The Good, the bad and the just plain ridiculous

a.k.a. 2013 a year in review.

The Good.

20131230-170551.jpg

The Boyfriend at Loch Ness

The highest point of the year for me came in August, when I was accepted as a reviewer for Crimesquad.com after meeting up Chris Simmons, the man behind it all in July.  Crimesquad is a cracking website with regular reviews of all your favourite new books, and a huge archive of previous reviews so if you’re looking for a worthwhile opinion on a book it’s a great place to look.  If you’ve never seen the site head here to check it out, and if you’re interested in my reviews, you can find some of them here.

20131230-170713.jpg

Other highlights of my year were all mainly travel related, there was a week roaming round The Highlands of Scotland and Northern England staying with good friends, and even spending time at the Inaugural Crime & Publishment weekend in Gretna Green.  Of course Crime and Publishment wasn’t the only inaugural event that I got to attend this year, being in on the first ever IcelandNoir was also something I would never have missed for the world, and it left me with some wonderful memories.

20131230-170843.jpg

The Harrogate book haul.

Finally there were the usual annual trips to both CrimeFest and the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, which always bring with them happy days, and my favourite thing of all free books.  This year was a record haul with just five books purchased, but twenty five brought home.

The Bad

The year started off badly with the loss of my beloved 94 year old Grandmother, a little over a week in.  She was a wonderful woman, the most remarkably positive person I ever knew.  Sadly the trauma was made a little harder to bear due to an uncooperative work colleague of the Boyfriends meaning I had to attend the funeral alone.

20130109-135936.jpg

A beautiful soul

I’ve had  a fair few lows as the year has gone on but I’ve come back from most of them relatively unscathed, and I have a plan in place for 2014 to try and avoid getting into the dark places in the beginning.

Of all the long running bad things, this rant was possibly the best.  The catalogue of errors faced when I bought my car was shocking and irritating, but the response to Rant the Fifth being published on the interchoobs and posted on twitter was great.  17 minutes from tweet, to initial phone call, rant resolved the next day.

The Just Plain Ridiculous

Doing this journey.

Twice.   In the same day.

20130416-143713.jpg

a 1,027 mile round trip just so I could have a specific breed of pedigree cat.

I’m not counting honest.

20131102-000900.jpg

Ok so I am already stupidly excited about the fact we are having a trip away, simply because it has almost (and will have been by the time we go) been three years since the Boyfriend and I actually left the country*, and this break away to Iceland for IcelandNoir, is an unexpected trip abroad

But there are plenty of other reasons I am looking forward to going too.  On the personal side there are several good friends of mine who will also be there, and the chance to spend even a few hours sat with a drink, or maybe a meal, just chatting away will be fabulous, due to the fact that I don’t get to see any of them on a regular basis as they all live in Yorkshire or above, and it’s a bit of a trek from the cotswolds to see them.

On the fanboi side, there is Arnaldur Indridason, for a start.  I have loved his books since I first read Silence of the Grave his second Detective Erlendur novel a couple of years ago and his latest book Strange Shores simply blew me away. ( You can find my review of it for CrimeSquad Here in the November reviews) Whilst no fanboi moment I have again in my life will live up to the moment I got to meet Stan Lee, I’m quite sure that meeting Indridason, will be up there in my top ten author moments.

Then of course there is the bucket list.  Not for me per se, but certainly for the other half.  Visiting Reykjavik has been on his bucket list for quite some time as has seeing the Northern Lights (aurora borialis) which is an amazing sight, and certainly something everyone should see once in their lifetime given the opportunity, and we have a trip out to look for them while we are there.

Then there is everything else that we are going to try and fit in during the rest of the time we are there.  Ooh, it’s going to be fun, and yes I can’t wait.

*no our recent trips to Scotland and Wales don’t count! 😛