20 Lessons Learned from 2013

Most people post their year reviews on New Year’s Day. Mine took a little longer to contemplate, mainly because 2013 might not have been the best year for me. After the come down of working at the Olympics and being asked to travel to Ethiopia, Vilnius, Tallinn, Riga and Seville in 2012, the realities of last year – namely finding myself artfully unemployed – hit me like a ton of bricks.

But there were lights in the tunnel and, from weddings and David Gandy to Maltese sunsets and dog mushing, it was, at the very least, memorable.

1. That there’s nothing better than seeing friends in love get married.

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2. That in the sunshine, there’s no city more beautiful than my own: London. This is the view from The Vista Terrace at The Trafalgar Hotel.

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3. That trying to eat like Gwyneth Paltrow, even just for one week, isn’t All Good, it’s hard.

4. That David Gandy is just as beautiful in person as he is in the adverts…and what he smells like, here’s a hint: HEAVEN.

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5. That there really is something better than a croissant…and it’s Italian.

6. That the songs from The Book of Mormon are not appropriate to sing in public. I managed to break into Hasa Diga Eebowai on the northern line in a momentary lapse of concentration. The reception was glacial.

7. That it is possible to get too obsessed with The Great British Bake Off and that going into full mourning when Howard got eliminated was, in hindsight, an overreaction to a programme that’s essentially about fondant fancies and cake decorating.

8. That losing your job shouldn’t make you feel like half a person.

9. That London fashion week can be truly bizarre…and sometimes food orientated.

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10. That one day I would like to be Lady of my own Manor like the beautiful Painswick Courthouse Manor.

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11. That there is more to afternoon tea than cakes and scones…sometimes there’s booze!

12. That it is possible to eat too much on a gastronomic food trip.

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13. That I will never be Daenerys Targaryen.

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14. That pushing yourself physically can still be a holiday and might lead to views like this:

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15. And putting myself outside my comfort zone made me realise I enjoyed activities that I would never have dreamed of trying before, like this:

My dog team

17. And introduced me to new friends like these, like the brilliant Birdie and, of course, these:

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18. That post Alaska, I may never be able to say Hi properly again.

19. That pool halls make for surprisingly good NYE destinations.

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20. Never say no, never give up and I’ve still got two years to complete the beast: My 30 before 30, which has been hanging over my head since I was 16-years-old.

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