This geranium brings me much joy. Flowering away in the conservatory, whatever the weather. A candyfloss bloom, come rain or shine. I used to hate geraniums, I thought they were old fashioned and smelt funny, but now I love geraniums… they are old fashioned and smell funny.
I think this the bit where I am supposed to tell you my goals for 2018? I do love a good list, and I have many ambitions, but I’m not suddenly going to achieve them all when the clock strikes midnight. I know that. You know that. We all know that ‘eat more healthily’ just means ‘be more secretive about eating snacks’. I do have one big goal for 2018, and I’m probably going to need your help with it, but I’ll come back to that when I have something more organised to share. Ooo, the suspense. Cliff-hanger. (Wanker). Whatever.
Our chicken April appeared on the front cover of Practical Poultry magazine. I got to write some words about my love for her: ‘Her favourite food is red grapes, she likes to sleep in trees and she runs like Basil Fawlty’.
I wrote Foodie Finds things for Surf4, I wrote a short travel piece for Thomas Cook. I wrote a review of Cig Harvey’s beautiful book, You An Orchestra, You A Bomb for Shutter Hub. (And she loved it. And I loved that she loved it.)
I washed a house plant called Mary in vodka and it survived, in fact, it flourished.
I went on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s afternoon Drivetime show and talked with presenter Thordis Fridriksson. Beforehand, I asked friends on Facebook for bets on what embarrassing off-topic things I might come out with– the consensus was chickens or toilets!
I worked with Bose and PSR Automotive, and drove a bunch of super cars including an Audi R8, a Porshe 911, a Lotus Evora and, my favourite, a Lamborghini Gallardo. Heart eyes!
Both Adam and I did our last sprint of the year, with Lotus Cup UK Speed, at Rockingham. The day went like this, for me – I stalled on the startline because I got distracted singing the Black Beauty theme tune. I spun the car on second practice because I got cramp in my foot. I finished 6th in class.
On the fantastical food front I can tell you, I went to Yuu Kitchen’s first birthday dinner and it was amazing. I made pistachio and chai spiced fudge and nobody died. And Olivia took me for afternoon tea at a shed in the middle of a Suffolk field.
‘I was born cross eyed and stopped breathing when I was two,’ said the waitress, before inviting me to feel her over-extended intestinal bulge, which she revealed from beneath her pink floral apron.
We had snow. Everyone had snow. Some people even had snow twice! Snow on a Sunday. It’s a modern-day miracle.
I spoke at a symposium at Cambridge University. I even got asked for an autograph afterwards. Never had that before. Death threats, yes, but not autograph requests.
I travelled to Holland and Belgium, Eindhoven and Antwerp. It was wonderful. The architecture, the food, the culture, the company. Wonderful. Then I came home and was forced into submission by food poisoning. It was bad. Bad. So bad I thought it must be Malaria! After several weeks of pain, weakness, and dependency on close ties with the toilet, I rose from my sofa nest and ventured out into the world. Then I retreated for Christmas.
We embraced the Midwinter Movement and decorated the house for winter. Stayed home for Christmas. Enjoyed the quiet.
And that’s that, really. I hope 2018 is good for you, and the year after, and the year after that.
I’ll leave you with what is perhaps my favourite photograph of 2017, it’s blurry and badly composed, but it’s bloody hilarious and I love it!