1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?
- Submitted a PhD thesis
- Attended and passed a PhD viva
- Wrote a sustained and long-ass piece of
- Seriously feared for my personal safety
- Ran two half-marathons in a month!
- Did a writing challenge; wrote every day for 30 days
- Taught some law stuff to a kid
- Met E's mom and kids
- Went vegan
- Met Charlie Cox!
- Went hiking on a volcano; Mount Etna in Sicily
- Went hiking in the Calanques National Park
- Started going for Bodypump classes (I think this was in 2019)
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
It seems like I didn't make any resolutions last year. We're already in March, so is there even a point in making resolutions?
Oh, why not: I resolve to start (just start, dammit) on the novel that's festering in my mind at some point this year.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My sister-in-law! Can't remember if Rui gave birth in December or January. (Really should've done this shit earlier!)
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
Italy (Florence, Sicily), France (Paris, Brest, Saint Malo, Arles, Avignon, Cassis), Vietnam (Hanoi, etc), Singapore
6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?
A freaking income! I'm glad, though, that I finally have my PhD.
Also, a stable, probably married life. :D And I want to stop living in fucking houseshares. My current one will be the absolute last one.
7. What dates from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
29 November 2019; date of my viva. 5 September 2019; date I submitted my thesis. It's so sad that the thesis pretty much dominated my life, such that nothing else stands out as much in my mind.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Passing my freaking PhD viva without corrections. In all fairness though, this was probably the achievement of the last four years combined.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Not finishing the thesis earlier; not submitting a journal article that I'd finished a year ago earlier; not writing enough. Basically my life.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes. I fell on a training run and injured my right knee about six weeks before the Cambridge Half-Marathon. That was not fun.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I honestly can't think of anything.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
E, for being patient enough to put up with m.e
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Probably some annoying housemate or other. And definitely the homeless dude who chased me on my run. Also, E's kids, momentarily.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Definitely food. I don't spend on much else these days.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Watching Betrayal and seeing Charlie Cox! My roadtrip in France with E. And going to Sicily with E. Oh my god, we had the most amazing parmiggiana in Sicily, in this place called Razmataz...fuckssake, why is milk evil? Why?
16. What song will always remind you of 2019?
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: (a) happier or sadder? (b) thinner or fatter? (c) richer or poorer?
a. Happier because the PhD is DONE! Now I just need to revise it to publish it as a book! Yay! (Goddammit when I can finally be rid of this thing?!)
b. I think I'm thinner but fitter.
c. Poorer by logical necessity: still no income, still spending money; QED. <<< Same as last year. <<< Same as last year, and therefore same as two years ago.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
My PhD. Haha. Also wish I'd stayed in touch with my friends more, which I'm actively trying to do this year. I just really dislike using my phone. I don't know why.
I also wish I'd gone vegan earlier.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Nothing much, really. I think 2019 was my first year of stability (apart from the seemingly never-ending PhD angst) in a long time.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
Feeling extremely uncomfortable whilst surrounded by the body parts of dead animals at my uncle's, and balking at the blase manner in which my relatives discussed which part of the dead cow they were consuming as though the cow was never a living, sentient being. I had to make food (a badly done ratatouille) to ensure that I'd have things to eat over there. Bleah.
21. Did you fall in love in 2018?
Still in love.
22. What was your favorite TV programme?
There were a few good ones: Unbelievable, When They See Us, Quicksand. Wasn't super crazy about anything though.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I honestly can't be arsed to hate people.
24. What was the best book you read?
A three-way tie between Alice Munro's The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo & Rose (the titular story is fantastic), and Zadie Smith's White Teeth and NW.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Not much, really.
26. What did you want and get?
I wanted to pass my viva without corrections. Done!
27. What did you want and not get?
A job, though I wasn't actively hunting.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I would say Joker but it's primarily because of Joaquin. Since I love him so much, let's go with that.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
It took me a while to remember, but wow...so E and I went to a pub to watch the Wimbledon final. We left the pub to go to dinner at a restaurant in the Shard. The match, between Roger and Djokovic, wasn't over yet. At the Shard, I pulled up the stream on my phone, saw that Roger had two championship points in the fifth.
Then he lost.
And then I lost interest in tennis. More accurately, I lost the heart to watch it because having your favourite player, someone who's inspired you in some ways, lose in such a spectacularly painful fashion on your birthday does something to you. It was gut-wrenching and I haven't watched another tennis match since then.
On the bright side, the food was good, though I don't remember what I had. I do remember that E ordered me a pinot noir, knowing full well that I don't like pinot noirs. I forgive him, for he was distracted by the bloody tennis too.
30. What one thing made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
PASSING MY PHD.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
32. What kept you sane?
Knowing that, this time next year, my PhD would be over.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Charlie Cox and Joaquin Phoenix. I love Joaquin though; he's truly the vegan king.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Animal ethics, veganism, etc.
35. Who did you miss?
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Probably my housemate, Georgi. She's a runner too and she cleans. It was funny that it was the first thing she said about me as well. Probably won't ever be close friends, but she's cool even though she eats dead and dismembered animals.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019.
Life fucking goes on and no one cares, so stop caring so much and chill out. (Yeah, if only I could remember this when I next feel like the world is crashing down on me and I'm the biggest failure alive.)
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Don't give a shit.