20 Jan 2017

2016: in review

Back in January I made a vague list of ideas to keep in mind for the year. I've been attempting to write a review of 2016 based on that vague list for the past 15 days (15 days people!), so instead I'm going to ignore that list and write what I like.

Although lots of shit things happened in the world in 2016 (brexit still hurts, watching Charlie Brooker's 2016wipe gave me heart ache about it all over again) it was also the year that Mitch and I moved into our new home which was (and continues to be) the best thing everrrrr. We've hosted dinners and a christmas party, had our parents over for lunch and friends for tea, but actually the best thing about it is lounging around in our pjs watching netflix at weekends. Because. We. Can. 2016 has also been the year that we got stuck right into Peckham - the pubs, the restaurants, the library, burgess park and the community garden (FYI, I bloody love l living here).

It was an excellent year for travel, both around the country - weekends in Brighton, the Brecon Beacons, Edinburgh and the Peak District - as well as a couple of trips abroad - four days in Helsinki and a glorious week in Sicilly.

2016 saw me get my craft on, particularly in the dressmaking department. I made more clothes this year than any other (10(!) In case you were wondering, 5 dresses and 5 tops). I think I'm most pleased with the two recent dresses (the tartan one and the William Morris print dress) although it's the good old zippy tees that got the most wear over the summer. Aside from the dressmaking, I got back into crochet, quilting and (right at the very end) knitting. Yes, all in all, a very productive year.

In other news 2016 brought a new hobby (bee-keeping), a new job (hello astronomy!) and the start of something I've been meaning to do for over 10 years: learn to drive.

As well as the tragic national and international events that took place in 2016, there was also some sad news closer to home; in November, my granddad passed away. He was 92 and had had a full and exciting life, although things hadn't been the same since his wife Nancy, my nana, died two years ago. His passing meant that my dad and his brother had the emotional job of going through all my grandparents things in order to clear their house. I've inherited a few choice items: my granddad's giant spoon (carved with the accolade: World's Biggest Stirrer), a couple of my nana's cook books as well as a handful of the old games my sister and I used to play when we went to stay with them. I have great memories of granddad - going to Great Yarmouth and sitting in a deck-chair refusing to take his shoes and socks off, wearing a knotted handkerchief on his head; showing me how he took cuttings to grow all his tomato plants; his shed full to bursting with every kind of 'handy man's' kit you can imagine; his laugh (watching Norman Wisdom or Tommy Cooper); the bowl of sweets he always kept by his chair (humbugs, worther's originals, fox's mints); his most over-used word: "saff" to be used in most contexts, "saff me" being my favourite. The last time I saw him, he was smiling, I was telling him about the delicious Horlicks-flavoured icecream I'd tried recently (he loved Horlicks, it's all he would drink at the end) and that's how I'll always remember him, smiling a big toothy/gummy smile very similar to my own.

Yes, a year of ups and downs, and I'll bet that 2017 won't be plain sailing either. Given the national and international events of last year, 2017 will mean more change, change that will hopefully inspire action and pull people together rather than drive us further apart.

In my own little world, I have a feeling that 2017 will be big year - my 30th is in a couple of weeks, I'll hopefully pass my driving test (fingers crossed) and we have some rather ambitious travel plans (everything crossed!). Saying that, I actually keep coming back to a 'less is more' mantra for 2017. Inspired by multitude of documentaries on Netflix (thank you The Minimalists) and my friend who recently moved into a new flat and ALL her belongings fitted into a taxi, I am ready to recycle/give away/sell some of my things, as well as give serious thought about what I do decide to bring into our flat. The bottom line is, I need to stop buying stuff, particularly stuff I don't need, I want to have a proper go at making things myself or better yet, doing without it, we shall see...

A very belated, but no less genuine, happy new year to you all :)

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