As I was creating my Bullet Journal spreads at the beginning of the year I decided to incorporate a Memories and Highlights page, not only to keep track of all the positive things that I experienced, but also to serve as a gratitude list. I have diligently filled it in all year.
It turned out to be invaluable. I haven’t particularly felt like I have enjoyed this year very much and my mental health has been low at times, but being able to look at an entire page of experiences, events and things that have brought joy to my daily life has successfully served as a reminder of how much fun I’ve had and how lucky I am. Granted, there have been a few things personally and professionally that haven’t been pleasant, but these have been far outweighed by the positive.
Here are just some of the fantastic things that have happened in 2019…
Friends. Lots of friends. Catch-ups, phone calls and texts, drinks, meals and a silent disco on the canal. We took a trip up to Blackpool in May to celebrate The Bloke’s cousin’s 21st birthday, saw our lovely friends Maya and Simon get married and I took my Canadian bloggy friend Elena to the Coronation Street set in Salford when she came to visit in September.
Getting an amazing freelance writing job with one of the largest websites in Birmingham.
Interviewing Marco Pierre White at his restaurant. We talked food, he got me a raspberry mojito, we joked about him being from the wrong side of the Pennines, and I had an absolute blast. Lovely guy.
Exploring in and around Birmingham. Street art followed by lovely pizza from Baked in Brick in Digbeth, pancakes from Cherry Reds, breakfast at the Old Dresser Cafe in Smethwick, cake from Cocoa by Ali, the Da Vinci exhibition and Black Sabbath exhibitions at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, we went on a self-made Tolkien tour as part of some research I was doing for a freelance article and during the summer went to the gorgeous Martineau Gardens and Winterbourne House. My friend and I visited the Kitty Cafe in Grand Central in October, and The Bloke and I went to the Craft Show and Cake Fair at the NEC in November.
Hugh Jackman in concert. The Bloke surprised me with tickets and it was utterly brilliant.
I decided to take more care of my body and so signed up to a fitness class. Possibly the best decision I have made all year – the instructor and her family have become really good friends and I look forward to the classes every week.
The Bloke and I took to exploring some of the stately homes located within reasonable driving distance of where we live. We have an annual English Heritage pass and have been to Blenheim Palace, the ruins of Witley Court and Kenilworth Castle, had a tour around Aston Hall and in September we were able to visit Guys Cliffe House in Warwick on one of their rare open days.
A six-day trip to Dubrovnik with some of my favourite blog friends in June. With the stunning UNESCO World Heritage terracotta roofs, gorgeous architecture, Game of Thrones filming locations and incredible sunsets, it is truly one of the most beautiful places that I have ever visited. We walked the walls of the city, went on a Game of Thrones tour, walked down the Stradun, explored the Cloisters at the St. Franciscan monastery and had a fabulous time!
The Bloke, my sister, her boyfriend and I went to London for the weekend. We saw the Tutankhamun Exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, the Bond in Motion Exhibition at the London Film Museum, the Great Hall at the Natural History Museum and had a wander around Westminster Abbey.
A Banksy highlighting the plight of the homeless appeared on Vyse Street in December. I jumped in a taxi within an hour of Banksy posting a video of it on his Instagram, and the taxi driver and I got some photographs before people started arriving and the perspex went up over it.
As always, the blog has allowed me to experience some incredible things. I celebrated Chinese New Year with Wing Yip and Pippy Eats, checked out the newly-renovated Club and Spa at the Mailbox and the revamped Marmalade Restaurant at The REP and The Bloke and I attended the preview press night of the new LEGO store in the Bullring. The Bloke was so excited that I actually ended up holding his camera while he ran around building things.
2019 has also been a year of theatre. We’ve were lucky enough to have been invited to numerous plays and musicals at some of the theatres in Birmingham, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the cast members in person, including Louise Redknapp at the 9 to 5 after party. I roared with laughter during The Rocky Horror Show, cried uncontrollably at The Colour Purple, was blown away at the complex and beautiful staging of Amelie, sang along with the songs that I knew from Hair, and seen stars of stage and screen that I could have only dreamed of seeing before in many more.
What a year!
What about you guys? What were your highlights and favourite memories from 2019?
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