2011

It has been a big year. I know it is customary to say that at the end of every year. To look back on 365 days gone by and give them a polish with a tired, satisfied sigh and a scrap of  hindsight. But really, 2011 has been rather large. And hard. It has, I think, of all years, presented the tough with the sublime, like no year before it.

As a lister, I am inclined to list the big things of 2011, purely to get it all straight in my own head. And to remind myself to stop, take a deep breath and have a glass of wine before a new year bursts onto the scene. And when I say a glass of wine, I mean 4.

This year I …

Turned 26.

Lived in a foreign country.

Spent a third summer on Santorini, and during it a night in this extraordinary hotel.

Visited Brussels, Bruges, Ghent, Dublin, Sonderborg, Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Kiel, Köln, Fürth, Weiden and London.

Spent 5 days in hospital.

Continued writing professionally for a handful of independent, quality publications.

Taught English as a second language, to all kinds of people, from all over Germany.

Began learning a second language.

Fell in love.

Decided to move to a town of 40,000 on the Germany/Czech border, in the new year, with said love. Here goes nothing.

Started thinking about the likelihood of living in Germany indefinitely. Holy shit.

Wrestled valiantly with snow. And lost. But I have come around, slightly, to the cold.

Ate far, far more than one person should ever eat.

Have been more homesick than I ever believed possible.

Have missed my mother more than I ever believed possible.

Kept doing what I want to do.