|Paris, April 2014|
As we come to the end of another year, it's always time to reflect on the best and worst bits of the previous twelve months. Personally, I prefer not to focus on the bad. Luckily there wasn't a massive amount for me, personally. A bit of work stress, yes. Struggling with my weight, check. Losing a friend through no fault of my own as far as I'm concerned, indeed. (That one, especially, still irks and hurts massively but what can you do!) Scotland not becoming independent, gutted. :-( There has obviously been a lot of bad stuff happening in the world, and close to home there was the bus lorry tragedy in Glasgow just a week ago - having something so tragic and horrible happen in your adopted hometown is just heartbreaking, and makes you realise just how easily something precious can be lost.
But nice stuff happened too. For example, last week I won a pretty large sum of money in work. Not a life-changing amount by any means, but enough to treat myself to a couple of nice things (have yet to decide on what), sign myself up for some online personal training and pay it forward a bit by buying six of those meals for the homeless that Itison and Social Bite teamed up to offer.
Throughout the year, I got to visit some really nice places too. There were places in Scotland, obviously, which I feel so lucky to have finally got to visit, places I've always wanted to go and places I had never even heard of before. I've covered some of these places in my Scotland the Beautiful series, which I hope you will check out, if you haven't already. It's amazing some of the little gems my modest country has been hiding! My favourite so far has been the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall and Loch Skeen, near Moffat in Dumfrieshire... once I eventually made it up the hill!
Then in April I got to go back to Paris for the first time in nearly 20 years, as my boyfriend took part in the Paris marathon. Going back and doing the tourist thing as an adult was pretty immense and I loved every minute of it. Well, apart from nearly killing myself climbing the stairs in the Arc de Triomphe (view of the street from that vantage point in the picture above!) !
Corfu the following month was also utterly amazing - relaxing and sunny and beautiful. Just what I needed. I loved the hotel too - unfortunately we probably won't go back there as planned due to it being "done up" a bit and therefore hiking up its prices. I have my eyes on a hotel a few resorts over with six waterflumes though for next year so it's all good... ;-)
In late June, we headed to Blackpool for a long weekend, another place I haven't been in years.Okay, so the Blackpool Tower isn't quite as grand as the Eiffel Tower but it was still great fun. And, since I hate heights with a passion, was a bit less scary. Apart from the glass floor, that is! Our hotel was lovely (there will be a post on my favourite British - mainly Scottish - hotels coming up at some point soon and this hotel will be most definitely featuring) and I ate the biggest toad in the hole that I believe ever existed (well I could only manage half), and we went to the Pleasure Beach, we played so many arcade games, did a Pier pub crawl, found the local Wetherspoons (well, you have to!) and played Crazy Golf. The only thing we didn't manage which was on my list was making a sandcastle, but on the sunday when the weather was amazing, the tide was in for most of the day. Typical!!!
|Obviously this is not real... I would have been having a panic attack by that point!|
|Pier pub crawl!|
|Posing in front of the Blackpool tower... as you can see it's not quite as glam as the Eiffel Tower... but less scary!|
|The glass floor was not my friend!|
|View from the tower!|
|Biggest toad in the hole I've ever seen, courtesy of our hotel!|
There were a couple of other trips, a night in Dundee, a weekend in Aberdeen for me and the man's one year anniversary in October . . . and then a week in Tenerife with the sister in early November. (Note to self, going on a bikini-type holiday with a gym bunny is NOT good for the self esteem. But still was a great laugh and my first experience of going all-inclusive)
|Me and the sis being silly!|
|Posing by the beach...|
I've had great days and nights out, there's been many lunches, dinners and too many cheeseboards to count (both going out and staying in.) I've became the regular little cook and spend ages poring over Instagram for recipe ideas and then cooking up a storm for me and the man (I get my own back by making him do the dishes afterwards.) And I've been blown away by the support from my friends around the various things that have put a pall on my otherwise really nice year. Okay, so I lost one friend... but I think the behaviour of my other friends should remind me just of why that loss shouldn''t really impact my life that much.
2014, all in all, has been a great year. I'm hoping 2015 can surpass this - we're already planning a return to Paris in April, another trip to Corfu and (hopefully) trips to Northern Ireland and London. We've also already got a weekend in Anstruther booked in January (I used some of my winnings for that) and an overnight in Loch Lomond in the not-too-distant future. And hopefully this online personal training thing will help me get my body confidence back.
Here's to 2015 everyone!!!
What were you high points of 2014? Anything in particular you're looking forward to this year?