2. Did you keep your New Year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I made any. Each year I think of trying to make resolutions about less internet use. I did succeed in leaving my laptop at work quite a lot of the time which worked well for me. I don't think they are new year's resolutions but I intend to be super organised about my studies this year.
Come to think of it I did buy a Bible-reflection-a-day book and not get very far with it.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister. But she's in Australia which is not that close to me. My first niece. I mean, my sister gave birth to my first niece, not my first niece gave birth. That would be unlikely as Chloe was only born herself in February. I met her in June. She has got bigger since then and I have seen her COMING THROUGH THE SCREEN on skype. I plan to do it again, although it was a bit unnerving.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Although, my email buddy Mike died. We weren't really close but I still find myself with things I want to say to him, or think he would be interested in, from time to time.
5. What countries did you visit?
Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, briefly Switzerland, France.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
A house. But I'm not expecting one. A fourth degree.
7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
30th January was my birthday. We ate cake. The next day my niece was born (which was 1st Feb in Australia). The day after the 1st Feb my mother was nunned. Or more thoroughly nunned, or something.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Learning All The German.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Failure ? ALL FAILURES ARE CONVERTED INTO … oh well, I failed to get out all summer really, now I come to think of it. I did just about manage to keep up with friends via cake and pub dates, but my wetsuit got almost no exercise. Oh yes and I failed to finish any of my German assignments at anything but the last minute.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I had to fill in a health form for the job I am doing now. Have you ever had dermatitis or skin trouble, it asked me. Why yes, I wrote. I am allergic to the juice of the narcissus in large quantities. Also I got a cold once or twice which I had not done for years.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Ooh, I don't know. There were the lentils that went on for ever, and the DVD player, and the ear defenders (I love ear defenders) and there was the week in the yurt, and lots of cake (I love cake), and – oh, there was the red bike. I don't shop much.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
All my bosses. All my bosses are great.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I was not appalled and depressed.
14. Where did most of your money go?
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
German ? I… don't think I get really, really, really excited to be fair. My birthday was pretty cool. I like birthdays. There was a lot of cake and also surprise apple strudel.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
My brain doesn't work that way.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? No. Right this minute I'm quite early into the new job and stuff is not set up to allow me to do the interesting bits so I'm bit sad but I am assured that once things are set up I can do more interesting things and I am holding out for that.
ii. thinner or fatter? I don't think so. My weight fluctuated a bit over the year and increased in the last couple of months of the season where I was mostly learning German (sitting down at home) rather than working, to the point where my trousers got a bit tight, but then decreased again during my time in Annecy and I think it's much where it was. My trousers are good.
iii. richer or poorer? Richer, I think. And I have no more Open University to buy so it's looking good from that point of view.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Swimming in the sea, getting out in general. Playing my flute a little bit. German.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinating on the Internets.
20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I am working in a hotel now. I am scheduled to help serve breakfast to the guests and then do the rooms. I guess it will be just the daily service which is quick, rather than any checkouts, so might not take too long. We might eat Christmas dinner together after that, me and the directors, and the mythical fourth staff member if we get one, although someone will have to open the bar in the evening.
21. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?
I'm not sure if the schedule goes that far, but basically, probably, much the same as Christmas ?
22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
No… but I had quite an intense relationship with German.
23. How many one-night stands?
24. What was your favourite TV program?
The best German DVDs are their remakes of Enid Blyton. For example, the famous five. It opens with the Famous Five cycling on their upright bicycles across a moorland and into a wood, where they leap into a lake for a swim and then erect their A-frame tend and sit around a campfire toasting sausages. And then Dick pulls out his smartphone to check out the weather forecast…
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
26. What was the best book you read?
Maybe the Unendliche Geschichte. Or maybe Wachtmeister Studer. And Drei Männer im Schnee. Or … I like books. Some German authors just write words (into an interesting story) but some of them write very elegant text. The ones which combine elegant text and interesting story are the best.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ear defenders. Ear defenders are the best. I take them everywhere now because I am too cool to care that I look weird with ear defenders in the railway waiting room or on the ferry or whatever. Also that with my little mp3 player and little earbuds and then ear defenders that is even more the best. I liked Reise durch England and Schottland because it was all little chapters about different places and I could tune out and then tune in and see if I recognised the place. And also had fun stuff about the (of the time) English social conventions and what we eat for breakfast and that.
28. What did you want and get?
A good German result.
29. What did you want and not get?
30. What was your favourite film that you saw for the first time this year?
All the German films written for people of about thirteen. I watched Die Wilden Hühner a lot as well as the Enid Blytons.
31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
By chance I did not need to work that day (my winter job is weather dependent, although not in the obvious way), so we gathered and ate cake.
32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
30 hours in a day, maybe ?
33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Winter (Scilly) : warm layered jumble.
Summer (Scilly) (work) : colourful / skirts
Summer (Scilly) (out of work) : trackies
Winter (Courchevel) (work) : black and white. With a coloured hair clip. I don't think I have achieved French chic, but I am working on it. I did not own a single thing in black or white before I was told I needed them for this job. (Well okay one pair of shoes was black).
Winter (Courchevel) (out of work) : hooray ! Colours ! Also, layers.
Actually, these are not so much fashion concepts as, er, clothes. I don't think I have a fashion concept.
34. What kept you sane?
I am naturally sane.
35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I … didn't.
36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Die Wiedervereinigung. Er, because I don't follow the news at all and I studied the Wiedervereinigung a lot including talking to real people in East Germany during the German residential course. If I followed any politics otherwise it would have been local politics but I can't remember getting hugely excited about anything this year.
37. Who did you miss?
My sister, maybe ?
38. Who was the best new person you met?
My new co-workers (I am not sure if I met anybody else? But they are all pretty cool). Also Oscar the dog. I guess some housemates came and went and were not the best, so the co-workers have it.
39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Ear defenders. I also wore them for my German exam.
I dare say I learnt something more useful and wise but so subtle I can't think of it. Put The Internet Down, perhaps, although I kinda knew that already.
You know what else is great ? Hot water bottles. Why spend loads of electricity trying to make a room warm when you can just hug a hot water bottle.
40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Something German ? Wait, didn't we have this question already.
So, I'm in Courchevel.Christmas is coming.