60 Things That Made My Year (2021)

Here’s to another year of finding the momentous and the magnificent in the smaller, the quieter and the everyday…

  1. Having a slow January; reading, watching, going on walks in Kent, phone-calls with friends
  2. Interviewing dialect coaches for an article in Sight & Sound
  3. Getting into and persevering with yoga for the first time ever (thanks Adriene!)
  4. Completing dry January and obviously feeling much better for it
  5. That Ann Patchett essay in Harper’s Magazine
  6. Producing 22 video essays for Prime Video UK; working with lots of talented writers, content creators & editors
  7. Listening to podcasts: Floodlines, The Just Enough Family, 9/12
  8. A birthday Zoom quiz
  9. Swam in the sea on my 28th birthday, had afternoon tea and watched The Godfather
  10. The miso aubergine dinner that Becky made for me (also Marek’s jackfruit burritos)
  11. Friday night martinis with Becky & Marek in the flat
  12. Alice getting me Swim in the Pond in the Rain for my birthday; getting into George Saunders in a big way; developing a newfound love of short stories
  13. Reading short story collections: Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies, Lauren’s Groff’s Delicate Edible Birds, Elizabeth McCracken’s Souvenir Museum, Emma Cline’s Daddy, Nicole Krauss’ To Be A Man, Junot Diaz’s Drown, George Saunders’ Tenth of December
  14. Zoom dance & barre classes with Becky in the lounge
  15. Starting a newsletter; having people actually subscribe to it
  16. Having some really fun & invigorating podcast interviews; publishing 25 episodes of Best Girl Grip
  17. Bike rides around London
  18. Breakfast in the garden on crisp but sunny March & April mornings
  19. The vegan cinnamon babka from Good Egg in Stokey
  20. My indigo Sézane jacket
  21. Bingeing The US Office in its entirety
  22. Visiting The Garden Museum for the first time; that gorgeous burst of sunshine on an otherwise rainy day as Becky & I had coffee & cake in the courtyard 
  23. Having people over to the flat again; hosting dinners & parties
  24. Exploring Dalston: making the Red Hand my local (Great beers. Great date spot.) The cocktails at High Water (sublime). Having the Rio on my doorstep. Discovering the Dalston Curve Garden. 
  25. Watching Wimbledon
  26. Watching the Euros
  27. Watching Love Island
  28. Watching the Olympics
  29. Going properly freelance
  30. Doing a live podcast interview for the BFI’s Woman With a Movie Camera Summit with Molly Manning Walker
  31. Producing the Anime to Z podcast for Little Dot Studios; getting to work with Che Lingo & Bec Hill, record in an actual studio & work on something outside of my comfort zone
  32. Kew Gardens with Alice
  33. Digging a pond in Mum & Dad’s garden
  34. The dark chocolate sorbet at Romeo & Giulietta
  35. When Becky, Sam & Jake came to Deal: spike ball, a day on Broadstairs beach, the invigorating but slightly wild waves (RIP my sunglasses), Bloody Marys, strolling around charity shops, countless rounds of The Mound
  36. Playing crazy golf at a work social
  37. Dinner with Jess & Claire at Mildreds
  38. Dinner with Becky at Kin & Deum; the most delicious vegan Thai curry
  39. Dumpling dates with Caragh: Chinatown, My Neighbours the Dumplings, House of MoMo
  40. Joining the library
  41. The revival of roast club; doing the pub quiz at The Canonbury Tavern
  42. Cat & Andrew’s wedding! Dressing up! Dancing! Yard Sale pizza! A karaoke after party!
  43. Attending LFF in person. Seeing lots of my fave movies of the year in a cinema with an audience
  44. Getting back on the dating scene
  45. Seeing Caroline Polachek at the Roundhouse with Caitlin & Ella
  46. Getting a job with BFI NETWORK / ICO
  47. Solo cinema trips: The French Dispatch, But I’m a Cheerleader, CODA, Limbo, Tokyo Story in NFT1
  48. Cinema trips with friends: A Quiet Place 2, C’Mon C’Mon, Annette, No Time To Die
  49. Moving to Stoke Newington & into Claire’s flat
  50. The deer in Clissold Park
  51. Getting back into swimming at Clissold Leisure Centre
  52. Going to the theatre again: Civilisation, Old Bridge
  53. Delicious pasta & apple pie at Jake & Lou’s
  54. Having an absolute hoot at the BIFAs; feeling bold enough to wear a green velvet dress that had slashes up both sides
  55. Successfully pitching some freelance articles
  56. A barnstorming year for TV
  57. Getting 50k+ words of creative writing down on the page
  58. Having people say & write nice things about the pod & the newsletter
  59. Feeling some sense of momentum and dare I say it, progress, career & writing-wise
  60. Seeing friends thrive & survive & be awesome in all kinds of ways

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