Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 Retrospective

2009 was my first whole year of blogging. I know I didn't have many readers at the beginning of the year, so I hope this review is fun for everyone who wasn't reading a year ago. It's been hard to pick only one post from each month, especially since I was averaging around one post per day at the beginning of the year, but it's certainly been amazingly enjoyable for me to read back (while wondering how a whole year disappeared so quickly!).

Way back in January 2009, I got a new camera and took it out to play with the frost in my garden - as well as generating my first-and-favourite self-portrait (yes, my jumper matching my mirror was entirely coincidental). It's funny to read back and reflect on the days when I didn't have a 'pro' account on Flickr, and remember how terribly worried I was about spending that amount of money and whether it would be worth it.

I had my first (vegetarian) marshmallow in February, and conducted a series of culinary experiments to try and find out what I'd been missing all these years. The rocky road was definitely my favourite.

In March my husband and I went on a National Trust working holiday at Winkworth Arboretum, with the intention of learning how to coppice our woodland. As an added bonus, on our day off we had a behind-the-scenes tour of Petworth.

April was the first month I cooked Thai by myself, something I've done so many times since then that it's funny to think it was only eight months ago!

In May I learnt to sail, which was quite possibly my highlight of the entire year (at least in terms of skills-acquisition) since I'd been wanting to do it for pretty much my entire life. I was thankful not to fall in.

June was the first of a few travel-centred months when I went to Boulder, Colorado for a computational linguistics conference, and I was intrigued by the massive Greek houses at the university; thankfully a few of my blog buddies were able to shed a little more light on the mysteries of fraternities and sororities.

Sailing boatMachair flowersGreen Woodpecker

In July, I told you a little about one of the most fascinating aspects of the landscape on our summer driving-and-camping tour of the Outer Hebrides: the Machair, a unique coastal environment.

As much as I'd like my highlight for August to feature something from my trips to Washington and New York, I really can't escape from the fact that sharing a friend's apple chutney recipe has brought more traffic to this blog than any other post. Ever. It was also a useful way to preserve the massive apple harvest we had last year.

My thoughts in September turned to sex - more precisely, how to write about sex in an appropriate manner for any particular story. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to post an excerpt for your thoughts...

In October I committed myself to learning Greenlandic, and though it's slow progress, I am progressing ("Qanoq ateqarpit?" "Rachel-mik ateqarpunga" and so on...).

November was NaNoWriMo, so I wrote a lot about writing, but the star of the show was certainly the green woodpecker who showed up outside my window.

Most of December's highlights were food-related, with the florentines being my personal favourite.

And that, more or less, was my year, though I haven't even mentioned our anniversary weekend in Brussels, various short trips within the UK, or any of my now-favourite soup recipes. There was more, of course - there's always much, much more than even makes it onto the blog. It was a very full year... but I've no reason to suspect 2010 will be any less hectic. Shall we go and find out?

Happy New Year everyone!


Heather said...

Sounds like a fantastic year - I hope 2010 is even better :)

The Blonde Duck said...

Have a wonderful New Year!

Louiz said...

Hope 2010 has just as much interesting things from you! Happy new year.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year!

Elisabeth said...

Rachel, How do you find for all of this and then even more time to blog about it and to write behind the scenes.

I haven't yet managed a year of blogging, I'm only about a quarter of the way though my first year, with an abortive attempt in 2006 behind me. It's wonderful but so so time consuming.

I'm not about to give it up, but I wonder how others like you manage.

Bells said...

i feel like I've been reading you forever, but I see that I haven't because the early months don't ring any bells!

Lovely, lovely blog and what a great first year!

Daphne said...

Fun stuff! Love that you are learning Greenlandic (?). Fascinating!

Christy said...

sounds like a great year!
happy new year and all the days in it!

mangocheeks said...

I love this and learning a bit more about you too. Thank you so much for sharing and I am so glad I came across your blog, though I think it was you who found me :D

I am lookign to do something similar as it my Blogiversary in a few days time..

May 2010 be as wonderful for you too.

Johanna said...

happy new year rachel - hope it will be as interesting and varied as the one just gone - lovely round up

Anonymous said...

An interesting post. I enjoyed the read.

Just wanted to say thanks for your visits and comments. I hope to get back on my feet soon and start posting again.

Kimberly said...

What a year!

Wishing you an even better one this year. Happy New Year, and warm wishes!

Lauren said...

Wow...what a great year you've had!
It's always nice to look back and see all that you've accomplished in a year! Congrats on the year of blogging too... I'll celebrate one year in February(or maybe it's March).... it's definitely an accomplishment!

So sorry for the delay in coming to say hello. Thank you so much for swinging by my blog on Monday for my SITS day. Hope you have a very happy new year!


Steve & Sarah Travel the Long Way Round said...

Happy new years!

Diane said...

Great post! I remember much of the things you listed. And I totally want to read the sex stuff (just sayin' ;). Happy New Year, my friend!! xo

Jumbleberry Orchard said...

A year involving Thai food, chutney and vegetarian marshmallows! Sounds great! I am impressed by the Greenlandic, too - good luck with continuing to hone your foreign language skills!

Best wishes for 2010!

♥ Katinka said...

Awesome post !!! Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!!

andrew said...

Looks like a busy and productive year! Best Wishes in 2010.

JanMary said...

You certainly packed lots into 2009!

Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you have a wonderful 2010 :)

JDaniel4's Mom said...

Happy New Year! Stopping by from SITS! What a great way to share your year of posts.

LOUD n PROUD said...

looks like you had a great year and I am sure 2010 will be even better!
stopping by from SITS

Donna said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Greenlandic? I'm pretty sure I didn't even know there was such a language. Sounds fun, though.

Aidan Donnelley Rowley said...

Wonderful roundup. I have only just found your blog but am thrilled that I have. Now, I must go back and see what I have missed. This post is a very good start.

Happy New Year!

Shai Coggins said...

Looks like you had a great year! Hope you have a more fabulous one for 2010. Take care.

julie70 said...

very rich year, indeed!

I'll try to make something like this, to see what would I tell, if I had to do one short paragraph of the most important even in each month! But also go see your photos, or link provided in this note.

I still dream to go to Colorado, and I even had a flickr contact from Boulder!

As for sex, I did write two small stories, less then a hundred pages long each, to challenge myself in this domain, also like you, I did not publish it (yet?) on internet. What was more interesting, as it was fiction, that things come out of them I would never have dared to put even in my diary. The rest of course was fantasy.

I found out, that fiction, can be also very rewarding.

J said...

Ha, I read that as 'Rachel-milk' and was like !!!!

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