Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Rocking Your World Friday - wrapping up 2012

And so, 2012 is over, and I need to wrap up my year-long document of what’s been rockin’ my world….

I’m quite chuffed I managed to stick with this for the whole year, I’m a rubbish blogger usually.  I didn’t do it quite as per instructions (you’re supposed to post every Friday, but I ended up slipping to fortnightly, then every three weeks….) but I always caught up.

I think next year I might slip even further and do a calendar-monthly catch up at each month end.  But I’m definitely going to keep the practice going in some format or other as I have found the whole discipline of constantly looking for the positives in my life to be hugely therapeutic and helpful.  It’s not a new idea, this counting your blessings lark, but so many people nowadays seem to spend more time moaning about what they don’t have than appreciating what they have got, and that’s a real pity.

So before I get into the nitty gritty of what’s been happening for the last three weeks, here’s a little snapshot of what I’m grateful for in general:

My wonderful other half Jay who keeps me on an even keel and always puts a smile on my face with his constant stream of so-bad-they’re-good jokes, and his brilliant Ewok impersonations:

My sons – it has been great having them all around at once over the Christmas period

The fact that I have a job that I don’t hate and that pays the bills with some to spare, not everyone is so lucky in the current financial climate

Never being bored  – I have my art materials and – at the moment at least – no shortage of creative mojo, more books than some travelling libraries, great TV and films to watch, my hockey, fab company around me, my online buddies, loads of great days out, let’s face it my life is Fun with a capital F and I sometimes wonder how I struck so lucky :)

So – anyway – all gushiness aside – where were we?

Ah yes, the last three weeks of December – what did I get up to and what rocked my world?

- Live music rules!!!  We went to two gigs in December- the first one was on the 12/12/12 – Californian ska-punk kings Rancid at the O2 Academy in Bristol.  I haven’t seen them in a good 17/18 years, and Jay had never seen them.  They were excellent, still lively, still in tune, and still great to boogie to :)

Tim’s changed a bit though -  I thought a tramp had wandered in off the street and nicked his guitar :D  That’s some crazy beardage!

(Rancid photos from the Bristol gig by Adam Gasson)

And then on Boxing Day night we headed back to Bristol, with the kids in tow this time, for a festive knees up with Bad Manners at the Fleece.

This gig would have been brilliant, if the band hadn’t come on sooooo late!!  They didn’t hit the stage until around 11:30pm by which time the kids were shattered, so they only lasted through about half of the set and then needed to go and sit/lie down, so I took them back to the car and subsequently missed the rest of the gig :(  Never mind, we had all had fun boogie-ing to the classic punk and ska disco for the previous 4 hours, plus Jay and Darby got to stay to the end and had a great time (and I’ve seen Bad Manners a few times before so not the end of the world)

- My work’s Christmas do – we had a delicious nosh up at the Thai restaurant in Ciren followed by a free bar at the bar next door (pity I was driving home so I couldn’t partake – but at least that meant I had a fresh head the next morning unlike many of my colleagues :) )

- Secret Santa time – I did really well with my office secret santa gift this year – someone (it turned out to be Tracey who works in my room – thank you!) knows me really well as I got a brilliant Box o’ Zombies!  I LOVE them.

- Seeing family – from a fab meal out with Jay’s mum, step-dad, nan and gramp to celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary (wow!) on December 15th, to Christmas day at my cousin’s with my dad and sister, it has been a great month for catching up with the rellies

- Having both my big lads home for Christmas – so good to have them at home again even if only for a short while – Darby was only back for 4 days but Ethan and Daisy stayed from December 15th to Jan 5th – I miss them loads when they are off in Bristol and Cornwall

- Surviving the end of the world – suck on that, ancient Mayans! :P

- Having lots of fun creatively – mainly making Christmas pressies and decorations and taking part in Marit’s Top 2000 Blog Party – and learning to use my new soldering iron too

- Eight whole days off work.  In a row!  Yay!  (actually 8 and a bit as they let us go home at around half past two on Christmas Eve).  I REALLY needed the break!  (it went by far too fast though)

- Getting the decorations sorted- our tree didn't go up until December 20th this year, and I always moan that it's a chore and that I'm not a Christmas person ..... but once it's all done I love it :)

- Christmas Day – was just about 99% perfect (it would have been 100% if Jay and Reece had been there too) – myself and my three sons went to my cousin’s gorgeous house in Kent for the da y and met my sister and dad there.  Company was great, food was delicious, the sun even came out for a little while so we could enjoy the great view <-------, we had a nice walk after the main course and before the pud, as is traditional.
And everyone liked their pressies.  It was great to chat to my cousin Christine about her paintings (she’s one of the more creative members of the family) and to natter to her son Robin about his adventures climbing the rigging of the Cutty Sark.  And the drive down and back was uneventful, not much traffic about, which makes a nice change when you have to tackle large sections of the M25.

- Boxing Day was also fantastic – Jay and Reece came over so that’s when we did our main present exchanging.  As previously blogged, I was utterly spoilt :)  We also had a matinee game of hockey to attend on Boxing Day followed by the Bad Manners gig in Bristol. No rest for the wicked!

Loved the label on the hot hot hot sauce
- Whole Foods Market has opened a store in Cheltenham!  I’ve only seen them before in the US and in Vancouver.  I could have spent a fortune in there.  Everything is sooooo delicious!  Amongst other things, I bought some butternut squash and goats cheese cannelloni – just 9 pieces cost £5.50!!  Seemed like such a rip off, but when I cooked them the next day, oh my word, worth EVERY penny!  Thankfully we don’t go to Cheltenham all that often, otherwise I’d be doing all my shopping in there (which would leave me homeless as I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay my mortgage any more)

the cookies were soooooooooo goooooooood!
- A New Year’s Eve trip to Coventry and Nuneaton to see fab art and even fabber friends.  After a bit of shopping and mooching around my old home city of Cov we went to the Herbert (museum/art gallery), opposite the cathedral.

First we visited the dinosaur exhibit ROAARRRRRRRRR, and then, the main reason we were at the Herbert, we went to see the His Dark Materials exhibition, by local artist Adie Blundell.  We weren’t allowed to take photos in there, and there was an eagle eyed lady watching, which is a pity as I can’t find any photos on the interwebs that really capture the atmosphere of the exhibition.

they did have these postcards for sale though....
Here is the artist’s website, his sketchbooks are amazing, and his wall of iron and salt masks (which Jay called ‘not the best Slipknot tribute band I’ve ever seen’ :) ) was brilliant, and, oh it was just all fantastic.  You should go and see it!   And I have booked up to take a workshop with the artist in March, can’t wait.

Then after lunch we headed up the road to Nunny to visit my bestest buddy Alison and hubby Malc (and Bertuzzi the dog) in their Winter Wonderland Grotto.  Seriously, the house had to be seen to be believed :)

We spent a great afternoon catching up with our pals, I got a sparkly purple manicure, Jay and Malc had a beard off: (Malc won!),

and the kids played happily with various remote controlled vehicles while petting Bert and eating piles of biscuits.  And we were home in plenty of time to watch Jools Holland count in the New Year.  What more could you want from a day?

So that’s that all done and dusted – I will go now and link this up at Rockette Central with the lovely Virginia, queen of the blessing counting.  If any of you reading this would like to join us in 2013, there’s always room for another Rockette (or Rocker!), and I really can’t recommend it highly enough.  Gratitude improves your attitude, and all that :)

See you again somewhere around the tail end of January…..


P.J. said...

It sounds like you have done yourself well in 2012. Congrats! Best wishes in 2013! :D

Virginia said...

Oh that was an epic post and you said it would take you all year to write! Loving the post and how busy you've been over Christmas, how fabulous to have your three sons together as well even if only for a short while! Fabulous time with Jay post Christmas day too and gigs - you managed gigs in amongst it all! A free bar and you were driving sometimes I think that can be a blessing having seen some 'right states' the morning after the night before! I hope 2013 greets you with as plenty of positives and fun times ahead.


Anam_Kihaku said...

love reading about your month and seeing your life photos :)

Paul B said...

Thanks for your lovely comment on my blog Sarah :) Yes you should def do a book of firsts. You go out and see and do so much. Your blog puts me to shame with the amount you experience. You're one of the few blogs I follow who loves to show urban art and appreciate it. And I love your chosen word for the year. I'm neither brave nor adventurous, hence why I'm kicking myself up the butt with the book of firsts. Have a great 2013. I look forward to your posts. Pxx

Carmen Wing said...

Keep on keeping on with the epic posts Sarah, I love them. Loving all your party pics, I never seem to manage to get group photos like that, love your tub o zombies too :-)

The art workshop sounds amazing, I seriously can't wait to see what comes of that! Happy 2013!