With a new year approaching I'm reflecting on the old one...
What was your birthday like?
My birthday was on a Sunday this year and I remember it being a really quiet day. I don't think I did very much apart from eating lots of cake! But on the Friday before my birthday I had dinner with friends and then we saw the Les Miserables film :)
Did you go on holiday this year?
I went on a mini-break to Jersey in May. I went with my mother and we both had a lovely time. The weather was perfect and the hotel was great. It had a heated indoor swimming pool and a cocktail bar! :D We stayed in the capital St Helier and had a look around the town. We also visited the Zoo and the Jersey War Tunnels. We both wished that we could have stayed an extra day though because we'd have both liked to have gone on a daytrip to St Malo in France. Here are some photos that I took of the trip:
I also went to France in July with some people from my church. Our church sponsors two missionary families that live in France and a group of us went out to visit them. The purpose of the trip was to get a feel for what they do out there so the church knows how best to pray for them. We had fun though and God really spoke to me on the trip (I don't mean that literally because I didn't hear an audible voice). Mainly I learnt that I need to relax more and stop worrying about things! This might sound like an obvious thing but it's extremely hard to do in practise! I've felt more at peace since I got back which has been great, especially because some things that have happened to me this year have been very difficult. But I don't want to go into that.
What were the best books that you read in 2013?
My absolute favourite book this year was Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Other brilliant books that I read this year were Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Robin McKinley's Beauty and Georgette Heyer's Cotillion and Arabella. I also re-read Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South this year which are old favourites of mine.
What were the best films that you saw in 2013?
Les Miserables was my absolute favourite! Technically it belongs to 2012 but I didn't get to see it until January 2013 because that's when it came out in the UK. Other films that I saw at the cinema and loved were The Great Gatsby, Star Trek into Darkness, Catching Fire, Frozen and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. A film that I saw on DVD and loved was Mirror Mirror. Such an underrated film!
What were your favourite new TV shows of 2013?
I spent a lot of time rewatching old boxsets this year (Doctor Who, etc) but I made new discoveries. When it comes to new shows I discovered Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow, Game of Thrones and Hannibal
this year and loved them all. It's hard to pick a favourite out of those at the moment but if I had to, and if season one carries on being as brilliant as it is, then I think it would have to be Sleepy Hollow. It's hilarious, suspenseful, massive fun, Tom Mison and Nicole Beharie have an amazing chemistry, and it has a veeery Buffy-esque tone to it. I've also been watching the BBC's Atlantis this year. Its critical reviews haven't been great and - unlike the others that I've mentioned - I wouldn't call it brilliant. It's still perfectly watchable though and hopefully the second series will be a lot better once the writers have found their feet because the show has a lot of potential.
The best miniseries that I watched this year was Sense and Sensibility (2008). Although I still prefer the 1995 adaptation this miniseries was so much better than I thought it was going to be and I loved Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars :D
What were the best plays/musicals that you saw?
This year I saw Wicked (for the second time) in London. I also saw a production of The Tempest (which starred Roger Allam and Colin Morgan), a play called Mojo (which starred Ben Whishaw, Colin Morgan and Rupert Grint) and a production of Richard II (which starred David Tennant) in London. I got to see the 50th anniversary production of Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap, the 25th anniversary tour of Phantom of the Opera, and War Horse when they came to my home town. I also saw the National Theatre's production of Frankenstein when it was screened into cinemas (I saw both of its versions). I saw more plays this year than I've ever seen before which was great. I can honestly that I loved every single production that I saw this year but if I had to pick out a top three then I'd go for Frankenstein as my favourite play (which I thought was absolutely magnificent). Wicked and Phantom are the only musicals that I saw this year but I would also include them as being amongst my favourite theatrical experiences this year. I love those musicals so much!
Is there anything else that you saw or heard this year that you loved?
Yes! I started listening to radio shows this year and I fell in love with BBC Radio 4's Cabin Pressure and Neverwhere. They're both completely different to each other. All that they have in common is that they both star Benedict Cumberbatch and are fabulous! I watched a few web series this year too. I started with The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I adored that show and it's now my favourite Pride and Prejudice adaptation! Call it heresy if you want but I don't care! :D Now I'm currently watching Emma Approved and The Autobiography of Jane Eyre. I'm really enjoying both of those shows as well although I feel EA had a rocky start. When it comes to music discoveries I've also become a big fan of Ellie Goulding and Imagine Dragons.
Ellie Goulding - Burn
This song was number one for weeks in the UK! But I haven't even got tired of it!
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive (live from the Reading Festival)
You started learning French last year. How's that going?
Fairly well and I actually got to practise some French when I went over to France. I have to admit that I'm not as motivated to learn it as much as I was last year though. I've become a bit lazy. I need to do something about that. I'd like to take a Latin class next year too. I've heard it's extremely useful for studying Latin-based languages which makes sense.
Apart from blogger can you be found anywhere else on the internet?
Yes. Back in June or July I got a Tumblr account which turned out to be the best and worst decision of the year! It's been the best because I've had so much fun on that website and I've talked to some really cool people on it. It's awesome to have so many of your fandoms come up on your dashboard and I've laughed myself silly at some of the memes and gifs I've found on it. But it's been the worst because I spend a ridiculous amount of time on it! I've also very recently started a Pinterest account. I haven't been on it that long to have much of an opinion on it but it seems pretty cool.
Any new years' resolutions for 2014?
Oh, the usual ones really. Go to bed earlier, do some kind of exercise, read more and spend less time on the internet, remember to moisturise every day, etc. Hopefully I can keep at least one of them!