I spent a low-stress and low-key Christmas with my friend Vicky up in Manchester, and have returned to Kent over the New Year to see hometown friends. I’ll be in the UK for a few more weeks (including my birthday), then heading off to Austria for 5 weeks for work, then a further 2 weeks in Japan, meaning I’ll be abroad until April. A variety of factors has meant that I’ve not worked full-time in months, and to be honest I’m itching to go back to work and being busy all the time.
It’s fair (and easy) to say that 2016 was not a good year for me. And the consensus is that it was also a terrible year politically, that has seen fascism and far-right politics on the ascendant. Here is a brief list of my positives and negatives for the year.
I don’t have any specific resolutions for next year, apart from to have fun, because 2016 has been a real drag.
- I won a free trip to Japan for 2017. This isn’t a thing that happens much. I wrote about it here.
- Enforced down-time meant I read quite a lot of books. I will write about them in another post.
- I got some creative projects done, despite being limited for workspace and never in one place for long.
- I went on holiday to Italy. It was cheaper than extending my lease in London by a week. You can see the photos here
- I spent some time in France in the sunshine
- I finally left London for good. I left for the usual reasons- there was plenty of work for me, but housing is out of control and I couldn’t afford it any more, and I was working/commuting long hours for increasingly lower rewards, and I just wasn’t having fun any more. Added to my friends leaving en-masse for the same reasons, and it seemed like a done deal.
- However my plans to relax over the summer house-sitting for my mum and then move somewhere in September were scuttled by the flat needing to have all the electrics and plaster ripped out and replaced, leading to me house-sitting a building site, and then by my dad’s increasing ill-health, so I’ve spent the last few months shuttling back and forth and dealing with family … stuff. The Southern Trains industrial relations fiasco also meant that I was stranded at times, found it difficult to take local temp work, and rarely went to Brighton despite being 40 mins away, adding to the sense of isolation while I was house-sitting.
- I still don’t live anywhere. All my things are in plastic boxes at my mum’s until my return in April, along with a large Risograph machine that belongs in a studio.
- One of my mum’s cats died of cancer. He was my little pal, and wouldn’t let anyone else pick him up. RIP Oscar.
- I had my own health issues, including multiple bouts of shingles last Christmas, and wisdom tooth trouble
- The generally scary political climate