Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

I did this meme at the end of last year at the urging of one of my favorite bloggers, The Plastic Mancunian - and I am doing it again - just to see how things have changed - and to see just what 2011 has brought. It's a good thing to sum up the year.

Like last year, I have things I should be doing, such as doing more editing, cleaning my flat, organising the kitchen cupboards, looking for work - but I think I'll do this instead.

It's been a funny year. It's been a hard year for many, many people - and I'm interested to see what comes up in these questions again.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you'd never done before?

There's been a few things that stand out about this year. I've never had nearly four months off work in my adult life. That was cool and scary in order. I also climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge in August, ran in the City to Surf in Sydney and the City to Bay in Adelaide - both races in which I'd never participated. I also started to wear size 14 jeans - which has been unheard of for nearly three decades. The 1000 Steps were scaled on numerous occasions - the first time in January this year.

Oh, and I have gone a full year without fast food from any of the major chains this year I'll put my hand up to the occasional visit to my local Chinese, but other than a coffee at McDonalds at Easter, I haven't had any KFC, McDonalds or Hungry Jacks this calendar year - and long may it continue. (That coffee went down as the worst I had this year as well - but any port in a storm on Good Friday when you're stuck out in the burbs.)

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

This year I did quite well. I lost around 16 kilograms this year and managed to get myself very fit. Unfortunately, I've put five kilograms back on, but they will go. The fitness thing is great too. I've got running again - with great success. The promised Mazda 2 is sitting in the carport.

Okay, I didn't get two articles into newspapers and my house deposit is nowhere near where I want it to be, but I've kept  my resolutions for the most part.

And my resolutions for next year. I have a few. It was pointed out to me that you can make resolutions at any stage. But here goes:

1) To finish the job I started last year in losing weight and get fitter - I'm over half way there now. It's going to happen. The base is good.
2) To wear sunscreen any times I'm venturing out for more than 20 minutes.
3) To keep on with the savings
4) To go overseas somehwere (Bali or Thailand will be fine - just need to replace my passport first)
5) To run a full marathon
6) To participate in the following runs - injury permitting - The Great Ocean Road Half Marathon, The Puffing Billy Run, The Melbourne Run for the Kids, The Sydney City to Surf. I would love to do the New York Marathon. Again, just shoving it out there.

That will do for the moment.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

With a couple of new friends in Hawthorn. It will be a quiet night. The only similarity with last year's New Year's Eve is that Maow Maow is arround for cuddles.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Unfortunately, yes. My mother's best friend died in tragic circumstances in May. She was a huge part in my childhood and teenage years and was somebody who taught me the value of unconditional love. A complicated woman with the world on her shoulders - I know she's up there in heaven doing decoupage, drinking cappucino with a string of beads round her neck and a slash of fuschia pink lipstick adorning her mouth. She's sadly missed.

5. What countries did you visit?

Bad news on this front - I didn't leave Australia this year. Will have to fix that in 2012 as soon as my passport is renewed - it only has 30 days to run on it.

I did make two trips to Adelaide and seemingly countless trips to Sydney last year - that was the extent of my travels in 2011.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Sex. Intimacy. Dinner parties. International Travel. A day job that I love. A focus on my novel that I want to write.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 13 was a near to perfect day. I spent the day in Sydney, had a wander around with some great friends, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the went out to one of the best meals I've had in a long time at a fantastic Japanese Restaurant in the Rocks. Great day.

October 1 was pretty good too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Looking a lot of weight and keeping the bulk of it off. Still to finish the job completely, but I'm well on the way now. I like my body. I love being very fit. I enjoy what my body can do. Never had this before.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Other than saving more money, probably taking second best in my career. Not that I have a 'proper' career - I just made a few too many compromises on the work front - and though I love the consultancy I work for, I hate being back in banking. These compromises had to be made, but it's something that needs to be fixed.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Other than the odd muscle strain, one bad cold and a small, but annoying burst cyst, it's been a good year for health. Much better than last year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Neville, my 2009, silver grey Mazda 2. Very, very glad I bought him. The old car was going to start costing me lots of money.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Rent and car payments. No change there.

13. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Unfortunately it's LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It". It always seems to play when I'm in the gym in the grunty boy section and it is just WRONG!

"The Show" sung by the daughter character in "Moneyball" has haunted me too.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?

In no order:
  • Kiss
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Gone out with friends
  • Watched movies
  • Worked at things I loved
  • Worked on my book
  • Drunk phenomenal wine
  • Cleaned my flat
  • Saved money
15. What do you wish you'd done less of?

In no real order:
  • Worked at a job I didn't love
  • Ate ice cream
  • Rode the tram
  • Got stroppy with a certain group of people
  • Caved into necessity
16. What was your favourite TV program?

A few standouts - The Hour that recently showed on the ABC was brilliant. The Slap was very, very good too.

True Blood is my go to for a quick buzz - it's really just soft core pornography, but it's fun.

And I'm still a sucker for RPA, Embarrasing Bodies and anything on geneology and good documentaries. I'm a nerd. It's okay.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. I don't hate people other than Tony Abbott. Wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire.

The blow up I'd had with a friend this time last year has resolved itself and we're mates again.
18. What was the best book you read?

Fiction - Emma Donaghue's "Room" - superb book.

Re-reading De Berniere's "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" reinstated my faith in humanity and reminded me why it's my favorite book.

Non-Fiction - Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run". Who'd a thunk a book about a tribe of ultramarathon running Mexicans would be so uplifting.

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Florence and the Machine. Angus and Julia Stone. Josh Pike. All good - and yes, I know I'm years behind in musical taste.

20. What was your favourite film of this year?

Ah, this is always hard. Of the runner's up, Moneyball, The Help, The Eye of the Storm, Midnight in Paris and Oranges and Sunshine are all up there.

The two films I'm calling out - Bridesmaids - PISS FUNNY - just my sense of humour, as base as it can be, with a touch of honesty and humility for good measure.

But my favorite film of this year would have to be Barney's Version. Just sublime. Love Paul Giamatti. Not many people saw it. A great, great, great film.

21. What did you do on your birthday?

I have birthday week rather than birthday day. So rather than go to Jacques Reymond, like I did earlier in the week, or got Yarra Valley, which I did in the days after, I went to my favorite cheap and cheerful Malaysian restaurant  with my parents. Long live Sambal Kampung. I also went to work. Fun.

22. What kept you sane?

Writing. Friends. Maow Maow. True Blood. Ice Cream.

23. Who did you miss?

Reindert. I miss having Reindert in Australia still - but I talk to him on skype regularly. I don't see Kitt as often as I used to either, and I miss her as a running buddy.

24. Who was the most interesting new person you met?

I met lots of interesting new people this year - Traralgon, Kez, Kitt, for starters.

I've formed a lovely friendship with Jonella too - and I've very glad I have a like minded soul and reflexologist in my life. Some friendships are hard. This one is easy and I love her for that.

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011

I learned a few things this year.

Pereseverence is everything.

And never say never, as sometimes, never, ever, ever comes back into your life and makes you look at things in a different way.

Happy new year. Here's to a great 2012.



The Elephant's Child said...

And a happy new year to an always interesting often inspiring blogger.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

Great answers.

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is very brave (I will never ever do that again).

Your running and exercise regime is magnificent - you should be very proud.

Hope you have a fab New Year.



Kath Lockett said...

Top meme Pandora and when you look back, you realise what a truly awesome year you've had .... and will have again. :)

Jackie K said...

Great answers - and a good year!