10 good things about 2013

It’s been a really rough year – amazing in many respects, but very, very hard. So here’s some things I’m really grateful for:

  1. I got through my MMus, with Merit. While I’d hoped to do better in my final, I learned SO much over the year, and got great feedback from the audience and performers for all the pieces, even though the examiners weren’t keen on some of it. Plus two specific requests from performers in the concert after it was done!
  2. My amazing teachers, who made me work hard, inspired me and opened my eyes to new ideas and new ways of thinking and working. In particular Errollyn Wallen and Dominic Murcott. They have definitely changed my life and work for the better.
  3. All the rooms of the house are now in use! Most of them will at some point need to go out of use to be finished, but it’s just great to have got them all to a point where they can be used.
  4. We got a kitchen!!!!! Words cannot say how much this means. Also: pyrolitic cleaning. It’s the way forward, I tell you 🙂
  5. Belgium. Brussels and Bruges this year. Belgium is always a good thing. Restorative for the soul. There should be more of it.
  6. Parents, who came over here for my father’s 80th birthday so I didn’t have to miss it as I missed his 75th. So grateful that they’re still able to travel and that my mother overcame the pneumonia that struck her down as soon as she got home.
  7. Friends and performers. Often the same people 🙂 I’ve made some amazing friends at college, and had some really great performances of my pieces. People who have really made a huge difference are (in no particular order): Valentina Pravodelov, Julia Weatherley, Panaretos Kryiatzidis, Edward Henderson, Josh Spear, Barry O’Halpin, Will Handysides, Sarah James and her quartet and my partner in viol Sonja Laue.
  8. A Sketchbook of Mushrooms. This project felt like a huge, huge breakthrough. To a certain extent this is tied up with no. 2 because Dominic pushed me to make a mess with this, but all aspects of the project – the before-stuff, the after-stuff and so on – have been hugely influential
  9. Breadmaker. This machine turned being without a kitchen from a misery into something bearable. It has meant that decent sandwiches are a possibility again. It meant birthday cakes when otherwise we’d have had to go with nasty commercial cake. It’s made weekday pizzas super-easy.
  10. Djelibeybi. Djelibeybi. Djelibeybi. At least half this list should be my beloved Djelibeybi. He has been amazing this year. Building the house, supporting my studies both fiscally and allowing me to dodge most of the work on the house and many regular chores to get through all the work that was needed. There is not enough grateful in the entire world to express how much I owe him for his love and patience and support this year.

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