Dot writes: I’ve borrowed this quiz from Eat Shoot Blog. I have other ideas for posts (believe it or not) but this is a fun one, and moreover one I can do with Frank sitting on my lap watching Dragon Tales on YouTube. (The definition of the shortest measurable unit of time could easily be the time between me sitting down at the computer and Frank appearing and asking to watch something.) I’ve asked Hugh for answers to some of these.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Hugh: I started school.
Dot: I was on a panel evaluating abstracts for an international conference; I became part of a search committee recruiting a new lecturer; I took an appeal on behalf of a student; I went on research leave; I decorated a Christmas cake.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Dot: yes, for once. My resolution was to make bread. Some of our bread this year has been made by Ken, but we haven’t bought a sliced pan since January. My resolution for 2013 is to get into a running routine, but it is quite a challenging resolution while Ken is away.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes: my sister gave birth to Jessica in March.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
Hugh: New Zealand, England.
Dot: ditto. And Wales, though we were only driving through.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
Hugh: go to the zoo [we went to the zoo about once a month in 2012, what is he talking about?]
Dot: willpower.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Dot: Jessica’s birthday ought to be the big date, but actually I can’t remember it (the date, that is – I remember the events). 12th March?

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Hugh: swimming.
Dot: getting an article accepted for Anglo-Saxon England, which is an important journal in my field.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Hugh: losing the sack race. [What sack race?]
Dot: not managing to get into a decent running routine. Not sticking with the Dublin University Choral Society (but see the next answer).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Hugh: illness. Diarrhoea.
Dot: the usual stomach upsets and colds, but a very prolonged cough/flu in October/November and then burst of sore throat and lost voice over the last few weeks have been a real nuisance, and have stymied my attempts to get back into choral singing.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Hugh: Christmas.
Dot: woolly tights.

12. Where did most of your money go?
Dot: mortgage, childcare, bills.

13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hugh: Christmas.
Dot: my research into Anglo-Saxon emotions.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
Dot: Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People. It says quite a lot about me that it came out in 2010.

15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
Hugh: Happier
Dot: about the same

b) thinner or fatter?
Hugh: thinner
Dot: about the same

c) richer or poorer?
Hugh: poorer, because I’m just poor
Dot: richer; I passed the ‘merit bar’ earlier in the year and got a raise, which the recent budget won’t entirely cancel out.

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Hugh: going on the beach
Dot: running. Research and writing. Spending quality time with Frank. Reading fiction. Singing.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Hugh: less going to the park
Dot: eating.

18. How did you spend Christmas?
Hugh: Good. I don’t know.
Dot: in Dublin with just the four of us. The boys had stockings, I went to church, Ken and I cooked a ridiculously large roast dinner, and we had a walk to the park in the afternoon which may have influenced Hugh’s answer under (17) above. A lovely Christmas, though over recent years we’ve got used to being with family or at least visiting friends so it did feel very quiet. The kids did their able best to make it noisy.

19. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Hugh: yes. With baby Hannah, my cousin [Hannah is Ken’s brother’s daughter, whom Hugh met last Christmas in New Zealand]
Dot: back in love with my work.

20. What was your favorite TV program?
Hugh: SpongeBob
Dot: the Olympics.

21. What was the best book you read?
Hugh: The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas
Dot: Martha Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions

22. What was your favourite film of this year?
Hugh: Dragon Tales [old TV show that Julie likes to show the boys on YouTube. We’re watching it as I type, so there could be some influence on this answer]
Dot: I didn’t see many films so this doesn’t mean much, but I enjoyed Skyfall.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Hugh: five. 5. [Doesn’t remember what he did. He went to school – the party was a few days later]
Dot: Thirty-five. We were on holiday in Devon with my parents, my sister and her husband and baby. We went to Launceston Castle, ate a picnic in the sunshine, and later had a ride on a steam railway. It was an excellent birthday.

24. What kept you sane?
Dot: The beach and dunes at Bull Island.

25. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Dot: pass.

26. Who did you miss?
Dot: Ken, who went off to Edinburgh in September.

27. Who was the best new person you met?
Hugh: Simon
Dot: other mums of children in Hugh’s new primary school. I’m really happy that I’m beginning to have a circle of friends in North Dublin.


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