2013 has been a rollercoaster year – some events tragic, some transitional and some triumphs – for us personally and for the world.

Although the events that impacted on our lives seemed so huge, it is important when reflecting that the focus is not just on the personal but the worldly events to put things into perspective…so here’s a summary of some of the events that made the year that was 2013.

  • Our business began the year so positively but soon it was realised that survival would mean downsizing. Downsizing sustained us for a little longer but after seeing the real impact of the drop in gold price and major downturn in mining in Australia, the heart-breaking decision had to be made to close.
  • The year’s ups and down also affected friendships – with the tragic passing of Ron, to the unbelievable behaviour of some we thought were friends to the selfless caring support so willingly given by new friends which helped sustain us to the end when we left the island and continued even when we returned to Perth.
  • In February, a new Pope took over from retiring Pope Benedict XVIamidst a flurry of allegations of corruption and sex abuse scandals against the church. Pope Francis has been shakin’ up the Vatican and its followers ever since and was named Times’ Person of the Year in December.
  • Royal baby George, was born to Kate and William on 22 July. And a very exciting birth occurred in the animal world this year. Baby pandas Mei Lun and Mei Huan were born on July 15 at Zoo Atlanta, the first twin pandas to be born in the United States since 1987.
  • Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the National Security Agency, flees the US in June after leaking up to 1.7 million classified NSA documents to media outlets revealing details of global surveillance operations by the US and its international partners & takes up asylum in Russia.
  • More than 1000 people died when the Rana Plaza Complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapsed on April 24 and caused embarrassment for the big companies who had their garments made there.
  • Thousands were killed – including Australians – by Super Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm in history to make landfall, when it struck the Philippines on November 8.
  • Oscar Pistorius, the South African “blade runner”, known around the world as the first double leg amputee to participate in the Olympics was arrested on Valentine’s Day for allegedly shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at their home. To avoid breast cancer, after doctors found a defective gene, Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and has continued to promote breast cancer awareness.
  • Social media took a permanent grip on the year and proved that it can be used for good and evil. Taking “selfies” and posting them to social media was all the rage this year.
  • Nelson Mandela, a South African icon and international statesman of unparalleled revere, died aged 95 in December. Maggie Thatcher dies April. Paul Walker dies tragically in a car accident in November. Musician Lou Reed, actress Marcia Wallace and author Tom Clancy all died in October.
  • Two bombs made by pressure cookers detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15 sent shockwaves around the world. Three people were killed and 264 injured. Somalian terrorists attack in a Kenyan Mall killing nearly 70 people, including some Australians, over 3 days in September
  • Gays across the world celebrate this as same-sex marriage laws are introduced in many countries. Barack Obama, the nation’s 44th president, was sworn in for his second term on January 21
  • Malala Yousafzai continued her fight for the right to education while NASA’s Curiosity rover spent this past year sending back reams of data about Mars for scientists to analyze, leading to new insights into the planet’s watery, potentially habitable past.
  • The Cronut, the perfect hybrid of croissant and donut appeared and won taste buds around the world. The cronut created long lines around the New York bakery where it debuted as well as the Fremantle Markets popup bakery where we first tried one. Horsemeat was found in Findus burger patties leading to jokes like “FillyCon Carne”, “Spaghetti Bologneighs” and “Let’s run before they Findus” next to images of running horses.
  • Returning to Australia in November was met with great apprehension. The concern of reintegration, worry of job prospects and the additional financial burden of business closure was sadly punctuated with the loss of our gorgeous Collie dog, Holly on Nov 27 in Sydney, before she could return home properly. However the excitement and joyous freedom expressed by the other five fur-girls on their arrival to our home in Perth after a month of quarantine was infectious.

So with renewed focus and a plan, 2013 will finish and 2014 begins on a positive note.