Don’t let me into this year with an empty heart…

Hello and Happy New Year to followers and readers of LLL ❤

I’ve said it on Instagram this morning but I am, perhaps typically, wholly unprepared for 2014! I hadn’t gotten used to writing ‘2013’ yet when it was whisked away.

I turned over my very hungry caterpillar calendar (with reward chart) this morning and am vaguely pondering what this very space-agey sounding year will bring.

Foyle Hospice charity Annual Female Walk/Run June 2013.

In 2013 I turned 24. I’m struggling to remember the former part of the year, just I was getting increasingly antsy in my job, after more than a year re-working there after university. After a conversation or two, I started seriously thinking about Journalism. At the end of August (was that really only 4 months ago) I took a chance and left my job. I accepted a place studying for NCTJ Journalism.

It’s been very challenging to say the least. I was SO lucky to get a placement with a very prestigious local Newspaper and I have been there on Fridays since November. Well apart from my holidays. This is the first Christmas I have had a proper break of more than two days in six years or so. It’s great.

Highlights of my work placement have been interviewing a Holocaust Survivor who lives in Ireland, the wonderful Tomi Reichental. Being trusted with interviewing four people who work at Christmas which gave me the chance to meet so many interesting people. Some of these are here. I was particularly touched by Paul who volunteers with Foyle Search and Rescue, preventing suicide and saving lives along the river in the city.

And – phone interviewing Josh Ritter! It was very unexpected and more than a little cringy but it had me on a high for ages. Just in case you’re interested, here it is.

I have also passed my first Teeline Shorthand exam, 60 wpm. I am hoping to get to 100 wpm before the end of the year to reach the Gold Standard.


Derry/Londonderry/Legenderry being crowned UK City of Culture for 2013 has been transformative and amazing for my home town. I keep coming across the pink tickets and smiling at all the events. From the hopefulness of the huge fireworks display at 20:13 last New Years Eve, Sons and Daughters Concert, The Fleadh, The Walled City Tattoo, Music Promise, Music City, all the visiting acts: I saw Elvis Costello, Rokia Traore, and of course Josh Ritter, One Big Weekend (I’m not bitter about not getting tickets), and then magical events such as The Return of Colmcille and a major highlight Lumiere.

It’s been special, the city has been basking in it, and has never looked better. It was also an excellent year to begin a Journalism course! There is a lot of work on keeping a Legacy and I sincerely hope that the magic continues for many years.

I’ve had many personal lows, thank goodness my family are well and there has been no tragedy. Sometimes my path just gets so lost. I’m thankful I have so many people close to me that I trust and can bend their ear if I need to. I just hope they don’t think I’m crazy.

A good friend went off to Australia to fulfil a life long dream in April, and in August I took a chance and met an internet friend Miss G from Edinburgh for a weekend in Belfast and it was wonderful.

Book-wise I haven’t read as much, highlights I can think of are Kate Atkinson ‘Life After Life’, Matt Haig ‘The Humans’ and I’m the middle of ‘The End of your Life Book Club’ by Will Schwalbe. Abbye sent me the emotional and beautifully illustrated ‘The Gifts of the Magi’ by O Henry a Christmas story I had never read.

The day after boxing day I attended the wedding of a childhood friend. I enjoyed it so much. It was a wonderful, love-filled day and it was good to see so many faces again.

Happy-New-Years-sayings-quotes-1-570x759 (1)

The usual sense of hope I feel in a new year is slightly escaping me, but I’m waiting for it to return. I do feel on the brink. May good things be just around the corner for us all. My blog was created to keep me writing while I did the day job, now that I am doing a lot of writing it’s getting a bit neglected. I’d love to keep it up a bit more regularly in 2014. Inspired by my friend Caoimhe, maybe I will have a thankfulness box this year. Write down everything positive or that I am grateful for on itty bitty pieces of paper.  Since reading A Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp I’ve wanted to do this in notebook form but maybe this is a good compromise. I am a blessed girl.

writing this has calmed me some. It’s my Daddy’s 49th Birthday today and my Mum is preparing us a big dinner. I will go down and join them soon. I’m listening to Disney’s ‘Frozen’ soundtrack and wishing you a very Happy New Year, and as Josh Ritter once signed my record, may all the finest things find you. Thank you for reading.

“Don’t let me into this year with an empty heart…” Josh Ritter


Author: Fiona

8 thoughts on “Don’t let me into this year with an empty heart…”

  1. Yeay.. So glad you’ve done another post to get that little email =) Great writing yet again Fiona, I love reading your little posts, and wishing you a year filled with lots more writing and happiness in all you do :)!

    1. You inspired me Amy ! Glad that someone is excited to read my posts. December was the only month I ever missed! Will try to keep up. A very happy, peaceful and joyful 2014 to you too Amy. Be yourself it doesn’t matter what stage everyone else is at. Thank you x x

  2. Lovely post Fi ❤ writing down all the good things that happened throughout the year feels great. It's nice to think about positive things before going to sleep (I always write them at the end of the day), and to contemplate even the little things that make you smile 🙂 I'm looking forward to looking over all of mines and starting a new box this year!

    1. Thank you Caoimhe. I got a couple of perfume sets with pretty boxes- one of those should do nicely. I know yours was positivity but that slightly more religious thankfulness-precedes-the-miracle idea really meant something to our family. I really must try it.

      Let’s meet this week.

      Love x

      1. Sounds great! I put mines in a lovely perfume box, and then notebooks when it got full haha. Yes, need to see your face! I’m free as a bird from tomorrow for a week-ish x

  3. Hi Fiona

    reading your post in the Ormeau Road library as we haven’t our internet set up in the new house yet. This is a lovely warm post, and how enriching to gather up all the good things that were in 2013. And your courage is really standing you in good stead – even if the path does get ‘lost’ from time to time. i followed your links to your articles – your writing is super and the interview with Josh Ritter is a gem he should thanik you for!!

    2014 – it does sound futuristic…sending you blessing and graces for the days and the opportunities it brings to you. See you soon.

    1. Hi Soulriser,

      Can’t wait to see this new house. I think I inadvertently came across it online when trying to find the wonderful address for Mum. Looks great!

      I really appreciate all the support. Wishing you wonders in 2014. Yes see you soon!

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