2016: My Year in Review

What, for you, was the high point of 2016? Were there any other highlights?

There were two high points this year – one was being asked and becoming a godmother for a second time. This was made more special by getting to help a little bit with all the preparations which definitely made me feel more ‘godmothery’. And 8th October when I heard Holly got her transplant call and it was definitely going ahead. The whole day at work I was between manic excitement and tears of anxiety until I heard she was out of surgery.

What, for you, was the low point of 2016?

That would be the last weekend in May. Literally two years to the day I got told that the pregnancy crisis centre was being shut down and I was losing my job, I went into work to find out that our branch was closing and I was losing my job. The organisation I volunteered with failed to give me a letter saying they consented to let me research them for my Masters Research Project, and I found out (a little) of how my tenants had trashed my flat…only for the full extent to be revealed a few weeks later the same week I was interviewed for 3 jobs.

2016 has been one filled with rejection. It’s also been awful from a global standpoint. My losses pale into significance to people in countries that have been destroyed by war, by right wing extremists, racists etc.

Tell me some things you learned this year.

I learned how to chop an onion. I learned how to sew up bears. I learned how to use an overlocker.

I use the term ‘learned’ loosely.

 Who would be your “person of 2016″? It could be someone you know or a famous person who’s inspired you.

I think it would have to be Jo Cox. I wish I could have met her. I have such admiration for her desire to serve, to reach out and stand against ethnic and cultural prejudice. I also think the way her husband and family have dealt with the loss of their wife/daughter/sister in the public eye with such dignity and grace.

What was the best film you saw this year?

Spotlight

It is a film everyone needs to watch in my opinion. It’s heightened even more my desire to empower young people and children to never be afraid to speak out and stand up for themselves. And to speak up when you think something isn’t quite right.

And what was the worst?

Again, I so rarely get to the cinema now so I tend to choose carefully. I think I saw Star Wars Episode VII, Spotlight, Ghostbusters, Fantastics Beasts and Where to Find Them, Moana. They were all great!

What was the best book you read?

It’s tie between Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and My Life On The Road by Gloria Steinem.

What was the best thing you saw on TV?

For the first time, I watched The Great British Bake Off this year after meeting Sue Perkins at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and one of the Girlguiding groups I run making me play the part of “Sue” at their own Bake Off Night. (They videoed me. I hope never to see the footage – sorry Sue!). I don’t usually have time to watch it, but when I do catch an episode of QI, I have loved seeing Sandi Toksvig now hosting it. Another awesome lady!

What, for you, was the sporting highlight of 2016?

I was going NUTS in a queue for an event at the Book Festival when I was following Ollie Williams’ twitter feed reporting live from Rio when Max Whitlock won 2 Gold medals in the space of an hour.

But for me it was all about the Paralympics. Seeing Dame Sarah Storey win even more Gold medals, and Kadeena Cox win Gold medals in two different sports at one Paralympics? That was pretty darned special.

What was the best album or song you heard in 2016? What song did you play most?

Without a doubt Hamilton: An American Musical. The broadway cast recording kept me going throughout a summer where I really struggled to keep going. The songs ‘Alexander Hamilton’ and ‘The Schuyler Sisters’ are probably the most played, and I do have fun playing King George in the car.

What are you looking forward to in 2017?

I’m looking forward to taking some time out to see friends (which I hope to be able to do), writing more and having fun with my new camera.

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