30 questions to ask yourself

According to Sandy Millin, at the end of 2014 Anna Loseva posted a list of 30 questions to ask yourself on New Year’s Eve. Sandy followed suit on NYE 2015/2016. Clearly afore-mentioned NYE is long gone and being as I was in Cape Town at the time, visiting family and family friends, blogging wasn’t high on my priority list! However, the holidays are now over and to kick start 2016 and get blogging again, I thought answering these questions would be a nice opening post. Obviously the ‘this year’ in the questions is in fact last year…! Whereas “next year” = this year! 😉

1. THE BEST MOMENT OF THE YEAR.

I have enjoyed a lot of lovely moments this year – lucky me! – but probably the best would have to be a mixture of when my horse, Alba, became my baby in June and all the moments I spent with her in the second half of the year.

Me and my baby :)

Me and my baby 🙂

2. WHAT INSPIRED ME THE MOST THIS YEAR?

The thought of getting work at Sheffield Uni and coming home. I worked towards that in the first half, realised it in the middle and thoroughly enjoyed it from then on! Also, all the CPD opportunities I’ve experienced since starting at Sheffield Uni. There is always so much going on!

3. THE MAJOR NEWS OF THIS YEAR.

Finally moving back to Sheffield in June. Starting with my second summer school and continuing with General English evening classes. After 5 years working abroad (nearly – actually one of those was spent in Leeds doing my M.A.! Away from home still…) I am finally back home and trying hard to stay! But also my ELTon-winning dissertation materials appearing on Onestopenglish (and all the behind the scenes editing I’ve been doing working alongside my editors!) Then there is always IATEFL, the journal article I got published…  Oh, and Alba, of course! 😉

4. ANTHEM OF THE YEAR 2015.

Like I know any songs that came out this year…

5. THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN MY LIFE.

My friends, my family, my horse, my hamster. Who else?! 🙂

6. WHAT WAS MOST DIFFICULT FOR ME TO DO THIS YEAR?

Leaving Sicily. Much as coming home was the best thing ever, saying goodbye is never easy! I have definitely left part of myself out there… just as well I get to visit it frequently!

7. WHAT COLOUR WAS THIS YEAR?

Creamy grey – the colour of Alba! Or blue – the colour of the skies whenever I visit Sicily (please may it continue that way!)

8. WHICH EVENT OF THE YEAR WOULD I CHOOSE TO REMEMBER FOREVER?

Other than those already mentioned (becoming Alba’s person, starting work at Sheffield University), probably my first vegan festival, which was in Manchester! So much vegan-ness in one place, hurrah!

9. WHICH WORD DID I USE MOST OFTEN?

I really don’t know…you would have to ask the people I speak to all the time… but probably ‘Alba’…!

10. MY MOST RIDICULOUS PURCHASE OF THE YEAR.

A horse who lives in a different country from me? Not your everyday situation…

11. I SHOULDN’T HAVE EXPERIMENTED WITH …

Nope, can’t think of anything!

12. THIS YEAR WAS WONDERFUL BECAUSE …

I found the horse of my dreams AND came home to stay.

13. WHICH INNER PROBLEM DID I SOLVE SUCCESSFULLY?

Erm…whether or not to buy Alba and where to keep her? Definitely made the right choices!!

14. WHO DID I HUG AT NIGHT?

My little hamster, Flora. Gently. 🙂

Flora the Explorer

Flora the Explorer – she likes kale too!

15. WHOSE WEDDING DID I HAVE FUN AT?

I didn’t go to any weddings! But in 2014 there was my sister’s, if that counts….probably not…was good though!

16. WHAT WAS MY AVERAGE SALARY THIS YEAR?

God knows… Maths, not my strong point!

17. DID I HAVE A CONVERSATION THAT TURNED EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN IN MY HEAD?

Err…don’t think so… unless it was the conversation where I realised that Alba risked being sent to slaughter because she was lame and therefore no longer useful, so suddenly I had to process that awful piece of information and decide I was going to stop it.

18. WHAT NEW PROJECT DID I START IN 2015?

Getting my ELTon-dissertation materials ready for publication on Onestopenglish. They are coming out at the rate of one lesson plan, including teachers’ notes, per month. In 2015 the first half made it out. The second half will appear at monthly intervals during the first half of this year.

19. IF I COULD BECOME A SUPERHERO FOR JUST ONE DAY, WHAT WOULD I DO?

Teleport. Definitely Teleport. So I could visit Alba every day just for a little while, and take in a few friends along the way too!

20. WHAT AM I DREAMING ABOUT NOW?

My horse, of course!

21. WHAT DO I CONSIDER TO BE MY MOST IMPORTANT ACHIEVEMENT?

Getting through the year in one piece, happy and healthy? Also having a much, much better work-life balance. And, yes, this means I have rather a backlog of blog posts but…I’m sure when I wind up on my deathbed, I won’t be thinking I should have put life in the backlog in favour of the blogposts! They will arrive in due course… Patience! 🙂

22. THIS YEAR UNTIL THIS MOMENT IN ONE SENTENCE.

‘And I was filled with such delight…’

23. THE LATEST MESSAGE I’VE SENT.

Thanking a friend for some vegan dhaal she brought round for me to try that I had with my lunch today. Nothing earth-shattering!

24. A QUOTE THAT IS MOST SUITABLE FOR MY YEAR.

“There’s no place like home.”

~Dorothy Gale, Wizard of Oz.

“There’s no horse like my horse.”

“There’s no fridge like my fridge” (You’d have to be Vegan to really understand this feeling! :-p )

~Lizzie Pinard, Sheffield.

25. DID I ACHIEVE EVERYTHING I’D PLANNED FOR THIS YEAR?

Moreorless… I don’t have a *full-time* job at the uni, which was the general aim, but hey I have work, that’s a good start!

26. HOW MANY NEW FRIENDS DID I MAKE THIS YEAR?

Plenty! Have also managed to build up a little circle of vegan friends, since being back in Sheffield, which is nice.

27. WHO DID I HELP THIS YEAR?

Anybody that I could!

28. WHERE DID I TRAVEL?

Mostly Sicily! But also Botswana to visit my Dad and Cape Town to visit our family friends, over Christmas and New Year.

29. WHICH PROJECTS AM I PUTTING OFF TILL NEXT YEAR?

The next ones on the list of things to do! Which include continuing work on the ELTon-Macmillan materials, working on my co-authored book project, various workshops, webinars, conference talks etc.

30. WHAT DO I WANT TO ACHIEVE NEXT YEAR?

A full-time job would be nice! Put as much in and get as much out as I can at Sheffield Uni. I also want to get out climbing, as in outdoor climbing rather than indoor bouldering which I am already back on, and do more running. An ultra would be nice. Of course I also want to see Alba as often as possible. And go to more Vegan Festivals 🙂

Well, belated Happy New Year everyone! And thank you for the inspiration, Sandy and Anna, however slow I might have been to actually act on it! 🙂 Now that I have kickstarted the blogging, hopefully it won’t be so long till the next post! (I have tons to say – as you can probably imagine…! – just need to put fingers to keyboard more often!)

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