At the end of 2018 I was really looking forward to 2019. I already had several fun things booked, I had a new job where I was earning more money and I was just generally quite happy. 2019 has been a really good year in the grand scheme of things and I wanted to talk about my favourite memories from this year before we enter 2020 so here goes nothing!
In 2018 I quickly discovered that January’s SUCK. Christmas is over, nobody has any money, it’s a LONG month (February is bad too but mercifully shorter) and it’s quite possibly the most depressing month of the year. So I decided to book myself a holiday to make the month less dreary and settled on Romania.
I feel like I should’ve gone for somewhere warm to escape the cold British weather but when booking a trip I don’t really factor the weather into it. Also I feel like you have to travel further than Europe to guarantee good weather, at least I knew Romania would be cold so there wouldn’t be any nasty surprises.
Romania was actually amazing, my favourite part of it had to be the day trip to Dracula’s castle because that was just stunning. It was a really fun tour and you definitely get your money’s worth, like we left at sunrise and didn’t come back until way after it was dark. I’d definitely return to Romania given the opportunity as I feel like three nights wasn’t enough time! It was a good way to kick off the year though.
Hirst’s Mom’s 50th Birthday Party
A lot can change in a year. At the start of 2018 I would’ve said I HATED parties. I didn’t drink and a room full of drunk people dancing was not my cup of tea. After my friend Hirst’s 21st Birthday Party my opinion quickly changed and now I love getting dressed up, going to a party and having one too many drinks.
The theme for the party was a masquerade ball but I didn’t wear my mask all night – it was really hot and since I wear glasses I was basically just blind whilst wearing it which isn’t too much fun. The night was a lot of fun though and it was a really good party. Hirst even hired a professional photographer which was both good and bad as I look a bit of a mess in some of the photos but they’re still funny. I hope Hirst’s Mom enjoyed her party because I know I did!
I’d been wanting to do an escape room for over a year, I practically begged my friends Emma and Sorcha to do one and they kept saying ‘yeah we will I just have no money at the moment’. I moaned to my brother’s ex-girlfriend about it and she very kindly booked me an escape room experience for four people in Birmingham as a Christmas present. Now my friends had no excuse not to do one!
The room was science themed and the basic premise was that we were scientists whose memories had been erased and we had to get out of the contaminated room before the hour ran out and we lost our memories again. It was a bit of a disaster and we didn’t get out but we did get quite far! I blame the fact it was Science themed personally, there was way too much thinking involved.
For our friend Hirst’s birthday we organised to spend the day together but didn’t have much of a plan. The night before we were due to meet me, Becca and Jess finally settled on doing an escape room in Shrewsbury. This one was plague themed and the basic idea was that we were traitors and had been locked in prison, and we had to escape, perform a ritual and inflict the plague on our enemies. I’ll give them points for originality.
I think it would’ve been a disaster if Jess J hadn’t been there to be honest. My favourite moment is when we first walked in and me, Becca and Hirst looked at a locked room and went ‘we’ll figure that out in a second’, turned our backs for two seconds and when I turned back Jess was stood inside the room. She figured out probably 80% of it if not more and we managed to escape with a time of 41:58 which isn’t bad!
Then I managed to talk my friends Jo, Emma and Sorcha into doing a Christmas themed escape room this December. The goal wasn’t to escape but to find Santa’s ‘Nice List’ so we could add our names. Although we had a lot of clues for the first time I actually felt relatively useful for a change and managed to figure out a few things. We found the ‘Nice List’ with two minutes and two seconds left to spare. This was hilarious because we kept freaking out and Jo kept asking “Wait, how did you do that?” when we figured something out and we were getting frustrated with her as we needed to move onto the next thing! But it was hilarious and really got me in the festive mood.
I definitely want to do more escape rooms in 2020, I think they’re so much fun – it’s just getting the people together to do one!
This was our first holiday without a purpose. Our first two holidays were to attend concerts abroad, then we booked each other holidays for our 21st birthdays and Belgium was the first holiday we booked just because we love travelling and we could! It took a long time of planning but eventually it was settled and we were off.
It started off as a bit of a disaster which I wrote about in this post here but overall the trip was a lot of fun. My highlights include the waffle making workshop, the castle in Ghent and the spy experience. It was unfortunately the only holiday we took as a group this year but I wouldn’t have changed a second of it because I had so much fun.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Me and Becca went to see Cursed Child for the first time last year and enjoyed it so much that we decided to go again but in better seats this time. The moment the next batch were released we bought tickets at about £150 for both parts and now we just had to wait several months until we went.
I wrote a longer post about this trip here but it was a lot of fun seeing the show again, and getting to sit in better seats was definitely a plus! It was a lot of fun, I love that show so much. I love it so much that I took my friend Hirst to see it – unfortunately in the cheaper seats this time as I was paying for both of us but I was desperate for Hirst to see it too as I know she loves the theatre. Luckily she enjoyed it as much as I do and we had a lot of fun.
I enjoyed seeing it with Hirst again so much that I decided to spend an awful lot of money on premium tickets and went to see it again by myself. I loved it just as much a second time and it was nice having a pretty much perfect view of the stage.
I’m going to see it with my friend Janie in January and I’ve told her not to read the book or anything about the plot so that she can go in with an open mind. I also wouldn’t mind seeing it by myself in the premium seats again, assuming I can afford it!
For the past few years I’ve wanted to go away for bank holiday weekend – not even abroad, I’d have been happy going away in this country! I mean, it’s a guaranteed four days off work which is plenty of time to explore a new city. When I returned back to work after Christmas I was so fed up that I ended up booking myself flights to Dublin for bank holiday weekend. I soon discovered although flights to Dublin were cheap accommodation most definitely wasn’t. A hostel was quite expensive but whatever, it was all booked and off I went!
Dublin was amazing – my highlights include the castle, seeing War Horse at the theatre and the National Leprechaun Museum. I’d definitely return to Dublin one day, probably not over bank holiday weekend though because it was very busy and full of stag and hen dos – probably should’ve anticipated that though!
Bryher’s 22nd Birthday Party
Bryher is my friend Becca’s cousin and I’d only met her a couple of times but she’s lovely so when Becca asked if I wanted to be her plus one to Bryher’s birthday party I quickly agreed – especially when she told me it was a dressing up party! In the end Bryher was kind enough to also invite Hirst and Jess – Hirst didn’t come but Jess did and we had a really good time. I dressed up as Coraline but unfortunately nobody knew who I was – I got asked if I was Velma from Scooby-Doo, Sadness from Inside Out and Georgie from IT but nobody once asked if I was Coraline.
The party was a bit of a mess but I still had a good time. Embarrassingly the daughter of a woman from work also attended the party and I think I didn’t make the best first impression but overall I still had a good time. Even if no one knew who I was bloody dressed as!
My friend Becca’s Mom works for the PDSA and every year goes to the London Marathon to cheer on the runners as they get a charity spot near the end of the race. This year Becca was going and asked if we wanted to come. I decided to go because I figured it might be fun and it did turn out to be a lot of fun. Becca nabbed a megaphone and was yelling at the runners and later on we were yelling words of encouragement to everybody.
My personal highlights though were Becca’s Mom’s encounters with ‘celebrities’ – we were heading back to the bus when one of the girls with us said “Look, there’s Olivia from Love Island”. Becca’s Mom didn’t waste time and ran over going “OLIVIA! OLIVIA! CAN I GET A SELFIE PLEASE?” much to everyone’s dismay. Then before we got onto the bus we went into a park to find a bathroom and the girls spotted someone from Strictly Come Dancing – Becca’s Mom pretty much chased him through the park to get a photo. The best though was when she came back and went “I don’t even know who that was!”
I had so much fun that I signed up to do it again in 2020. Here’s hoping we bump into a celebrity that me and Becca actually know this time?
For some reason at the end of 2018 my Mom would not stop banging on about San Francisco. She asked my step-dad if he wanted to go and he said no so she moaned to me about him and I offered to go with her instead. There aren’t many places I wouldn’t travel to so I quickly agreed. I pestered and pestered my Mom until eventually we agreed on a week and she booked the holiday through Expedia.
It wouldn’t have been my first choice of a destination and I think a week was maybe too long because there wasn’t THAT much to do but I still had a good time and I’m glad it’s a place I can tick off my list. It was fun to see sights like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, it was more fun than I’d been expecting but yeah I’m not in a hurry to return.
BTS at Wembley
I wrote a long post about me and Becca seeing BTS at Wembley two nights in a row back in June here but I’m still amazed that we decided to go to both nights? I remember going to the gym and Becca being like “… Well let’s try and if we don’t get official ones the second time around then that’s fine.” And I was quickly like “Yes.” It was so much fun and I definitely don’t regret it (in fact I low-key wanna do it again if they ever come back) but like we are such trash bags. It was definitely one of the most fun weekends of my life though and I’m keen to repeat it if BTS come back in 2020. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
Weekends in London
I feel like I’ve had more theatre weekends in London this year than I did last year. I obviously saw Cursed Child a couple of times but I also went to London by myself for theatre trips. The first weekend was in June, I wrote a post about it here and I went because my Mom was in Spain and I wanted to get out of the house (and away from my step-dad). I went down and watched Betrayal (because Tom Hiddleston was in it), Mamma Mia and School of Rock. It was a good weekend but unfortunately I picked up a sickness bug that weekend that really rocked me for over a week. I still had a good time though.
I went again in September, this time to see ‘Groan Ups’ by Mischief Theatre as they’re my favourite theatre company and this was their new show. I loved it so much that when I got back from Hong Kong I booked a ticket to go and see it again because I enjoyed it so much. It was interesting seeing it a second time as they’d changed certain parts of it but it was still just as funny as the first time.
My last London trip of 2019 was in December. I wanted to go down and see ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ so decided to make a whole weekend of it and also saw ‘Ghost Stories’, and ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. It was so much fun and made me realise I haven’t been down to London nearly enough this year. I definitely need more theatre weekends in 2020.
Due to problems with our flights to Belgium me and my friends were all given some money by the airline. Within the next couple of days I’d already booked flights to Berlin and soon set off. I had troubles with that flight as well but luckily made it to Berlin in one piece and managed to enjoy the rest of my holiday.
My friends Becca and Jess had raved about how amazing Berlin is and I have to agree with them, it’s one of my favourite places I’ve been I think. I loved spending the day at Tropical Islands – I don’t normally get many ‘relaxing’ days on holiday and this one was really nice. Berlin was just such a cool city, I’d definitely go back one day.
Shelley’s 40th Birthday Party
My friends Jess and Hirst received invites to this party months before it actually happened whereas me and Becca were only invited a week beforehand and were clearly only invited to make up the numbers. Still, a party is a party, it was an excuse to get drunk and off we went.
I have never been so drunk in my entire life and the whole night was a bit of a mess – me, Becca and Jess ended up crying to each other in the bathroom for like 30 minutes (not 2 hours though, I don’t care what Hirst or anyone says, it wasn’t that long!), we flirted with some blokes who apparently were in their 30’s, stumbled back to Hirst’s house to crash where I proceeded to vomit into her washing up bowl and then onto her spare bedroom floor (luckily not onto poor Becca who was sleeping on the floor next to the bed I was sleeping in!). I felt horrendous the next day and over the course of the next week I’d occasionally feel a bit queasy. But overall I’d had a good night and I hope my friends did too – sorry to Hirst who had to clean up my vomit. I’ll find a way to make it up to you!
Me, Becca and Jess are big K-Pop fans and occasionally night clubs in Birmingham are the venue for ‘K-Pop Nights’ which is basically just clubbing but with K-Pop songs instead. It’s so much fun but we’d never been as a three, I’d been with Jess, and Becca had been with Jess but never all three of us. We proper planned this one, we decided that instead of sitting around the train station after the night out we’d book a hotel room, get some sleep and then get up and do some holiday clothes shopping (I had my trip to Hong Kong coming up and Becca and Jess were going to Singapore & Indonesia). I was really looking forward to it!
The night was a lot of fun but as before, I drank way too much. I had a lot of pre-drinks and justified this to Jess by saying “The queues at the club will be too long so I’m getting my buzz now”. There was no queue at the club like at all, that bar was empty all night long and I just kept going back. I literally thought to myself ‘I could probably do CPR right now if I needed to so I’m fine’ in the bathroom whilst I struggled to pull up my leggings and decided to have another drink. I hit on some random girl who I wasn’t even that attracted to when I’d sobered up, fell over a couple of times, hugged some random bloke outside the club and did an awful lot of dancing. Unfortunately Becca wasn’t feeling it that night so we left earlier than we’d planned which was maybe just as well because I crawled into bed with the bin (that was already stuffed full of gross stuff), sat up five minutes later and vomited into it.
We definitely need to go back to another K-Pop night because regardless of everything I had a great time. There weren’t tons of people there and the DJ was accepting any requests (as long as they were K-Pop) so it was a good night!
Towards the start of the year I decided to go on a solo ‘out-of-continent’ trip. No idea why, I’d only started travelling abroad solo the year before and had only been on three solo trips abroad when I made this decision (and I don’t particularly count Paris because I’d already been and was only going for a concert) but there you go. I raised the money by picking up extra shifts at my brothers and soon the flights were booked!
I booked this back in like March or February time, I’d done all my research and was told Hong Kong was one of the safest cities to visit for solo travellers but of course nobody could predict the mass protests that would kick off just a few weeks before I went. I wrote a post about my Hong Kong travel fails here and although it did affect areas of my trip it could’ve been a lot worse.
I’d love to go back to Hong Kong one day when the protests have died down. It was an amazing city and I had a fantastic time. My first solo out-of-continent trip was a definite success!
Getting a Permanent Job
Earlier this year I discovered the job I’d managed to get last year was only on a temporary contract. I wasn’t too worried because they need somebody in my position so they might as well just keep me but I did get a bit fed up. Every job I’ve ever had has been temporary and I just wanted something permanent.
Someone in our team left and my manager encouraged me to apply for their job – she said I’d be able to keep my current role but I could get the permanent contract. It was very complicated and I was a bit annoyed that I had to re-interview for it but I did and was successful! I’m relieved to just know where I’m gonna be this time next year like what a dream. The interview was a ballache as I was feeling ill when it took place but thankfully it’s all over now and I have a permanent job and I can stay for as long as I want!
Little Nan’s 100th Birthday
Little Nan is my Great Nan and I’ve always considered myself really lucky to say that I have a Great Nan still with us. My brother has a son and some of my cousins have children so she is actually also a Great Great Nan which is actually amazing and such an achievement. Not only is Little Nan still with us she’s just incredible. Her eye-sight is going and she can’t walk long distances but for her age she’s fantastic.
I have so many amazing memories with my Little Nan so to be able to attend her 100th Birthday Party was incredible. It was actually also my Nan’s birthday so it was a joint party, my Nan turned 77. I recently found out my Little Nan gave birth to Nan in a cupboard under the stairs during an air raid during World War Two. Every time someone tells a story about my Little Nan I think ‘God, what an absolute badass’ because she just is.
The party was lovely, most of the family attended and Mum did a presentation on Little Nan’s life which was really interesting. It’s amazing how much she’s lived through. I don’t doubt she has many years left, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
She also got her card off the Queen which I thought was incredible! They even sent somebody out to double check she wasn’t lying about her age. I’m so happy I got to celebrate with her.
There we have it, those are my favourite memories from 2019. Here’s hoping 2020 is just as good!