The weather in 2011 was quite memorable - from a snowy January in Yorkshire to a wet balmy December in Sligo. I got a good soaking on the Champs Elysees in July, though had enjoyed glorious sunshine on my bike tour of Cork and Kerry in April. We even experienced tropical temperatures on the North and South Downs in October. The weather did go a little topsy turvy in 2011 but it certainly wasn't dull!
With all this talk of revolutions and natural disasters, not to mention certain economic pressures on my purse it's not surprising that I didn't get out of the UK much. In 2011 I learnt to appreciate my home country that bit more. I did various trips to other parts of England - a boat trip along the River Ouse in November, riding around the South Downs in October and the New Forest in November, going to the Notting Hill Carnival for the first time in decades in August, Morris dancing in East Yorkshire in December, and walking the Three Peaks in June. I did a bit of English Theatre in February, French Theatre in March, and Italian poetry in May just by hopping on the number 3 bus to Oxford Circus!
2011 was a year in which I met lots of new folks - mainly through the cycle journalism. Jens Voigt (July), Victoria Pendleton (September), Mike Smith (December) were the more famous names, but I also met various cyclists when gathering vox pops for event features and through interviewing people. I found that no matter how confident you may be there's always that apprehension, during that first meeting, about making the first 20 secounds count. The pressure to have a stimulating conversation or get an interesting quote always lurks.
I have done alot of visualisation this year to get myself into the right frame of mind when leaving my comfort zone. I've visualised so much that I'm almost tuned out of the real world!
I don't know how much impact I actually made on the interviewees, or if these folks even remember me. Whatever, I'm happy with the way things went!
Of course this has been the year for lots of writing. In 2011 I had regular slots in Cycling Active and event features in Cycling Weekly magazines, as well as features in Cross-Crazy, Sportsister and Bike Magic online magazines. Thanks to the editors of the publications for taking a chance on me! :)
You may or may not have gathered that I do like putting pen to paper (albeit in a virtual sense). Sometimes it comes out abit waffly. Sometimes it's lucid. Occasionally it's higgeldy piggledy as I have been known to write my blog entries in the small hours of the morning after a tipple. Either way, writing has always been and always will be a pleasurable activity for me.
Huge thanks to you, for reading my bits and pieces during 2011.
Happy New Year!