It’s the last day of 2019. The last of the decade. Just let that sink in… oh, and the fact I managed blogmas right up until this week – typical! But happy New Year’s Eve everyone, and welcome to my 2019 in review.
Oh we had such good intentions for January! The month started off as back to work on Wednesday 2nd, and I had a half day on that Friday. We went for lunch in Lisburn before a family afternoon over a couple of drinks. That weekend, we took Granny to The Lyric and out for dinner as her Christmas present, and the next day we had a mini Christmas to ourselves. I had assignments due, online tutorials, and plenty of Open Uni work to get through. Then it was Dad’s birthday and we went for a meal out in Lisburn! Not sure how the month seemed so busy, but the time just flew by.
February started off with me going to Edinburgh to visit Rachel. We had some lovely meals out, a day of shopping, evenings of drinking, and all together a really good time. The following week, I met up with some family for a lunch out, that saw me not leaving until almost 6pm – a long lunch! And that weekend saw me go to the opening of a new restaurant in Belfast – Six By Nico. The rest of the month saw me at university for a morning, a trip to the rugby club, and a meal out at mum’s cousin’s house to see the new house and to celebrate his birthday.
After visiting Six By Nico in Belfast, we went for a long weekend in Prague which was brilliant, I submitted a rather hastily written assignment and got a good mark for it – who knew you could reference Blue Planet in a Business and Accountancy essay and be commended for thinking outside the box? – all before a busy weekend of surprise parties, failed Brexits, and cooking my first ever souffles for part of the Mothers’ Day menu I concocted. Actually that was a pretty good meal if I do say so myself. Homemade individual roasted vegetable tarts to start, a roast beef with mushroom souffle and all the usual trimmings, individual lime and chocolate cheesecakes, and a delicious cheese board to finish.
April then started busy with work and not much else. I met up with an old school friend for coffee, spent a few days working through my Open University course in advance. Before we knew it, Rachel was home for Easter, I went to the driving range a few times and considered taking up golf, we went to Portrush to play pitch and putt before dinner in Neptune and Prawn, and enjoyed the glorious weather over the Easter weekend. We had a family barbecue on the Saturday, Sunday lunch at the rugby club on Easter Sunday, and then spent Easter Monday lying on the grass and reading. I actually read a full book in one sitting! Back to work for a short week, and a good day of stock taking, led into a weekend with a girls night with some family. When the end of the month rolled around, I didn’t do much to be honest, just worked on my final assignment, and got ready for work again.
May 2019 brought a lot of exciting things. Rachel headed back to Edinburgh for her exam, while I was in work, and spent the weekend sorting through my summer clothes and shopping. I had one last assignment for that part of my course, so I worked on it a bit too. Then before you knew it, we were heading off to Cyprus for a week of relaxing in the sun! When we got back, I really was working like crazy to get my assignment well and truly finished off, because for the final bank holiday weekend I had 2 concerts planned! Snow Patrol and Westlife. Snow Patrol was decent, and Bono from U2 appeared on stage as a surprise to sing with them, but the highlight of the month was Westlife. I don’t think I’ll ever get over being there!
June started with Rachel home for a charity barbecue, and we went to see Michael Bublé in concert! While he was still good, it didn’t seem as good as London. The rest of the month was mainly filled with work, but I did manage a trip down to Fermanagh to see family before the month ended!
Well July came around and with it came a lunch out with Granny, a visit to Edinburgh, and a weekend in Enniskillen. Amongst family barbecues, work, and choir rehearsals, the summer fly by!
…was a busy month. I started the month going to my first ever Pride in Belfast and had a blast, and probably a few too many drinks. We said goodbye to our oven at the start of the month in preparation for the kitchen being renovated, and so we spent a few weekends at Granny’s for lunch or dinner. I had another dentist appointment (only one more to go!), and Rachel came home for 9 days while the kitchen was being renovated. Family and friends were in and out of hospital for one reason or another, a close family friend died (not unexpectedly but still), and choir rehearsals went on throughout it all.
I can honestly say that was the most tiring month I’ve had in a long time. The month started with Granny round for Sunday Lunch, alongside a lot of the usual Sunday things that always seem to take forever. We were all finally back in the office together for the first time in what seemed like forever! The week ended with me on a half day and getting my hair done – the perfect weekend treat! That Saturday was my birthday surprise – tickets to see Ireland play Wales in the pre-rugby world cup friendlies taking place in Dublin – and a great day out! We left the house at 8am, and made it back for 9pm after an Irish win, some drinks in the sun, and a lovely meal at the Halfway House. On Sunday then we did the usual Tesco shop, and Mum spent a while in the kitchen. Monday 9th was my birthday – the scary 24 – and I was in work as per usual. With us being down to only 2 office staff (instead of the full 3 of us) it was busier than normal, but nothing too bad. After work we were meant to be getting a Chinese takeaway for dinner but it ended up being fish and chips when we realised the local Chinese takeaway place was closed. Choir was busy that week, and to be honest the rest of the week passed without much happening. Then the weekend hit again and it was time to sort things for Rachel’s birthday. Saturday morning Mum and I left the house before 10am to get started on the things we needed to do – that’s early for me at the weekend! Between shopping in Belfast, a stop in Lidl, a trip into Lisburn, then another visit to Tesco, we collapsed back into the house to have some lunch before heading out shopping again that afternoon. Sunday was then spent cleaning, cooking, and out on the road again to sort more stuff for Rachel’s birthday, alongside a trip to Ikea. We went with the intention of buying one thing, and came out with about 20 things that we hadn’t thought we needed until we saw them and without the one thing we went for – always the way! Then I was in work Monday, and off Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday was spent preparing for Wednesday, and finished off with a meal round at my granny’s house because my aunt was over. Wednesday was then Rachel’s 21st birthday and it was a bit manic! We were all up around 8:30, Rachel opened her presents, and then we went hell for leather trying to get everything sorted on time for a family lunch with the 2 grannies and our aunt. It was a good day, and I think Rachel had a good birthday! So on Thursday I was back in work, and Rachel’s friends arrived over for the party on Friday. Needless to say, Rachel and I both very much enjoyed the party on Friday, and Saturday was started with a bit of a hangover… but we got ourselves sorted and up to the North Coast for the day and night! That night we had dinner in the Ramore Wine Bar, and drinks back in Neptune and Prawn. Sunday morning everyone was up semi early to watch the rugby (Ireland v Scotland), and then we headed back down the road to Lisburn. Rachel and her friends were heading back to Edinburgh that night so they caught up on Strictly, while I managed to doze off for a while. Then the last week of the month was just work and the choir concert on Friday!
The start of October saw me start guitar lessons with one of Dad’s old friends. My first night of going there, I managed to take the wrong turn off at the roundabout and drove for 6 miles in the wrong direction before I could come off at the first exit and double back on myself. Did I mention it was on the motorway? Anyway, I eventually got there, and that is how I’ve been spending my Wednesday nights since choir ended! We took the cat to the vet about her limping on her front paw, only to find it’s been a tiny piece of grit stuck in the pad of her paw. All was well, the vet removed it, and we then spent the next 4 days trying to syringe an anti-inflammatory liquid medication into her mouth. Needless to say the battle scars rook forever to heal… But the weekend was soon on us, and between watching rugby matches and housework we managed to squeeze in a lunch out at the rugby club. The following week I had a catch up call with Paul and it made me realise just how much I need to try and sort a weekend in Glasgow asap. More guitar lessons and going through it in the evenings, along with then my trip to the local beauty salon for a “Spa Pedicure” – it was bliss! After that I dashed home to pack for our weekend up north for Rachel’s birthday present, which you can read all about here. Since then, while we’ve been busy, I honestly can’t tell you what we’ve been doing!
We started the month with a quieter day in work, and a Saturday spent in St George’s Market. I then spent the Sunday working on my Open University assignment, a few pre-written blogmas posts, and practising guitar for what seemed like the first time in a year. The following week saw me have a shorter working week, followed by a trip to Scotland to catch up with some friends and spend the weekend with Rachel in Inverness (which you can find details of here). Another working week was cut slightly short, with Mum and Dad over visiting Rachel and me having a half day at work. I spent the Friday lunch and afternoon with Granny, Saturday lunch and afternoon with her again, and then the rest of the weekend getting through some Christmas shopping, a bit of baking, blogging and guitar. A busy weekend if I do say so myself! The next week was more “normal”, with a full working week.
It certainly didn’t slow down for us as December began! The first saw us decorating the house which took all day surprisingly. Tuesday was my granny’s birthday, so after work we were round at her house for a family meal. It didn’t work out as well as we had hoped, but she had a good enough day all in all. Then that Saturday night was our Work Christmas Party night, and 2 of our agents from the mainland came across for it! It was a long and somewhat messy night, and I spent the next day dying on the sofa. The following weekend I went for dinner with Granny before going to see the Ulster Orchestra and Belfast Philharmonic Choir perform Handel’s Messiah – her birthday present from me this year. Then we were into the new week, and with it came Mum’s birthday – we went to see Last Christmas in the cinema, and then out for dinner afterwards. Thursday that week then saw me back at the Waterfront Hall, this time to see The Magic of Christmas – West End star Sophie-Louise Dann, Alex Gaumond, the Belfast Philharmonic Choir and the Ulster Orchestra put on a night of Christmas music to really get you feeling festive – I’ve since found out it’s an annual show so I’ll definitely be looking at tickets for that for next year! Finally, on the Saturday night, the 4 of us went to see Driving Home For Christmas at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast – the last of the pre-Christmas shows. After that, Christmas was on us. We had a quiet one at home just the four of us, having gone out to visit family and on to the rugby club on Christmas Eve. On Boxing Day, Rachel’s boyfriend and his mum came round for a few drinks and nibbles, and they brought their new puppy – a 12 week old cockapoo! Adorable doesn’t even begin to cover it. Friday morning saw a quick dash into town for some exchanges of presents, and a dart into Tesco for a grocery shop. Friday afternoon, we visited family, and got an invite around for Saturday afternoon too! So we did just that, after a trip out to see what was left in the sales. On Sunday, Granny came up for dinner as we hadn’t seen her in a week, and then Monday was a day of catching up with ourselves after the busy festive period. And now, it’s New Year’s Eve, and we’re all out tonight! So let’s see just how well these resolutions I’m making last…
It was a busy year all in all! Looking back on that all, I can roughly guess how my goals for 2019 turned out, but shall we have a look back at them?
- Cut down on caffeine and drink more water.
I can honestly say this was a no. A bit of a fail.
- Reach goal weight.
Yes! I did this! Now just to tone it all up and maybe actually exercise…
- Meditate daily.
Yup! Every night before bed.
- Sleep 7 hours a night.
Was this ever going to be achievable? I think we definitely failed this one.
- Read 12 books.
You may have read my post the other day, but yes! I succeeded with this one!
- Socialise more.
Not entirely sure I did this one…
- Find a new class/hobby to take up.
Guitar! Definitely guitar counts!
- Do something new each month.
- Reach the below milestones:
Twitter – 10,500 followers
Blog – 750 followers
Instagram – 1500 followers
Pinterest – 350 followers
ummmm….. I didn’t manage any of the above…
- Increase my DA (currently at 21)
Well my DA at time of writing this is 17… it went down… but is that really surprising with my lack of posts?
- Post here 4 times a month
- Go to more events
They just didn’t work in amongst my calendar unfortunately this year!
- Visit one new country in Europe.
- Book a weekend city break somewhere different (possibly transatlantic?).
Well, I was meant to go to Warsaw with Rachel and that fell through, but we ended up in Inverness so not a total fail!
- Spend more time in Scotland visiting Rachel and friends.
Not as much as I would’ve liked.
- Go on more adventures!
Well I did a few adventures!
Since this post is ridiculously long, check in tomorrow to see what my goals are for 2020! Oh, one final thing:
Happy New Year everyone!