Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy new year 2011

I've been acutely aware that I haven't written a blog post in over a year. The reason? 2010 was a massively busy year. 

In April I moved house, once again, moving into a flat in the centre of town, with beautiful views of the sea.

In May, we ran our Grit Lit literary night at Redroaster and won the best literary event for Brighton Festival and Fringe! 

In June, I started running a monthly spoken word and live music night called Countdown for Black History Month, which was a success.  Then July, August, September and finally October! Man was I wiped!

I helped launch a successful new initiative called Brighton & Hove Community Reporters, which began in the winter 2009. My colleagues and I ran monthly meetups, and I ran free taster workshops all across the city, working with young people and adults, during the spring and summer of 2010, teaching them the basics of reporting in the community. 

Worked with so many fab people. I love hearing about the various initiatives they've started up as a result - community radio programmes, websites, and more. Claire is now co-editor of Brighton Mums, for mums, dads, and everyone in Brighton. Ron Sharatt and Suchi Chatterji run a radio show called Same Difference, a program for disabled people and those with an interest in disability, on Brighton & Hove Community Radio. Keleche Turner runs a show on the station called the Keleche Turner Show, and Susi Oddball co-runs the radio station. 
Suchi & Ron - "Same Difference" programme producers and presenters

The summer saw Caroline Sutton training up two batches of community reporters. The result? Over 20 fully trained up reporters and mainstreaming the training programme into the Friends Centre's adult education programme. The first training programme at the Friends Centre starts on 5 February 2011. Result indeed!

We also launched community reporting in schools during the summer, which was hectic, and I also ran IT training courses for 18-25 year old NEETs at the Friends Centre.

After a nasty breakup in August, I moved residence again in September, back up the snowy alps of Brighton. Now living a the John Steinbeck dream, with a writing cabin of my own. It's been good for my writing, and nearly done with the first draft of my third novel.

During the autumn, I produced a literary showcase for Black History Month in October, and helped out with a massive Street Party on New Road, our Film Festival and oh so many wonderful events.

In November, I studied with the famous Egyptian feminist writer Nawal el Saadawi for a weekend in London, started training for a half-marathon, and now write ferociously and run over 20k per week. I also got my British citizenship and man was that cause for celebration!

We ran our second Grit Lit of the year on 3 December, battling the snow and ice, and by the second week of December, I was definitely ready for wind down time. However, I got a job promotion and the flu for the last two weeks of work so not quite the right time.

Reflecting on it all, I'm not sure how I juggle so much and a full time job!
I'm giving a lot of thought about the coming year, and even though I have obvious regrets relating to my failed relationship, I'm hopeful that perhaps I'll get it right the next time around. What I am really thankful for right now is some really great friends, here in Brighton and around the world. Looking forward to spending this next year with you all.

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