Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 - what a year!

Wow. We're here again already! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?

Did I stick to my New Year Resolutions? Kind of. Let's talk about that tomorrow. You know what I did do though?  

I did have a bl**dy good time.

In January I tried out skiing for the first time, and gotcompletely out of my comfort zone. I hated the slopes, loved the après. Various big birthday celebrations as well with a 60th and a 21st very close to home.

I had some low key birthday celebrations (for the first timeever) with a family gathering, an amazing dim suum brunch with Mr G at Hakkasan (go try it!) and a few quiet dinners and drinks so I saved my energy for Laura's country house hen weekend.  Arts, crafts, cocktails, childhood favouritefilms and country pubs. What a wonderful weekend it was!

February saw us celebrate Valentine's Day with my favouritenew neighbour, Katy (obvs), in our onesies whilst Mr G cooked us up a Thai feastand then went to bed early and left us to it in the conservatory! And THAT iswhy we love him!  February ended with the wedding of the gorgeous Mr and MrsGilbert. She looked like a vintage movie star... until I had a fall and bledall over her dress! Ahhh, what memories we made! I also went to see The Drowned Man. Nearly a year on, and after two viewings and I still daydream about it.

March was equally filled with family and friends, and cake.So much cake. The Jablonska kids and grandkids took a road trip North to hangout with our Grandpa/Pappy and Doreen and then I spent a glorious weekend backin Paris with a gaggle of girls for Bhavisha's food-filled hen weekend.  Mr G and I popped in to the James Bondexhibition at the London Film Museum and ended the month with a joint familyafternoon tea for Mother's Day.

In April Laura, Gemma and made like Made in Chelsea, gottipsy at Harvey Nicks and spent the afternoon personal shopping in Topshop. Ifound my perfect jeans. What a triumph. A Fake Easter celebration with all the family, followed by a brilliantgirls' weekend away in sunny Brighton for Heather's hen weekend got us all inthe mood for a sunny summer... I also discovered a new obsession. McBusted.Some free tickets through work seemed like a good idea. I'm now in full fangirlmode!

May got started with another wedding, for Richard andHeather, Mr and Mrs Delaney, and a mini reunion as some old friends flew back from the other sideof the world to celebrate with us all. Wespent the rest of May chilling, in anticipation of the crazy summer that was tofollow.  

June started with secret Bollywood dance training for Bhavisha'swedding, a weekend in the forest at CenterParcs, wake boarding, segwaying andgenerally drinking and riding, before Bhavisha and Ritz's wedding extravaganzaat One Marylebone and The Grove. Three days, two venues, four outfits, onehorse, a million (give or take) roses and the most stunning of brides. What aweekend it was. To recover, we went to The Fling and woke up the next morningwith straw in the bed, a raft of bruises and very sore heads. From what I foundon my camera it was fun...

And, oh yeah. A minor point. I got promoted. BOOOOOOOM! Wecelebrated with cocktails at the ShangriLa at the Shard.

July was mainly spent spent brunching, BBQing, afternoon tea-ing, gintasting, dancing in the rain at Somerset House to Sam Smith before jetting offon our Deep South road trip.

We started in New Orleans for party times, flew to Miami,picked up a car and drove down to the Florida Keys for a few days on the beach beforeheading back to Miami to meet up with Anna for more party times. After that wedrove north to hang out with The Griffiths in Orlando at Universal Studios for a few daysand then carried on up the coast to Savannah and Charleston for some history,culture and A.Mazing food. Pulled pork eggs Benedict... who knew? 

Sadly, I missed the first half of August, and thus Liz'sLondon hen party, but made it back in time for Claire's birthday celebrationsand to meet up with visiting friends from Germany and the US.

September started with a soggy but wonderful visit to theopen air cinema at Regent's Park with Laura and Gemma to watch Breakfast atTiffany's. A great setting for a great classic! As usual it stayed busywith a baby shower, a pop up dinner date at The Art of Dining, a 30thbirthday, a girly movie date and two stunning weddings. The first in Cannes, for the lovely Liz and Jon, Mr and Mrs Wong. A welcomeparty on the beach on Friday night (complete with gold leaf macaroons and acrepe station), followed by a touching ceremony high in the hills of Grassebefore drinks, dinner and dancing in the most stunning chateau I'm ever likelyto lay eyes on on Saturday all rounded off with open air brunch, games andserenading on Sunday morning. Mr G and I also celebrated our 5 year anniversary whilst wewere there. Cleverly, he booked the Five hotel or the (V) for dinner, and beingthe hotel/dining spot of choice for Mr and Mrs Pitt, you can imagine howamazing(ly expensive) it was!  The month ended with our last wedding of the year for Dannyand Louise. Canapés, drinks, dancing and great times. There was even a boat fora spot of messing about on the river! 

October was the climax of my BONKERS-busy work year, whichall ended in a massive event in Athens. I spent the day after in an NHS walk incentre following a crazy allergic reaction to 100 mosquito bites! I still havethe scars! We also spent some lovely quality time with friends by the seasideflying kites and eating fish and chips, saying farewell to Claire's Waterloohome with a girly night in, a godfamily catch up at the W hotel and someimpromptu Halloween costume and cocktail making.

November started with Poppy Planting at the Tower of London.I had to hustle hard to get a place, but I managed it, and took along some ofmy most patriotic friends to enjoy the experience with me. It was great to bepart of something so massive, inclusive and beautiful because of everything itrepresents for us as individuals and for our country as a whole.  It ended with a big family trip to Amsterdam where we stayedat a hotel that reminded me of the Jetsons' house (I had to explain to mycousins who the Jetsons were. I'm old!) and generally just hung out totgther,eating food, drinking cocktails and catching up. A perfectly chilled familyweekend away.

December!!! December was full of festive fun with friends,family and colleagues for Christmas parties, birthday celebrations and cosycatch ups.

So, what a year. Full of highs and lows.  As I mentioned in my Five Photos post.

But, in looking back, the lows are far, far outweighed bythe highs. I've made new friends, focussed on deepening existing, cherishedfriendships. I've taken risks by putting myself outside of my comfort zone andchallenging myself personally and professionally.  I made progress at work with a fabulous yearof big achievements, set some targets (and corresponding financial plans) forsome home improvements and travel for the coming year, and spent time focussingon the things that really matter.

I've got so much to be thankful and hopeful for this NewYear's Eve.

And so, with that, I'm off to celebrate the year that wasand toast the year that's coming with some very special people.

I'll "see" you next year.
Rather than a loooooooooong post of photos, here's another Flipagram with some highlights...

Click here on the image above or on this link: to view. You'll notice a theme with the background music continuing from last year.

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