Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

2013 will go down in my personal history as a year of being preoccupied with an event from the past. At times this year, I could think of nothing else, and it threatened to overshadow any of the joys that 2013 actually managed to bring.  I am happy to say that the situation that has dominated since February 2009, is thankfully over for me and my family. I thank the legal team for all their tireless support and faith in us.  I thank the judge, who listened attentively, and then agreed to everything. I thank Karl for being my rock, I thank my sisters for always being there with me throughout the long process we have endured, and I thank everyone who has supported us along the way.

We can now look to the future, and hope that it will be a quiet and peaceful one, without high drama or worries!  Safe to say, this will be unlikely, given the very fabric of human nature.  Whatever happens, however, I am sure I will go forth with great optimism. Let's see what this new year will bring.

Highlights of 2013
In January & February, I attended and also had the opportunity to moderate on the EVO DigitalStorytelling for Kids. I enjoyed this experience very much indeed, and I learned a lot, thanks to the fabulous team of moderators and participants.

Attending Connecting Online 2013 e-conference in February, presenting at the 6th Virtual Round Table e-conference in May, and the Reform Symposium in October, all helped me to develop professionally.  It was wonderful to share so many interesting moments with educators from around the world.

I became a registered blogger for IATEFL Liverpool, but actually only managed to write 2 posts.  I was sorry I couldn't write more...

I worked on a collaborative book writing project with a group of international educators from Connecting Online 2012, and I wrote a chapter on Teaching Idioms Effectively.  I am now the proud owner of my own printed copy of Connecting Online for  Instruction and Learning, International Perspectives.

I celebrated my fifth year of blogging by writing this post, simply entitled Five.

Olive Picking Weekend
I enjoyed picking our olives in November, and I then created a Photopeach slideshow as an example for a weekend activity to show to my 'Blend It' online students at the time.

Janet's Weekend on PhotoPeach


Fave Blog Post of 2013
My favourite post of 2013 has got to be The Machine vs Janet, which I later changed to Janet vs the Machine.  It is a true story, and I was thrilled that my perseverance in this particular case, finally paid off.

The motto is: If something seems insurmountable to overcome, never, ever give up hope!!

Out of a negative situation, a positive one emerged, and to my delight this blog post was turned into a chapter for an ebook,called The Little Book of Blogs, compiled by Anne Fox from The Consultants-e.  The ebook contains a host of great chapters on all manners of topics, and you can download a free copy if you click on this post.   Enjoy!

Fluffy's Hectic Life
Fluffy's Blog - Fluffy is a constant source of joy and a bundle of fun.  He is very mild-mannered, and he tends to have a lot of adventures.  His presence can brighten up anybody's day! His portrait is now hanging in the local museum, as seen below.

An Indomitable Spirit 
 The person I most look up to in the whole world is my dear mum, who has overcome all the odds that were stacked against her one fateful day in February 2009.....

The image below, taken just a few weeks ago in Oxford, is full of optimism for the future.  Nobody can imagine the history of what lies behind her beautiful smile, the stuggles and frustrations of the past 5 years, the incredible will to live, the courage, fortitude and bravery.  To survive her catastrophic brain injury after months in hospital and rehabilitation, and to now lead a quiet, peaceful and simple lifestyle, is more than we had ever hoped for.  The anxious and terrifying vigils by her bedside, in the weeks following the cycle accident, not knowing if she was going to come out of her coma, not knowing if she was ever going to be strong enough to live a normal life ever again, is something hard to forget.

Now, however, it is time to finally move on, and look forward to a happy future, which is full of hope....

A Toast to 2014!
Finally, to sum up this reflective post, a huge cheers to all my blog readers, members of my PLN, friends, family and colleagues all over the world.  I hope 2014 will be a wonderful year for you all :-))

Post Scriptum
2014 has some exciting events in store, and I will be writing about them in the New Year.  Watch this space!

2014 is now!!

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