Monday, 31 December 2012

My reflections of 2012

My how time does fly especially when you are having fun and yes its that time of year again. That time when many of us look back over the passed 12 months. For some of us it will have been a good year but unfortunately for some, maybe not so good. For me personally I feel it was a good year, certainly a good time to be british, and so I thought I too would put my thoughts into a blog post. In early January I signed up to do the Amsterdam Marathon which mean't I started the year in training for this already, so no more alcohol or junk food for 10 months. Anyway more about this event later on. I have always loved the TED conferences/talks and am very pleased they are as popular as they are now, thanks to the internet. Just so much innovation and inspirational stuff going on all over the world. This means I had a secret longing to attend a TED Talk but thought that such a thing was still a long way off. Anyway my luck was in this year as I attended 2 local TEDx talks, both at Salford. The first was TEDxSalford 1.0 at the Lowry Centre at the end of January. This was an all day event which didn't disappoint, I really really enjoyed it and all over the speakers were amazing and so inspirational. However, one talk stood out among the rest and I still think about it now and again. It was a talk given by a mystery guest who was a NASA astronaut. His name is Col. Ron Garan and the reason I loved his talk was because he talked of changing the world and in a way which I have always felt. I.E. all countries should get along and work together to effect change.I truly believe that this is the only way to make a real difference in the long term. Listen to his amazing talk for yourselves.

The end of March was a very exciting time and I would say the highlight of my year. There was a convention taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina called 'The Mad Monster Party' and Rutger Hauer was going to be there autographing things with all proceeds going to his non-profit organisation 'Starfish' which helps HIV+ women and kids all over the world and has done so for 12 years. I went along for the whole weekend as a helper and it was the best fun!It was so good to meet more lovely people and a few friends whom I'd so far only known via the net. Meeting friends always adds to the fun for me. Of course it was a real treat helping out Starfish and hanging around with Rutger and the team. This year I personally am celebrating 10 years of supporting and fundraising for them.Here is a photo of us all.

I was sad when it ended but wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Early April saw me back at Salford for TEDxSalfordChange. This event was half a day and free to attend. It included a live link up to Berlin where one of the speakers was Melinda Gates. As usual and as you would expect from TED, all talks were terrific. The Gates Foundation were co-organisers of this event and you can find out about it and listen to the speakers on their Facebook page
Whilst americans celebrated 4th July, physicists were very excited and happy to have discovered the Higgs-Boson particle at the LHC in CERN, Geneva. This completed the standard model and is just a very small blip on a graph but great news for the science world. 
This year our queen, Elizabeth II celebrated her Diamond Jubilee
, 60 years on the throne. Alot of events celebrating this happened nationwide especially in early June. The end of July saw another exciting event the Olympics from London. I am not a great lover of sports especially watching it and have heard many comments about how we can host it given the state of our economy and heard many people including co-workers moaning about taxes etc. Despite not being a sports watcher I disagree with this view. I feel proud that the UK is included and takes its turn to host the games. I loved the enthusiasm for it which seemed to dominate Twitter at the time.
In early July I was in talks with a prof from Tel Aviv University about the possibility of me spending 3 years over there doing AIDS research. What a career change that would've been. However it was not mean't to be and there is no point in dwelling on it.
August was a sad month as the world said goodbye to first man on the moon Neil Armstrong. We drank a whisky at our bedtime to commemorate his life and mark his passing. RIP xxx

 The end of August also saw me revisiting one of my favourite cities, the beautiful belgian city of Ghent. We spent 4 nights here before I return to work and it was my other half Glynn's idea. I worked at the university here back in 2001 and loved it. A medieval city with great history and gorgeous views wherever you look.  See for yourself.

The end of October saw me in Amsterdam running the marathon I mentioned at the beginning of this post. I wanted to mark my 10 years of running and fundraising for Starfish by running in my favourite foreign city so here I am. I also met a couple of dutch friends whom I'd only known online up until now. They are also great Rutger Hauer fans and supporters of Starfish. I can now also say that I have ran around an olympic stadium. I have got used to that idea now but it still thrills me!

 Not long after this was over with I signed up for the Liverpool Half Marathon which is 17th March 2013. Needless to say I am not in training for this yet and am enjoying my window of eating and drinking what I jolly well like thank you.
This year ended on a sad note with the death of a national treasure, everyones favourite presenter of astronomy Sir Partick Moore just missed reaching 90. About 11 years ago I had the pleasure of watching him lecture at my university here in Manchester. He was introduced by Astronomer Roayl Martin Rees and of course he was talking about the universe. He had his famous monocle and xylophone with him. Afterwards I watched others queue up to get his autograph and kicked myself for not having anything with me he could sign. So I tried to talk to him outside the lecture room afterwards. He was only interested in handing out flyers promoting Jodrell Bank though. I have no clue what I would have said to him and he was a huge guy. He will always be missed RIP xxx

 Well I think thats everything, I certainly hope I haven't missed out anything of note from this year. It only remains for me to thank you for reading. Thank you :) and also...........Happy New Year! Celebrate it safely and I hope that 2013 is incredibly good to us all. I am optimistic. Lots of love xxx

I am grateful for any feedback and comments. Thanks for reading and don't be a stranger xxx