Another Year Over

If you are reading this, you have survived another difficult year. Covid-19 and its many variants have not gone away. Plans have been made, rescheduled and cancelled, causing a lot of frustration and disappointment. Yet, here we are. We survived.

I found 2021 a challenging year. After months/years of chronic pain, the doctor diagnosed me with hypermobility syndrome. Not only are my joints extra “bendy”, but they are also very weak and often in pain. On some days, I can function like a “normal” human being, but on others, even getting out of bed is a physical challenge. I am so tired!! I would like to congratulate myself for keeping this blog going throughout the year, in spite of the fatigue and pain. I thank you. *Bows*

Last month, my world felt like it was turned upside down when my best friend, honorary family member and favourite Martin was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. Thankfully, an operation to remove the cancer went ahead before Christmas, and Martin is making good progress every day. Six months of chemotherapy may begin in the new year to stop it from coming back. I felt a bit helpless after Martin’s diagnosis because I could not “fix” him, so I started a fundraiser on Facebook for Bowel Cancer UK. Without research by charities like Bowel Cancer UK, the quick diagnosis and operation Martin received would not be available. With generous donations from friends, family and Gants Hill United Reformed Church, I raised £750.

It is always important to reflect on the positives, even during challenging, upsetting times:

  • Blogs Written: 53
  • Word Count: approximately 156,807 (not including this post)
  • Visitors to My Blog: over 17,500
  • Most Popular In: USA (over 9200 visitors) and UK (over 7900 visitors)
  • Most Popular Post Written This Year: The History of Jeans
  • Most Popular Post of All Time: Christian Angelology
  • New Followers: 12
  • Books Reviewed: 6 
  • Books Read: 108
  • Cities/Towns Visited: 2 (Bristol and Grantham)
  • Commissions: King’s Church Upminster
  • Websites “looked after”: Gants Hill URC and Heath and Havering URC
  • Concerts attended: Collabro: Greatest Hits Tour (London Palladium)
  • Theatre shows attended: Les Misérables (Sondheim Theatre), The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre) and Frozen (Theatre Royal)
  • Vaccines: Three

This year, I started writing quiz questions for QuizzClub.com. This involves writing an explanation about the answer as well as inventing the questions and answers. At the time of writing, over 460 of my questions have been reviewed and accepted. I also had one of my questions featured in Jay’s Virtual Pub Quiz 2 by Jay Flynn.

When Covid-19 restrictions allowed, I visited many museums and exhibitions in London, some of which I wrote about on this blog. It is hard to choose a favourite exhibition, but some noteworthy ones were Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Experience, Paddington Bear at the British Library, Hogarth and Europe at Tate Britain, Beano at Somerset House, Alice in Wonderland at the V&A, Poussin and the Dance at the National Gallery, Frans Hals at the Wallace Collection, and Tudors to Windsors at the National Maritime Museum.

On Christmas Day, I posted my Christmas card design, but that is not the only drawing I have done this year. I have tried to draw birthday cards for all my friends and family. Here are some of my favourites.

Goals for 2022
Continue blogging
Write more book reviews
Read the 40+ books littering my bedroom floor
Go to exhibitions in London (with Martin when he is well enough)
Go on holidays with friends (ditto)

Thank you for reading my blogs this year. I wish you all a positive new year. Be gentle with yourself.


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