This year has passed me by in such a whirlwind that it’s only thanks to this blog that I’ve remembered what’s actually happened (that isn’t work and stress!!). These were some of the highlights as told through this blog…
1. We went to New York
I absolutely loved visiting New York for the first time. I hadn’t expected to love it as much as I did, as cities can be quite stressful. But New York was just lovely and so full of interest. I’ll definitely be going back. It was interesting to be in the USA during the inauguration of the dreaded Trump, particularly when we happened upon the Women’s March – the biggest protest march I have ever seen.
2. I started helicopter lessons
An exciting if somewhat unexpected development in 2017 was that I started learning to fly helicopters. It was all thanks to Lee buying me a trial lesson last Christmas. I was instantly bitten by the rotary bug, and now I’m not so very far off getting my licence. The highlight of my training so far was definitely going solo, which seems a long time ago now. This pic, with my fab instructor Matthew, was taken right after I landed back from my first solo.
3. We went to Paris
Back in April we spent a long weekend in Paris with our friends Nigel and Lucy, who were running the Paris Marathon. It was nice to be back in Paris after so many years, and we were so lucky with the weather. A repeat of this trip is planned for April 2018.
4. I went to Holland for the first time
I like to visit at least one new country each year, and this year, that new country was Holland. It was part of a European road trip during which we visited Ypres, Bruges, The Hague and Amsterdam. I *still* haven’t got round to putting my Amsterdam pictures up here on the blog, but I’ll do so when I can. Needless to say, I loved Holland, and especially the higgledy-piggledy buildings of Amsterdam. I’ve also been to Italy/Switzerland a couple of times on separate occasions for work, and to Boulogne for food shopping.
5. I went to Iceland (again)
It was only a matter of time before I went to Iceland again, and the run-up to Christmas was the perfect time to return. This lovely view from the top of Hallgrimskirkja was just as wonderful as I remembered it, and it was great to mix some favourite activities (like the Blue Lagoon) with trying new things, like the Reykjavik Food Walk and a Northern Lights boat trip.
6. I discovered a true London gem
I’ve been to London quite a few times this year, and I’ve enjoyed discovering some places I hadn’t visited before. The Sky Garden was a highlight, as was Borough Market, and the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park (blog post coming soon). But the real gem was Dennis Severs’ House, a wonderful house in Spitalfields where you can get a sense of ‘old London’. Read more about this unique experience here.
7. We flew to Compton Abbas
We’ve done virtually no ‘fun’ flying together this year – it’s all been work-based for Lee, and heli training or solo pottering for me. One trip we did manage was to Compton Abbas, where the views are lovely and the on-site cafe serves macaroni cheese (worth the flight just for that!).
8. I flew the Robin a lot
I flew the Robin on my own a fair bit this year, which has been great for building my confidence in the air. I’ve flown a few passengers, too, which has been lovely. I even managed to fly solo into and out of Gloucestershire Airport, which felt a big achievement because it’s much bigger and busier than the airfields I’m used to. The Robin is currently in maintenance for an indeterminate length of time, so I’m missing it terribly.
9. I won a photoshoot
Winning a photoshoot was unexpected but came at the right time; I was so pleased with the photos and they boosted my self-esteem a little.
10. I cuddled a LOT of puppies
Puppy cuddling has continued to be a delightful feature of my week throughout 2017. I’m in my fourth year of volunteering for Guide Dogs now. As ever, the Golden Retrievers are always the highlight for me, and I’ve been lucky enough to have some particularly snuggly ones to cuddle this year.
Happy New Year, everyone. :)