Monday, 5 November 2012

The Big List

Every year or so, I trawl through all the photographs we have taken over that time and choose a selection to create a montage which hangs on the kitchen wall. For me, it's a way of reminding myself of all the fun we've had and how much the children have grown. Also our wonderful friends and wider family get their places too and it's so lovely to see these pictures every day rather than when I remember to open an album. The wall is now fairly packed but I've worked out that there's room for one more before I have to reconfigure, so last week I chose and ordered the prints and reminded myself that the last twelve months have been fairly epic.

Last week, I also discussed with a client the value of lists as a way of encouraging people to read articles. People love a list - top ten of this and that, worst places to go for dinner, best dishwashers, and so on. Lists are a brilliant shorthand for imparting information. Anyway, the combination of the list conversation and the selection of this year's photographs (yes, I know the year isn't over but it just feels like the right time) caused me to try my hand at the top ten bits of the year so far. Now there has been some cheating, or rather, some grouping because otherwise I can't find the discipline to make the cut at ten but here are (and already I am realising that this might be a two-part blog...), in chronological order rather than top to bottom, some of the top things from this year and a few pics for illustrative purposes!

1    Keeping it Live!
Live music, live theatre, cinema, sport - all of it best when you're actually there. Two top nights of live music - Coldplay with the singing, dancing doctors who took us to Sunderland for a brilliant night, despite the rain, and George Michael at Manchester with Basil and Sybil (of Fawlty Towers fame). Then there was the amazing One Man, Two Guvnors at the theatre in London with the intrepid granny starring the utterly brilliant James Cordon. Conversation beforehand went "You know, Smithy from Gavin and Stacey... A League of their Own... the fat one in The History Boys... " followed by the sound of the penny dropping! The hottest ticket in town and the funniest thing I have ever seen in the theatre. We laughed till it hurt!
2     Edinburgh for the Rugby
We went, England won (somewhat unexpectedly) and we partied like teenagers. The only thing I can think of that would have made my Sunday morning hangover worse would have been if the tapas bar (where we were asked to leave so they could close up) had sold grappa. Brilliant time with wonderful friends. Going back in January to do it all again (but without the rugby).

3     Horseriding in the Lake District
A day riding heavy horses with Basil and Sybil and friends in the spectacular Lake District. Three competent female riders, three incompetent men and six massive horses. The scenery was amazing but the best sights were definitely three men in the saddle for the first time. Hilarious!
4     A Birthday in Rome
Not ours, but we were invited on a birthday trip to Rome by a friend and luckily, exams had just finished so we could leave the children with a reasonably clear conscience and head for the sun. During the winter, ie now, I sustain myself with the thought of sitting outside a cafe somewhere hot with a cappuccino or, better still, a glass of red. We did that in Rome in June and it was... well... heaven.
(Don't normally include a picture of me but here I am with my glass of red!)

5     Three Weddings (and one to come, in case you wondered...)
Three lovely weddings, though we were only at the actual ceremony for one, the other two being in the States. My gorgeous niece who looked stunning with my other gorgeous nieces as bridesmaids, then my dear tennis chum who jetted off to Las Vegas to do the whole Elvis wedding thing and who absolutely deserves to be the happiest woman on the planet. And finally little Hollie who was the prettiest bride and had the wedding to end all weddings. This is setting the bar very high for parents of three daughters - help! Here they are:

To be continued...

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