2014. That was the year that was.

I wanted to do a recap of 2014, but it seemed a bit boring. What would I write and how would I present it? Then I saw a linky on my blog buddie Sadhbh’s blog. (In case you are not Irish and think I was typing not looking at the keys, her name is Irish and pronounced sigh ve). Her blog is called, ‘Where wishes come from’ and I thought it was a great idea. So I raced off to read the other posts she has linked there, and rob be inspired by their titles.

Most Popular Post.
Apart from my ‘About me’ page which seems to have attracted a very large number of viewers, probably wondering what sort of an eejit I am, my most popular or most viewed post this year was thankfully a tongue in cheek post called, I am married twenty years and I still hate being a wife. Every day it draws poor misfortunates to my blog after they Google, ‘I hate my husband’, or ‘I am married and so bored’. I’m not sure my blog post is what they are seeking, but Google knows best!
The next most popular by a long way is my ‘letter to my mom‘. I wrote it as part of my ‘Series of letters’, and even though it is in high praise of her, I value my life, so I still haven’t told her about it. Maybe some day I will, or as suggested in one of the comments, maybe I’ll write it to her in a letter one day.

Favourite post.
Well this one has taken me ages to figure out. What was my favourite post of 2014? I could have just picked any post and pretended I loved it, but honestly I didn’t. I trawled though the year, and truthfully I would have to say I really enjoyed the experience. I could hear my mothers words ringing in my ears, ‘Self praise is no praise’, as I read some of those posts, while thinking to myself, ‘wow I love that one’. So out of all I have written this year here are my favourite two.
The first is called ‘The day my husband nearly had a baby’, which you may not realise is actually a humorous post and not in fact a documentary post about a modern day miracle. There has been a lot of sadness and misery on this blog over the past two years, hence this choice. I did so in the hope it just might make you smile.
My other chosen favourite is called ‘When the last door closes’. This perfectly sums up the year that has passed, when my youngest of four children aged 12, found her independence, and I became a mother of older children. Still a mother, but minus the everyday hugs and children who need me 24/7.

Favourite photo.
Mmmm, now this is a bit of a difficult one  I don’t do family photos, although if my gang were still young and cute without the ability photo (7)to murder me I just might. So I was going to leave this one out. However 14 things about my blog need to be recalled, and I am only on number 3!  Then I remembered the one photo I posted online of myself, and it has a real meaning for me. It was a photo of myself and my great pal Denis. We had so many happy days together but then Denis had to leave Ireland at 83 years of age, to go and live with his family in England. Heartbroken my friend and I said goodbye, and just for once I put up a photo of myself, with my pal. The post was called ‘So long my friend’. I still miss him dreadfully, and would dearly love if we could have just one more moment together.

Best blog moment.
Any time I get a surge in viewers I feel it is a great blog moment. It may be because someone shared my post on facebook, or it may be that fellow bloggers actually liked what I wrote. Whatever the reason, seeing the numbers rise, the ‘likes’ coming, and in particular the comments flying in, gives me a great buzz.
I also managed to get 2000 followers on my blog last month, so that gave me a good buzz. Small numbers for some, but many more than I ever thought I would get.
This year I was once again a finalist in the Irish Blog Awards. That was definitely a best blog moment.blog_buttons_FINALIST (1)

Poxiest Blog Moment.
I’m not sure that is what the others in the linky called it, but I wouldn’t want them to think I was copying! Anyway the Poxiest Blog Moment for me was when I was sitting at the Irish Blog awards, dolled up and ready, shoes not too high so I wouldn’t trip, speech rehearsed, smile perfected, and then, would you believe it, they mixed up the cards and announced the wrong winner! Now I understand once they had said her name there was no going back, but I felt it I can tell you. And no one knows about their error, I mean it’s not something they could ever admit to, is it? But like a well seasoned loser ( this is the second year I was not called out), I smiled, and even clapped, albeit weakly. A real professional.

Most popular theme.
Well here is where I look like someone in denial. You see I love humour, and I enjoy writing about nonsense at times, but in reality most of my posts this year dealt in no small way with grief. So much so I had to gather them all together and put them in their own special category. So sadness, grief and misery were my main themes. They were inspired by the loss of a lovely handsome, young boy called Daniel, who was always mischievous and fun. Maybe next year I will write more in keeping with the boy he was, and move on from the sadness we all feel with his loss.
However some of those posts helped me enormously, and your comments made a world of difference to many a dark day. They are all gathered together under Daniel’s story if you ever feel like having a good cry.

Guest post
I only did one guest post this year, so maybe I’m not the most successful of bloggers. I guest posted on Opinionated Man’s blog Harsh Reality. His is a somewhat controversial blog. Some castigate him for the way he blogs, but I have found him to be a gentleman, and I have always enjoyed our brief interactions, and on one occasion our disagreement. My guestpost was titled Why do I want you to remember me?. I had thought I’d promote my blog somehow but in the end I couldn’t get past standing on my soap box hoping at least one person would become a bone marrow donor, or would give blood. Daniel was at the forefront of my thoughts at the time, and I’m still not sorry. It may have been a wasted opportunity but maybe it did make a difference to somebody. I have never posted it here so head on over if you want to read something new (ish, I’m sure if you’re a follower you’ll have read similar here before, although it did get over 120 likes!).

Favourite comments.
I’ve had so many great comments over the past year. Thankfully my brother, his partner and my friends, only comment on my facebook page, so that here on wordpress I appear professional. There is no one like family to take my beautifully written, heartfelt post and mock it!
Many of you have commented here on wordpress over the past year. Special mention to those of you who comment on almost every post I write, even though we have never met, nor will we ever. You know who you are. I always enjoy our engagements, and at times, each one of you has helped me enormously throughout the year.
It is also important for me to say that sometimes a random once off caller to my blog can really nail it. Their comment can stay with me for so long. So I suppose I’m chickening out here, afraid I’ll leave someone out. Instead of picking a comment I loved which is fairly impossible, I will say thank you to anyone who ever took the time to read what I write and express an opinion, or offer a word of encouragement or comfort. You are all the reason I continue to blog.

Other amazing blog related things.
Well this is number 9 in this 14 things about my year in my blog and I am at a loss….. maybe some wine will help.

Discoveries I’ve made about my writing.photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/photones/6765327555/">PhoTones_TAKUMA</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">cc</a>
Wine definitely helps! No seriously it does. Regularly I begin with an idea and I am so bored by it. I go around and around and nothing happens. Then I have a glass of wine and my fingers take off. I don’t edit, I don’t pause, wondering where this is going, and before I know it, I’m finished. The beauty is that more often than not what I have written still sounds okay the next day when I re read it, without any alcohol in my system.

Changes to my Blog this year.
Well to be honest I can’t really remember. I am still not self hosted, but don’t feel any great need to be. I am fairly sure I changed my theme, but what it was before I cannot say. I also grouped my posts into different categories and put them on my tab. My brother tells me this has been a great help because now he can avoid all my posts which may make him cry, as he reads them first thing in the morning, (or so he says, although I have my doubts).

Series I enjoyed on my blog this year.
I had at least three different bursts of genius this year, after which I came up with three different series on my blog, and I loved them.
One was ‘Freshly Impressed’, a poor take on the wordpress honour ‘Freshly Pressed’, (which many other bloggers I follow have received, but not me but hey I’m not bitter…..feck, hate wordpress!). This was where I highlighted posts I’d read that week which I’d really enjoyed.
Another was ‘A series of Letters’. This was where bloggers wrote letters to someone in their lives. They could be anonymous or not. I got so many amazing letters written by fellow bloggers. There were confessions, love stories, harrowing stories, and heartwarming stories. Many bloggers found it a healing experience which was wonderful to read.
Finally I did a series called ‘Second chance repost’. This was where a blogger sent an old post to my blog which perhaps they felt didn’t get the audience it deserved the first time around. Again it was a great success and something I really enjoyed. Such variety and a chance for those who read my blog to enjoy other blogs they may never have seen.

13. Favourite title.
I have discovered I tend to say it as it is, so all my titles are self explanitary. However I did find a few which stretched the truth a little. One was ‘Listen up I have a secret’, and the other faintly different one, although still self explanatory, is ‘Technofeckinology’.

14. What did my blog do for me this year.
Phew finally, we have made it to number 14. What did my blog give me? Why in the name of God you may ask, did I waste my time writing the many posts I wrote last year? I know most of my friends believe I’m just a little bit ‘touched’, a little ‘odd’. They cannot quite come to terms with what I do here. However for myself it is quite simple. Some go to the gym, some have high powered jobs. I have a glass of wine and a laptop. My Heaven on Earth. No need for a therapist, I have my writing and my many online friends.

Speaking of online friends I cannot move on without mentioning the only facebook group I am a member of, the Irish Parenting Bloggers group. Suffice to say I’d be lost without them. I’m like the nana of their group as they struggle with their millions of young babies and I speak about my college kids, but somehow we find common ground and I hugely enjoy each and every one of them.

I am not sure what the future may hold. I do know that watching all that Daniel and his family and friends went through has changed me forever.  So here’s to 2015. I look forward to it and ask of it only one thing, that those who are dear to me will remain healthy, so that this time next year we may once again raise our glasses and toast the year ahead of us.

2015 here we come. I’ll let young Daniel sign off on my behalf, in his most charming cheeky way.

Sláinte.

photo (4)

******** It’s a great linky, why not join in!

photo credit: PhoTones_TAKUMA via photopin cc

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25 thoughts on “2014. That was the year that was.

  1. Nice look back. I’m sorry I missed your letters series, it might have been helpful. If I’d had the nerve to write the letter I’d like to have written.
    If you know what I mean!

    Happy New Year Tric x

    1. Yes I know exactly what you mean. I was tempted to write a letter myself, but I didn’t or couldn’t I’m not sure which is true.
      Happy New Year to you too.

    1. And a big thanks to you for being one of my ‘always commentors’. I have really enjoyed the way blogging has brought us together. When you think of all we have shared online and not publicly online.
      Delighted to have you as a blog friend. Have a great 2015 Colleen. Sláinte.

    1. Thanks for reading so often. You must remember you were a great support to me too when days were dark.
      I hope 2015 goes well for you, and that with Mike’s help you go from strength to strength.
      Here in Ireland we have an expression we use when we believe in someone, we say, ‘There’s no fear of her’. I think that of you. xx

      1. Thank you! I like that. No fear of her…pretty awesome saying! We will both have days that are darker than others, but perhaps if we can continue supporting each other, we will get through them…cyber-friends! Happy New Year! Hugs to you!! xo

    1. Oh dear I think I drank all that was in those glasses!
      I must admit.. right back at you. It was lucky for me too, as I found your blog and your online company.
      Hope we both have a good year ahead, and good health.

    1. Thanks Beth. I hope the celebrations went well for you and your clann. Best wishes for the year ahead. I look forward to our continuing banter online.
      Thanks also for being ‘one of those’, the ones who comment so very regularly. I hope you know how much your words helped over the past two years, especially knowing you had experienced similar loss.

    1. Haha. My kids didn’t know about the incident at all and one of them read it online. She said she could just hear me wishing I’d crashed his poxy car!
      It was a great linky I really enjoyed it and reading the others including your own.
      Happy New Year. xx

    1. Thanks Mocha. They were amazing alright. Even receiving them was something else, as I felt I had been really trusted, because even if they were anonymous I knew who had written them.

  2. Thank you so much for taking part in the linky, Tric. I always know when I come here that I will either laugh or cry or leave changed in some way. You always manage to capture the beauty of life, even in the saddest of posts. I admire your writing greatly. Happy 2015 to you and your gang xxx

    1. Wow it was worth joining your linky just to receive that lovely comment. Thank you so much. You have a lovely blog, and this was a great idea. Thanks again, and I hope you have a wonderful 2015 with your blog and your gang.

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