Tuesday, 2 January 2018

17 good things that happened in 2017


T R A V E L

I have been so, so lucky this year in that I’ve got to go on so many amazing holidays/mini  breaks. Obviously our big, main holiday was our 3 week US road trip (start here) which was possibly the best holiday of my life, but I’ve also been on so many smaller breaks I literally keep forgetting them – from Cornwall, to Ireland, to Kent, to the Lake District (twice), I’ve just had the best year of exploring and I can’t wait to continue it into 2018 – starting early with Edinburgh this weekend!



F R I E N D S H I P

Not to be cheesier than a cheeseburger with cheese on top but I feel like this year all my friendships have kind of fallen into place. I am so lucky to have a really solid group of girlfriends I’ve known basically my whole life (or since I was 11, anyway) who always know how to make me cry-laugh over a glass of wine, and I’ve been able to see them lots this year which is great, but I’ve also got a whole group of friends in London who all get on well with each other. We had a New Year’s Eve party at out flat and everyone got along so well, and it just makes me feel happy thinking about another year making good memories with good people, and okay I’ll stop before you all actually vomit, soz.



W O R K

At the beginning of 2017, I made a promise to myself to focus on my career. I’d had a promotion in 2016, but I still didn’t feel very challenged at work and I just wasn’t sure the position I was in was right for me. I started looking, just casually on Linked In really, and couldn’t find much – I applied for two jobs and actually got both, but neither seemed perfect and so I decided to turn them down and wait. In September, I came across my absolute dream job – which involves travel abroad every month and getting more involved in the areas of my job I really like, without some of the bits I don’t. After a really lengthy, intense interview process (including a Skype interview when I was on holiday in San Francisco!) I actually got the job and will be starting mid-January, and I’m so, so happy the hard work paid off. If you’re in a work rut, start thinking about changing it now – it might’ve taken me a whole year, but I am so excited about this new opportunity and what it will bring.

F A M I L Y

I couldn’t write a blogpost about last year without reference to the absolute light of my life, my little nephew. He’s gone from a teeny tiny baby in January to a sturdy, happy little one year old, and every time I’m sad I just need to look at a photo of his cheeky little face and it puts everything back into perspective for me. We’ve been on a couple of family holidays this year and this year I just want more of the same – there’s nothing like spending time with your family to bring you back to yourself, you know? Sometimes I think I get a bit wrapped up in my life in London but two minutes after I get home I feel normal again! I also want to spend more time with Ian’s family – his sister is having a baby boy too this year, so even more baby cuddles to come, YAY.



F E S T I V A L S

I had the best Glastonbury EVER in 2017 (post here) and I also went to quite a few day festivals as well as a tonne of gigs (including Kasabian, Wolf Alice and Fleet Foxes, to name a few). Nothing makes me happier than watching live music with my friends (ideally in the sunshine with a cold cider) – I already have quite a few festivals and gigs lined up this year, including Foo Fighters and Arcade Fire and Taylor Swift – bring it on!

W R I T I N G

Another resolution I made at the beginning of 2017 was to make more of an effort to actually get some of my written work ‘out there’. I do and have always written short stories/flash fiction, but I find it quite hard to share it (more about that here). This year I have (astonishingly) had a number of stories/articles published online, came second in a flash fiction competition, and at the end of the year I actually got a piece of flash fiction included in an anthology. It’s more than I ever expected and even though I STILL go red and leave the room whenever anyone brings it up, it makes me smile whenever I think about it, and it has at least given me the confidence to try even more in 2018.



3 0

2017 was the year when I hit the big 3-0. I never really worried about turning 30 (age is just a number, I still act like an 18 year old but with worse hangovers) but I suppose as it drew closer I did kind of wonder if I’d suddenly wake up with crow’s feet and a desire to spend my weekends in B&Q. But actually, it was one of the best weeks of the year. From the spa day with my mummy, to the amazing birthday party my husband planned with my friends, to the day itself where he surprised me with dinner at Dinner followed by cocktails at the Nightjar with friends, to the final surprise family party in my parent’s back garden – it was just the most amazing week and I felt so loved and warm and happy, and it makes me smile whenever I think about it. I mean, he’s got a lot to live up to for the big 3-1, let’s put it that way.

I N S T A G R A M

So although the new Instagram algorithm has hit all bloggers hard this year, I have still managed to double my following – but more than that, I’m really enjoying using it again. In the last month in particular I’ve made a real effort with my photos and Instagram stories, and I just generally feel like I’m in a good place with it (it’s just an app, after all!)

R U N N I N G

I touched on this here but I’ve made some real headway with my running this year – I ran a 10k, which I never thought I’d be able to do, and knocked some decent time off my 5k pace too. It isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and to be honest, it’s really unusual for me to stick at anything that I’m not immediately good at. I’m slow, and I find it difficult – but I also find it really rewarding. There is nothing better than getting into a hot bath after a long run, when you feel like you’ve really earned it. So I’m keeping it up – three runs a week, even if it’s just little me, plodding along the roads where I live – and let’s see where I get to by this time next year.  

N E S T I N G

We’ve lived in our new flat for just over a year now and I can’t believe the difference it makes owning our own place. Even just being able to buy our dream sofa has been embarrassingly life changing (an L-shaped sofa in cream velvet, if you were wondering – SO impractical and we have to cover it in throws whenever we have people over, but I adore it). I really feel like I’ve settled this year – we’ve put up pictures, bought new furniture and new décor – and I’ve just enjoyed owning my own little piece of London. Plus I never, ever, ever get tired of the view from our balcony – and it doesn’t hurt that our development opened a brand new gym and swimming pool complex this year. If you need me, I’ll be in the jacuzzi.



B L O G G I N G

A bit of a strange one, because at the beginning of this year I had completely fallen out of love with this blog and with blogging in general. I’ve wondered on a number of occasions if I’m ready to be done with it completely. But towards the end of the year I’ve been given so many amazing opportunities all because of this little space on the internet, and I’ve taken a step back and remembered what I like writing and why – and it’s given me a complete refresh. Some of my favourite blog posts from this year are this one and this one.

H A I R

This is just a stupid one really, but in May 2017 I went to an amazing hairdressers (Gusto Hairdressing) and begged them to fix my hair. I’ve been dying my own hair for years now, going between ombre and dark brown whenever I fancy it – but in 2016, on a whim, I decided to dye it red. The problem was when I decided to go back to ombre, it didn’t exactly go as planned – it kind of went orange! I dealt with it by dying it all practically black, which was okay for a while but not really what I wanted. Somehow, Emile at Gusto gave me perfect blonde balayage and it just made me feel like myself again – I’ve honestly not been this happy with it since I was about 11! I’m going to go back again this year (yes, the colour has lasted that long) as I will no longer trust anyone else with my hair…

R E A D I N G

I read some amazing books in 2017, and although I didn’t exactly hit my resolution of reading a book a week, I do feel like I rekindled (kindle – ha) my love for it. I also set up a Goodreads account where I can review books – you can find me HERE.

L O V E

Soppy one (feel free to look away now if you’re recently dumped or just bitter) but my husband and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary in Santa Barbara this year and every year I feel like I love him more. It isn’t the big things – he just makes the little things better. I never thought I would look forward to long car journeys but when we’re together, with a decent podcast (Casefile has been my find of the year) and a diet coke and some snacks, I really do.  



C O O K I N G

I’ve hugely got into cooking this year –both main meals and baking. I think I used to be a little bit scared of what I think of as ‘proper’ cooking- i.e. making everything from scratch – but apart from one chilli ravioli which I couldn’t eat because it was too spicy (which my husband happily polished off!) all my meals have been relatively successful. We got some new cookery books for Christmas so I’m looking forward to trying out even more new recipes in 2018. We’re also primarily vegetarian now so if anyone knows any good veggie recipe blogs, point me their way!


T R Y I NG

In 2017 I decided to try and step out of my comfort zone more often. Some of these decisions are captured above (like entering writing competitions, and running a 10k) but some were smaller, less tangible things. I tried out new exercise classes, including Kobox as well as some at my local gym. I went to blogger meet ups where I didn’t know anyone and met some amazing new people. I even went to an audition for the Chase (didn’t get through, but oh well!) There were ups and downs, and some things I enjoyed more than others, but it’s made my life so much more interesting and I know I want to keep it up this year!


H A P P I N E S S


Weirdly and for no real reason, this has without a doubt been the best year of my life. I feel so truly content with my lot – I love my husband, my friends and my family, I love our little flat and I just like my life. If 2018 is as good as 2017, that’d be fine by me.


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2 comments

  1. Hey Cat,

    First of all: Woohoo!! congratulations on your new job!! It seems like you had an absolutely perfet 2017 and I sincerely hope this new challenge will make 2018 equally (or even more) awesome!

    Secondly, is there any chance you have some links to your published articles/flash fiction? I only had the chance to read one of your online articles a couple of months ago, but I would love to read more of your work!

    Finally :D , I'm startying my own 'a book a week' challenge this year (I'm on the train all the time so I think it might be feasible) so I'm curious about your top 3 books of 2017? Going to the library tomorrow! Would you recommend me to join Goodreads?

    xoxo Britt

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  2. Happy new year to you honey, looks like you had a pretty fab 2017. Hope it keeps up for 2018
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx

    ReplyDelete

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