Thursday 2 January 2014

2013 in review: Part 1

There was a decided lack of posts in 2013. So I'm borrowing something from Natasha Marie (who borrowed it from someone else) and posting a wrap-up.
Seeing as this also happens to be my 200th published post on this blog, I think a wrap-up is very fitting.
Warning: it's long. I'm making up for a year of little posts. So it actually comes in more parts.

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Saw an opera. My sister and her husband’s birthday gift for me was a visit to an opera they’d been to several times before already. Now we all want to see it once again, and more. It’s a modern recreation of the earliest at least partially preserved opera, and the music has only the best features of both.

(There's Czech monologue/dialogue until about 1:55.)

(Awwwww, everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to hear that thing! In person! One of the saddest realisations of 2013 is the realisation that that’s not humanly possible.)
I picked one of the artificial laurel leaves they pour out during the performance and keep it as a memento. I do not think I was the only one.
After that, we met with some of their friends from church and made pretzels, which was a first for me, too.
Had port. (Nom!)
Made plum cakes. Cuts. Whatever. (Yummy.)
Made handkerchiefs. :-)
Read medieval English literature in actual medieval English. (With lots of footnotes.) 
Visited Karlštejn. Tourist trap level as expected. The guide's level of knowledge was a less expected letdown. While the castle itself is certainly interesting, you might want to save your money and go visit somewhere else, maybe Ploskovice. I'll post about it this year, promise.

Spent a whole weekend with the people from our youth magazine editorial board (we're mostly volunteers), learning about media and having lots of fun.
Spoke to a Touareg. (Something along the lines of “Could you please sign this for me. – Thanks. – It was wonderful.” See below.)

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make one this year?
I don’t do New Year’s resolutions as such, so there. I do make occasional resolutions (occasional as in for / at an occasion), and right now it’s to finish more of my sewing.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not anyone very close to me.

Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, two of our cats, Yksi and Kuusi (so yes, that Kuusi lesson is a retrospect...).

What countries/states did you visit?
I visited many new places around my own, and loved it!

(The year before, it was Finland, which I still have not gotten around to telling you about. Ahem.)

(This was already in 2012, but whatever.)

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
I cannot think of anything in particular. Except maybe attending the interpreting course.

What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
I don’t remember any particular dates for things that happened to me. So I’ll go with November 8th when my friend did not take an important exam in the end. :D It’s because it’s an important date from my country’s history (the battle of White Mountain) that I could never remember, and now I do!

Did you move anywhere?

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Probably translating quite a lot into English, in an official capacity. It's not something that you should be doing, mind you, translating into a second language and not your own; we'll have an English editor go over it.

What was your biggest failure?
Probably still failing to finish my sister’s kathak skirt. My sewing failures stand out the most to me, because they’re still lying around the house to remind me.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Thankfully, nothing serious, just the usual seasonal colds.

What was the best thing you bought?
One thing? Phew. That would be very hard to decide; I don't buy big things.
A beige felt cloche and bamboo scent in January with my Christmas money – the hat is pretty and practical and very much me, and that is actually my first scent, one that’s very much me, too (before that, everything had always smelled just perfume-y to me).
A pair of lace-up boots. 

The Felicitas Queisser scarf - I wear it all the time now, 1797 fichu en marmotte style.

Those 15 meters of lining fabric - that was definitely the haul of the year, maybe even of the decade, but only fabric-wise.
And I finally got myself a purse/shoulderbag that's almost perfect. It might even be leather and it was dirt cheap in a thrift shop. My only complaint is that I would prefer a wider shoulderstrap.
Two Cadfael books, the last in the shop, hidden away in a "last copies" shelf: one for me, one for my sister for Christmas.

Whose behaviour merited celebration?
I think the biggest thumbs up go to my sister for inviting her Latvian colleague and friend who had to stay here over Christmas to celebrate with us, and the rest of the family including grandma for going along with it - even though in the end it did not go quite as planned because of my sister's illness.

On the internet, it's without a doubt Leimomi, for running the Historical Sew Fortnightly which turned out to be hugely popular and way more time-consuming than she had expected; and doing it again this year!

Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
I can’t think of anything. It was a fairly happy year, all in all.

Where did most of your money go?
In general, school.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
As evidenced by this post, Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.

What was the best concert you’ve been to this year?
It’s a tie between Mark Knopfler & Co.’s concert in May (an online newspaper review gave it 90%, which caused an outrage from commentators who demanded to know what was their excuse for the lack of the remaining 10% :D) and La Dafné in December (an online review gave it 100%). And how could I forget Bombino?! 2013 was very good, concert-wise.

What song/album will always remind you of 2013?
Privateering! The album. I still love it more and more and more. Song is probably Yon Two Crows from it.

Or maybe Her Tenere by Bombino. Yes, that will be the song, because friends and concert and awesome discoveries about the world thanks to the internet.


  1. I think we all need to be reminded that a quiet blog is usually the sign of a busy life! Not that a busy blog is sign of a quiet life, mind you. And clearly you've been busy. Love the scarf. Happy NEw Year!

    1. Happy new year to you, too!
      It was a busy year; I completely forgot that I've also been to the National Theatre, another first!
      And the coming year will probably be busy, too, but I'll try and squeeze more blogging into it. There's a backload of travelling photos waiting to be shared!

  2. My dear girl! You have been to Finland? And not a word?? I will hopefully expect every detail fit to print. :D (I've been having a fascination with Scandinavia in the past few years for some reason)

    I'm very sorry you lost your kitties. My own cats send their condolences.

    Your outfit is great! I also like the boots. ( the phrase, in regard to your handbag, is dirt cheap, not dirty) :D

    Happy New Year!

    1. Pffft, dirt cheap, silly me! :D

      I kept wanting to post about Finland, and postponing and forgetting. First, it took me very long to even go through the photos, then uploading them online... I'm still not finished with that!

      Yksi left behind more of her kittens, so now we actually have more cats than ever. I've just spent an adventurous few minutes trying to catch a (nameless, so far) tomcat who got inside and had no idea what to do with himself here. :D

      Happy new year!

  3. Happy New Year to you!
    I always enjoy your posts, and the peek they give me into cultures around the world. Your music is always interesting and now you have me wanting to research La Dafne. Never heard of it before but the music is gorgeous!

    1. Happy new year!
      Thank you - giving a glimpse into a different culture is one of the things I really enjoy doing, because it's also what I enjoy reading...
      Most of the music is new, I believe the only thing that had survived is the last piece (and the libretto) - but the two composers who wrote the rest did a marvellous job.

  4. What a great window into your year! As i was reading it I was marvelling at your perfect use of English idiom and informal language, and wondering if I'd misunderstood and you were born in the US or UK and now living in the Czech Republic. (I hope you are not offended - I know you are proud of your culture.) But I see you are indeed Czech and an excellent language scholar and interpreter. I love reading your blog, it gives me an insight into a culture and region I don't know enough about. Happy New Year, from the other side of the world. (New Zealand).

    1. Blogs help, a lot. :-)
      Thank you for commenting - I'm glad to hear from another new reader. Happy new year!

  5. thank you for posting this!
    it made me thinking about this first categorie "what did you what you never done before?" - usually i´m running thru my life with the eyes in the direction of the new adventures, i should recap them more i think. and learn from ;-)
    love the brown/blue color-combo - in exactly this matte hues i made a desert themed collection at fashion school. 20 years ago.
    waiting for part two........

    1. I don't usually do these - just like I don't do resolutions. But the older I get, the faster my life goes by, and I realise it is useful to reflect and yes, possibly also learn from it.

      It is actually dark olive green - the photos turned out very red for some reason. I edited out the worst of, but it still destorts the colours a bit...

  6. Šťastný Nový Rok Hana! A very nice way to catch up with your life. I look forward to reading part two & to seeing & reading about Finland.