Look Back at 2008 Questionnaire and Many Photos of Founex, Geneva, and Nyon

Geneva! and other towns...

I wrote this Look Back questionnaire 14 years ago and stumbled across it the other day when trying to see if I had shared photos of our trip to Turkey in 2008 on the blog (sadly not. We went to Safranbolu, Karabük, and Ankara, among other places, and none of the photos are on here!).

I've shared the original below, with my updated comments in square brackets. And instead of older photos, I have more recent ones!

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before? Went on a road trip through Pennsylvania, New York State, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky (Hi Jenny!) and Ohio. And visited Toronto for the first time. For about five hours. Also visiting parts of Turkey I hadn't been to before: Ankara, Karabuk, Safranbolu, Kastamonu.
[In 2022, I visited Barcelona, Stockholm, and Scarborough for the first time! And Druid's Moon was published and I went on a blog book tour! Also, we got a dog!]

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don't quite remember making any. Just trying to concentrate on finishing editing The Face of A Lion.
[Same story, different novel! I worked on editing Captive of the Sea and Larksong, and submitted a few stories here and there...]

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Claire!
[A colleague! I knit a blanket as a gift.]

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes, my doctor and my high school history teacher.
[I was a bit cavalier about this question back in 2008, I wonder why? It seems like a weighty question to toss in the middle of lighter topics. I think I'll just keep things private.]

5. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? More dedication that results in concrete work done on the novel each day.
[Ha! This is still quite valid in 2022!]

6. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Not sure... Probably the road trip.
[From 2022? Possibly the summer -- we got Mountie! We went to Barcelona!]

7. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Actually getting the editing completed on paper, getting a promotion at work.
[The publication of Druid's Moon!]
8. What was your biggest failure? Not being dedicated enough -- I could have finished this editing over the summer, had my query ready and been querying all autumn.
[Same, same. I could have finished typing up Larksong before NaNo started...]

9. What was the best thing you bought? More like *not bought* -- I've held off on buying books since June, except for Folio and books published by friends!
[Well, technically, we did buy Mountie...]

10. Whose behaviour merited celebration? I'll echo Jen: "a lot of my writer friends -- who either signed with an agent, finished an MS, sold a book, etc."
[Sounds good to me!]
11. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? Oh well, who am I to castigate others? We'll see how things go in my new section at work.
[What a funny comment! As if I would criticize colleagues! I think I'll just say "O tempora, O mores!" and leave it at that.]

12. Where did most of your money go? Visa. The house.
[Heh. The house. Tuition. Groceries. Books.]

13. What did you get really, really excited about? Two two-week vacations within five months! Bruce Springsteen in Montreal!
[Three vacations so far this year! Mountie! The Divine Comedy in Lausanne!]

14. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Happier. [Same.]
ii. thinner or fatter? Same, thankfully. [Almost the same!]
iii. richer or poorer? Poorer by far. [Uh, yea.]

15. What do you wish you'd done more of? Editing.
[Same! Will I ever learn?]

16. What do you wish you'd done less of? Putzing around.
[Well, there's no time for that anymore. So there's really nothing I wish I'd done less of. There's always more time needed!]

17. Did you fall in love in 2008? Yes, all over again, she says cheekily.
[Ha ha, sure, let's say the same for 2022!]

18. Did your heart break in 2008? No.
[Well, no. I've been saddened by some things, but that's not quite the same.]

19. What was your favourite TV program? Springsteen Live in Dublin.
[I don't really watch much TV. I wanted to like Rings of Power and didn't (more on that in an upcoming post]. I quite liked House of the Dragon. I watched Anxious People after I read the book and rather liked it. But favourite? Sticking with music, Paul McCartney at the Glastonbury Festival was wonderful!]

20. What kept you sane? Friends, family, writing community, cats.
[I miss our kitties, Frodo and Sam. Friends, family, writing community, Mountie, reading.]

21. What political issue stirred you the most? Um. I've been paying taxes for two years now and our street is still crater valley.
[Well I could wish there was something as innocuous to mention in 2022! I have this: I received my mail-in ballot for the elections in Canada too late to mail by one day! Grr.]

22. Who was the best new person you met? Marissa!
[Lots of new parents of my kids' classmates!]

23. Favorite book you read? All three Marilynne Robinson.
[I can't really pick just one for 2022. The entire list is at the bottom of the blog. I'm hoping to write up my Annual Books Read post soon...]

24. Favorite movie? Movies these days suck.
[Ha ha, I guess this is mostly still true! Then again, I wouldn't know, I never have time to watch new films!]

25. What are your plans for 2009? Get The Face of A Lion out to beta readers and a host of other agents so I can maybe allow myself to fiddle with the other ideas that are coming through!
[For 2023? I'd really like to publish another book. And get Larksong to beta readers...]

And now, photos!

Lac Leman/Lake Geneva

Sheep next to our backyard!

Growth of an eggplant...




Photos from the bus stop

Nearby swamp

A month away from harvest (this was in August)



First snow on Mont Blanc!

Trying to take photos of the moon...


Views while donating blood

Village fair!

The band!

An antiquarian bookshop in Geneva

A new English bookstore in Geneva! Pages and Sips

Such a cosy spot!

At the Red Cross Museum

Photos from the United Nations library and archives

First Assembly of the League of Nations, 1920

Che Guevara, 1964

Charles Aznavour!

Views of Geneva


Fountain in Nyon

Tower from the time of Julius Casesar, Nyon

Nyon castle


Trying to take a photo of a thunderstorm...

Chocolate and cheese!

Cheese from the goat we sponsored!

Trying wine from the Gaillac region of France simply because I've read about it in books by Peter May!

Have you looked back at an older questionnaire lately?
How would you answer some of these questions?


Hi Deniz – great places you've visited … and got yourselves a beautiful dog – also congratulations on Druid's Moon publication. Dog (Mountie – lovely name) – last time I saw one of those was on Vancouver Island ... s/he gets big?! My father's BIL and my Ma – who were both down here and needed love as they went down hill to their ends … Plans for 2023 and on – to get through the next years peacefully by helping myself and others … take care and enjoy all you do – you're not a slacker!! Cheers Hilary

Love that you had your own goat's cheese ... love that stuff!!
Deniz Bevan said…
Wish I could share the cheese with you, Hilary!
Mountie's getting very big, and cuddly too!