Things to be grateful for

In today’s fast-paced world, surrounded by news of Trump and Brexit and celebrities dying, it’s easy to get caught up and forget what’s really important in your own life.

Even if you manage to ignore the cyclic nature of the news as driven by social media, repeating the same fears and worries and bad news over and over, most of us are still racing around to and from work with barely a second thought about the important things which are quickly passing us by.

So, inspired by this post on The Pool (which is always on point) I have decided to spend a week listing three good things I’m grateful for each day – because it’s important to pause, remember, and let these positive thoughts rise to the forefront of our priorities.

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My Year: 2015

It feels almost too late, since 2016 is now well underway, but it’s now or never! Here’s a look back at what I got up to in 2015.

  • 10945583_10152996344155482_6627562778457779264_nIn January I graduated from Kingston University with a Masters in Journalism and found out I won the MA Journalism Prize. It was a lovely day in and around the Rose Theatre and it was nice to get dressed up and celebrate.
  • I got a cat who I’ve totally fallen in love with!
  • A sunny and relaxing trip to Tenerife, including a splash-happy trip to Siam Park and a dolphin-filled boat trip.
  • 2015-08-28 23.05.56And a wonderful trip to Vienna, a city I loved, with two great friends.
  • We celebrated my dad’s 50th birthday with a lovely family party and meal out.
  • I went to loads of gigs including McBusted, S Club 7, Paloma Faith, Caro Emerald, Boyzone, Kaiser Chiefs, Josh Groban, 2Cellos and Gareth Malone’s Voices.
  • 11048652_10152621376471653_3943616858937907335_nWhile comedy included the likes of Josh Widdicombe and Christian O’Connell at Stand Up For Shelter, James Acaster and Michael McIntyre.
  • And I saw several great musicals: The Commitments, Jersey Boys on tour, Sweeney Todd, Sunny Afternoon, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Though I usually prefer musicals, three fantastic plays I saw were The Vote, The Ruling Class starring James McAvoy and The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper.
  • Fun London activities that stand out were a trip up The Shard for birthday drinks, the awesome FriendsFest, and late night events at London Zoo and the Natural History Museum.
  • And I went to two great Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, both featuring the John Wilson Orchestra.

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Meet the cat – it’s Shanti!

On Wednesday August 26, Frazer and I became parents to a lovely rescue cat called Shanti.

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It was a whirlwind decision. We had been looking after my parents’ lovely Burmese cats, Boris and Cookie, while their new flat was being refurbished. As the date of their departure grew near, we began speaking about the void they were going to leave in our lives and how we should look for a rescue cat or two to call our own.

2015-09-12 21.36.29Then on Sunday August 23, the day of cat relinquishing and my dad’s 50th birthday, we were talking to our family about this and suddenly my sister-in-law Hannah recalled one of her friends was looking to rehome her cat as a sad side effect of moving house.

We got in touch with Claire immediately and within hours had gone round to meet Shanti – and she moved in just three days later.

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Paris weekend break in October

Since our last holiday was to Cornwall two years ago and since then we’ve moved several times and started different new jobs, it definitely seemed like it was time for me and Frazer to go on holiday this month and Paris was somewhere we settled on very quickly. I’d been there a couple of times before and loved it whereas he had only been on a whirlwind day trip and wasn’t convinced by it so I made it my mission to make him love the city of love.

P1070707And it worked! Once we got past the grey, graffiti-plagued streets around Gare du Nord and into the centre, he was soon won over. On our first afternoon, we immediately ate crepes at the Place du Concorde before crossing the river and wandering along to the Musee D’Orsay where we whiled away the next couple of hours. We both loved Van Gogh’s La nuit etoilee the most, but there were lots of amazing surrealist and impressionist paintings there. It was also very cool just to see the old railway station building and the view through the clock face.

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