A photo taken at midnight on New Year's Eve. I think you'll agree, it's a masterpiece.
Greetings! It's only been three weeks since I last blogged, but we're now officially a week into the new year. Speaking of which, I think I might make a belated resolution never to use the word "greetings" at the start of a blog entry again...
Well, it's that time of year when we all start looking back over the year just gone and then forward to the year just beginning. Or rather, it would have been that time of year, had I written this at some time between December 29th - January 3rd, like I planned to. To be honest, we've kind of gone past that time of year, but hey, who cares?! In 2015, I'm a rebel who writes new year posts a week later than planned!
Ahem. Anyway, I did make a resolution or two this year. One was, as always, to stop biting my nails. Progress was made in that area, until two nails broke this week and I ended up gnawing the rest of them down to the same length, like the five-foot gerbil I apparently am. The other, more important one, was to finish editing the novel I wrote last year and do my best to get it published. Frankly, even if I end up posting it chapter by chapter here, I want it out there, so to speak. That said, nothing quite beats the feeling of holding an actual book in your hand and thinking: "I wrote this!"
Remember when I was a published author AND still had naturally curly hair?! CRAZY TIMES.
So, what was good about 2014?
Well, I measure my years by the memories I made (and yes, that's a statement so utterly saccharine, I suggest you all brush your teeth after reading it) and although 2014 had its ups and downs in places, there were some fantastic memories made. So forgive me if I get all nostalgic for a moment...
Seconds after this was taken, I fell on my arse. True story.
I started the year with a discovery: Fake ice is horrible to skate on. Real ice is lovely; you glide smoothly across it and you feel all Wintery. I have never, ever fallen over when skating on real ice. Fake ice? Feels like you're skating on a chopping board. I adore ice skating, but I think I'll stick to the real stuff in future!
In January, I also went to see Matt Smith in American Psycho The Musical (which I reviewed here). I hung around afterwards, because DUH, Matt Smith, but I didn't meet him. However, he did wave at me, so clearly he was secretly in love with me...
I also announced that my resolution for 2014 was to finish the novel I had begun the previous year and to get it published. Bit of a big stretch for one year. I finished it, though. Just have to edit it down, now...
In February, we established that you're never too old to pose in a ride meant for children.
In February, Lizzie and I went to Butlin's. Get used to the "Lizzie and I went to Butlin's" part of that sentence, because it's going to crop up a lot in this little 2014 review... We get asked now and then why we go during family breaks and not to the adult weekends. The reason is twofold:
1. We've heard some major horror stories about the adult weekends that nearly turned my hair back to being curly. Lizzie and I have both had bad experiences when it comes to being hassled in a very negative way by blokes who haven't quite understood the word "no," so we avoid that by going during a time when most people are there with their kids. It's not that we hate being chatted up or we're not looking to meet a nice guy (we are!), it's just... Well, like I said: HORROR STORIES. We're also a pair of big children, who actually enjoy watching Scooby Doo Live. Me more than Lizzie... Oh and there wouldn't be party dances on an adult weekend, would there?! WHAT IS BUTLIN'S WITHOUT THOSE?!
2. We've never agreed on a weekend we'd both equally enjoy. That said, there's an adult weekend on my birthday this year and I quite fancy it...
Also in February, Lydia booked tickets for she and I to go to an open air concert on Weston-Super-Mare beach. 5ive and The Backstreet Boys were going to be there, which was our reason for going. McBusted were headlining, but we weren't quite so fussed about them...
March was the month of sticking your head against someone else's.
My parents celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary in March. I say "celebrated" but actually... I'm not sure we marked it in any way, whatsoever. Still...
In March, Kirstie and I travelled to Cardiff to see "our boys," the Manic Street Preachers. If I remember rightly it was my twelfth time of seeing them live and still just as exciting as the first. And since our gig outfits always look fabulous, darling, here's a photo:
Mum and I on a rollercoaster. Because life is one, according to Ronan Keating. Or something.
Mum and I had a mother-daughter day out to Crealy in April. Seeing as I've now not been to Alton Towers in well over a year and am craving a rollercoaster, this little trip may need repeating. We had a lovely day and I laughed way too much when we got utterly soaked on the log flume.
Also in April, I had my fourth tattoo. A quote from Doctor Who, with a shooting star above it, inked on my foot. I bloody LOVE it.
What I don't love is my curled toes. I swear, I have normal feet. Honest.
The most important thing that happened in April was that I finished my novel. Sure, it was something crazy like 12,000 words over limit, but it was FINISHED. Quite an achievement, even if I do say so myself.
In May, I was badly dressed and Kirstie & Lizzie looked like they should be in a band.
My younger sister turned 28 in May, which
made me feel really old was lovely.
My friends and I had a fabulous girly day out, during which we went toboganning and I almost had an asthma attack from laughing at Kirstie choosing to go so slowly that she was practically indicating round bends. I love that girl.
Rusty, the labradoodle who I joke my mum loves more than me (which I would practically approve of, because he's awesome) turned 2 in May. Aw.
Check out that beard.
Lizzie and I also went back to Butlin's, because OF COURSE WE DID.
And again: Weeee!
In June, I did something I'd never done before. I tried water-skiing. I blogged about it, but the link isn't to hand, so... You know, search for it or something. Or not. It was amazing fun, even though I only managed to stand up for something like 4 seconds at a time. The big downer of the day? My mum nearly drowned. Yeeaah, she fell off a jetty into the sea. And she can't swim. And I screamed and froze to the spot like a useless idiot. She was pulled from the water by a workmate and a guy who never gave his name (I think it may have been Batman), much to my shrieking relief. She has vowed never to go near water again. Except the shower, because she'd stink otherwise.
Also in June, Lydia and I went to that gig I mentioned in Weston-Super-Mare. The Backstreet Boys cancelled... And McBusted became our mutual OBSESSION. They were so good. Like... SO BLOODY GOOD. Considering they were the band we weren't that fussed about seeing, we drove back to our hotel afterwards and could talk about literally nothing besides how brilliant they were. Shortly afterwards, James Bourne replaced Matt Smith as my number one crush and I totally blame him for the fact that I'm so into blonde guys now... Lydia and I have OMFG tickets to McBusted's 2015 tour and to say I'm excited is the understatement of the century. Every time I think about it, I want to pee.
So I'll say again: WEEEE!
Lizzie and I went to... SOMEWHERE OTHER THAN BUTLIN'S.
July was the month in which London held its annual Film & Comic Con. I went dressed as a TARDIS. Lizzie went dressed as a character from Skyrim and basically outdid me on every level with her awesomeness. I met Jenna Coleman and Paul McGann and was a massive fangirl about it.
Paul McGann is just one of the nicest celebrities I've met. He took the time to shake everyone's hand and ask their name. And he told me he would happily "wield" my sonic screwdriver. Which he then held upside down, but hey, a lot has changed since 1996...
I had forgotten how deep a shade of red my hair was in July, too. Not that I dye my hair or anything. It changes colour by itself. By MAGIC.
My amazing mum turned 62 in August. She rocks.
After being engaged for a thousand years(!), my gorgeous friend Kirstie got married in August. We had a hen do, during which we randomly attempted balloon modelling (badly) and Lydia and I wrote "Kirstie" on our chests and practically wet ourselves laughing. It was an awesome night, spent with the best friends a girl could ask for:
Lydia had ballon-skillz.
August also saw Lizzie and I go to... Can you guess?! Yeeeeaaaah, we went back to Butlin's. Why? Because that is WHAT LIZZIE AND I DO. It was another awesome trip, filled with laughter and silliness. We met two new redcoats. Oh and we met Gareth Gates. As you do.
It could happen to ANY one of us.
August wasn't all fun and games, though. That was the month when the world lost one of the sharpest comic minds and one of the most cherished actors of a generation. I grew up watching Robin Williams' films. He was a legend in my eyes and always will be. His death - in such tragic circumstances - affected me more than almost any other celebrity's ever has. If there's a Heaven, I bet he has them all in stitches up there.
My dad turned 57 in September. September babies are the bestest babies.
I also had a birthday in September. I turned (whisper it) 32. My friends and I celebrated this with a trip to a private karaoke booth, so I could unleash the frustrated diva within me. It was so good, we've been back again since and are talking of making it a semi-regular thing. You've gotta love a sing-song.
A week later, I went to Adrenaline Quarry with my mum and some workmates, where I went on a massive swing over said quarry and then jumped off a cliff. Just your typical Sunday...
I'm the one on the right in both pictures. The one screaming her FACE off in the top one.
In an unfortunate event, I accidentally saw a photo of my abusive ex in September. It wasn't fun to have those memories come flooding back, but on the plus side, my gut reaction was: "He looks like a gnome." Progress is progress, guys.
In October, Lizzie developed a taste for human blood.
October saw my mum retire from work. The kids still ask how she is and what she's up to, even three months later!
Lizzie and I went back to Butlin's and dressed up for Halloween a day early, because we like to be ahead of trends.
November was the month I turned into a man.
Lydia and I channelled Dougie Poynter and James Bourne in November. We did a bit of posing and leaping about and, to our delight, made it into the fan video for McBusted's debut single, Air Guitar.
My workmates and I also went out in November, to celebrate mum's retirement with a scrumptious dinner.
Mum and I went 1950s style. Rock and roooooll.
Oh and I went to work dressed as Superman for Children in Need. Like you do.
In the Navy... You can sail the seven seas...
Kirstie and I went to London in December, where we saw the Manics for the second time in 2014. Only this time, it was particularly special; the band were playing their acclaimed 1994 album, The Holy Bible in full (as well as performing a greatest hits set). The night was one I'll never forget (I blogged about it here) and I'm rather sad not to be going to another Holy Bible gig this May/June. Love my boys...
Christmas was upon us before we knew it and I had a lovely time with my family. I'm lucky to have these guys in my life and I was thoroughly spoilt this year!
Family portraits. We're doing them right.
After Christmas it was New Year (and the award for stating the obvious goes to.... ME!) and Lizzie and I ended 2014 in the same place we started it... BUTLIN'S, Well, duh.
I see a camera and the rock horn just sort of... HAPPENS.
And so that was that. Another year done and dusted.
So what of 2015? Well, so far, I've got a few plans lined up: Butlin's in February (of course), McBusted and Derren Brown in April and no doubt plenty more besides. I've cut another chunk of words from my novel and this will be the year it sees the light of day, fingers and toes crossed.
Above all, here's hoping 2015 is happy and healthy. I spent half of 2014 with acute sinusitis and you know... If I'm going to have a cute anything, I'd rather it was my bum. Best of luck to all of you with any plans you have for this year and I hope 2015 is awesome for us all. I'll be here with my endless wittering on, of course. The year may change, but some things never do...