As we await the slow sunrise of 2017 and all it brings, I take a brief look back on the last 12 months…
1. Marriage. Starting on a positive, this year I got wed in Copenhagen (blog post to follow!). Marrying the coolest man in the world was one of the highlights of my life; we did it without fuss or pomp, dressed fabulously, in the glorious sunshine, surrounded by our brilliant friends and family. Never did I envisage enjoying my own wedding so much.
2. Babies. As is the norm in your 30s several more of my good friends have got engaged, married, pregnant or produced new tiny humans. Having increased exposure to these little hellions made me realise they aren’t so bad after all, in fact they can be quite lovely and cuddly. Hopefully more people will be having kids so I can fulfil my destiny as cool Aunty Bina.
3. Television has been spectacularly good and usurped cinema in terms of quality, fortuitously this has coincided with me getting old and not wanting to leave the house much anymore. My highlights of 2016 were:
People Just Do Nothing, The Night Of, Mr Robot, Hillsborough, Narcos, Atlanta, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, Fleabag, NW, and the last ever season of Fresh Meat.
4. Travel. One of my 2016 New Year’s resolutions was to travel less, which quite obviously (if you’ve read this blog before) did not happen. In fact I am two countries up on last year’s total. But screw it, as my good friend Jo said, “Bina you could get shot in the face tomorrow, so just do what makes you happy”. Sage advice.
Cuba, Norway, France, Denmark (twice), Sweden, Finland, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Netherlands
5. Football. It has been a joy supporting Liverpool this year, something I have not really experienced since the Benitez years. The introduction of Klopp has turned our world upside down, the supporters and players, for the better. Lallana went from potential flop berated by many a fan to England’s secret weapon in a matter of months. We may have lost two finals but mainly that was due to hugely overachieving in the 15/16 season, there are plenty of reasons to be positive.
6. South London. Or rediscovering it I should say. We moved to a lovely Victorian flat on a leafy road in Crystal Palace after getting married. I also started a new job based in Wimbledon. With a family history stretching back to Old Kent Road, my draw to the badlands of South seems fated.
Markets in South London I love – Crystal Palace, West Norwood Feast, Lewisham Model Market, Brixton (the real life SoDoSoPa). The coffee and restaurant scene is burgeoning. My new yoga studio The Shala has ticked all the boxes. There’s even a Boxpark in Croydon now, who would have thought?!
7. Music. The below list belies my affection for hip hop, electronica-soul and nu-R&B. Unfortunately I haven’t seen as much live music as I would like, something which will form one of my 2017 resolutions.
Childish Gambino, Kano, Wolfie, Skepta, J.Cole, Ray BLK, Frank Ocean, ATCQ, MIA, Kendrick Lamar, Blood Orange, Solange (sorry Beyonce you just aren’t my cup of tea, but your sister is fab!)…
8. Health. The past 12 months have seen both my anxiety and cholesterol levels go through the roof. Someone close to me having a health scare, and ending up in hospital myself made me realise we should all take care of ourselves better.
Since then I’ve resolved to stress less about work, learn to say no (FOMO be gone!), keep days free in the calendar for “me time” and pay closer attention to my diet. I was pushing myself too much with yoga and the gym which resulted in injury, the setback has enabled me to be kinder to myself.
9. Politics. It would be disingenuous to write a year in review without mentioning the clusterfuck that was “Politics in 2016”. Brexit, Theresa May as our un-elected PM, Trump as POTUS-elect, Hillary Clinton screwing over Bernie Sanders, the Tories continuing to screw over the poor and disabled, Yemen and Syria, various terrorist attacks, the rise of populism…..etc.
Frankly I couldn’t even begin to detail everything in one blog post. Hopefully you get the point – 2016 may not have been the worst year ever but it certainly needs to be chucked in the bin and re-written.
10. Family and Friendships. This year has been a wonderful smorgasbord of experiences with those I love most. Each year that passes I appreciate every single one of you more.
My mum, dad, brother and nana having milestone birthdays. Constant yoga and brunching with my London crew. Saying goodbye to one Aussie cousin but welcoming another. Garage nation raving for Hen do part 1. A night of glitter, burlesque and boobs for Hen do part 2. All the holidays! Girly retreats in Northumberland. Nostalgic weekends in Liverpool. My brother coming back from New Zealand. Of course our beautiful wedding celebrations.
I’ve picked up a whole new family and a couple more friends along the way. Here’s to 2017!
P.S. I have decided to gloss over the celebrity deaths of 2016 because it is all too raw, George Michael and Carrie Fisher have broken me.