I’ve just been reading my highlights of 2007 post and thought I’d do the same this year, I’ve also noticed that one of the things that I was most looking forward to this year (2008) never happened, I wrote back on 31 December 2007 under the category of ‘family highlight’;
Boy Lacer learning to walk at 26 months old after 10 months of physiotherapy. He’s still at this point tottering around and hasn’t caught up with the walking skills of an ‘average’ two year old yet but I’m looking forward to watching him progress even further next year. I can already tell you a highlight of next year, the moment me and Boy Lacer first walk together to pick up Girl Lacer from nursery. Girl Lacer’s nursery / school is literally 5 minutes walk from our house, a two year old should be able to do it (it’s literally at the end of our road) so the day I do the school run without a push chair will be momentous.
That unfortunately has not happened yet (and pushchair number 3 is starting to show signs of breaking gulp, we may have to move up to one of those buggies that are more like little wheelchairs, which I’d quite like not to do), but trying to be positive here, here are my highlights of 2008 (and I’ve added a few more categories).
Girl Lacer starting school. We are incredibly lucky to be living literally down the road from the perfect school for our little family; with an excellent academic, pastoral and special needs reputation, I try and remind myself that’s why we’re living in our tiny, poky, very expensive flat, when the living in the tiny, poky, very expensive flat gets to me. I can’t believe that Girl Lacer has been in school only a term and she can already read and sound out so many words, we’re really pleased with her progress.
Personal highlight of the year
Managing to make most my gifts this Christmas (excluding the kids and Mr. Lacer) hand made / hand adapted, will definitely be doing that again, although may be starting in June next year! Oh and running my first 10K race in August, me? Run?
Thanks to 2008 being the first full year of my blog, I can fill you in with the incredibly nerdy fact that I read 49 books in 2008 (34 adult fiction, 8 children’s / young adult fiction and 7 non-fiction), nowhere near as much as some book blogs I read but in my ‘defence’ some of the books I’ve read this year have been real door stoppers, such as finally finishing Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell or somehow managing to get through the endless running up and down country lanes / train tracks of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters.
Adult fiction favourite
Looking through the reviews of books I’ve read in 2008 has made me realise how quick reading time goes, I read my first Shardlake in January and have felt like I’ve wanted to read more since, but have yet to do so. One of my favourites this year (it turns out) was Suite Francaise, but I was convinced until checking, that I’d read it in 2007. There are whole lists of books that I feel like I read them just yesterday, yet looking at the dates of the reviews, they were read in the summer. Anyway, honourable mentions include Suite Francaise, The Meaning of Night, The Gargoyle, We Need to Talk about Kevin, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, but my favourite book that I read this year (and yes I know it’s been published for ages) is Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, I loved that book!
Children’s book highlight
Considering I’ve only read eight children’s / young adult books this year (for myself, not for my kids), I really need to read more, but anyway, my honourable mention goes to The Battle for Gullywith by Susan Hill, which is hopefully making a lot of kids in the library of Girl Lacer’s school, very happy (I ‘won’ the book on condition I donated it to a school afterwards) but this year’s Children’s book highlight for me, goes to The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which is completely magical and lovely.
Up until very recently it would have been Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine, pretty heavy going, it goes into Western capitalist theory and although the book was written before the credit crunch (I’d love to see an updated version / new book by Klein on the subject now), I now have a little bit more of an idea what the journalists on Newsnight are going on about when they start waffling on about Keynesian theory. I would also give honourable mentions to Blood River, a journey down the Congo, which is as exciting as any novel and the highly brilliant and useful Stephen King’s On Writing. But definitely my best non-fiction read of the year was Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook’s Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale, one very good book indeed! I really must read more non-ficition next year to.
Cook book highlight
None of the books joining my groaning collection this year have really made their mark like my cook book highlight of the year has and this book has been in my collection for years; Tessa Kiros’ Apples for Jam, is the ultimate good food, family cookbook for the credit crunch; simple healthy recipes, that don’t require too many ingredients, I’ve cooked from this frequently this year.
Film / DVD highlight (criteria – I have had to of watched it first in 2008, it doesn’t necessarily have had to be released in 2008)
Actually one of the first movies I saw this year, it’s stayed stuck in my mind, the very good and very original Cloverfield, watch out New York!
Spooks – it was good even though Rupert Penry Jones was barely in it!
So onto 2009, it wasn’t the best of years this year, our already tight budget getting tighter, just like everyone elses and to top it all off (ok not as serious as the credit crunch) we didn’t even have a proper summer, feels like something was missing there! Looking forward 2009 feels fragile, that is the overwhelming sensation I’m getting, hopefully Mr. Lacer’s job will be ok, his industry has undergone rafts of redundencies since the Millennium and he’s survived them all so far, it’s more that the world doesn’t feel an increasingly very pleasant place. Ok, off to think cheery thoughts now!