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lundi 23 janvier 2017

New Year's Questionnaire!

I suspect that this blog is in its death throes – I certainly never seem to be able to motivate myself to write anything (possibly because even I am loath to moan constantly…).


Now is the time (having been totally silent, absent, whatever since...hmmm...April) for the “traditional” New Year’s questionnaire. I know you’ve “all” been waiting with bated breath for this!

So. Here we go. A review of what life was like for Magic27 in 2016...

1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?
Tough question. Maybe “nearly die on a volcano”? (That sounds more dramatic than it actually was, and there was no actual “volcano” involvement, no explosions or lava I mean.)

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t generally make actual resolutions. Mainly because I’m crap at keeping to them. I did vaguely play around with the idea of keeping a bullet journal in 2017, but I’m not sure I’ll manage it...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No close friends (I suspect we’re all mostly too old now...), but my upstairs neighbour had a baby boy in March.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
A very dear friend died suddenly of a heart attack whilst doing charity work in Africa in July. We hadn’t seen each other in years, but were very good friends back in our student days and we kept in touch. His death shook me to the core. And it would have been his 48th birthday in 8 days.

5. What countries did you visit?
Nothing original: Scotland in April, Italy in August, Spain in October/November.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
Same as last year: a more stable, less stress-inducing financial situation and a better relationship with my 15-year-old daughter, C.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
11 July, the day my friend Iver died (see above).

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Surviving the year and paying off most of my debt. Translating a series of medical documents that allowed a French Paralympic athlete to participate in the Games in Rio and win a bronze medal.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Same as last year, my relationship with C.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
No, apart from what now appear to be year-round allergies and my usual blend of psychiatric specialness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Money is always tight, so I don’t buy much to be honest. I did treat myself to a new duvet cover and pillow cases set – turquoise blue with watermelons all over. I’m pleased with that!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
No one that I can think of in particular.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Long list! The British government, a large swathe of the British population, Donald Trump, a large swathe of the US population... Pfff

14. Where did most of your money go?
Paying off debt (always, always). I’m pretty much debt-free now though – even my mortgage is fully paid off!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I’m still not the kind of person to show that amount of enthusiasm about anything, but I was very much looking forward to travelling to Naples with the girls and Madrid (supposedly with the girls, but in fact only with L. as C. refused to come with us).

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?
Tough one. L. gets “favourite” songs and plays them to death for a few days before moving on to another one, so I doubt there’s a single song. But probably anything that was in the NRJ Top 50...

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? About the same – definitely not happy, but not utterly miserable either.
b) thinner or fatter? Probably fatter, but not much.
c) richer or poorer? Thanks to clients not paying when they’re supposed to, I’m actually destitute right now (-30 € on one account, +10 € on the other).

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Draw, paint, write, create. Feel happy.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worry, stress.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
C. and my ex travelled to Paris to be with my ex mother-in-law. L. refused to go, so it was me, her and Y. here for Christmas. Quiet, uneventful.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016?
No. In fact, my relationship with Y. is shaky – I think the truth is that I’m just not meant to live in the company of other human beings; I find people in general extremely irritating. And Y. rarely leaves the house, meaning that I feel like I’m suffocating, all the time.

22. What was your favourite TV programme?
I still (inexplicably) like Le Meilleur Pâtissier, and I thoroughly enjoyed the Amazon series, Bosch.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

24. What was the best book you read?
Hmmm. Tough one. I read lots of books this year, but mainly ones I’d already read. We need to talk about Kevin is one of them, and it moves me a great deal.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
At a personal level, possibly that I don’t actually hate Maître Gims’ songs as much as I thought I would.

26. What did you want and get?
Nothing, really.

27. What did you want and not get?
Lots of things: financial stability, happiness, a better relationship with C., alone time...

28. What was your favourite film of this year?
As usual, I think I only saw animated films this year. Of them, I probably enjoyed The Secret Life of Pets best.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 47, which seems shockingly old. The day was dull and non-descript at best, tense and interminable at worst. Same problem as last year – C. and Y. were both here, and the tension between them was palpable. I couldn’t wait for it all to be over, to be honest.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Financial stability.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
LOL – unkempt, multi-coloured scarecrow perhaps?

32. What kept you sane?
My private, inner fantasy world, the one I escape to when I get into bed or am walking around town on my own.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Still like Pat Monahan and Johnny Depp, but could now probably add in Titus Welliver...

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I should probably say Trump’s election, but to be honest, I’m more likely to be affected by the Brexit stupidity...

35. Who did you miss?
The situation with J. described in last year’s questionnaire hasn’t really changed – the odd e-mail, a belated Christmas card, that’s about all the contact we’ve had. It still breaks my heart. I also miss my dear friend M. in London, because we don’t get to see each other often enough because we’re both always broke...

36. Who was the best new person you met?
Given how much I tend to avoid people in general, I’m not particularly good at “meeting” new ones, so I don’t think I made any fabulous new friends in 2016...

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016
Stop trying to believe that the new year will be a good one because in reality, my life is a crapfest and there are only degrees of crap. 2015 and 2016 were a little less crappy than previous years, but still crap. My hopes and expectations for 2017 are thus appropriately low.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year

Never changes. Train’s Meet Virginia: She pulls her hair back as she screams, “I don’t really want to live this life!”