2013 was a mixed bag chez Blonde. There were a few bits and pieces that, between us, The Writer and I could have done without, including, but not limited to, serious and long-lasting insomnia, a variety of familial stresses, a visit to A&E after being hit by a wayward cyclist hurtling her way through a pedestrian crossing that left me a bit wobbly about crossing the road, a long and arduous hunt for a job that shook the confidence a bit, a cat bite that quickly resembled something far more exotic and unattractive, and a battle to be taken seriously by the Metropolitan police after suffering an assault about which they did nothing.
What doesn’t kill you, eh?
Despite all that, there have also been a few highlights that have made the year not as completely horrid as all the above might appear.
I have a brand new job, in a sector in which I’m genuinely interested; that tests me intellectually on a daily basis; and that is dealing with material that’s as close as it comes to properly important as it gets in PR.
I’ve been helping my alma mater with their communications and PR, which has resulted in a much increased media presence and reminded me that, actually, I’m not too bad at what I do.
I’ve spent far more time in the gym than has ever previously been known, resulting in the ability to run at least 10k several times a week; more energy and better sleep; one dress and two bra sizes dropped, making it inordinately easier to buy underwear; a peculiarly strong and new-found fondness for yoga and increased bendiness; and a much easier time of it after long sessions in the saddle.
I’ve perfected brownies. Like, actually perfected. Not even Konditor + Cook make brownies like mine. Oh, and peanut butter truffles.
I hung out with Eddie Redmayne and Michael Douglas at one of the year's glitzier parties. (No, really.)
I watched two wonderful sets of friends get married, acting as a witness at one wedding, PolitiGal saying that she wanted people who’d fight their corner, reminding them why they got married if things ever got tough. Having your friends put that sort of faith in you is pretty amazing.
Having been back in the saddle for a little over a year, I went out on my first hunt. If you’d told me a year ago that I’d do that, jumping logs and ditches as I went, I’d have thought you’d fallen out of the nearest tree. But I did, and completely loved it and will be going as much as I can reasonably justify to my bank balance.
And then there’s the London Book Club, a project set up by a friend and I in February of this year, and one going from strength to strength. We’ve read some great books, and some awful ones; and drunk an awful lot of wine. The mailing list stands at over 100 people, and around 20 come every month. Some people credit it with getting them back into reading, which is an enormously brilliant thing for our little project to have done. But, best of all, it’s chokka block with thoroughly wonderful new people, whom I now consider friends, and who’re friends with each other.
As years go, I’ll chalk that up to not so bad after all.