Sitting here in my parent’s spare room, with my head crooked slightly to the side and a heat pack strapped to my neck, was not exactly the way I intended to see in the New Year. For the first time I was planning to spend it in London with friends, watching the fireworks and in all likelihood getting a little bit drunk and an awful lot maudlin, as I am wont to do on New Year’s Eve.
But my body has other ideas, and so with the most painful pulled muscle I’m sure anyone in the world has ever experienced ever, (but don’t worry, I’m suffering in silence…) I’m spending a rather quieter one, at home with my parents and younger brother, in a gloomier-than-usual mid-Wales.
One of my resolutions for 2012 is to be more grateful for the wonderful luck, opportunities, experiences and friends each year brings me (corny but true) – and to take stock and pat myself on the back a bit more – a difficult thing in my current physical predicament, but one that I can do through this post.
This year is my fourth in London. I have a good job that I love, working with great people, a nice flat and nice people to live there with. I’ve achieved a lot, but there’s a lot more to do. This year I worked on my first stage production, creating hats for the costumes and helping out with the wardrobe. Oh, and it was in Cyprus too, which was pretty cool. Or you know, swelteringly hot.
This year I fell in love with a small group of islands off the coast of Scotland, where beneath everyone’s back garden lies a neolithic structure and the climate passes through the entire weather-spectrum in 12 hours but where the winds never, ever cease.
This year I challenged myself to pick up and play a new instrument – the accordion – another love-affair which is in all likelihood unrequited, but of which I am quite happy.
I’ve also spent pretty much 60% of this year on twitter – a good and bad thing at the same time, but one I’ve enjoyed immensely. I’ve met new friends, like-minded people, been inspired to start new projects, read new books, go to new places, and also to strive to be quicker, funnier, wittier. I’ve experienced natural disasters the other side of the globe, the toppling and the executions of dictators through this strange network of people, faces illuminated by computer screens and iphones, fingers weaving sarcastic one-liners and pithy punchlined hashtags. And more mundane things, but just as amazing: a golden sunset-drenched set on a Glastonbury stage watched through my television, and experienced through twitter and a thousands-strong virtual congregation.
And the highlight of my year – the Children’s BAFTAs, which I’ve droned on about in great detail already so will just say it was pretty damn brilliant.
So tonight when Jools has hootenannyed himself hoarse, the champagne’s all been drunk and I’m in bed trying to to find a position to lie in that doesn’t cause a burst of agony in my entire right side, I’ll try to think not of the things I don’t have, the opportunities I’ve missed or the stupid things I’ve done or said, but of a year that was pretty brilliant, in the end – and of a year that will hopefully be better.