2016 has been a year that I don’t think anybody could put into words. Especially not somebody as under-qualified as me. It’s strange looking back at a year like this now we’re nearing the end, we’ve lost so many legends and watched the world we all thought was only getting better fall down the toilet, and globally it’s hard to be hopeful for 2017 when we’re only seeing the beginning. Brexit, Trump, Russia, Syria; I think we all know the proverbial shit is yet to really hit the fan. So y’know…something to look forward to.
Personally however I hope we all have a little more faith, and that we can look back at 2016 with at least a little positivity? I know I can.
12 months, many, many memories that will last a lifetime, and about 5 million photos taken. So instead of warbling on I’ve created a compilation of the best moments of my 2016, some photographed, some not, all completely bloody amazing! (I will not mention Brexit again, I will not mention Brexit again…)
The World’s Greatest Family Portrait (which we topped in December).
Ice skating and family adventures at The Eden Project.
Weekend away with my favourite BSC members (don’t ask) with enough prosecco to drown a whale.
A spectacular fail at Dry January (I wasn’t trying to do it) culminating in my favourite hashtag of the year, #DeeliveryDriverWanted (again, probably don’t ask – in jokes are annoying, eh?!).
Living With a Boy
Many a wintery walk and adventure.
The single greatest Valentine’s meal of my life, resulting in us finding our new favourite restaurant and being informed we won the title of ‘most wine ever bought’.
A cinema date that instead became a ‘prosecco is only £10 in Wetherspoons’ date. Still haven’t seen the film.
Half term mummy daughter dates with my Tiny Idiot (we actually did make it to the cinema).
Family trip to the aquarium in Plymouth, leading to the single greatest selfie I’ve ever taken (just look at the stingray’s little face) and Matt showing off that his photography skills are actually rather impressive!
Pasta making! We had so much fun playing with my charity shop pasta maker, I even blogged about it here, this was the start of our new favourite way to hang out – while cooking.
I also learnt that feeding a four year old a whole teaspoon of popping candy will make her cry very loudly in Zizzi and you will also cry from laughter.
Italy. Italy! Oh, Italy. My heart remains in Benabbio and will do until we return (this year hopefully). My first holiday in five years and it was genuine perfection, I could talk for days about our little escape to the Tuscan mountains but I’ll contain myself.
Anniversary trip to St Ives, lots of bubbles, lots of crab, lots of laughs. The perfect way to celebrate a year with my Big Idiot.
Star of the Week for my Tiny Idiot, look at her little face!
Eden (again, it’s a theme) for their Easter Adventures. Including watching my mum, Matt, and TI complete an obstacle course dressed as eggs.
MY BABY TURNED FIVE! Five whole years with the best little person I’ve ever known, I couldn’t be prouder and I couldn’t feel luckier to know her.
Beach day after beach day, as soon as the sun comes out it’s impossible not to fall completely head-over-heels with Cornwall, we’re so damn lucky to live here.
TI’s first sleepover with her bestie, while we consumed far too much wine with our’s.
Long weekend with my absolute favourite down from London, way too much wine, way too much food, and enough laughs to last a lifetime.
DISNEYLAND!!! This trip was the most magical, incredible, perfect holiday I could ever dream of. I feel so lucky that we were able to take TI on her dream holiday while at the perfect age to truly believe every moment of magic. My heart still swells when I think about her face as Elsa waved at her.
London for a civilised brunch with my girls which led to a raucous night of rum and bad singing at KaraokeBox. Dream day.
Winchester for Matt’s best bro’s dad’s (cousin’s stepmum’s neighbour’s) birthday. I didn’t know it was possible to consume so much champagne or Thai food. I also didn’t know I could fit in so well at a party that involved croquet.
Electric Beach Festival with some of my bests. Dancing in the sand with some of the best people I know, an overpriced beer in hand as De La Soul blasted out their classics – what’s not to love. Sitting on the doorstep of KFC covered in glitter waiting for it to open was also a pretty special moment.
Watching our caterpillars grow, cacoon, and then emerge as butterflies was a properly special part of the year. TI loved it and we will 100% be doing it again this year. (Check out Insect Lore if you want your own pet flutterbys)
Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Minack Theatre, truly the most breathtaking setting for any show but to get to take my mum to see her favourite play for her birthday was really special.
My Tiny Idiot proved she’s not a total idiot by managing to graduate reception. Her second graduation in two years…I’m still working on reaching my first.
Horse riding! So much fun, even if they made me look a total prat forcing me to ride the tiny pony. Yes there are photos. No they’re not on here.
Insta-dinner! Fish and prosecco with a bunch of wonderful people I happened to meet on that silly little photo site.
And of course Leopallooza. Simultaneously the most stressful and wonderful weekend, as always. Too much work, too much to do, not enough sleep, but all while surrounded by the best people on this earth.
We saw the Red Arrows for the first time and wow! I finally understand the fuss.
Boardmasters with my BSC buddies. Even though we spent most (all) of our time hiding in the VIP bar from drunken teenagers it was a bloody great weekend. Can’t go wrong sitting in the sunshine, overlooking the sea, drinking £7 pints.
Eden (yep) for their ever amazing dinosaur experience with my mum, my bestie, and the kids. Absolutely perfect day out, TI got to release her inner nerd and I got to eat an organic kebab which genuinely changed my life.
A whole load of baking! Unicorn cookies with the small one, a fox cake for the big ones birthday, plenty of things that never made it to photograph as I ate them too fast.
Woodlands with my mum and the Tiny Idiot to relive my childhood. It’s still as fun now as it was when I was 8 and those water slides don’t feel even slightly smaller. This is the weekend I learnt my child has no fear on rides.
My Body, Imperfect (I’m still really proud of this post)
The month that’s normally all about me and my birthday was hijacked by our favourite couple and their beautiful wedding. It’s lucky we love them (and that they provided a lot of wine!) The whole week surrounding the wedding was amazing and once again I learnt a lot about myself and how much champagne I can consume (spoiler: it’s a lot).
Pretty Muddy with a Pretty Horrendous Hangover certainly didn’t feel like a highlight at the time but once I’d finished I was Pretty Chuffed. Great fun for a cause that is very close to my heart.
Rock pool adventures making the most of the September sunshine and the quite beaches. We caught so many crabs. I was dead proud.
WE FOUND OUT ABOUT MINI IDIOT!! Which is pretty hard to top but we still tried.
My debaucherous weekend in Bristol ended up being ever so slightly tamer due to the sesame seed sized blob growing inside me, yet we still had the best time. And spent all the money we would have spent on wine on food. WIN!
Bristol again with the inlaws. This time for the zoo and stomps to each end of the city. I saw a baby gorilla and nearly died of a cuteness overdose.
Rope swings! I didn’t know I was pregnant yet, calm down.
Halloween with Ava’s besties from school, it was so lovely watching them run around an excited bunch of demons. One day soon we might finish the sweets.
Bonfire night fun with my mum and my little family. Highlight of that night was watching three men take half an hour and two cans of parafin to light the bonfire.
Frank Turner at Princess Pavilion, I will never stop feeling lucky that he’s now played at our tiny local venue twice. Go and watch your favourite band as often as you can, it’s always worth it.
The rest of the month was mostly filled with feeling crappy and wanting to vomit at every opportunity, keeping quiet meant that I locked myself away for the majority of November, sulking and feeling sorry for myself.
Festive, festive, festive!
Obviously having our first scan and learning that everything about our little lime-sized vomit inducer is as healthy as can be was the best moment of the month and probably the year! Telling TI she’s going to be a big sister was hilarious and brilliant and then getting to tell our friends and the world. Couldn’t have a better end to the year.
The Tiny Idiot came to the end of her first year at gymnastics and got her first certificate, for someone with the coordination of an ox this was quite the acheievement.
All the usual festive treats were spectacular; the town light switch on, a starring role in the school Christmas play, Eden’s incredible Father Christmas experience, and choosing and decorating the first real tree we’ve had in years were all perfect.
The chaos of the Christmas period was great and I didn’t miss booze too much (made up for it with cheese) and we all had a great week spent with family and friends.
2017 is going to be a mammoth year for us; with a degree to finish, a business to continue to build, a baby on the way, and a house move to a whole other city…daunting, stressful, and bloody exciting!
So here’s to 2017. Smile at strangers, be kind to everyone, offer an ear, or a shoulder, or a hand where needed, and look after yourselves. It’s going to be a bumpy one.
Of course none of us can deny how painful this year has been in many, many ways. We’ve watched atrocities happen from the comfort of our own homes via our smartphones and all questioned what we can do and how we can do it. So I’ve compiled a list of a few charities I think are deserving of our support, start 2017 off right and help somebody who needs it. Because there but for the grace of God goes all of us…
Syria Relief – a charity origianally set up to provide medical aid to the people of Syria, the charity have since expanded to food, shelter, and schooling. They also set up a mental health centre to help those traumatised by the war seek help. Donate here.
Breakfast in a Bag Breakfast in a Bag – ensuring the homeless of London can recieve a balanced meal, find somebody to talk to, and know that there are people who care Breakfast in a Bag rely on donations to keep feeding. They also provide food for dogs, phone chargers, and a bloody big smile. £3 will buy one breakfast. Three. Pound. Donate here.
Cancer Research – a charity that needs no introduction, yet one that will always require our help. This year I have watched too many people lose their lives to this evil disease, I’ve also watched people continue the fight that will carry on well into 2017. We’re all touched by cancer one way or another, and we can all help to find a cure. Donate here.