Okay, start the violins playing.
Liz at Living With Kids has tagged me with a meme asking what are my five high points of 2009. And I really struggled. This annoys me because a) I’m rarely short of something to say and b) I’m pretty optimistic, as a rule.
Truth be told, though, 2009 has been the toughest year we've had for a while. Bloody freelancing. Flippin' recession. Tsk. But after a good think, I realised even difficult years have high points if you look for them. I just hope that the high points of 2010 will be a bit easier to spot a year down the line.
Starting Who’s the Mummy: I would never have started WTM unless I’d been thoroughly shafted by someone I thought was a friend but who turned out to be – well, completely bonkers, if truth be told. But the blog has been one of my best achievements this year – I’ve learned so much about blogging and social media; I’ve had some great new business opportunities through the blog and unexpectedly found myself on weekends away in posh hotels, attending launches and lunches, making new friends and testing new toys for the Great Toy Guide. All in all, thanks very much, strange psycho lady. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Flea starting school: I could say that Flea starting school was a high point because I loved seeing her thrive in her new environment, making new friends and learning new skills – she can read! she can draw monkeys! But that’s only half the story. Flea starting school also meant that for the first time in four years I could stop trying to fit a full-time freelance job into 20 hours a week, and actually return to something resembling full-time hours. It’s been a complete revelation, and I can’t tell you how much less stressful life is as a result.
Seeing Take That in concert: I’m including this because it was so unexpected. I’m generally more of a Green Day fan than Take That, but the lovely people at Ricoh offered me a ticket to see Take That this summer, in an executive box with a constant stream of champagne. I loved it, and I loved giving my sister-in-law the opportunity to share the experience, as she'd just had quite a bad accident. It turns out, I knew ALL the words to all the songs, I danced like a fool, sang my heart out and we both just had a great time.
Visiting Devon. You know sometimes you just have one of those perfect moments when you feel lucky to be in your own skin? I had one of those this September when Flea and I were invited to spend the weekend at the Elmfield Hotel in Devon reviewing the hotel's facilities. We swam, we paddled in the sea, we went fishing, we built sandcastles. It was a perfect weekend, and totally carefree. Just lovely, and it inspired me to book a trip down to Devon for next summer.
The return of the friend. I’m forbidden from talking about him on my blog, but this year one of my oldest and best friends returned from overseas, and is now back in the UK. I’m eternally grateful to him for restoring my faith in life, for making me laugh, and inspiring me to take a couple of big gambles that are going to turn my life upside down next year. Could possibly have done without the ‘seal’ joke, mind.