Monday, 31 December 2012

A summary

Hello! While I’m bustling around the blog with a yellow duster, squinting and squirting each element with Super Shiny Element Polish, let’s chat 2012. How was it for you? Did you accomplish many things and move forward towards your dreams? Or did 2012 rugby-tackle you from behind, and sploosh you face-first into a pile of cold mud?

I feel muddy but undaunted, oh blogger buddies. The word that sums up my 2012 is ‘emotional’. Losing my vibrant aunt to cancer earlier in the year was massively hard, and continues – of course – to be a huge sadness. If you’re lucky, then parents, nans, granddads, aunts and uncles – these form a protective but invisible umbrella over your world – people who love you unconditionally, just because you are you. When they go there’s a gap where they once stood, and you can always feel the draught, no matter how many years go by.

So that was the sadness – and it did stop my blogging, as grief does rob people of easy words, and replaces them instead with tricky ones that are hard to spell – like despondency (which I spell ‘despondancey’ - imagine Gene Kelly doing a sad soft shoe shuffle), melancholy (which I spell ‘meloncholy’ – someone suffering with cholera, chomping on a melon), and disconsolateness (a Mexican salad).

It didn’t stop me entirely working on redrafting my novel, though. Writing fiction can be such a gift when you wish to escape reality. Stories always give the writer, and reader, a gently swinging rope ladder to climb up and into for a while. So there has been progress, and I feel it is a much stronger story, and hopefully it will be ready to submit to agents in January.

This year has also seen moments of pure sparkly happiness, too. I was the bridesmaid for one of my best friends, who here I call Good Friend R, and it was such a wonderful and special time. R is my vintage partner in crime, and a lindy hop / swing dancer extraordinaire, so it was great fun to plan a vintage hen party, and her wedding was a complete delight. Lots of love and happiness to R and A.

I also attended another gorgeous wedding – one that was in OK magazine, no less – and this was my friend Kerry-Lucy to Lee Latchford-Evans, who you may know from the band Steps. It’s been so much fun sharing their pre-wedding excitement, and the celebrations.  Many sparkly congratulations to them. Kerry is also in a band – Concrete Rose – 2013 is set to be their year.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, nostalgia has been higher than usual on my radar. I am prone to a nostalgic wander or two, sometimes even the sort of wallow that would make a hippo proud. This year not only did I see My First Boyband (which sounds like a Fisher Price toy) – New Kids On The Block – but I also went to the Hit Factory Live, which was a Stock Aitken and Waterman concert-fest of pure pop memories.  Seeing NKOTB – well. For a heady teenage year they were plastered across my bedroom walls (along with Corey Haim, Christian Slater, and a random Home and Away actor. Even his poster looked bemused at the company he was keeping.) And then the world turned, and I left them behind... only for twenty-two years to pass, and here we are again. As for the Hit Factory – where to start?! I’ll start where I’ll end – with Kylie and Jason Donovan singing Especially For You. I tell you, Blogger friends, it was like Charlene and Scott had stayed together all those years, and the unseen episode of Neighbours – the one where Charlene cuts her hair and gets sexy with Michael Hutchence  – never happened.

Another nostalgia trip this year was visiting The House at Green Knowe. Hand up who knows what I’m talking about – which of you is smiling right now and thinking of the books by Lucy Boston, or remembers the magical BBC adaptation in the 1980s? Well – I’ll let you into a secret. Green Knowe is real! It’s a real place that anyone can visit – and Tolly’s room is completely as it is in the books and the show – and that wonderful air of magic and adventure from the stories is fully conjured by the house’s owner – the author’s daughter-in-law, Diana Boston. I went with another best friend, Good Friend A, and it has a special place in both our hearts.

A skip through my phone’s pictures and there are so many things I could tell you about but I can’t for fear of becoming that relative at parties who, after finishing the anecdote, goes on to repeat the same thing from a different angle unaware of the audience checking their watch and muttering ‘is that the time? I’m supposed to be calling into another blog’.

So all that it leaves me to do is raise a glass to you, dear reader, and wish you a very merry and productive New Year. May your 2013 sparkle bright.

Jayne x