Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 Retrospective



It's that time of year again - the end of December just demands a quick round-up of the previous twelve months. I really love putting this post together every year, if only as a chance to remind myself of everything that's happened. And it certainly has been a busy time for me. If you've written a review post of your own, please do link up in the comments.

Here's to even more excitement and adventures in 2013!
In January I took advantage of the cold weather to bake up some warming winter fare, including twice baked potatoes. We've eaten a lot of these this year, especially since I started freezing them part-baked.Twice-baked potatoes
C450IMG_4395A friend got free tickets to the SFX Weekender in February, so we had a rather different weekend away - although I read a lot of sci-fi, I'd never been to any kind of convention before. We particularly enjoyed the themed Just A Minute played by some of my favourite authors.
We had a quick Eurostar weekend break in Paris in March. It was grey and we got quite wet wandering around, but we did find a source of wonderful petits fours. And then we were delayed by several hours on our return journey, so we have another ticket that we can use for free!IMG_4666
IMG_5415One of our favourite days out in April was to the World of Mechanical Music in Northleach. This museum of music boxes is fairly close to where we live, but it took us several years to get around to visiting.
In May we went to Scotland, and had the opportunity to stay at the world-famous Old Course Hotel in St Andrews. We also went to our first Clandestine Cake Club meeting in Gloucester, and I made a Regency-style gown for a ball our friends were hosting. IMG_6233
Farleigh Hungerford CastleWe didn't get much nice weather this summer, but one only-slightly-grey day in June we ventured out to explore Farleigh Hungerford Castle with my monther-in-law. This was only one of the many English Heritage (and Historic Scotland) castles that we visited during the year - I'm still as addicted to ruins as I was as a child.
We watched an inordinate amount of sports in July as the Olympics came to London, and I was inspired to try some international cuisine - these Chinese almond cookies were light and tasty.Chinese Almond Cookies
Lucky Leek, BerlinI had a conference in Berlin in August, but although it was mostly work I managed to fit in a bit of sightseeing, and had a lovely meal out at an amazing vegan restaurant.
In September I was invited to London to cook with Ainsley Harriott, and while I didn't win the popular vote, it was a great day out and I met some other awesome food bloggers.Ainsley Harriott SoupSearch
tedxcheltI spoke at TEDxCheltenham in October, something I've been waiting to blog about until the video is available online. For now, suffice it to say that the experience of getting up on stage under the bright lights was like nothing I've done before.
We spent November in the US, which was an amazing trip for so many reasons. Highlights included the autumnal foliage on Skyline Drive and visiting the Amish communities in Pennsylvania - but best of all, I got to experience my first Thanksgiving in Ohio with Jeanne (of The Raisin Chronicles), who I've "known" since we both started blogging in 2008, but only met when she invited us to stay.IMG_8129
Cranberry & Mushroom Nut LoafDecember was a quiet month (we needed one!). We had a lovely Christmas with my dad, and made a yummy nut roast packed with cranberries and mushrooms for our Christmas lunch.


28 comments:

Elizabeth Braun said...

And only another 10 days before your final report on the 'Before I'm 30' goals, no?=)

Rachel said...

All in all, a pretty good year, I think!

shrink on the couch said...

Twiced baked potatoes... yummmm! I love them but never take the time to make them. What a wonderful year you've had. Here's to an even better 2013 !!

Kazzy said...

I love reading up on you and your adventures!

Jeanne said...

You love ruins? I love ruins! Really must plan a trip to the U.K. When I brought it up with Old Dog, he grunted in a way that didn't rule it out completely, so that's huge, right there!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

It has indeed been a busy year for you Rachel which I have enjoyed reading about. Happy New Year.

A Cuban In London said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this post, especially the two reminders about the baked potatoes (I have made them) and the session with Ainsley (I did vote for youe, but unfortunately you didn't win). Here's to you and your family and to another glorious 2013.

Greetings from London.

Jess @ Fairday's Blog! said...

Sounds like it was a fabulous year! The pictures are great! The twice baked potatoes look amazing! Thanks for sharing : ) Happy New Year! ~ Jess

maria verivaki said...

a lovely round-up of your year - makes me yearn for more travel in my own life
happy new year

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

Well, I was just feeling guilty because my computer has been such a mess this year and losing my Reader blogs therefore not permitting me to read my favorite blogs often. This 12 months in review is a wonderful idea and I loved catching up with you! I only wish your trip to US would have included Southern California. If it ever does, I as a "blog friend" would love to meet you and you and yours are welcome to come stay here at the cottage. How does a little beach life sound? Your baked potatoes are one blog I missed and now will incorporate into a lil bit of tummy filler for the new year. My family is going to love them! Happy 2013 and I hope you make lots of wonderful memories and complete lots of goals as well.

Velva said...

You had a fabulous 2012! May 2013 be filled with family, peace, laughter and plenty of good food.

Happy New Year.

Velva

A. R. Silverberry said...

Wow, what a year! Thanks for sharing. I've got a weakness for ruins, too. I'll have to try some of these recipes.

Have a magical New Year!

Peter

http://ALittleAdrift.com said...

Congrats on the TEDx!! I love that living in England affords you so many opportunities to pop over into other countries for adventures! I'm looking forward to watching the talk when it's up, Happy New Year :)

American in Norway said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic BUSY year... :-) Best of luck to you in 2013!

Life 101 said...

Wow, the retrospective is a great idea. I'm glad I stopped by.
Happy New Year.
Rick ~ You latest follower.

Stephanie V said...

That's a great idea for the end-of-year post. You have been a very busy woman with some very interesting opportunities. I don't know how you do it all!

Kat Biggie said...

My goodness! What an exciting year! One day I'll be able to travel like that again! I hope! I am going to try to put together a quick picture memory of 2012, so stop by my blog later (http://www.noholdingback1212.com) to check it out!

Jules said...

What a great year for you Rachel, and many congratulations on your TEDx talk - fabulous! Have a wonderful 2013 with loads more exciting things.x

thefuriouspearpie said...

You've seen and achieved so much this year, and I'm sure 2013 will bring you even more opportunities--or rather, I look forward to seeing the adventures that you go out and find. :-{D

Not gonna lie, I am especially looking forward to your blog post on the linguistics talk you gave. I dithered between taking English Language and History of Art at degree level, and I still fondly hold onto the very basic stuff I learned at English Lang A-level.

Also I'm glad you finally met your friend in sproutspace! Almost all of my friendships have been initiated/facilitated by the internet, even with friends I went to school with every day. Due to this - and the changing landscape of the world in general - I've largely stopped thinking of the world in a simplistic online/"real life" split. But to deny that they are different spaces with different modes of communication and relationship-building would also be unhelpful, so I think of things in an online/sproutspace heterotopia. Anyway, yeah, November was also when I met up with a friend I first met online, though she stayed round mine. We met on LiveJournal in 2007 and have grown into each other over many years.

I did a 2012 review post here. It is half life-ramblings and half food round-up.

Chris said...

Hi Rachel, what a fine year you have had. I'm just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian said...

Oh gosh, this post had me drooling with envy! Lovely round-up to a fantastic year! Thanks for dropping by to read my book reviews, Rachel! <3 Have a safe and happy New Year! ~ Vivian

Dave King said...

How wonderful to have so much to which you can look back! May 2013 be as grand for you! True blessings.

AVCr8teur said...

Wow, you had an eventful year! I hope 2013 will just as much fun!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

What an immense year of accomplishment and joy. I'm so happy for you and wish even better things for 2013.

Now I'm off to check out thost potatoes :)

A Cuban In London said...

Happy New Year to you and yours! :-)

Greetings from London.

Blond Duck said...

I hope you had a good New Year!

Stephanie said...

What an amazing year!! Any year with so much travel has to be deemed a successs:) Cheers to a fab 2013!|

Elizabeth said...

Great post...thanks for the wrap up.

Elizabeth
Silver's Reviews
My Blog

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