I thought it would be hard to beat 2016 as a year full of activity and excitement, but 2017, particularly in its last few days, has managed to do just that!.
|Tom Odell on that piano!|
Due to an interesting line-up of productions, I seem to have been to the theatre more than usual, seeing a wide variety of plays from Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard to the boisterous romp of Cyrano. If I could see just one again though I'd pick Derby Theatre's production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal.
I went to a chocolate-making workshop as a treat from my elder daughter, and although my efforts didn't look very good, they tasted fine (which is what matters).
Because of the health of my parents, it isn't possible to go away for any length of time, so while my youngest went off to Italy alone, I had to be content with a 'staycation'. I had lots of plans for it, and although we didn't follow all of them we did get out and about, finding new local places to explore and generally trying to holiday from home.
Pottering around gardens, even one like Lea perched on a hillside, is enjoyable but not very physically demanding, so, inspired by my youngest finishing Leicester marathon, I decided to take up running in a very lazy low key way - my theory is that any exercise is better than none!
I've been to less book events this year but did manage to catch US fantasy writer Robin Hobb at Nottingham Waterstones launching the last of her Fitz and the Fool series. I've discovered her work comparatively recently, and completely fallen for it. My hope was to read the whole series before publication of the last book, but with 15 books, each easily 600 pages long, and other reading commitments, that didn't work. I'm still making headway though, and will get there one day.
Over the summer at Chatsworth, there was an absolutely wonderful exhibition, House Style, showcasing clothes worn by current and previous generations of the Devonshire family.
And as Christmas approached I went round all the local stately homes - Chatsworth, Kedleston, Haddon, and Hardwick - to see them in their festive finery.
|Arthur's Seat summit|
I did manage two weekends away though.
In July, we went to Curious Arts Festival again, where I tested both my festival-going and outdoors credentials by putting up the tent in pouring rain and nearly getting the car stuck as we left! Then, in November, headed off for a fabulous weekend in Edinburgh with my daughter, where we climbed Arthur's Seat, visited museums and art galleries, and drank cocktails till 2 am!