THE ROUNDUP – 2016

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2016, for the most part, has been a bit shit.

Even Christmas Day was ruined by the theft of yet another great artist, making me think it might be best if we all simply stayed inside and hibernated until 2017 to avoid being taken, too.

As we reach the finish line, however, I think it’s about time we let go of the series of unfortunate events that have occurred over the last 12 months and celebrated the good memories that were made in 2016 in order to shed some light on the year of shade that will forever be remembered for being the actual worst.

Here are my personal highlights of the last (almost) 365 days.

Pretending to be Anna in Oslo

We started the year in Oslo, which is probably the most amazing place I have ever been to. Astonished at paying a fiver for a can of Coke but even more in awe of the snowy landscape that swept me off my feet, I felt like I was in Frozen. Funny enough, though, despite the amazing surroundings, my highlight was simply walking home from dinner with a hot chocolate in hand, taking in the moonlit cityscape. It’s the little things, I guess. I made a little film here.

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A Weekend in Cornwall

We head to this part of the world a couple of times a year, each year, to see Ryan’s nan. We’re so lucky to have somewhere to stay down there while we explore hidden beaches, eat chips and drink coffee at our favourite place in St. Ives and hunt for the perfect cream tea. My favourite moment of this particular weekend was being wrapped up warm, next to a blazing bonfire on a blustery British beach, looking out into the ocean until it grew dark.

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Waving Holly Off on her Road to Rio

Holly has been my best friend from the moment we sang Mamma Mia – the A-Teens version – in front of our entire school dressed in matching baby pink t-shirts and Adidas shell toes, so I know her pretty well. She has worked her bum off since she was 14, rarely leaves South West London and is scared of pretty much everything, so when she announced, in May, that she was following the love of her life to Rio for the rest of the year, I couldn’t be anything more than overjoyed for her. If anyone deserved a break in the South American sunshine, she did.

(Come home now please)

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Moving to Bristol

Who’d a thunk it? Moving cities takes a lot of hard work. Not going to lie, leaving that flat in Wimbledon and my friends and family behind broke my heart, but Bristol has treated me well. I have been a bit cheeky, though, heading back to London every time I get the chance. Here’s to spending more time there in 2017.

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Glitter Balls at Glastonbury

Weeing in wellies, manicures at midnight and walking home as the sun rose. There’s no point retelling one’s favourite moments from their time at Glastonbury because, to be quite frank, the stories won’t make much sense beyond the gate. Highlight of this year? Adele.

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Travelling to Spain to See a Beautiful Couple Tie the Knot

At the start of the summer, we headed to Spain to see two friends get married in the most stunning of settings. We stayed in a gorgeous villa with some friends and spent a few days in the sunshine. It was perfect.

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Our Algarve Adventure

Hot. So, so so hot is the first thing I have to say about our trip to the Algarve. Another holiday centred around a wedding, we stayed a little longer (of course) and boy did Portugal deliver. Ryan found his one true love there: Pastéis de Nata and I found my happy place: Sagres; we wandered through fish markets, spent precious down time together by our private pool on the farm and I acquired more freckles than I ever thought imaginable. It was bliss.

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Brother Popping the Question

I just can’t believe he’s managed to kid someone into saying yes. In all honesty, though – he’s picked a good’un and I couldn’t be happier. Our family is getting bigger and I like it.

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Watching One of My Oldest Friends Get Married in Paris

Ellie has been an adult since she walked out of her mother’s womb, so it was no surprise that she would be the first of us to get married. In sixth form, dressed in scuffed blazers, wearing far too much makeup for school and with absolutely no idea what was waiting for us on the other side of our A Level exam hall, she told me that when we were older she wanted to get married to a tall, dark, handsome stranger, in Paris, at Christmas time. Nine years later and I found myself hopping on a Eurostar over to one of the most beautiful cities in the world to watch Ellie do just that. Magical.

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So there we have it: my highlights of the last 12 months.

I’m starting to think that perhaps 2016 wasn’t so bad after all…

NAT. IT WAS THE WORST.

What are your favourite moments from the year of doom? I’d love to know.

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