01. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Went on a Proper Holiday with Paul for the first time in the seven-and-a-half years of our being together, to Corfu in September. (Not to say we've not been away before, but it's always been to places in Britain like London, plus a city break to Paris in 2011.) We also had a short seaside break in Tenby for our anniversary in April.
Also: got engaged.
02. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I think I resolved to stop making resolutions that were destined to fail. On checking last year's meme, apparently in 2012 I wanted to learn to drive (didn't) and to get a new job (achieved!) so I suppose that's something. Given as of mid-February or whenever I'll be working in a place that is somewhat more inconvenient than Woodcock Street (and that's inconvenient enough, or so it transpired when I realised how far behind I was on Christmas shopping), I'm hoping it will give me the incentive / kick up the arse I need to learn to drive.
We have a vague plan of foregoing a holiday in 2013 and using the money in the savings towards driving lessons and a car instead - especially as having a car will actually open up more holiday options for us when we're not constrained by public transport!
03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Paul's mate Jenny had another babby, Tilly - the most cheerful baby on the planet.
04. Did anyone close to you die?
Uhm. Well. We weren't close (oftentimes the exact opposite), but it was still a shock when CJH (formerly GodSquad, name changed to her initials out of respect) died suddenly and unpredictably in October. In some ways that incident really gave me a kick up the backside into sorting my life out rather than stagnating and going slowly insane in my WPO job - sometimes you need a harsh and unprecedented reminder of the brevity of life to pull you out of the cycle of discontentment and make you do something you really need to do. The fact that Paul and I got engaged had already got me into the mindset of having to find better employment anyway, but I think if not for this tragic event I wouldn't have taken the chance on the internal job...
05. What countries did you visit?
Wales and Corfu. I would definitely go back to Tenby again, as it was a lovely little town, but I'd love to go back with a car so we could explore Pembrokeshire better. I am rather more hesitant to go back to Corfu even though the resort was lovely and the island beautiful, just because of all the frelling mosquitos. :( (Paul got eaten alive; it's the first time I've ever been bitten. They were voracious little buggers and completely inescapable.)
06. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More financial security. I reached a point in 2012 when I was about £15 away from my overdraft limit, until a very well-timed and fortuitous tax rebate came my way - unfortunately it didn't last very long. I'm hoping the new job will go some way to easing the pressure, though it will take some time before we're both in the clear. Little steps.
Also: a car and the ability to drive it.
07. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Saturday, 11th February - the day Paul proposed.
Thursday, 1st November - seeing the Killers live at LG Arena.
08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Applying for, undergoing tests and interviews for, and subsequently attaining a new job. I had basically given up on finding anything and getting stuck in an infinite loop of applying for Gr3 jobs in Legal Services over and over again without getting anywhere, and then the CPR job turned up on Internal Recruitment. In that respect, another achievement was sticking to my guns over it when everyone in Legal was trying to keep me and talk me out of it - if it had been prior to the move to Woodcock Street I think I might have caved, but things had become so awful by the time I applied that my mind was firmly made up before I'd even been shortlisted.
09. What was your biggest failure?
Gym attendance and losing weight. Epic fail. I had hoped that booking a holiday would give me the incentive to lose the weight, but work became such a drain on my sanity that I never managed to get to the gym, and from about June onwards I simply stopped going. On the plus side, I've now started going swimming regularly with Denise, which I never quite managed with Paul. I'm not sure how gym attendance is going to work once I move to Lifford House, but as it's a 24-hour gym I'm sure I'll manage it somehow.
Also: I had to quit choir for a bit because I couldn't focus any more energy into it with so much else going on in my life. It was a really hard decision to come to, and I was going to quit entirely rather than going on leave of absence, but I'm glad I chose the latter. I want to return in September having achieved some of the things I said I would - Chris asked if I would be married, and I said no, but I would hopefully have a new job and have lost weight. One of those is ticked off. The other cannot be that difficult, even though it often feels like scaling bloody Everest.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Job stress resulted in my back flaring up pretty badly in June (the Legal Assistant debacle), as well as persistent, ongoing and lengthy migraines on a regular basis. I'm going to see the GP in the new year.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our holiday to Corfu, and tickets to see the Killers (and also Evanescence). The tickets were a snap decision but worth every penny.
Also, sad to say, my Skecher Shape-Ups - they are really super-comfy and make me feel somewhat better about the 15-minute to/from work every day from the bus stop. :P
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
The American public for re-electing Obama. I was actually nervous about that for a while.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Tories. All the people at work who made my day such a hassle that I was forced to look elsewhere rather than work with them a second longer. (It does seem the new Senior is more proactive than Useless, but it was too little too late, unfortunately, and locating me away from South Team was the final nail in the coffin.)
14. Where did most of your money go?
We overspent on both our holidays quite drastically, and the bank didn't exactly help by then curbing the credit card limit so I had about £50 left on it (possibly a blessing in disguise as the minimum payments are ridiculous), so basically for about a month I had no money and was starting to panic. My tax rebate should have been a nice chunk of spare money, but instead it paid off my overdraft and enabled me to buy some fancy things like trainers and cutlery and splash out on new clothes - especially when my combats finally fell apart and I had no jeans that fit me any more. Then we overspent at the Killers and then it was Christmas.
Other than that? I have no idea.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing the Killers, and going on holiday, though the latter was dampened by my failure to lose any weight in time for it - I felt fat and disgusting for the majority.
16. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Wow, 2012 has been amazing for music - new albums by P!nk, the Killers, Cerys Matthews and Katie Melua (though I've not heard that yet - got it for Christmas). Most of them were towards the end of the year. If I had to pick a song, though, it would be something from Battle Born - probably the title song.
When they knock you down
You're gonna get back on your feet
'Cause you can't stop now...
Did they break your heart?
And did they cause your soul to mourn
Remember what I said
Boy you was battle born
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
a) You know, this year has been such a rollercoaster, I can't even tell. Probably about the same.
b) Fatter. Again. Sigh.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Seen people. I say this every year. I think I managed to see commoncomitatus twice because she now lives so much nearer, but I didn't manage to meet up with jackiesjottings this year. :( At one point we also had a vague plan to go to Belfast for our April city break so I could attempt to meet cloudsinvenice but I think that's when she was visiting England, and in any case I then desperately needed cleansing sea air so we went to Tenby instead. Ah well.
I also didn't see herringprincess nearly enough, either.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Bashed my head against a brick wall with regards to work issues. I was under the misguided assumption that if I kept bringing things up repeatedly, Useless might get the point and do something about them. I wish I'd made noises about wanting to leave to all the right people instead of all the wrong ones, and then all the recent job experience might have occurred when I was still at Ingleby House...
20. How will you spend Christmas?
As usual, it was just me and Paul again - we saw family on the two days beforehand and went to the pub on Chrismas Eve as we usually do.
21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
This question is moot.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
I discovered Green Wing and the Mac/Caroline 'ship chewed up, digested and vomited my brain several times over - unfortunately, about seven years too late. I've also really enjoyed catching episodes of The BIg Bang Theory (Leonard/Penny FTW!) when they've been on. Other than that - still Glee. I also watched Once Upon A Time.
We have about five series on Sky Plus to catch up on, though - two of Grimm, two of American Horror Story, and The River - not to mention the countless box sets we've accumulated over the years.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Most of my work collagues.
24. What was the best book you read?
I've been slogging through Les Misérables for what feels like my entire life, but I did read other things in between - on holiday I think I most enjoyed The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, even though the grammar irritated me at times and jerked me out of the story. I got through about six books on holiday but that one I can remember reading in about two days.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
BATTLE BORN. Have I mentioned this enough yet?
26. What did you want and get?
To see the Killers live - it's been on my list for ages. A proper summer holiday. A new job.
27. What did you want and not get?
My work issues to be resolved.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Probably Dark Shadows. :D We didn't manage to see many this year... I enjoyed seeing Ghostwatch at the Electric, too. :)
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 31. On the Saturday before I went to the pub for traditional drinks, and on the actual day Paul cooked a three-course meal (chicken liver pate, slow-cooked chicken tikka masala (NOM NOM NOM) and a chocolate cake) for family.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
My job not making me so insanely angry all the time and causing all the neverending migraines.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Whatever fits - though after seeing Evanescence on 8th November I did briefly rekindle my love of gothness, even though none of my clothes fit any more. That in itself is an incentive to lose weight and get back into my pretty corsetry.
32. What kept you sane?
Unfortunately, I think GTA IV has had a hand in it - there's something immensely satisfying about crashing cars and shooting people when you've had a bad day.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Johnny Depp, as usual. And Brandon Flowers needs to marry me. Or just sing at me. Whichever.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Benefits, etc. The complete logic meltdown has blown my mind.
35. Who did you miss?
Sharn, an ex-colleague who left in August 2011 - all the more so after we moved to Woodcock Street and I was stuck with the Collective Idiocy with no way to preseve my sanity; at least when I sat with South Team I could vent at them when everyone had buggered off home at half-three. I tried emailing her but got no response - I think she's probably forgotten her password again. If / when I have leaving drinks I'll see if anyone has her mobile number - she always said I was better than that job and I'd like to let her know she was right.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I'm struggling to think of anyone new that I've met - KEH people weren't "new" because we'd met them at team meetings before. I don't think I've done anything exciting enough to warrant meeting new people.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
When opportunities come along, you need to grab hold of them with both hands and never let go. Trust your gut insticts and know when something's right.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I gave you some complimentary Killers in a previous question, here's some more from the same album...
And may your limits be unknown
And may your efforts be your own
If you ever feel you can't take it anymore
Don't break character
You've got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is done
(From Be Still)
Also: I've just seen this article. The Killers. Tim Burton. Winona Ryder. "Here With Me" which is basically one of my favourite songs on the album. BRB ACTUALLY DYING.
And that's that. Tomorrow I need to make a meringue and a chilli.