I know I’m a bit late to the party on this (I’ve been having issues with Blogger) and I also know that everyone has been doing these posts in the past few weeks (I’m sorry if you find them boring, but as I’m a nosey little critter so love them!) However, I really wanted to do this post because I think it’s just as important to be grateful for the year-that-was as it is to be excited about the year-that-is-yet-to-come.
2012 for me had some ups and downs. I’ve always been 100% honest on my blog and I write about the bad times as well as the good (I’m a real person and life isn’t always a bed of roses) but I’m a great believer that everything happens for a reason and so, whenever anything bad happens, I always try to find the positive from it – most of the time, there’s always something.
Well, I’m glad to say that 2012 didn’t have too many low points. Granted, the lows I did have were pretty substantial, but as I said, I can see some positive in all of them, so I’m not too bothered about them and I’m certainly not dwelling on them, so I’ll keep this bit brief!
Moving back in with Mum
After splitting with my ex a few years ago and splitting our joint interests, I was left with a pretty large debt. Being the stubbornly independent person I am, I didn’t tell anyone and buried my head in the sand. For 3-years. This summer I got to a point where I couldn’t afford to buy food, I couldn’t pay my bills and I’d literally come to the end of the line – I was skint. Properly skint. So, I spoke to my parents, explained that I had tried getting out of this financial trouble on my own but that I hadn’t been able to do it and that I was up the proverbial creek without a paddle. I was expecting to be called an idiot, or something along those lines, but my parents were unbelievably supportive. I’ve moved into Mum’s spare room and am currently paying my debts off. I’ve cleared over 30% of it so far, which I’m really chuffed with.
Finding out about my dodgy womb
After several doctors trips, hospital visits and tests, in July 2012 I was diagnosed as having a Bicornuate Womb. (See earlier blog posts here and here for more info). I initially didn’t cope particularly well with this news; I cried a lot, refused to speak to ANYONE about it, and drank a bit too much wine (only for a fortnight, but drink isn’t the answer to anything people!) It’s not something that can be fixed or changed though, so I pulled myself together and am just getting on with life. As I said, I believe you have to find the positive in any situation, and the great thing about this particular instance was that I really found out who matters and who cares about me. My family were great, K was fantastic beyond words (which just made me fall in love with him more) and I was shown who my true friends are. The people of Twitter and my blog readers rallied around me and I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of people willing to hold me up until I was strong enough to stand on my own. Honestly, how can I be upset about this condition when it’s what showed me who cares about me?! Impossible!
I honestly think 2012 has been my favourite year EVER. Even through the tough times I still had people around me making me laugh and making me smile – I don’t think I’ve ever been happier than I am now and I’m so thankful for that; I never take my happiness for granted.
Although we have known each other since 2009, Rach and I first went for dinner together in January 2012, after which we became more or less joined at the hip. I’ve found a kindred spirit in her as well as a great friend who is there for me, any time of day, no matter what. We’ve had some brilliant adventures over the past 12-months and I know we’ve got a lifetime of them ahead of us too.
I took the plunge and got my blog it’s own domain name. For some reason this felt like a huge step and I spent quite a bit of time thinking it over, but with more traffic to my page and feeling like I had little control over the design, I felt the time was right. Since then, I haven’t looked back. I know it’s only a little blog and not one of the ‘big players’ but I do love it!
In April, I took my other best friend, Carly, to see McFly as her birthday present. It was honestly the best concert I have ever been to and, despite being far too close to 30, we both screamed at the top of our lungs for pretty much the entire show!
This year, I became a Godmother. That’s right. Somebody has given me the official charge of helping to guide their child and impart my knowledge on to them. Scary, right? I love my Godson and his brother so much and it was a massive privilege to be asked and trusted with this role. (I didn’t feel comfortable putting a picture of someone else’s child on my blog, so this is a picture of me on the big day!)
My childhood hero doesn’t tour in the UK very often anymore, so when he released tour dates for 2012 I knew I had to go. I saw him twice in March and his final show was in May, however, it was in Edinburgh. As I don’t know anyone else who is interested in him, I booked myself a plane ticket and a hotel and was all set to go on my own. K said he wasn’t too keen on the idea of me going to Scotland on my own and offered to come with me, so I booked him tickets before he could change his mind haha! It was our first weekend away together, so I was a bit nervous (make or break, eek!) but we had a fantastic time. Edinburgh is a stunning city and there’s so much to do there; we walked for miles every day but it still felt very chilled out. As I’m lucky enough to know my childhood hero now, we went backstage to see him which was great. I just hope he comes back again soon!
For K’s birthday, I booked him a surprise weekend away to Bournemouth. I took the Friday off of work, spent all day preparing (including packing a case for him), then drove him there on Friday evening when he got in from work. We were so lucky with the weather and the temperature was 27-28degrees for the whole time we were there so we spent lots of time out and about, wandering around the town, sitting on the beach and drinking cocktails in the sunshine. It was bliss!
Two of the Councillors I look after in my job went to a cult TV convention and, knowing how much I love DCI Gene Hunt from Ashes to Ashes and Life on Mars, one of them queued up for ages and got this signed photo for me! I screamed, nearly cried and then went silent with shock when they gave it to me! It now hangs proudly on my office wall.
Myself, Rach and a few other girls went to Butlins in Bognor Regis for their 90’s themed weekend. It was an absolute blast and I had such a good time! We danced loads and laughed even more! Highlights of the weekend for me were the Silent Disco and having to push Rach through a tiny window as we were locked out of the room!
On my birthday I was due to have dinner with Carly, so I got myself dressed up and hopped on a train to meet her. However, when I got to the restaurant she wasn’t there… K was! They’d planned the whole thing between them as a surprise! It really was special and despite the fact they’re both massive liars (hehe) I love them both!
Rach, her children and I were offered the opportunity to visit Hounslow Urban Farm and to go behind the scenes and meet the animals. Before we got there I knew I was going to enjoy it, but I had no idea just how good it was going to be! We got to see all the animals (even the ones that aren’t on public view) and held/touched many of them too. The highlight for me had to be when I was allowed to jump two fences and go into a distant field to meet their cow (my favourite animal and a total obsession of mine). She was the biggest cow I have ever seen but was so placid, calm and tame, I could go right up to her and stroke her. I was completely overwhelmed by it – it’s not very often you get to make direct contact with a cow, let alone a tame one! It was such an interesting day and having such a hands-on experience was mind-blowing for me, so I can’t imagine what it was like for Rach’s children! I wrote a blog post about our visit here, if you want to check it out. We also went back to the Urban Farm for their Hallowe’en night. It was evident how much hard work had been put in to it and it was clear all the children visiting were having a great time. I even managed to overcome one of my biggest fears on that night as I held a tarantula – previously I would have literally screamed if I had seen a money spider (no exaggeration!)
I was best friends with some girls from the age of 3 until we were around 12years old. After going to different schools we grew apart, although we got back in touch via Facebook (don’t we all?) when we were about 18. Then, finally, at the age of 27, we arranged to meet up and have a night out! One of them is married and the other has a son, so we’re all grown women now, but it was like we had never been apart. It was lovely to see them again and we will be meeting up more regularly now. The feeling of reigniting an old friendship is great!
For my Christmas present, Rach bought me tickets to go and watch WWE (wrestling) at Wembley. Being the good friend she is, she came with me, even though she has never been interested in it. We had a good view from our seats and it was a brilliant night – great present!
For Rach’s Christmas present, I took her sight-seeing in London. Over the course of the day, we walked over 6-miles (errrr yeah, Happy Christmas Rach!) and visited the Tower Of London, Harrods, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Vodka Ice Bar and wandered down a few famous streets. After all that walking, I took her for cocktails and then into a 90-seat cinema for a screening of Pretty Woman. It was my first time seeing Pretty Woman – I know, shocking!
Earlier this year I became aware that my old college tutor, Syd Moore, had become a published author. Out of curiosity I decided to see what her books were like and, it turned out, they were right up my street – thriller type books based on the witch hunts of old. (I love that kind of thing). I was gripped by both her books and am now waiting impatiently for her third. Who’d have thought, all those years ago when she was teaching me, that she’d become one of my favourite authors? She’s totally given me the ‘reading bug’ and I can’t wait to get stuck into a new read – she’s given me some recommendations which I’m going to look in to.
One of my Twitter friends (and now ‘real-life’ friends) launched her own online jewellery store in 2012 called Wonsuponatime. She very kindly invited me to the launch party (my first event attended as a blogger) and it was brilliant. The brand style is whimsical and fairytale based and she had decorated the venue in the same style, with cocktails served from cups and saucers (I’ve decided, the BEST way to drink cocktails), plus there were birdcages, beautiful books and her jewellery samples dotted around. I’m so proud of her for chasing her dreams and launching her own company. I’m sure that with her determination, skill and ambition, she’s going to do well!
In December, K and I reached our 1-year anniversary. After the rocky road I’ve had due to Cupid’s arrows in the past I had given up on love, so for me to find someone as special as K makes my heart swell with happiness. I hope I’m not going to come to eat my words in the future but he really is an incredible person and I’m thankful every day that he’s with me.
The boys were meant to be arranging New Year’s Eve this year, but it didn’t quite happen and no plans got made, so we spent New Year’s Eve in on our own. We had cheese, crackers and wine while we watched some films, and it was actually a lovely evening. I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Eve to be fair and always feel like I’m being ripped off when I go out that night, so an evening in suited me just fine! It was also nice to wake up on New Year’s Day without a hangover!
Writing this post has given me such a huge smile – despite some bad times, 2012 was an amazing year and I am very, very lucky.