Dec 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013

Well, it's New Year's Eve, the date we steal the year-end meme from The Plastic Mancunian to summarize the ups and downs (and levels) of the year.

Here we go.

Danilo Rizzuti/

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

Achievement unlocked, my friends: the Carousel Birthday Cake!

I measured and cut dowel sticks to 20cm. I twirled the ribbon around the dowels. I painted the little horses. I rolled and shaped the fondant. I made edible glue. I made a cake that looked as good as the one in the book and caused audible gasps of admiration. 

Nailed it!

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Well, I wasn't sure, so I had to check back to what ludicrous and publicly declared resolutions I had set myself for 2013. So.... moving down the (very long?!) list, did I achieve them? 

Kind of; eventually; no; yes but taken up again since so no; no; no; no; YES; no; no; no; aaaand no.

So as for making any this year... maybe I'll try NO.

3. How will you be spending New Year's Eve?

At home, watching a movie with the kids and later watching House of Cards on DVD. I'm going to let my hair down and not fold ANY laundry.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully no. A lovely man I followed on Twitter passed away and I had a little sob at that, as he was a really good man from all accounts and from my online experience. He will be missed by many.

5. What countries did you visit?

Alas, none.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Better physical fitness. If ONLY there was something I could do about it!

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

I guess the fact that I started trawling through my phone calendar for reminders means no date is really "etched" upon my memory.  The only date that stands out is my kids' birthday party, which I held at home and which was a lot of fun.

Memorable events this year:  the last election, the Boston bombing, the royal baby, the chemical weapons attack in Syria.  

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Clearly, the Carousel birthday cake.

Also - it's a little thing, but I was very chuffed to get a tiny (I mean TINY) short-short story published. I've been working on three normal-length stories ever since but still not finished anything. Baby steps.

9. What was your biggest failure?

My physical fitness has declined hugely since a bad break last year, surgery and a sprained ankle this year each immobilized me for long enough to cause problems. This year (or the second half of it anyway) was supposed to be the year I got past that, built up my strength and started exercising regularly. I'm pretty disappointed in myself that I didn't do that. I've developed some bad habits and am feeling the effects now. It's definitely time to fix that.

Looks like I have a new year's resolution after all.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I sprained my ankle in May which required crutches and physio to heal. 

I was sick with the great Melbourne hacking cough of winter 2013, which had me at half-strength for about 6 weeks. So was half of Melbourne.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

It wasn't me really but Y bought two cheap TVs, a small one for the kitchen cabinet and a bigger one for the bedroom, which sounds just terrible doesn't it? I always resisted TV in the bedroom (and I still don't use it; I fall asleep if I try and watch something in bed), but the one in the kitchen I've wanted for years. It means I can watch a TV show I'm interested in while the kids watch a DVD in the lounge, or the kids and I can watch cartoons on Saturday morning while we eat our breakfast.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Mortgage, food, the usual.

13. What song will always remind you of 2013?

Maybe Lorde's 'Royal'.

14. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Writing productively instead of just tweeting and blogging (much as I love and do value those things too).

15. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Reading internet stuff on my phone - fun but ultimately quite a big waste of time.

16. What was your favourite TV program?

Breaking Bad!

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

No. I did find myself getting seriously teeth-grittingly annoyed at more people this year, many on Twitter and in newspapers and mostly over politics. 2013 marked the year politics in Australia went batshit crazy. But no hating. 

18. What was the best book you read?

I liked these ones:

Killing Us Softly: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine   

Killing Us Softly: The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine By Paul Offit

From Chapter One:
"People have been living on earth for about 250,000 years. For the past 5,000, healers have been trying to heal the sick. For all but the past 200, they haven't been very good at it."
That sounds like it's going to be all gung-ho "conventional medicine rocks!" but it's not - it's a good, detailed, well-rounded look at alternative therapies and what works and what doesn't.

How To Be Invisible

I love YA speculative fiction, and this was good.

In a surprising twist, the image of this book is appearing twice but when I go into edit mode to try to remove the duplicate, I can't see the image at all - it is INVISIBLE....

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

This guy: 

20. What was your favourite film of this year?

I didn't see many this year; I think The Croods, About Time, Enough Said and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 are the only movies I saw. They were all good.  Perhaps About Time was my favourite.

21. What did you do on your birthday?

Can't remember. Nothing remarkable. It was a nice day as I recall. 

I was very surprised to get this card - do they make one for absolutely every age??

22. What kept you sane?

Being busy.

23. Who did you miss?

The old me who was moderately fit and exercised regularly. 

24. Who was the most interesting new person you met?

Man, this is the second year in a row I've drawn a blank on this one. I should socialise more (but I don't really want to!).

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

I've suddenly realised I'm... middle-aged.... and life is going to require more effort from now on if I want to do good stuff and not waste my time. 

How was your year? Surely more interesting than mine?!
Happy New Year!


  1. The carousel cake looks awesome. And a lot of work.
    I have enjoyed all three of the takes on this meme that I have read. Thank you.

  2. 2013 is a blur to me.......I really need to focus more.

    1. I always find that too - I have to look back on blog posts, photos etc to remember stuff.
      Happy New Year!

  3. Hi Jackie,

    Great answers.

    2014 will arrive for you before it does for me so Happy New Year in advance.




    1. Thanks PM (And thanks as always for the theme). Happy New Year!

  4. That cake's going to be hard to top Jackie! Really fabulous.
    Great list and had to smile when I read no. 25 - I'm totally there - describes how I feel perfectly!
    Happy 2014 :)

    1. It's a shock, isn't it? :)
      Happy New Year Tracey

  5. That cake is fabulous.
    I don't do resolutions, never have and I've given up on memes too.
    That's odd about the second How To Be Invisible image.
    Happy New Year

  6. "2013 marked the year politics in Australia went batshit crazy." Succinctly put and quite depressing.

  7. "2013 marked the year politics in Australia went batshit crazy." Succinctly put and quite depressing.

    1. The year we turned into ultra polarized black and white idealogues. :(
      Let's hope 2014 is better.



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