Wednesday, January 01, 2014

My personal highlights of 2013

2013 was a bloody good year for me so here are some of my personal highlights (not in any particular order).
  • Becoming self-sufficient. In August the weekly shop at the supermarket ended. We rely now on food we have produced ourselves, picked wild or traded, using our own produce as currency.
  • Setting up the allotment cafe at Marley Hill Community Centre. We’ve held them monthly since March but in 2014 we are looking to hold them more regularly.
  • Getting a honey crop. This was a year late. We started beekeeping in 2011 but 2012 was a disastrous year for bees because the weather was so bad. This year we got our first honey crop and as of December, we had sold out of honey.
  • Filming with the BBC. After six months of filming on the allotment, starting in March, the “Inside Out” programme about how I became self-sufficient was broadcast in September. Last minute filming meant I had to miss party conference.
  • 3 million viewings. I reached this milestone on YouTube in the late summer. And the monthly payments from Google for advertising revenue keep rolling in.
  • Cruising the Rhine. Our June holiday nearly did not happen. The Rhine had suffered its worst flooding in 400 years. A last minute change to the itinerary and a flight from Newcastle to Frankfurt rather than Switzerland meant it went ahead.
  • Visiting Berlin. I had wanted to visit the German capital for ages and in August, the opportunity came up. On this trip I concentrated on looking at the relics of the failed socialist era. I’ll do another visit at some point to look at relics from the Nazi period.
  • Goat keeping. In September I got my first 2 goats – and discovered the huge bureaucracy that comes with goat keeping.
  • Incubating eggs. I got an incubator for Christmas 2012 so we spent the year hatching chicks and ducklings.
  • Healthy living. I managed to keep up my record of not needing to visit a GP. My last visit was in 1998. However, I had to go to the dentist for the first time since 1986 and my first visit to the optician since 1986 also took place. I now have reading glasses.
  • Turning 50.

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