My favourite things of 2013

I love the end of the year. I make a slideshow of photos taken throughout the year and we take down the pinboard of tickets, leaflets, etc., and reminisce (then, tomorrow, we’ll put the pinboard back up – bare and ready to be filled up again). And I just wanted to look back and write about a few things that I’ve loved / have made me happy this year.

(This year hasn’t all been happy, of course. We lost David’s lovely mum. But this is a happy post.)

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One of my favourite things this year has been Oh Life. It’s an online diary that emails you every day to a) prompt you to post and b) share one of your old posts. It’s been brilliant as a reminder of things I need to do (I make a note of when, for example, I cut the guinea pigs’ nails, so when it pops up in my email I know it’s time to do it again) and the fun things we’ve done throughout the year. It’s also been handy for noting patterns: ‘boys really good, got loads done’ came up three months in a row! It’s also been invaluable in helping me organise my photos from the year. (If I make one resolution it’s to upload and edit my photos straight away. What a mess.) You can actually go in to your archive and add photos to the entries, which would be a cool thing to do if I had time. It’s also a helpful reminder of the times you had too much to drink and forgot you’d already replied to the email. Twice.

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Obviously having the boys at home continues to be totally ace. (And I write about it here, if you’re interested.)

Fantastic new (to me) TV included Parenthood (thanks, Diane!), Orange is the New Black (thanks, Diane!) and of course more Parks & Rec (thanks, Diane!).

Best experience of the year was the Authors for Philippines auction. God knows, it would have been better for it not to be needed, but I was so overwhelmed by people’s generosity and kindness… it was just fabulous. Oh and Armistead Maupin praised the auction (and me, in the comments) on Facebook, which I still can’t think about without going a bit… *falls over*

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I had a novella out with Hot Key, All I Want for Christmas (writing as Esme Taylor), which I loved writing and am really proud of. Still available in all good ebook shops and it’s only £1.99! I also self-published As Delightful As a Carrot, a book of Harry and Joe quotes which actually has the best reviews of anything I’ve ever written (bloody kids). And it’s really cheap!

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I saw The Heat, The Way Way Back and Gravity at the cinema and loved them all.

I went to London and did the Walk for Women with my lovely friend Susie and it was inspiring and awesome. And I had three weekends away with other lovely friends. (I think last year one of my resolutions was to spend more time with friends. I’ve done pretty well this year. MOAR next year!)

I made this plum cake quite a few times and ate pretty much the whole thing myself each time.

I got a new book deal with Catnip that I’m VERY EXCITED ABOUT.

(I was going to include my favourite books of the year, but there’s loads so I’m going to do that in a separate post. Probably.)

We were lucky enough to have three lovely short holidays. And we spent a lot of time on the beach…

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Roll on 2014! Happy New Year to all my lovely readers. xx

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