What was your happiest event?
Finally going back to Vietnam was so great. I was scared how it would be, I was scared I wouldn’t remember, or that people wouldnt remember me.I think I was scared I wouldn’t enjoy it. But it was wonderful and amazing in a whole new way. I reconnected with old friends, made about 500 new ones and finally got to see Mary’s House. I really can’t wait to get back there.

Pat and Mrs Hanh

What was the saddest thing that happened?
In May my darling Granny fell and broke her hip. It was heartbreaking to see her so small in her hospital bed and in so much pain. Over the next few weeks we watched her make quite an incredible recovery only to find out she had an underlying condition which was untreatable. We then spent a week by her bed waiting for her pain to end. She was 81, she had advanced dementia. It wasn’t a tragic loss in the greater sense but it was so sad to know that her pain was so severe and couldn’t be stopped. She was my second mammy and my first child, she left a hole in our lives and our conversations.


What was the most unlikely thing to happen that you actually went ahead and did?
I think driving from Bled, Slovenia to Vienna was probably the most unlikely thing to happen. It was around this time last year and I was itching to drive! It was 429km of right hand side driving with power steering. It was great! But I honestly didn’t think Moe would be up to the whole trip, he was (very quietly) freaking out… Early enough on I realised he needed to be kept distracted so he watched Lost on his laptop while I enjoyed the drive. I did almost cause us some little problems a few times but we managed to get there unscathed.

I drove aaaaall that!

Who supported you?
Too many people! Before I came back from Vietnam in April I bought a shedload of loveliness to sell here to raise some money for Mary’s House and for Mrs Hanh’s restuarant project. I had it here for months doing nothing, I tried to take some photos but they all turned out shite and I was really struggling to figure out what I’d do with it all. Then one day, it just hit me and I started taking photos and they turned out really well and I threw all the photos up on facebook and so many people just jumped on it. I really couldn’t believe the response. Friends showed up to help me at markets, called to buy things, invited me to their homes to sell stuff – amazing!
Personally, I have so many friends who’ve supported me creatively and emotionally over the year. It’s been a good one.

Who let you down?
No one really. There was one, but I learned a pretty important lesson from that one. Nobody sets out to be a bad person, everyone thinks they do their best. Someone’s best might not be enough for me all the time but it’s not my responsibility, or duty, to tell my friends what they’re supposed to do. If they don’t get it, they don’t get it – they are who they are. There’s enough drama in the world. And I’m sure there have been times when I’ve let people down, or not been there for them. We just have to accept it as part of life and try to do better next time.

Tell us one thing you learned.
See above.
Also, I only recently learned that the cat’s eyes change from orange to green coming up to a junction or a turn-off. Every day is a school day!

Tell us one thing that made you laugh.
Moe. He makes me laugh every day.49

Mary’s House party before I went home, the food fight was ridiculous! 

Ha - party head

Tell us one thing that made you cry.
Sitting on the bus on the way to work in May reading my brother’s email about his baby daughter who’d just been born. In true engineer style, he gave us all the vital statistics and more but he also started his email by telling us how happy, excited and proud he was. My little shithead brother grew up in the blink of an eye. In her little face I saw all the people I’ve known and loved all my life, I saw pure love.

During the week or two around Jill Meagher’s disappearance and death I found myself crying most mornings as I listened to the story unfold on the news. I suppose it was because I could relate to the story so easily and the pure cruelty of the situation was shocking.

Tell us one thing that made you proud of yourself.
In February I finished up my year as a Big Sister to a lovely girl. We met up almost every weekend for a whole year and developed a friendship that did good things for both of us. She’s a very special girl with huge potential and I really hope she keeps on the path she’s going.

Tell us one challenge you overcame.
Skiing down that red slope in Slovenia. Lord, I thought I’d fall off the face of the earth! I got there in the end, thanks to Moe shouting and laughing at me from the bottom!!

Tell us three things you’d like to change about your life in 2013.
I want to be a better friend, to keep in touch with people. I don’t know, maybe there are only so many people you can actually stay in touch with but I want to try harder. This year is totally commitment free so I want to use those weekends to their full potential.
I’ve also had a few relatively minor but ongoing health problems that I really want rid of, a healthy 2013 for everyone please!
And then the more things, things I want to improve rather than change – I want to play bass more, take more photos, sew more, make our house more like a home.

And thanks to Steph for her review too, good luck with your big year ahead dear!

Thanks for reading,
éad. xx