The small joys of 2016

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It's been a long time since I have written a blog post. A week into 2017, what better way to recommence writing here than a short summary of some of the best parts of last year? Written from the comfort of my sofa on a cold January evening, here are some of the things that brought me joy in 2016.

Pearl referring to her cold hands as ‘ice mittens’. Ruby Tandoh’s twitter. Driving fast down a quiet motorway listening to very loud house music. Driving to work every morning listening to Woman’s Hour. Speaking of, listening to Woman’s Hour on the way to work and hearing Jane Garvey reading an email I sent in discussing my underwear. Fast forward six months to a Christmas party at my new job and discussion of the underwear episode with a new colleague (“Oh my god, that was YOU?’). Pearl’s unwavering insistence that I will one day enjoy the taste of beer, and that I just need to drink more of it.

The Guilty Feminist Podcast.  Getting home from work and being greeted with a glass of wine. Being sent a friend’s dissertation for proof reading purposes and becoming mesmerised by how incredibly well written and interesting it was (minimal adjustments made). Kygo live, drinking quadruple G&Ts and dancing all evening. Pink towels, pink cushions, a pink bath mat.

The good fortune of living with the best cook I’ve ever met, who lavishes me with praise on the occasions that I cook dinner. Attempting to bake a cake for Pearl’s birthday and having the whole thing collapse in on itself when I tried to put it on a plate. Optimistically putting candles in the pile of cake and proudly presenting it to Pearl when she returned from work. Receiving yet more praise for my pathetic cake mess.

My best friend falling in love. Pink and white bed linen that makes you feel like you’re sleeping in a giant, soft marshmallow. Chewing gum while I drive (I don’t know how that made it onto this list either). Eating vegan tapas in Barcelona that was approximately fifty times nicer than I expected it to be. My sister, who has just started studying Economics at uni, trying to dumb down her course enough to explain interesting things to me (almost always unsuccessful). Taking photos of Pearl. I have never been particularly into photography but capturing small moments on film is now something that brings me great joy. Being informed by Boots that 'we were unable to print one photo due to it's content'. Mary Berry salad dressing.

A leaving do with colleagues that felt like family. Being presented with a mug on my last day of work that said ‘Omg! Some cunt gave me coffee instead of gin!’ and the delight on the faces of my colleagues when I unwrapped it. Swimming in the sea with Pearl and the sheer joy on her face as we splashed about in the waves. Having to practically drag her out because she enjoyed it so much. Congregating with some of my best friends from around the country in Brighton to celebrate my birthday. Starting a job where I get to write all day every day. People coming to me and asking for advice on how well a piece of writing reads, like I have some kind of authority on the matter. Coming to terms with the fact that actually, I do have some kind of authority on the matter.

Miraculously being able to eat with chopsticks after years of failed attempts (unbelievably poor dexterity) simply after being told ‘Just do whatever you can to get the food into your mouth’. The fact that it’s been two years since I lived with my best friend when we were at uni but we still manage to text (nearly) every single day. Leaving myself too much time to get ready for my work and putting my make-up on satisfyingly slowly, cross-legged in front of the mirror, listening to a podcast.  In fact, the aforementioned mirror. It’s from Ikea and it's big enough for two people to put their make up on in front of. Esteé Lauder doublewear foundation. Always.

Eating the same meal from the same Japanese restaurant again and again because they do it so well (Sticks ‘n’ Broth on Baldwin Street in Bristol in case you were wondering).  Bristol. Exploring the city I was born in through the eyes of an adult. Sex, lots of it, particularly in the morning. Contrastingly, the surprising unsexiness of regular two person baths. ‘Scrub my back’, ‘wash my hair’, ‘I threw out your pumice stone, it was getting mouldy’.
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