Wednesday, 1 January 2020

19 Moments Of 2019

I say this every year but only because it’s true, I despise this time of year. Something about the post Christmas blues and daunting idea of entering a New Year sends me in to a downward spiral, the new decade this year has just seemed to add to the pressure. I realise this is all an imaginary pressure I put on myself but I can never seem to escape it, from the ten year challenge to championing successes to the 'new year new me' posts I tend to bury my head in the sand and wait for it to pass. My family and I set a tradition a few years back of listing the number in the year of moments that made the year more magic and since starting my blog I’ve always shared them with you so let’s dive in shall we?

2019 started a lot busier than most, I normally take it slow and things pick up after Easter time. Maybe this was my downfall, I wore myself out before the end of the year, nonetheless I couldn’t be happier as January turned out to be one of the highlights of the year. Notoriously, Jan gets a bad rep but when my cousin invited my sister, mum and I to our other cousins Hen party I was delighted. Going into a new year with a wedding in the horizon and spending so much time booked in with loved ones is the best way to bring in and start the year. So with that in mind of course, Yvonne’s hen was the first memory I had to share. I’m sure much of you caught my post about my first ever hen party and what a delight it was. A new place in Ireland I was yet to visit with us four cousins and our mums/aunties was something special and I’m not sure if we’ll ever get the opportunity again therefore it’s something I’ll treasure for life. 

Not shy of a theatre performance or two, February reignited my love for story telling and musicals. Situated in Charing Cross we took my dad to 'Nine Night' and whilst we were there was another advertised. We liked the sound of it so much that we booked tickets only to be back in the same venue a few weeks later to see 'Black is the colour of my voice'. Both extremely well executed and held such importance to knowing and learning about history. 

The best day of all was in March of all months, can’t say it’s usually so eventful but this year was my cousin Yvonne’s wedding. Also making an appearance on the blog (you can read about day one and day two here - shameless plug) even if they were a bit late. We had a day before of pampering at the local spa which was the ideal prep for a two day wedding. On the first day the more traditional ceremony and party which meant the second day was an extended celebration of culture, talent and two families uniting. Hands down the best event of the year! 

Always featured since graduating is our annual Uni reunion, we try and have at least one or two a year with everyone although the girls tend to meet up more frequently. Who knew getting a date when everyone was free would be so difficult. Despite being three years on I’m glad we all manage to make time for each other to reminisce on old times whilst still creating new memories. With brunch, golf and the once a year occasion of clubbing, we always end up having such a laugh. Although I have to say we felt noticeably older this year and the hangovers are getting a lot more tough. We may have to start behaving like actual adults when we are together. 

Moving on to something a bit more refined. A few years back I went to a Gospel choir in the Jazz Cafe and was determined to go and see one again after loving it so much. My mum spotted one over the Easter break in neighbouring town Wellingborough. She booked in for the family to go and I was just so pleased I had the chance to enjoy their powerful voices and soulful songs again.

Although this was a series of moments it has taken some time but my sister and I finally completed all the Royal parks in London. After noting that we had visited a few we set ourselves to see them all before the year was out because London’s green spaces are worth the visit, especially when in need of downtime. This is actually a good thing that you can do alone or with someone, there is enough to keep you entertained or spark conversation and then when a sunny day comes along you know which one is your favourite to spend the day.

Which brings me in perfectly to my next point, Kenwood house. A hidden gem I knew nothing about, tucked away in my nearest park - Hampstead Heath. After hearing about it I was eager to take a look with it being in walking distance and all. The pale blue and pink library was enough to capture my heart but the rose garden and tea room certainly sweetened the deal. We had such a wonderful day, would highly recommend if you are ever in the area. This also reminds me in a separate visit I went to the Pergola Hill and Gardens with my two friends and although we went in the autumn it’s beauty was still undeniable, cannot wait to go and see again in spring.

Festivals aren’t usual my scene but I have to say I throughly enjoyed All points east. It was a super chilled vibe, I mean the headliner was Bon Iver, so it’s safe to say it was relaxed with some of the best vegan food stalls I’ve tasted. The only reason I was able to go and enjoy it was because it’s didn’t feel so intense and you could just be as you were.

We recently resumed our annual trip to the Royal Ascot. This year I left £15 up so more of a success than usual. For me I more like the opportunity to dress up and we actually ended up bumping in to the same people we were stood next to two years ago, what a small world. I think sometimes we get so used to doing somethings year in year out that you would think it would lose some of the magic but for me it’s something I look forward to every single year.

I managed to get out of the country for my birthday, first time since New York for my 21st birthday. My second time in Barcelona, although I was trapped in the air bnb most of the trip I managed to do the one thing I didn’t manage to do last time I was there. The fountains were beautiful and I’m glad I got to spend it with one of my life long friends. We spent the day at the beach and it just made everything go away for a day, just what the Dr ordered.

As always there is a number of stand out gigs. The best one has to be Stevie Wonder. I went with my parents the day after flying back from Spain and it just was the perfect way to celebrate. So many of the memories throughout my life have been shaped by his music so I still can’t believe I get to say I saw him play and sing live. A legend, in my opinion. I also went to see NAO one of my favourite up and coming artists at Somerset house. I’ve been to their outdoor gigs before and they are just so good and whenever an artist pops up there Im one of the first to sign up. Not the last musical evening on this list but the last one in this mix is Pianist Ludovico Eidaudi who I went to see for the second time at Barbican. Suffering from a lot of anxiety this year I’ve learnt to appreciate his music in a new light, one of my family favourites it is something I’ve come to enjoy more and more in my everyday life.

In my many years of blogging, I’ve found it hard to not get bogged down in the numbers game and the idea of turning this hobby in to a ‘success’. I was invited by the lovely Ellie to a my first gifted Blogging Dinner and I felt so proud. It gave me the little nudge I needed that people value and enjoy this little space I write down my feelings. I know I’ve not been the most consistent but I really do think I’ve tried when I’ve got the time to deliver something I think you would all enjoy, like to see or read. It’s not all about the free things, gifted things or even sponsorship, it was more the people I was around, the recognition and the opportunity itself. Still feeling humbled and blessed to have present.

Ariana at O2. A moment for sure! Attending with a number one fan aka one my best friends I had to up my game learning lyrics and all sorts. The sweetener tour was everything I’d hoped and more. It’s hard not to like her catchy songs but I gained a new appreciation for her vocal ability even during a live performance with a full on dance routine, the girl is goooooood. Plus it was my first time at the O2, can you believe that?! A whole 24 years and I only just made it - that’s why this gets a separate point.

I think sometimes other celebrations double is as my own, seeing people reach milestones or certain points in their lives is such a wonderful thing to be a part of. From just Bank holiday weekend spent brunching, at the carnival and a trip to the beautiful Watford restaurant ’The Florist’ to my friends 25th at Night Tales or more spontaneous nights that turn out to be the best nights like another birthday at Lost Alhambra. A major milestone has to be my Mums retirement. We got all her close friends family and colleagues over for a little party and it’s about time she took some time for herself.

My niece Miya’s was turning 21 so we headed to Roka in Aldwych for a never ending stream of delicious dishes. You could’ve rolled me out of that place, if you have ever been to bottomless brunch you’ll understand. An unlimited amount of prosecco and so much food I was full from just the starters. If you love Japanese food this is the place for you.

Let’s skip to work for a minute, it’s not something I talk that much about on here which I’m starting to think it’s a bit odd as that is how I spend the majority of the time. If you didn’t know I work in ecommerce as the nine to five and have done since graduating from my fashion and business degree. For the first time I feel as if I’ve finally found my feet, I’m happy and content there as I reached my year mark there with my progression and still inspired to carry on. This year we launched a new website and replatformed, the second time I’ve completed this mammoth task. An achievement I think should be included because we often don’t give ourselves the credit for the career goals we achieve as it just seems like another step or part of a bigger goal.

I’ve been saying for ages how I wanted to visit Brighton and seeming as my holiday got cancelled (*coughs* Thomas cook) I had a week off and nothing to do so planned in a day trip. Only a short train away from London, I think any day exploring somewhere new is a good day but I honestly had such an amazing day. It was everything I thought it would be and more. Good food, beautiful sites and the best interior boutiques, you can read more here.

Which brings us to this month, the closing of the decade. Engulfed mostly by the Christmas build up its been non-stop trying to catch up with everyone before the year is out. I like to opt for experience gifts especially that we all can enjoy together, especially as we don’t need anymore objects or physical things and if we do we tend to get it for ourselves. I booked to go see Deandre who has one of the most unique voices I’ve listened to. His range is something I’m in awe of and glad my family were able to enjoy the experience with me.

Which brings this essay to a close, another year gone. I spent my New Years having a cosy night in with the girls watching season 2 of 'You'. I hope whatever you were doing you had a wonderful time and lets hope 2020 brings everything we've been waiting for.


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