2016 in words and pictures

2016 was an interesting year. For me it was of course dominated by my thesis – I basically spent the whole year in hibernation, working 50+ hour, 6-day weeks juggling a full-time job and part-time study. Of course, I did take a month off for Greece and Italy, which was pretty cool (and I promise I will finish uploading my travel journal one day, honestly!). Then there was the health scare, and more earthquakes, and so many cool people dying (Helen Kelly, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, Prince, John Glenn…), and we won’t even mention the whole American election thing.  Yes, definitely an “interesting” year!

2016 in first lines (for a given value of “first”)

january: random pie picture

The internet is fixed, but I didn’t end up having time to go through my pictures to pick out representatives for the year, because Mum got an unexpected visitor, the son of old friends of hers.  I haven’t seen him since we were about 12, so we spent a long afternoon catching up on each others’ news and sharing old memories.

February: So much news

I have a thesis topic! For a while there this was not the case, when it looked like my proto-topic was going to be completely unviable, but one of my lovely supervisors (in related news, I have supervisors!) came to the rescue and pointed out how my ailing proto-topic could in fact be resurrected into an actual topic.

March: Emerging blinking into the sunshine

Major thesis milestone passed: I finished writing my research proposal this afternoon!  A week late, though considering the interruptions of earthquakes (and earthquake anniversaries, which is a busy time for us at work), I think I’m doing pretty well to only be a week behind.

April: Two happy things

I had to go into town for a meeting on Thursday (it still amazes me that I have the sort of job now where I get to have meetings – and not the sort where I’m only there to take minutes!), and on the way back to work I passed a sign for Scorpios’ newly reopened shop.

May: Home

Got home this afternoon after 30-odd hours spent on planes and in airports.  I’m incredibly tired, but attempting to stay awake at least until dark, to ward off the worst of the jet lag.

June: NZEENZ and other excuses

Yeah, my good intentions to get my travel journal posted didn’t come to much, did they? Usual excuse – I’ve been too busy to sit down and write … My busyness has been of an exciting (to me, anyway) kind – on Thursday I gave a paper at a Linguistics conference!!!

July: Creativity and problem-solving

As usual, I’ve failed at keeping up with my blog (and my promise to upload the rest of my Athens journal), and as usual the excuse is being too busy with thesis stuff.  I’m kind of buried under an avalanche of data at the moment, and it’s taking much longer than I anticipated to dig my way through it, with the result that every time I have a spare moment I feel like I should be doing a bit more work on it.

August: Still alive

They kept me in the hospital last night (mainly because I was last in the queue for day surgery, so didn’t get out until about 6 pm, by which time it was easier to transfer me to a ward than wait round until I was awake enough to go home), so I’ve only just got home.

September: The gory details

Wow, time has sped by again, and it’s already two weeks since my operation (and already September, and spring!).  I did mean to come back and write something more substantial than my brief post-op note of stillalivitude, but for the first week or so sitting at the computer was painful and not conducive to writing blog posts, and then I’ve been back at work and trying to catch up with everything I didn’t get done while being distracted by bodily malfunctions, so just super-busy.

October: Bright lights, pretty colours

Only three months to go until my thesis submission deadline, so it’s very much nose to the grindstone around here.  I’m making exciting progress though – one of my data sets is complete and I’ve almost managed to construct a statistical model to describe it, and the other data set is almost ready (“almost” being a relative term – there’s probably another week or two’s work to do on it) to be added to the model, so very soon I should have something resembling results.

November: Shaky Isles

Well, it’s been an … interesting… couple of weeks since I last posted.  First there was the American elections.  We were watching the results come in in our office (it was early afternoon here), and, like the rest of the world, couldn’t quite believe what we were seeing as the map turned redder and redder.

December: Still modelling…

Actually, I thought I’d finally finished my modelling a few days ago, but I met with my supervisors today, and they’ve recommended I run a few more, so it’s back to sitting waiting for models to run.

Hmm, there’s a bit of a theme there, isn’t there? :-)  I’m just impressed that there was at least one post in every month – I was sure I would have had longer gaps than that!

2016 in photos

(A few more gaps here…)

January:

February:  –

March:

April:

May:  – (actually, I have loads of photos from Italy, it’s just I haven’t sorted them out yet!)

June:

(There is actually a photo of me giving my conference presentation somewhere on Facebook, but I couldn’t find it, so this will have to do instead)

July:

August:  –

September:

October:

November:

December:

What I read in 2016

Yes, I’m a month late doing the year-end wrap-up things, but I was way too busy in early January so didn’t have time to do them then.  And I like doing the annual summaries, so even though they’re late, I’m going to post them anyway.

I didn’t do a lot of reading last year (well, actually I did, but it was mostly in the form of academic journal articles, not books), and most of my “reading” was actually listening to audiobooks while walking to and from work.  So it’s the shortest list since I first starting recording my reading.

 Total = 92 books

January (9)

February (9)

March (14)

April (8)

May (8)

June (7)

July (8)

August (6)

  • The Residence by Kate Andersen Brower (library audio book)
  • Daisy’s War by Shayne Parkinson (e-book)
  • Rosemary by Kate Clifford Larson (library audio book)
  • The Sad Truth About Happiness by Anne Giardini
  • The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne (e-book)
  • Toms River by Dan Fagin (library audio book)

September (7)

October (7)

November (6)

December (5)

What I read in 2015 (112 books)
What I read in 2014 (93 books)
What I read in 2013 (129 books)
What I read in 2012 (128 books)
What I read in 2011 (133 books)
What I read in 2010 (137 books)
What I read in 2009 (150 books)
What I read in 2008 (154 books)
What I read in 2007 (123 books)
What I read in 2006 (140 books)
What I read in 2005 (168 books)

What counts as a book?

2015 in pictures

(Only slightly belatedly)

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

Don’t be silly, I wasn’t taking photos, I had deadlines!

October:

November:

December:

So the year started and ended with family. And despite feeling like I was too busy to do anything this year, I actually packed in quite a lot. Onwards to 2016…

2015 in review

2015 is hard to summarise.  I learnt a lot, I took on some huge new challenges, but mostly it’s just been incredibly busy, and has raced past in a blur.  So rather than try and write anything meaningful about it, I’ll use my usual trick of recycling bits of blog entries :-)

So, 2015 in first sentences:

January: It’s 2015 here in New Zealand, even if most of the rest of the world is still to catch up, and has dawned a lovely sunny day after yesterday’s rain.

February: I decided to use this weekend to skip ahead a bit in the In Flight quilt-along, in an attempt to have the whole thing finished a few weeks ahead of schedule, and avoid that nasty clash with the start of semester.

March: Ok, so Tartankiwi calls it a cormorant, but I’m a New Zealander – it’s a shag :-)

April: Parsnips has obviously been out hunting today, because when I got home and walked into the kitchen, I felt a lump under my foot.

May: Yeah, I know, it’s been ages since I wrote anything.  Can I use as an excuse the fact that I’ve been really tired, AND that I have a medical excuse for being tired, so it’s not just laziness, honestly it’s not!

June: Lytteltonwitch and I spent the weekend in Oamaru, where they were holding their annual Steampunk Festival.

July: Christchurch people (and anyone else who just likes to help preserve cool historic things): If any of you have fond memories of visiting the telescope in the Arts Centre Observatory on a Friday night, you might want to contribute to this fundraiser to help restore the telescope.

August: First term of the semester is over, and I handed my first big assignment in yesterday, so I can pause and relax – well, for a couple of days, at least.

September: Just very very busy.

October: There is a type of tiny quilt that is commonly called a “mug rug”.

November: Hmmm, according to my calendar, the last time I actually took a full weekend off was in August.

December: January and the start of my masters is looming large, so I’m trying to fit as much as I can into the rest of this year, before I have to be head down over the books again.

The internet here is playing up tonight, so I think I might have to leave the year in pictures part until tomorrow, when hopefully it won’t take 10 minutes just to load a page…

Luging

It was the boys’ turn to claim their Christmas adventure today, so Dad offered to drive us up to Queenstown.  Queenstown is *the* place to be for New Year’s, so the town was totally packed (yeah, probably should have thought of that before we picked today to go up there…), and we had to queue for about an hour just to get tickets for the gondola.  Then at the top, there was another queue for the chair-lift which takes you even further up the hill to the start of the luge track.  It was another stinking hot day, so I was very glad I’d remembered a hat and sunscreen for a change, with all that waiting round in the hot sun!

I’d bought us a family pass, which got all four of us up the gondola, plus five tickets for the luge (we could have bought a slightly more expensive pass with a lot more tickets, but when they told us at the ticket office that the queue at the top was about 30 minutes, it didn’t seem worth it, given that we’d probably only have time for a couple of goes).  Dad didn’t want to go on the luge himself, so I said I’d go on the luge with the boys for their first run, then they could use the remaining two tickets to try the faster track (they make you go on the slower track your first time down, to make sure you know how to control the carts) on their own.

I gave Dad my camera to hold while the boys and I were on the luge, so of course he took photos:


Chair-lift to the top (despite appearances, you don’t actually scrape your feet along the ground – the chairs are a very long way up, but the angle of the hill from where Dad was standing makes it look low)


Nephew #1 and I “racing” (about 30 seconds after this he passed me, and I didn’t catch up again until the bottom of the hill. Probably because I kept using the brakes round the corners…)


On the fast track (and desperately hoping Brother and SIL don’t see this and notice that he forgot to do up his helmet – I really was looking after them, honestly!)


I think they enjoyed their day :-)


This is why you should never leave your camera with your parent: they take photos of you being silly!


Obligatory beauty shot of the view over Queenstown and Lake Wakitipu.


On the gondola back down again.

By the time they’d had their second go, it was well past lunchtime, so we decided to go back down the hill to Queenstown and try out the famous Ferg Burgers (supposedly the best burgers in NZ).  Of course, being famous means they’re also incredibly popular, so it was back to standing in a queue again – another 30 minutes just to get to the counter to order, and then, because they cook everything to order, 20 minutes while our burgers were prepared.  Nephew #2 got sick of waiting about half way down the queue, and opted to go round the corner to McDonalds, but Nephew #1 and I stuck it out, and the burgers were definitely worth the wait.  Even if it did mean we finally had our lunch at about 3 pm.

New Year’s Eve tonight, but I don’t think we’ll be doing anything special.  Anyway, after all those queues today (there was even a queue to get home: there’d been an accident just before Lake Hayes, and the queue of traffic was backed up nearly all the way to the airport turn-off, so we were crawling along for ages until we got past the accident spot), I think I’d rather just have an early night than go find another crowd to stand in!

Being social

It’s been a very social weekend. Actually, more than just the weekend, because on Friday the CEISMIC team spent the day at the NDF Bar Camp, an “unconference” to discuss digital issues in the cultural heritage sector.  Lots of exciting conversations and ideas, and seriously inspiring.  Tiring though, in that way of an event where you’ve got your brain switched on all day. There were drinks afterwards, of course, during which the fascinating conversations continued, but I only stayed for an hour, because I was meeting a few of the Toastmasters women for dinner.

The dinner was fun – lots of laughs (and interesting food – we were at a Vietnamese restaurant, and ordered a banquet, so we got to try lots of dishes we hadn’t tried before).  Quite a late night though.  When we left the restaurant, we discovered the intersection blocked off with a fire engine and two police cars, and police tape everywhere.  Earlier we’d noticed flashing lights outside, and had seen an ambulance come and go, but this was an hour or two later, and the police were still there.  It was dark, so hard to tell what was going on, but just as we were driving away (everyone was most concerned about me walking home on my own, even though we were only a few blocks from my place, so Ade insisted on giving me a lift) I realised what looked different about the dairy* on the corner – there was a car inside it.  According to The Press this morning, the driver had a “medical event” (I’m guessing that means heart attack?) while driving, and had gone straight over the roundabout and into the dairy.

*translation for foreigners: small convenience store/corner shop, mainly selling milk, bread and lollies**.

**another translation for foreigners: sweets/candy/confectionery

I’d planned to have a quiet day yesterday, seeing as Friday had been so busy, but Mrs Gwilk rang to say they had a new board game they wanted to try out, but it needed a fourth person to play, so did I feel like coming round.  So that’s where I spent the evening.  The game was really fun – it was a strategy game based on the Firefly TV series (which I’ve never actually seen, but knew vaguely what it was about which was enough to understand the game), where you had to run trade and/or smuggling missions across an interstellar society, while managing things like crew and fuel, and avoiding raiders and customs officials (if you were smuggling).  The end of the game was very dramatic, with Gwilk and I racing to get to a particular planet, with whoever got there first winning the game.  Unfortunately an unlucky roll when raiders attacked meant I got there just behind him, but I think second place is still a pretty respectable result :-)

It was another late night though, because the game took nearly three hours, and then, after mini-Gwilk went off to bed, Mrs Gwilk suggested we try another, shorter game (“shorter” being a relative term when it comes to board games), so it was nearly 11 by the time I got home.

Then this afternoon was the bookcrossing meetup.  A lot smaller turn out this time – Rarsberry was at a birthday party, and a couple of the others who normally turn up didn’t show, but we did have a new person, so all was not lost.  It was incredibly busy at the cafe, because the Botanic Gardens were having a special event for Matariki (the Maori New Year celebration), so we were lucky to get a table (well, luck combined with the fact that I spotted some people leaving, so I raced over and bagsed their table – which completely confused the poor person who came to clear away their plates!).  The incredibly long queue to order food wasn’t a problem for a bunch of bookcrossers though – we just took our books so we could read while the queue inched forward :-)

So yeah, fun weekend, but I am now officially all socialled out.  Pity I’ve got to go to work tomorrow and interact with people…

2014 in review

In my 2013 in review post, I wrote “…instead of hoping that next year is a better one, I’m going to say that I’m going to make sure that next year I continue to make my life what I want it to be, and that I’ll keep surrounding myself with what gives me joy.” And I reckon I succeeded at that. I’ve made new friends, learnt new skills, completed another Honours paper, taken on new responsibilities at work, managed to fit in a bit of travel, and generally continued to build the life I want to have. And because of that, I’ve been recognised and rewarded for my efforts in big ways and small, and more importantly, I’ve been happy. It’s been a tough year (especially in the first half, trying to juggle study and work and life), and full of challenges, but it’s been a very good one.

So, 2014 in first(ish) lines:

January: Amazingly, I actually made a decision. And not only that, I sewed the blocks together, so now I’m committed to that decision (well, I suppose if I was really determined to change my mind I could always break out the quick-unpick, but yeah, nah).

February: Today marks 11 years since I joined Bookcrossing. Not that I’ve done a huge amount of bookcrossing in the last year or three – I got out of the habit with the earthquakes and never really got back to it.

March: Term started this week, and I’m already swamped with work (it’s worrying when the lecturer says she’s going to give you a nice easy reading for the first week, and it’s 40 pages long (and that’s not counting the two “optional” readings that go with it…). Yeah, I kind of forgot just how hard Honours is.

[April and May didn’t exist, according to my blog at least. Probably because I spent them head down among piles of research papers, interrupted by a glorious couple of weeks in Australia, which I never had time to write up because as soon as I got back home I was straight back into study.]

June: I’ve been getting the odd nudge and query as to my continued existence, so I thought I’d better drop in briefly and reassure everyone that yes, I’m still alive, and I’m not avoiding any of you, it’s just that I’m buried alive in a giant mound of journal articles to read and essays to write and approaching deadlines, so my life for the last month or so has been pretty much reduced to work, study, do the minimum to keep myself fed and healthy and the house vaguely clean, and repeat.

July: My birthday party baking went really well – the bread dough rose and baked up beautifully, the cake and eclairs were suitably chocolatey and decadent (even if I did slightly mess up the icing on the eclairs by getting a little bit too experimental and forgetting that adding orange zest to give it an interesting hint of jaffa also means you’re adding extra oils, which if you don’t adjust for will it make ganache come out funny… which absolutely nobody even noticed anyway, though they did notice they tasted good so that was all that mattered :-)).

August: Every few weeks at work someone in the office will declare it time for a cake run, and one of us will run down to the cafe for a selection of cakes and slices.

September: Yesterday was another very busy day (one day I really must have a restful weekend…) It started with a mad dash for the bus (after I completely miscalculated times) to get myself over to Heathcote.

October: Generally, I try to be a nice person. I even try to be polite to telesales people – it’s not their fault they have an irritating job to do, and they’re being paid a pittance to do it.

November: Lytteltonwitch came over this morning so I could help her tidy up her CV (hopefully the advice I gave her turns out to be useful – I did once have a job polishing CVs, but that was a lot of years ago and in another country, so I’m not exactly up to date on current HR trends).

December: First of December, so theoretically it’s the first day of summer today. So of course it’s cold and wet and miserable. I don’t know why I’m surprised, really, because Christchurch does this every year – we have a hot November and we all think summer has come early, then it turns cold again in December just when everyone starts planning barbeques for their end of year parties.

And in pictures (semi-randomly selected):

January:

February:

March:

April:


(Two for the price of one, because these never actually made it to my blog – they’re from the many convention and road trip photos from Australia that are still sitting unsorted on my computer waiting for that mythical “one day” when I get round to going through them. This is why you should never take a holiday when you’re busy!)

May/June:

(No photos – just imagine me sitting at a computer writing frantically, surrounded by toppling piles of photocopied articles, and you’ll get an accurate image of those months).

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:


(Oops, another batch of photos I never got round to sorting and posting…)

December:

Yep, looks like a pretty good year to me :-)

What I read in 2014

For the first time since I started keeping these reading lists, I dipped below 100 books read this year – my total was only 93.  I suspect the main reason for that is that I got out of habit of reading for pleasure in the first half of the year, when I was reading so many research papers for my course (none of which I counted towards my reading total, as they weren’t books, just journal articles – if I’d counted them the number would look way more impressive!) that when I took a break picking up a book was the last thing I’d feel like doing – instead, I’d watch a DVD, or something on YouTube, or play a game: anything quick and brainless and not requiring the concentration of reading (plus, the whole “critical reading” skill I was acquiring, which while invaluable for my academic aspirations, had the unfortunate side effect of making me more critical about everything I read…).  So by the time I finished the course I’d got out of the habit of reading being my default relaxation option.

But anyway, although shorter than usual, here’s the list for 2014:

 Total = 93 books

January (11)

February (6)

  • Where Angels Fear to Tread by EM Forster (library audio book)
  • Under the Harrow by Mark Dunn (e-book)
  • What the Animals Taught Me by Stephanie Marohn (library audio book)
  • Conrad’s Fate by Diana Wynne Jones
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein (library audio book)
  • Labour Day by Joyce Maynard (library audio book)

March (6)

  • Death of an Artist by Kate Wilhelm (library audio book)
  • The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (library audio book)
  • The Lollipop Shoes by Joanne Harris (borrowed from SIL)
  • Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky (library audio book)
  • Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Journey by Kathryn Lasky (library audio book)
  • Guardians of Ga’Hoole: The Rescue by Kathryn Lasky (library audio book)

April (6)

May (9)

June (6)

  • Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (library audio book)
  • The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling (library audio book)
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • Anne of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (library audio book)

July (10)

  • Anne of The Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • Anne of Windy Poplars by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (library audio book)
  • Anne’s House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (library audio book)
  • Anne of Ingleside by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer (library audio book)
  • Rainbow Valley by Lucy Maud Montgomery (e-book)
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass (library audio book)

August (10)

September (5)

  • All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue (library audio book)
  • A Beautiful Lie by Tara Sivec (e-book)
  • The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer (library audio book)
  • Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
  • Home Front by Kristin Hannah (library audio book)

October (5)

November (9)

December (9)

What I read in 2013 (129 books)
What I read in 2012 (128 books)
What I read in 2011 (133 books)
What I read in 2010 (137 books)
What I read in 2009 (150 books)
What I read in 2008 (154 books)
What I read in 2007 (123 books)
What I read in 2006 (140 books)
What I read in 2005 (168 books)

What counts as a book?

Happy New Year!

It’s 2015 here in New Zealand, even if most of the rest of the world is still to catch up, and has dawned a lovely sunny day after yesterday’s rain. I reckon that augurs great things for the year – and even if it doesn’t, I fully intend to have a good year anyway :-)  The usual “year in review” posts will follow shortly.

I wasn’t going to bother staying up to see the New Year in last night, but I ended up being awake for it anyway, because the first batch of neighbours to set off fireworks either had their clocks set wrong or are just incredibly impatient, and started setting them off at 11.  That started a trend from the rest of the neighbours, so there was pretty much a continual series of booms and bangs for the next hour and a half.  Poor Parsnips was cowering under the bed the whole time, and I gave up trying to sleep and read a book instead.


I went over to feed the chickens (and Flick the cat, who was very pleased to see me – I think he’s been feeling lonely – we had to have a very long brushing and scratching under the chin session before he would leave my side) again this morning.  There was a moment of panic when I arrived to find the door to their enclosure hanging open (it doesn’t have a proper latch, but is just wedged up against the wall, so I suspect the wind yesterday afternoon loosened it enough for it to fall open).  However, as I was about to start a frantic chicken search, I heard clucking behind me, and there were the two chickens following me up the drive.  They’ve obviously figured out where the food comes from!  Rosalee had warned me they have a tendency to escape and go wandering around the neighbourhood, but she said they always come home for food, and sure enough, when I opened their feed bin they both dashed straight into their enclosure to wait to be fed.  Smart animals!

I took my camera, so I was able to get a photo of the red hen for Yetzirah :-)

The other one, a black hen, was camera shy and kept running behind the shed when I pointed the camera in her direction, so I let her have her privacy 😉

There were two presents waiting for me this time:

The size difference between the two eggs is incredible. It’s even more noticeable when you compare them to a couple of shop-bought eggs I had in the fridge:

I couldn’t actually close the egg carton the big one is so huge, and the little one looks more like a bantam egg (both chickens are normal sized, though – I think Rosalee said they were rescued battery hens).


Two more squares finished on the quilt.  This one, “wood grain”, I think is my favourite so far – it was really fun to do, and ended up looking great (it’s very forgiving of mistakes!):

The other, “swirls”, was a bit trickier (I really need to practice the backtracking over lines I’ve already sewn bit!), but still cool:

If you’ve been keeping count, that makes 9 squares complete, out of the 25 total.  So the entire inner section is done, it’s just the outer circle of squares left to do, which theoretically should be a bit easier because working on the edge of the quilt means you don’t have to try and squeeze half a quilt into the little space between the two arms of the sewing machine.  However, it also means I’ve run out of patterns in my book (well, sort of – there is actually one more pattern, but it’s “print tracking”, where you basically trace round the outside of designs on the fabric.  And as all my fabric is cut into thin strips, there aren’t really any designs big enough to do that with.)  So I’m now going to move on to interesting-looking patterns I’ve seen on various blogs.  I’m sure some of them will prove to be way beyond my skill-level, but I’m also sure I’ll have fun trying… :-)

2013 in review

Dickens had it right: it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  It seems like every year lately I’ve summed up the year as being full of horrible stuff interspersed with some pretty good stuff, and expressed the hope that next year can only get better.  And yep, once again there’s been some pretty horrible stuff in this year.  But there’s also been a lot of good stuff, and most importantly, the good stuff has come from my own determination to turn my life into something wonderful.  So instead of hoping that next year is a better one, I’m going to say that I’m going to make sure that next year I continue to make my life what I want it to be, and that I’ll keep surrounding myself with what gives me joy.

Anyway, returning to 2013, here’s the first lines from each month (usual proviso: first lines that actually contained content and not just an excuse for not posting…)

January: Now that the grey and horrible weather has ended, I decided to make the most of a bit of sunshine to go for a walk with my camera this morning.

February: A mysterious gift of marmite just appeared in our hallway.

March: Still here, and still coping, though it’s very much a case of two steps forward and one back.

April: Mojosmom’s suggestion of a peach cobbler sent me off to Google.

May: I went to another class at Make Cafe last week, this time on paper piecing patchwork. 

June: It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  Fuzzle was here for most of the first week – it was great to see her, and we had loads of fun.

July: I’ve got a large wintersweet bush in the garden, and for about 10 months of the year it’s an ugly, scraggly looking thing that I’m tempted to just rip out.

August: The last couple of weeks have been very long ones, full of drama and a total emotional roller-coaster.

September: It was a gorgeous sunny day yesterday (as it is again today), so I went for a long walk with my camera, looking for spring.

October: I seem to have drastically expanded my social circles all of a sudden, joining two new groups in the space of just a couple of weeks.

November: I’ve had Goldenwattle staying for a few days, on her way round the country.

December: It’s been a strange sort of week.  We knew we’d be shifting offices sometime this week, and that we would have to stay away from the office on moving day so we didn’t get in the way of the movers, so we’d talked about having some sort of team field-trip, maybe involving a site visit to one of our content providers.

And in pictures:

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:

June:

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

Yep, looking at that lot, I reckon I’ve done a pretty good job of surrounding myself with joy this year.