2017 In Reflection

I cannot believe it has almost been a year since I last uploaded a blog post...that is definitely not going to be the case for 2018! So I have a lot to get through to catch you all up as 2017 was a bit of a crazy year; and not always the good kind either.

The year got off to a great start as me and Keiron went to Amsterdam in February for the first time (well my first time anyway haha). I won't get into too much detail as I actually did a blog post on our time there which ended up being the first and last one I wrote all year. So if you do want to read a bit more about it then click here: Five Days In Amsterdam
We both had an amazing time and I have actually organised for us to go there again for his birthday this February which I absolutely cannot wait for! Although it was absolutely freezing and on one of the days there was a storm and I had to wrestle a bit with my umbrella, there are so many amazing memories that we created and it will be interesting to see what will happen this time around! 

Now we move on to around March time when everything started to go a bit downhill. The first time that I can remember anything in terms of pain was when I was staying at Keiron's house and I felt little twinges every now and then. I just figured I had slept funny so didn't really think anything of it but as I was about to get ready to go to work it got a million times worse. 
When I say that this was the WORST pain I have ever felt in my life, that is no exaggeration. It honestly felt like someone had taken a sword and driven it through my rib cage and was just twisting it inside of me.....I was in agony; squirming, twisting and moving around trying to find a comfortable position or a little bit of a release from it, but in the end I had to make the first of quite a few trips to A&E. 
I never really knew what eventually made the pain ease up, so I continued to believe that if I found the correct position, that would be my escape from it. I have to admit the positions that I tried did make me seem a tad crazy as I tried lying on the waiting room floor, bending my back over arm rests, lying on the floor with my feet against a wall.......you get the idea. 
On my last visit to A&E the doctor that saw me came up with his diagnosis which was very different to the muscular spasms and twisted back ideas that the other doctors came up with; stress. When I first heard it I knew there was absolutely no way my brain could conjure up that amount of pain because I was stressed, however after a few chats and research, he actually had me believing it too. 
I'm not sure who came up with the idea to have an internal examination, but thank goodness I did as around a week later I finally had the real answer: a 7cm cyst inside one of my ovaries. By the end of March I had a date for my operation to have it removed before it got any bigger! 

April is when I went to Ireland with my family to see my aunts, uncles, cousins, Nana and Grandad. We had an amazing time, stayed up late talking, singing, watching movies and playing games. 
I came home a day early to celebrate my birthday with Keiron and then my family came home in time for my Nan's birthday the day after. That night, after we finished our birthday dinner my Nan suddenly came down with something which at the time my Mum thought was a stroke. It absolutely came out of the blue and she was rushed to hospital not being able to talk or keep her head up. That ended up being some kind of infection, however we never really did get a straight answer for what caused it. She is all back to normal now though, but what a way to end your birthday! 
It was then time for my trip into hospital for my operation and one month recovery time off of work haha. The first week afterwards was a pain in the backside as it took me around five minutes to get out of bed and when I finally did my shoulders started to get shooting pains because of all the built up CO2 from being on the operating table. However, I am back to normal now too and I hope to never have to suffer from something like that ever again.

The end of April was hands down the worst point of 2017 for me though. Even starting to talk about it now is bringing tears to my eyes. It was when I lost my Grandad. 
It came as a complete shock to everyone. I remember the day my Dad heard the news as I got an unusual text from my mum saying "Are you home yet", which didn't really make sense as she knew I was out that day. I walked through the door after being greeted by a plain-faced and red-eyed brother. The only words he could manage to get out were "Grandad is dying". I couldn't believe my ears. The man who we had stayed up until 4am with; laughing, drinking and dancing with only two weeks earlier was now fighting for his life in a hospital bed in Ireland. I rushed upstairs to my Dad who was already almost packed and on his way out the door to get to the airport and asked what happened as he pulled me into a hug, also plain-faced and red-eyed. He told me that my Grandad had suffered a brain haemorrhage over night and no-one knew how long he had left, so he had booked the first flight out there to get as much time with him as he could. I honestly couldn't believe it. He was very fit for his age, could still drive and handle being drunk and dance and even climb on his roof! I mean, yeah he was over 80 years of age, but you wouldn't believe it if you met him. But about a week later he passed away with most of his family at his side. 
Me, my Mum and Brother then flew over to join my Dad for the funeral. I couldn't bring myself to go in and see him when he was at the house until just before I went to bed. I guess I was just avoiding the reality of it all. 

The end of May started to bring good things back to an appalling year. I left my job at McDonalds for a promotion in Greggs. I knew the change would be good for me and it definitely made me grow as a manager and in general. 
Keiron also took me to this beautiful place in Durdle Door. It is just past Bournemouth (although I accidentally set the Sat Nav to Bournemouth so we had to drive an extra hour to get there haha......woops). It was a lovely day though; the sun was shining and although it was one heck of a walk, it was definitely worth it. A lovely way to spend a day off I think. 

In June me and Keiron had a holiday booked for Croatia. I love travelling to new places and I had never been there before, so I was looking forward to getting away and exploring! 
Again, we created so many memories there! I loved the sun, the chats by the sea, the evening trips to the beach bar for drinks, the endless flicking through channels to find programmes in English.......it was just a big highlight for me. 
I also loved the food out there. We booked all inclusive so we went to the hotel restaurant almost every meal time for a buffet which always had really nice food. I especially loved breakfast with the pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausages, beans, biscuits, hot chocolate and juices......yeah I definitely put on a few pounds whilst I was there haha. 
We hired a car for the week as well which was definitely needed to be able to travel around the island as much as we did! Keiron loved it because it was quite a sporty car and I loved it for it's amazing air conditioning haha. We used it basically every day, whether it was to get a bit of shopping, go to the beach or go for a long drive for a day out, so it was worth it and I would highly recommend you to hire a car if you ever decide to visit Croatia. 
I also went away in August with my family to Gran Canaria. I have written a blog post about this island before as it is basically my second home, I walk around there as if I have lived there all my life and I just love it there! My friend Amy also joined us for the second week which was lovely. We all had an amazing time tanning, eating and drinking. You know, the usual holiday stuff haha. 
Again, I won't go into much detail as we basically do the same things every time we go there but I am looking forward to my 2 week holiday there with Keiron this year! I have so much planned in my head that I want to do and show him haha, so excited! 

Moving on to September now. My Mum booked a day out with me to go to Kirstie Allsopp's Handmade Fair. It was a lovely day out where we went to different craft workshops, watched different people on stage either cooking or mixing cocktails (which was quite entertaining) and looking around the hundreds of stalls filled with different crafts including glass baubles and crochet. 
As you can see, I made attempts at cake decorating and brush lettering and I don't think either of them were too bad haha. I do love getting creative and I don't normally get the time to at home so this was really fun and interesting for me and it was also quite entertaining watching my mum try them out too!
Before we left we shared the halloumi tortilla above which was lovely and then headed back to the car before it started to rain. 
I am sure by the picture you know what I am going to mention next.......MY NEW CAR! It is a Nissan Qashqai and I love it so much. I had my eye on this type of car for a long time and because of my new job and steady salary I got one! It is very different to my old car which was a Renault Clio and a lot bigger as well but I got used to the size very quickly which was good. I love the colour too, I didn't want to get black or white; I wanted something a bit more out there so I chose this burgundy one. I also didn't want the new shape as I just prefer this one and I was so happy as this is a discontinued shape and model. It has really good tech such as a sat nav and 360 cameras which are very useful when parking haha! The only annoying thing is my insurance was very high as this is my first year on my own policy so I had to get a black box. I am definitely going to get rid of it this year though because it is driving me mad. 

Getting closer to the end of the year now; in November me and Keiron went to Prague for a few days as we bought a wowcher (this site really comes in handy for little breaks!).
 It was so interesting as we visited a few museums and went to see the Astronomical Clock. We travelled around different towns, went to markets, ate lots of food and went to a few bars. I honestly had such a lovely time there, however I think it is one of those places that I won't visit again as I feel like once you have been there, you have been there; you know? But I do recommend it if you are looking for a nice little city break. 
On one of the days, Keiron took us to this place where there was a maze and look-out tower. Now I have a huge fear of falling and we actually went to the top of the tower pictured above. I was absolutely terrified and at one point couldn't move my legs and had to hold Keiron's hand the rest of the way haha. I thought I was going to have a panic attack but I made it and definitely won't be doing it again. 

The day after we got back, I met up with Amy to go to a spa in Oxford. I have never actually been to a spa before but I had a really nice time! We had massages, laid in the relaxation room on these heated beds which were amazing, then we had lunch as had a little catch up. I felt so ready to go back to work after my holiday and this just topped it all off haha.
December! My favourite time of the year when the Christmas songs start being played on the radio and we decorate the house completely in all things festive. 
On one of our quite rare joint days off me and Keiron went to Southbank in London to visit the Christmas Market down by the river. It was quite a bit smaller this year which was a bit disappointing but we still enjoyed our warm cider outside the Rekorderlig Lodge! 
I also decided that I wanted to make mince pies this time around. So I joined my Nan one evening, made the pastry and created 12 little pies that actually tasted pretty good if I do say so myself! 
We had a lovely Christmas Day filled with laughter, music, food, drink and games. It is my favourite day of the year and everyone had a great time. 

It then came to December 31st; the last day of 2017 and me and Keiron went to a bar in Battersea with a few friends. We had paid for all-inclusive tickets which meant that we could drink as much as we liked.....including cocktails! So everyone just picked random ones off of the menu to try and it was just such a great night. We got a kebab after and I surprisingly lasted the whole night in my heels which I was quite proud of. A solid way to start a new year I think haha. 
So for me, 2017 had it's ups and definitely had it's downs, but one year and a number of snapchat selfies later, I think I have come out the other side a much stronger, more confident person who is ready to take on whatever 2018 has to throw at her. 



  1. Thank you for sharing with us, Paula. We've missed you! I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a loved one. I'm glad you are doing well now and congrats on your promotion!! Looking forward to your future posts. xo

    1. Aww thank you :) and thanks for taking the time to read such a hefty post! x


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