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The zen of 2010
Review of the Year 2010
Member Name: duskmaiden
Review of the Year 2010
Advantages: M and I, some great times
Disadvantages: losing my nana
"It was the best of time, it was the worst of times". Like most years 2010 was a mixed bag for me. I have some precious memories of 2010 with lots of gigs, weekends away and celebrations but on the other hand there have been sad and bad times too.
JANUARY "A Winter's Wedding"
January started off uneventfully with me working New Year's Day. I had spent that New Year's Eve at a friend's house eating pizza and chocolate fondue with good company. Nothing particularly exciting but fun nevertheless. January for me was dominated by my original London friend Sian's wedding. I helped organise her hen do. She does not drink and is not into clubs so we booked her party at the Build a Bear Workshop in Covent Garden followed by a meal in a Kosher restaurant in Golders Green. Sian, bless her, has an obsession with stripes, spots and stars so we all had to dress in these patterns We stitched the poor lassie up big time by putting multi coloured spots all over her face and taking her out in her nightwear. It was a surreal experience walking her down to the underground in pretty straight laced Hendon. A fun time was had by all making their own bears but unfortunately the restaurant left a lot to be desired and put a slight dampener on a very fun day.
The wedding took place in a lovely hotel in Manchester and was mainly a traditional Othodox Jewish wedding but with aspects of a Misorti one, as men and women could sit together. It was my first Jewish ceremony and I as a non Jew was fascinate and honoured to share the couple's happy day. I was especially honoured to take part in the ceremony by signing the civil register. My friend looked very much the blushing radiant bride and to our amazement was not in spots or stripes but looked beautiful in her wedding dress. I thoroughly enjoyed the pretty energetic circle dancing that dominated the reception.
The wedding, like most Jewish weddings was on a Sunday but I had taken the whole weekend off, so I could spend a bit of time with my sister who also lives in Manchester,. January also took me to Hertfordshire to meet up with an old school friend I had recently become reacquainted with due to the wonders of Facebook. It was lovely catching up and meeting her delightful family. January also saw the first gig of the year and an outdoor one at that. Yes I was mad enough to stand in the freezing cold in the courtyard of Somerset House where Vampire Weekend were playing a free gig to promote the launch of their second album Contra
FEBRUARY "Romance is not Dead"
February is synonymous with Saint Valentines Day. I know it is cheesy and a commercial marketing con for companies to make money on overpriced heart emblazoned items but I'm also a soppy old romantic at heart. I had been dating my boyfriend M since the previous October so was secretly looking forward to February 14th. I was in luck, as we had a really romantic day. I bought him a Ben Sherman jumper and he got me a big heart shaped box of Thornton's chocolates and this most beautiful red glass pendent whilst we shared breakfast in bed. We were going to take a twilight tour of the National Gallery's most romantic paintings but found the group far too large. We started it but after the first stop realised we were never going to see anything so wandered off on our own. We later had pizza at the restaurant where we had our first date.
MARCH "A Star is Born"
March was very much a family month for M and I. The biggest news came early in the morning of Saturday 27th March when M's older brother and his partner became parents for the first time to a beautiful baby girl and I became Auntie Sarah. As our relationship blossomed and became more serious it was time to take M up north for a nerve racking trip to meet my parents. Luckily all went well and it was not too traumatic for him. Whilst we were in Scotland we spent a couple of days in Glasgow meeting up with some of my oldest, closest friends. It was with great joy to see my friend's 14 month old son and how far he had progressed from when I last saw him at his christening roughly the same time the previous year.
In the middle of March the gigging year started in earnest. I had seen the very lukewarm Noisettes in February but it was not until I saw my hero Frank Turner play the Roundhouse mid march the magic really began I had seen him twice previously and he never fails to disappoint with his brand of anthemic folk punk.
The last major event of March was my 33rd birthday. I decided to have a retro bowling party at one of London's boutique bowling alleys. After the bowling I ended up going to a comedy gig in East London with one of my mates which was very good. However it was what happened after that I will remember for all the wrong reasons. I go stranded in Stratford with a shut Blackwall Tunnel and the last DLR and Jubilee Line trains already departed. A taxi would have cost over £40 so I rang a friend who lived fairly nearby. He could not put me up but knew a B and B fairly close. All I can say it was a place to lay down my head.It was the type of place where I slept with any valuables underneath my pillow for fear of he lock being broken
APRIL "We want to be Smith's Crisps"
I'm not that religious but I always try and do something for Lent. One of my biggest weaknesses are crisps and other savoury snacks so decided to give them up for Lent this year. I spent the Easter weekend with M in Lancaster with his family visiting his gorgeous new niece and exploring the historic old town. We decided not to give each other Easter eggs but he surprised me with some family sized bags of crisps when Lent was over. Boy were those first mouthfuls like manna from heaven.
MAY " A New Era"
I remember back in 97 the optimism of New Labour coming to power: 13 years later and we were all disillusioned and needed a change. 2010 was the year when a Lib Con coalition came to power along with Britain's first green MP in Brighton. I must admit having lived as an adult through Conservative, Labour and now the coalition governments whoever are in powerall seem much of a muchness to me.
May was M's 32nd birthday and I really wanted to spoil him as he's so important to me. His birthday weekend started out with perhaps one of my most embarrassing but rock and roll moments of the year. It had been a tough day at work so hit the pub early. The beers were sliding down very nicely and M and I were going to see my friend's band "Vets in Hong Kong" . They are a fantastic band who have even been played on Six Music once at 2 in the morning!! I do hope the boys are destined for great things as they are a tight little band. http://www.myspace.com/vetsinhongkong. The band started to play but by this time I was feeling a little worse for wear and dashed to find the toilet or a door for fresh air. I did nor make it in time and was sick all over a table and thus immediately asked to leave the venue.
Luckily for M his birthday weekend got better. We spent an afternoon at London Zoo where I had very mixed feelings, as some of the animals were housed very well but others especially the giraffes I felt sorry for in their bare environment. The next day I whisked M away to a nice little hotel in Colchester where we had a lovely day and night exploring England's oldest town. The celebrations did not stop there , as a week later we went to see the Modfather himself Paul Weller play the Royal Albert Hall. It was the first time I had been to this prestigious venue and it was probably the gig of the year for me especially when he did "You Do Something" and when Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics came on to duet on a couple of old Jam songs.
JUNE "Football Crazy"
As a Scotland supporter I can not really comment on England's performance in the 2010 Football World Cup held in South Africa. Who can forget the insect like drone of the Vuvezelas that dominated that tournament and beyond. The World Cup coincided with our first foreign holiday away as a couple. M and I had booked a three night city break to Prague. . We spent a few lovely days exploring Prague's backstreets, ancient buildings and its beer houses. M like a significant chunk of men is football crazy and I remember watching the England versus Slovenia game in a lovely little bar in Prague.
JULY "BBQ s and Brighton Beach"
July was very much barbecue season. Firstly there was my work's annual garden party with barbecue which is always good fun. This was followed closely one sunny Sunday by my house mates and myself having our first house barbecue which was a great success. In between the smell of charcoal and sizzling sausages M and I celebrated one year of knowing each other by going to Brighton for a day trip. It was a breezy summer's day walking along the pier, supping cider in some of the Lanes pubs then fish and chips on the beach before heading back to London,
AUGUST "Ciao ciao for Now"
I have previously been to a few Ciao Meets and always had a whale of a time at them. August's London Meet held in the All Bar One on Ludgate Hill was no different. I did take a select group round the "office" before going for a pre meet drink in the fabulous Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese. The meet was a mix of catching up with people I had met at previous meets and getting to know new faces. It was fabulous meeting people whose work I have admired for years and who can forget our gifts of bright orange industrial strength Ciao lanyards.
Another month and another weekend away for M and I . This time it was to his family's barbecue at his youngest brother's house in rural Leicestershire. It was another glorious weekend of long country walks and more char grilled food! I even sat in the garden when I knew there were chickens next door which are my biggest phobia. It was during this weekend M's youngest brother announced his engagement so I look forward to a wonderful country wedding in the Cotswolds next year.
SEPTEMBER "Change for the Worse"
One of the things that I love most about my job is the big sprawling department I'm a member of. Its unique as there is little hierarchy and you have a Saturday A level student doing the same job as 70 year old casual. We are from all different backgrounds and walks of life and generally get along like one big happy family. In September the management in their infinite wisdom announced a restructuring of our departmental, splitting it in two. We had to choose which side to be on with very little information about the specifics of the new roles. Morale in the department was at rock bottom. Our team worked well the way it was but management being management had to fix something that was not broken.
During tis crisis we did have Alexander McQueen's memorial service where I did see the great and the good of the fashion world along with some very precarious shoes. Bjork's performance brought shivers down my spine, as it was so spellbinding.
OCTOBER "a Wedding, a Funeral and an Engagement"
The evening of 5th October was one of the strangest ones of the year. One minute I was jubilant as I heard the news of M's oldest brother;s engagement then less than half an hour later my mood had totally crashed when my mother told me the sad news that my Nana had died early that morning. My nana was 83 and had been ill for a number of years with Alzheimer's. So in a way her death was one of the kindest things to happen, as she was free from the pain and confusion that blighted her final years. In the days leading up to her funeral on the 13th of October I was overcome with a number of emotions especially guilt, as I had not sen her for a an number of years. I wish I had made more time to go and see her. Her funeral was a beautiful one especially the horse drawn carriage. She would have loved all the attention it produced , as it brought the traffic to a standstill. My biggest memory of the day was reciting my Nana's favourite poem "Mickey Plum" with my sister and cousin at her funeral. Nana Rest In peace.
Just a couple of days after the funeral there were celebrations again , as I attended the second wedding of the year. My best friend's brother was getting married. He. The groom is from Scotland whilst the bride was from Hong Kong. They met through mutual friends when he showed her around Edinburgh. They fell for each other and a very long distance romance ensued. It was a lovely fairly traditional Scottish wedding with a ceilidh and the groom looking like Rob Roy McGregor with his curly red shoulder length locks and his full Highland dress. The ceremony was broadcast to China via Skype so the bride's family who could not make it did not miss out.
October was very much a full month. M and I managed to squeeze in a long weekend up in Manchester so he could meet my sister. We had a bit of fun finding Manchester's rock and roll heritage including Salford Lad's Club. We also managed to get a half day in Lancaster seeing how big M's niece had grown. October saw our last gig if the year seeing Mummford and Sons at Hammersmith Appollo. I was very impressed with their musicianship and harmonies.
NOVEMBER "Snow Joke "
November was a quieter month than October thank goodness. It was the month Prince William announced his engagement to long term girlfriend Kate Middleton. we all waited with baited breath for the announcement where the wedding would be. At work most of us hoped for the actual choice Westminster Abbey, as the thought of all the chaos the build up to the wedding would bring would be too much to bear.
Bonfire Night saw my house have our second little get together with mulled wine, silly games and sparklers plus the wonderful firework display on nearby Blackheath. November also brought in the new regime at work which was difficult to get used to at first but its slowly growing on me although things will never be the same. The end of November brought early snow plus a cold and a chest infection I could not really shake until the New Year.
DECEMBER "A Bittersweet End to the Year"
December is Christmas and I manged to have my first Christmas Day off in four years. M and I marked the occasion with a quiet little romantic Christmas just the two of us. It was peaceful and relaxing and he again spoiled me rotten. My pile of presents was like a mini Mount Everest.
So to New Year's Eve. I was supposed to go to a friend's party but was working early the next day so opted to have a quiet night just me and the television. I got home and found the boiler was broken so no heating until after the Bank Holiday. I curled up on th sofa underneath my duvet and at 11.15 M rang to beat the midnight telecommunications gridlock. We were talking when he asked me to go to the front door. There he was. He had come from Reading to surprise me and so I would not bring in the new year all alone. That's perhaps the most romantic thing that has happened to me in my entire life. On a sad note his granny had died that afternoon. So a very bitter sweet strange New Year for me.
2010 was truly the year of M and I . It was also the year when I took control of my finances, paid off my overdraft and started a little ISA so one day perhaps M and I can get our own place. Next year will be a big year for us too. I've started looking for a new job in Reading. So it will be a new job, new flat and new location with M by my side. Who knows what 2011 will bring but I'm very excited by it all.
Summary: My 2010