I've asked three of my friends what were the highlights of 2010 for them and what are they looking forward to in 2011
Jackie: Nigel, looking back to 2010, what was the highlight for you?
Friend 1: I think the highlight really was er… was living in the new flat. We've bought a lovely new flat, not far from work, and just having somewhere that was a home, and a base, somewhere where we could do up together, it was very nice, I enjoyed it a lot.
Jackie: Fantastic. So, yeah, so a new home and… and also very convenient for you as well.
Friend 1: Yes, yes, convenient, lovely views, and just at the right time of life as well, I think.
Jackie: Fantastic. Looking ahead to 2011?
Friend 1: Well, ironically, it's also something to do with a house because er… I bought a house in the country, by a river erm… and for four years I've been struggling to get planning permission and sort out all the legal problems, and the red tape and deal with the bureaucrats etc and now I've got it. So… so I can start building. I'm really, really looking forward to that because it's a dream.
Jackie: So um… a fantastic flat and a wonderful home in the country.
Friend 1: Exactly. What cou… more could you want really?
Jackie: So 2010, what was the highlight of 2010?
Friend 2: I think the highlight must er… must be considered when I decided to take a sabbatical, which means taking time off work for various personal reasons.
Jackie: You mean stopping work.
Friend 2: Yes, stopping work for a year. Um… making the decision was quite difficult, I was a bit scared about it then once I got to realise what it meant and what the possibilities were, then I really got excited about it and I'm now four months into that and still have eight months to go. So, it's been fantastic and I'm so delighted I made the decision.
Jackie: Fantastic, so a year to do what you want.
Friend 2: Yes
Jackie: Fantastic. And you're looking forward to 2011? Anything in particular?
Friend 2: Well yes. Part of… part of what I've been doing with the sabbatical is to get myself re-trained up as a teacher-trainer which is what I did years ago and really, really enjoyed. And so now I'm sort of all set and ready to go to wherever training courses might be wherever in the world because they can either be for four weeks or two weeks. So it combines my love of travelling and exploring with working which of course what I really essentially need to do.
Jackie: That sounds great.
Friend 2: Yeah
Jackie: 2010, what was the highlight for you then?
Friend 3: Got to be moving in to our new house: July 17 2010. So um… we started work in January [it took] six months to rebuild an old Portuguese farmhouse and then we finally moved in, that was fantastic. And it’s six months later it's still fantastic so that's been… it’s been a wonderful 2010.
Jackie: What about 2011?
Friend 3: 2011. Well, now we've moved into the house obviously the next thing is the garden. And we've already er… been growing a number of our own fruit and vegetables, but one thing I'm looking forward to is rhubarb.
Jackie: Rhubarb? [both laugh] Now we have to explain what rhubarb is.
Friend 3: Rhubarb. It's a… well, I don't know really is it a fruit or is it a vegetable? Usually have it for dessert, it's the stem of a plant and it's red and very nice with custard. But not just rhubarb but also asparagus, so that takes a year or two to grow so we should be getting asparagus in 2011 as well, looking forward to that.