I know you've all been waiting for this with bated breathe, so here it is at last: the annual New Year's questionnaire!1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Well, I spent two thirds of the year in a mental institution, that was certainly original...
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I've ever made any resolutions seriously, so no, I didn't really make any last year so didn't keep or break any either.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes, my neighbours had a second little boy, Julien, in June.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. But a friend I made in the aforementioned mental institution succeeded in killing herself, which I found extremely disturbing.
5. What countries did you visit?
Spain (Barcelona and Zaragoza) and the UK twice.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Same as every year, I guess: a steady income, mental stability, a normal life. Not very hopeful about any of that, though.
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
None in particular.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting out of the mental hospital.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Maybe not getting out in a very permanent manner.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yet again, allergies as usual, plus many, many mental health problems. Pfff.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I've barely bought anything this year.
12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Y. Always supportive, always attentive.
13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
14. Where did most of your money go?
Paying off debts, as usual.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
As last year, nothing. I'm beginning to suspect I'm incapable of feeling excitement.
16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Like last year, I listened to the Jeff Buckley version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" a lot. An awful lot, actually.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? In retrospect, and contrary to what you might believe, I think I'm actually (even) sadder than this time last year...
b) thinner or fatter? Unfortunately, the drugs that made me thinner this time last year didn't do much else, and the ones that replaced them made me fatter, so I'm probably about 10 kg fatter than a year ago.
c) richer or poorer? Probably "richer", but it's all relative. I'm still hopelessly in debt.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
In Scotland, with my daughters and my dad. For a wide range of reasons I won't go into right now, I was as miserable as hell and had a wretched time.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Yes, I think I did. But of course it didn't work out. Y and I are now "just friends", at his request, and my heart, though always suspecting that something like this would happen, feels very much broken.
22. What was your favourite TV programme?
I got quite into "Downton Abbey" I suppose. But mainly, I watch a lot of crap - I'll watch just about anything, actually, because I hate silence...
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
24. What was the best book you read?
I haven't been able to read a book in months.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Hardly a "discovery", but a sort of revelation for me - when in need of "loud and screechy", I've found that the Nine Inch Nails do the job very nicely...
26. What did you want and get?
27. What did you want and not get?
Love that lasts, a feeling of safety.
28. What was your favourite film of this year?
I haven't really seen any films this year.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
As last year, I don't really remember my birthday, though I do know I was in the mental hospital for it. I turned 44.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Same as last year, being loved.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
I don't have a "fashion concept".
32. What kept you sane?
Y certainly did a lot to make me strong enough to get out of the hospital, but I don't think anything has kept me sane.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't seem to be in that kind of mindset any more.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Nothing. I've barely kept up with politics this year.
35. Who did you miss?
Same as last year - my friends in England, my friend in South Africa, and now Y too.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013
I'm going to quote Nietzsche for this (in the original German, of course!): "Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blick du Abgrund auch in dich".
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year
Two: first, the same as last year: it's from Train's early hit, "Meet Virginia":
Same as last year, I'm afraid! Train, from "Meet Virginia": She pulls her hair back as she screams, "I don't really want to live this life!", and Snow Patrol, from "Chasing Cars": If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world.
So, there you have it. Done and dusted for another year. The way things have started, I'm not holding out much hope for a happier year than the last, oh, 5... but I guess I won't know for sure until I do this questionnaire again next year. Assuming I'm still breathing of course.