Wednesday 30 December 2015

Wanderings in 2015

You know, this year was hard. It was full of hurdles and roadblocks. But in addition to these, I have also filled this year with fabulous memories. This post takes a look back at them, month by month. It's quite easy to dwell on difficulties and get bogged down with feeling that things are on top of you. But reflecting back, I can see that at times when I had problems or life had taken an unexpected turn, sitting alongside these were times of friendship and excitement; seeing something/somewhere new, or spending time with people who made me laugh and these are the things that I want to dwell on. 

2015 you were wonderful, and I hope 2016 ends up with just as many beautiful memories and adventures.


I started the year finally doing full time hours at work, and commuting from Essex to Canada Water every day, whilst doing the rounds of house viewings in the evenings, and attempting to finish an assignment for my MA. So, not in the most spectacular fashion, but by the end of the month I had found somewhere in London to live, and only a little way from this fabulous view!


My birthday month was full of parties and presents and turning 30 wasn't nearly as bad as I had thought.

I didn't manage to fulfil my 30 before 30 list, but I am still committed to completing everything on it (except maybe War and Peace...) although it's now just a normal list.


Anna bought a selfie stick for work, and we spend many an afternoon taking silly photos and videos with the students in the afternoons.

March was otherwise a quiet month, the last one of stability at work before they started slashing the work force and we all started to worry about our jobs!


This was my third time visiting Chelsea, in Spring this time - as I vowed to do after my previous trip - and we raved it up on King's night, took far too many photos of flowers at the Keukenhof, and braved the crowds in Amsterdam on King's day.


This month a took a couple of trips in my car, giving it a much needed spin, to discover a couple of places on my door-step. Jas, Sio, Felix and I went to see the Sussex Heritage Coast which was really fun if a little windy. I also saw Blenheim Palace, and stayed over in the lovely village of Woodstock. The palace was spectacular, a good weekend day trip and there was an extra little perk from a small farmer's food market on site as well. The weather wasn't great, but it was nice to visit and cross another 30 before 30 off!

In May, the Tate Britain was reexhibiting Tracey Emin's controversial and career altering art work 'My Bed', which I vaguely remember causing big stir when it was first exhibited in 1999. I was really intrigued to see what the real piece looked like, so I went to check it out. Much smaller than I had imagined, I can definitely see why it caused so much of a fuss. As an art piece, I think it is still fairly provocative but much less shocking than when it was created. I can see why traditionalists wouldn't like it, why you might say 'I could make that'. But the point really is that; you didn't, so perhaps the skill isn't always in how well something may be drawn or painted or built, but the intention and meaning behind it.


My friend Jasmin (who I met through Macey), is from Jersey and in the summer a few of us decided to head over to see the island - we timed our trip to coincide with the Island Games and were planning to catch some sport whilst we were there. Unfortunately the most we saw of the games were some athletes eating in the same restaurant as us, but the weekend was lovely nonetheless! We were blessed with glorious weather (where I got sunburnt - standard), we sat on the beach, explored the town and wandered around the zoo!


I am yet to finish writing about the trip I took to New York and Philadelphia this summer. I really want to though, because it was such a fantastic trip! Samantha was working out there for the month, and I got to experience the wonder that is NY and visit Sam's hometown of Philly, meet her mum and friends, pretend to run up the Rocky steps (!) and burn my mouth of a Philly cheese steak (opps)! I packed a lot into a week and definitely need to get back over stateside soon!


In August, the first of my friends from University, Anita, got married to her lovely man Andy. They've been together for quite a while and they are a lovely couple. I was honoured to join them for their wonderful and special day.

August was also the month I went to the theatre every week for the whole month! I went to see Adventures in Wonderland for a second time which was a fantastic immersive theatre experience that was just as good second time around!

I saw a play located on London City Island, which didn't actually live up to expectations. We found out on the day which play we were going to watch - Romeo and Juliet. The weather was not on our side, and we were watching the action under umbrellas in the pouring rain; outside, in and around an empty show flat. It was supposed to be an immersive experience, like Wonderland, but it was more just a play without a theatre. We weren't included in any of the play, and found ourselves just traipsing around following the action. The acting wasn't the best, and we left slightly disappointed as a result.

I also saw 'Motherf**ker with a Hat' at the National Theatre and 'Invisible' at the Bush Theatre. Both really powerful plays.

At the end of August, Jasmin and I went exploring on the bank holiday to see Charles P├ętillon's Balloon exhibit. 100,000 balloons filled Covent Garden market. Quite a sight to see! The same day we ticked something off my 30 before 30 list, to see the Old Operating Theatre in London Bridge, although the museum was small (and up a ridiculously small and scary spiral staircase) it was really interesting and jam packed with exhibits!


In September I carried on my theatre visits with a trip to the Old Vic to watch Rob Brydon in Future Conditional which was excellent! I made a cake to celebrate my Brother and Nan's birthdays (which we were able to catch some of the last of the year's nice weather outside in the garden!)

I was made redundant which wasn't the best - but during my few weeks without work I took a trip to The Hague for Chelsea's birthday celebrations, ate Bitterballen for the first time and had fish and chips by the beach in the sunshine.

Don't be fooled by this photo, she was HUNGOVER and moany despite the smile!


I took a trip on the Emirates Airline after gorging on cakes at the Cake and Bake show, tried to learn about making chocolate and declared my love for Canada Water!


In November, I got myself to a Firework display again, the first time for a few years, started my new job and spent a day exploring museums with my new colleagues. As the year started to wind down, I found the pieces started to click into place and all the difficulties of the year seemed to be fading.


I finally made it to Istanbul, a place I've been itching to go for ages, and have planned on at least 3 other occasions to travel to without success. My diary got incredibly full this month, and I was out with friends almost every day of the week - something I am loathed to complain about as who can be annoyed that they have friends to socialise with and the means to do so? but am equally EXHAUSTED by all of the socialising and am looking forward to doing not much over the festive period.

Christmas is looking great - I have an extra long holiday as I have booked a couple of extra days after Christmas weekend off. I'll be sitting around my brother's house, stuffing my face with a deliciously cooked meals from my sister-in-law and my very own home made Christmas pud!

This year has had its ups and downs, but thankfully it seems to have all fallen into place in time for 2016!


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