‘A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor’ – well my 2017 was so choppy that I must be the most skilled sailor out! Thinking about all of the challenges and difficulties this year has thrown at me, it can be easy to forget that some pretty great things happened too. In a bid to remember all of the things I’m grateful for, I’ve drawn up a list of my favourite moments of 2017.
So without further ado (and in no particular order) …
Reuniting with Jey in Abu Dhabi
Going to Abu Dhabi to reunite with Jey and her family was the best summer holiday I could have asked for. Quad biking through the sand dunes, looking out from the peak of the world’s tallest building and reminiscing about our most embarrassing teen moments – it was an amazing week and I’m ready to go back, like right now…
Watching Coldplay Perform Yellow Live
Everyone has that one song that is loaded with so many memories, it can put you on Cloud 9, make you miss someone you haven’t thought about in years, howl with laughter, weep sorrowfully or do all of these things at once like one big mess. Yellow is that song for me, so to be able to say that I have seen Coldplay play it live is one big tick on my bucket list.
I’ve been friends with Ayako since our Japanese school exchange, where she came to stay with me for a fortnight and the following year I then travelled to Osaka to stay with her wonderful family. We’ve kept in touch, but 2017 was the first time I actually saw Ayako for four years. We had two great weekends together during Spring, one where she came to visit me in Cardiff and the other where we met in London and did all of the classic touristy attractions. Now that Ayako’s back in Japan, I think it’s about time I look at booking a flight, before another four years pass!
All of my preconceptions about Amsterdam were proved completely wrong. Granted, we probably didn’t take on Amsterdam the way most tourists do (in other words, stag dos), but the cycling through tulip fields, zenning out in hot yoga, eating Bratwurst in the Foodhallen and looking out at the city from the rooftop of our AirBnB made for a great girls weekend.
Dreamgirls at The Savoy
When confirmation came that Dreamgirls was coming to the West End, the family WhatsApp group went crazy. We needed tickets and we needed them now!
The show was everything we had hoped for and more. The singing was absolutely breathtaking, with the performance of ‘And I Am Telling You’ and ‘Listen’ reducing everyone in the audience to tears.
For weeks afterwards we would all sporadically break into “We’re your dream girls ooo we’ll make you happy…” (I’m singing it right now, I literally can’t stop).
Turning 22 at Royal Ascot
Although I’m refusing to accept that I’m 22, spending my birthday with two of my favourite things – champagne and horses – was a pretty special way to bid farewell to my 21 year old self. Placing two winning bets with absolutely no racing knowledge at all (other than the Irish seem pretty good) and spending my winnings immediately on bubbles, becoming a fully fledged adult didn’t seem too bad. But if anyone asks, I’m still 21!
Owen x Jackson x Lowe Christmas
Spending Christmas with family was exactly the way I’d have wished to have closed the book on 2017. Spending some quality time at home, laughing and dancing was the perfect reminder of what is actually important. My waistline may not be grateful, but I certainly am for having enjoyed such a wonderful Christmas.