2022 in Review

Well 2022 has finally gone and we are now tumbling through the first days of 2023. As this is my first entry on the blog, what better way to start than looking back at what happened last year?.

The main thing that happened for me personally was that I finally finished my Masters course. This has taken up the last 4 years of my life, so although it’s not been full time, it’s still been a huge commitment in real time, it’s taken up alot of headspace and was emotionally draining.

I’ve learnt an awful lot about myself in the process, I love the learning and researching the subject matter but I absolutely despise academic writing. Ensuring that you don’t miss any references, checking those references and trying not to fall down a rabbit hole I find really very tortuous.

I don’t yet know whether I’ve passed my final dissertation and therefore the course, I struggled to complete it in time for the original deadline in May so it was submitted at the end of November and will be capped at 50% which hopefully I’ve managed to achieve!

What else has happened? Well I love to grow interesting varieties of tomatoes, chillis, peppers and aubergines. When there are thousands and thousands of amazing varieties, many of them heirlooms types, why grow the same old boring red tomato?

I did grow an awful lot of seedlings, so I registered with DEFRA, bought some stall insurance and along with my daughter Emma, sold my plants at the Creative West End Spring Market. We had an incredible day, it was so much fun and we sold an awful lot of plants, with some people even making a special trip because they’d seen me talk about the market on Instagram.

I also had an incredible year with my bees, I’ve kept bees since 2008 and many years I’ve not taken any honey at all because the weather has been so awful but for the last two years my girls have done superbly well producing over 150lbs of honey.

Jars of honey

The profits from selling my honey were used to buy myself something I’ve always wanted, my own electric honey extractor. In the past I’ve been very lucky and able to borrow an extractor from Lancaster Beekeepers but inevitably everyone wants to use the extractor at the same time and it can be quite stressful to get all the honey extracted in your allotted time.

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The other big event for 2022 was that my husband and I finally managed to get away on a proper holiday. We got married in 2017 and still hadn’t had a honeymoon. We chose to visit Madeira because it has good weather all year round and is still warm even in November. It was a very strange sensation celebrating your birthday in the warm sunshine by the pool.

The weather means that plants we consider exotic or houseplants, grow outdoors. The magnificent bird of paradise (Strelitzia), is everywhere and I fell in love with it, it’s such a fun happy plant.

If you’ve got to here, thank you. It’s turned out much longer than I intended, I hope you enjoyed the wander back through the year just gone.

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