january - i was recovering nicely from my december back surgery and getting back to work. it wasn't quite full time, but i still managed to spend a week at a shipyard in gdansk. and while frosty, dark january at the shipyard where the solidarity movement was born may not sound like heaven, it was pretty close for a ship geek like me. and since i'd never been to poland before, i also added a new country to the list. and a couple of new dresses from cos to my wardrobe.
february - the physiotherapist okayed me to begin going to yoga and i found a great studio, where i began to practice yin yoga and chandra hot yoga. it was great to feel in touch with my body for the first time in years. the drink & draw girls and i had a creative weekend getaway together on fyn. i ordered a big batch of seeds for the garden. sabs and her friend emma came along with me to copenhagen, where they hung out a bit with me at work and came to the conclusion that all we do all day is talk, laugh and eat cake. some days, that's true.
march - i was officially back at work full time and off to a running start. a film shoot involved a shiny new truck in the scottish highlands and the very beginning of what would be the biggest (literally) project of the year. i tried out my new zoom lens on the full moon and crossed storebæltsbro multiple times. a friend helped us create a little willow circle in the garden - the beginnings of a magical little living place to sit and contemplate the garden. husband's endless building projects continued.
april - husband chopped down our ailing cherry tree, but he has saved the wood and will make beautiful things from it. we said a proper goodbye to the tree which had housed sabin's swing when we moved here and which had patiently given climbing lessons to countless kittens. a photoshoot at the white cliffs of dover (another first visit), tea at the sanderson, and witnessing the ringing of bells in a london church tower were all memorable moments. i took a ceramics class and even managed to make a few things. my inner ship geek was indulged and i even went to brussels for the first time (tho' i didn't manage to include a photo of that in this mosaic).
may - husband made his first of may political debut. the first batches of kittens were born, we attended several confirmation parties, had a successful spring exhibition, and generally enjoyed the brilliant green of the beech trees and lilacs in bloom. there was stitching and plenty of coffee.
june - started off with a whirlwind photoshoot on board pearl and then a dash to gothenburg (another first visit) to film for a couple of days at the terminal there. we celebrated midsommer with wish lanterns, enjoyed the kittens, made art and watched sabin "graduate" from her efterskole. so bittersweet - as she loved her year there and grew so much both inside and out. our dark blue bricks arrived and they matched the ship!
july - found me at a shipyard in bremerhaven, where we lengthened a ship. yup - they cut it in half floated in a new bit, put the front back and welded it all together. the garden began to produce in earnest, giving us the first sweet carrots and broad beans for our favorite broad bean hummus. kittens and berries and poppies made it seem like summer. a quick day's getaway to fanø, where we rented bikes and ate bakskjuld (dried, smoked fish) in the sunshine.
august - we sent the child off to my hometown in the states for a year of high school in the early days of august. her friends and sisters came along to the airport to say goodbye. i flew off the same day to check on the progress of our big project. then there was a dash down to dover for a drone shoot in perfect weather. mid-august saw the reveal of our very big lego ship - so big it's a world record! then i came home to enough plums to make a tart and cows in the pasture. we had a team getaway to hamburg that made for some very nice days.
september - added two new countries to the list with a trip to the baltics. i'd been in lithuania a few years ago, but never vilnius, which is a gorgeous city that i definitely want to go back to. then i added latvia and estonia as well - driving a good 1200km in total over a week, chasing the world's biggest lego ship on her tour. when i got home, we sent our pigs to the butcher and filled the freezer and the freezers of all of our friends for the winter. and as always, i enjoyed the company of cats on my blissful weekends at home in the countryside.
october - lego loomed large in october with visits to lego world in utrecht and brick live in birmingham. i went to more lego events this year than when i worked for lego! and it was very healing. moments when i wasn't traveling were spent in the garden - our late raspberries were producing and we ate kale by the colander full. molly is my garden cat and helps me whenever i'm there. i made a small batch of ruby red jelly from the entire harvest from the crab apple tree. i really feel my life these days affords me the best of both worlds...spending the week in copenhagen or traveling and my weekends at homes with husband, cats and the garden. it's bliss, i tell you.
november - the november days were dark. i stayed home the day after the election, sick of heart, curled in the fetal position in tears of disbelief. i vowed to wear black the rest of the month, but had to admit that most of my wardrobe is dark blue. and november wasn't all sad, as our ship visited trafalgar square and i went on a filming mission to paris (my first time there). i ended the month with the best night's sleep i'd had in months on board ark dania, as we made another film there. there was also great comfort in charlie's sweetest batch of kittens yet. oh, and in the states, the child got her driver's license!
december - the comfort of kittens. christmas and anniversary parties, the culmination of a whole year's efforts. the highest highs and the lowest lows. seeing the child and spending christmas with her was wonderful. a last christmas with mom knowing our names, while i wanted it to be wonderful, in the end it wasn't. it was heart-breaking and painful and so very hard. 2016, you definitely had a cruel side. but it must mean that 2017 can only be better!