2017: A Year in Pictures

Disclosure: Glamorous holidays and expensive clothes excluded due to lack of existence in my 2017.

JANUARY :

January 2017 feels like such a long time ago…my 2017 started with a bit of heartbreak, a lot of anxiety about the year to come but what I remember most is being happy to back at Goldsmiths, surrounded by great people. This photo was take on a walk around Goldsmiths with my best friend Alice, and this was a rare moment – for reasons two fold: 1) I’m not pulling some mortifyingly embarrassing face/pose. 2) It was sunny…in January…In London..whoa.

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I took alot of pictures of uni in January, partly because it looked so cool, and partly because I was trying to relish the little time I had left there (she says writing this blogpost from the library a year later).

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This photo was taken at the very end of January, I was on my way out to meet a friend in Greenwich. It ended up being the most liked photo I’ve ever posted on Instagram, which is bizarre as it was taken rather hurriedly, on my phone camera, and the aesthetic of this shot can only be described as “messy student room with crap in background”. What can I say, the people love a pattern clash.

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Honestly, I don’t remember all that much about January, it’s the Monday of months and I’m usually quite glad when that “bleak midwinter” vibe eases come February and March time. If I had to hazard a guess at the dominating themes of my January 2017, I’d wager my heart was a little bruised, my brain was a little fried from all the dissertation/coursework malarkey, and knowing me, I was probably cold for 90% of the month.

FEBRUARY:

My February was made a little more exciting thanks to a family skiing trip.

This photo was taken in Geneva. We stopped overnight in the city before heading to the French Alps. Geneva is a bizarre city, with beautiful architecture and steep cobbled streets lined with higgledy piggledy shops, although it felt like a bit of a ghost town whilst we were there. I snapped this with my new camera and was quite happy with how it turned out.

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This shot was snapped in Brockley later in the month, and I’m still really digging this look. The quality isn’t great, my editing is even less great, but I still identify with this kind of outfit and it reminds me of what was in general, a really happy time. I was stressed, I had mountains of work and was dirt poor (update: no change there), but we had our tiny little flat with our routines and our local pub(s) and we were pretty darn happy!

MARCH:

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March was International Women’s day, and I wrote a post about the significance of the day for me, which you can read here. I felt a really strong sense of solidarity and empowerment all around me, in my own life and all of the outpourings of support for women everywhere from all walks of life online. In a world where a sexual predator is President of the United States, where our politicians abuse their power on a daily basis, and where the rights of women to do with their bodies as they choose are regularly threatened, it was refreshing to see some hope and some light at the end of a sometimes pretty dark tunnel.

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I wore what is essentially a picnic blanket, got some funny looks, and felt pretty sass-y.

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I had my last ever lecture in Sociology and was pretty glum about it. Whilst i’d like to play it cool and say that I definitely don’t miss those hours spent scribbling down sentences you don’t understand from books you most certainly don’t understand…I’m afraid I can’t. I 100% miss it all, the lectures, the note taking, all those seminars I didn’t go to and 12 hour library sessions I powered through. Sure it was hell at the time, but I loved it nonetheless.

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Took a short break from Easter dissertation writing to take a few outfit shots around uni. I don’t really think I look like myself here, but I also think I look pretty good, so hey ho. Because we’re not in Harry Potter and pictures don’t move/speak, there’s no way this photo can accurately portray the major stress-head I was at this point in the year. Exams were looming, I was falling deeper and deeper into my overdraft, I couldn’t get my head around all the work I had to get done, and so I did what all students do when it all gets too much, buried my head in the sand, ignored all responsibilities and looming deadlines and procrastinated like a PRO.

APRIL:

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April was much the same, and so my Insta posting decreased, I was at library so much that the majority of my posts came from the little side streets around it, as I couldn’t stray too far without guilt about not being there setting in hard. Despite this, these are some of my favourite photos from last year, my outfit is simple, but I love the light and shadows that Alice managed to capture in that golden hour that starts to arrive earlier as the months wear on. I also like this last photo as it captures a rather frazzled me, ft. greasy fringe, but behind the camera is Alice making me laugh like always, and it was a moment of light heartedness in what was a very stressful period.

MAY:

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Not much happened in May..or if it did I both don’t remember and did not document it. But I did cut my hair off, something I do periodically before I decided to grow it out again…before I decide to chop it all off again…it’s an ongoing cycle…bare with me.

JUNE:

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My knitwear obsession continued despite it legit being summer…and my room got no tidier.

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There’s no story behind this photo but I’m here for the red stripes.

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June came, and I finished my exams, handed in all my work, officially finished my degree. There was a heatwave in London and whilst my ginger, pale outer shell desperately clung to any shade I could find, I loved it. London in a heatwave has a kind of atmosphere, energy and heat to it that has nothing to do with the temperature, and it isn’t something I’ve ever seen anywhere else. London in a heatwave means the world and his mate pile on to any green space available, strip off as much as is socially acceptable and all of this makes the city feel more alive, as if we’ve all awoken after a winter of hibernating.

The photo above was taken at Horniman Museum and Gardens, I was wearing hardly any clothes and believe me, it was still too many. A group of us got ice cream and collapsed onto the banks of the museum, looking out over London as we chatted and wiled away the hours.

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June also brought an impromptu day trip to Brighton. We were still in the grips of the heatwave and the pesky cut outs of my swimming costume made for some interesting burn lines. We wandered and paddled and had a lovely time, then, got on the train back to London. What I love most about that day though was the evening. It was getting on for 10pm when we got back into Central London, we found a late night gelato place just off of Borough market and wandered up and down south bank. It was mid week, but the banks of the Thames were lined with the overspill of pubs and bars, city-workers with pint in hand, sweat patches a plenty and merriment everywhere. The heat seemed to free everyone from their normal routine,  the monotony the working week and everyone seemed to collectively let loose. My flatmate and I wondered whether we’d look back on that night for years to come, as the point where which things were all about to change but hadn’t yet. And it’s safe to say I definitely will.

JULY :

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I moved back to Leicester at the end of July with a heavy heart. I was sad to say goodbye to London, though I still haven’t really said goodbye, and probably never will. I also graduated…but don’t have many photos of the day as it all passed by in a blur. Three years of work culminating in one day that was over in the blink of an eye, it was overwhelming to say the least!

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This photo was taken in July.. and I like it…that’s about the only caption I can think of for this.

AUGUST:

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At the end of August my family and I went to Copenhagen and boy did I fall in love with it. It may even surpass London in terms of just how much I want to live there. Coolest. Place. Ever. It also really upped my Instagram game.

SEPTEMBER :

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The reality of living back at home started to sink in in September, and life got hard. I was applying relentlessly for jobs, and was getting nowhere. To this day, nearly four months later, I still haven’t gotten one single interview *sheds a single tear*.

OCTOBER :

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I roped my little brother into taking this photo in October and I was pretty impressed with his skills. I was spending alot more time with family at this point, and I’m really glad we’ve stayed so close despite having to go back to living in such close quarters again. The increasingly inevitable reality of moving back home after university provides quite a shock to the system. I do struggle to feel like an adult from time to time, my finances are worse than they were when I was a student – yes that it is physically possible believe it or not, and it can be hard to feel optimistic at times.

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Autumn had officially arrived, leaves on the ground, a chill in the air. Alice and I shot this blog post and it had a super autumnal feel to it that we were both chuffed with.

NOVEMBER : (Or basically the beginning of Christmas)

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My  bare ankles were not happy with me but this was a good shoot to end the year on. The backdrop even matched my jumper and we mastered a shoot in the dark! In November I started work at a supermarket in order to be able to actually buy presents for people and enjoy the festive period. It was an eye opener on a number of levels and for a number of reasons, and whilst as far as temporary jobs go it was alright, looking back on it I was pretty miserable. The 4am starts did not help, but spending my time doing something I had no interest in or passion for, purely to be able to get buy, meant that my morale and resilience took a bit of a battering. What it did re-affirm is that I have lived a relatively charmed, sheltered and privileged life. My determination to create a career and a life that is driven by doing what I love – whatever that may turn out to be – is in itself a privilege. Lots of people will never be able to have that relationship with their work /job.

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I finally got some wear out of this blazer, despite the frosty temperatures.

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I love December – Christmas! My Birthday! It’s the part of winter that’s made bearable because of things to look forward to, rather than Jan/Feb where it’s just all round bleak. It was the first Christmas that I’ve worked. I worked Christmas Eve and Boxing Day (and a tonne of other days and nights), and I won’t lie it wasn’t much fun compared to finishing uni on the 10th December and spending the whole month pigging out at home in front of the fire…but let’s face it that wasn’t going to last forever.

I still had a great Christmas, and despite hating new year with a vengeance, I feel more positive than I have done in a long time. 2018 is the first year I can remember that I have no kind of plan for. I don’t know what’s coming. It could be filled with heart break and grief for all I know, but for now at least I’m embracing 2018, at least a little less begrudgingly than usual.

I don’t make new year resolutions. I never keep them. My heart is never in it. But there are things that I want to remind myself to do and be all year round, and January isn’t a bad (albeit arbitrary) starting point:

  • To be understanding, but to stand up for myself,
  • To respect myself as well as others,
  • Most of all, to be kind, to myself as well as others. Kindness, my mother always says, is a trait we never fail to undervalue and take for granted in people, and something we often forget to be to ourselves.

E x

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