My 2015

26 Dec

When I’m ancient (40, haha) and looking back on the year 2015, this is probably what I’ll come and look at. It’s well easy for people to have a record of their lives these days. Facebook keeps regurgitating what I was doing 7 years ago (answer: looking terrible, drinking too much vodka, having fun) and it’s really easy to remember all the big stuff and none of the smaller stuff. Or, any of the stuff that wasn’t pretty enough to Instagram and bung up on Facebook.

So, here’s my year summary. I’m breaking it down by month for two reasons.
1. I have the time to do this. I get Christmas – New Year off work, so if I’m not doing this I’ll probably just be eating. And fml I’ve done a lot of that over the last few days already.
2. I’ve had such an epic year in terms of travel if I just do ONE eat/see/listen/love of the year, I’ll miss out on some good stuff. Plus, I’m not going to include listens unless it’s a big memory otherwise it’ll make this blog post waaay longer than it’ll already be…

(So, there you go Hannah. When you’re sat in your flat, alone, with 5 cats at aged 40, at least you’ll remember the important stuff like the rationale behind the structure of your blog posts…)

January

  • I decided this year I was going to get fucking healthy. Well, a ‘healthy weight’ anyway. Due to numerous holidays I only lost 2 of the 3 stone I planned to this year, but I’m still taking that as an epic win. My gym outfit also ROCKED this year as I wore clashing multi coloured floral top and leggings with neon trainers each time I went. This shouldn’t be important, but it is. It just is.
    jan
  • At the start of January I put my resolutions in a blog post and, on reflection, I actually did pretty well.
    • Get fitter and healthier: I’m stronger, fitter and have lost a few stone. I’m slimmer and my body feels better for it. I can run up the tube escalators and not be out of breath, I can go for longer in the gym doing cardio, etc. Tick for this resolution.
    • Keep up my blog: You won’t be surprised to hear I’ve done this… tick.
    • Pick up where I left off: This was related to me picking things up, like an instrument and education that I’d previously let slip. This year I did a 6 week Futurelearn course and honestly learned SO much. I said I wanted to start singing and writing again, which I didn’t really do, so that’s going to roll over to my 2016 resolutions. Half tick.
    • Travel more: I visited more countries in this year that I have any other year. 9 in total! France, Netherlands, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Spain, USA, Canada, Norway (and Scotland, but I’m not counting that). TIIICK.

 

  • I decided to take a break from dating. Which, I actually did for 6 months. It saved me a lot of money and time.

February

  • Quiet month. Highlight: I got a giant lion from a charity shop. I love him and he only cost me £10. My lion obsession basically got a lot worse over the course of 2015.
    lion
  • It was a big month for wasting time watching TV series. I got WELL into House of Cards. And Community. Also, Parks and Recreation finished forever (Season 7). I basically watch all seven seasons, on repeat, for the whole of 2015 (seriously, I’m still going). ❤8

March

  • Said bye to my flatmate Nat as she left the UK to head to sizzling Dubai with her boyf. Yet to visit her mainly because I have no desire to visit Dubai (one of the few places on earth that holds no interest for me) however I’m hoping to use it as a stop-over if I head to Jordan or Asia this year!
  • Went to America/Canada to visit my (biological) grandpa with my mum and brother. Turns out I have an insane number of second cousins, I love the New Jersey accent and I’m terrible at gambling (discovered in the Bogata hotel in Atlantic city).
    • I discovered sweet potato pie at the Borgata buffet. It’s now a firm fave of mine!
    • I went to a really cool Sinatra exhibition at the Lincoln Centre in New York and also had a wicked night out with my friend’s then-girlfriend in Manhattan.
    • Totally saw Niagra Falls. Went under it. Got wet,etc.
    • Authentic Philly Cheesesteak may have started my new found love of beef. Possibly.
    • Fell for Toronto. Has the GREATEST thift shop of all time there as well as the chillest people you’ll ever meet.
    • Washington D.C made me feel like Leslie Knope and I ended up walking about 12 miles in one day so I could see everything.


April

  • Had an owl mounted to my arm as I visited the Owl Cafe for Skint London. Ended up taking Fabiola to the vast majority of random crap I did in the first half of 2015 (porridge cafe, sex poetry nights, owl cafe etc).
  • Jack moved in to my flat. He’s a savvy London gent these days (kinda) but when he first got in I remember he asked me if he could put foil in the oven. ….yup. He’s come a long way.
    april1
  • I got into coffee. Well, mochas. This is a big deal because everyone says it’s a big deal that I don’t like normal tea and coffee. Apparently.

May

  • NICK’S STAG DO! 11 of us went to Amsterdam, stayed in an apartment, ate, drank and had a generally wonderful time.
    • This included a prosecco limo-bike (that was bloody difficult to pedal), nearly entering a gay sauna and then making do with an empty gar bar in a hidden alleyway
    • Not smoking any pot whatsoever but discovering a pastry cafe when drunk and everyone becoming a bit obsessed with the place
    • Nick’s fiance Tim telling him the only thing he didn’t want him to do was drink alcohol near the water. So we took a photo of Nick, head over the canal, having booze poured into his mouth
    • Getting on the river in a pedal boat and being shit at it. Why was there so much pedaling involved on this stag do?
  • Barcelona with Fab! It’s the first time I’d been to Barcelona with someone who speaks Spanish so that made life WAY easier.
    • Introduced her to the cheap Tapas place which, aside from a few my female friends from home, has never disappointed anyone. It’s amazing.
    • Found a dragon street firework festival, got drunk, got more drunk, saw an illegal punk show and had the band try and take us home but we had to leave to get on a plane.
    • The secret maze gardens in the middle of nowhere in Barca. Never been before, LOVED them.
    • Throwing up on the bus to the airport and having the bus driver scream at Fabiola because he thought she’d done it. Haaaaa.

 

  • The General Election. I’m a firm liberal leftie and the Conservative majority was a shock to me. Then again, I only socialise with lefties and follow lefties on social media and read leftie newspapers, so I obviously wasn’t aware of how many idiots out there fell for the Tories false promises.I actually burst out crying the morning the results were confirmed. It was a terrible day and they’ve continue to be bloody awful throughout 2015 (doing barely anything with regards to the refugee situation but jumping at the chance to bomb Syria, fucking things for the working classes and those in need and continuing to give rich people money they don’t need).noriko_head_bang_by_xpawhaha-d5lfe6t
    Rant over. Until tomorrow, knowing me.

    June

  • Big life event was being kicked out of my company (LIDA) to go on secondment to M&C Saatchi PR. At the time I was wasn’t that happy about it (I wasn’t told I was working at M&C PR full time, that I was working out of their office, they didn’t tell my colleague I was going) but in the long run it’s turned out amazing. LIDA certainly could have handled it better but I got out just before all the bad vibes crept into the company and M&C Saatchi PR peeps rock. Like, I was completely happy to stay when they offered me a permanent role in August and I’m still having the lols there.

 

  • I set up my flatmate Jack and my bezzer Fab – I admit, I assumed they’d just sleep together a few times, but they’re now well in a relationship. Like; met the family, gone on holiday, spending 90% of their time together relationship. #MatchmakerMuch?
  • Glasonbuuurrry: Went, loved it. Loved the food, loved the dancing, loved the music.
    • Kanye West on the Pyramid Stage was a highlight (I went H.A.M when it came to dancing compared to everyone else who only perked up when they heard Golddigga, sigh).
    • Jamie XX – his album is a fave of mine this year and seeing him live rocked.
    • Dancing to a folk brass band on a random band stand and doing a conga with a heap of stranger in the early hours.
    • The food. The greek food. The bacon rolls. The garlic hut. Omg all the food.
    • Endless cider with Sam. The coconut Brothers was the dream.

 

  • I start dating again. Same old.

July

  • Went glamping in Kent with my new work colleagues. Lots of sunshine, gorgeous setting, lovely food and great vibes. Some gossip contrasted with hilarious naked colleagues wandering around drunk. Standard.

 

  • It’s my Nan’s birthday and I went to visit her up in Clitheroe. We went out for a meal and then to a gig where the lead singer gave her a shout out (which she missed because her hearing aid was turned down, LOL). We then stayed up until 2am looking at all of the old photos she has. It was amazing, she has family photos from the 19th century, photos of her as a kid and her old boyfriends, and this beautiful shot of her in London in the 1940s.

     

August

  • NICK AND TIM GET MARRIED!
    • We spend a, quite frankly, insane amount of time in Spoons pre-wedding. Forgot how much I love The Impy!
    • Nick and Tim look proper gorgeous and the ceremony is just lovely. I managed to read a really long, but beautiful, extract from The Amber Spyglass without fucking up during the ceremony too.
    • The weather is DIVINE. The food is nice, the music is good, the vibes are wicked. I get a bit drunk and decide to sit in the toilets for half an hour because I accidentally fall a bit asleep. Hahaha.
    • Basically, it’s the start of big(ger) things for these guys and I couldn’t be more bloody overjoyed.

       

  • We win the Byron Hamburgers account at work which makes me bloody happy.

 

  • I saunter off to Edinburgh and Oslo on my tod (Sam was meant to come but didn’t) and had a wicked time. Packed way more in than I thought and totally didn’t twig that it was the end of Edinburgh festival so that was something ticked off my bucket list!
    • See Jurassic 5 live in Oslo which ROCKED. Total coincidence I was there at the right time!
    • Walked the waterfalls in the city centre, the sculpture park, ate at many-a yummy burger joint and particularly loved the Nobel Peace Prize Museum.
      [photos of the trip]
    • In Edinburgh I went to a few stand up shows (some good, some bad), an incredible multi-media theatre/lecture thing. The closing night fireworks, the cafe in which Harry Potter first sprung to life and so much more. It’s an incredible city. I completely fell for the place.
      BATTERED MARS BAR FTW.

September

  • Went to my first political protest. I had to. David Cameron agreed to let in a measly 20,000 Syrian refugees into the country. Not good enough. So I went, with thousands of others, to let him know that I give a shit about people in need. Unlike Tories, apparently.
    111

 

  • I start eating beef again. I didn’t eat it for ages because of the taste, but I *had* to eat a Byron Burger at an event and it rocked my socks so hard I then went on to chow down on steak and other (well done, c’mon, baby steps) beef burgers across the city.

 

  • Went on a couple of really good dates with David and Daniel (endless amount of confusion due to the similar names) but had to pause things because at the start of October I went to Africa…

 

October

  • This trip was the happiest I’ve , honestly, ever been. In November, a gal at work said that I radiate sheer joy for the first couple of weeks after I got back from my trip and I did. I really did. I experienced the greatest 24 hours of my entire life on my trip and all because I happened to win the trip around South Africa, Botswana and Zambia. Funny to think that if I hadn’t have bothered entering that competition in August 2014 any of the following wouldn’t have happened…
    • SA: I went to Kruger National Park. I saw a Rhino walk right past my vehicle. I saw lions chilling out on the grass. I was a cheetah attempt a hunt. I had a baboon steal my your guide’s lunch. So many beautiful sunsets. God’s Window and endless panoramic views.
    • Botswana: The salt pans in Botswana were amazing. Picked up Flamingo feathers, cracked my way across salt, soaked up the sunset and experienced a 46 degree heatwave. AND SURVIVED.
    • Zambia: In Livingstone I had the most amazing 24 hours of my life. My morning began walking with lions. I was on such a high I was shaking. Timan convinced me to do a bungee jump, which I was planning on doing anyway, to continue the adrenaline rush. So, in the afternoon, I did. FUCK ME it was terrifying, despite having the beautiful Victoria Falls as a backdrop. I’ve never been so scared and thrilled in my life. Then, I had a meal with my friends and watched the sun set whilst sipping a Savannah, watching the Zambezi River. Timan cooked me a steak and we ended up sitting in the bar, drinking, into the night. In the morning the next day I went to the top of Victoria Falls and swam in Devil’s Pool. Sigh.
      I loved it so much I’ve decided before I reach 40 I’m becoming an African tour guide. Seriously.
    • I made some amazing travel buddies and we’ve planning on going back to Africa in 2017. I mean it, I am. My tour leader Leah also rocked and I learned so, so much from the tour driver, Timan. To the point where I came back home and took up a course on Imperial Rule in Africa. He taught me a lot and basically rocked as a human being while I was out there.
      zam5
  • Fuck the rest of October, nowt beats Africa.

November

  • Fainted and smacked my head so hard that I got a huge lump above my eye and had a proper black eye for about 2 weeks. I happen to love bruises so that was ok. Made me look well hard (well, I like to think so).

 

  • Started a FutureLearn course about Colonisation and British Imperial Rule because my trip to Africa made me realise how ignorant I am (Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart aside) about that part of history. As a result I not only learn the colonial timeline, but so much about the treatment of the people who were colonised and how with modern-day Syria we’re repeating the numerous mistakes/terribly purposeful decision made during the height of British Imperialism. Very eye opening and I feel SO much better for having learned so much.

December

  • After asking, I got a promotion at work to Digital Account Director. I’m extremely proud and happy. I’m very proud that I’ve managed to get to where I am by age 26 without a helping hand. No rich family contacts, no ‘ways in’ – all I’ve done and learned has been because of the work I’ve put in at the companies I’ve worked for.workI’m also very happy because at the end of year award, I won the ‘Free’ award. It basically means that I made a difference to the agency by helping out on lots of accounts and have moved us forward in some way (I think that’s what free means anyway, I can’t remember how our MD described it!) It’s also a huge win for the digital team. In a PR agency, it rocks to be noticed for the work I do on social and digital – work I wouldn’t be able to do without my kick-ass digi colleagues.

 

  • I turned 27. TWENTY-SEVEN. I ended up reflecting a fair bit because, after all, I was a huge Kurt Cobain fangirl as a teen. And I remember thinking that him ending his life at 27 wasn’t so bad; after all, he’d surely done most of what he wanted to do right?Now, true, I prefer Radio 2 to Radio 1 these days. I’d rather go to Passing Clouds for live music and chilled dancing than a raving nightclub until 5am like I used to. But, I still feel young. In part, that’s because there’s SO much of the world I want to see and exploring the world makes me realise how much I still have (and want) to learn. I don’t want kids still, so I don’t have the clock-ticking fear everyone else has, which is also a huge bonus. 

2015 summary… I guess.

  • I’m as happy as I can be in my work, in my hobbies and passions and I’m happy that I haven’t settled for the sake of being in a relationship like a lot of people I know.
  • I’m happy that I’ve managed to lose some people from my life I needed to cut ties with. Losing friends and not having someone to fuck on a regular basis may seem like a negative (and sometimes I get drunk and lament on them a bit) but when I’m sober and level-headed, it’s totally not a bad thing at all. The alternatives (settling and spending time with people who don’t need to be in my life anymore) are far worse.
  • I’m happy that the people I want in my life are still there if I need them (although 90% of the time they’re with their partners, but they’re happy, so can’t complain!)
  • I’m slimmer (bye boobs, #gutted) but I’ve dropped a dress size and a half and I feel fitter and stronger, which is something I’m proud of. I’m actually the slimmest I’ve ever been my adult life, so I’m hoping that I can work off the extra I need to in order to be the right weight for my height.All in all, it’s been a rather good year… which usually means next year is going to be terrible. So here’s to making 2016 fucking ROCK.

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