A list of good things that have actually happened to me in 2016

There weren’t too many but these ones are worth keeping.

  1. An utterly amazing trip to New Orleans. I was lucky to get to know a few people in this most jaw-dropping, brave, joyful of cities. There were lessons to be learned — high above them all is that after the flood comes the sun, that no matter how low you think you’re sinking, you can always come back to the surface. It’s a city that waves the flag of rebirth with pride and joy. (Speaking of which, seeing The Rebirth Brass Band play at the Maple Leaf was one of the highlights of my concert-going life: brass so powerful it literally knocked me back a few steps, groove so strong that my feet didn’t touch the ground, sound so loud that my ears rang for three days straight. A revelation: music is a matter of space.)
  2. Saw Bruce Springsteen twice this year and managed to share the experience with all three of my closest friends. My #BFF1 brought her 6-months old baby to one of the gigs too. And I cried and cried and cried during “Thunder Road” — both times. #BFF3 is now a convert.
  3. This year I cried more than ever before in my life. It felt surprisingly good to accept my feelings and learn to let them express themselves in this way.
  4. I grew professionally and felt happy and confident in my job, particularly in the latter part of the year. I contributed to a number of exciting events — from empowering female filmmakers working on Shakespeare, to bringing Ed Harris to one of our cinemas, and making a very special Christmas screening happen.
  5. I had a brilliant time at the Europa Cinemas Lab in Bologna. It was a real homecoming for me, finally bringing together my Italian and my British selves. The seminar started the day after the dreadful EU referendum and was a significant healing factor in my personal grieving process. Later this year, Europa Cinemas kindly contributed to the next phase of this training by sending me to Berlin for a professional exchange. It was truly eye-opening to live in such an extraordinary city for a short while. The whole of the twentieth century passes through Berlin. More than ever this year have I felt like I belong to Europe and I belong to the twentieth century. Berlin was like a new home (unlike London — for the first time since moving here).
  6. I LOVED the third season of Transparent.
  7. A wonderful birthday party with my parents and so many friends in our new home. The sun shone on our freshly replanted and landscaped garden, and we barbecued all sorts of things and drank Spritz and prosecco outdoors.
  8. Gary Lineker stripped for the first episode of Match of the Day, honouring Leicester City’s brilliant underdog victory in the Premier League.
  9. I had dinner and great conversation with Sam Neill (and got weak knees).
  10. I was unusually tongue-tied when I met my favourite theatre director. And what a good thing that was: not everyone needs to hear what I think about everything.
  11. But I had exactly the right words for Wendell Pierce and Isabelle Huppert — both inspiring in very different ways.
  12. I enjoyed a second holiday in the Languedoc with B, driving around beautiful vineyards, walking on hills, swimming in rivers.
  13. I shook out some old wood and burned it down. I feel lighter and more focused.
  14. I gained an excellent new colleague at work who is a real team player and great to work with.
  15. I found hope in a hopeless place. Thanks to love, a lot of love from my husband, my closest friends and my family.