2014 in review – the auto-generated version.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Of course, one feels that a retrospective is required

2014 was a bit of a year. Here. Have a brain dump.

My temper is better when I’m not stressed. My mother’s temper is better when she’s not ill. When I am stressed, my left eyelid twitches, and I sprout a recurring chin hair at an alarming rate. The twitch I can understand. The chin hair is entirely inexplicable.

Sometimes, it is better to walk away from sources of stress. This has involved the loss of a friend, and no longer running weekly Brownie meetings. I miss aspects of both. But I do not miss the stresses. Oh, I do not miss the stresses. I do not miss the time spent worrying, the time spent trying to help, the time spent doing accounts which refused to add up, the time spent failing to make someone feel better about themselves. I do not miss feeling like a failure because I can’t make things better.

I need to knit regularly. Heat pads and acupuncture work wonders on the knots in my shoulders. Deep tissue massage merely causes pain. I have bought a yuyu hot water bottle. My zombie onesie is one of the best surprise presents I’ve ever received.

I can run a marathon. I can support my husband when he’s ill, and when he’s worried, and when he’s bereaved.

I got married. It was the Best Day Ever. I love being married. N is in my corner, and I’m in his. And it’s just so totally reassuring.

I ran almost 800 miles (I’ve got three days. I’ll get those 3.5 miles done before New Year). I got a PB on a half marathon. I stopped cycling to work. It’s too scary.

My best friend got engaged. Her wedding will be her Best Day Ever, and my Second Best Day Ever. I have been dancing about in excitement, and singing, inaccurately, “She’s getting married in the morning!”. There’s a few mornings to go….and it’s an afternoon wedding.

I knitted several pairs of socks, a wedding shawl that I never used, and started a jumper for myself.

I nearly finished A Suitable Boy. I did finish Proust. And then Tristram Shandy. And War and Peace. The Kindle is a fabulous invention.  Heavy books are rendered easy to transport. I held a book that Charlotte Bronte held. And another held by Henry James. And I got so excited, I whispered. I even started reading some GirlsOwn fiction after a long hiatus, and got part way through an Angela Brazil before I got distracted by Christmas.

My favourite dress got mothed. I have sprayed everything. Again. And will be visiting the Invisible Menders to get the holes that I cannot disguise with a brooch invisibly mended (at potentially £40 per hole, and with several holes, I am balking at getting the whole lot done. However, this is what savings are for). I did not burst into tears: it’s a dress, not a person. But I was miffed with myself.

I gained a neice. I lost a father in law.

I have more gin than I know what to do with. Ditto hot chocolate. This is direct contrast to the evening a few months ago when I had no gin that wasn’t sloe gin. And no milk to make hot chocolate. Mum suggested I got sloshed on all the gin. I pointed out that I’d induce alcohol poisoning. There’s two partial bottles in the fridge, and four more in the drinks cabinet! I do not possess enough tonic water. But, then again, it goes well with San Pellegrino fizzy juices, and also with pink rose lemonade.

I’ve only eaten three mince pies across Christmas, but put away an astounding thirteen sprouts on Christmas Day. Home grown, and frosted – so they’d lost the sour taste that often blights sprouts.

I have accepted that I shall never be entirely on top of the laundry in my life ever again.

And, next year, I should like to blog more frequently.




I’ve built a new website for my morris side. This is just as well, as our old website appears to have a fully functional ftp site, but not to have a working page of its own.  And we have completely and utterly fallen off the search results on google as a result. We used to be second when you searched for “morris dancing london”.




We had a lovely trip to Stockholm a couple of weeks ago (even if it did play havoc with the half marathon training, already more than decimated by that chesty cough thing). Out on a Friday, back on a Sunday. And some glorious meandering in between.

We also ate elk. Which is essentially the same as American moose. And we took a few pictures.

It took a wee while to sort out our room, so we were given free drinks (result! Alcohol is stupid expensive in Sweden)

We had dinner with my Ninja goddaughter, who was on fine form, got back late, and slept.

Saturday was a little packed. We went to the Vasa Museum to see the ship that sank on its maiden voyage (it managed about 20 minutes afloat). There was yarn on board.




We skipped the ABBA museum as being expensive, and tottered off to a Glogg party. There was herring. And a fabulous Christmas Tree. It was next to a brewery. The perfect location for a house. We want to move into it.

There were more møøsen on the way home. By this point we were a bit silly on potent mulled wine and channelling our inner Monty Python. Doesn’t take much.



N had the biggest rack of ribs ever. And still had room for beer after. He found the most expensive beer ever that night. We did not buy it.


(There would be a picture of N here, but I had to cut his face out of it, as he was pulling a very odd face and looked just like a beared Alan Cumming at this point. While Mr Cumming is brilliant, it’s not a look that particularly suits N).

Sunday began with pretty coffee in Wayne’s Coffee Bar. And a meander. And some more Glogg. It keeps out the cold.



And we went to the zoo in Skansen (a sort of outdoors museum). There were otters! And wolves (looking unimpressed). And Lynx (who eat a kilo of meat a day). And bison (who are all descended from 12 ancestors, bred in captivity. Bison are now back in the wild).



And then we had to come home.


“Listen, three eyes,”, he said, “don’t you try to outweird me, I get stranger things than you free with my breakfast cereal.”

The quantity of weird involved in acquiring coffee this morning was exceptional. I am not entirely sure that we’ve ever had quite so much weird in a three minute period.  Naturally, because I was undercaffeinated, I failed to pick up the psychic waves from N about moving away from the weird. So we were a little stuck.

First, there was the gambler. He’s gambled everything. Everything. And never won. Ever (wouldn’t that be a reason to stop gambling?!).  He didn’t look like a man who’d lost everything to gambling – far too pulled together. However, we did learn that, with love, it’s OK, and everything is free. But that he’d never found love. So he was a loser there.

No sooner had he lapsed into silence than a preener showed up. I did wonder if he was having some sort of fit as he lounged about the counter, externalising his inner Alan Cumming. Dishevelled, in the type of tight jeans that make you wonder how Rod Steward ever procreated, a low cut t-shirt (with the label sticking out of the back), and a way of flinging his body about that suggested deep co-ordination once he’d actually got the caffeine in him. Oh yes. And acne.  He flung himself about, always checking to see the effect he was having on anyone in the vicinity, and looking faintly petulant that no-one cared.  I hope the sausage bap helped his equilibrium, because I think the huge coffee wasn’t going to improve matters. I suspect he’d been up all night at one of the local dens of iniquity.

He disappeared. And Monsieur Lukewarm immediately took his place. His coffee was too hot. He didn’t want hot coffee. He wanted warm coffee. Putting a cup sleeve round the cup and waiting for it too cool down a little wasn’t an option. It was too hot. Make it warm! Not hot! Put cold milk in it! Now! Milk!

By this point, we could see our coffee arriving. Well. It would have done, had it not been for this interruption. We were more than ready to depart for work.

Cold milk was applied (presumably at the expense of caffeine). Coffee was served unto us. We bolted.

There is a limit to the quanity of weird one wants before one has had one’s breakfast cereal, after all.