Inspired by Dave Hartley's amazing list of achievements for 2011 on his blog, I thought I'd consider mine.
The condensed version (ie, my top two):
I survived four weeks on retreat at Hawthornden Castle, which, during week three seemed extremely unlikely, and yet managed to come away with a whole stack of rough drafts which have formed the basis of the year's hothousing/incubation period.
I learnt to use a chainsaw. Fortunately this was after the month at Hawthornden. I can't decide which I find more scary: sawing the wood myself or supporting the wood on the sawbench as someone else welds the machine. I can't rid myself (when the machine first starts) of visions of deep thigh cuts or the saw kicking back to slice my head in half.
Tenacity underpins both. Maybe the wind's getting to me.
I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.