Looking back I didn't think I'd done all that much this year, nor did I think it'd been all that good. At least not the first half of it but looking at all these photos of the things I've done I think 2018 was rather a good year, personally and professionally. A year of many firsts, new experiences and events I never thought I'd get to attend in a million years. Here's to 2019 and all that's to come.
Headline New Voices
I got invited to my first blogging event by Headline Books and celebrated some of their 2018 debut authors. One of whom went on to be longlisted for the Man Booker Prize! A massive congrats to Guy Gunaratne. This was huge deal for me as it was the first time it was through my blog that I attended a book event. Not just because I work for Waterstones. I met some lovely authors, publicists, editors and I got to experience this with some of my favourite people.
Via the magic of twitter I ended up getting involved with a street team for The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven. I helped spread the word about the book, read, reviewed and absolutely loved it. So much so that I ended up putting it on my Top 10 Books of 2018. I can't wait for the second book and Laura just got married!
My brilliant friend Fi designed me a graphic for my blog and it marked the start of me planning to make my blog more than just a hobby. And of course a reason for the ridiculous amount of books I brought in to the house. It was the start of a lot of things social media wise. I started to plan out my Instagram posts more, learned how to edit better and started to put more of myself into my posts.
Around April I was invited to the Vintage Showcase in Manchester. An event about Vintage's new releases for 2018 where we met some of the authors, including Irvine Welsh who is a complete character. Utterly mad, but lovely. We were introduced to a few of the editors and publicists and fed much wine and beer. It was such a lovely night.
Spring 2018 had all of the bookish events! Along with my favourite blogger friends I was invited to Orion Publishings Showcase. Again plenty of food and much gin was drunk. This time it was held in Troff in Manchester. A very sweet little bar not far from Shudehill. There was plenty of people, brilliant conversation and the making of new friends which is always one of my favourite things at these events.
In summer I went away with my family on a cruise round the Mediterranean and absolutely loved it. Most definitely my favourite way to holiday. It was so relaxing and exactly the break I needed at that moment in time. You can tell I had a great time from how little I read! I don't think I finished a full book. Which for me is unheard of. This is by far my favourite photo from the holiday of me. It epitomises my feelings. Hand me a vat of prosecco and I'll be a happy girl. 2019's holidays look to be just as good!
Pan Macmillan Road Show
Seems summer was all about the book events too! I made some great friends in Pan Macmillan who asked me along to their Roadshow in Manchester again. Where they ordered us a raft of dominoes pizza. I don't even want to think about how many slices I ate! Or how much wine I drunk....Andy was lethal with the wine pouring!
Possibly one of the most exciting things to happen to me this year was being invited to the Midland Hotel to dine with Tomi Adeyemi and her Pan Macmillan team. I still can't believe this happened to me. That I met one of my favourite authors but spent the night eating and drinking with her! She's just as incredible as she seems online and it so full of fun and drive. I can't thank Pan Macmillan enough for this opportunity.
Then I flew to Ireland and back by myself! Which was terrifying in and of itself. I have no photos though. None! The only thing I could think to represent my trip was the perfume I bought myself in duty free. I met up with some friends from the cruise and spent a few days exploring Belfast with them. I can't wait to see more of Ireland, this time with Sam. I'm not the best flyer...it'd be nice to have someone to fly with!
3. Utopia by Thomas More
I finished my first year of University with a 2:1 and started my second. Which felt a lot like going from an egg and spoon race at sports day to a marathon in the Olympics. I'm coping. Just about! The reading is an awful lot heavier than last year!
Started a Few New Adventures
I started a few new ventures on my blog. I began posting about the places I was going out too but that didn't happen without some gentle nudging from my Dad. Especially considering I found a reason to go out more in the form of Sam. Which was perhaps the biggest adventure of all, finding him. We've been to some fantastic places. Masons, Iberica, Australasia, The Yew Tree, Goose and Gander. Most of which we'll be going to again no doubt...considering I forgot to take photos at most of them! But thats what happens when you're having fun.
I had the most incredible 22nd birthday. The weekend before my birthday I was whisked away to Bristol and Exeter for a weekend of relaxation. We wandered around Bristol on Saturday morning and had the nicest pizza. Well, I did. In a place called Franco Manco's then at night I met some of Sam's friends from Uni who were in Bristol celebrating a birthday. Many cocktails later we went back to the flat, ordered a pizza and both fell asleep before eating any of it. I have never done that before! Then Sunday we went to Exeter for a few days and stayed in the most incredible converted stable. Exeter is so stunning. The town is beautiful, Dartmoor is like something out of a film and the stable we were in was so far out of the way that we couldn't see any fireworks on bonfire night. Instead, I was cooked an incredible meal over a log burning stove and spent the night binge watching the chilling adventures of Sabrina and drinking wine with the person I get to call my best friend and boyfriend. The best birthday.
I was invited to take part in my first blog tour with Bonnier Zaffre for Christmas at the Palace* which was such a cute read. And even had a graphic with my blog name on it! Little milestones and all that. Hopefully there will be more of these to come in 2019.
I backed my first kickstarter which just so happened to be for one of my best friends. She designed and had made these incredible enamel pins and I got to write about them on my blog! I can't wait to see what she brings out in 2019...
Then to finish of 2018 Sam surprised me with a night away in the Lakes as one of my Christmas presents. Something I had no idea about until he told me Christmas Day. We stayed at this incredible pub/hotel which had the best food. I'm talking proper snazzy pub food. Triple cooked chips. The morning we spent in Manchester wandering about before having brunch at Moose Coffee and heading up to the Lakes. Where we had the loveliest time. But there's a full post to come all about this...
So that was my 2018.
A year I'll never forget and one thats brought so many wonderful things into my life.