And it’s Highlights time of the year again . . .
Probably our first ever proper family holiday in Disneyland Paris in May (which was brilliant), alongside Boy and Girl Lacer continuing to do so brilliantly at school.
Getting a ‘proper’ job! That was in July but actually this year all round has been good for work because I was very busy with tutoring to but I was never a big fan of my tutoring work and all the time whilst I was doing it this year I was repeating my own personal mantra that all I had to do was do it for two more years (as I had committed to teaching one particular student for two years) and then fingers crossed, by the time the two years was up I had hoped I would have some form of better employment. So I was really pleased that I landed the perfect job for me a year early, I still have to continue to tutor, that student I committed to two years for, but other than him I’m not taking any more students on and I’ll be doing cartwheels down the street when I finish with that student in May (not that that particular student is horrible to work with or anything, he’s actually probably one of the nicest students I’ve ever worked with, it’s just tutoring, not me, at least science tutoring isn’t me, I’d still like to run some embroidery workshops one day). But back to the ‘proper’ job, I’ve been doing it for 5 months now and I still love it, I had been beginning to despair that the ideal part time job for me didn’t actually exist, as so many part time jobs had flexible hours (i.e. working Mondays and Wednesdays one week, Tuesdays and Thursdays the next) making booking childcare a nightmare. And then there was the fact that I was still not completely comfortable putting Boy Lacer into childcare at all . . . So to find a job where my hours of work are controlled by me, so I work during the school day, in the evening and at the weekends has been a dream come true. All that and something I enjoy doing to has been amazing. And even better it’s in an industry where I can happily see myself progressing up a career ladder as the kids get older (it’s also a lovely job in that due to the flexibility and part time nature of the work, so many people I work with do something else to, just as I embroider, I work with artists, musicians and writers, it’s lovely to find such a like minded company where I can control my time so I can earn money doing something I enjoy and in my time off continue to work on my embroidery in a way that if I had a 9 to 5 job, I couldn’t).
Nerdy book stats time again; in 2011 I read (or listened to) 34 books (which is a shocking 8 books down from last year, it would have been even less if I hadn’t managed to get lots of reading in this December). Out of those 34; 25 were adult fiction (+3 from last year), 7 were children / YA fiction (a terrible -9 from last year) and 2 were non-fiction / memoir (-1 from last year) and I note that I didn’t read any short story collections this year either.
My adult fiction favourite
I’ve read some great books this year, highlights for me included Never Let Me Go, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Ours Are The Streets, A Discovery of Witches and City of Ghosts but my absolute favourite has to be Joe Hill’s Horns, which I thought was hauntingly fantastic.
My children’s fiction favourite
It has to be The Fear, may Charlie Higson go hurry up and write more 😉
Cook book highlight
I think it has to be Hugh FWs Veg: Everyday, for being a vegetarian cookbook that isn’t really a vegetarian cookbook (but still definitely has no meat).
Craft book highlight
Only a relatively recent purchase but I’m pretty sure I’m going to use it again and again because the two things I have made from it turned out so well, it has to be Sew La Tea Do.
Film / DVD highlight
Hmmm, I think I managed to watch even less films this year, but off the top of my head I really liked Monsters.
It feels like a lot of my favourite shows have ended over the last few years and there’s been nothing really to replace it, Doctor Who has continued to be good this year whereas Torchwood was awful (a prime example of when you take a British show and try and stretch it to American length). I think my favourite TV shows this year though was the cruelly cancelled Outcasts, may the Beeb continue to make sci-fi like that please.
I think my most listened to albums on my iPod this year were the entire back catalogue of Linkin Park, Eliza Doolittle, the Jack Johnson back catalogue, the Newton Faulkner back catalogue and The Defamation of Strickland Banks (my music tastes are nothing but a bit schizophrenic).