I thought it would be remiss of me to end 2013 without some sort of review post looking back over the year. It’s been a good one, really, with lots of things going on. Here are some of my memories…
Travel and Adventure
Back in January LincsGeek and I discovered Ruka in Finland as an absolutely fabulous place to have a winter holiday. We like having a week away in January, it helps with the January blues! While we were there we experienced temperatures of -29 and got icicles inside our noses – weird. We didn’t just ski, we also played with some Skidoos and Huskies. We would definitely recommend Finland as a winter holiday destination, in fact we are back there in less than two weeks (although it’s nowhere near as cold at the moment).
Sticking with holidays, we had a family break at Center Parcs, Elveden where we’ve been lots of times as it’s a great place to get together and relax, and have a bit of adventure too. I gave the Cable Ski a go – wet, cold and hard work but loads of fun. We spent the hottest weekend of the year in London (we melted), where we saw Matilda the Musical and toured the Tower of London and Broadcasting House. Then later, in November, we headed over to New York for a city break. Wow – what a place. There will be a New York travel post coming very soon.
2013 was also the year I learned to drive a tank (yep, the photo above shows me driving it – the hatch is closed)! Slightly less adventurous was my lovely afternoon tea at Stoke Rochford Hall, something every lady (and gentleman) should do sometime. My sister and I also spent an absolutely wonderful day at Eden Hall Spa in the summer – spending a day doing nothing in a place like that is rather extravagant but it was amazing. I took part in my first Sky Ride and Breeze Ride, and look forward to many more of those in 2014, and enjoyed day trips in Norfolk and Donna Nook. And of course I can’t forget my horse riding lesson (for Britain’s Personal Best) or giving blood – two fears conquered within a few days of each other.
My biggest adventure in 2013 was taking part in the Graham Homes Memorial Ride. We rode our motorbikes to the four compass points of mainland Great Britain to raise money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support in memory of LincsGeek’s father. It was so important to us I set up a Graham Homes Memorial Ride blog to document the ride and our fundraising efforts – there you’ll find lots of stories and photographs of our adventure. I have not added a separate post to my own blog with my own thoughts (and photos), which I think I should do – I’ll add it to my “early in 2014” list.
On Splodz Blogz
Earlier in December I spruced up Splodz Blogz a bit with a new logo and a new theme. I wanted the look to better showcase my words and pictures, and I’ve had some lovely feedback so far. The work is far from complete; there are things to be updated and altered still, but that is something for 2014 now.
I have had lots of fun writing posts and reviews featuring all sorts of bits and bobs. My favourite products to test out have been The North Face Honee Snugs Parka and their Vanadium Jacket, along with the Teva Cycling Sneakers, The North Face Base Camp Duffel, and those Brooks trainers that are so very comfortable. No surprise that they’re all outdoors products. There have also been plenty of food posts and loads in the gadgets category and loads of other stuff too – hopefully you’ve been keeping up with the 300+ posts that have been uploaded so I don’t need to feature any more specifically!
According to the Jetpack review email I received this morning, you all like giveaways as they get the most hits and the most comments. I’ll try to organise a handful more in 2014 then!
Other Bits and Bobs
This year I have learned to cook courgetti and perfect poached eggs. I also made a heart shaped victoria sandwich and pimped an Oreo biscuit into a fabulous cake. I also got my craft on by sewing my own cushion cover and making bath bombs, which has made me want to make time for lots more craftiness in 2014. Away from the blog I’ve had lots of fun playing my trombone and watching the bunnies get up to mischief. I took part in the Lincoln Race for Life (and spent hours trying to get out of the car park – it was a shambles!) and we did the St Barnabas Moonlight Walk in Skegness as a family, a 10km walk at night in our pyjamas.
I took part in my second photography exhibition in September, at Lincoln Central Library. I had six shots on display and was very proud when people told me they liked them. All the photographs in the exhibition were taken and edited on mobile phones. We also displayed some at a local coffee shop – I didn’t actually sell any (they’re still for sale if you want to contact me…!), but the interest I got made me smile.
The launch of the Lincoln “boris bikes” was fun, I’m glad I was able to take part in that – and even more happy that the bike I rode was named “Zoe”!. So far the scheme seems to be a great success, and I hope in 2014 we will see more hire stations added and more people using them around the city. I was delighted to be asked to speak at the Lincs Tweet Meet about Engaging on Twitter, which was a great experience and one I hope to repeat sometime.
And of course just yesterday I lost my beloved Chocolate. Ginger is currently sat in the spare room looking very sad and feeling very lonely. I can’t leave her like that, so I am looking at adopting a bunny in the next few weeks.
What have been your highlights (and lowlights) of 2013? Do you like looking back and reflecting on all the things you’ve been able to do during the year? Does it make you hungry for January 1st so you can start all over again? Comment below… and feel free to link to your year in review type blog posts too, it’s great to connect.