1) What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
- Went to Asia!! Got to tick a new continent off the list, and all that, when I visited Vietnam in November.
- Defied my slight fear of heights to ski off the side of a mountain with a 'chute (and instructor) attached ... aka parapenting.
- Went on holiday solo properly - a week with just me, myself and I surfing in Morocco.
- Stuck out the job hunt and finally broke into contracting.
2) Did you keep any New Year's resolutions, and will you make any more for this year?
I didn't have any resolutions last year, as I was on my ski season and just aiming to survive it in one piece and figure out what the hell I was doing afterwards. I guess the only resolution I could be said to have for 2015 was making sure my grandma's inheritance actually went to making me debt-free when it arrived (it did, and I now am).
For 2016, I went back to my annual tradition with my friend Jo of doing a New Year challenge - January is booze and takeaway free and full of getting back into running by doing the first month of my half marathon training plan - all going to plan so far. In terms of year long aims, they were to work on being healthy and happy, whatever that takes (currently involves looking at my emotional eating, wanting to get back into meditating and actually learning to love running again) and also to start saving for a house deposit - I have an appointment with the bank to talk to them about the best way to do that in a couple of weeks time.
3) Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friends Bridget and Kath - I think that's everyone.
4) Did anyone close to you pass away?
A friend from my ski seasons tragically passed away young and very suddenly in May which was a hell of a shock. Poor Dave - he's probably raising hell in whatever the afterlife is, partying and snowboarding up a treat.
5) What countries did you visit?
France (twice), Morocco and Vietnam.
6) What would you like to have next year that you lacked in this one?
Finding some peace with my eating, more focus and less procrastination and possibly some life coaching!
7) What dates from this year will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- 6 July - doing Wimbledon for the first time with all the very English trappings we could think of in our picnic hamper!
- 5 August - after months of anxiety and not being sure if I was doing the right thing or making the right choices, I got offered my first ever contract out of the blue with terms that suited me down to the ground.
- 30 October - heading off to Asia for the very first time.
- 25 December - making new traditions at Christmas with my Dad; a cozy, happy day.
8) What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Breaking into contracting and becoming self-employed.
9) What was your biggest failure?
Not making better use of my enforced summer off work - I let my job hunt dictate to me too much and ended up wasting a lot of the lovely free time.
10) Did you suffer any illness or injury?
Slammed myself to the deck in a Bambi-esque moment on ice in La Plagne in December - my hand is still sore two months later. Also crashing the scooter in November on Phu Quoc - still got some lovely pink scars on my hand and knee to show for it. Maybe my resolution should have been: be less clumsy.
11) What was the best thing you bought?
My journal! Such a small thing, but I love writing in it now - emptying the tensions out of my head, recording the good times, and using it to find out who I am. Plus it's a very pretty one.
12) Where did most of your money go?
Moving back to Bristol and into our gorgeous new flat (can't believe we've been here 5 months already!). A post ski season(s) wardrobe revamp. And travelling off course!
13) What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- Coming home from my ski season in April - I missed my Dad and home so much when I was away.
- Going skiing to my old resort from my first season in December - loved going back!
- Booking another trip there for March with even more of my old friends - it's going to be epic!!
- Paying off my debts FINALLY!
14) What song will always remind you of this year?
Cheesy but Lost Frequencies - Are You With Me? It was playing for months on French radio before it came out here, and the upbeat vibe just associated with parties, sunny days and making travel plans for exotic holidays.
15) Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Happier - I feel in a more peaceful, settled place.
b) thinner or fatter?
Probably about the same actually - but on the way down (hopefully) instead of up.
c) richer or poorer?
Lots richer!! Paid all my debts off and I now possess a savings account which I have great plans for!
16) What do you wish you'd done more of?
Meditation - I started but then trailed off. More single-tasking - if I'm going to watch tv or read, then I should just do it and leave the internet elsewhere.
17) What do you wish you'd done less of?
Probably shopping for material items that I don't really need. Such a waste of money!
18) How did you spend Christmas?
At my Dad's house, just the two of us. We did a proper sit down breakfast and I made an epic Christmas lunch. So epic that tea didn't really happen that night. We exchanged a few presents, watched some festive specials on tv, chatted, did my jigsaw and generally relaxed and enjoyed.
19) Did you fall in love this year?
Not with any people (still waiting for that lightning strike to happen), but I did fall in love with journalling!
20) What was your favourite TV program?
I binge-watched Scandal and Burn Notice last winter, right now I'm a bit hooked on The Bridge - uncomfortable Scandi drama at its best.
21) What was the best book you read?
Non-fiction was Shrink Yourself by Roger Gould, which is helping me get to grips with my eating. Fiction-wise I really enjoyed The Beach Cafe by Lucy Diamond, and I always enjoy whatever new works Ilona Andrews has put out (I think it's genre'd as urban fantasy for want of a better category) - she has a voice that has me in stitches and paints wonderful new worlds.
22) What was your favourite film?
A Little Chaos - a quiet little Brit film that came out in the Spring about the designers of the gardens of the Palace of Versaille. It had Kate Winslet and the sadly-now-departed Alan Rickman, and was as pleasing and gentle as period drama should be.
23) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 35 on the final day of our trip in Vietnam. I'd been a bit bummed about this as it meant I'd be flying pretty much all day ... not my favourite activity. But our hotel surprised me with flowers, chocolate cake for breakfast and a beautiful card, and my lovely friends took me out to an amazing ice-cream parlour for lunch, so it wasn't the worst day. I still find it weird to have moved into another age bracket on a lot of surveys ... I don't feel that old!
24) What kept you sane?
Long phone or in-person chats with my closest friends, and getting outdoors and moving. Walks on the hills at Dad's, or round lovely Bristol clear my head. Lunchtime walks have become a thing for me now.
25) Which celebrity / public figure did you fancy the most?
I have a major girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone - they're articulate, gorgeous and stick 2 fingers up at the establishment. Plus they have awesome senses of humour.
26) Who did you miss?
Recently, I've missed my mum and aunt Joan who passed away in 2007 and 1999 respectively - I've been wishing they could have seen who I became, and sometimes I've just wanted to ask for advice or get one of those amazing maternal hugs that make everything alright.