2011 has been a good year for me in some respects, unexpectedly challenging in others.
In August Roz and I split up. I was very distraught at the time, but I've gradually made my peace with what happened. I'm thankful that we had a wonderful year together and I hope to stay in continued contact with her as things calm down emotionally.
My family, as some of you will know, are all well, although both Mum and Dad have had minor health issues and Lucy's broken her arm. :-(
I'm really looking forward to seeing them all for Christmas and cooking the vegetarian main for Christmas Day.
I remain grateful for all the fantastic friends I have - you know who you are, thank you.
I'm continuing to work for Friends of the Earth supporting volunteers across the Midlands, and have managed to sort out my work/life balance a little more so that I stay healthy in the longer-term. I still feel honoured to be a part of the organisation and I'm certainly not bored.
The highlight this year was a trip to the Netherlands in May with some volunteers for an international gathering. Not only did I camp for the first time in a decade (!) but I got to meet wonderful people from around Europe and stand on a sand dune overlooking the North Sea. An awesome moment.
Maybe that hitherto dormant travelling urge is beginning to re-awaken. :-)
Birmingham continues to agree with me. I'm not sure I'm settled for the long-term (who is?) but it still feels like the right place to be right now. I jokingly refer to the city as the new Berlin, but it's true that there so much happening here which is really exciting. In the past year, I've been to:
My first ballet and my first drag act simultaneously (The Trocks)
Art festivals held in a dozen different warehouses in post-industrial Digbeth
Local music festivals – Moseley Follk and Supersonic (where things go DER-DANG)
Birmingham Zine Festival
UK Games Expo (yes, I am still roleplaying)
Buy Nothing Day, dancing round the town centre dressed as Santa
And that's really only dipping my toe into what's out there.
I'm still trying to write more and you can find my occasional scribblings here at http://magpie-moth.blogspot.com/ and when I have nothing better to do on @magpiemoth on Twitter.
Recently I've recorded my first piece of spoken word – a Christmas horror story. A friend is working on the musical accompaniment but we'll make it available online very soon. I've also been taking advantage of my smartphone to do more photo-blogging.
I'll finish up here by wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. I hope that 2012 brings you your heart's desire and a better political situation than the one we now find ourselves in.