>A Review of 2011 In Survey Form

>I think this is the 8th year I’ve done this meme. I love using it to look back and remember. But that said its the second time I’ve done it today as I finished it earlier and Blogpress crashed (fucking thing) losing it. I don’t love it that much!

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?

Plenty I’m sure but my mind has gone blank.

Helped organise a conference to celebrate International Day of Disabled People.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any but I am going to set a couple of short term goals this year rather than resolutions as such.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

For the first time I can say YES! to this. LOL. Isabelle was born to my cousin and his wife in July, Jessica was born to my friend Sarah and her husband in August and Fae was born to another friend and her partner in late October (I think). A good friend’s granddaughter was also born this year, Milla but I forget when.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

A couple of acquaintances died. I didn’t know any of them well but was sad to hear of their passing. Especially one who I’d never been close to and hadn’t seen in years but who had inadvertently influenced me a lot.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. But I did get away (a night in Birmingham for Naidex and a long weekend at Longleat Center Parcs) which I think is more what the question is asking.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Not much. There ate a few things I’d like to try and/or do but not things I’ve felt my life had lacked this year. I am content.

7. What date from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Not dates but days:
One Month Before Heartbreak,
My trip to Center Parcs,
Winning the two regattas,
Botox, standing frame, physio and casts.
Going to see Sister Act the Musical and the Spooky Men’s Chorale
Meeting up with a friend for the first time in years and having crazy fun.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Not one I did alone but One Month Before Heartbreak was amazing. I still can’t believe what we achieved.

Or on a personal level having a good year and continuing to enjoy life despite some unexpected and very tough challenges (not all of which I blogged about)



9. What was your biggest failure?

Not taking care of myself properly.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I had a few UTIs and ended up needing three months of prophylactic abx as a result. And depression and spasticity despite being ongoing issues for years/life seemed to feature heavily.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

My iPad!!


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Everyone who helped out at the various times this year I didn’t have my powerchair or during my serial casting but that’s too many to list. My family.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

I am not going to name names. One organisation and maybe one person. That’s all I’ll say.

14. Where did most of your money go?

The actual answer is probably rent but as that’s an everyday thing I’ll say powerchair repairs. I knew last year that I’d need to replace the batteries. Two repairs and new tires weren’t something I planned though


15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My powerchair coming home fixed in March after being gone/ broken for most of the month.

16. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Space Rabbits of Brocklevoon by Kate Rowe. It’s about stealing spoons. I saw it live with two friends and whilst the rest of the audience laughed the three of us were killing ourselves because the spoon thing was a bit of an inside joke. Those were definitely the right friends for me to be with for that, I’d have had to explain it to most of my others which wouldn’t have been so fun.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? It’s been a huge struggle at times and my depression has given me a kicking but I wouldn’t say I was sadder that before or happier. Just more content and realistic perhaps

ii. thinner or fatter? Fatter, I have regained all the weight I lost last year and possibly a little more. Last time I weighed I was at my highest ever weight.

iii. richer or poorer? Financially I feel poorer but I am richer in other, more important ways.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Swimming, knitting, writing, taking my damn meds, keeping my promises.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Not much, on the whole I am content. Being stressed, upset, anxious and/or depressed.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I was at my parents house. I was there the majority of the time from Christmas Eve evening (about 6 ish) till maybe 10.30pm on Boxing Day going home late each night and returning early each morning although not as early as I should have done.

22. Did you fall in love in 2011?

No.

23. How many one-night stands?

None

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Downton Abbey. In fact I think I love it more than I did last year. I also enjoyed the first two episodes of Black Mirror (I forget why but I haven’t seen the third) and last night I watched Housewife, 49 which was very good and made me want to read the books. I think that might be the first time I’ve seen Victoria Wood in a straight (non comedy) role.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I am disappointed in and upset with a few people but hate is too strong a word.

26. What was the best book you read?

I’m supposed to pick just one?! I read much too much for that! Five that come to mind are:
Miracle on Regent Street by Ali Harris
The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain
The Remains of The Day by Kazuro Ishiguro
The Reader by Bernard Schlink
A Prayer for Owen Meaney by John Irving

I also enjoyed lots of Star Trek related books this year.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

I am totally loving the soundtrack from Sister Act The Musical


28. What did you want and get

An iPad
A new bed

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

The big 3-0 was this year. We had a massive dinner as a family of a variety of things including chicken and bacon pasta bake and garlic bread (one of the frozen baguettes each). Then the majority of us played Trivial Pursuit which my Dad and I tied. I hope to have a party to celebrate in a few months.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not much I’m relatively pleased with this year. That said I do need a new powerchair rather quickly and it would be nice if I could click my fingers and have it here this week rather than all the faffing I seem to be doing trying to sort it out.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Similar to before but sadly in bigger sizes again. I tried to become more together and smart in my dress but due to depression didn’t manage to keep it up.

34. What kept you sane?

All sorts of things depending on the day, time and just why I felt the need to remain sane. Trying to put myself first.


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Not really a crush but I did become quite a fan of Michel Roux, jr and enjoyed watching him on TV.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Planned changes to the NHS.

37. Who did you miss?

I missed lots of people at different times and in different ways. I find that’s always the case. And that with friends I rarely see that I miss them more when we’ve just met up. In someways I missed myself too.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Keeping the same answer as last year here. – This is my stock answer for this question but – I don’t like this question so I’m not answering. That said I don’t think I’ve met anyone and taken a violent dislike to them. I might answer the opposite question if that were the case! – But this does remind me that I should keep my “let’s keep in touch promise to someone I met this year and drop them a quick email

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:
Asking for advice, support, help and guidance is important. But at the same time only I can walk the path I’m on and I need to do what’s right for me regardless of what others think.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Take all my vicious words
Turn them into something good
Take all my preconceptions
Let the truth be understood
Take all my prize possessions
Leave only what I need

(from Courage Is by The Strange Familiar)

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL!!!!!!!!!

>A Review of 2010 in Survey Form

>This is the yearly meme I’ve been doing for I think 7 years now (I think this is the 7th Year, I mean).  I love it, some of the answers don’t seem to change but others do.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?


The first thing that comes to mind is getting paid for a piece of writing.  I put a lot more effort into my writing and getting it “out there” then I’ve ever done before.  Also, learning to crochet, doing the mosaic making day and doing gateway at CAB (although gateway was new for pretty much everyone).  And book reviewing!  That was a pretty huge part of my year and I’d not done it before.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


My only real resolution was to continue with my 101 in 1001 list.  I made some great progress with that and some of those goals led to drastic changes for me – which have all been good.  I hope to continue with these goals and that progress in 2011 but I’m also looking forward to starting a new 101 in 1001 list in September – I already have one or two ideas for it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


No. I have never, ever, been able to answer this question with a yes.  Which is most disappointing.

4. Did anyone close to you die?


No! I most especially like years when I can answer no to this question.

5. What countries did you visit?


None (yet again)

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?


I’m not sure.  The word peace comes to mind but that’s mostly because I didn’t sleep well last night and my neighbour was playing music whilst I was still in bed this morning.  I suppose the best answer is progress for The Broken of Britain.  And lots more writing opportunities for me!

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?


The day I submitted my magazine article and then heard a couple of hours later that it had been accepted.  It was a Tuesday in late ish September but I can’t remember date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?


Giving up coke and chocolate for so long


9. What was your biggest failure?


I could (and probably should) have made more of an effort with some of my friends

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?


In a word: Yes.  Several colds, a chest infection (or two, one I had treatment for anyway) and a day of kidney infection and gall bladder nastiness that ended with me at the out of hours GP with him asking me if I wanted to go into hospital and saying he wasn’t sure if I needed to be admitted or not (if there is anything more freaky than being asked if you want to go into hospital because the dr isn’t sure I’ve not found it.  Because, no, I didn’t but if he was asking the question should I have said yes?). Two injections and sending me home to “wait and see” along with the comment “I think we’ll be seeing you again, don’t be a hero” turned the corner for me thought.  I was out of action for a week though.

11. What was the best thing you bought?


My Kindle!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?


I don’t really want to single out just one or two people.  Lets just say different people at different times and for different reasons.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?


Same as above really.  There wasn’t any one major person.  Apart from the duty doctor at my surgery the other day who refused to sort my regular prescription (after snow stopped me getting to see my own GP and the surgery messed it up) as she “didn’t know me”.  I actually find it very worrying that she could do that.  Well, I find the fact that she had the receptionist call me rather than calling me herself so we could discuss it and maybe reach a compromise to be the most worrying.

14. Where did most of your money go?


Bills, clothes, gadgets.  I seem to have bought a lot of gadgets this year (wii, new tv, kindle).  I still need to work on improving my budgeting and finances although it is getting better.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


My article being published in Disability Now.  I was running round the house going “oh my god oh my god oh my god” for ages.  I had to wait most of a week to tell my mum which prolonged the excitement.  But then her flight home was so badly delayed I couldn’t sp


16. What song will always remind you of 2010?


That’s easy – anything from the first season of Glee. Especially What It Feels Like For A Girl

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? About the same. Happier at times but struggling a little at the moment
ii. thinner or fatter? 19lb lighter!  Yayness. That’s so great that I’m not beating myself up about having gained a few pounds.
iii. richer or poorer? About the same I think. Not easy but managing.,
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spending time with certain friends. Writing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing.  And being snowbound but there wasn’t much I could do about that!
20. How will you be spending Christmas?

I was at my parents house. I was supposed to go home late Boxing Day but due to the snow at the very last minute I had to stay another night and go home first thing (literally, much earlier than I would have wanted to be up given it was the best I slept whilst there) on the 27th.  For the most part it was enjoyable but I must admit I did lose it crying when it was decided I needed to stay another night.  My parents house isn’t properly accessible and I need a lot more help and support there which makes it difficult.
22. Did you fall in love in 2010?

No.
23. How many one-night stands?

None
24. What was your favourite TV programme?

Downton Abbey. I love period dramas and this is one of the best I’ve seen in a long time.  Their twitter streams also crack me up!  I also enjoyed Glee but it continually has a very bad portrayal of disability in it which stopped it being the best for me.  If anyone doesn’t know what I mean, you tube glee safety dance. Love the song, love flashmobs, hate what they did.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

As I’ve said before when doing this survey and I’m sure I’ll say again, hate is too strong a word.  There are a few people I’ve gotten to know better and found they weren’t who I thought they were though.  That can be disappointing.
26. What was the best book you read?

This is a very very difficult question for me to answer but then it always is!  I’ve read something like 108 books this year.
I’m very tempted to say Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll because I was given it to review and would never have read it otherwise (it’s a paranormal romance which I’ve been avoiding like the plague) but I really enjoyed it.  I’m not sure I like the precedent which might be set by listing a paranormal romance though.  
Possibly The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver is the best but Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte and The Long Reach by Peter Cocks deserve mentions as well for being unputdownable.  Oh and I discovered Sherlock Holmes this year in both film and book forms – great, loved it/them!
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Glee!
28. What did you want and get?

To get a magazine article published
A Kindle
A Wii
30. What was your favourite film of this year?

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I was 29. I had “party tea” with my family then we watched Tim Minchin’s DVD.  I think I enjoyed it more than most of the fam.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

I’m pretty pleased with how this year has been overall.  So being slighly tongue in cheek – less snow!
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Very similar to previous years just in a succession of smaller sizes!
34. What kept you sane?

I’m going to repeat last years answer because it’s still true.  I will add crafts to the list however.
Different things at different times. Good friends. Reading. Afternoon naps.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I’m not sure there was one.  I’m not a huge celebrity fan. I have enjoyed watching Lord Sugar on both versions of The Apprentice as he cracks me up and I’m looking forward to reading his autobiography but that’s not fancying.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?

The cuts, especially as they target disabled people the most (or so it seems to me) and the government readily admit they haven’t fully researched the impact they are likely to have on disabled people.
37. Who did you miss?

I missed lots of people at different times and in different ways.  My family and friends who are no longer with us, people I didn’t see for a while and others too.  I don’t want to write a list and possibly miss people off.
38. Who was the best new person you met?

This is my stock answer for this question but – I don’t like this question so I’m not answering.  That said I don’t think I’ve met anyone and taken a violent dislike to them.  I might answer the opposite question if that were the case!
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith even if you aren’t sure about it – great things can happen as a result.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

But you’ve got to be tough when consumed by desire
‘Cause it’s not enough just to stand outside the fire 


(From Standing Outside The Fire by Garth Brooks)

>A Review of 2009 in Survey Form

>

This is a bit of a New Year/December tradition for me and this is the sixth year running I’ve done this meme. As a side note, I started doing this on Monday and have only just finished it. The event mentioned as happening “tomorrow” was our day out on Tuesday (which I just blogged about in my previous entry) and I think probably will remain stuck in my head.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Probably the biggest thing was getting rid of the carers – I’d been thinking about it but then there was a major to do with the agency (which I’m not getting into but which I have described to several people as “they screwed me over”) and getting cleaners. I am managing way better than I thought I would without carers. And my house is cleaner too!
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t think I did. I’ve been working on the 101 in 1001 project the past several years. I made good progress with the current list this year and plan to continue next year. I’m also toying with some big changes for me but those won’t be new years resolutions.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No (this is the sixth year I’ve done this survey and I’ve never once been able to answer yes!)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Kind of. A man who volunteered at CAB and who I’d known from my very first day died very suddenly in April. We were both Wednesday people and I didn’t really know him well as he was very private but we had our little jokes and his death hit me (well, a lot of us I think) very hard as it was so surprising. Every so often another volunteer will mention him to me or I’ll mention him to her and we think that we miss him.
5. What countries did you visit?
Once again – None!
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A decent working camera (mine has been busted since April). And as I said last year but still didn’t manage to do this year – a decent break that’s actually a break.
7. What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Lots of days have been very special for a lot of different reasons but I can’t specifically think of one date that will stick forever. I am half wondering if the do we are going to tomorrow will turn into a memory to cherish. But that’s kinda a lot of pressure so I’m trying not to wonder that too much.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Completing NaNoWriMo for the first time in several years and writing more for it then I ever have for anything before.
Taking on a new responsibility and really trying and succeeding even though it was something I’d not really wanted to do and was finding so much harder and more stressful than I anticipated.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not losing any real weight. And not keeping my house very tidy between cleaner visits – particularly at the moment, the words “looks like a bomb hit it” spring to mind.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
In 2008 I took myself off of both my meds. In March I went back on fluoxetine and in August back on Baclofen (which I swear I only need due to the fluoxetine doing a number on my spasticity). But that’s not really illness. I had a bad patch in the summer with a virus but I’ve been very well this year and haven’t had any antibiotics at all!
I did have a bit of a nasty accident in the early hours of Christmas Day however and my first thought when it happened was that this was going to be very bad as in A&E bad. But – and I have no idea how – it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as we thought and there wasn’t even any blood.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I’d say my new chair but wheelchair services funded that so – my new furniture for the flat.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
My parents have done a lot of running around and helping me out this year, particularly lately.
The cleaning company I use have also been much better than I anticipated them being.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
My former care agency
14. Where did most of your money go?
New furniture and bills. Improving my finances and budgeting is still something I’m working one.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Meeting up with old friends i’d lost touch with for the first time in about three years.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Teamwork from the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? About the same but more realistic which may make it seem like I’m sadder
ii. thinner or fatter? A few pounds heavier
iii. richer or poorer? A bit better.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing. Knitting. Reaching out to friends.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Getting frustrated and upset about things that I can’t control or that don’t matter in the long run.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I was at my parents house. I wasn’t supposed to stay over but ended up staying from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day evening pretty much due to the bad weather.
22. Did you fall in love in 2009?
No. Lately I wonder if it will ever happen and if I really need it to.
23. How many one-night stands?
Zero.
24. What was your favourite TV programme?
I enjoyed a lot of documentaries and docu-dramas like the five day special Channel 4 did with different actresses portraying the Queen at critical points in her reign.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Hate is too strong of a word. I have been disappointed by some professionals in my life but not really by friends.
26. What was the best book you read?
Both of Chris Cleave’s books.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Not exactly what the question meant but I started listening to Jack FM in the mornings and I’ve been loving that.
28. What did you want and get?
More storage in my flat and a new wheelchair.
30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with a friend; had a night of games, dinner and a dvd with my family.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I can’t say, really it’s been a pretty good year overall. But part of me is very frustrated that I didn’t get seen by wheelchair services and get a new chair much sooner than actually happened. It’s made such a difference to my mobility and my pain levels. I never even suspected that my hip pain could be helped by my chair or that my back pain improved like they have been.
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Lots and lots of skirts in the summer and trackies earlier in the year. In the past few months I’ve found both jeans and just recently smart black trousers that fit even though they are bigger than I would like! So I’ve been trying to smarten up a bit lately but really overall I’m still living in trackies and comfy clothes.
34. What kept you sane?
Different things at different times. Good friends. Reading. Afternoon naps.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I can’t really think of anyone.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The save DLA campaign
37. Who did you miss?
Lots of different people at different times and in different ways. Sometimes things I wouldn’t have expected made me miss people. I was surprised by how much I missed my CAB colleague who died. But this year has also been a good one for reconnecting with old friends so I missed them less than previously – whilst also missing them more because I’d been reminded of how great they are and how much I enjoy their company.
38. Who was the best new person you met?
As I’ve said in previous years, I really don’t like this question. I don’t feel like I’ve met too many new people this year but those I’ve had I’ve liked for the most part.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009:
That at times I can be stronger and more capable than I think I am.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
It’s something unpredictable but in the end it’s right. I hope you’ve had the time of your life.