2022: A Year in Review

At the beginning of 2022 I set up a double page spread in my bullet journal titled ‘Memories and Highlights.’ This created a space where I could record all of the individual exciting things I experienced throughout the year and served as a reminder that this year hasn’t been as bad as I thought. 

Because let’s face it, in terms of the year from a national perspective, it’s been a dumpster fire with a dose of accelerant thrown on top. Three prime ministers in a year, the worse economic position in decades, food, gas and electric prices skyrocketing to the point where people are having to choose between heating their house during the winter or feeding their children while utility companies boast about record profits, workers from our postal service, trains, nurses, paramedics have been forced to strike… and to top it all off our Queen died. So many of us are tired, worried and angry. 

It certainly hasn’t been easy at times – The Bloke lost his mum in April, his uncle passed away just before Christmas, and many of my family relationships remain complicated, strained and in some instances, completely estranged. I haven’t felt at times that I have been in total control of what I was doing – there have been plenty of moments when I have sat in front of my laptop with a feeling of overwhelm, and combined with insane perimenopausal hormones it has felt like somewhat of a rollercoaster.

On a positive note, I set just a single goal at the start of the year which was purely financial, and I smashed it. My social media client base has grown to capacity, and I have been able to participate in some of their events and celebrate their achievements. I’ve met some truly inspiring people doing fantastic things, and what a privilege to do so. 

In total, I saw thirty-six shows across seven different theatres in four different cities, ranging from local drama school and amateur dramatics to high-production touring companies and West End. My favourite show of the year? Bat Out of Hell, with The Addams Family being a surprise second, followed by Waitress. I saw both Bat Out of Hell and Addams Family twice – the first time at The Alexandra Theatre for press nights, Mum and I saw The Addams Family in Manchester, and then The Bloke and I travelled up to Blackpool for the weekend to see Bat Out of Hell. As you may have guessed, Bat Out of Hell has become somewhat of an obsession, and I plan to see it in London for a third time next year on the West End. 

The Bloke and I have continued to take time to have regular date days and date nights. In June we got a Key to the City as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations and went to the viewing platform of the newly built 103 Colmore in Birmingham, we ate at Tierra Tacos for the first time (now one of my favourite places) and, still almost unbelievably, got the chance to see Queen and Adam Lambert in concert. In July we went to Warwick Castle on a blisteringly hot day and had a few days in Blackpool. For his birthday weekend in October I booked a hotel room in the centre of Brum, just for a change of scenery. We’ve attended press events at Marco Pierre White, The Cocktail Club, The Rolling Mill, Pitcher & Piano and Crazy Pedros. During the Commonwealth Games, (which Birmingham did an incredible job of hosting), I saw the return of Kong in the Jewellery Quarter and the fantastic Bull that was the highlight of the opening ceremony, and we cheered from our living room when Ozzy Osbourne and Tony Iommi gave a surprise performance during the closing ceremony.

London has also been a highlight this year. In March my mum wanted to see the Titanic Exhibition at The Docklands, so we made an extended trip out of it. I introduced her to the delights of eating all the things at Old Spitalfields Market, we watched Beverly Knight in The Drifters Girl (fabulous) and I sat on a bench like Forrest Gump talking to everyone outside while she was at the exhibition.

The Bloke and I visited the Hogwarts in the Snow at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio tour, saw the Christmas lights and walked down Tin Pan Alley in December. I’ve also had numerous client conferences and events in the city this year so I have done some sightseeing in my downtime to tick items off my London bucket list – I managed to see Hampstead Pergola, Postman’s Park, the Hardy Tree, the World’s Smallest Police Station and walked beside the Covid Memorial Wall. I also just happened to be in London the day after the Queen passed away, so I went to Buckingham Palace to pay my respects

It has been nice spending time with some of my friends. In April I had lunch and a wander around Solihull with my author friend Shelley Wilson and I caught up with my friends from Sixth Form College that I have known for 25 years for a bottomless brunch when I was in Manchester. In July I took my author friend Helen Jones to Sketch for breakfast to celebrate her signing with a literary agent. In November I met up with a former colleague while I was in London, and we went to a phallic themed restaurant that she had been desperate to visit (which wins the award for the most overpriced, over-hyped place I have been to this year, but it was fun seeing her reaction as we walked in). 

Admittedly, while I can look back and be proud of everything I have achieved, I am grateful that the year is coming to an end. While I know that twenty-four hours isn’t going to magically change everything, I like the feeling of starting afresh, and I am looking forward to seeing what 2023 brings.

Wherever you are and whatever your plans, I hope that you have a fantastic New Year’s Eve. Thank you for your continuing support across the blog and my social media channels, and I hope that 2023 brings you everything that you wish for.

If you want to see my review of 2022 in pictures, visit my latest reel on my Instagram here.