That’s it for 2013 then, I guess.
I lived in three different places (1 2 3) in three different countries. I flew spontanteously to Parma with just a change of clothes, a camera and a toothbrush. I turned 21. I wrote roughly 46,000 words in 23 essays (the 24th would have been semantics, but I guess I never wrote it). I went temporarily insane from stress and realised it was time to tone it down.
I trekked through fields full of cows in my festival gear, trying to find a shop that sold milk for my tent-side cuppa, and realised the absurdity of 21st century living. I tracked down a dead poet in the Alps. I went for a night-time dip in Swiss lake and then ate a defrosted, uncooked pizza with one of my best friends in the world. I saw Europe’s biggest waterfall. I petted a goat.
I moved to Berlin and found it challenging. I plodded through autumnal Oslo. I got my first taste of Poland and liked it. I faced Germany’s dark history and responded with many words, even though I really know what to say… I sang karaoke in a gay bar. I started to feel at home in Berlin.
I went home to Bavaria. I went home to the UK. I went ice skating. I had a heart-to-heart with a painting of Mr Darcy in the women’s loos of my favourite pub back home. I had another heart-to-heart with a dear friend on an Oxfordshire bus. I had a third heart-to-heart in a cozy Oxford coffee shop with snowflakes whirling by. Consider my heart replenished.
I wrote about my year 52 times here – it wasn’t always easy, and I flagged at the end. Considerably. The date tag on this might read December, but as I write this it’s almost the following June. Nevertheless, the task is done. 22,000 words dissecting, documenting and reflecting on 2013. The verdict? It was good, as years go. One of the best I’ve had, in fact.
I’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet – for auld lang syne!