I know we're half way through January but I really wanted to do a round up post of 2016. I know I didn't blog for about half the year but these are just the memories that I'm particularly fond of. I looked back on a post that I did similar to this at the end of 2015 and it's SO lovely to reflect on, I just had to do another one for this year. This is possibly the longest post ever by me so congratulations if you somehow make it to the end!
I then had the first of MANY incredible days out with my sister. We did a London street art tour and I discovered one of my new favourite artists, Stink Fish! He creates works of art that are based on images of displaced people from different cultures and I think they're beautiful.
I was then lucky enough to have a 4 day trip with my sister and mother in Florence in the Spring. I studied Renaissance art last year and having the opportunity to visit Florence was brilliant. I managed to see so many works of art that I'd previously had to write about in essays and that was a thrilling experience.
I then spent a couple of days in Bournemouth to celebrate my best friends birthday. This was a really difficult time of the year for both of us but having those days away to spend time just the two of us, talking and relaxing was really therapeutic for us.
I then had a surprise spa day with my mum! I know this was taken on my snapchat but it's lovely to remember this day. My mum surprised me with a day at the spa and it was really luxurious. My mum always comes up with thoughtful days to have with me and it's days like those that have built our really strong relationship. I adore her and she is so easy to talk to.
A brilliant day with my sister was at the Beyonce Lemonade concert. She called me the week before and surprised me with the ticket and it was just what was needed. I had a huge emotional loss in my life earlier that week and it really picked me up. It reminded me about how important family are and gave me time to reset myself.
Now don't judge me, because I know this is just a quick snap but these are gifts from girls who left work this year. When year 13 leave they sometimes give you gifts to thank you for working with them (I work as a teacher in an art department at a school). It isn't about the gifts at all, but being appreciated by the girls with personalised gifts is just the most lovely thing and it made me feel so valued.
I then had a lovely relaxing start to my summer holiday by going away with my two best friends to Spain! They have a house there and having the opportunity to go and stay with them is amazing. I'm so fortunate to be able to spend a whole week with my best friends and it we had a brilliant time.
STRAIGHT after that holiday I left for Copenhagen to visit my friend again for a week. She's the most unjudgemental person I know. I feel like I could say anything to her and not ONCE would she respond to judgement, she understands my thought processes perfectly and I adore her.
This sounds like I'm bragging now but I honestly just want to give an accurate account of my year! My whole family then went to Antigua for our group holiday. We also took my aunt and uncle which was a lot of fun. Antigua was the most beautiful country and I recognise how fortunate I am.
I'm really private about my relationship with my partner but we had our one year anniversary in September. 2016 was the hardest year of his life and of course I couldn't help but let it affect me. His happiness is my happiness and his sadness is my sadness but I could not be prouder of how he responded to hardship and pain.
I've got to talk about work. I work as an art teacher and it is just the best job in the world. I'm thoroughly inspired by art every day and the work my students produce. This was a hilarious day with one of my best friends who just happens to also be my boss. We took the girls to two art galleries in London and got to see this lovely work of art!
I've already discussed my trip to Iceland but I wanted to mention it again because Iceland was the top of my list for travel. It was an incredible country with an amazing culture.
Fireworks night was lovely. I felt so ill and unmotivated but I was so glad I went. I was able to spend time with my best friend watching fireworks which has always been a special night for me. It's more significant to me than new years eve or halloween and I don't even know why! But I loved celebrating with her.
Of course, I have to mention how special everyone made me feel on my birthday. My mum made me a banoffee pie and I had a night with my family as I always do. I was then treated with a spa day by Dannie which was followed by a surprise dinner with my favourite people. She knows me so well to know that would be the PERFECT way for me to celebrate.
As a final celebration my sister took me for a day of brunch and exploring Kew Gardens. She always knows how to plan a day that I'll enjoy and her idea was so thoughtful. One of my favourite things to do is be in a large outside space and although I find London a stressful place to visit, she knew to take me to somewhere that wasn't overcrowded.
Lastly, but by no means least was my final Christmas party with work. I am leaving my current school this summer and it was lovely to have my final Christmas party with my colleagues. They're such supportive and loving people and I can't imagine what it's going to be like in September, not working with them. Christmas was the most amazing time, my favourite time of the year.
I hope your 2016 was just as fantastic. Although there were some horrendous global events, I had so many personal struggles, there were also a lot of highlights.
If you've read this far... you deserve a medal.
Love & hugs,