Thursday 29 December 2011

Happy New Year - 2012

What did you do in 2011?
Wow! What a year that was. There is only a day or so left of 2011 and as you can see by the photo it has been a pretty amazing year for me. I did exactly what I set out to do and  I achieved my PhD. Also little Noah made a fairly dramatic appearance in July and is the light of my life. Making our family even more perfect - thank you Charlie and Greg. A doctor in June and Nanny Noo Noo (don't ask!!) in July. I graduated in November surrounded by family and friends, which was a day I will never forget. It was incredible (see my post in November for full details)

As well as some truly wonderful and awe inspiring highs there have been a few lows in 2011 including surgery but I have been supported throughout by some fantastic friends and, of course, my amazing family.

There was only one conference where I gave a paper this year and that was Great Writing in June 2011 and run by Graeme Harper, who happened to be my external examiner at my viva. Therefore the fact it was straight after my viva was an experience. The paper went particularly well. I felt like I had a whole new confidence in my work. It was a great conference and I was able to spend a lot of time either side of it with my great friend Jen Webb. Who had already surprised me by being there when I turned up for my viva. We went to museums, art galleries and the theatre. We drank champagne and talked and talked. It was a perfect few days. Jen is coming back over to the UK for a few months at the beginning of 2012. That is certainly something to look forward to.

I had the privilege to watch the development, writing and then publication of two outstanding academic books which were both produced by Andrew Melrose, my former Director of Studies and a great friend who shared many of my celebrations and stuck the pieces back together during my lows. Thank you Andy.

I went to the SCBWI's conference in November for the first time for several years. It was a fascinating and illuminating conference where I managed to catch up with many fb and Google+ friends.

I have just read my blog from this time last year and I was so focused. I knew exactly what I was going to do. A great feeling for someone who has been accused in the past of being a bit of a control freak! 2012 doesn't feel quite so focused. I was advised to take 6 months away from the critical stuff once my PhD was finished to let the brain stop being quite so mushy. Well come January that 6 months is up. I have 2012 stretching out in front of me and it looks quite empty. I have several potential projects but nothing concrete. A bit freaky for someone who likes to know exactly what is happening. All the potentials focus on my creative work rather than my critical but am sure I will find ways to address this. I have just got to stop standing on the precipice and take that step off to see what happens.

To all my wonderful friends, and you know who you are I am sure, and my glorious family, thank you for a truly amazing 2011 and I wish you all a very happy and successful 2012. See you here this time next year.


  1. Thank YOU! And may your 2012 be enlightening, enriching and full of joy.

  2. Thank you that means a lot coming from someone who is such an inspiration to me. Happy 2012 Candy

  3. Here's wishing you a wonderful, happy and very successful 2012, dear Ness. May all your writing and other career dreams come true, and may good health be yours in abundance! xx

  4. Thank you Nicky and the same back atcha! Can't wait to watch your house develop and evolve. Maybe 2012 will be 'our' year ;-) xx