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Thursday, 4 January 2018

2017 Highlights

I thought it would be hard to beat 2016 as a year full of activity and excitement, but 2017, particularly in its last few days, has managed to do just that!.


Sean McGowan
For starters, it's been a busy year out at gigs, from As December Falls at Rescue Rooms in January to Cameron Sinclair Harris's Christmas show at JT Soar, with over twenty others falling in between. Standout moments include the launch for my youngest daughter's EP Put Me Back , dancing around to Skinny Lister's shanty punk twice (in May and December ), watching the rise of Sean McGowan from a guy playing at gigs promoted by my daughter to one who can fill Nottingham's Bodega, and seeing Tom Odell jumping about on the top of a piano at Curious Arts Festival.
Tom Odell on that piano!





Due to an interesting line-up of productions, I seem to have been to the theatre more than usual, seeing a wide variety of plays from Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard to the boisterous romp of Cyrano. If I could see just one again though I'd pick Derby Theatre's production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal.






I went to a chocolate-making workshop as a treat from my elder daughter, and although my efforts didn't look very good, they tasted fine (which is what matters).

Because of the health of my parents, it isn't possible to go away for any length of time, so while my youngest went off to Italy alone, I had  to be content with a 'staycation'. I had lots of plans for it, and although we didn't follow all of them we did get out and about, finding new local places to explore and generally trying to holiday from home.

Felley bluebells
As winter moved into Spring, I walked through snowdrops, daffodils, and bluebells, and throughout summer I visited all my favourite local gardens (Chatsworth, Haddon, Calke, Kedleston) and discovered some new ones at Hopton Hall,  Lea , Melbourne Hall and Felley Priory.


Lea rhododendrons 
















Pottering around gardens, even one like Lea perched on a hillside, is enjoyable but not very physically demanding, so, inspired by my youngest finishing Leicester marathon, I decided to take up running in a very lazy low key way - my theory is that any exercise is better than none!



I've been to less book events this year but did manage to catch US fantasy writer Robin Hobb at Nottingham Waterstones launching the last of her Fitz and the Fool series. I've discovered her work comparatively recently, and completely fallen for it. My hope was to read the whole series before publication of the last book, but with 15 books, each easily 600 pages long, and other reading commitments, that didn't work. I'm still making headway though, and will get there one day.






Over the summer at Chatsworth, there was an absolutely wonderful exhibition, House Style, showcasing clothes worn by current and previous generations of the Devonshire family.
And as Christmas approached I went round all the local stately homes - Chatsworth, Kedleston, Haddon, and Hardwick - to see them in their festive finery.







Arthur's Seat summit





I did manage two weekends away though.
In July, we went to Curious Arts Festival again, where I tested both my festival-going and outdoors credentials by putting up the tent in pouring rain and nearly getting the car stuck as we left! Then, in November, headed off for a fabulous weekend in Edinburgh with my daughter, where we climbed Arthur's Seat, visited museums and art galleries, and drank cocktails till 2 am!








Give or take, these were going to form the highlights of 2017, then in the days between Christmas and New Year, my grandson arrived two weeks early, and an event which should have started 2018, rounded off this year instead. Next year I suspect could be very different for us all ...

10 comments:

  1. what a fantastic year and a variety of events, congrats on the safe arrival of your grandson and hope 2018 is just as fun, hope you manage to find the time to catch up with your reading #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. Putting together these highlights made me realise how wonderful a year it has been. I suspect the coming year may revolve, just a little, round our smallest family member :)

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  2. Wow! You were really busy! Congrats on the arrival of your grandson:) #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. Thank you, Michelle x The last couple of weeks though since grandson's arrival seem to have been busier than all the rest of the year!

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  3. Hey, congratulations Mary. What a lovely gift for Christmas. Is it your first grandchild? It's great to see your year in review and all those things you have done. I suspect there might be a spot of babysitting in 2018. Happy New Year lovely! x #tweensteensbeyond

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    1. Thank you, Nicky x Yes, first grandchild, and I already have my babysitting calendar being filled in - right up till December!

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  4. I loved the round-up Mary, it is something for me to aspire to in 2018. What wonderful news about your grandchild. Huge congratulations to you and your family. Magical times ahead - thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. I'm looking forward to all the good bits about having a baby, but avoiding the stress of sleepless nights and teething troubles :)

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  5. Wow Mary what a year you have had! I have loved reading the stories of your various escapades - you really do put us all to shame. You will need to conserve your energy for your grandchild now! What exciting news. Congratulations and look forward to reading your posts on that phase of your life. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    1. Thank you, Jo. It certainly was a year packed with all sorts of fun! Now, yes, a new phase of life, and more adventures to come :)

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