Merry Xmas - I got you a newsletter
My 2014 - Edited highlights of a meticulously haphazard year
For the first time since childhood, it's been a year that hasn't gone lightning-fast. Maybe because it's been jam-packed with 3 jobs in 3 different countries, a continent-hopping boyfriend whose rising star has seen him flown all round the world, the arrival of my gorgeous godson, a cheeky half marathon, a new direction in my career, and more family weddings than the average psyche should be expected to handle.
And so, as a Christmas card/present/newsletter thing, here are some of my 2014 stories and photos, to share with anyone who cares to take a look.
January: It all started so well
Cold + alone - corkscrew = SADFACE
Although Cambridge is rather pretty...
...and it's people are all kinds of styley. (I was so fascinated by this random stranger that I risked life and limb to take this shot while riding/stalking behind her)
March: A welcome arrival
The Summer of Weddings
Starting back in April with Mhairi and Iain:
They got married in a climbing wall
A great chance to catch up with the old uni crew
Photobombed! The band was spectacular - they played a folk cover of Get Your Freak On that blew my mind.
And Chris and Nic managed to pick the best day of the year so far for their wedding.
Which took place in a beautiful little ruined chapel.
And had a Game of Thrones theme.
(No one died.)
July: Officially One Tough Mudder
We raised money for Magpas, the Helimedix Air Ambulance
Dead On Arrival
Our team of docs and nurses from Addenbrookes Emergency Department
Crawling to the finish line after being knocked on my arse by the masses of ELECTRICAL WIRES
The Muldoon Empire expands
I'dd also like to take this opportunity to say sorry to Lynsey, for getting you boo'd on your wedding day. (It still counts as an apology if I'm grinning to myself while typing, right?)
And six weeks later...
September: Kingdom of Wonder
But despite wide spread corruption (the government and the police only serve those that can afford to bribe them, and even doctors and teachers expect their palms to be greased to do any more than the bare minimum) and crushing poverty (the average wage is $80 USD per month), the people in general remain positive for the future and shamingly generous with what little they have.
Build your future today
The programme is really robust. They start simple; in the first year, feed the kids (because how can a malnourished brain learn?), before building them a school for the second year onwards. They build toilets and wells. They teach the adults (many of whom grew up in wartime and received no formal education) English, basic public health and sanitation, practical skills to produce items to sell. They start farmers clubs, teaching 5 villagers at a time a new farming technique, then teach them how to take the products to market and negotiate for the best price. They even get Buddhist monks involved to speak to families affected by domestic violence and addiction.
I've seen the difference they make. The contrast between a village that BFT are just starting to work with, and one that has had their support for 4 years is incredible. It was a privilege to be able to contribute to their great work, and now that I know the extent of the problems they face, I'll be much better equipped to help them the next time.
There were also lots of fun times too
A few closing thoughts
The problem with the wealth and power and possessions that we're encouraged to pursue in the West is that we do so to keep for ourselves. Imagine the world if we could learn to redistribute these, with the end goal being that every person's basic needs are met.
December: New starts
I babysat for Roman last week. It didn't even last for 2 hours, but holy moley it felt like a loooooong evening! Parents everywhere, you have my utmost respect.
And so this is christmas
...And I'm working. Nights. But when I finish Christmas morning, Max is coming to pick me up and take me to his parents, where I'll open presents, sleep, and wake up to Christmas dinner. Which sounds like a win all round really.
Here's wishing you the merriest of Christmases, whatever you're doing and wherever you're doing it. And a heartfelt wish for health and happiness for you and those you love in 2015.
Thanks for letting me share the highlights of a wonderful year with you. Now tell me, what have you been up to?