First of all, yes this is a little late. I've had this draft half-written for almost two years. Better late than never. Do not mock me!
I spent the whole of 2018 travelling from place to place, working from anywhere! The longest we stayed in one place was 6 weeks.
I'm taking a different approach with this year's annual retrospective. Instead of assessing each area of my life like I'm taking an end-of-year exam. I'm going to list my highlights of the year, my favourite things that I did.
Edinburgh during the fringe
We were lucky enough to be accepted to housesit in Edinburgh in August during the fringe! I'd never been in Edinburgh during the fringe, but it didn't take long for me to "get it". I now understand why everyone raves about the fringe. Edinburgh is completely transformed in a constant festival. I loved it.
So, why not make the most of staying in Edinburgh during the fringe? In the end I think I saw around 20 shows. My favourites were:
- Werewolf: Live,
- BEASTS: Best of BEASTS,
- The Dark Room,
- Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead,
- and The Underground Railroad Game
Also, we got to look after Maybae and Buster. I really like Leith.
In 2018 I challenged myself to do something for 100 days that I was not very good at. So I painted watercolours. Some days were awful, but I definitely improved over time. I love being around water and being in water, so this medium felt pretty fun and relaxing to me.
Here are a few early fails:
I really struggled early on to get to grips with the medium. Half of this is being patient enough to allow the water to dry before applying more layers. Depending on what you're going for of course. Also I forgot what a tree looks like.
Here are a few improved attempts:
I like sunsets, what can I say. Croatia was a big inspiration for this in fairness. It was lovely to capture when clouds are dramatically underlit by the orange setting sun, and the refractions of the setting sun on the ocean.
I've said this before about photography, what I like about painting is that it really forces you to look at something. Painting is a lot slower of course, and you gain an appreciation for detail. If I had the required patience, I'd love to get back into this.
World cup cooking
This was a year for challenges wasn't it? I love to cook new and interesting dishes, so during the world cup I challenged myself to cook a meal traditional to one of the countries playing that day. Lucky for me, The World Cook launched that year, which did exactly that. I still come back to this site for the recipes, the interaction design is excellent. Try the Koshary recipe
I tried scuba diving for the first time and I love it! I feel at home in water, and managed to keep the panic attacks at bay. It's the cloest thing to exploring an alien planet.
Rotterdam is awesome. It has great food, great beer, fun architecture, and a river. It's a shame there aren't more places to swim in the river otherwise it would be my ideal city.
Those sunsets. We stayed on a small island about an hour from Dubrovnik called Lopud. the food was fantastic.
Thailand and Malaysia
This was my first time in South East asia and despite being bitten by a dog and a serious case of food poisoning it was memorable. The food we had was just amazing. So fresh and colourful and flavourful. My highlights have to be the pork from the cowboy hat lady in Chaing Mai, Khao Soi, Som Tam, Tom Yum. We also did a much "Best Thai Cooking Course" and it was fantastic.