2016 was a bit of a year.
From political decisions that shook the long-standing beliefs I’ve had about other people, to losing my Gran and many icons that I’ve grown-up loving (Carrie Fisher, George Michael, David Bowie), it’s one that I’ll be happy to see the back of.
However, lots of pretty great stuff happened this year too so I’m going to be sharing my best bits and favourite things from the year.
I survived living by myself for a whole year
To say I occasionally have limited common sense if perhaps an understatement. So the year I spent living by myself was one that was insanely valuable. From teaching me how to re-pressure a boiler, how to live on very minimal funds and just really helped shape me as a person. Having 12 months of getting to be a tiny bit selfish and just focused on doing what I want when I want was lovely, and as much a learning experience as the job I had at the time. You can read my thoughts on living alone here.
A holiday in Spain
This was essentially our last family holiday and it was so lovely to return to the place I grew up going on holiday to. You can read my holiday post here.
I got onto a grad scheme
As an explanation for those of you outside of the UK university system, grad schemes are the large graduate recruitment schemes, usually focused on fast-tracking graduates into management positions across the sectors from the financial, consultancy and civil service. Whilst I graduated back in 2014, I applied to the NGDP, the local government graduate scheme, and after a long application process got myself a job which also means…
I moved to London
After years of trying to avoid moving to the capital city having been put off by the high prices and anxiety about everyone being mean (and the fact I wouldn’t be able to keep up my ability to live alone), my grad scheme job being at one of the London Borough’s meant waving goodbye to Birmingham and hello to London. And I love it. I love the buzz you feel when you walk anywhere. I love the diversity of the different areas of the city and its population. I love being near museums, and theatres, and restaurants and landmarks that I would previously have to plan visits weeks in advance for. I’m lucky that I’ve got myself some great new friends and old friends in this city and I’m excited to have it be my new home. You can read my moving post here.
And then, in terms of my other favourite things from 2016…
Top Books I Read in 2016:
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, an excellent modernisation of Pride & Prejudice
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, the original Gone Girl
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers, a pleasant science fiction surprise
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale, a heartbreaking look at being different in Edwardian society
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, a wonderful exploration of what it means to fit in, stand out and be different
Top Films I Saw in 2016:
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, a comforting return to the magical world of JK Rowling, which is just what I needed
Bridget Jones’s Baby, again getting to see old favourite characters back on the big screen was great, and this film was laugh-out-loud funny continually
The Grand Budapest Hotel, not a new release but I completely fell in love with this film when I watched it on Netflix and have since fallen into a Wes Anderson shaped hole
Top Things I Saw on Stage in 2016
Dreamgirls @ Savoy Theatre, my review is pretty gushing, but this has some of the best singing on the West End going on. Adam J Bernard and Amber Riley are complete stars.
In the Heights @ King’s Cross Theatre, I was thrilled to finally get to see a show whose cast recording I have been listening to for years. This is closing on Sunday, but was such good fun.
The Tempest @ Donmar at King’s Cross Theatre, this all-female production of Shakespeare’s classic was wonderful and considering I was totally unfamiliar with the text made perfect sense to me
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty @ Birmingham Hippodrome, I’d wanted to see a Matthew Bourne production forever, so getting to his dark gothic twist on the classic tale was such a treat. I’m very jealous of anyone who managed to get tickets for The Red Shoes.
So that was my 2016, although I’m glad to see it gone a lot of wonderful things happened too.