2019: My Year in Numbers

At this point in December I like to emerge from my turkey-induced fog and write a few words to usher out the year that’s leaving us. Of course, this year, we’re ushering out a whole decade, and I’m excited about what’s to come in the ‘twenties’ (not least because we’ll finally have a decade we can actually agree on what to call). I mean, what were these last ten years, anyway? The tens? The teens? Does anyone even care any more?

It’s time to turn our attention to what lies ahead of us.

But I’ve never been one to resist a look over my shoulder, so here are my last twelve months in numbers (an idea stolen with gratitude from my friend Suzanne over at Inside, Outside and Beyond 🙂 ).


The number of books read this year (I’m starting off with the important stuff 😉 ). This is a slight deviation from the number posted on my favourite books of 2019 post – happily, I’ve read another three since that.

300 (* approximately)

Trips to the beach this year. I walk on the beach nearly every day with my dog Brody. It’s my happy place, my sad place, and just about everything in between.


The number of my offspring to start secondary school this year. I can’t believe it’s 12 months since I wrote my thoughts on that subject here.

Beach Scene with boys running


The number of posts written on my blog this year (including this one). My most popular post was on Dog Friendly Places to Eat and Drink in Caithness which combines three of my very favourite things in life – dogs, coffee and my home.

Hungarian Vizsla dog in dog friendly cafe


The number of times my writing was published in a real-life magazine this year (*insert happy dance*).

Community Magazine Kid Friendly Caithness


The number of books written. Yes, I actually finished my first novel at the tail end of last term. When I say finished… a read through of some of the sections at my writing group suggested I may still have a *little* bit of work to do. But is a novel ever truly finished anyway? I’ve written 80,000 words and ‘The End’ and for now, that’s good enough for me.

Picture of notebook and tea on table with flowers


The number of my writing goals I didn’t manage to achieve this year. I didn’t actually get to any development events outside my writing group, which I had really hoped to do over the last twelve months. However, I did do something scary and gave a blogging workshop at this year’s John O’ Groats Book Festival, which was as much a development exercise for me as those participating. As for another writing retreat or learning activity – that’s one to notch up for 2020 I suppose.

Tyepwriter, cup of tea and 'Life's Little Instruction Book' on table


All the ones for the moment – with the number of new hobbies embraced this year and my 2019 introduction to wild swimming. I started dipping into the icy waters of the Pentland Firth back around June time, and since then I’ve enjoyed numerous local dips as well as some loch swimming when we travelled in our campervan earlier in the year. The habit has tailed off a bit over December but I’m determined to get back into it with gusto later in January. There’s something very restorative about the whole experience. if you need convincing on that assertion, you can read more about it here.

Swimming Loch an Eilean


The number of Parkrun events I participated in this year. (Plus… 8 – the number of times I attended in a volunteering capacity). When I talk about restorative activities, they don’t get much better than this one, as far as I’m concerned. Community, exercise in the outdoors and connection with like-minded people. If you want to hear more about me extolling the virtues of Parkrun, you can read about that here.

Picture of feet in trainers for Parkrun


The number of official 10ks I ran this year. I wrote all about my experience at the UK’s most northerly 10k race in this post back in May.

Gail at start of Castle of Mey 10k


The number of ‘big’ holidays we had this year (aside from lots of little trips in our campervan). I wrote ALL about our holiday to the Cote D’ Azur here and here, if you need some 2020 travel inspiration.

Boy in Street, Biot
Window Scene, Cote D'Azur

And on that happy note….


The number of words I’d use to sum up my thoughts on the year leaving us.


Sea, Caithness

Wishing you and your families peace, health and happiness for 2020 and beyond.