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Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in travel, style, and food. Hope you have a nice stay!

reviews, reflections and looking forward

I have been reading around my blog-feed, and it has been an interesting read indeed.

Joanna of Ephemeral Digest posts a quick-fire tour of her year through her blog posts; Becks of Little Thoughts and Randomness reviews her 2010 beautifully and looks forward to 2011; Andrea of Crazy with a Side Order of Awesome Sauce starts her review strongly and lists her likes and dislikes of 2010 rather succinctly. Elsewhere Nik Perring's reflection of 2010 is short and thoughtful and Issa of Issa's Crazy World looks back at the year gone through the mechanism of a question and answer meme.

So what did 2010 mean to me?

2010 has been a year of many things; there have been some gains, some losses and much has remained the same. There has been great joy, general contentment and moments of true sadness. I have made new friends, and seem to have lost a few old ones. My book collection grows ever more, as does the number of gadgets I carry around with me day-to-day, but everything seems to have become much more functional and focussed. I have learnt to run, to cycle and to enjoy both far more than I ever expected. I have accomplished things, and failed at others. I have found and lost love. I have been hither and thither, and somehow nowhere at all.

I think, looking back on it all, I am proud of a number of things, certainly completing both the Cardiff Half-Marathon and running 13.4 miles off my own back were highlights, as was completing this year's NaNoWriMo, despite much procrastination and indecision. I made a resolution to get out and about more this year, and have slowly accomplished that, with more to come in 2011. I completed a year of being car-less, missing it only very occasionally. I didn't do much hill-walking or climbing but managed lots and lots of running and cycling.

On a very much personal note I discovered I wasn't as walled off as I thought was, that the defences could be (willingly) breached and that perhaps existing in my own solitary space wasn't the thing I thought it was. I learnt quite a few hard lessons about who I am and why I do the things I do (or did) and am working harder at making sure I can be the best I can be. There is still, as ever, a long way to go.

I wrote far more than in years previous, but my photography remained sporadic and unmaintained, something to correct in the year to come. Regardless of all that I continue to not get anywhere near enough sleep.

My nephews continued to grow and evolve and fill me with wonder, and they were joined by the most beautiful of nieces, that first cuddle with her winning an already won-over uncle. My brother, sister in law and mother remain as ace and lovely as ever.

Mike and Hayley have been great, as have Paul, Lis and Jonathan. I have been grateful for the fact that I have had rare opportunities to meet up with Amber, Steve, Philly and the fleeting and mythical Sarah E. Jolene has been a star, and Hugh and Lauren have been solid and lovely and baby Freya enchanting beyond words. Jo continues to be wonderful and the Flatmate the best of house-chums and friends a person could ask for.

The cats (Cammi and Rajni) do nothing but vex and delight me, as has always been the case.

One of the most important thing, I guess, is that I have met a lot of wonderful people this year, mostly through Twitter. In that it has been a glorious year.

There is the lovely Joanna (and bump!), her friend Graeme, the fab Alli, and, of course, Nigel. NaNoWriMo, coupled with Twitter, has led me to the two Cs (Chris L and Chris B), Chloe, Simon, Rachel, James, Anne-Marie, Chris H, Elisabeth, Joshua, Sian and many others. I've hung out over coffee and cake with Ramon and MEG; and been out photographing with the fabulous Matt and explored London looking for cashpoints with the irrepressible Sarah (Boo).

Of those not yet met; there are the lovely Welsh lasses Sian, Sarah, Joann and Lauren whose converrsation both sparkles and confounds. I've exchanged tweets of the more than bonkers nature with Erika, bantered with Theodora, Neil, Hannah, Ash, Emma, @starry_girl, @ladybug27 and the ever fabulous @twittl3s and @Eyoki, and exchanged almost daily morning pleasantries with Hilary and Irene.

The bookish Rob of RobAroundBooks, Jane of ForBooksSake, @meandmybigmouth of meandmybigmouth, Simon of InsideBooks and Kate of NoseInABook have all broadened my literary horizons whilst the authory Nik Perring, Gareth Powell and Clodagh Murphy have all been splendidly lovely.

Janey French has wowed me with her haiku, Jordan Drew and Elysabeth W with their far-flung friendship, support and writingy skills, and Gail has many and innumerable thanks from me for both rewarding me with cake for winning NaNoWriMo and for introducing me to it (NaNo) in the first place. And for being just fab.

Elsewhere I have been blessed with the continuing friendship of Lesley, Mary, Jynx and Debra, even if I haven't necessarily deserved it at times. There are many, many others who have been equally wonderful; with their friendship, kindness and general good naturedness.

All in all, so much to think about, reflect on, and consider. So much unspoken, unexplored, and yet to be understood.

2010 has been a mixed year but a good one. 2011 will be one that is interesting, challenging and, hopefully, fun.

I hope you all have a great one yourselves, in whatever you do or pursue or wish for.

Jx

yesterday

two wheels