I always struggle to comprehend how fast the year passes. I reach December in a flurry of panic that once again I have made it through another year achieving no more than last year. I then retrospectively write these posts and it just shows how different my life is a year on from the last.
2018 kicked off with an incredible display of talent at the winter Olympics. We then had the #Timesup movement against sexual harassment followed by Oprah’s #metoo speech at the Golden Globes. This then lead to a massive push throughout the year on the fight for equal pay, highlighting how prominent the gender pay gap still is. March arrived with even more snow as the UK came to a grinding halt.
Ireland finally overturned the abortion ban, as many travelled home to vote. We were given two Royal weddings, and a new Royal baby. Women were finally allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia. A Donald Trump baby blip (which was designed and commissioned in the town I live in) was released over a peaceful protest against Trump’s visit to the UK. The World cup happened, and with a summer filled with sunshine, England believed for a few weeks that it might actually be coming home. The song by Baddiel, Skinner & Lightning Seeds rocketed to number one, sparking weeks of memes. Mrs Hinch took over Instagram, teaching the world not only how to clean their homes, but also how to decorate the whole house in grey (I joke). Her cleaning advice has helped followers cope with mental health issues, stress and got everyone on their feet, also unfortunately contributed to a mass plastic chemical filled haul. No one is perfect. Which then lead on to the ‘ban’ of plastic straws available in food outlets and raised awareness of plastic in our oceans – Thank you again David Attenborough. David Attenborough who also treated us to a new series, because is it Autumn without David Attenborough on our screens? It has also been the year UK residents have suggested switching the country on and off again, in hope that it may be fixed after the disaster that is Brexit. If anyone had any confidence in our Government before, they don’t now. It was the year of The Greatest showman, Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody hitting the big screens and breaking box office. South Korea finally closed one of the main dog Slaughterhouses, in response to ever growing pressure from animal rights activists. And lastly it has been the year of possibly the worst John Lewis advert, sorry Elton it is nothing personal.
If I have learned anything this year it is how many people we care for can pass through our lives rapidly. Some leave unexpectedly fast. Leaving you feeling lost, knowing you didn’t get to say everything you wanted to say. Some you know it is time to let go of because for whatever reason there is not the time in your lives for each other. Then there are some come into your life like an absolute whirlwind and leave before you even get your wits about you. It can be bloody hard but there are instances whereby someone arrives and it is like you have known that person your whole life. They instantly fit in with your family, friends and life and you begin to realise that there are all these incredible people you are yet to meet. All these new faces who potentially could be one of your closest allies and adventure sharers and all of a sudden the loss you incurred along the way eases a little.
I have also learned this year to not try and get all the answers. As someone quite pragmatic I try to make sense of every story. I like to know the background of every situation so when something doesn’t make sense to me I find it hard to let go. This year I learned about ‘not knowing’ in Buddhist practice of Zen and it has taught me to let go of the questions and the need to know why and just move on from a situation. It doesn’t necessarily make things easier, I hate when there are words left unsaid but I know I will never understand everyone’s rational behind situations and sooner we learn this the easier it is to feel less about what happened.
Despite my strange ramblings this has been an incredible year, it hasn’t been without loss, sadness and hard times trust me. My year was far from perfect and it is part and parcel of growing older and having wonderful people and pets in my life but I still have had a lot of fun. I danced into more mornings than I probably have before and laughed until my cheeks could take no more. These are my 15 favourites of 2018.
New kitchen and home developments
I kicked off this year with a lot of changes to the house. I had a new kitchen fitted the first week of 2018. Then all the floor changed throughout the downstairs. Finally I sorted the shower out (annoying as it was new three years ago). I changed bedrooms, bought lots of new furniture and finally made the spare room into a space friends could sleep in. There is still a way to go but it is beginning to make shape into a house I am happy to invite people to.
My favourite American’s and our few days in London
I was lucky enough to spend a few days with the loveliest, most uplifting people I ever had the pleasure of calling our friends. I spent a few days with them in Mayfair, enjoying delicious food and a Rock n Roll tour of London. I had no idea what to expect on this tour but I absolutely loved it and would recommend it anyone who loves the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Bowie etc. I just loved every second of it, especially our trip to Abbey Road.
My bridesmaids duties
I was a Bridesmaid for the first time this year and asked again for 2019. I have to admit I do put myself under a lot of pressure as I want their day to be perfect but I had so much fun being Catherine’s maid of honour. I met many amazing girls along the way and cannot wait to be Becky’s bridesmaid next year. It was a year full of wonderful memories for their special day.
Braces coming off
It is strange that for so long my big metal braces were such a dominant factor of my year. Monthly visits to the orthodontist and a lot of money but looking back I can’t believe how breezy I was about the whole process. Now they have been off for nine months it feels strange to think I ever had my braces on. It was by far the best thing I did for myself throughout 2017/ 2018 and I can only recommend anyone thinking of doing the same you just go for it, being confident with your smile changes everything!
Making the most of the UK
I made a plan to make the most of all the cities I visited this year with work. This resulted in a quick hike up Arthur’s seat in April, a good wander around a very festive York. A trip to Blackpool ball room, and a mooch around a sunny Nottingham. I also saw a lot of Brighton for Catherine’s hen do, spent a weekend in Manchester and completed a 10 mile walk around the Peak District for charity. I celebrated a hen do in Cardiff and explored parts of Bristol whilst of course making time for as many weekends in London as I could squeeze in.
Going to Gigs
The Rolling stones, James Bay, David Guetta, Years and Years. Receiving free VIP pass upgrades for the Rolling Stones especially because I was with my Mum was honestly the best moment of 2018. It meant so much for us all. Totting up all the stuff I got free this year from various people makes me realise how much more expensive this year should have been oops.
I made many incredible lasting memories in Ibiza. A week of side splitting laughter, amazing people, nights out I never thought I would enjoy. Visiting new places, meeting new people, cheese toasties and rice cakes. I would do anything to go back. To be next to the pool with my three girls laughing endlessly, to watch the sunset at Cafe Mambo again or to be cruising around Formentera in our jeep. The holiday really did change my perception of the Island and I will be forever looking for any excuse to go back
This summer passed in a blur of happiness and sunshine. The wall to wall blue skies, the world cup that had everyone buzzing, the BBQs which just did not stop, the endless excuse of sunshine to make us all flock to the beer garden. I returned from Ibiza and continued to top up my tan, swam in the put up pool at my Mum’s house. I spent long days with my family and my amazing monster of a Nephew. It felt like this summer was never going to end. It won’t be one many of us will forget quickly.
Promotion at work
Something which was so unexpected I actually thought I was being told off. It was a complete surprise and really helped change my view of this year. I am rather proud of myself as it has been five years in one company and I was beginning to worry it was time to move on.
Continued to Grow Todhpurs
This year we added two new colours and landed on the front page of Horse and Hound Magazine. Career progress can happen in many different ways. A year to the day our Todhpurs boots went on sale in 2017 we introduced our new range in Oxblood and Brown. This feels like a million years ago and cannot begin to explain how grateful we are for how well our boots have been received. Looking forward to new developments in 2019.
Ireland girls trip
In July we had our first family girls only trip to Ireland for our lovely friend Rhiannon’s wedding. It was great to spend time with my Sisters, Mum and Grandma on their own and to witness a lovely friend tie the knot. I hadn’t seen any of rural Ireland before this trip. It really is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
Hen dos and weddings
Following on from Ireland I had a further two weddings. One amazing ceremony in Cardiff for my old house mate Amy and her husband Karl. It was great to have a uni reunion and to watch one of my favourite people marry the love of her life and the last was my friends Catherine and Beth who I was maid of honour for on a hot, beautiful day at the beginning of September. Summer filled with so much love.
A big family party for my Grandma’s 80th
It was the most perfect day and to see her happy surrounded by more people than I could count who love her like we do meant so much to us all.
Many weekends with the horses
It gets a mention every year but I am so incredibly lucky to have all these wonderful creatures in my life and to have such an amazing hobby. I love every second spent out with these.
Memories with my favourite girls and some boys.
I could write a whole post about the memories I have made this year with my lovely friends. From Lucy’s amazing parties which always leave me four day long fear, to many bottomless brunches in London. I have met up with the Cardiff girls of a few occasions, and enjoyed many bridesmaids days out, whilst squeezing in some quick trips to new cities and so on. I love how many people I get to spend my time with and how many memories we have made a long the way.
So that is my 2018. Thank you to all that have contributed in anyway big or small, you have all made my year so great!