Monday, 28 December 2015

My Year in Review: 2015 | The Small Desk

2015 has been the year of strong women in my family. It was the year my Grandma defeated a life-threatening illness aged 86, and the year both my mum and my sister graduated. My mum graduated to become an Alexander Technique teacher, and my sister graduated from a two year intensive Masters degree on the French Horn. It has been the year I've been very proud of the women in my family.

For me 2015 has been about exploring new restaurants in London with friends. I tucked into some exquisite samosas at the legendary vegetarian, Mildred's, chowed down on sour dough pizza at Franco Manca, and gorged on curry at the mythical Dishoom. It was also, unintentionally the year of ballet, unbelievably I was able to see all four of my favourite ballets: Onegin, La fe mal gardee, Romeo and Juliet, and The Nutcracker. I also managed to complete a project management qualification and feel slightly more grounded in terms of career.

This 'Year in Review' post is mostly a weird therapeutic thing for me to come to terms with the fact that another year has flown past, and another is quickly descending upon us. It is a way for me to look back at the year and to see how I haven't really been a lazy TV slob all year round, even though it feels like I have!

January 2015
It's always odd to look back to January in a 'Year in Review' post, as it's the furthest you can go back, and the closest month to arrive in the new year. This January I enjoyed a couple of new restaurants: Pizza Pilgrims and Dishoom, and we celebrated the boyf's 27th birthday. I also started reading more and swimming. I wrote 10 blog posts, which apart from March, is the most I've written in a month in 2015. It seems like I didn't do that much this month, but looking back on blog posts I appeared to do a lot of thinking.

February 2015
The month of love... this month I celebrated seven years with the boyf. Instead of a slap up meal we went to the most amazing Dolls House shop in north London where he bought me a mini cactus and mini porcelain cat. Talking of love, I went to see my favourite ballet of all time, Onegin, with my oldest friend who I've known since I was born. I also decided on a new person to join the company I work for, went to a Christie's auction, learnt how to be a First Aider, and caused a leak, which caused the flat downstairs's ceiling to collapse. All in all it was a month of two halves!

March 2015
March was the month I collected one of my most prized possessions, my Ercol Treviso desk, from the Ercol Outlet. I was star struck when I watched the art critic Richard Cork talk about his encounter with Picasso at Tate Britain. This is also the month I discovered the life-changing magic of online food shopping. Never again have I carried bottles of squash, washing tablets and toilet roll all in one bag.

Work-wise, I was lucky enough to collaborate with the most incredible branding agency, never have I worked with such creative, innovative and vivacious people. Being wrapped up in art, and awe-inspiring design, it was a bit of a shock to the system when I attended the first church wedding I've ever been to!

April 2015
The month I turned 27, and my younger sister turned 24 (what?!?). In April my mum graduated from her Alexander Technique school, we went to Charleston, the family home of Vanessa Bell, and I took a week off in work. During my week off I visited Brighton, the Barbican, and watched the Oxbridge boat race. I also tried Franco Manca for the first time, and went to see the ballet, La fe mal gardee, again with my oldest friend!

May 2015
This was the month of a two week Interrailing trip around Denmark and Sweden. A trip I will never forget. I did about seven blog posts about this trip! This was also the month I got addicted to Pretty Little Liars TV show, reunited with an old Uni friend, and my sister finished her Masters degree.

June 2015
In June I became a qualified Prince2 project manager, and gave a talk at my old University about my work project. It was a month I felt very well established in my career. We went rowing for my mum's birthday on a canal, I went to Broadway market for the first time, and after 15 years I changed my current account.

July 2015
Looking back at the photos from July makes me excited for summer again. Those long days where you can leisurely stroll home in the light, and where you can picnic in the park, are absolutely glorious. One of my fondest memories from July of this year was taking a picnic to Richmond Park. We sat on a hill and watched over the park, whilst intermittently reading our books and nibbling on bread and dips.

July also had the hottest day of the year, with a whopping 35 degrees. I found a note in my diary telling myself to work from home that day; commuting plus heat does not equal a good result!

This was also the month that one of my good friends from work left to become a teacher, and we had our work summer party, which the boyf attended.

My sister graduated this month from her two year Masters degree, and I started Travel Bloggers Chat, which I just have not had the energy to keep going with. I think it might be right to close it down. I enjoyed watching the Wimbledon final, and an outing to see the Barbara Hepworth exhibition at Tate with my Mum.

August 2015
For a week in August I escaped with some friends to the seaside town of Perranporth in Cornwall. We had glorious weather for the first few days and I enjoyed bodyboarding for the first time since I was a child. We ate out almost every day and inhaled countless ice creams. I even went for a run on the beach, I think that despite the ice creams this was the healthiest week of my life!

August saw the return of the Great British Bake Off, and this was the last time I got my hair dyed.

September 2015
September saw the glorious summer days drift away, the clouds pull in and the daylight fade. It always feels like a new year in September, probably because my entire life has been dictated by the academic calendar. A cold took over my body for half of the month. I saw the film Marshland at the Electric Cinema, started my twelve week pottery course, and my cousin got married. It was also the month that the joy that is the heated drying rack came into my life.

October 2015
This is the month I started looking for flats to buy. I took a few days holiday from work, and went to Arundel Castle with my Dad. I also went to the Seven Sisters, Ai WeiWei's exhibition at the RA, and Mildred's veggie restaurant. I felt like a teenager again at a Halloween party, and felt sick in the YellowBluePink haze at the Wellcome Collection. At the end of the month we took my sister to Brighton and watched the waves roll in and out of the beach.

November 2015
This was the month my Grandma went into hospital with meningitis bacteria. She survived and even came to Christmas this year, which was incredibly inspirational.

The boyfriend's parents came to London, and enjoyed fish and chips at a fancy Marylebone pub. I got to see my third ballet of the year, Romeo and Juliet, and saw my work project go to beta. We made an offer on a flat that was rejected, and I started the Feed Your Soul newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

December 2015
This is the month we moved offices at work. It was very disorientating, but everyone came together and helped each other out with the move. I enjoyed a couple of local meals out with the family, had catch up lunches with a few old friends, finished my pottery course, made an offer on a whole house, went to Banbury, celebrated @colouredskies birthday and had a Christmas meal with my school friends at the Gate! Phew!

As for Christmas, well sometimes you don't realise how good a time you're having until it's finished. I stayed at my parents for four nights from 23rd. On the 24th me and my sister went to watch The Nutcracker. On Christmas Day my grandparents and my auntie and her partner came over and my Mum made the most spectacular Christmas dinner. It was a dream day, there were no arguments whatsoever! When everyone had gone we played games and then on Boxing Day we went out for lunch at a local National Trust property and had leftovers for dinner. Then on the 27th we went to another National Trust property for lunch and a walk. I've loved being back with my family. It's such a weird feeling – you feel like a child again, and then you're thrust back into adulthood again after Christmas. I guess until you have children this will always be what happens.

Overall, as usual the most important things to me are family, friends, travel and career. It is also very important to me to document my life, albeit in an anonymous way, through my blog. I've not treated my blog in quite the same way that other bloggers do, and don't post as often as I would like, so thank you for sticking with me this year and for reading The Small Desk!

Please leave your links to any Christmas or New Year blog posts, and farewell to 2015!

Related posts: My Year in Review: 2014
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