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A reflection on my year that was 2015 - Emily Macaulay [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Emily Macaulay

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A reflection on my year that was 2015 [Jan. 2nd, 2016|12:47 pm]
Emily Macaulay
As 2015 ends I reflect on the year that has passed:

This year, personally, was all about running. My fundraising challenge was to run the equivalent distance of Land’s End to John O’Groats (LEJOG) over the calendar year. This is 603miles. You can read more about the challenge on an earlier blog post and read about the finish (successfully!) here. It was a wonderful feeling to complete and still the fundraising comes in. The table below shows how those miles split across the months (not ideally) and the total time run, 89 hours and 7 minutes.

Time (mins) Distance (miles)
Jan 89.14 10.23
Feb 0 0
Mar 61.33 6.66
Apr 615.11 68.04
May 308.55 36.04
Jun 513.6 58.84
Jul 563.53 62.6
Aug 614.91 67.94
Sep 706.22 79.4
Oct 407.09 47.7
Nov 188.98 22.81
Dec 1278.59 143.8
Total 5347.05 604.06

I ran the following races in 2015 and a couple of parkruns. I’m the fastest I have ever been in my time running.

Date Race Mileage Time
18-Jan-15 First Chance 10K 6.2 00:52:26
12-Jul-15 Otter River and Rail Run 10K 6.2 00:54:12
29-Jul-15 Exeter 10K 6.2 00:49:52 PB
10-Oct-15 Colchester Parkrun 3.1 00:23:49 PB
18-Oct-15 Great West Run 13.1 01:45:39 PB

With the Exe Valley Cats I did the Honiton 55 audax cycle ride which was great fun and a lovely day out. The halfway break being at the Boston Tea Party in Honiton was an added bonus.

The wonderful Tottenham Hotspur Football Club did ok, finishing fifth in the 2014-15 season although we are currently placed fourth and playing well. I’m horrified to realise that I haven’t made it to White Hart Lane at all in 2015. This is the first year since 2007 I haven’t attended any game and I’m disappointed in myself.

I’ve continued to enjoy having my LoveFilm account and have watched all the films below. In the cinema I saw Everest (breathtakingly captivating) and The Martian (best book and film of my year).

Saving Mr Banks Blandly enjoyable, Emma Thompson is never wrong.
The Butler I can’t really remember too much about this, which probably says everything.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Good to see a bit more about this great man.
A Perfect Ending Fantastic lesbian film that felt very mainstream.
Maleficent Disney and Angelina – enough said.
Last Vegas I wish I could say I was drunk.
The Fault In Our Stars Not as good as the book (when is it ever).
One Chance Fine. Ok. Fine.
Before I Go To Sleep Bit circular and probably a touch longer than necessary.
Paddington Not for me.
Margin Call Clever but probably would’ve preferred the book.
Song For Marion Hurrah for community choirs.
Weekend Touch too arty for my liking but a good LGBT film.
The Fifth Estate Interesting insight to Wikileaks.
Gone Girl Didn’t enjoy the book, the film is a hint better.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour I stopped watching when she left her girlfriend and went back to boyfriends (and read the summary on Wiki).
The Game Gosh. Flawed at the end too.
Pride Felt like Made in Dagenham in a different time. Enjoyable.
Still Alice Julianne Moore is staggeringly good and this film exposes all fears about dementia.
Selma A story I didn’t know about the civil rights movement in America.
Insurgent Not as good as the book but it has Kate Winslet in so…
Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death Awful. Potboiler. Awful.

This seems to have been the year I’ve rediscovered the sub genre of computer/gaming science fiction and I’ve very much enjoyed that.

The Martian Andy Weir Brilliant. Enjoyable. Brilliant. Read it.
The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins Don’t get what all the fuss is about – I discovered in reading this that I need to care about at least one character.  I didn’t in this.
Insurgent Veronica Roth Enjoy this fast paced, fighting the establishment, teen fiction.
The Room of Lost Things Stella Duffy Interesting sociological observation through fiction with fabulous twist.
Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance Oliver Bowden Enjoy all this series, easy to read and all about honour.
Legend of Spud Murphy Eoin Colfer Children’s book about a library.
Emma Jane Austen Never read it before. Waaaaay too slow for my tastes.
Rogue Male Geoffrey Household A classic and I can see why.
Running Like A Girl Alexandra Heminsley Non-fiction and one I’d recommend to new runners who consider themselves ‘unsporty’.
Ready Player One Ernest Cline Fabulous!  Journey, tests and honour.
The Secret Island Enid Blyton One of my top three books of all time and re-read frequently.
The Circle Dave Eggers Will either scare or inspire you as to the digital future
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Haruki Murakami Not a favourite.
Private Down Under James Patterson and Michael White You know what you’ll get, and I am comfortable with that for easy reading
The Woman In Black Susan Hill Not as scary as the play
Goddess of Vengeance Jackie Collins Read after she died as I realised I hadn’t ever read one. More storyline than I was expecting.
The Orchid Thief Susan Orlean Non fiction. What it says on the tin.  All about orchids and in particularly one famous thief in the USA.
Fatherland Robert Harris Good concept, shame that the protagonist wasn’t part of the system.
Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore Robin Sloan The final of my ‘four books borrowed from the library’. A good fantasy style puzzle.

No live music attended this year.

Saw Wicked a few more times in the West End (hurrah!). Also Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time (excellent), Jersey Boys (wahoo!) and Woman in Black (spoilt by faux-screaming) at Theatre Royal Plymouth. Not such successful viewings at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre. Left at the interval for Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage and Flare Path. But loved Mist In The Mirror (some incredible staging) and Christmas Carol (family fun and great to see them producing their own stuff again).

But frankly I don’t want to dwell on that as, sitting here, I feel only happiness looking back at 2015. My darling little old man (cat) Winston died at the end of the year and my health continues to be a bit up and down.


  • My year started with a wonderful invitation to the Jane Tomlinson Appeal’s celebration event, marking £7million raised. I was proud to be able to speak publicly at the event and show my thanks to the Appeal, all they do and the wonderful team there. I am pleased that so far my fundraising from 2015 is sitting at around £2,600 and will close on 8 January. If you’d like to add anything please do so at www.justgiving.com/emilymacaulay2015

  • I reconnected with my alma mater Nottingham Trent University, beginning the year giving a talk there as part of their LGBT History Month celebrations and ending it with being honoured with their Alumna of the Year Award. A hugely proud moment and I hope to do much more with the university in the coming year.

  • I got involved with the Proud Lilywhites (LGBT supporters group for Tottenham Hotspur having been elected onto their Committee) and set up a fledgling Exeter branch of the newly formed Women’s Equality Party. I look forward to being part of the delivery of change through both in 2016.

  • I gave up sweet things (chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks) for a month to break my severe addiction. It worked and I now eat more in moderation, more mindfully and lost a stone in the process which has stayed off.

  • I met Stella Duffy again, this time in Bath and in a workshop about Fun Palaces. This is something that simply has to happen in Exeter soon. Once again she was so motivational and inspiring. An incredible woman.

  • And last, but by no means least, my beautiful (and she really is) niece was born. Autumn Emily Lovelock and I got to meet very soon after her birth and enjoyed lots of good cuddles. I look forward to seeing her grow, in all senses of the word.

I’m not setting goals for the year ahead. The last two years have shown me it is the things you don’t plan for or expect that are the most breathtaking. Here’s to more of those moments in 2016.