Rocking My World Friday...

Rocking My World Friday Year...

It's fair to say that the latter part of our 2011 has been pretty damn horrible to say the least. So I thought for the last Rocking Friday of the year it would serve me well to look back at the whole year and remember the good points too.

So here goes :)

We won a fight. It was good against evil and the fight had been going on for over 10 years. I wont say more than that but it's changed the whole mood of our family unit, a load has been lifted. To one particular member of our family - they are a changed person. They are a happy and carefree, confident person. They have control over their own future. That in itself is pretty epic. It's easy to forget when amazing things happen at the beginning of the year.

We moved house... our old one nearly ended up with a lorry parked in the living room but the end result was it prompting a move to a nicer area. The new house has a big workshop so it made sense to bring the business with us rather than keep on paying for separate unit fees. It's nice having Craig kind of at home during the day - out in the workshop but able to pop in for tea and lunch. Means I can be more of a help too as he can bring in any paperwork or packing he needs a hand with.
I got a stu-stu-studio! Ok, I only had it a few months and, because of the move, am now back in the corner of our living room... but while I had it, I had the chance to play around, to realise what I want to do. I had the great feeling that Craig is fully supportive of me. I would love, in an ideal world to call myself an artist without turning it into a joke. Craig can't understand why I don't - I think I feel like I need to be earning an income from it to be able to call myself it... I don't know why. I think I am getting myself on that path. Having the stu-studio for that short while has been a helping shove in the right direction.
Earlier in the year I reviewed a couple of books I'd read. Then I looked at my wishlist, sussed out most of the books were from the same few publishers and decided to email them. Nervously and with much grovelly cheek I asked them to consider my blog to be added to their reviewer database. Some didn't reply. Some said yes. The one I had all my fingers crossed for said yes. So I've been very lucky to be sent some gorgeous art & craft books and some really fabulous fiction books this year. Books I would otherwise never have been able to afford. And because of this I can pass my good luck and their generosity on in the form of giveaways. I really am grateful to them for trusting in my little blog, for giving me the chance to read all these great books (oh, but I love books so much!) and not only that but give my opinion on them too. I do like giving my opinion! Big, big positive of my year.

Every other year we holiday in Scotland. This year was that 'other' year. I love it up there - I hide it well, I know. I love the drive, the area we go to, I love the purple mountains, the clean air, clean water, I love the locals. It's always sad coming home... but it's always fun looking forward to next time.

My girls. Yes I know I'm biased. And yes, they could make bickering a champion sport. But they are my bickering monsters and when I look around at some of the "yoof" of today, I'm insanely proud of them. They're polite to others, they are creative, intelligent, thoughtful, they're all doing well at school. Yep - my girls rock my World.

My Craig. It's only when I watch other couples or hear other parents down the school really saying awful, awful things about their partners that I realise how special and maybe these days, unusual, our relationship is. It's taken hard work and we've been through some rocky patches and had to overcome quite a lot. He really is my best friend. I can't imagine life without him. We know each other so well, each others foibles, bad habits.... it's like they say - we know the best of each other and the worst but love each other anyway. If there is such a thing as soul mates then I reckon he's mine.
I won a £50 Amazon voucher! *Whoop, whoop!* Amazon is probably my favourite shop in the World!
I've been fortunate to win a few book giveaways this year too.
The day out tickets that last a year. They've made it possible to give the girls a lot more days out to places that usually are to expensive to justify the price for only one day. We are going to rotate and do a couple of different places a year. I think it's such a great idea and am so glad so many places seem to be adopting it.
Friends both online and off. It's when you go through poopy patches in life you realise who your friends are. Mine are amazing and I feel privileged to know each and every one of you. I only hope I can return the friendship you've shown me.
The Secret Santa swap - it was such a laugh and just when I needed it, I would get an email with one of you 'fessing up to having opened your pressie or telling me how sneaky your stalking tactics were. Such a great bunch of people took part. It really was a highlight of my year! You crazy fools!
Mr (or Mrs) Silver Crow. I still see him flying about and he always seems to stay in this area. I'd never seen one before and still haven't managed to catch a good picture. He's definitely silver and not albino. Still think he was my good omen.

Ooh and the Artful Bird book I got for Christmas has a crow pattern in it! Huzzah!

Having Craig's Mum and my Dad here for Christmas. It was a family Christmas, the girls harassing them to play, me murdering a roast dinner, board games and to much food. But it was lovely and am glad they are both coming again for the New Year.
I'm sure there is so much more I've not put down here - but that's not a bad look back at all is it? It would have been so easy to write off the whole year because of the terrible things that happened at the end. Thanks to Rocking Friday I'm learning to think of the whole picture and not just focus all my attentions on the bad. It's to easy to feel yourself slipping into despair if you do that. So for this reason Virginia and her Rocking Friday's are a huge positive to me this year. I'm finding it an invaluable tool in not sinking but instead treading water and even walking in the sun. Thank you Virginia.

Why not join in next year and take part in Rocking Fridays yourself? If you do, make sure to link up so that we can all find you.

Thank you as always for stopping by.


  1. I always feel so priviledged (and giddy as heck) to read your sweet words about your great friends.....and know I'm one of them :)

    You are an amazing woman, so full of moxie and so utterly likeable....I am so thankful I found a whole new creative world by becoming a Blogger....and that we travel along the same paths here!

    Luv you Much, Cambo!!!

  2. I feel like I'm walking on air after reading that wonderfully positive post. You are right, there has been so much that is good over the past year, that it would be wrong to allow the other stuff to take over, as truly ghastly as that has been. Like Cameron says, I feel so proud to be in your cool club of friends (says she who's never ever ever in my long legged life been in a cool gang!). You're an incredibly talented artist (you don't have to earn money from it to be called an artist!!), you're incredibly funny, and you're so very kind. Ker-ching!

    Secret Santa was the best fun - a fantastic idea for like minded people to seek out gifts for another.

    Wishing you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2012.


  3. Carmen, such a wonderful list of great things for the year.It is an inspiration to read such uplifting words especially knowing some of the c**p stuff you have been challenged with this year.Reading your rocking post every week has helped me try and look for the good each week(especially during my PMS week when EVERYTHING is rubbish!)and I am tempted to join in next year.
    Secret Santa was fantastic, well done you for organising it.
    Can I also be in the cool club of friends, please???I am cool, honestly LOL!!!!!
    Oh by the way, I caved and purchased Outpost last night for the kindle, after your review I just had to read it!!
    Have a wonderful new year Carmen x x x

  4. That's a great idea to sum up the year. :) I should do it. Looks like books prevailed your year. :)) And your girls are just adorable! Oh, and Van Gogh didn't sell a painting in his life and he's still a legend among artists. You should start calling yourself an artist. That should be another of your NY resolutions. :) Happy New Year, Carmen!! May all your wishes come true and good win over evil again. :)

  5. Oh Sweetie - firstly that was such a great post - I think that's what I was trying to do but missed the beat a bit LOL (not for the first time), I'm glad in amongst all the difficulties that have occurred at the end of the year you're able to reflect on the whole year with a positive view - that side of things is important!

    Now I've never been in a cool gang so that had me giggling!!!

    Now as many times as you say I am an artist - the words right back at you girl and I've got your artwork to prove it!! True Blood Duckie sits pride of place on my hard drive unit to see whenever I do my posts and your gorgeous gorgeous canvas is on my shelves full of art!!!

    WTG you for contacting publishes earlier in the year and you're always so generous with your giveaways but I'm all for putting back into the universe when we receive.

    May the close of 2011 be time for family, for your amazing partner, your gorgeous girls, your Dad and Craig's Mum, may it be the point where you are all able to turn that page and find a brand new sheet that is 2012.

    Much hugs sweetheart


  6. This post should be made available on the NHS. Definitely. You are an inspiration. And an artist. Definitely an artist.

  7. This was such a wonderful post. I'm glad you were able to find so many positive things to have happened in your year! Life does seem rather overwhelming at times, but it's these sweet moments you've captured that make it all worthwhile. :)
    Even though I haven't known you for very long, I'm very glad that we were able to meet each other via the blogosphere. You're such a wonderful lady!

  8. What a wonderfully uplifting post Carmen. your is so easy to forget the happy moments when 1 bad thing happens, but your future is looking bright :D And how awesome to have a Silver crow!!! Have you been looking for your totem animal? They don't come any clearer than that one...strength, wisdom, and wings for your dreams to fly on :D
    A Blessed 2012 to you and your lovely family :D XXX

  9. Fabulous, fabulous post Carmen...a great idea to review the year and not let the bad things take over.
    I've never been in a cool gang before either....yay for finally making it!!lol
    Secret Santa was brilliant..thanks again for hosting it.
    Happy New Year Hugs. xx
    p.s. your girls are all gorgeous (just like their Mum!!).

  10. I am crying into my keyboard, because I am just to please that you have found a way to swim,

    and whilst last year you believed you were an artiste next you will believe for yourself that you are an artist,

    yes you are


    and may I remind you of your resolutions? your art will improve enormously if you FINISH those courses!!!!!

    big love & hugs from an
    insane secret santa groupey


  11. What a wonderful review of the year - much better than the c**p ones you get on TV. Glad your Christmas was good, despite the circumstances at the end of the year. You are a wonderful lady with a great family and I wish you all the very best for next year. Can I share some good times, too?! I would love to join in your Secret Santa next time round!
    Lots of love, Helen.

  12. I would like to add my thanks to you for a great upbeat thread to see both you and us into the New Year. And YES you ARE an artist! :-P Have a great New Year! x

  13. I would just like to say " :-) " you lovely little artist you....i have proof :-D!!!

  14. I think it is an important life skill to be able to track the good even when life is throwing crap at you from several directions. I think that I can count very few times in my life (maybe one) when life was just plain rotten and as always it never lasts forever, just like the good times. I know I am a stronger person for it all. What ever else 2012 throws at us there will be friends and crafting and towards the end of the year more secret santa-ing ;) so here's to the experiences we have had in 2011 and the ones we have to look forward to in 2012 :)

  15. Carmen, such a brilliant post, I pop in quite a lot espesh for the book reviews but don't always leave a you a note, sorry. We have to have the crap times otherwise we wouldn't be able to enjoy the good ones, we'd have nothing to compare. May you have a happy and inspirational New Year, all year through too.


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