2011 – Another good year
Continuing with the theme from 2010, 2011 was another good year, packed with happy events. The awful year that was 2009 is now just a distant memory!
In January, I began trying out recipes from the new cookbooks that I’d been given at Christmas. The first few things I made were apple & blackcurrant crumble, scones, and blueberry pancakes with maple syrup. I also attended a meal at Shiki’s Japanese restaurant with my co-workers, which was intended as a thank-you for our work on one of the websites we developed. It was the first time I’d ever been to a Japanese restaurant, but I had chicken teriyaki and I really enjoyed it. It was also in January that my sister Suzanne bought tickets for us to attend the Norfolk Spectacular music festival, to be held later in the year.
February was a fun, albeit busy, month. I bought a brand new computer with Windows 7, which is much faster than my old one. I gave my old computer to my sister Sarah. In February we also saw the first signs of spring, and we went to Burlingham Woods for a snowdrop walk. For the last few years, I’ve always been on a snowdrop walk in spring. I also counted 130 daffodil buds in our garden – we planted them in autumn 2010. For my birthday, I had a meal at Mambo Jambo’s with Mum and my stepdad Terry. I got some Nintendo Wii games for my birthday and I had 2 days off work, so I had a long weekend. February was a very busy month for me as I took on 2 web development projects in my spare time – one involved creating a new WordPress-powered site for the IVC social club that I’m a member of, and the other involved developing a website for my friend Kay’s brother-in-law. February was also the first anniversary of when I started my current full-time web developer job. I felt very happy with the way things had worked out – if I’d have stayed in my previous job at the old company, I would’ve had to go through yet another re-structure! Thankfully, things are a lot more settled in my current job, so I feel more positive and I don’t have to worry about being moved around to different departments every few months!
March got off to a bad start, as I had a severe cold and had to take a couple of days off work. Thankfully, once I got better, the rest of the month was positive. I went to a quiz night at the Townhouse organised by the IVC social club, and we also had a carvery there. One weekend, Mum, Terry and I enjoyed an afternoon at Holt Country Park, which was nice. In March I also completed the 2 websites that I started working on in February, and I received positive feedback for both. I enjoyed a night out with my work colleagues – we started off by having drinks at Lloyd’s bar, went bowling at Hollywood Bowl, had a Chinese buffet at the Riverbank restaurant, and finally we ended up at Project nightclub. Towards the end of March, I ended up with a weird haircut because my usual hairdresser was on holiday so I had to have a different one. I said I normally have my hair a bit curly/wavy, but she styled it so it looked really curly! Even my colleague at work said it looked “bouncy”! Thankfully it was OK the next time it was washed.
In May I bought a Lumie sunrise alarm clock, which has helped me wake up in the mornings more naturally. In mid-May, Mum and I attended the Norwich City football victory parade. Norwich City came second in the Championship and they were promoted to the Premiership for the new season. It was a nice sunny day. During May I went out for a couple of meals with the IVC social club – one at the Lucky Star Chinese restaurant and one at the Rivergarden pub. One weekend I went on an awful walk at Darrow Woods with Mum and Terry – none of us really enjoyed it as the woods were completely overgrown and full of stinging nettles. There wasn’t much to see, so the walk was finished within a few minutes. It was nowhere near as nice as other woods I’ve visited. Also in May I discovered the online writing site Squidoo, which has given me a lot of fun over the last few months. Towards the end of May I went to London with my friend Naomi to do a cookie-decorating course, which I enjoyed. One weekend Terry and I visited my sister Sarah in Lowestoft to fix her computer, and she took us for a meal at a local Chinese buffet.
In June I had a meal at the Giraffe restaurant with the IVC social club. I had my hair coloured at the hairdressers for the first time ever, as I was starting to get a few grey hairs! I organised another IVC cinema night where we saw the new X Men film. One evening after work I went round Naomi’s house for tea and to play Just Dance 2. I enjoyed the game so much that I bought my own copy the following day, and it helped me to get fit for my holiday in the Lake District in August. Also in June I attended the JLS and Olly Murs concert at the football ground with Mum, my sisters Sarah and Suzanne and my nieces Anya and Emily. It was a good concert, although it did involve a lot of standing/waiting around! In mid-June I organised a ghost walk with the IVC social club and about 12 people attended, so I was really pleased. I finally received the results of those assessments I took at work a couple of months earlier – I achieved a Proficient score in all 3 subjects, so I was happy with that. The end of June was a very busy time for me at work, as I was asked to build a prototype for a new corporate website. I had to present it to the IT director and project manager a week later, so it was a race against time to get it completed. I was given a company laptop so I could work from home and do overtime. The presentation went well, although I was asked to make a few minor changes to the prototype. The evening after I did the presentation, I went to the Oaklands for a carvery with Mum and Terry, as a way to unwind and celebrate.
In July I started doing online training courses at Lynda.com. They have training videos covering a wide range of IT and web development topics and you get a certificate to print out when you’ve finished each course. Also in July, the IVC summer party was held at the Brook Hotel in Bowthorpe. It was a good evening, and to my surprise I was presented with a bouquet of flowers as a thank-you for my work on the club’s website. Towards the end of July, Terry and I visited Sarah in Lowestoft and we had a meal at the same Chinese buffet restaurant we went to in May.
In August we had our holiday in the Lake District, which was good fun, and one of the main highlights of the year. For the first week, my sister Suzanne and her husband Paul and my niece Emily stayed in the cottage next to ours. Emily stayed with us in our cottage for the second week of the holiday. We stayed in Grasmere, in the same cottage that we stayed in last year. We went on several walks including ones near Easedale Tarn, Thirlmere and Rydal Water. Later in August, once we’d returned home from our holiday, we went on a walk at Wymondham.
Early in September, I went to Zizzi’s restaurant with my friends Gemma, Naomi and Sarah. I’d never been there before, but I really liked it. I went to the Norfolk Spectacular music festival at the Norfolk Showground with my sisters Sarah and Suzanne and nieces Anya and Emily. It was a wet day (especially later in the afternoon) but I had a good time. Later in the month, I went to Hollywood Bowl and had a Riverbank buffet meal with the IVC social club. One weekend I went blackberry picking with Terry at Felbrigg Woods, but unfortunately we were too late (18th September) and most of the blackberries had shrivelled up and died! So we didn’t get many blackberries, but we’ve vowed to go earlier in the month next year! I went to the cinema a couple of times with Mum, firstly to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (which I found really boring!) and One Day (which was more interesting).
In late September to early October we had a heatwave. On the first of October, which was a Saturday, Mum and I caught a train to Cromer and enjoyed a day at the seaside. It was warm and sunny enough to sit on the beach! One evening after work I went round my friend Naomi’s for tea and we watched St Trinian’s 2 on DVD, which was good. In mid-October I attended a quiz and chip night with the IVC social club. There were 5 of us in our team and I really enjoyed the evening. At the end of October, I attended a Halloween ghost walk and I also went on an Autumn walk at Felbrigg woods where I took photos of the the trees as the leaves were turning red and brown.
In November I went with Mum to Earlham Park to see the fireworks on Bonfire Night, as we do every year. It was very good and the fireworks were timed to the music. In total I went to the cinema 3 times in November – I saw Contagion, Tin Tin and In Time. Out of those 3 films, In Time was my favourite as it had plenty of action and was cleverly-done. I subscribed to Baked & Delicious magazine, on the recommendation of my friend Naomi. I receive an issue every 2 weeks, which includes silicone bakeware. In mid-November, I saw the Christmas lights switch-on. It wasn’t quite as good as last year’s – the crowds didn’t seem as upbeat as usual. There was also the annual IT awards ceremony at work, where employees were given awards for the work they’d done throughout the year. I received a special mention for my work on the specialist/lifestyle websites. We were all given a bottle of wine as a thank-you for our work. At the end of the month, I organised another cinema night with the IVC social club and we saw the My Week with Marilyn film (about Marilyn Monroe).
December was, as always, a very busy month with Christmas activities. I attended a Christmas meal at The Glasshouse pub, and a Christmas party at the Mercure hotel with the IVC club. I had a meal at Zak’s with Mum, Terry and my grandmother. In mid-December, I met up with my friends at the Broadland View pub. On the Wednesday before Christmas, I attended my work’s Christmas party at the football ground, which was fun even though the party took a while to get going. On Christmas itself, I spent the day with Mum and Terry and my main present was an HTC Wildfire S mobile phone. During the holidays, I made grasshopper pie, using a recipe in one of the cookbooks I’d been given for Christmas. It turned out well. Towards the end of the holidays, I went with Mum to see the Arthur Christmas film at the cinema and had a meal at the Riverbank restaurant. On New Year’s Eve, I went to a party with my friend Kay, held at the football ground. It was a fancy dress party and I dressed up as a cowgirl! It was a fun night – lots of dancing but not much food. Normally I spend New Year’s Eve at home with my family, so it felt a bit weird to be out that night as the clock struck 12 to herald the new year. There must have been about 200 people at the party so there was a really good atmosphere.
Overall, 2011 has been a very good year. The weather wasn’t quite as good as in 2010, so we didn’t go on as many walks at the weekend, but the ones that we did go on were really good. I also improved my web development skills through taking online courses and I took part in many exciting website projects at work. I continued to feel settled and happy in my job. There were lots of good films on at the cinema throughout 2011 (especially Source Code, Limitless and In Time) and we had several nice meals out. The other highlights of the year were the daffodil walk at Aylsham, our holiday in the Lake District and the Norfolk Spectacular concert. I hope that 2012 will be just as fun! I’m not really too sure what my plans for 2012 are. I suppose I’ll just carry on doing the same sorts of things that I’ve been doing for the last couple of years, as I’ve had 2 positive years in a row now!
Happy new year everyone!
This entry was posted on Sunday, January 8th, 2012 at 10:00 pm and is filed under Annual Reviews, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.