It started back in February. At the time I blamed the lovely Kathryn of LondonBakes thoroughly and – let’s be honest – I still do, but in a good way. I’ve got three hundred and something photos and eleven blog posts documenting a brief moment in my life over the course of 2012and it’s all so easy. All the kudos for this has to go to Chantelle of FatMumSlim as it’s entirely her brainchild coming up with prompts for the photo a day challenge. Every month I’ve amazed myself for sticking with it, I really thought I’d flake out and the novelty would wear off in about March. It didn’t, I guess because the prompts keep the challenge fresh and alive every day.
As seems to happen every month when I start to upload my photos, I stare disbelievingly at the passing of time. This time it isn’t the thirty, thirty one days that make up a month – it’s the whole year. I swear it feels like only yesterday that we were toasting in midnight and bitching at the television. I made two quite vague resolutions at the start of 2012: to learn to crochet and to take a dance class in a form that wasn’t ballet. I have, yet again, failed to learn to crochet – although not for wont of trying this time – but I did have a brief return to tap dancing and I gave street a whirl but, in the end, my need to be in ballet won out.
I’m only looking ahead with half an eye to 2013 and I’m not really making any resolutions this time around, we’ll just see where time takes me from one day to the next. If I make resolutions, I’m only going to be narked with myself when they all crumble around my ears before January’s even out. Looking back for a moment though, let’s round up the last month courtesy of FatMumSlim’s photo a day challenge. I’m cheered to see that the challenge starts up again for 2013 – I think the only resolution I can come up with now is to make sure I stick with this all year again.
1. 8 o’clock: outside the Franzosischer Dom in Berlin waiting in a queue to visit the Gendarmsplatz Christmas market. Bestest and I had finally made it to Berlin after far too many hours waiting at Heathrow for our flight to leave for a little pre-Christmas break.
2. Peace. Heisse Schokolade mit Amaretto at the Weinachtsmarkt am Potsdamer Platz as the snow began to fall around us, big fat soft flaky snow that settled on our coats and bags but not properly on the roads and pavements. I wrapped my hands around the warming mug, squinted up at the heavy sky and felt… peaceful.
3. Something you held. Another Christmas market shot, another cup of something warming. Looking at the cup, I believe it’s mulled wine with apple which we drunk on the market by the Kaiser Wilhelm Kirche on Ku’Damm deep in old West Berlin after we’d walked the slightly long way round through the Tiergarten and edging the Zoo after going up the Reichstag.
5. Looking up. Taken out of the window of the plane as we sat on the runway at Tegel airport waiting to leave in the brief moment before I had to turn my phone off. Look at that sky: crisp, clear, perfect winter blue.
6. from where you live/your country. Berlin one day, Rural Derbyshire the next – a long weekend at home for various reasons, some good, some… less so. Either way, as a Brit the weather is my national obsession, so what better way to deal with this prompt than the weather? And, as if on demand, it rained
8. Somebody you love. It was my Vati’s birthday party so I made him cake (or rather Mutti nominated me as person in charge of making cake, she’s good at delegating like that) and my nephews helped to decorate it. It was really yummy incidentally…
9. Out and about. Not really a day for going out of doors – although building the boys a train track is representative of the fact I spent that evening on a train back to the metrop, that was as out as I got that day. The train set is my brother’s and always bothers me that we’re about four corner pieces short but we can’t get replacement pieces now…
11. Sweet. Ampelmann is the old East Berlin red and green man for pedestrian crossings, he is ace and has become a bit of a cult figure. I may have over invested in Ampelmann tat whilst in Berlin, including a packet of sweets…
13. Lights. It’s always light in the metrop – this is dashing across Trafalgar Square from work to catch the tube to get to class. You can make out the base of Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery plus the Christmas tree that is a gift from the Norwegians every year.
14. Something green. It’s December, it would’ve been easy to go with something like a Christmas tree or anything Christmas related really but I decided against it. Tap your Oyster card here to get into the tube en route to the Puppini Sisters gig at Cadogan Hall.
16. Something you made. Gingerbread stars for work in lieu of writing Christmas cards – I have a sneaking suspicion that cake is vastly more appreciated by my colleagues than cards! It was pretty good gingerbread too if I do say so myself.
17. On the floor. The usual pile of mess by my bed – an overspilling dance bag, slippers, shopping bags, handbag. No matter what I do, this part of my room is never manages to get tidy. Mind you as it’s the things I need almost daily, I don’t mind too much.
19. Something beginning with S. Last ballet class of 2012 so something beginning with s is obviously skirt and shoes. The skirt is my new (and terribly beautiful) one from Designed By Alice – Eisblume. Shoes are Sanshas that I’m still trying to decide whether I like or not. As I’m still undecided some months later, I should probably man up and try some others instead.
20. Weather. Work finished for the year, I headed back to Rural Derbyshire to be greeted by this kind of view. It was raining when I got off the train, it finally stopped raining about ten minutes before we left so I could catch the train back. In all honesty, I didn’t get to see my entire panorama once over the break – there was always a hill hiding in the clouds somewhere.
21. Tree. Every year I get this tree out of the bag in the bottom of the wardrobe, I fear that it will be the last as it sheds all over the floor. It’s a tiny silver tinsel tree, one leg on the base is missing so it needs to be propped up against a wall or something. My parents bought it for me for my first Christmas and the decorations were acquired over the next few years – I never take them off now, daren’t!
22. Decoration. I bought this one in Berlin from a Christmas market – I’d spent days looking for a nice one to bring home. Really I guess the one I should’ve taken a picture of is the purple bauble that Mutti still hasn’t forgiven Vati for forty years later…
23. Joy is… a day with my nephews, which is basically an excuse for me to build a massive, impressive train track and be the best auntie ever (for about five minutes). Let’s face it, I just like an excuse to play with trains.
24. Tradition/something you always do. The lurky snowman – he’s a Boxing Day tradition at my parents’, a post Christmas dinner tradition at Favourite Auntie’s (although her snowman disintegrated years ago and is now represented by a carrier bag). He looks lurkier and creepier every year as bits fall off (he used to have a nose and mouth) but he’s too well loved to be got rid of. The Snowman brings joke presents – like racing grannies and plastic cockroaches…
25. Lunch time. We eat our Christmas dinner at tea time so lunch is generally made up of various bits of party food and salad. In a desperate bid to be organised, Vati and I have a list of what goes in the oven when. It works for us…
26. Mess. See, mess is one of those things that doesn’t really ever occur at my parents’ house – even at Christmas my mother is too quite to tidy up after people. This was a brief moment just after my nephews had ripped all the paper off their gifts from us before my mother had had chance to get it in the bin.
27. How you relax. On a nice quiet day with no familial obligations, relaxing involves a Harry Potter watch-a-thon (I managed all eight over Christmas go me! Although less ‘go me’ when it involves sobbing hopelessly over dinner at Snape in the final film) and knitting my current legwarmers.
30. Something that made you smile this year. I finally managed to clean the limescale marks from around the hot tap on our bathroom sink. I’m calling it my last big achievement of 2012 and it made me smile. I’m using it here to represent all my achievements of 2012.
31. Self portrait. Last bed head of 2012, I’d like to think I’ll wake up in 2013 with beautiful poker straight hair that behaves perfectly. I reckon I’m being overly optimistic. Tant pis.