Twenty-Fourteen So Far

It's July!!! My favourite month of the year, for many reasons. Initially because it's the month of my birthday but also because it's the height of summer and that brings back childhood memories of a six week break from school, family holidays, barbecues and as much time spent outside as humanly possible. Three cheers for July.

And as we're officially half way through the year I wanted to take a look back at the year so far and remind myself of all the excellent things that have happened.

It feels like 2014 has been a really good one. My new year really started at the tail-end of 2013 as I accepted the offer of a new job and prepared myself to move on to my second job out of university. How time flies eh? I spent the first three months of the year living in Kingston with my Aunt & Uncle whilst I waited to move in with my boy. I had such a good time living with them, so chilled and relaxed and just lovely.

Half way through living in Kingston came along the opportunity to go on a road trip with a bunch of friends to Holland. My boy's band had booked two gigs out there, one in Venlo on the German border and one in The Hague. We set off on Friday 7th March early in the morning in a 17 seater mini bus, crammed full of amps, guitars and a group of people ready to have a good time, and we did. We stopped in Dunkerque for lunch and over took a pub for an hour or so, then made our way to Bruges to stop for a beer (bar our amazing driver), then arrived on the East cost of Holland around 9pm after an insane amount of wee breaks.

After a fairly rowdy first night we started to make our way across to The Hague. We arrived late, obviously but still with enough time for us three girls to find a hostel for the night and get some beers in before the gig. The band, Hang Fire, played at a venue called SuperMarkt, and it was amazing. Not just the way they played but the venue itself. It opened my eyes to how shoddy the live music scene can be in London, and gave me food for thought, but that's a story for another day. We had a really great time in that city and finished the last day off by buying three crates of 24 beers and drinking in the back of the bus until we reached Antwerp for a quick bite to eat then raced across the continent to make our Eurostar train. Hectic and stressful to say the least.

Not long after we got back from Holland, it was finally time for myself and the boy and his sister, Louise and her fiancé, Faisal, to go to The Crazy Bear in Beaconsfield to use the voucher my boy's mum got us for Christmas. The night before, we stayed over at Louise and Faisal's flat in Surrey watching films and spending some good quality time together. Then in the morning we woke up and went for a long walk round Richmond Park to work up an appetite. Louise and Faisal took us to Pembroke Lodge to show us the room in which they'll be getting married later on this summer. It is stunning and many squeals of excitement were had.

The voucher for The Crazy Bear was for a three course meal (roast dinner yes) as well as a starter and a dessert. The food was glorious. Needless to say, all four of us had the roast beef option - it would be rude not to, and came out feeling absolutely STUFFED! I think I actually went into a food coma. 

Beautiful Spring scenes in Richmond park - we saw *so* many deer that day, but I was too scared to get anywhere close enough to get a decent picture.

A picture of me, taken by my boy. Even though it was only a couple of months ago, I'm looking back at this and smiling because I've lost a little weight since then. Sitting down all day in an office is not conducive to keeping off weight, especially for someone who hates exercise. However, I've made some small waves since then, and realised that in order to feel comfortable in myself I just need to move a bit more, and lay off some of the cakes. Sigh.

April saw the second charity fundraiser day that my friend Gen put on in a pub in Whitechapel - All Day Sunday Funday. It was on the day of the London Marathon and the weather was glorious. I accepted the challenge of baking some cakes to sell for the event, I think there were over 70 in total, and every single last one was sold - with the help of my best friend Shelley, pictured chewing Tashy's ear off :)

A couple of weeks after that and it was goodbye Kingston, hello New Cross... again! We'd found our flat, paid the deposit, waited a bit and moved in on the 2nd May. Our first ever home together and it really did feel like home the moment we set foot in the door.

When we moved in together I immediately thought I'd have more spare time because we wouldn't need to make time to see each other on the weekends, leaving more time to do other things and spread our wings. Wrong. Sitting at home together is one thing, but going out and doing things together is something completely different. So I still need to find a proper balance of how best to spread my time and see all the people I love effectively, but I'm getting there, slowly. At least the intention is there.

Just a little picture of my gorgeous mum and dad in Oxford, from when we went to the Ashmoleon in May. Yes my dad is wearing a Team GB top, no he doesn't like any sport. Contradiction much? 
Oh and Happy Birthday Mum - you da best!!

So that's kind of a round up of the more spectacular things that have happened so far this year. My highlight so far as got to be the trip to Holland. I don't think at any point I stopped smiling and laughing, and had such a good time with every single person on that trip.

I have absolutely loved 2014 so far and can't wait for the second half of the year to kick in. My birthday, two weddings, our five year anniversary, our first holiday away together ever, booking glastonbury tickets and potentially a little weekend break away somewhere fun. As well as all the weekends spent with friends and family, and spontaneous adventures we might have along the way.

Now I'll be sitting at my desk for the rest of the day smiling thinking about all the great things that 2014 has brought with it. Except, writing this post and looking for photos to include has really made me realise I need to take more photos and be less self-conscious of getting my camera out in social situations. Half year resolution? Yeah ok.