Rang in 24 with my favourite brunch in Madrid and a visit to the Reina Sofia gallery with my main man. Ate cake. Kissed him goodbye at the airport. He picked me up at the other end five days later so we could spend a long weekend in a manor house with 30 friends.
Showed my best girl around my best city. She said she felt refreshed after a weekend of vermouth, rain and tortilla. Sent my traditional Valentine's cards from across the continent. Got some flowers back in return. Had a sherry with my Dad and showed one set of parents around the city that felt like home. Welcomed more friends over and rowed boats, danced and drank gin shared peanut butter milkshakes and caramelised banana pancakes to soak it all up.
Had a lovely long weekend alone exploring. Tried to work hard. Went hiking in the mountains outside Madrid. Ate chocolate and helped him, begrudgingly, pack his bags.
Tried to make the time matter. Sat on patio tables outside our apartment drinking beer and eating bread with German dudes I could tell anything to. Went home for Easter Sunday like a good girl. Crammed in seeing everyone, as per.
Spent the bank holiday weekend exploring Seville with girls who love a tinto de verano as much as I do. Maintained my appreciation for my daily beige Spanish school snacks. Made what is probably my most misguided but favourite purchase. Flew home again to see my baby brother on his birthday, caught up with my best friends.
Hosted my boyfriend and his family for a weekend. Tried to fit in all the sites to 48 hours and minimal metro rides. Watched the sunset over my favourite place. Said goodbye to the kids and the girls that had been my constant for the year. Said an even harder goodbye to my housemate over takeaway pizza in the park. Showed my Mumma around a town she knew only from my emails. Held her hand when we walked across streets and cobbles and plazas I didn't think she'd come over to see.
Said even more goodbyes in the only way I know how. Did my running route for the last time in a long time. Waved off friends and places and the only opportunity I'll have to live in a city where an ancient Egyptian temple is basically my back garden. Flew home for good. Picked up at the airport on Thursday, saw Frank Ocean on Friday, unpacked on Saturday, ate salads with my friends on Sunday, new job on Monday. Had pizza in Bristol and saw my favourite ladies. Met Alice in real life Went to Croatia with 30 of my nearest and dearest. Danced on a disco boat. Drank too much beer. Ran. Sang. Swam in the sea and ate feta and spinach pastries every day. Felt the total unadulterated joy that is to wake up with all the people you love.
Had the privilege of seeing someone I love marry someone they love. Spent time with girls who know me well. Went home home to see my Mum and my brother. Slid into a routine of packed lunches and shared laundry and making dinner for two. Raised a glass to my Granny on her 90th. Prayed I get her genes. Ran around my favourite coastline. Sat in warm, comfy silence in a beach hut with my Nan, eating fudge and reading the papers, the sea breeze as our radio.
Spent our eighth anniversary in the Peak District, catching up and eating bakewell tarts with people I love. Celebrated together a few days later over veggie feijoada. Watched him swim the Serpentine. Went to Bristol. Went to Belfast for my favourite girl's birthday. All of us together. Breakfast for each other and fish and chips on the seaside and espresso martinis and what was agreed to be our favourite night out.
Quiet. Tried to make this two bed feel more like ours. A trip home. A trip to Ikea. Two hours cooking our first roast dinner in out first home together. Had Korean hotpot with my best girl and sat in the second row to watch a play we both loved. Chatted the entire stretch of the southbound northern line home. Felt so grateful to have her.
Went to New York! Spent time with good friends and drank wanky overpriced coffees and wanky overpriced cocktails and ate dollar pizza and vegan fast food and cookies two by two and black sesame chocolate cake gelato and loved every minute of it. Found my favourite museum ever. Went running in Prospect Park. Hosted Alice and went to Stylist Live together. Came up with an idea for a newsletter. Hoped that creativity and functionality would intersect and so bought a desk.
Got my period back! Beamed with pride as I watched him graduate. Released our first newsletter. Went home, home, again and worked at my Ma's shop and had a huge Christmas dinner. Went to my Dad's and spent an evening playing board games with my lovely, huge hotchpotch of a family, two trays of chocolate biscuits, wine and a Sith Lord. Saw in the New Year drinking port with ladies I have been lucky to know since childhood. Woke up to coffee, croissants and good cheer the next day.