This year I really wanted to look back and check in with everything I’ve done, because it feels like its been a crazy, messy year that I’ve come so far during. In January I had no job, was feeling lost and depressed, with no idea where the year would take me. Via the magic of Instagram and my trusty 2015 moleskine diary, here’s what happened during this momentous year. Side note: I’m also doing the Year Compass to help me plan for 2016, check it out its cool (found via Meighan o’Toole; card above by Tough Luck)
2015 started in Colorado at -25 degrees, watching One Direction specials and drinking whisky sours. Later, I spent a week by myself in Glasgow – clearing my head and catching up on some DT Studio work with space from my every day life. I went to Edinburgh for the day and finally visited the National Museum of Scotland, a new favourite – and spent a lot of time in graveyards. It snowed a BUNCH in Scotland that week, Matt came up to join me for a couple of days and we both got food poisoning. I was working in the DT Studio full time promoting the shop and taking photographs for Team Hen and Hop Burns & Black, temping where I could and worked evenings in the kitchen at the Duke’s Head with the Beefsteaks.
February is always blue isn’t it, dragging yourself through the last days of winter. I was desperately seeking employment, and feeling pretty down that it wasn’t going anywhere. It seems all I did in February was have CBT to help me work through this, apply for jobs and go on job interviews, whilst picking up temp work, doing the street food and working on some DT Studio projects. I realised I need something full time to focus on and throw myself into I guess and I was running out of money.
“Curious minds often converge on the same idea” – WB Yeats, Week 11.
In March I saw Idlewild at the Roundhouse which was AMAZING, took some photographs for Oh Squirrel and signed up to start volunteering at the Grant Museum of Zoology. I signed up with a bunch of new temp agencies and walked my CV into a little unsuspecting meat shop in Crouch End which became the best move I made all year.
“The world is yours, but it depends on what you put into it” – Ru Paul, Week 16.
April feels like it was so long ago but also like it was yesterday. I started working 4 days a week at Muddy Boots, 2 days a week on the street food stall with The Beefsteaks. I sold at Crafty Fox, which didn’t go very well but was good for people watching and I met a lot of nice folks, caught up with an old friend. I enjoyed a rather messy hen weekend in Brighton which was unexpectedly brilliant and made some new favourite people pals. I went to a Caitlin Doughty talk which was fantastic, saw the Corals exhibition at the NHM and caught up with some of the lovely friends I made there in 2014, went to the Horniman to see Polly Morgan talk about taxidermy/art.
In May my girl Ivy finally came to the UK and lived in our front room for a couple of weeks and I realised how much I missed having her in my life every day. She played a bunch of gigs, I volunteered at the Grant Museum, and the Matepals got married at the EVENT OF 2015. We had a glorious weekend in Cornwall at Nancarrow Farm and every day since I wake up sad that I am not at Nancarrow Farm. Best weekend of the year. I also went on a tour of Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and started working full time at Muddy Boots as queen of the internet. From the DT Studio I had 2 print commissions which was magical and made my year.
“If you’re not optimistic & having fun – you’re doing it wrong” No idea, Week 23.
OH MAN JUNE. Right I saw this amazing taxidermy exhibition at Craving Coffee, and promised myself I’d sign up to do a CROW taxidermy class which I just realised I never did. My BFF and I drove to Cardiff to stay with Team Chong and see ONE DIRECTION. I was still volunteering at the Grant Museum on Saturdays, and seemed to do a lot of pouch making because I had sold out of some faves, hurrah! My Gran was over to visit and we spent my birthday walking around some pretty parts of London, before I went for dinner with Matthew at Hawksmoor and drank all of the corpse reviver’s and cried into my steak (again). Taylor Swift was a drunken blur in Hyde Park which involved someone nicking my phone, what a personal disaster.
In July I made my Summer pilgrimage north on the hottest day of the year (or anyone counting that is only twice in 7 months) and I spent some time with some ponies, went to Stirling and finally made it to the Burrell Collection and went for a damp walk around the grounds of Pollock Park. I sold some pouches at the makers market in the Drygate. My Mum arrived in the UK and I went to visit her in Essex, thus discovering the Essex is quite lovely.
“Little things tell you so much more about a situation than the obvious things” Don McCullin, Week 32
August was all about spending time with my Mum while she was over. We went to Chester for a weekend which was a total disaster and is now a hilarious in joke we share. Pro tip – maybe don’t ever go to Chester. Or maybe just go for long enough to go to the zoo? I spent a lot of time taking photographs for London Beer City around town, while Mum and I went on day trips on Sundays, visiting Hampton Court Palace and the Wallace Collection. It was just really lovely to get to spend time with my Mum in August. Oh yeah and I went to see New Found Glory with the Matepals which was genius.
September was immense (its always my favourite month) – I went to Birmingham to see Idlewild at the Moseley Folk Festival, and went to Newman Brothers Coffin Works with Sophie & Jack, sporting the best hangover of 2015 (read: worst). I finally took my Yashica in to get serviced (this was a huge deal) before going on a 2 week holiday to America.
Philadelphia quickly became a new favourite city. We drove out to the countryside and pretended we were in Pretty Little Liars, went to some weird castle made of concrete, drank wine on the roof of a high school as the sun set, sat in hammocks over the water. I spent a lot of time by myself for the first time in a while, walking all over the city and reading under the trees on the University of Pennsylvania campus lawn. I finally visited the Mutter Museum, Eastern State Penitentiary (incredible), the Wagner Institute and Penn Museum. Mostly I enjoyed hanging out with my friend Anita who is a fave that I don’t get to see enough because of continental divide problems.
I flew out to Colorado to meet up with Matthew, we went hiking, drank all of the pumpkin beer and went to a college football game which was everything EVERYTHING.
I finally made it to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and spent a good 3 hours hanging out there, the mountains were ablaze with autumnal colours and I drank all the pumpkin beer in case I didn’t mention that already.
Yeah September was a good one.
“I immediately decided this was not my problem, and the relief of this decision spread across my chest like hot cocoa” – Amy Poehler, Week 40.
Steph and I flew up to Glasgow to see Idlewild play at Pailsey Cathedral which was magical (count: Idlewild 3, Glasgow 3) and I got to give Steph my grand tour of Glasgow and we decided that next Summer we are going to do a big tour of Scotland and I can’t wait. It was so beautifully Autumnal my heart wept with joy. I made some Halloween pouches for the shop which you all seemed to love! OH and I spent Halloween in Sheffield seeing One Direction and it was incredible JUST INCREDIBLE – my vampire teeth didn’t fall out all night and we tried to go indie clubbing afterwards before realising we are in our 30s and at 1am we should be in our beds. Points for trying though right girls?
The day after 1D we drove around the Peak District, which is a thing I didn’t even know existed and I fell in love with, walking up some nice big rocks and breathing fresh air and visiting a plague village. Jess came back from Seattle for a bit and we spent a day watching all of the Hunger Games movies then went to see Mockingjay at the cinema. Obviously a 2015 highlight look at me writing about it in such detail it takes up a full WEEK PAGE of my moleskine diary and it was only 1 actual day worth of activity. Anyway, then I went to Glasgow to see Idlewild (I: 4, G:4) at the Barrowlands, walked in a sleet storm and sat in King Tuts laughing until we got kicked out. 10/10 weekend. In November I also told Matthew that I love my job and he couldn’t remember a time when I had loved a job, so thats good.
Yikes how is it December already. This month I saw Idlewild (5) at Koko, then flew to Glasgow (5) to see the Twilight Sad at the Barrowlands which I think was the best gig of the year? Or tied equal with Idlewild at the same venue, the Barrowlands will always be my favourite venue. I took Matt to some of my favourite Glasgow spots because I’m still trying to convince him to move there. I’ll wear him down. We spent Christmas watching 6 Harry Potter films, 3 Star Wars films, Dune and 1.5 Lord of the Rings films, went for a lovely walk in the Lee Valley on Boxing Day, and that was only 4 days ago so I’ve run out of things that happened in 2015 already.
Already! It felt like such a long year that so much happened in.
Total Count: Saw Idlewild 5 times, One Direction 2 times, went to Glasgow 5 times.
Other achievements: Found a job I love, watched 10 seasons of Supernatural, learned to be still and calm.
I think I’m ready for 2016 now. I’ve got a lot planned, I’m going to blog more and concentrate harder. I’m going to let things happen. I feel like in 2015 I learned a lot about myself and the weird patterns in life, and how to deal with them. We’ll see. I’ll see you there. Do you have a calendar yet? Here you go.