Things I did in 2017.

I've already written about my 2017 on the blog. And I interspersed that enormous link-riddled post with a few headlines in my personal life; went on a nice date, had major bowel surgery, came out to Australia, etc. etc...but I have since realised those little highlights don't really do my year justice. I mean yes, it was mostly shit, but there were some bright spots. No really, there were. 

Let's have a look at them, shall we? 
In no particular order, here are Some Mostly Good Things I Did in 2017!

(Photo: Erin Veness)

  • I made eye contact with Benedict Cumberbatch, as he walked across the YALC floor flanked by security. We exchanged the tiniest smiles.
  • I flew alone, for the first time. To Berlin, Barcelona, Berlin again, then Brisbane. (Maybe next year I'll exclusively fly to cities beginning with C...)
  • I found out my high school bestie is pregnant, after years of struggling to conceive. Bring on June!
  • I opened the doors to the Great Hall, all by myself, at the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Yes, I cried.
  • I had sex more than once!!!?
  • I forgave people. 
  • I had a nice conversation on camera with Hal Cruttenden about brain tumours, before watching his splendid comedy gig in Bethnal Green (put on for The Brain Tumour Charity). 
  • I ended the last few lingering toxic friendships. 
  • I met Sara Pascoe at an event for her book, and was amazed at her fantastic knowledge of the female body.
  • I had a hemicolectomy, and then a laparotomy 5 weeks later.
  • I embraced my imperfections more than I ever had before, and took part in Sophie Mayanne's incredible 'Behind the Scars' project.
  • I saw the black and white film 'The Party', starring Timothy Spall and Kristin Scott Thomas, in a super cool mobile kino on my first night in Berlin. It was so good I managed to stay awake throughout, despite being up since 4am that day. 
  • I told my story on BBC Radio Sussex.
  • I found the perfect group of hometown friends, to talk to and drunkenly sing along to pop punk and 80s tunes with.
  • I re-read the first 3 Harry Potter books. The Quidditch victory in 'The Prisoner of Azkaban' made me cry when I read it in a cafe, as it poured with rain outside.
  • I argued with new friends about whether the moon was properly full, as we stared up at it from atop a small mountain looking out over the city of Barcelona. 
  • I took part in the group tweeting of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' at Piers Morgan...and he blocked me.
  • I wrote more creatively. 
  • I guest lectured twice at my alma mater, in blogging.
  • I had an iced tea cocktail for the first time, and it was an exciting experience. 
  • I found the marvellous Scarlet Ladies; took part in their astonishing #ITalkSex campaign, and then became a member of their team. 
  • I walked all the way around Lake Wendouree, twice, and it just about quietened my mind, if only for a few hours.
  • I met my 3-year-old cousin (once removed). After 3 days getting used to me, he decided he loved me. He took my lipstick and put it on himself.  
  • I finally discovered Frances Cannon and her magical artwork. 
  • I joined my local gym, and went to the weekly badminton 'casual club'...for maybe 6 weeks?
  • I saw Newton Faulkner perform at a tiny sweat box of a club called Quasimodo, in Berlin. 
  • I began to like having my photo taken. 
  • I (jokingly) asked the parents to bring me a particular vegan doughnut home from Barcelona, when they visited the city 3 weeks or so after I went...and they did.
  • I had lunch and played a treacherous Scrabble game in a pub with a couple I'd been meaning to meet up with forever.

  • I got to see the 'Harry Potter: A History of Magic' exhibition at the British Library, on its first day, because an excellent friend thought to buy us tickets months before, when I hadn't even heard it was coming to London. 
  • I saw 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' screened in an ancient Brighton cinema at 8pm; after nearly falling asleep before the end, we then had to run for the last train home. 
  • I almost fell in love, twice, but stopped myself just in time. 
  • I took myself out for lunch to a cute little cafe in Berlin. I had a spinach and roasted veggies toastie, and a glass of fresh orange juice (despite asking for 'just wasser'). It was magical. 

  • I lost 2 stone, and then slowly put most of it back on. (I look better with it on)
  • I saw Lush's HQ in London, and may now be desperate to work there, in some capacity, someday. 
  • I wrote down wishes and tied them to trees.
  • I chaired 2 book panels in London Waterstones stores, and interviewed 2 celebrity authors at Waterstones in Brighton.
  • I bought a new succulent to accompany my cactus on the window sill, after I killed the other cactus I'd bought for that purpose.
  • Friends from afar visited me at home; I got to show them where I'm from and share my most favourite places and things there.
  • I slipped a handsome barista my card after he served me in an indie cafe, and he actually called me that evening. He opened with 'I'm the guy in the Bowie T-shirt?'
  • I saw my favourite film of all time at an outdoor screening in Embankment Gardens...on my birthday.

  • I spent too much time thinking up and playing with specific Instagram themes. 
  • I interned with one of my favourite children's publishers, and realised I'd rather be an editor than a publicist or press officer.
  • I discovered a new favourite restaurant; the Thai located in a dusty old bookshop by the seaside.
  • I dyed my hair pink, violet, silver and lilac. It also went green in the sun, at times. I had a dear friend bleach it, something I'd never done before.
  • I just about cleared out many shelves in various charity bookshops.
  • I ate a life-changing veggie breakfast taco, and almost forgot to drink the accompanying tea in my excitement. 
  • My lovely friend, the professional baker who owns my favourite cafe, made me the ultimate birthday treat. A vegan, gluten free mocha cake with vanilla and piped icing on top that read: 'coffee please. And a shot of cynicism.'
  • I revisited a bar in London that I hadn't been to since I was 18. It wasn't as good as I remembered, but I was so delighted to be there at all, as I'd forgotten where precisely it was. 
  • I found 2 new favourite local cafes.
  • Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby, Queensland, blew me away and gave me the most immense comfort. 

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  • I saw musicals and plays. 'Kinky Boots', 'Bat Out of Hell', 'A Woman of No Importance' all in London; 'One Man Two Guv'nors' in Eastbourne. 
  • I attended a few poetry events; proper spoken word artists, open mics, slam competitions. All perfect. 
  • I visited the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour, for the second time, with the family. We drove into the car park as 'Hedwig's Theme' played through the car's speakers, from my iPod. 
  • I visited the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, The National Gallery in London; I saw the Transology exhibition in the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Quentin Blake's recent works at the Jerwood in Hastings, and a Bowie photography show in the Lucy Bell Gallery, St Leonards. 
  • I got 4 new tattoos.
  • I read over 90 books. 
  • I bought over 40 books, and may have received more than twice that in the post, from publishers. 
  • I attended 18 book events (4 of which I hosted/chaired).
  • I drank 462 cups of coffee.
  • I did my best to document my year, month by month, in wrap up posts
  • I did my very best, every day, to be the real me and not care what others thought of her. 



    When enough shitty things happen to you over the course of a year, it's easy to forget the magic of the little things until you go to write them down. I have a page in my bullet journal where I do this throughout the year, so I can revisit it on my birthday (I make it sound like I've been doing this for years, but really, I scrabbled together a "34 great things that happened when I was 34" last June and have been a bit more mindful about the practice this year, which will save me time when 35 rolls around...)

    Happy new year, pet. May 2018 be similarly full of magic.

    Lis / last year's girl x

    1. Thank you so much for reading and enjoying this, Lis. I have really loved keeping track of the little - and big - things this year. Definitely will continue in 2018, and hopefully I'll have even more to talk about this time next year!

      I wish so badly that I had the patience and artistic style to do the bullet journaling thing. I seriously admire anyone who does it. Good on you!

      Happy 2018 to you, darl. Let's rock it.



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