Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Looking back at 2013 : Part 2

Following on from Part 1... Highlights of my year:

September: I saw an amazing performance of The Sound of Music (my all time favourite musical / film ever) at the Open Air Theatre in Regents Park. Another highlight was seeing McFly perform at the Royal Albert Hall for their 10th anniversary concert and the first ever performance from McBusted. I made it to the cinema this month for the first time in MONTHS to see About Time directed by Richard Curtis - such a fantastic film. I have had frequent twitter correspondence with his other half: Emma Freud. Love her. I entered the Cassandra Jardine Memorial Prize competition but won't hear until the New Year if I have won (fingers crossed). 

October: I discovered the CRONUT. Yes, its probably 1 million calories and contains none of my five a day but SO YUMMY. Met Jennifer Saunders and Clare Balding - hilarious evening with them at the South Bank Centre. Saw the musical Les Miserables for the first time - mind boggling. Managed to get in the front row of a live recording of the Graham Norton Show and the guests that night were Sir Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, James Cordon and others. Another incredible evening with Rosie Norman at her supper club. Went to Italy for the first time ever to visit my brother in Florence. Spent the most heavenly and unforgettable day with Charlotte Bevan at their new house in Southwold. Dream like. Rounded off October with another great trip to the theatre to see Raving at the Hampstead theatre starring Sarah Hadland, Robert Webb and Tamzin Outhwaite. Hilarious. 

November: Bumped into David Cameron and his family in Notting Hill for the second time - complete coincidence. Another incredible evening at the theatre watching Scenes from a Marriage directed by Sir Trevor Nunn - an emotional roller-coaster  Went to a live recording of Backchat - a new series on BBC 3 with Jack Whitehall and his father Michael. Also this month, I managed to get my psychiatrist to meet Ruby Wax - so cool to get two amazing brains to meet one another. Nov was busy on the blogging front too - Bill Oddie caused quite a stir saying that celebrities were making mental illness fashionable and my response was read by lots of you and even Ruby dedicated a blog post to me - reposting my thoughts on her website. Charlotte's Helix was also born and saw me as the first person in the UK to donate my DNA. 

December: We have only just reached the half way point in December as I write this and my feet have hardly touched the ground in the last few weeks / days. The start of the month gave me the most tremendous privilege of seeing a preview of Sane New World and I was asked to provide constructive feedback on it **. And then in the same week, I had the most heavenly afternoon tea at the Waldorf (Aldwych) courtesy of a great friend of mine AND then two days later Lunch at the Savoy - which I am still full from!

** I have been so lucky to have been re-kindled (is that a word??) with Ruby since our first meeting in 2012 and to have been so valued by her - I have made heaps of suggestions in terms of pimping her book, ideas for events (some of which have gone ahead like the School of Life), put her in touch with MPs to tackle mental health/stigma on a wider scale, fighting off fools like Bill Oddie and showing up with a cheery smile at the occasional talk in the middle of nowhere to help with a chaotic book signing (Mile End) - and all of it is so appreciated & acknowledged and I feel so rewarded. And this has all surely been one of the MAJOR highlights of the year and given me the biggest spring in my step - for which I am so grateful. More than anything, I have been inspired to work harder than ever at tackling mental health stigma - something else for me to get my teeth into.

Here is a picture I took of London from Waterloo Bridge earlier in December - no filter: it sums up why I love living in London.



And now home and Christmas and I am yet to wrap up a single present. My most recent excitement is the discovery of Puff Pastry Mince Pies AND Morrisons "Indulgent Brandy Sauce" (basically think brandy cream - I felt drunk on one table spoon of the stuff..). I have also been involved with beat's Transitions Project. Very rewarding. 

There has also been one other project which I can't utter a word about other than that if it works / if what I have done comes together, you will definitely be the first to hear about it and it will be the most exciting thing ever (stay tuned!) 

I have also rediscovered my love for the theatre - not just musicals - I mean actual plays - some have left me crying with laughter, others have been poignant and very thought provoking. So excited to be going to see Jeeves & Worcester in the New Year. 

One thing is for sure about the last 12 months - I have met people I never imagined would ever be possible (I did come face to face with my doppelgänger when I met Miranda Hart), I've worked harder than ever - in the classroom and the workplace and hopefully made great strides towards whatever will come next.

Golly, this was meant to be a blog post summing up some of the best bits but it turns out there are heapsI can't wait for whatever 2014 has in store but after this year, it will be hard to top.

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