Inspired by Austin Kleon’s 100 things that made his year. Although not definitive, here are 35 things (in no particular order), which on reflection I’m truly grateful for and which made my year in 2017.

  1. Reading the wonderful ‘Book of Joy’ by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu . It doesn’t cease to amaze me how serene and ‘joyful’ that these two remarkable humans are, considering all that they have been through in their lives.
  2. Mustering up the courage to change something in my life, my job.
  3. Getting married to my best friend and organising a wedding which truly was ‘us’.
  4. All of our friends and family who came to our wedding and who really made us feel loved.
  5. My Dad’s speech at our wedding.
  6. Being a member of The Athlete Centre and enjoying Strength Classes.
  7. Sharing my prolific Aloe Vera plants with friends.
  8. Spending a week in Skye with a bunch of good eggs.
  9. Travelling up to Fort William on the Caledonian Sleeper in the ‘seats’ carriage. This made me realise just how blessed we were to get a cabin for our return journey!
  10. Visiting Venice for the second time, and being able to take the time to savour the tastes, smells and sounds of one of the most special cities.
  11. The news shortly after our visit to Venice that large cruise ships will be banned from going past San Marco.
  12. Being lucky enough to frequent Nelson Coffee Co. in Eastbourne. Seriously, if you’re ever down that way, take the time to pay them a visit!
  13. Learning to climb with Peter at Oxford Brookes.
  14. Having our first spontaneous Micro-Adventure together in Wales before the year was up. This sparked our resolution to organise one every month.
  15. Getting rid of what felt like a million cables and purchasing a wireless Bose Speaker.
  16. Having enough faith in Peter to go to sleep listening to white noise (played via the speaker above) to block out annoying noises which used to wake me up. I now have uninterrupted sleep!
  17. Deciding not to have a city honeymoon break and instead, booking a two week winter mountaineering course trip with Glenmore Lodge.
  18. Accompanying Peter and Jonathan to see Too Many Zooz perform in Oxford. They were brilliant.
  19. Taking the time to research our trip to Jersey and booking a Night-time War Tour with these guys: Jersey War Tours.
  20. Changing my 2 hour commute to 30 minutes.
  21. Slowly learning to leave my phone at home when I go out.
  22. Peter’s Mum & Dad getting a dog. This dog…
  23. Having the courage to stop my 2-year old blog, Oh Beans.
  24. Finally getting to see The Kooks live in Birmingham. Amazing! They took me back to being 17 again.
  25. Putting into practice my learnings from Maria Kondo’s book ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’, and emptying my drawers of clothes which didn’t spark joy.
  26. Giving my old clothes to charity instead of binning them.
  27. My 4-year nephew’s answer to Peter saying ‘that if a teacher says that there’s no such thing as the square root of minus one, that’s a lie. It’s the letter i.’ To which he said ‘I know I!’.
  28. Baths. With this amazing stuff from Neals Yard.
  29. Sharing the Christmas Day cooking with Mum.
  30. Never ever winning against Peter playing Monopoly. I mean really! It’s a game of chance, and it’s been like 10 games!
  31. Watching the sunset behind the majestical Cullin Ridge in Skye.
  32. Discovering Skye Gold.
  33. Dreaming up new adventures and challenges to plan and do with Peter. Including taking part in The Great Outdoors Challenge in 2019, climbing the Cullin Ridge, a trip to Japan, walking another 100 miles (or maybe more).
  34. About Time. The film. Trailer.
  35. Not spending a penny on Christmas cards in 2017 and instead making them!