Tuesday 30 December 2014

So Long 2014 ❤

Hello dearhearts, Christmas has been and gone for another year and now we turn our selves towards the imminent New Year ready to see what 2015 will bring to us all (hoverboards hopefully).

I for one am fairly happy to say goodbye to 2014, it's been a bumpy year for me, lots of tears along with times of laughter, some ups and even more downs. So I thought I might take some time to look back over the year and share a bit of it with you all.

To kick off the post, here's a recent illustration I did...

 In case you can't tell, it's supposed to be me, only as a member of the Candy Doll Club. I've never been very good at making my girls actually look like real people but I tried to make this one resemble me (although i'll admit I was very forgiving at times with the design!) so there you go, something vagulely resembling what it's supposed to look like, just like all of my work.

So what else have I been up to this year? Well do please allow me to tell you via the magic of bullet points!

 in 2014 I...
  • started the year with an amazing job as an assistant Librarian at a really lovely Library
  • slowly but surely continued to unravel mentally (as i'd been doing for the last ten years) resulting in the inevitable need for actual treatment and medication
  • carried on working and socialising with real people
  • dressed up as Mary Poppins and got to hold a real live Owl
  • got to spend some time with my amazing nieces
  • kept taking the many prescribed pills
  • tried to keep calm and carry on
  • failed miserably and got signed off from work indefinitely
  • cried 
  • read some books
  • bought a lot of crap I really didn't need
  • began to enjoy creating again, painted, produced new work, started to feel a lot better
  • found out my contract had been terminated and suddenly lost aforementioned amazing job
  • spiralled lower and lower and lower and lower and lower and lower
  • moved out of my flatshare in town
  • moved back home with my very generous and nice and understanding parents
  • read some more books
  • spent over two weeks indoors without leaving the house once (i'm not proud, but it happened)
  • cried
  • watched more than my money's worth of netflix
  • ate my way through more pizza and popcorn than is ever necessary
  • started writing a book
  • gave up on that and started writing another book instead
  • realised how ruddy difficult it is to write a book
  • read a LOT more books
  • spent way too much money on Ghostbuster Lego (so worth it though!)
  • only left the house for appointments and trips to the cinema
  • tried to get old job back
  • failed to get old job back
  • continued trying to keep calm and carry on
  • failed miserably once again
  • cried
  • went for long rambling walks alone (*sad violin music*) 
  • went for long rambling walks with friends and had stick and conker fights
  • lost touch with new friends while reconnecting with old ones
  • truly learned who my real friends are (dramatic pause)
  • visited my fabulous nieces again and again
  • read even more books
  • ate too much chocolate
  • cried
  • dressed up as a Ghostbuster
  • painted and drew and designed and sewed and created
  • cried
  • ate more pizza
  • read all the books
  • wrote this blog post
so yeah, that's pretty much it. 2014 in a slightly unstable nutshell. If You know me in real life then you might have already heard about some of the ups and downs i've had this year, but if you don't know me 'irl' then I guess now you know a bit more about me than you did before!

so THANKS for listening/reading new found friend! (oh look it's my face!)

but hey let's not dwell on those silly negatives, oh no, for there have been many positives this year, none more fulfilling than my ongoing attempts at illustrating ladies with colourful hair and painting them onto bits of wood, but other than that one of the main things that has kept me going this year has been my ever growing 'to read' pile of books.

as I often mention on here, i'm rather fond of reading (understatement!) and for the past few years i've tried to challenge myself to read as many books as I can in the space of a year.

Well last year I set a challenge of 50 books... but by NYE i'd only managed 42 (boo!)

so this year I thought i'd better up the ante and on January 1st I set myself the challenge of reading 100 books before 2015, keeping track of them all via Goodreads.

I'm happy to report that this year i've read 116 books (yay!) and i'm currently on the 117th which I will no doubt finish at some point tonight or tomorrow (I actually surpassed the challenge about a month ago, only when I hit 100 books I decided to try and push to 111 instead).

Right about now i'm thinking I should probably have pushed to 120 but i've run out of time and although I do love to read if I overdo it I tend to give myself vile headaches and that's not really how I want to see in the New Year tomorrow night thank you very much!
no i'll no doubt be seeing it alone wrapped in several blankets surrounded by chocolates and toffees and of course, books.

I've ready some really teriffic books this year and I thought it might be nice to share a few of them with you all.

Now i've never been any good at writing reviews for books as often once i've read a novel it grows to exist tightly inside my mind and I struggle to explain it to people without rambling or giving away the plot. So these 5 books rated particularly highly for me this year, they kept me gripped and continue to stick out in my mind and so I can only recommend them to you purely on that basis along with a sentence or two!

The Martian – Andy Weir – 2011 – if you like Space, science and sarcasm then read this book. Very funny, very clever and very gripping! That's all i have to say, it's really good, read it.

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline – 2011 – Packed with more 80's Pop Culture references than you can even begin to comprehend, perfect for anyone who likes movies, music, tv shows, video games or the 80's (So basically everyone!).

The Girl With All The Gifts – M. R. Carey – 2014 – A clever twist on the Zombie genre this one's a Zombie story like no other, really heartbreaking stuff. Dark, chilling and undeniably haunting. Will probably stay on your mind long after the last page.

Red Rising – Pierce Brown – 2014 – Dystopian civilization, a cruel ruling upper class, the planet Mars, rebel uprisings and rebellion along with lashings of greek mythology and heaps of fierce combat and savage brutality. It's hard to describe this book but it's brilliant! It's like Dune meets the Hunger Games with parts of Brave New World and Ender's Game sprinkled in for good measure. Cannot wait for the next book in the series!

Good Omens – Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – 1990 – The end of the world is nigh and now it's down to angel turned book seller Aziraphale and too-cool-for-his-own-good demon Crowley along with a host of other brilliant (and hilarious) characters to find and stop the antichrist before he tries to destroy the world! Also, let me say that I am appalled it took me this long to actually get myself a copy and read it, i mean i was born in 1991 the year after this came out but still, that's 23 years i've neglected to read it! But take it from me that this book is great and that it will make you laugh your socks off!

if you're particularly nosy and you would like to see the full list of all 116 books i've read so far, click HERE, some of the books on the list are actually dreadful but some are utterly marvellous!

ironically enough the book i'm currently reading (and subsequently the last book i'll read this year) is Then We Came To The End - Joshua Ferris which was honestly a total coincidence but seems like the perfectly titled book to see the year out with!
next year i'm wondering if i should set the goal at 150 and see what happens! I already have a teetering pile of books to read and i'm eager to get cracking so roll on 2015, let's read ALL THE BOOKS!!!

and on that note, i'm going to sign off for today. This is the point where i should probably make a lot of promises I won't keep about how i intent to blog more next year and post better content etc blah blah blah. But i'm not going to do that.

I will try to blog more frequently but that's about as much as I can offer, so until next time, or in this case next year, so long and thanks for reading

and I would also like to wish you the Happiest of New Years tomorrow evening, however you do or do not decide to spend it!