2014 did not get off to the best start. In fact, it didn’t get started until May. Then it had another little snooze and woke up in October. It was at once the best and most boring year of my life. Luckily it’s finishing on a high note, and it is the good times I will remember – particularly these 14 highlights from 2014!
(My trip around the States could provide a hundred highlights for this year, so I’ve been very picky and only included a few in this list. There are more good times here though.)
14. Little wins and lovely gifts
I won a silver medal in a gaming tournament and four books through Twitter, then lyrics I wrote made the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest. I also got some lovely birthday presents and going-away gifts, but I got the sweetest leaving present from work when I left in September. They got me a book token and book jacket, to stick with the publishing theme; chocolate and a notebook, two of my favourite things; a teddy bear (adorable) and a card full of lovely messages from my wonderful colleagues.
13. Edinburgh Festival
12. Living in London
I had always enjoyed visiting London, but I didn’t love it as a place to live right away. However, today I went to the Natural History Museum, a fantastic place right on my doorstep. If I wanted to, I could have got tickets for some of the best musicals in the world tonight. I have everything I need, and almost everything I want right here – if only the family and friends were a bit closer! (And the place a bit quieter.)
11. Honey Island swamp tour
One of my most viewed and most liked posts this year, the swamp tour in Louisiana was an unexpected highlight of my trip.
Memphis was fun, bizarre, moving and one of my favourite places in the States. I wrote about it fairly recently here.
9. Santa Fe
We only had an afternoon and evening in Santa Fe, but this is where I bought the majority of my souvenirs. It is famous for the arts, looks gorgeous, and we had a really relaxing time here.
Again, I wrote about this recently, but it was a brilliant year for musicals. I got to see two shows on Broadway, for crying out loud! In Edinburgh, the Jersey Boys was equally fantastic.
7. New Orleans
I need to write about our time in New Orleans. Bourbon Street, a jazz cruise, fortune-telling… the place is definitely one of a kind.
6. Seeing Taylor Swift
Along with Michael Bublé, Taylor Swift was one of the two people I was desperate to see in concert, but she had planned no shows in Scotland. A friend suggested we build a trip to London around seeing her concert, and off we went. The show was a complete spectacle, but it had quieter moments too, including one of my favourite songs, All Too Well.
This was a dream come true for my inner teenager! McFly and Busted, my two favourite bands, became a supergroup for a special tour. (As it turned out, it wasn’t a one-off, but still.) This show was full of my favourite songs, many of which I hadn’t heard live in nine years. The whole stadium singing Sleeping With the Light On was an amazing moment.
4. Grand Canyon
It’s one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, and I got to fly over it in a helicopter, and trek into it. Visiting the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list, and I didn’t actually believe I’d ever see it, so it was incredible.
3. New York
Ditto New York. Visiting New York was what I wanted to do to celebrate turning thirty. I never dreamed that I could afford it or that the opportunity would present itself beforehand, but it did, and it was amazing. Times Square is one of the most exciting places on the planet.
I loved every little thing about Nashville, and you can read my post on it here.
1. Getting my job
I am finally starting my career in the dream industry, with a fantastic company, in a brilliant role. I couldn’t have asked for more than that!