What did you do in 2014 that you’ve never done before? I had my cards read for the first time ever and sold some unwanted items at a car boot sale. I've been to lots of car boot sales but this was the first time I actually sold things.
Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year? Sort of! I wanted to lose weight and I lost some, but not enough. I also wanted to declutter the house and I made a start on it but still have loads to do. I did make good progress on the work I wanted to do in the garden. Yes, I will make some resolutions this year; get to my target weight, complete the decluttering, make a start on 101 things in 1001 days and be more active/exercise regularly.
Did anyone close to you give birth? No, there were no additions to the family this year.
Did anyone close to you die? No, there were no deaths this year, thank goodness.
What countries did you visit? I didn’t travel abroad this year. The farthest I managed was a trip to Cornwall.
What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014? I'd like to get back to doing some entertaining at home. I've started going out more often but I miss the opportunity to cook for others and I'd like to find a way to do that in 2015, even if it is just simply baking a cake to share with friends invited round for coffee and a chat.
What date from 2014 will remain etched in your memory and why? Nothing significant happened this year so there are no new dates to be remembered.
What was your biggest achievement of the year? Losing 3 stone (42lbs) in weight.
What was your biggest failure? Not carrying on with the weight loss. If I'd kept at it I could have lost another stone but I didn't! On the plus side, I didn't put any weight back on.
Did you suffer illness or injury? I was diagnosed with diverticulitis at the start of 2014 but haven't really had too many problems with it this year. I have ended the year with an injured right shoulder; it's the second time it has happened and I'm hoping that the injection I had will do its job, otherwise it will be a referral to the hospital.
What was the best thing you bought? The purchases that gave me the most enjoyment were the plants for the garden.
Where did most of your money go? Gravel and plants for the garden - worth every penny!
What did you get really, really, really excited about? As last year, nothing really. I haven't really got back that bubbly zest for life yet.
Compared to this time last year are you:
- Happier or sadder? A bit of both really. In many ways this year was much harder emotionally than last year.
- Thinner or fatter? A lot thinner!
- Richer or poorer? About even!
What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I'd gone to more live music events - not to play myself, but as a spectator. I've had plenty of opportunities but let them pass for some reason (I'm not sure why!). It wasn't until I went to a concert just before Christmas that it made me realise how much I missed it.
What do you wish you’d done less of? Giving in to what others think is right for me, just to avoid confrontation and have a quiet life!
How did you spend Christmas? I spent the 25th on my own. I had lots of invites but decided that I would completely indulge myself this year and do exactly what I wanted, which was to stay at home on my own. I had it all organised with lots of special treats to open and enjoy throughout the day (new CDs, boxed set of DVDs, new books, chili chocolate (!!) and a jigsaw puzzle). Boxing Day was my day for visiting everyone and exchanging gifts, and on the 27th I met with some friends for an Indian meal. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and, with just a couple of changes, will do the same again in future years.
Did you fall in love in 2014? No. My heart is still with Ced.
What was your favourite TV show? I have watched way too much TV this year. My favourite is the same as last year - Doctor Who and Lewis (can't pick only one). I've watched quite a few series that I really enjoyed - Broadchurch, The Code, Intruders, Missing and the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are?
What was the best book you read? I'm not sure if this actually counts as a book; it was a podcast, which I'm classing as an audio book! I listened to all twelve episodes of Serial which investigates the true life case of Adnan Syed, a 17 year old American who was jailed for life in 1999 when he was convicted of the premeditated murder of his ex-girlfriend. The podcast investigation highlighted problems with the original investigation which could point to the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. Syed's case is currently under review following a recent appeal so the 'ending' to this story will eventually be reported in the news.
What was your greatest musical discovery of 2014? Before December I would have said that I didn't have a musical discovery for this year but at the start of the month I found 'Pentatonix' on Youtube. I don't like all of their stuff but this year, their Christmas music was just right, especially 'Mary, Did You Know?
What did you want and get? I wanted a music room and, with some reorganisation, I now have one. It's decorated and the piano and the rest of the instruments are in the room but I still have to sort out the music books and buy a new bookcase to keep them in.
What did you want and not get? I wanted to remove the decking and replace it with a proper stone built patio, but I couldn't afford to get it done this year. It's in the budget for 2015, assuming the costs remain close to the original quote.
What was your favourite film this year? My favourite one that I saw for the first time this year was The Shawshank Redemption. I'm very behind on watching films!
What did you do on your birthday? I was ill and spent the day in bed! To make up for it, I went out for a meal with friends later in the week.
What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? I would have liked to start walking with the Ramblers or one of the local walking groups but didn't manage it. The local walks were either during the day when I was at work or were too great a distance for me to consider. I have found out about a group in Bradford on Avon (about 3 miles away) which arranges shorter Sunday walks, so I'm hoping to join in with them next year.
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014? I still don't have a personal fashion concept! Whatever is comfortable and fits!
What kept you sane? The people in my life. Music. Books. Photography.
Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I don't really fancy any celebrity or public figure but there are a couple that I follow on Facebook - David Tennant and John Barrowman.
What political issue stirred you the most? The Ebola crisis and the lack of action on poverty in the UK.
Who did you miss? Ced. I'm into the second year without him and in lots of ways it seems to be more difficult, not easier.
Who was the best new person you met? Definitely Karen, who I met back in May when I went to Cornwall, although I'm not sure if this counts as a new person as we've been virtual friends through our blogs for a couple of years. I have met lots of new people this year as a result of joining the meetups events. I've also met a fantastic group of musicians through some recent carolling events and will continue to play with them at music sessions in one of the local pubs throughout the year. Everyone I've met has been really friendly and I can see close friendships developing with some of them.
Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014. Learn to like yourself and follow your own path through life. The people who genuinely love you will be happy for you.
Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I listen to music all the time, but don't often listen to songs, so can't really think of any lyrics that sum up my year.