As the glitterball known as 2013 performs its final turn, it’s time to assess the previous 12 months and ponder whether you’re happy to see the back of them or if you’re clinging on for dear life. How was the year for you?
For me, 2013 was a perky pot of loveliness: the year I got in a headlock and stroked into submission. It was the year I stopped procrastinating and started writing. It was the year that I made my first loaf of bread. It was the year I ate ice cream on the Isle Of Wight, drank beer in Budapest and lounged lazily in sunny Spain.
2013 started off inauspiciously. In January, I made Lamingtons for my Australian girlfriend while being told that I was to be made redundant in April. And then an idea: perhaps I should use the time to finish my book and start a blog. So I spent February re-reading, working out an ending, writing. I also whiled away one evening in the House of Commons watching slack-jawed as our government passed the law for marriage equality. Totes amazeballs. As was the fact that by March, the first edit of my book was done.
In April I was put on gardening leave for a month. As my girlfriend does the garden it didn’t need me, so I swanned off to my mate’s house in Spain and began work on book two – it flew from my fingers. May, June and July whizzed by in a blur of words, heat and sunshine. By July, the first draft was done. In the meantime I went to a fab wedding in Devon with hay bales and open fires, acquired a Nespresso machine and became a proficient jogger who didn’t keel over after 15 minutes. The year was shaping up nicely.
August arrived and my mum and dad both hit 80. The family converged on Southend and we ate, drank and sang to their health. Spurs began their season and put together a string of results that saw them near the top of the league. Could this be the season where things finally slotted together?
September swung by with boring predictability. I sent my first book off and started editing the second. I painted our spare room and then acquired a nasty viral inner ear infection called labyrinthitis that saw me walk into wardrobes and walls with comedic regularity. To get well, we flew to Spain again to soak up late summer by the pool and I became a dog whisperer – unemployment has its perks. My girlfriend finally read my first book too and she loved it.
Back in blighty we registered to be married in 2014, watched Francis bake her way to Bake Off glory and I became a reluctant whisky convert. In addition, we crammed our evenings with sunset walks through London, marinating our senses in the city. All of which brings us to now, to Christmas, to Tim Sherwood’s Spurs, to the Strictly final, to me getting my first book ready for release, to the final footsteps of the year.
Farewell then 2013 – you’ve been an absolute blast & you were definitely the year I stopped thinking and started doing. As I watch 2013 slope off down the road without so much as a backward glance I’m sad to see it go. But if 2014 turns out anywhere near as exciting and fulfilling then I’m ready and waiting, arms open wide. As they say in sporting parlance, bring it on.