As 2009 draws to a close and I see in the New Year so far away from friends and family, I have been thinking about some of my personal highlights of the past 12 months...
1. Snow Day
The second of February 2009 made history for the monumental snowfall that graced the UK. In London, Tom and I were snowed in at our flat in Belsize Park and with no tubes and no buses in operation we settled down to ‘work from home’. I use inverted commas because there was more snow fighting than working taking place that day, and we were lucky enough to live walking distance from Primrose Hill, which had turned into a sledgers delight! We saw people sledging on roadsigns, blue Ikea bags and even an ironing board! The best sight of the day though was a man in a giant inflatable sumo suit. I’m not sure if it was for function or fashion....?
In late 2008, Tom and I, plus his sister Anna and our friend Sally organised The Big Pink Ticket – a raffle to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Tom’s grandmother Florence was the lucky winner of the first prize – a meal at Claridges! Florence is in her nineties but still made the trip from Norwich to London, along with her sister Marian. Tom and I were invited too, along with his parents. We had a delicious Sunday lunch and were looked after very well by the staff!
3. Take That
Continuing the theme of winning prizes, Anna won tickets to see Take That at Trafford Park in June of 2009. The Circus tour was one to remember and we both had an absolutely fantastic night re-living our younger years and screaming for Mark, Gary, Jason and Howard. It was an outdoor event and we had a perfect summers evening for it!
4. Joining the Property Ladder
When Tom and I have a big decision to make, we don’t usually take long over it – and that was certainly the case with our first house purchase. One minute we were on a fun day trip to Walton on Thames, and two weeks later we’d bought a house there! We got the keys in July and embarked on a stressful few weeks of renovating as we co-ordinated three sets of builders (one cowboy set, others ok), two sets of extremely helpful parents and our jobs all at once. We didn’t anticipate how long it would take, how incompetent our builders could be, or that we’d also fit in a hen weekend, a stag do and a birth (Lucy’s daughter Dora) during the process! The finished product is wonderful however and we are very proud of the transformation – plus very grateful to our parents, without whom we would never have finished in under a month.
2009 brought babies into the lives of my friends for the first time, and consequentially into my life too. I was honoured to be present at the birth of baby Dora to my oldest and bestest friend Lucy on 18th July, and I enjoyed a wonderful three months of cuddles with Dora before we left for Australia. Either side of Dora’s birth, Louise and Dyfed welcomed Benjamin and Ella and Andy brought the world Amelie – two more gorgeous little bundles of joy! Just after we landed in Australia, Eleanor was born to Rachel and David, and I hope to meet her at some point in 2010!
6. Kate and Chris’ Wedding
12th September was a good day, because it was the day that my first university girlfriend tied the knot!! Kate very appropriately married BA pilot Chris in match that I truly believe was meant to be! They had a picture perfect ceremony in Dummer village church before a sun-drenched reception. I was delighted to be part of the wedding party as a bridesmaid for Kate. Part of the fun was getting together with all of the crew from Norwood halls of residence – who would have thought it’s over 9 years since our first day together at Bath university. It makes me feel old, but it’s great to see how far everyone has come, and there will be two more Norwood weddings next year – Tush will marry Andy and Ben will marry Sarah. With Allen already married to Faith, that’s 50% of us married off!
7. Friends and family
With our move to Australia pending, Tom and I made an extra effort to spend time with friends, and family before we left the UK. I wish we all made that much effort all the time – because it made for a fantastic summer, full of laughter, good food and good company. You all made so much effort to fit in seeing us before we left, and we were so flattered that some of you wanted to see us again after we’d said goodbye (Tush and Andy that’s you!). 2009 was also a good year at work, with Tom finding a job he loved, and me getting the Manager promotion I’d been after.
8. Moving to Australia
Buying a house together was a big step for Tom and I, but moving to Australia was even bigger. Although nervous before we left, it became clear in the few weeks after our arrival that we had made a sensible decision, and I’m confident that our time here will be a fantastic experience, great for both our careers and us as individuals.
The trouble with writing a list like the above, is that there are so many things that you can’t include, and for me this list looks like the following for 2009 – Mum and Dad’s 30th wedding anniversary, Lynne & Mike’s wedding, several engagements (Telfy, Sarah, Tush, Wai) and pregnancy announcements (Ella & Andy, Rachel & David, Jac & Sam, Wendy & Sam), Legoland with the Woods, London with the Howletts, Bath with Carol and Martin, Easter in Norwich, May Bank holiday in Poole, Ella’s baby shower, two sets of karaoke with my fantastic colleagues, Christmas with the Listers etc etc!
New Year’s Eve in Melbourne was a total wash out. We stayed home and watched the lightening show from our window – who needs fireworks?! I hope you will all keep reading our blog and Tom and I wish everyone a happy, healthy and safe 2010!!