Can it be this time again already? Forgive the ever so indulgent review of one's year that I'm about to write. I did it last year and I fear I shall next. It's quite cathartic to think about the bad and the good of the experience of life, I find...
At the end of last year I felt sad and angry by a number of things. In truth, and though I made some close friends doing it, my year in Norwich left me rather unfulfilled and directionless, and I am very glad to have left in July. Though I spent half of this year there too, once I was past the hump of Christmas, the first six months of 2011 flew by. Thank GOD!
My summer was fantastic. Almost too good. I've set myself a benchmark which I doubt I'll be able to meet never mind surpass this coming year. Who knows? I haven't planned my summer at all yet so maybe I'll find a spare load of cash and go somewhere amazing!! But yes...back to this year. I spent a fattening, drunken, cultural, sunny and just wonderfully luxurious month-and-a-bit in the extraordinary city of Florence. It was a place with which I fell in love and I don't think I'll ever find somewhere so full of treasures and delights. And for an Oxonian to say that says something. The fact that I went with my best friend Eleanor made it all the more fabulous!
I did get some awful news during the holiday which slightly spoilt it for me at the end, and I don't think I'll ever understand quite how the mosquitos managed to enter my bedroom after I all but hermetically sealed it EVERY NIGHT, but I loved the whole experience of it and couldn't be more grateful to my family who made it possible for me to go.
The rest of summer was boring and dull, but in September I went up to York to start working at the Minster in the choir and then in October I started my degree at the university. And I'm ever so happy to report that I couldn't be enjoying either more. I was received so warmly by everyone in both communities and have never felt so at home so quickly within a place and within a family of people.
Family is the word, actually. I feel so welcomed by so many people there. I couldn't be happier about going there and feel so privileged to have met some wonderful friends - a few of whom I know, or at least hope with all my heart, I shall never lose from my life.
2011 has been wonderful for me, I think. You'll see how I skirted over all of it that I didn't particularly enjoy and I think that's a testament to how I shall remember it. In my mind's eye, 2011 shall be a momentous and happy year on which to look back. I can only hope that 2012 lives up to all the potential that it holds to me and so many people. Knowing that I have my amazing friends and family with which to experience it makes me think it probably will do.
I simply cannot wait.
I hope you all have a very happy new year!!