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Au revoir 2013…

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Well, this is it. Last day of 2013. Was it brilliant for you, or one you’d like to stamp your stilettos on?

Though I’m becoming a bit jaded with the ‘New Year, New Me’ scenario (mainly because the old me seems to stubbornly refuse to budge), I think there’s definitely something in looking back over the year in a positive way – ‘look what I’ve done!’ rather than ‘look at what I didn’t get around to doing (again)’. Not necessarily with work either – maybe you’ve done some amazing stuff with your family, or reached a landmark moment emotionally.

I’ve moaned before on Muddy about how, as a glamorous solo high trapeze artist (oh alright then, sit-on-my-arse blogger – can’t I dream?!) I’m constantly buzzing onto the next thing, without taking time to give myself a pat-on-the-back, so I’ve taken 5 minutes to think about my year, and – honestly, I’m not being facetious here – I recommend you do the same. It’s quite cathartic.

So here goes.

January & February

hilary swank running on beach
Oh. Um. Not a lot actually. Got the kids off to school. Managed three weeks on a diet before tumbling off the precipice and landing on a cushion of buttered potatoes. Er, move on!


Did my first public speaking about Muddy Stilettos (secrets of a successful blog, doncha know) in Oxford. Was nervous, was half-cut, all went surprisingly well! Shocked to realise I wasn’t as hopeless at public speaking as I thought (hmmm, not brilliant either, mind you). Started masterminding my assault on the local awards industry with …


… The Muddy Stilettos Awards!!  Wowsa, they were waaaaay bigger than I expected, over 10,000 voters and a whole lot of local businesses given some lovely publicity in the process. I felt pretty proud about that one.


I held a lovely winner’s drinks for the Muddy Awards winners (thank you Paul Wilkinson for the fab photos), and gained new impetus for the blog. The prizes started getting bigger and bigger. A big article about me and Muddy Stilettos appeared in Sainsbury‘s magazine.


Oh sweet Lord! I hit 15,000 readers (not literally, that would be silly), more than most of the local newspapers and mags out this way. Felt gooooooood!

July & August

Ooh, right. Yes, aha. The school holidays. Not a lot of productivity for obvious reasons, though I did have a lovely summer holiday to Turkey since you asked.


biagio diamond necklace_Fotor
Youngest son off to school. Such a terribly sad …. er, actually no, delighted to boot him out into the world. I sat back in peace, made a coffee, and smiled contentedly at finally able to give Muddy more than 2 hours of my time at a stretch. Oh yeah, I also gave away a Biagio diamond necklace worth over £1500. Nice!


me with tongue out_Fotor
Started doing regular pubs and walks – popular (so you tell me!) and a fantastic way for me to get out and about into different areas. Launched the Muddy Directory, to help create a shortcut between great local businesses and Muddy readers. It went off like the clappers, with 100 listed in the first month.

Publicity wise, went on BBC Radio Oxford and chatted to Will Gompertz, before insulting him with my ginger beard gags. Ooops!


Took on an editorial intern to help me with the colossal amounts of research now involved in the blog. I know, get me!! Reached the final of the Countryside Alliance Awards, South East region, for Best Start up (fingers crossed – will be hearing next month). Started plotting the final bit of the Muddy jigsaw, the launch of…


cinderella close up 2Fotor
…The Muddy Boutique. I’m really proud of my lovely boutique, stocked with fab stuff from indie businesses and artists, products you’ll struggle to find elsewhere, and also doing its bit to support local charities and businesses. But my god it nearly killed me to get it live. On top of three kids, Christmas preparations, the blog (now full-time in itself) that was a major achievement. I did feel my energy sap from mid December, and I’ve had a much needed holiday.


2014 is showing a bit of leg around the corner today, but are you ready to be seduced?  I can sense I’m steeling myself for a massively busy year. I know it’s going to be really hard work. With that in mind, I’m totally changing my approach to New Year’s Resolutions (I’ll tell you tomorrow, I’ve run out of energy tonight!).

So there you go, that’s me for the year.

HOW ABOUT YOU?!! It would be lovely to hear about some of your highs (legal of course).

Hero x












1 comment on “Au revoir 2013…”

  • Rachel Johnston December 31, 2013

    Fab round-up ! Thought I’d share an idea I had about 18mths ago that is really paying dividends now… I prettied up a filecard box and labelled 365 (3×5 inch) cards with a date, and then daily – more or less religiously – put down a one-liner summarising the day’s highlights. Obviously I was the only one doing it for the first year, and some were blank as not one thing had happened on those days (?!), but this year, the kids are completely on board, checking out what we were up to a year ago, which included buying and moving into a new house, starting new schools, buying a business, flute solo at assembly, winning the first business, exchanging tweets with Muddy, etc etc. It would make a really nice gift if you could forward plan for a year … Happy New Year !


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