Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 5 of 2014 - (Non-Sewing) Highlights

This is the third post for my top 5 lists for 2014, I have previously posted my hits and misses. Gillian describes this section as "non-sewing highlights", so here they are...

1- Involvement with ingress community
 - This year I haven't had as much time for sewing as I normally would have as I have been heavily involved in the Ingress community.
Ingress is an "augmented reality" game that you play on your phone, and you can play anywhere in the world. It uses google maps and the GPS in your phone to work out where you are, and to interact with "portals" in the game you have to actually go there. There are two teams and I'm a member of the resistance, or blue, team. While you can play on your own, the game is best played as part of the team, which has led to a very strong community surrounding the game.

As part of the game there are events held in particular locations globally; Melbourne got one of those events in May. This is certainly a highlight of the game this year for me. I was heavily involved in the planning and organisation for our team for that event, which was both challenging and rewarding in equal measure, considering as about 400 people turned up on the day across both teams.

Another thing I have been involved in this year for the Ingress community has been getting some keyrings made. With help from Darren we made a design to represent the Australian Resistance (which you've seen already when I shared my  screen printing), and then I opened up pre-orders to the Australian (and global) Resistance community.

I needed to get 300 orders to make the keyring manufacture viable; I had 300 orders within the first 24 hours! I ended up getting a bit over 500 keyrings made.

I specifically chose a supplier that manufactured the keyrings in Melbourne, and am thrilled with how they turned out, both in quality and design,

2- Trips within Australia - I've been on quite a few trips within Australia this year; a trip to Sydney, two to Brisbane, two to northern Tassie, to Euroa (with a very long detour home through rural Victoria), and a trip to Warrnambool and the Great Ocean Road. Some of the trips were to see family, others to see friends, and others just because (and pretty much all of the trips involved some ingressing). It's been great to see more of my adopted country.

The tassie trips were particularly amazing. Early in the year we went to Burnie to visit Darren's aunt and also spent a couple of nights at Cradle Mountain (pictured above).  We then went back in the middle of the year, where the spectacular highlight was getting to go up in Darren's uncle's little 4 seater plane and see the north west Tasmania coastline from the air. AND, even more exciting, I got to fly the plane!!! (pictured below).


Another standout trip was a road trip to Warrnambool, where we stayed with a friend's parents and then came home along the great ocean road. The first pic below is us at a place called Tower Hill, near Warrnambool, and the second pic is us at one of the (very windy) lookouts on the great ocean road.

3- Our trip to Canada - Darren and I went on a two week holiday in October/November to Canada (and a tiny bit of the US). The trip was a whirlwind tour of Toronto, Montreal, Seattle and Vancouver and we had an amazing time.

The trip was triggered by the decision to have a group meet-up in Toronto with some of the Ingressers we know, mostly from around North America. Meeting some awesome people in person, many that I'd been chatting with online for up to a year, and spending the weekend exploring Toronto with them was an amazing experience (most of us pictured above). We also made a day trip to Niagara Falls, which really was spectacular, just the scale and the amount of water is overwhelming.


After the weekend in Toronto, Darren and I went on with the rest of our trip. According to my fitbit, we walked a whopping 200km while we were away. We walked and walked and walked (and ingressed while we did it) seeing heaps of the cities we were exploring. (Picture below is from the lookout at the top of Mont Royal in Montreal.


4- Sewing Friends - The friends I've made through the sewing community really are amazing, and their impact on my life is even moreso. From texts and emails for help, to our monthly social sewing days, to the advice, support and encouragement given through instagram, twitter and in comments on my blog, these interactions certainly enrich my life.

Some sub-highlights for this highlight would have to be the honour of attending Melanie's wedding (pic above), everyone I got to meet and spend time with at Sydney Frocktails (below, pic stolen from Nic), and the sewers (and knitters) that I met up with on my trip to Canada, in particular getting the opportunity to meet Tasia and get a sneak peek at SewaholicHQ.


5- Darren - Last, and certainly not least, the highest and lightest highlight of this year is Darren (also known as "The Boy"). Darren and I moved in with each other this year, and there is no better word to describe him as than my partner. He has been at my side and supporting me through all the other 4 highlights and many other times besides.

I'll be back tomorrow with my last of these top5 list posts, with my goals and reflections.

1 comment:

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