So 2018 is over! Hurrah! Happy New Year everyone!!!
It’s 2019 now and although perhaps 2018 wasn’t the biggest flop (that’s mainly thanks to this blog if I am honest) I still want this year to be awesome. I have so much stuff planned and I cannot wait to share it with you.
However, now is the time to reflect and think about last year.
Over on my personal Twitter I posted a brief summary with lots of pictures and collages so if you want to check that out click here (a new tab will open) that is more brief and mainly looking at highlights but if you want a more in depth look then please stick around. Get yourself a cup of tea and perhaps a biscuit (or a mince pie if you have any left) and enjoy this post.
First I am going to look at some of favourites of last year. So here we go.
Let’s kick things off with my favourite record of 2018! There were a few contenders here from Spring King‘s “A Better Life” to IDLES‘ “Joy as an Act of Resistance” but claiming the metaphorical crown had to be Nick J.D. Hodgson‘s “Tell Your Friends“. It is an album which means a hell of a lot to me and I am sure it will for years to come (read my interview with Nick here). Nick is a sound guy who helped highlight my year with not only the release of this record but the five gigs of his I attended. Hopefully there will be many more.
Sticking to music, I am now thinking about my favourite gigs and this is a difficult category to answer. So I am going to give several answers. A highlight last year was seeing Fall Out Boy live in concert at The Arena in Birmingham (read original post here). They are a band that I have loved for years so finally having the opportunity to see them live was massive for me and they didn’t disappoint. On the theme of large audiences, Penn Fest was also incredible (read original post here). The line up, the atmosphere and the Kaiser Chiefs headlining was just the icing on the cake.
Acts who also killed it live were IDLES, Calva Louise, Spring King, Candid and Free Galaxy. All of them were incredible and the atmosphere in the smaller venues electric.
Next, thinking about my other loves I have got to think about my favourite sporting moment of last year. This is a tough one because I thoroughly enjoyed so much sport throughout the year. The F1 championship was more exciting than previous years, watching Liverpool play brilliant football and that World Cup penalty shoot-out versus Colombia.
Cricket is where my heart lies and even then it is difficult to pick out a single moment. I am torn, between my county side Warwickshire winning the second division and being promoted and the test series versus India. Both were awesome.
Looking at other forms of entertainment, my favourite YouTuber of 2018 had to be Shane Dawson with PewDiePie close behind. Both released incredible content, raising the bar for other content creators. From the small screen to the big screen my favourite film had to be Bohemian Rhapsody. Close behind was probably the latest Avengers film but the Freddie Mercury biopic had to take this one for me. It was very well made, acting was out of this world and it brought every single emotion out of me. 10/10 would see again.
Lastly my favourite book was definitely “Notes On A Nervous Planet” by Matt Haig. Matt is an inspiration of mine and I love both his fiction and non-fiction works. He is an advocate of mental health and for that I look up to him. His books are brilliant and I had the pleasure of hearing him speak last summer where I also met him and had my book signed. It was an encounter that meant a lot to me.
Next I wanted to talk about my highest and lowest point of the year. Which are quite big contrasts to each other but I think talking about the lowest point would be good so I can put it to bed so to speak.
I am going to start with that. I think definitely my lowest point last year was having a panic attack in Leeds witnessed by some of my favourite band, Kaiser Chiefs. I’m just so embarrassed that it happened. I was at Church (music venue) for Nick J.D. Hodgson‘s set at Live At Leeds. Some of the Kaiser Chiefs were there to watch which was nice and supportive but afterwards I suffered a major panic attack sat on a bollard outside of the venue. My then boyfriend didn’t deal with the situation well which I’m not blaming him for because it can be a difficult one.
I can’t say what triggered the attack for complicated reasons but I was sat outside for about then minutes not being able to stand, having difficulty breathing and feeling so sick. My throat was dry and it was honestly one of the worst feelings I have ever experienced. It was about ten minutes in and Vijay (drummer, my f*cking hero) came to see if I was okay which I very much wasn’t. I think Simon (bassist) was also there but I can’t really remember because the truth is I can’t really remember the event at all.
I remember us being sat talking for about 30-45 minutes I think (not sure what about) and him getting me water and I possibly threw myself at him (not in a weird way) but I can’t remember. But either way I’m very embarrassed. Something I should add is he knew the trigger of the attack which helped put my mind at ease.
He was a trooper and handled it all well. He checked on me at their gig the following day and stuff…he seemed chill. I don’t know. It wasn’t something I could help but also I am feeling awkward about it.
At the beginning of 2018 I wasn’t in education. I was on a gap year and working part time at a hairdressers which I thoroughly enjoyed. Leaving all those wonderful people was difficult for me but I have seen them plenty of times since. Even went to the Christmas do!
But leaving is what I had to do because in September I started at Aston University. It has been an interesting experience so far to say the least but I am personally proud of how I handled the massive change. What is funny though, I thought the hardest part of it all would be the independence but actually I have been finding that okay. It’s the course itself that has been difficult.
I study Computer Science which is a subject I have never studied before. There are people on my course who have (that’s the majority I would say) and also some who haven’t so sometimes I feel a bit left behind but I have made some good friends who have been keeping me afloat.
Also, a huge benefit of living in Birmingham now is the music scene. There are so many venues in the city centre of all sizes and so many opportunities. It is giving me more options for this blog and now I have settled in I hope to look into them further. In addition, the studio I like to drum at is walking distance from my accommodation. This year I am going to look at drumming more than ever! But more on that in a future post…
2018 took me to many places! In Europe I went to The Algarve, Portugal with my family back in April and then later in September I visited Brussels, Belgium with some of my friends. Both were brilliant trips. I love going to Portugal with my family because it just feels so serene but then in contrast I enjoyed a busy trip of sight seeing and eating in Belgium. The food was divine.
In the UK, I visited Norfolk on another family holiday but also many destinations for gigs and other day trips. These were: Leeds (three times), London (many, many times), Cheltenham, Penn, Wolverhampton and York.
I cannot wait to see where 2019 takes me!