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Highs and lows from 2011

January 6, 2012

Kate on Thin Ice has posted some questions about the highs and lows from 2011. Here are my answers to her questions.

1. What was your happiest event?

This is a hard question to answer! I had lots of fun days. One event I remember particularly fondly is the Splendour Concert in Nottingham. I was there with my youngest sister Hannah and she took this photo of me grinning like a loon in the glorious sunshine.

2. What was the saddest thing to happen?

My uncle Chris died aged just 51. There is now a Chris-shaped hole in the world. I did an audioboo called A Matter of Life and Death about this.

3. What was the most unlikely thing to happen that actually went ahead and did?

I’ve made real friends through blogging. Prior to starting this blog, I always thought that facebook and twitter and LiveJournal and audioboo were good ways of keeping in contact with people I already knew in the ‘real world’, but I was sceptical as to whether you could actually form real friendships with people online.

My friend Ruth, also known as geekmummy, told me that it was possible to make real friends with people you meet online – but I didn’t imagine that it would ever happen to me. Well I’ve been proved wrong. I’ve met some fantastic people online and then when I’ve met some of those people face to face they have felt like real friends.

4. Who let you down?

John Lewis. In December, I ordered a new bed for Aled from them, because he was saying that his cot-bed was too small and he needed to sleep in Mummy’s and Daddy’s bed!

But when the bed arrived the mattress was frayed so I immediately contacted John Lewis Customer Services to let them know I wanted to return the bed. It was collected later that week and I was told I would receive a refund in 2 working days. But a week later, I phoned them to ask why I had not yet received a refund. Several phone calls later, and lots of being put on hold, and still no refund. Their system had no record that the faulty bed had been collected.

So I resorted to making my frustration public on twitter and facebook. I explained that most of my house had been kitted out with John Lewis items and this recent experience had severely dented my faith in their customer service. The result was an immediate refund plus a small additional sum, together with an e-mail acknowledgement that the refund should have happened sooner. This was very welcome, but I will still think twice before ordering furniture from them again.

5. Who supported you?

My husband H.

My four sisters, who are fab (I’m particularly pleased that all of them have read and commented on this blog).

And a special thank you to geekmummy, who inspired me to start this blog and my audioboo audioblog and sign up for twitter in order to join in the conversations that are going on online.

6. Tell us one thing you learned

Can I tell you three things I learned?

i) that people will actually read what I write! I am so surprised at how many people have visited this blog, and how many of those people have made nice comments about what I have written. I never thought I could write before now, and I started the blog just for me, so it has been a lovely surprise to discover that people take the time to read what I’m writing!

ii) how to sing in a choir! Not just to sing alongside other people but as part of a choir. This is really uplifting, and I’m so glad I do it.

Wollaton Singers (photo from http://www.wollatonsingers.org.uk/ )

iii) how to cook a selection of delicious Indian dishes at a Mamta’s Kitchen class (blogpost on this coming soon)

Delicious Indian food cooked in Mamta's Kitchen

7. Tell us one thing that made you laugh

Watching Much Ado About Nothing starring David Tennant and Catherine Tate with three good friends. We had front row seats and I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my whole life.

8. Tell us one thing that made you cry

The death of my uncle made me cry non-stop for days.

9. Tell us three things your child or children did to make you feel proud.

My little boy is 3 and he makes me feel proud everytime he learns something new.

I was particularly pleased and proud when he came up to me and said “Happy Birthday Mummy”.

10. Tell us one thing that made you proud of yourself

I lost weight by using the WeightWatchers iPhone app, eating lots of dark chocolate and walking!

11. Tell us one challenge you overcame

I recovered from a very nasty distal radius fracture. This involved some hard work and diy physiotherapy. I also managed not to let it get me down for very long, even though it was extremely painful.

12. Tell us three things you would like to change about your life in 2012

I would like to learn to drive. There’s always been a reason not to do this before now, but I really do need to get my act together on this one.

I would like to get more organised and less stressed, whilst juggling a full-time senior job, family life, friends, blogging and other hobbies. It would be nice to be able to spend more time on things I enjoy and less time on things I don’t. I am currently reading Getting Things Done: How to achieve stress-free productivity: The Art of Stress-free Productivity* by David Allen and am keen to put the ideas in this book into practice. Watch out for a blogpost on this soon, probably based around using my Filofax.

Finally, I want more sleep! But all mums of young children say that don’t they?

So what are your answers to these questions?

* This post contains Amazon affiliate link.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 2:34 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about the death of your uncle. In spite of such a low, it does sound like you really did have a year of learning new things. May 2012 bring you even more of them x

    • January 12, 2012 5:03 pm

      Thanks for your comment, and for being one of the blogging friends I was referring to under point 3 above.

      My uncle’s death made me even more determined to make the most of life. I’m feeling quite positive about 2012.

  2. January 13, 2012 6:21 pm

    A very mixed year indeed. I’m glad to have introduced you to some positive things, and I’m delighted that you’ve discovered it is possible to have “virtual friends” 🙂

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