2018 is over so this calls for a review of what has happened. I released a blog back in August which covered January – July, so this post will just be August-December, I will try not to babble on for too long and bore you.
August I managed to go home for a few days and spent time with my mum, step dad, brother, my step sister and her two children Ethan and Esmie. We decided to go to Barry Island for one of the days which was Esmie’s first beach trip then the following day we went swimming in Hereford, her first trip to a swimming pool, she was NOT a fan bless her. I managed to get treated to several home cooked meals, lots of cuddles from the 2 youngsters as well as my teenage brother and got to relax for a bit.
I went to see several films including Antman and the Wasp and Mission Impossible: Fallout. Planned to cancel my Cineworld card once I moved to save a bit of money so tried to make the most of it before I gave it up. However, I ended up keeping it as I realised just how many films I wanted to go and watch in the coming months and as the unlimited membership is £17.90 and it’s around £12 per ticket for a full price adult nowadays it if definitely worth it for me, especially when I sometimes spend the day there and manage to get 3 or 4 films watched in one day.
I started being self hosted on my blog- unfortunately even now I’ve not used it to it’s full potential but love the fact it’s now completely my own and I have a lot more freedom for when I can really give it my all, sadly I have a lot of other distractions at the moment so not been able to do as much as I would have liked 🙁 I am hopeful I will get there though so fingers crossed.
I went away for a week to France and ended up having so much to write about it that it took 3 blogs, one about the trip in general, one about the WW1/2 related places we visited and one about the Cider Farm we went to. It was a fab holiday but I won’t say any more you about it on here as I think I’ve said enough about it already on the previous posts.
I collected the keys to my new flat the Monday after getting back from France and did a bit of cleaning ready to move my stuff in on the weekend. I had hired a van and moved everything in on the Saturday with help from my mum and step dad, stopped for food and drink breaks and tried to take as much of my advice as possible following my moving day post, got my internet set up on the Sat and then on the Sunday my Ikea delivery arrived and I spent the rest of the day putting together my bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers and bedside table before putting my various bags, boxes and suitcases full to the brim of my belongings away into the furniture I had brought with me or just put up. Managed to sort out most of my things within the week but have since moved things around multiple times and will probably do so again this year too.
September I cleaned my old flat and returned the keys (which apparently wasn’t good enough and I’ve had quite the argument with the person I was corresponding with but that’s a whole other drama) so I was officially moved out and now fully living in Gloucester rather than Cheltenham. Following my move I have been taking advantage of the invites out now I am more central; I have danced a lot, drank a fair bit, been on some random nights out, a few leaving do’s for people at work, birthday meals and BBQ’s, all in all I’ve had a lot of laughs.
My friend Summer and I went to Gloucester Pride; so many rainbows, bright colours, stands, supporters and doggos, I loved it. Also got to see a sneak peak of COD’s show of RENT which we were already planning to go and see in October- was also the day Summer found out I could hit THAT note in seasons of love…
September was also the month that I started binge watching Vampire Diaries on Netflix, I either watch it with Summer or Rob so have to wait until one of them is free to watch it but I managed to get to series 3 within a couple of months.
I started a second job in August, I am now a business owner within the company Forever Living so getting to try out their products, drinking their aloe vera drinks and loving the variety within the products- going to be putting a lot of my wages back into the company but it is so worth it- if you want to give anything a try, want more information, want to join my team etc send me a message and I can take you through it/send you links and things ^_^ May do a post on some of their products later on this year too.
October was where my weekends started getting very busy again, lots of plans which is great but feels like I haven’t stopped so it’s been a bit chaotic- I’m still knackered now.
I went to Liverpool with my friend Beth to see Antony and his theatre group in their production of Sweeney Todd in the Royal Court. It was brilliant, you could see the influences of the original productions, it felt like a professional show, thoroughly enjoyed it. As we had driven several hours Beth and I decided to make a full weekend of it, we headed up Friday night, spent the day shopping in Liverpool Saturday (I spent far too much because we found a CEX, Disney store and the Primark had lots of new Harry Potter stuff), we took several stops for food and drink and almost ended up living like hobbits for the day*, we finished off with dinner, then cocktails with two of our other friends before going to see the show, afterwards we met up with Antony and ‘Anthony’ from the show, went for an obligatory Maccy D’s, watched some Will and Grace then went to bed. Sunday we had a lie, got ready, went for a delicious Sunday roast, walked along New Brighton pier, got some waffles then it was sadly time to drive home. Had a bit of drama on our way back as the exhaust decided to come off the car so had to wait to be rescued but got home safe so that’s all that matters, we were kept entertained by YouTube, show tunes and Costa as we managed to get to a service station before we called for recovery.
Another Adventure was my weekend at Thorpe park for their Fright night but I wrote a post about that earlier on so won’t go on about it on here as well but it was lots of fun, 6 of us drove up, did lots of rides, had lots of laughs and were definitely not put off by the weather.
I found series 11 of Big Bang Theory on Netflix so managed to finish that within the month after binge watching the first 10 series earlier this year.
I had another theatre trip, this time only venturing from Gloucester to Cheltenham to watch COD’s final performance of RENT, again a great show. My fave performances were from Maureen, Joanne and Roger but the show in general was fab, a few things I spotted which grated on me but over all I loved it and the emotion at the end when the cast were genuinely upset because it was the end of the run really added to the final scenes.
Oct 27th I had a Halloween house party, we all dressed up, played games, ate, drank, then went out and danced the night away. It was a great night, had lots of giggles and loved everyone’s costumes.
*breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper
The first weekend of November I surprised my 13yo brother with a trip to the Warner Bros studio Harry Potter Dark Arts tour, he thought he was just coming to chill with me in my new flat as he hadn’t up until now then had it sprung on him we were going to London for the day (so could get him up early enough for us to catch our bus). We went to the Oxford Street Primark then headed to Watford Junction to meet the shuttle bus to the studios which is where I gave him the tickets and told him where we were going. I think he liked the day, definitely more interested in the second part after the backlot café as you could see he was in complete awe of all of the prosthetics, artwork, models and of course Hogwarts Castle at the end but he seemed to like the novelty of it all, and why wouldn’t he- it’s awesome!
They’ve changed it since I last went, it now has an extension covered in quotes with a Marauders Map effect before you get to what used to be the entrance. The new entrance also has a large image of Hogwarts (from the first film where they travel by boat) while you queue to have your bags checked and bodies metal detected. The Great Hall looked amazing with the ‘floating pumpkins’ and there seemed to be a few more costumes on display this time, there is now a centaur in the forbidden forest and there is usually a different show and tell table- this time was the snot station (showed how unicorn blood, fluffy’s drool and troll bogies were made). We of course stopped for a butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream cone each as this was a day of treats, there were Death Eaters on the bridge and in Diagon Alley on the hour but much of the rest of the tour was as it has been on my previous visits, it never loses it’s appeal for me though, three trips done and I would still happily return. I always want to buy so much from the shop too but have to stop myself as I never have enough to buy all of what I want to so choose the few top picks instead, Jac had to do the same thing this time but as we bought a few bits in the Primark earlier he had more for his money anyway.
The following weekend two of my uni besties came to visit me, we watched films, pigged out on snacks, had various catch ups and wore the matching tops we had bought for the mini reunion -because we are just that cool… honest. It was great to see them as we sadly don’t see each other very often anymore, we used to live around the corner from each other and saw each other most days but now I’m in Gloucester, Abbie is in Coventry and Antony is in Liverpool so life gets in the way and sometimes it’s months and months between visits. We are planning on altering this though and have already decided we are going to meet up again in Jan/Feb for a belated xmas session as this weekend was more focused on Halloween- we watched Gremlins and Hocus pocus, the tops we bought had the three Sanderson sisters on and I’d kept some of my Halloween decs up.
On the same weekend I had also organised to do a Partylite candle party at mine so we had a quick tidy up before guests arrived, played games, had some more snacks, looked through the new catalogue, had some examples (love smelling all the different scents and seeing all the new designs they have released) and spent lots of our monies. Was lovely to have such a gathering at my flat, ended up being 10 of us plus the Partylite rep but actually had room which I was a bit unsure of initially. Was a pretty perfect way of starting off the month tbh even if it did seem to be all happening at once.
I ended up having acute laryngitis so was off work for nearly two weeks as without a voice I was ‘unfit to work’ in the call centre so I ended up spending the time drinking copious amounts of hot honey, lemon and ginger, herbal teas, pints of water, avoiding dairy, caffeine and anything else that singers and other vocal specialists recommended online in the hopes of bringing my voice back asap. However, I did manage to watch multiple things on Netflix; the new Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series- love it, Ambrose is the best and Hilda is such a sweetie- series 1 of Victoria as that’s all Netflix has atm, started The Crown, have got up to series 5 of Vampire Diaries with Rob and Summer, started to catch up on Dr Who on iPlayer as realised I hadn’t watched it since Peter Capaldi had been on his own. I watched a few films as well as catching up on my emails, sorting some blog stuff, and all the chores of ‘adulting’ while living alone. I tried to relax and be as productive as I could be at the same time, sounds like a bizarre concept but think I managed it and got my voice back so was able to return to work after nearly 2 weeks.
December 1st I went back home to Monmouth to go to a Winter ball with my Mum and Step dad, we also invited my friend Summer. So much fun, lots of dancing, delicious 3 course meal with wine on the tables, I had some pink gin, a glass of baileys, and a couple of Captain Morgan’s and coke. There was a live band, a photographer and lots of good memories, also welcomed in mum’s birthday when it turned midnight and got everyone to sing Happy Birthday to her.
As the next day was my mum’s birthday we had a lie in as we didn’t get back from the ball until nearly 3, had breakfast together while Mum opened her cards and gifts, had a few hours of doing nothing then went for a lovely Sunday roast at Toby Carvery- all of the vegetables! Couldn’t fit in any puddings as I’d piled so much onto my first plate but was definitely worth it.
I managed to get some time off work so I trained it to Cardiff December 17th, mooched about the shops for a few hours then met up with my uni friend Jenn. We stopped off for some festive drinks in Starbucks, did a little retail therapy, had a few cocktails in Turtle bay during their happy hour then had dinner in Wagamama’s before I had to catch my train home. We did a similar thing last year and we’ve decided to make it a yearly tradition; catch ups, Christmas market, hot chocolates, cocktails, food and giggles. No matter how long it has been in between visits it always feels like no time has passed at all which is fab! Love friendships like that, I’m so lucky to have so many connections like it. Feeling very lucky 🙂
December 18th-20th I went to Plymouth to see some of my family, I stayed with my youngest sister and her lovely mum Jin, ended up seeing my other sister and little nephew too, I was meant to see my friend Laura as well but sadly due to public transport failings that did not happen but have vowed to see each other soon in Gloucester instead. I spent the time relaxing, catching up with some of my family, shopping, treating myself to a few little bits and bobs and generally just mooching about enjoying not being in work, was lovely.
I then had a few days back in Gloucester, a half day at work and then headed home for Christmas itself. The half day at work was Xmas eve, I then headed home, spent the evening watching It’s a Wonderful Life, eating and relaxing with my little brother, mum and step dad. Christmas day I was woken up by my brother, went downstairs and found that Father Christmas had been, so when back up the stairs to our parents room to open them before getting ready for and going to church. Got to sing my little heart out as some of my favourite carols had been chosen for the service and got a lovely surprise as one of my friends and her family turned up for the service too. It was lovely to see our little church filled, hearing the harmonies echoing around the building and getting all festive. We then drove home for Christmas dinner, watched the Queen’s speech and played games which created multiple belly laugh moments, especially the game Play that Tune where we had to play songs on a kazoo and the others had to guess, this becomes increasingly difficult the more you are laughing.
Boxing day Jac’s dad came to pick him up so we said goodbye then drove from Monmouth to Wolverhampton to see my step siblings, their partners and children, then went to my step grandparents house for dinner, relaxing, a cheeky tipple of baileys and then sleep.
27th we drove to Gloucester to drop me home so I could go to work 28th then mum and her hubby drove back up to wolves to see his sister and brother in law. I watched The Muppets Christmas Carol then went to the cinema to watch Spider-man: Into the Spider verse and Mary Poppins Returns.
28th I worked 8-4 then got picked up and driven back to Wyesham to my aunties house for more food, snacks drinks and games and to see my auntie, cousins and granny. We managed to Skype my uncle in New Zealand too and played games via the tiny phone screen we were using.
29th was a day to chill (phew), 30th we went to Somerset to see some more relatives, eat more food and play more games then it was time for me to go back home to Gloucester for NYE. New years I went to Rob’s house to celebrate with him and his family after we decided to get back together following an almost year-long break, had baby cuddles with Caspar, played games, ate homemade curry, drank some bubbly, ate a LOT of cheese, chocolates and other snacks, watched fireworks from the garden, watched TV for the countdown and then toasted the start of 2019.
I have tried to keep this entry more upbeat as the last one seemed to focus on mainly negative things, also these months were a lot more positive than the beginning of my year. 2018 has definitely been a rollercoaster but there have been a lot of good things, fun adventures and time spent with friends and family as well as all the crap with my mental health, awful neighbours, being scammed by my last estate agents, loosing friends/relationships and the passing of my Grandpa.
There have been baby and engagement announcements, baby showers and births, holidays, my Harry Potter Studios Dark Arts trip and several surprises. It’s been a year of ups and downs but I’m trying to focus on the positive in things, getting back to my optimistic self… So 2019, let’s see what you’ve got (please be nice).
Until next time, TTFN
How has 2018 treated you? What are your highlights/lowlights? What has been your fave post of mine? Any advice for future me? Let me know in the comments.
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