Friday 30 December 2011

Thoughts on 2011

Books and Blog:
I'm pleased that I've continued to enjoy reading and blogging throughout 2011.  As the year has gone past, I've become less worried about number of followers and frequency of posts and the types of books I review and I've just settled in and enjoyed it more.  There are a number of bloggers that I feel like I've developed friendships with this year, so thank you to all of you who keep visiting and commenting :)

I've also managed to meet my own vague personal goal of reading 100 books, which I am chuffed with.  I'm going for the same next year, but without any pressure.  All I want in terms of reading is to read and enjoy some great books, then share my thoughts on them.

On a more personal level, 2011 has been the most intense year of my life so far.  There have been so many good and even wonderful things about it and a share of bad too, and it feels in some ways that someone pressed a fast forward button on my life this year.  I don't usually discuss personal things on my blog, because it's a book blog, but I wanted to share some things that happened in 2011 for me:

At the start of the year I had proper health problems for the first time. I actually ended 2010 in hospital and spent a lot of 2011 at hospital appointments and having diagnostic tests.  Luckily things are well under control now and I feel better than I have done in ages, but I never really realised how important good health was, and how much not having it can effect everything in your life until this year.

And then in April we moved house.  Wasn't planning to so soon, but we are so glad we did now as we moved from a flat to a proper house with a garden (still renting, when is the housing market going to settle?) and we're both happy here.  After April all my time was taken up with wedding planning as I got married at the end of July.  All of August was spent having the most wonderful honeymoon touring the southern states of the USA.  That was definitely my favourite part of the year and we're planning to go back to New Orleans at some point in the future.

September was a difficult time.  The new school year started and I had some new things at work to get used to.  My granddad also passed away at the end of this month, which I haven't felt OK typing about until now.  My grandparents lived in the house opposite us during all of my childhood and teenage years and I'm lucky to have so many happy memories.  He had been ill for a very long time, but it was still hard.  I'm getting there now.

And then in December, a welcome happy event as my big sister got married.  My poor parents - both daughters married during the same year, I'm sure it was a challenging year for them too!  It was nice to be so involved with the ceremony (I was a bridesmaid) without the pressure of making all of the decisions.

Thankfully, my Christmas holidays have been relaxing and low-key.  I'm planning a quiet New Years Eve, cooking a curry for my husband and parents and staying in.  I hope to have a quieter 2012, and to have time to take pleasure in the simple things.  And read a great many good books of course!

Happy New Year Everyone!
Are you happy or sad to see the end of 2011?


  1. I'm really excited to begin 2012, but I loved 2011, so I can't complain. It sounds like you had an intense year. I can't believe you read 100 books through all that. Hopefully they were a warm companion. Sending you very best wishes for 2012. :)

  2. You've had a busy year! I'm glad to hear you've settled into a more relaxed blogging routine. It's wonderful to find a balance - and I must say I very much enjoy your reviews! I'm looking forward to 2012, whatever it may bring.

    Happy New Year!

  3. That is an intense year! Mine was a bit like that for 2010. Luckily this year for me has been a lot more peaceful. Looking forward to reading more in 2012. :)

  4. Wow, what an eventful year, both good and bad. I can see why you say it was like there was a fast-forward button on. I hope things even out and slow down for you.

    PS - I'm sorry I've been super remiss in commenting over the last six months or so. I really did drop away from blog culture for a long time, had to disappear to regain my equilibrium. I'm finally getting that back, and am glad to be here again. :)

  5. Happy New Year, Sam! I hope 2012 turns out to be a more relaxing year for you. :)

  6. You certainly have had quite the year, and I'm so sorry about the low points, so I hope 2012 becomes a superb year for you, both personally and in the blogosphere. I'm glad to have come across your blog this past year, and I look forward to another year with you!

  7. You've had such an eventful year! 2011 was a year of change for me as well, with the twins graduating from high school and starting college. Here's to a quieter new year of book talk and pressure-free blogging. Happy 2012!

  8. Thank goodness the events in our lives balance out...I think we all have years that are "better" than others, but the older I get, the more I realize that some of those bad times are just normal stages in life that have to happen to make way for the future...we don't always like it at the time, but I try to think of changes in that light so I can try to keep my head up and keep moving forward.
    Hoping for more relaxation for you in 2012 and many smiles :):)

  9. Hi!
    My 2011 was quite exciting. My twin grandbabies had their 1 year birthday and started walking. And of course I read some really great books this year. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

    Just Books

  10. I'm really excited to begin the new year, what with all the reading I have planned! :D... as to seeing the end of 2011...I always feel just a twinge of sadness when the year is drawing to a close. I find myself thinking..."ah, that's the last sunday of the year." "Ah that's the last time I'm going to type in 2011" -- stuff like that. But I don't feel terribly unhappy about it. How 2011 has been? It's been fairly low-key, but pleasant and happy, with a few bursts of excitement. :)

    Your 2011 sounds absolutely full. The year of my wedding and the year my son was born were to awesome years! :D

    Wishing you and yours a lovely 2012!! :)

  11. Even though I don't comment all the time, I do enjoy reading your blog. :)

    I'm actually glad that 2011 is coming to an end. My only resolutions for the new year are book related and I'm anxious to begin with a fresh start.

  12. What a year and I understand sometimes when you suddenly have a reality check regarding your health. I have realised this last two weeks off work when I had some bad days. But onwards and upwards for 2012.

    I have enjoyed your blog since I found it and amazed at the vast reading that you do.

    Hope you have a peaceful New Year and look forward to more books and blogging .

  13. Have a happy new year and take care :)

  14. I was very glad to find your blog this year. Your reviews have been very interesting because your reading covers so many different world cultures.
    Thank you for sharing about your life in 2011.
    I'm sorry about your loss and can also understand the work pressures and health concerns. So glad there have been happy highlights with your sister's and, of course, your own wedding and honeymoon.
    I wish you and yours all the best for 2012.

  15. I hope 2012 will be a more relaxing and stress free year. I have enjoyed stopping by your blog and wish you the best in the new year.

  16. Thanks to all for the lovely comments. This is one of the reasons why I love blogging so much :)

  17. Happy new year! I'm so glad you have moved past the health stuff, or that it is at least managed. It has an impact on everything!

    I'm so glad you blog; you are one of my favorites to read! Happy new year!

  18. Happy New Year and best wishes! I love to visit your blog and have found out about some lovely books here.
    Lindsay x

  19. What an eventful year you had! Happy New Year & all the best in 2012 :)

  20. Happy 2012 to you Sam and to your readers!

  21. did have an event full year, both good and bad. May 2012 bringing all good and no sadness:)

  22. You know, my 2011 was crazy too, although in very different ways. I'm putting some active effort into making 2012 a more balanced much as I can at least. :) I've enjoyed getting to know you a bit in 2011 and hope it continues in 2012. :)