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Alright, so we’ve got a bit of catching up to do. Since the last time we spoke I was chatting all about my Christmas break to Switzerland (!), I think it’s about time I gave a little low-down of everything that’s been going on since then.

Warning: This might be a little long (sorry in advance)…

1. I went to Paris for my birthday

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This was probably the most spontaneous trip I’ve ever taken, only booking our trip three days before we left. We got a cracking deal on the Eurostar (plus a hotel with a pool), and it was too good to pass up! The last time I went to Paris I was 21, so it was good to visit for a little longer and see new things that have sprouted up over the city. Plus TWO cat cafes. I even celebrated my birthday with an 8km morning run from our hotel to the Eiffel Tower…

2. I’ve been to the theatre. A lot.
Over the last few months I’ve seen Avenue Q, Come From Away, The Twilight Zone and Fiddler on the Roof…and in a few weeks I’m going to see Hamilton for a second time! I always resent spending £60+ on West End tickets, so I was beyond happy when I discovered TodayTix which gives you the opportunity to get cheaper tickets for various shows.

3. I appeared in a TV advert.
Work were looking for volunteers to appear in a TV advert, and I can never say no to doing something a little different. See if you can spot me in the advert…

4. My nan and I went to Somerset

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Last year my nan went away to Poole and ended up in hospital with a fractured pelvis and shoulder. So when she wanted to go away this year I offered to go along with her – just to help her out (and keep an eye on her because she has a tendency to want to go 100mph). So, in May, we spent 5 days together on a coach trip, seeing the sights of Somerset including Cheddar Gorge, Weston-super-Mare, Wells and numerous Costa coffee shops. It was much more of a slower pace than I’m used to, but it was an enjoyable little break full of lattes and tea. I think my nan also enjoyed it because she’s already asking where we’re going next…!

5. I started planning our New York Christmas break
I managed to persuade Ian to return to New York at the end of the year for a bucket list trip – seeing the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and all the Christmas decorations in the city! Seeing as how we’ve had around 12 months to save up/prepare, I’ve had plenty of time to start up my spreadsheet of all the stuff we want to do. So far I’ve bought tickets to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and an ice hockey game at Madison Square Garden and I can’t waaaiiit.

6. But I’ve also got some pretty cool London things planned
Actually, pretty much everything I have planned for the rest of the year is happening in October. I’m going to see Jonathan Van Ness (from Queer Eye) on his UK tour, as well as Sir Ian McKellen (couldn’t say no to £10 tickets).

7. I fell in love with, lol, darts (don’t judge)
If you’d asked me a couple of months ago what the most boring game of all time is, darts would have been up there. But we went along to Flight Club, the ‘home of social darts’ for Ian’s birthday, and now I’m straight up obsessed. Flight Club make it so easy to play because the dart board counts up your scores for you as you go – making it super quick and easy to whip through several games.

8. I’ve been saving like MAD.
My savings were wiped out at the end of last year when I had a gap between jobs and I had to pay the rent on my flat in London. I’ve been trying to take on as much freelance work as possible to boost my savings once again, but DAMN saving whilst living in London is tough.

9. I went to Mighty Hoopla festival (and I met a great cat all on the same day)

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Meet Pearl. She’s ace. She belongs to a friend of a friend and is possibly the most sassiest creature I’ve ever met in my life. We went to Pearl’s house to get changed (my friend was cat-sitting; she doesn’t just make a habit of turning up at people’s houses to get dressed) before heading off to Mighty Hoopla festival – a colourful festival in South London dedicated to all things cheesy. All Saints, Jamelia and my all-time-fave Samantha Mumba were on the bill and it was a great day out. I was even back home in bed by 9pm! Love a day festival.

10. I put on a few pounds
Not the end of the world, but still. I need to get back into the habit of running regularly and eating healthily (Ian’s a huge fan of pasta with a side of pasta, which I’ve recently started to adopt too…). I can feel my body becoming more sluggish and I’ve been feeling a lot more BLUGH so am looking forward to getting fitter this summer.

11. I had the most insane hot chocolate

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I caught up with Shika (from Why Waste Annual Leave) and Keri (Ladies What Travel) for a mooch around the Shoreditch area. Even though I used to work in Shoreditch, visiting Dark Sugars chocolate emporium was a new one for me – and the hot chocolate was unlike any other I’ve ever tasted, with shavings of different types melting into the cup for a rich and decadent treat. Definitely recommend!

12. My sci-fi dreams came true
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Remember when I wrote about London Film and Comic Con last July and swore I’d be back? Well, in March I went off to London’s Spring Comic Con and got photos taken with Tom Baker AND Sylvestor McCoy. This means I have now officially ‘met’ 4/14 Doctors (including David Tennant and Paul McGann). Plus, this summer I’m going back to London Film and Comic Con to get photos with Christopher Eccleston (aka the 9th Doctor) and Colin Baker (aka the 6th Doctor). OFFICIALLY NERDING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT.

13. I’ve officially entered the world of credit cards
I’ve been toying with the idea of credit cards for the last few years – mainly for the handy little perks – but I’ve always been a bit scared of them. Well, this has been the year I’ve started to get to grips with them and so far things are working out pretty OK. I got both an American Express (for the British Airways airmiles points) and the Virgin Money credit card (for the Virgin Atlantic airmiles points). As I was close to a reward flight with Virgin Atlantic, I’ve been using that credit card mostly – and excitingly, I now have enough points for an off-peak return flight!

14. I met some deer at Knole Park
Ian and I went on a day trip to Knole Park in Sevenoaks, Kent, earlier this year – mainly because I wanted to visit some deer. They were so friendly, and I can imagine it’s even more of a beautiful park to visit in the summer.

15. Ian and I went to the Harry Potter Studio Tour
At the beginning of this year we watched the Harry Potter movies over several nights. Ian had never been to the Studio Tour in Watford, so I surprised him with tickets for his birthday! I’ve already been twice but maaaanny years ago, and it’s completely unrecognisable now. Loved the new Hogwarts Express and Gringott’s bank additions!

16. We enjoyed afternoon tea on the Thames
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Ian’s sister and her partner got us a voucher for Christmas that entitled us to afternoon tea on the Thames. We were treated to a nice (and sunny!) day for our trip along the Thames, and thoroughly enjoyed eating our weight in scones, sandwiches and cake.

17. I learnt so many new things at work!
This is a bit of a nerdy one, but I’ve genuinely been so excited to try a bunch of new things at my full-time job – filming videos, managing projects, volunteering at events. It feels good to have a job where I feel like I’m helping make a difference in peoples’ lives, and I feel stupidly lucky every day that I found such a great place to work!

What’s been going on for you during the first half of this year?