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Land of the Mad Lupin Lovers

Ramblings from a geek

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2018 overview
So... I basically only post for these things now? Man, my LJ is on live support, it's practically died. Oh well!
Overall 2018 was... better than 2017? But not super much or anything. I didn't get as far as I wanted to get in my life, but I'm not dissatisfied, really. Just kind of meh, haha.

Let's see how I did with this year's resolutions!

General stuff/self-improvement
- Challenge myself more, workwise. I'm keeping an eye out for a better, more fitting job, but right now this one is ideal because I can basically fill in my own hours. The downside is that it's way too easy for me to just show up whenever and end up underperforming, which is bad. So I need to put more effort in and work towards a place where I can show my skills and talents. I kind of did this! I still work in local government but I switched departments. HR also got off its ass and is now actively supporting my search for another job, including a jobcoach, so let's hope 2019 is the year for me in that regard.
- In that vein, maybe look into volunteer work that's more up my alley, maybe even disability advocacy. I did exactly this and I actually pretty much stumbled into it! I write articles for my job's magazine, and in early 2018 I interviewed someone who deals with accessibility. I mentioned that the subject interests me because I have a disability myself, and she asked if I wanted to join this disability advocacy group she deals with a lot. It's volunteer work, but it's a lot of fun and we do a lot of great activities.
- BLOG, DAMNIT. Can also tie into the first two points. Fail. I didn't even keep up with this LJ. :p Although I did post a lot on my Instagram!
- Read a French book. Non, je n'ai pas lu une livre en Français...
- Read an Italian book and hold an Italian conversation I did not read an Italian book, but I did have a lot of Italian conversations (including some 50+ year old guy who was flirting with me, ugh), so yay.
- Learn to read Japanese (I want to go to Japan in 2020) Yeaah.... no. I think I'll be happy if I'll be able to puzzle out words in Hiragana at the end of this year.
- More hiking to where I can do at least a 15km hike I wanted to do a lot more hiking but I never got 'round to it, ugh.
- Read 50 books (my Goodreads challenge) By the skin of my teeth! I read 51 books this year, according to Goodreads.
- Visit England in the spring (London for the Hamilton musical, then Bath and maybe Glastonbury) and Florence in the fall. In Florence I want to do a language and art course where you do Italian classes in the morning and drawing/painting classes in the afternoon. During the weekend I want to hop over to Venice and Siena so I can pretty much tick those off my list, too. Did this! Well, I didn't go to Glastonbury as I couldn't make it work with the public transport. But I visited London (never did make it to the Hamilton musical either - it was sold out and I didn't win the lottery) and Bath at the end of March. The weather was DREADFUL, I had rain every day, but I absolutely adored Bath. I also visited Stonehenge, which was a lot more fun than I remembered it from like 10 years ago. I also did the Italian trip: two weeks in Florence for language/art classes (great, learned a lot, managed to do all the interactions in stores and on public transport in Italian by the end of my trip), a daytrip to Siena (absolutely gorgeous, I want to go back) and four days of Venice. I actually went to Venice with the idea of just ticking it off a must-visit list, a sort of "you can't say you love Italy if you've never visited Venice since it's the city everyone knows, but it's probably way too crowded and touristy so I'm doing four days so I'll have seen everything and then I never have to go there for the rest of my life" thing. So, expectations were below sea level. And then of course I absolutely fell in love with it! It helped that I was there at the end of October, which is fine weatherwise and crowd-wise. I did a mask-making workshop, rode a gondola, and had gelato on St Mark's Square. So yeah, definitely want to go back! Pics of all my travels on my Instagram page.

- Sew a dress and a skirt Sewed four skirts but not a dress!
- Sew a coat Nope.
- Knit a pair of socks I... finished a pair of socks! That counts, right?
- Knit myself a new Hogwarts scarf Did this! I knit an infinity scarf with Ravenclaw stripes. Sadly it's not wide enough to go around my neck twice. Ah well.
- Knit a fisherman's sweater/gansey No. Hopefully next year.
- Finish at least 2 works in progress I finished a pair of socks, so... one out of two!
- Work on a pair of 17th century stockings! (I'm a volunteer for this project!) I started this! Buuuut turns out knitting on 1mm needles is a pain in the arse and it takes ages. So I... kind of sort of abandoned it? Sigh.
- For the love of god, finish something crocheted Nope. I did attend a crochet-for-beginners workshop but then I never continued, lol.

Other hobby stuff
- Do more urban sketching Yep. There's an urban sketching group where I live and I attended most meetings. Also did some sketching in Italy. I want to do more of it though, maybe even attend the yearly Urban Sketching symposium which is in Amsterdam in 2019.
- Practice the tin whistle and the ukelele to where I can play at least five songs on each Sort of but not really? I didn't really do much with the tin whistle, but I messed around with my uke quite a bit. In early December I even had a try-out class for it, which I liked a lot, so I'll probably continue classes next year.
- Learn to juggle Heh. I tried for one evening, in November, and then promptly abandoned it again.
- Learn how to work my new mirrorless camera I took classes, even! Which were fun and I learned a lot, not just how to work my camera but how composition works and stuff. Very helpful.
- Follow an art course in Florence Yes! Although in the end it was only 4 classes so it wasn't an actual art course, but still, learned some stuff, and honestly I'd like to go back and follow more classes for longer than two weeks.

New Year's resolutions/plans tomorrow! 8 hours and 9 minutes to go until it's 2019! Gosh, I'm getting old.