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January 1, 2013 / magickittenblogs

Hello 2013 (goodbye 2012)

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So, 2012. I’ve been shocked to see so many people pleased to see the back of it, as I tend to think it’s been pretty good, all in all. It seems that the highs have been enormous, although the lows, for some, have been a roller coaster too.

My highlights have mostly been the big events. First of these was the Guardian Open Weekend; we went for the Saturday and included in our ticket were four talks/discussions/seminars of our choice. We heard a panel including Alan Rusbridger and Tom Watson discussing Leveson and press regulation, Cressida Cowell talking to children and grown-ups about writing How to Train Your Dragon and then Steve Coogan talking about his life, work but mainly phone hacking. Fascinating. It was Easter time but the weather was glorious. We ate our lunch in fantastic sunshine in a community garden beside Regents Canal. I’d go again in a heartbeat.

Latitude was brilliant too, despite changeable weather. It rained far less than 2011 (thank God), but just enough to feel like a real British festival. Even though I had to arrive late Friday and leave before the end on Sunday (stupid work), I saw some great bands play some great music (heard some great talks (Simon Armitage, Brian Cox), saw brilliant dance (New Adventures), ate in a lovely pop-up restaurant and even went to a great club night, Guilty Pleasures! The whole atmosphere at Latitude is wonderful – it’s such a magical experience and I can’t wait to go again this summer.

Then, of course, how could I not mention London 2012, possibly the most exciting two weeks of my life? I’d been looking forward to it since 2005, unashamedly supporting and defending it at every step, and having a little squee every time I saw the burgeoning Olympic Park taking shape at Stratford. I would never have believed it could be so amazing. I watched my blu-ray of the Opening Ceremony the other night and was awestruck all over again at the sheer brilliant cheek of Danny Boyle taking money from a Tory government to put on a spectacular celebration of socialism and all the progress, technology, art and culture that it brought to Great Britain, not to mention the NHS! And don’t even get me started on the medallists; I still can’t watch the footage of Super Saturday without crying.
But I didn’t only watch it on TV; I was there! I may not have seen any medal ceremonies or finals but I saw future medallists – the British women’s sculls who went on to win Gold, the Mexican men’s football team who went on to win Gold but, most thrillingly of all, I was in the Stadium for the first Athletics session where Jess Ennis broke the women’s hurdles record in her first Heptathlon event. A sign of things to come. I will never forget the roar of the crowd as she blasted over the line. Amazing.

And of course there have been other smaller events too – Anthony Horowitz reading and tweeting me about my review of his Power of Five series, getting into book-blogging and podcasting for Adventures With Words, and, most recently seeing Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty and visiting the Ball Gowns exhibition at the V&A – gorgeous!

There’s just so much in 2012 that I loved. I just hope 2013 can keep up. I’m off to Barcelona for the first time tomorrow morning, got tickets booked for Muse in May and planning to be at Latitude in July. Who knows what else may come along…

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