Not to be a cliché Claire, but how the heck is it nearly the end of 2018? I’m serious. Yesterday it was April, and today I’m and wondering if I really need to buy my cats some more blankets for Christmas (Luke, if you’re reading this, I’ll do my best to control myself but I’m not making any promises).
I like to spend some time reflecting on the year, especially when it goes by at the speed of cheetahs. It’s all too easy to focus on one or two good or bad things that happened and let that define your year, so I like to take some time to scroll through my camera roll to remind myself of all the things that made me smile (and that I was happy to clutter up my phone with photos of).
Here are some of my 2018 highlights:
The one where I turned 30
Turning 30 in a cabin in the woods is a not-too-shabby way to start the year, is it? Luke well and truly spoilt me by whisking me away for the weekend to celebrate my birthday in a super cosy log cabin in the Forest of Dean. I wrote about our experience here, if you fancy a goosey gander.
The one where we celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary in the snow
When I agreed to climb a mountain every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary, I imagined us wearing shorts and t-shirts going on a nice hike somewhere sunny in southern Europe. Laughing all the way to the top, eating bananas and admiring the gorgeous views (kind of like a hiking stock image). The reality for our 2018 celebrations was quite different. We stayed in the UK to save money, and decided to tackle Pen Y Fan, in the Brecon Beacons. It snowed a LOT. I couldn’t eat bananas because my hands turned to ice when I took my gloves off for more than 3 milliseconds. It was still a highlight though.
The one where
I started a new job
I started a new job in May! I’m still at the same organisation, but in a different department, and I LOVE my new job. The people are amazing (shout out to Emma, Jodie, Rachel and Big Ad), and I actually look forward to work. Not many people get to say that, so I feel like a very lucky lady.
The one where
we watched the tennis
In June, my mum and I made our annual trip to the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. We got to see some amazing players, including Barbora Strýcová, Magdaléna Rybáriková, Petra Kvitová and Mihaela Buzărnescu. We also saw Tímea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic take on Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková in the doubles.
The one where Luke took me away for a romantic weekend
Luke was away with work for a ginormous chunk of the summer. Owing to his guilt, I got a romantic weekend away, hoorah!We went to a Canopy & Stars gem in Powis, Wales. It was in the middle of nowhere, and we had no electricity – BLISS.
The one where
England did well in the world cup
Never in a month of Sundays would I ever have imagined that football would be one of my highlights. It’s not that I hate it, I’m just kind of indifferent to it. I feel the same way about soup. Anyway, England reaching the semi-final had such a positive impact on our country (‘it’s coming home’ was even played over the tannoy at Birmingham New Street stration) that I couldn’t help but join in the excitement and wear the England flag earrings I bought for the 2010 world cup.
The one where we took a road trip along the south coast
This featured pretty heavily on the blog in recent months, but if you missed it – At the end of August, Luke and I took a road trip along the English south coast. We hit up Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hayling Island and Brighton. We were exhausted by the end of it, but we had a bloody good time. Naturally I’ve been browsing houses in Cornwall on the reg since we returned. If you like looking at pictures of pretty places, I wrote about it here (part 1) and here (part 2).
The one where
I saw The Nutcracker
One of my besties and I went to see The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome in November, and we got all the Christmas feels. Somehow I made it the age of 30 without seeing the ballet, which for a dance enthusiast is pretty shocking. But I’ve rectified that now, so it’s okay. Anyway, it was DREAMY and I highly recommend you go.
The one where we went to Latvia
As our Christmas presents to each other, Luke and I travelled to Riga in Latvia for the weekend earlier this month. We had a wonderful time in a Christmas wonderland; exploring the cobbled streets, drinking coffee in cosy coffee shops, and walking under lots of beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Read all about it here.
The one where
we decorated the neonatal ward at Birmingham Children’s Hospital
One of my lovely colleagues at work organised for the team to transform two wards at the Birmingham Children’s Hospitals into a winter wonderland. My sub-team decorated the neonatal unit, and it was such a joy knowing we’d be making the ward a bit more magical for the families visiting their poorly babies.
The one where I watched Love Actually with a live orchestra
Wow. This was ah-ma-zing. My friend and I went to a screening of one of my all-time favourite films, Love Actually, at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. Not only that, a live orchestra set up on stage and performed the film’s score. It was so incredible that I welled up a couple of times, made the decision to learn how to play violin, and wore my baker boy hat the following day (channeling my inner Keira).
The one where we went to A Cathedral Illuminated
I used to work at Lichfield Cathedral, and whilst I was there we introduced a new event called ‘A Cathedral Illuminated’ to the Christmas programme. Since then, the event has grown to be even bigger and better (which I didn’t know was possible tbf). This Christmas I was invited back to see it on its penultimate night, and it was nothing short of outstanding. I mean, just look at these snaps…
And that concludes just some of my highlights from 2018. What are some of your highlights? Do let me know! In the meantime, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a magical 2019 – I feel it’s going to be a good one.