Wow, a third year of the 2020s almost over already! While the world is still suffering from many different things including invasions, pandemics (no, it's not quite over), and that M*sk guy proving actually no, he's not a business genius, there's been some good things, like... hmm, I'll get back to you on that.
Personally speaking, it's been a pretty decent year. Here's some of my own highlights (spoiler: they're not all writing-related!).
I started my twelve-month secondment with a different department at my workplace. This meant I could work from home and spend more time with the kids (who aren't quite kids now they're hitting their mid-late teens), not spend a big chunk of my wage on commuting and generally actually have a decent work-life balance. It also gave me a chance to learn new skills... and the increase in salary was much appreciated, too! I'm now keen to pursue a career in this field - that's if the writing doesn't one day propel me to success beyond my wildest dreams (haha!).
Mother's Day was spent with my own mother, visiting the amazing Van Gogh Alive exhibition that had reached Edinburgh. It was so moving and great to see a lot of Van Gogh's artwork, instead of his most famous works. In fact, I was so inspired that I went and bought myself some paints and art supplies and started dabbling, myself!
Taking my first step towards enjoying live events in-person, since the start of the pandemic here in the UK, my daughter and I went to see Alan Partridge Live: Strategem at the Edinburgh Playhouse. From our seats in the stalls, it looked practically sold-out. It was a brilliant night!
A couple of days after that, I went to see Doctor Who star, Katy Manning (the companion to Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor) who was doing an Evening With... style event. I got a couple of hugs from the fantastically-attired Ms Manning, asked some questions during the Q&A section, and even got a book signed! Time seemed to go by so quickly that she mentioned she may have to do a follow-up event. I am poised, ready to buy a ticket immediately, Katy!
In the summer, I asked musician/singer SinB to provide vocals on a track I'd written called Wasteland. You can hear the final result on Bandcamp and Soundcloud. Feel free to check out the other tracks I've created, as a side project under the moniker, The Dandy's Boutique.
A writing-related event, at last! Yes, already mentioned on the website, my short Beatles-inspired monologue, which had originally been a longer piece intended for a Big Finish competition was one of five selected as part of a celebration by Act Your Age Productions for the 60th anniversary of The Beatles' Love Me Do being released. You can watch the filmed monologue HERE or via the homepage. I thought the performer, Julie, did a wonderful job!
Around about the same time, I booked my FIRST EVER trip abroad! I got my first ever passport back in 2019 but obviously the pandemic limited my chances of going anywhere. So, I'm off to Australia next year to visit my best friend in Melbourne. It'll be so good to catch up with them in person and paint the city red. Since it's also my first ever proper holiday, I'm going to be taking an insane amount of pictures, some of which will no doubt end up here.
I'm sure I've missed out some other highlights. Of course, there were some lowlights, as there are in anyone's life, but it's all about the positivity here.
I'm going to be dusting off this blog (ahem, I mean Musings page) and posting more often in 2023. It will keep me accountable for my writing, instead of procrastinating too much and it'll give you more of an insight into me and my life, so raise a glass to 2023 and hope to the gods that it's an improvement on the past few years!