Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2018 A Year in Review

These round-up posts are definitely my most favourite blog posts of the year to write (even though I haven't posted here for a while).  It always amazes me looking back and seeing how much I have achieved in the year so it was a no brainer for me to complete another this year.


I started the year off in January feeling positive about 2017 and all I had achieved.  I was adamant I wanted 2018 to be much the same, however I started the year off in bed with a horrendous cold and feeling very sorry for myself.  In fact much of January was spent feeling a bit under the weather and generally out of sorts.  I did still manage to get out and about and achieve a few things though.  An evening at the theatre to see my first pantomime, which was a great disappointment that saw us leaving very early on.  A couple of cinema trips one to see the new Jumanji film the other to see Darkest Hour both of which I loved.  A day by the sea visiting Walton-on-the-Naze walking along the pier, playing in the arcades and admiring the many pretty coloured beach huts along the sea front.  Dinner out with a friend at Bills.  Lots of cosy nights in drinking tea and reading.  Plus making plans for the year ahead with a day out to France with friends, my soon to be sister in law's hen weekend and a trip to Disneyland Paris to complete their 10k run all booked, the diary was fast filling up.


This was the month that saw me focussing on my fitness.  I went to my first boot camp session and started running regularly on the treadmill at home, all in preparation for my 10K run in Disneyland Paris in September (little did I know at this point that it would not continue through the year).  A weekend was spent exploring Oxford including an amazing dinner at the Malmaison Hotel.  I had a delicious vegetarian afternoon tea at Le Bouchen in Heybridge to celebrate a colleagues 60th birthday.  Lots of Valentines themed doughnuts were devoured at work.  Brunch was enjoyed with a good friend and her gorgeous little boy as we caught up on all that is going on in one another's lives.  A cinema trip to watch the new Jumani film again but this time in 4D, it was fantastic, and far better then seeing a film in 2D.


Lots of snowfall in March.  Crisp walks listening to the crunching snow underfoot.  Lots of cosy nights in reading with the candles lit.  A night out with friends celebrating a birthday.  I had my hair cut short, donating my hair to the Little Princess Trust charity.  And a day trip to France with some friends.


The month of April started in the beautiful island of Malta.  We were treated to a few days of sunshine although it could have been a little warmer but anything was a bonus following the snow we had been experiencing a few weeks previously back in the UK.  A little drive out in Essex to discover the picturesque village of Finchingfield.  Another highlight of the month was meeting Jenny Colgan at the Women's Prize for Fiction Baileys Book Bar event in London, I seriously love her books. 
  I embraced Spring in April, there were tulips and peony's galore, my favourite.


May saw me leaping above the treetops at Go Ape then spending the afternoon exploring Bury St Edmunds.  A day out in London walking through Kensington and Chelsea seeing the gorgeous wisteria adorning the grand houses.  After 3 years I finally got to fly in a hot air balloon.  One of the most peaceful and calming experiences of my life and something I've had on my bucket list for years.  I spent another day heading back into London to see Aladdin at the theatre with my parents, a really good show and a great way to celebrate my Dad's birthday.  An annual trip to the Essex Young Farmers Show and of course you have to check out the steam carousel.  And lastly the second Bank holiday Monday was spent in Halstead stopping for a bite to eat and checking out the antique centre.


An evening was spent under the stars watching Back to the Future at the outdoor cinema.  Riverside walks were enjoyed in the sunshine.  I was able to cross something else of my bucket list and ride in a helicopter, only I go to try my hand at flying it myself too.  This was followed by brunch with Mum and my Nan at one of my favourite little tea rooms The Doll's House Café in Harrow on The Hill.  It was during June that I picked up my new wheels after not having a car for a year and a half.  I celebrated this new piece of independence by driving to Wolverhampton with my Nan to visit the David Austin Rose Garden which literally blew me away with it's beauty, and of course we had afternoon tea to top of the day trip. I spent a weekend in Center Parcs celebrating my sister in law's hen weekend, it was here I got to try my hand at archery.  A day trip to Margate, walking along the beach and enjoying the rides in Dreamland.  Plus meeting the Gruffalo at Chessington World of Adventures with my friend and her little girl


The highlight of July for me was my brother and his now wife's wedding, it was such a beautiful day and I felt privileged to be a part of their special day.  I crossed the final thing from my 30 Before 30 list (only a year too late) and climbed the roof of the O2.  I celebrated my birthday with lots of cake and was treated to dinner at the Giggling Squid Thai restaurant in Brentwood, somewhere I have wanted to try for a while.  I spent a morning checking out the food festival at Cressing Temple Barns with a friend where lots of Disney chat took place.  I also got to visit the Lavender farm again this year, I last visited in 2016 and promised myself I would return.  This time I went along with my Mum, she loved it just as much as I did.


During August an evening after work was spent in London catching up with a friend visiting from America in Greenwich, the company was amazing and the sunset was beautiful.  A lazy morning was spent in a coffee shop, sipping on my Starbucks coffee and enjoyed my book with no interruptions.  Country walks were had.  After years of enjoying V-Festival on my doorstep in Chelmsford this year saw the arrival of RiZe Festival and it didn't disappoint with the highlight being Sean Paul who was just as good as I imagined him to be.  I took part in a 5K Bubble Rush run for a local hospice as part of my training for the Disney 10K Run of which little training has taken place and time was running out.


By far the best month of 2018 for me.  Finally after months of planning the month arrived that I would be going to Disneyland Paris and what an incredible trip it was.  I ran my first ever 10K, and it was such a great achievement.  I am so glad this trip happened.  September was also the start of the signs of autumn, my favourite season of the year and the return of Pumpkin Spiced Lattes to Starbucks and X=Factor to our TV screens of a Saturday night.


The month of all things pumpkin spice, a time when autumn becomes it's own. A visit to the Pumpkin patch, pretty much customary for October.  My Mum & Dad surprised me with a Mickey shaped pumpkin macaroon all the way from Walt Disney World that the managed to get back in their hand luggage.  A day tip into London to visit the Instagram famous Peggy Porschen Cakes to check out their Halloween décor and gorgeous cakes.  Pumpkins.  Country walks and discovering my first ever red toadstool. Pumpkins.  Lots of candlelit evenings with pumpkin scented candles of course.  Halloween night complete with carved pumpkins, I loved my Dracula Mickey pumpkin this year.  Did I mention pumpkins?


I managed to squeeze in two firework displays this month, the first the local display in Chelmsford and the second one being Disney themed which was pretty amazing.  A day trip to London to check out the 90th Mickey Mouse anniversary art exhibition in Shoreditch.  We spent the rest of the day checking out some of the museums around the city and spotting the first of the Christmas decorations and ice rinks.  A new destination was explored, a day trip to Ipswich, another place I have never visited before, the building were quite something.


Lots of festive days our were enjoyed during December including 2 visits to the Backyard Cinema on Clapham Common within Winterville.  The first to see Home Alone, the second to see Love Actually.  The lights around London were enjoyed including some festive cocktails in Covent Garden plus the beautiful festive displays in Liberty's, Covent Garden and Regent Street.  I picked up the keys to my new home this month too, a beautiful little cottage that I can't wait to share more on very soon.  A day by the coast to see the seals and their pups in Horsey was just what was ordered to blow away those cobwebs and to work off the Christmas dinner and all those hot chocolates I have been sipping on by the Christmas tree.  The month was ended nicely with a day out in Durham, such a sweet little city with beautiful architecture to admire.

And so another year draws to a close.  2018 you were certainly eventful.  I can't wait to see what 2019 has in store for us all.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

~ Gem x

1 comment:

  1. OOoh, so much goodness and fun this year. I am very glad you had so many positive experiences Gem! Excited to hear more about your cottage!!! It's been a year since we bought our house so I know that feeling of excitement!!x