, tuition, going out, gym and shoes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I remember getting really excited about going to Rocky Horror Picture Show. I was excite about going to Bali in February. Every time Maow Moaw comes to stay I always get excited because I love having him around. He's asleep on the bed at the moment.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

There are two songs that resonate from this year.

This one:

Then there is my current theme song. I like this because of it's message:


And ear worm of the year goes to: (I hate hip hop which makes this worse)


17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?

(a) Happier
(b) About the same
(c) Richer in many ways.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Tried to run, exercised, read, kissed, slept.

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

Stuck around in jobs I really didn't like that much. Put off going to the doctor about the hot flushes (The Pill really is a wonder drug)

20. How will you spend New Year's Eve?

At home on the couch with the cat after an early evening movie. Most of my mates have gone away. Besides, I have the snuffles, not worth running around. Just want to keep quiet.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Not so much fell in love, but had that love reciprocated. 2015 could turn out to be an incredible year. I'm not giving details. Just have to wait to see what happens.

22. What was your favourite TV program?

Two stand outs. The second series of The Hour. Sat and cried over Freddie at the end of the series.
Many a hot evening was spent drooling over Dr Blake with a large gin and tonic in my hand. Like most perimenopausal women in their forties, Friday night was gin and tonic and Dr Blake. Phwoar! Seriously, who ever would have pegged Craig McLaughlan as a sex symbol?

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I don't hate people. However, I seriously dislike:

Most of the Australian Federal Parliament Cabinet for being delusional fascists
James Hird for being a complete tosser (FFS resign already and go away)
One nameless boss who gave me the complete irrits - this person was more a major irritation

24. What was the best book you read?

Two books stand out. Richard Flanagan's "The Narrow Road to the Deep North." Read it back to back. Incredible.

A mention has to go to Hannah Kent's "Burial Rites". The book started me on the master's journey - if this skinny little upstart for Adelaide can write something so amazing, so can I!


25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

My discovery was more of a rediscovery. I have to thank Steve Coogan for putting me back onto Alanis Morrisette after over a decade. (See Trip to Italy - you will understand)

26. What did you want and get?

A job that I really like after a lot of searching.
Made a few new friends
Kept my sanity for the most part.

27. What did you want and not get?

To be a size 14 on the top. Maybe this year.

28. What was your favourite film of this year?

I saw 30 films this year. The top five were:

1. The Grand Budapest Hotel - piss funny
2. Pride - English cinema at it's best
3. Calvary - Thought about that one for weeks - Brendan Gleeson for Best Actor
4.The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Just joyful
5: Boyhood - Long, but worth it

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

On my actual birthday I went to book group. My parents were in town on the weekend before and we went with a couple of friends for a dinner in Kyneton - excellent day. I turned thirty-eleventy something.

30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Study and love.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Black, more black, with a bit of silver for good measure. If not black, navy - I am from Adelaide after all.
Oh, and where thongs (flip flops /jandles - what ever you want to call them) as much as possible.
In winter, chunky boots.

32. What kept you sane?

Friends, reading, cinema, exercise and my pill. They will be wrenching my oestrogen from my cold dead hands in years to come. A revelation.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

My heart still belongs to Clive Owen, though Craig McLachlan is getting up there now, but only when decked out at Dr Blake.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Pretty much everything our current Federal Government did got my back up. The publicity around banning the burqa in Parliament House and the mistreatment of ordinary people who wear burqas really made my blood boil. Do I understand why a woman would want to cover her face or wear a veil - no, I don't but it's not my business what anybody wears. Do I give two hoots if they do - absolutely not. The Liberal Coalition dog whistling to the unwashed throng once gain. I really dislike how they stir up dissent and hate by picking on minorities.

35. Who did you miss?

Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. Wayne Swan as Treasurer... I miss having a sane government - one that's not working for big business and has more than the interest of a few in their sights.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

During winter I had a job at a Telecommunications Company. My team were superb. Davey and Kaz were two of the best colleagues I've ever had - the job was stressful, harsh and pressurised, but these two made going to work a joy. We're still in contact.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

Looking for the good makes things a hell of a lot better - always.
And sometimes you have to let people go - they might come back, they might not.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

You didn't run, you didn't lie
You knew I wanted just to hold you
And had you gone you knew in time we'd meet again

For I had told you.

(Got to get you into my life, The Beatles)

Have a great new year. All the very best for 2015. Keep safe. Be happy.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Year in Review Meme

As always, this has been stolen from Sunday Stealing: As always, I'm doing a question and completing a chore. Having a house guest around the place the house work has banked up once again (and I've been away for a few days, that doesn't help either).

I know there are three more days left of the year, but this seems as good a time as any to get the yearly wrap up out of the way.

In 2014, I gained:

A sense of worth, a direction and some memories of great times.

I lost:

The feeling that I had to put up with bullshit from bullying bosses. Standing up for myself - and walking away was a good lesson to learn. Life is too short to put up with crap.

I stopped:

Having no confidence in myself. I also stopped drinking caffeine on a daily basis. I do have the odd coffee, but it's rare now.

I started:

A Masters of Arts in Writing - one subject down, eleven to go. Loving every minute of it. I also tought myself to knit cables.

I was hugely satisfied by:

Gaining a distinction on my first subject back at Uni. Looking at the comments, I've worked out what I have to do to get a HD... (Yeah, yeah, over achiever...) And finding out that I can knit cables.

And frustrated by:

99.9% of what our current Federal Government does, says and thinks.

I am so embarrassed that I:

Am an Australian at this present time. Our current Federal Government is a disgrace - sending Australia's reputation down the loo.

Once again, I:

Kept my gym membership up and saw a personal trainer regularly.

Once again, I did not:

Lose any weight - but I'm not too fussed as my fitness has remained up and I'm still fit and strong.

The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is:

My red hair is probably hiding quite a few more greys.

The biggest psychological difference between me last December and this December is:

I'm a bit more self-confident and I won't take rubbish from anybody. No matter who they are. Having somebody tell me they love me regularly helps bolster the confidence as well.

I loved spending time:

With friends. Maow Maow. In nature. In the gym.

Why did I spend even two minutes:

Pondering if I should go in for the job I'm in now. That was a waste of half an hour.

I should have spent more time:

Exercising, writing, cleaning my flat.

I regret buying:

Uncomfortable shoes that are on sale.

I will never regret buying... even though with that money I could have ...

My education, even though with that money I could do all sorts of things including adding to my house deposit, go travelling, replace my couch etc etc etc...

And heels half a size too big - best advice given by Audrey Hepburn. A revelation.

I ...way too much.

Procrastinated

I didn’t... enough.

Exercise. Read. Go out. Write. Say I love you.

 ... drove me crazy.

Our current Federal Government.

The most relaxing place I went was

Ubud, Indonesia. Love it up there. Close second was Northern Tasmania. That was brilliant.

Why did I go

To see Noah? Dire film. Russell Crowe should sod off back to New Zealand.

The best thing I did for someone else was

No idea. I've provided a few healing sessions. They were good. I try and step lightly through the world - if this means doing good things for people, so be it.

The best thing I did for myself

Went back to university. Not take second best. Exercised regularly.

The best thing someone did for me

I blame Hannah Kent for inspiring me to go back to uni. Oh, and Blarney and Barney inviting me down to Tasmania for Christmas.

The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better,

No regrets - so I'd do nothing over.