2014 was a very turbulent year in my life. It was in parts very stressful and very sad. I had to leave my beloved animals behind in New Zealand (you all should know the story about me having to leave NZ by now), my dearest rooster Frodo died and I was not able to be there for him. I had to move around within the UK a lot because I financially was not able to settle down somewhere (having to leave NZ was not something I had prepared for and my savings had been close to nothing. I even had to sell my wonderful camera to be able to leave and not be completely broke). But in this post, I would like to focus on the positive things that happened this year. I don’t want to look back at the year with regrets, and also have to learn to stop beating myself up for things that have happened – after all, much was basically out of my own control. So, here are the highlights of 2014.
2014 – Before leaving New Zealand
I was in New Zealand until March 2014. The highlights during that time were – as usual – the lovely chickens, new chicks hatching, the interaction with the chickens, seeing them grow up, seeing them be happy chickens. And of course also the pigeons, mainly seeing Lucy still being healthy, and how her babies turned into beautiful adult pigeons.
2014 – After leaving New Zealand
I made many different experiences during my time in the UK – most of the time I spent in Scotland. My highlights in Scotland were:
- Learning many things about organic gardening during my time at Phantassie in East Linton, and hanging out with the chickens there, many of whom are dead now because of a fox (R.I.P. my dear hens)
- Working in Attadale Gardens and explore some of the fantastic scenery in the Scottish Highlands
- Working for MacKenzie’s B&B in Plockton and going on an evening cruise with them
- Working for Oxenfoord Organics, playing with their goats and watching their lovely chickens
- Being in Scotland and not having any issues with actually understanding people
My first arrival in England had not gone very well (apart from the ten days of house-sitting I did three days after my arrival), but my second time in England made up for it.
- I saw Ian McKellen in person. Twice. And I managed to get my letter to him even though I will never know whether he actually read it.
- I was able to attend the ToRn pub moot and the “red” carpet Hobbit World Premiere in London.
- I got to watch the midnight screening of the third Hobbit sitting next to Thranduil and with Thorin and Sauron in the row in front of me.
- Then I saw the movie again – this time with Thorin right next to me.
- I was lucky enough to meet some of the people from the pub moot / premiere days again.
- I met some really special people (at least they are in my eyes), and do hope that they will still be part of my life in 2015.
- One of the just mentioned people showed Richmond Park to me. We saw plenty of birds and some impressive deer!
- Another of those people made me flirt with a female dwarf (that only happened online in the game Lord of the Rings online though). But wait! Should I really call this a highlight? It was only a result of my poor online character drinking too much and clicking on the wrong character because her vision was a bit foggy. It was immense fun though! In general, playing online with people I actually know is a lot of fun, and makes it possible to “meet” people who are not living close to you.
- I finally was able to be part of a cosplay meeting.
- I went sight-seeing in London with an elf.
Looking ahead – What I would like to happen in 2015
I am not someone who makes New Year’s resolutions. When I know something needs to be changed, I try to do it as soon as possible. There’s no need to wait for a special date. After all, if you really have your heart in something, you shouldn’t have to wait. Many New Year’s resolutions fail because people only make them because it’s “what everybody does”. There often is no real conviction behind them. But now that one year is gone, I know that there are some things I would like to see happening in 2015. I will do my part to work towards the things that are within my power, and hope for the best when it comes to other issues. Some of my dreams, goals, and wishes for 2015:
- finish my novel and work towards getting it published as a proper printed book
- settle down somewhere for a while, preferably around London or Oxford
- find one truly loyal friend and some normal friends
- cosplay Bard the Bowman AND be worthy of cosplaying him
- continue to be an advocate for animal rights and do my best to educate people about animals
- meet Ian McKellen
- see Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart on stage together
- go for a multi-day hike somewhere, or do a multi-day canoeing trip
These are just a few – others will remain private as they are personal and others might not be understood by most readers. What are your hopes for 2015?