01. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Well, I suppose the new job provided plenty of opportunities for new things / skills, even if they were work-related things. I also made bread on New Year's Day for the first time, then again several times throughout the year - and the Rainbow Cake!
02. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn't make any, thank anything. I am sort of tempted to make half-realistic ones this year, such as learning to drive, losing a few stone / dropping a couple of dress sizes - basically things I should have done last year but for lack of funds and energy. 2013 was a massive energy drain for some reason. I will also try and update LJ at least once a month, even if it's just something like this - and finish retagging old entries so I can finally create that writing journal I've been intending to make for years.
Also I will finally pluck up the courage to post all the JC fic somewhere; I've been toying with it all year and haven't quite been brave enough.
03. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Richie and Julia had baby Harmony. My theory that new borns hate me was once again proved correct. This does not bode well.
04. Did anyone close to you die?
Paul's dad was hit and miss for a while, but thankfully, no.
05. What countries did you visit?
None. Take the 'R' out and we went to Cornwall. :P
06. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Mo' money. I say this every year. One year it will be true.
07. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
11th March was when I started the new job. The year went so quickly that there were certain other dates (30th November, the minute-taking test; 17th December, the interview) which also stuck out to me just because I couldn't believe they'd rolled around again as fast as they did.
08. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Starting the new job, I suppose, without my standard level of panic and terror - and subsequently being really good at it. :P
Also, maintaining momentum on the Jonathan Creek fandom resurgence (aided in part by both cloudsinvenice and commoncomitatus) after it reared its head in late December 2012. I finished a ridiculous amount of fic this year for that fandom, as well as my ongoing Pirates story. I have achieved more words in 2013 than the past seven years put together, I think - just being able to finish stories was an achievement in itself, let alone starting new ones. And the episode tags!! I didn't even know they were in my brain, but now I have almost every episode of the first three series!
Seriously, the JC fandom stuff this year has been awesome. (Except for writer fail, obviously.) I am lucky to have three friends with whom to flail as well (the two named above and Denise), which for a tiny fandom with hardly any online presence is a blessing. :)
Also: so many other ideas to make a start on, including at least three crossovers. I had forgotten the absolute joy of losing myself in fanfic until 2013. January to March were my most prolific months, in that interim period between quitting / no longer giving a dren about Horrible Old Job and starting Nice New Job, but only because Nice New Job is mentally draining both when it's busy and when its not. Given it's a change in grade, I half-expected that, and I have managed to get writing done sporadically for the rest of the year despite that.
So, yeah - I'd say that's definitely an achievement.
09. What was your biggest failure?
Failed to lose weight. I went to the gym about five times in total last year. I've been trying to eat heathily but it's quite difficult, especially when Paul and I are both too tired to cook and resort to ordering fried chicken, which is what caused the problem in the first place. :P
Also, despite JC fandom resurgence I still haven't finished ALTAF or made a proper start on The Doomfic - or finished "A Shade of Blue" (the sequel to "Whisper" / prequel to my POTO/Ripper story). But considering what DID come out of it (all the post-ALTAF snippets to name but a few - this fandom and the J/M pairing have just been ALL THE FEELS in 2013) I'm not really complaining.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was quite healthy in 2013 actually - the migraines calmed down signficantly once I'd gotten a start date for Nice New Job, and I didn't even have a cold!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Danny Elfman tickets, despite my ambivalence when it actually happened. Also: managed to get a tagine from Aldi which matches our best blue plates. :D
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Eni, for putting up with my fandom flail when she wasn't even in the country. :P Also Paul for putting up with it and having to live with me when it happened. :P
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
The Tories. Alas, I suspect this will be my answer to this question for some time.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Bills, bills, food, bills, credit card, bills, occasionally nice things, and bills. Did I mention bills?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going back to choir, and a couple of the concerts when I first found out about the programme. Then I actually got there and realised why I'd left - I enjoy the singing but the behind-the-scenes stuff is getting on my nerves again. In 2014 I'll see what else is available.
Also, because I'm a huge geek, I actually got really, really, really excited to start the JC re-watch with cloudsinvenice, because it was the first time I'd done one with like-minded people. :D
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
I didn't buy any new music (lack of funds), though the album I associate with the year was Katie Melua's Secret Symphony, because I got it for Christmas 2012 and didn't get chance to listen to it until a few months later.
However, the Killers's Battle Born has remained my power ballad for the year, if not for life. That album is absolute perfection. I will get my tattoo this year if it kills me - I need to come up with a design, but I dug out the perfect lyrics months ago. "You never shine / If you never burn."
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
(a) About even, I think. I ended 2012 on a high note due to the fandom flail and started 2013 with positive things, and despite being constantly despondent about my lack of money (and a few bouts of godawful PMT that made me want to gouge my own brain out) it's generally been okay this year.
(b) Fatter. AGAIN.
(c) Probably poorer though it's hard to tell. :P
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Anything remotely worth noting. The reason for not updating LJ is that the year has gone so quickly, and I've been so skint / knackered, that I've barely done anything interesting.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Eaten rubbish food in lieu of healthy options.
The same as every other year - just me and Paul on the day, seeing family and friends beforehand, and working for the majority of the other days. I feel a bit disjointed and all over the place as a result...
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Redundant question. :P
22. What was your favorite TV program?
As if it wasn't obvious. ;) A few, actually: Jonathan Creek, X-Files (thanks to commencing a re-watch with Denise), Sherlock (belatedly - we actually caught up last night in time for series 3!), EastEnders (Michael/Alice repeatedly ate my brain despite the fact it was Bad and Wrong) - just the usual really. We also enjoyed My Mad Fat Diary, Utopia, Glee (still persevering!) and The New Normal, and what little we managed to get through of American Horror Story. I've made a start on Sleepy Hollow as well but need to watch a few more before it grows on me.
Oh, I gave up on Once Upon A Time after season 1, which I sort of regret because it sounds like Emma/Hook and Rumple/Belle became interesting pairings, but I just wasn't feeling it for the first few episodes. Ah well.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Don't think so? I still hate the awful ex-colleagues at Legal who were instrumental in my reasons for leaving the job...
24. What was the best book you read?
Still haven't finished Le Brick. I read The Unconsoled which was really really weird - it very much reads like a very disjointed dream (terrifyingly similar to some of the dreams I have, in fact, which is why it was so effective) though I have no idea what it was supposed to be about! Currently reading The Turn of the Screw whilst I continue to work through Le Brick.
25. What was your greatest [musical] discovery?
See previous answer for not buying new music... However, I did discover the joys/horrors (delete as appropriate) of Tumblr, which actually has been one of the contributing factors of not updating LJ. :P
26. What did you want and get?
Mostly, I am sorry to say, games for PS3 and X-Box, most notably The Last of Us (for free, as we lent the PS3 to Patrick so he could play it and he gave us the game when he returned it!) and GTA V for X-Box. I wanted Danny Elfman tickets and also got those. I also wanted tickets to Alan Davies (November 2014) and was bought them for belated birthday / Christmas by the lovely commoncomitatus.
27. What did you want and not get?
I kind of gave up wanting things, to be honest, until I had the money - I occasionally bought things we didn't really need from Aldi specialbuys, though. My Amazon wishlist is a mishmash of "please buy me this expensive thing" and "I will buy myself this less expensive thing at some point" - they really need to set up a separate list system...
Also, I applied to be on the latest series of The Choir, and was unsuccessful. As I said before, there'll be a post about this soon. Watch this space.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The last film I saw at the cinema was Cloud Atlas, and shortly before that, Les Misérables. Les Mis was definitely a high point. Also really enjoyed Star Trek: Into Darkness when we saw it finally, and Iron Man 3 and Avengers Assemble. A Pirates rewatch also transpired to be quite fortuitous given that I finished my fic. :P
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Nothing much on the actual day (see previous post), and I turned 32.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not being constantly skint. :P
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Standard work attire as usual, and whatever still fit me. I inherited some stuff from my mum which was really helpful (bras in particular as I've now reached that point where I can't get them in normal shops and did not have the funds to get them from M&S or Bravissimo. :P)
32. What kept you sane?
Fandom, fandom, fandom. And writing. And changing bloody jobs.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Unsurprisingly, I think probably Alan Davies again. :P Plus the usual suspects. Finally caved and added Giles Coren to the list.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I've been trying to avoid politics as much as I can because UGH, so depressing, but I seem to recall education reform, NHS issues, benefits, etc. etc. etc...
35. Who did you miss?
All the people I am rubbish at staying in contact with, really. I know it's a natural process when people come and go out of your life, but it's still really difficult not to wonder if it's something I did to cause it. Friendships are often fluid, but I had a couple of moments this year of wondering where certain people went, or why we fell out of touch.
I also missed my nice ex-colleagues at Legal, though I did get to see them a couple of times when I popped back to Woodcock Street (I went along to a Children in Need bring-and-share lunch and their Christmas do). I was able to catch up with Noor whilst I was there, which was also nice, but mostly it just cemented my suspicion that I was always more appreciated by - and indeed more a part of - the fee earning team than I ever was within the WPO pool. A lot of people there commented on how much happier I looked - it was hard to leave even though I knew it was the best decision, but people telling me that has confirmed that I did the right thing.
(When I was there just before Christmas, Boss Dave even offered me a job clerking for tribunals! Gone but not forgotten.)
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Lots of new colleagues who are all lovely and completely mad. :) Also, even though I didn't "meet" her this year (indeed we met several years ago), I've been swimming regularly with Denise and we've shared various movie- and TV-watching Sundays at each other's respective houses, which has meant getting to know each other better - long overdue, I think.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
You are the master of your own destiny, as long as Fate does not intervene and punch you in the teeth.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I know it doesn't seem that way
But maybe it's a perfect day
Even though the bills are piling
There's gold in them hills
So don't lose faith
[Snippets from "Gold in Them Hills", Katie Melua]
For some reason 2013 felt like an uphill slog, I think probably because of my general lack of money and a few really massive family-related issues. I've been quick to call it an awful year because there weren't that many really good things to cancel out the bad things - it's been one thing after another with barely any grace period, or so it feels. On the plus side, it has gone ridiculously quickly since starting the new job.
With any luck this year Paul's job situation will sort itself either by virtue of becoming easier to deal with or him getting one outside of BCC at last, and that will mean setting the foundation stones of dealing with the debt piece by piece and having some spare money to play with. We might be able to have a holiday abroad - at the very least, I will hopefully not have to count my pennies halfway through every month to see how much to budget each week. Plans are afoot to sort out the living room and get the piano in situ, and we have plans for the garden as well. Slow and steady wins the race.
There is something oddly empowering about New Year's Eve and that transition into the new year - it's stupid when you think about it, because it's just a day, just the passing of time... but it has an essential psychological power to it. I will doubtless get halfway through January and start wishing it was over, but there are plans in my head; as long as I stay focused on them, they have every chance of happening.
One of these days, I might even shake off that bloody Odd Year Curse. ;)