A is for Authors, three of whom have figured quite prominently this year (and several others have popped in and out from time to time).
Amy I've known virtually for over three years, she is a young lady with a huge amount of artistic talent and dips her fingers in several pies, she paints, face paints, runs children's art workshops and parties, designs book covers, and this year has spent some time writing as well, I've had the pleasure of proofreading her stories, one of which is to be published in the spring - remember, you saw it here first!
Clare is another virtual friend, an NLP trainer, a meditation teacher and a dedicated happiness experimenter (what a great job title/description!), and you'll read more about her later (see M for Meditation).
Jane, and her alta ego Bertha, are relatively new virtual friends. I won a copy of Jane's book, "Bertha-size your Life", it's a great fun little book (available from Amazon as an ebook or a "real" one), written for ladies of a certain age, and has had a very positive effect on my outlook on life.
B is for Blogland, which continues to be a great source of friendship and inspiration. Well done to my blog follower, I'm amazed that you continue to read my witterings, I hope you'll stick with it for another year.
C is for Cassie, the bestest, cutest, cuddliest little friend and companion anyone could ask for (except when she wants out at 4.30am, then she's a pest).
D is for Diet and E is for Exercise, both of which have been sadly sidelined this year, but will definitely feature more positively in 2013.
F is for Felixstowe, the furthest destination on my summer "World Tour".
When we moved to Wiltshire four and a half years ago, it was always my intention to make an annual pilgrimage to see my oldest (in age and duration) and dearest friends, but due to various things that got in the way, this was the first year I managed to make it happen. I was away from home for five days and drove 500 miles, met up separately with Kate in Felixstowe, Janet in Tollesbury, Janice in Chelmsford and Amanda in Hastings, all of whom I've known for more years than I choose to admit, and Tracy, who was until recently a virtual friend, and who, on a very hot Saturday afternoon, with the aid of strawberries and cake, morphed seamlessly into a real one. Thanks girls, it was lovely to see you all, but I'm not sure I'm up to the trip on an annual basis, so you'll have to come to me next year!
G is for Guernsey, where Rog and I spent a magical, restful, recuperative week in September.
H is for Husband, the lovely aforementioned Rog, who continues to be the bedrock on which my life is structured, next year we celebrate our silver wedding anniversary.
I is for Internet, without which, keeping in touch with friends and family would be a much more complicated and time-consuming business.
J is for Joy, yes, that's me, but it's also an emotion I've experienced on several occasions over the past year - joy at finally moving into our dream house in April, joy at seeing friends old and new (see F above), joy at hosting a family gathering in August (see R for Rogues gallery) and joy at the news that I'm to be a grandmother again in 2013.
K is for Knitting, which I've been enjoying on and off for almost sixty years and which has lately given me an added dimension to my CV - reviewing craft publications and products.
L is for Local friends, who've also played their part in my continued sanity during this year, thanks Jean, Claire and Eileen.
M is for Meditation, which I've attempted on several occasions during my lifetime, but with little lasting effect until Clare (see A above) offered the opportunity to be a participant in an online experiment, a 28 Day Meditation Challenge, to take place during the month of February. As I was in limbo at that point, with delay after delay in the house sale/purchase process, I signed up. It was a great experience with long lasting results, a chance to incorporate meditation into the daily routine, which has now become an ingrained habit. Clare has collated all the information from the on-line course into a book, not surprisingly called "The 28 Day Meditation Challenge", which I was honoured to proofread for her, and which is now available from Amazon as both an ebook and a "real" one.
N is for New Home, which eventually became a reality at the end of April, after a very stressful, and sometimes almost heartbreaking, eight months of being in the middle slot in a chain of five, with constant demands from the purchaser at the bottom of the chain, and constant stipulations from the seller at the top of the chain. There were times when it looked as if the whole thing might completely disintegrate - in fact we had practically started to house-hunt all over again just days before contracts were finally exchanged on the day before the Easter weekend.
O is for Offspring, of which I have many (and counting!), I love you all - Alex, Catherine, Eddie, Ellie, Jade, Junko, Marissa, Oli, Reese, Tegue, Tom (listed alphabetically in order to show no favouritism x x). (Goodness, that is a lot, hope I haven't missed anyone out)
P is for Proofreading, a skill which derives from a) being pedantic and b) suffering a 1950s/60s education when we had spelling bees each week, and were beaten to within an inch of our lives if we made a mistake (that may be a slight exaggeration). Enhanced by working for a printing company for a couple of years, practised on and off during my working life and re-engaged this year to help my friend Amy (see A above) who is dyslexic.
Q is for Quilt, I taught myself basic quilting and made my first one for Marissa's second birthday. It's not as easy as it looks, and I think it'll be a while before I tackle another one.
R is for Rogues Gallery, see photo (with apologies for overuse thereof) - Rog is behind the camera, and Ellie was unable to be with us on the day. With my Mum and sister Jan included, these are the people I care for the most.
S is for Studio, my very own room, where I can do my own thing with all my treasured possessions and "stuff" (which Rog refers to as my rubbish) around me, each and every object in the room is special to me - I'm a memory hoarder. I have room for a desk, with my PC, printer and other bits and pieces, another desk which I use as a cutting and sewing table, a whole wall of racking to store my yarns and fabrics, cards and paperbacks and loads of other stuff besides, a special bookcase for my treasured old books, a stationery cupboard and a filing cabinet, and there is still room for a swivel chair so I can sit down. The large window looks out over the garden and beyond to Battlesbury Hill on the edge of Salisbury Plain. I'm a very lucky lass to have such a super room all to myself.
T is for Transformation, the ongoing process of turning the house of our dreams into a dream home.
U is for Uphill, each and every way to our home is uphill, no matter how you approach, so in the unlikely event that our house ever gets flooded, London will have disappeared off the face of the planet.
V is for Virtual, I'm chuffed to bits to have made so many virtual friends in the last couple of years since I've dabbled my way into Blogland, Facebook, various online craft sites and now even Twitter. Way too many to mention here, but just because I haven't named you doesn't mean I dont appreciate you being a part of my life. Thank you all x x
W is for Weather, ours has been pretty dire this year, as for most of the rest of you, but there have been bright spots and sunny days, and those are the ones I'll remember in years to come when I'm asked about 2012 - days on the decking supping tea, or beer, or even the odd gin and tonic, alfresco breakfasts (we managed a couple), the days of my World Tour (the warmest and sunniest of the whole year), the day of the family gathering (see R above), moving day (the only dry day in almost the whole of April, thankyou, thankyou, weather gods), holiday days and even the day flying home from Guernsey above the very murky looking cloud below.
X is for Xmas, shared, as always, with my three wise men
Y is for Year, this, on the whole, has been a good one, a very good one.
Z is for Zero, the number of regrets I have at the end of this year.
Ok, so thats the end of my summary of 2012, but dont think you've got off that lightly, I'll be back in January with a list of hopes and aspirations for the coming year. Until then, adios amigos and a very Happy New Year to one and all.