2017. Oh, what a year it’s been. In some ways, I have to say that this year has treated me well. I’ve found a great new partner after feeling sorry for my single self for the majority of 2016, and I’ve finished off the year leaving my two-hour-a-day-commute job to work on projects closer to home. But it hasn’t all been good. Below, I’ve put together five pictures from 2017 that round up my year.
I’ve spent more time in hotel rooms this year than any other in my life, and it’s been great. After a few weekend breaks in the UK, I started off my travels in Benidorm this April. I’ve been a long-time fan of the ITV show and I really wanted to spend some time there, and although it’s got its tacky spots, it’s great fun. I also went to Lanzarote, which was so relaxing, and spent a few days in Amsterdam to celebrate my sister’s birthday. Throw in a few minibreaks to the Lake District, five visits to Blackpool (more on that later) and a few others that I can’t remember, 2017 has been my busiest year yet. Here’s to 2018, where I can create even more great memories.
I couldn’t put together a list of my 2017 memories without including this. Just minutes after I took this photo at the Dangerous Woman concert in Manchester, a terrorist killed 22 innocent people just minutes away from where I was standing. This is such a bittersweet photo; I’ll never forget seeing the joy Ariana brought to thousands of young girls as she performed, but the horror of that evening taints it.
Two weeks later, my family and I attended the One Love Manchester concert and it was one of the most emotional days of my life. I can’t say any of us enjoyed it – we were all pretty anxious about returning to Manchester so soon, especially to such a high-profile event, but I’m glad we went. We’ll always remember those beautiful souls who lost their lives, but also the love and compassion that came from such a tragedy. It’s moments like this that make you appreciate your life.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve spent a weekend or two in Blackpool with my family every year. I’ve had some amazing holidays around the world, but there’s something extra special about Blackpool and it always feels like home when I come back. This year, I managed to fit in five trips to the resort, but my favourite was the July late-night riding event that concluded with fireworks. Blackpool has also (and I feel like such a geek for admitting this) turned me into a bit of a theme park enthusiast – thanks to Theme Park Worldwide and Pleasure Beach Experience for keeping me up to date.
I’ve always been a nature buff, and this year it’s been great to spend more time outdoors. Whether it’s a trip to the beach with my dog Nacho or a walk in the forest, you can’t beat getting out and about and taking in some fresh air. This picture is one of my favourites – a weekend away in a seaside town called Seahouses a couple of months ago. If only this could be my view every morning!
One of my New Year’s Resolutions last year was to see more of my favourite acts live in 2017, so my first gig was an Ed Sheeran concert in Newcastle. After that, it was Ariana Grande in Manchester, and I can’t deny that my experiences made me a little anxious about attending more concerts. One Love Manchester was unique, and the police presence put everyone at ease, but I knew stepping back into an arena or attending another “normal” gig would be tough.
I saw Little Mix in their open-air summer show, which put my mind at ease, and then again in Newcastle’s Metro Arena in November. To finish off the year, I went to see my favourite band of all time (no shame, here) Steps. Their setlist included some of my favourite childhood songs (like Love U More) and my favourite cuts from their new album (like Happy), and I have to say that it was my favourite gig of the year. The Vengaboys as a support act was pure genius, too. What a night!