H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Friday, 30 December 2016

And so, this was 2016.

This year has been difficult, for so many of us, and for so many reasons. However it has also emphasised, more than ever, that life is about moments and not things. And this means having to find a path through even the most devastating moments in order to then go on to experience some of the special ones that make life so uniquely beautiful.

If I could bottle the feeling that reverberates through your bones when the music of one of your favourite artists starts at a live show, I would. My memory isn't the best, but I remember every second of the Adele show I went to back in April. I laughed, smiled, cheered, and tried and failed to keep it together during When We Were Young. That song just speaks to my soul and I think it always will.

Similar feelings were stirred inside me when the curtain went up and the opening scene of The Cursed Child unfolded before my eyes. Jamie Parker's Harry is so aligned with the Harry that lives inside my head that, although I cry at just about everything, the play was a much more emotional experience on a personal level than I had expected. And I think that's partially why I adored it so much, because in those few hours Harry, Hermione and Ron, those characters I grew up with and see part of myself in were, quite literally, right there in front of my eyes. And that was special. Really, really special.

★ Early in January I had to say goodbye to little Ralphie, the light of my life for so many years and I still miss him deeply every single day. 
★ A little while later I adopted Beatrix, who is just such a joy when she's not chewing my clothes. She is so different to little R and I'm so happy to be able to share my life with her. I need to book her in to get spayed and I'm already so worried, I'm not looking forward to it at all.

★ Saw Adele live for a second time and she is also just such a joy to listen to. Her ability to captivate a whole arena full of people is so inspiring. I silently connected with the girl sitting next to me who sobbed the whole way through Someone Like You and most of the concert in general.

★ Started doing some freelance writing. 
★ I bought my first iPhone.

★ Brexit happened and I bought a pin badge as a small, sad memento.
★ Visited London for the first time in far too many years. It was exhausting (London pals, I don't know how you do it!) but the tube wasn't as complicated as I remembered it being when I was younger. 
★ Had a wander around the Tate Modern and The National Gallery.

★ Saw Harry Potter And The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre. I want to protect Scorpius as if he were my own son and I felt a strange and unexpected affinity with the trolley witch.  
★ Discovered my patronus, which officially on Pottermore is a Dun Mare and when taking this compilation of all of the questions is a Thestral. Thestral's are my favourite magical creatures, but I'm more than happy with my Dun Mare too.

★ Listened to more albums than I had in years. 
★ Started my MA in English with The Open University
★ Visited Manchester for the first time. 
★ Had a wander around Manchester Art Gallery, which was a delight. 
★ Went to my first MA tutorial. Almost fell over in front of a lot of people, but apart from that it went quite smoothly.

★ Paired down my make up collection.
 Started using Tumblr again, mostly for reblogging Harry Potter things and pictures of space. 
★ Got some new glasses that are completely different to any I've had before, and learnt that change can be good. I'm now going for that middle aged man meets Harry Potter aesthetic. 
★ Signed up for contact lenses and rediscovered what my face looks like without something permanently balancing on it.

★ Went out to eat for the first, and second, and third time in several years, and it was... fine. Food is difficult sometimes, but it's nice to know it can also be okay.
★ My mam's pup continued to be completely ridiculous. How is he even real?!

★ Started a postcard collection, to remember some of the places I've been. 
★ Started a pop vinyl collection for no reason other than they make me happy.
★ Spent a large portion of time wondering what life would be like if everything were as reliable as that one thick hair that now grows just underneath my chin. 
★ Started using a Fitbit and made a good start on improving my fitness. 
★ Supported 404 Ink on Patreon and they published their first lit magazine, which is marvellous and you should absolutely buy a copy if you're interested in new, wonderful writing.  

★ Went to the cinema for the first time in many years to see Fantastic Beasts and got a bag of popcorn as big as my body.
★ Fell a little bit in love with both Queenie and Tina. And also Jacob and Newt. And Frank and Dougal and, well, all the magical creatures. J.K knows how to write 'em, that's for sure. 
★ Opened a savings account. It's full of metaphorical dust and cobwebs at the moment, but at least it exists!

 Visited Hogwarts in the Snow, which was nothing short of an absolute dream.
★ Scored 95 on my first MA paper. Still can't believe it.
★ Received a stunning MinaLima print as a very generous Christmas gift from Mark and I vow to spend as much time staring at it as possible.

And so, I suppose this year has been both difficult and wonderful; full of glorious highs and devastating lows; unbearable and beautiful. I don't know what the next twelve months hold, but I do know that I'm going to say goodbye to this year tomorrow with a glass of gin in hand. watching The Deathly Hallows with my nearest and dearest.

Sending lots of love to you and your loved ones at the end of this tumultuous year. I hope that you're doing okay and, as always, I'm always just an email away if you ever need anyone to talk to.



  1. Absolutely loved this round up of your year, here's to a happy and healthy 2017 xx

  2. Really enjoyed reading this :) Hope you had a lovely Christmas and here's to 2017 being better! x

  3. I hope you have a very happy new year, Jennie. it's been a pleasure to read your blog and as always, I look forward to seeing how 2017 goes for you xx

    Sam // What I Know Now

    1. Thank you, Sam! Wishing you a very happy 2017! x

  4. I absolutely love these sorts of posts and yours has left me feeling so warm and fuzzy! I love your highlights and catchups, and 95 on your first MA paper is absolutely incredible - well done! Oh, and that MinaLima print is absolutely stunning! Wishing you a wonderful, kind 2017, sweet Jennie xxx

    1. Thank you, Katie! Wishing you all the happiness for 2017! x

  5. Happy New Year Jennie - I hope 2017 has a wealth of happiness in store for you :) xxx

  6. Oh, we must see your with your new specs!

  7. Happy Hogmanay! Wishing you a brilliant start to 2017.

  8. Such a lovely post. I really appreciated all the Harry talk :) Happy New year!

  9. I LOVED Cursed Child,I was lucky enough to see it during the previews and before I read any spoilers. The staging was spectacular! I hope you have a wonderful 2017.

    1. I managed to avoid spoilers too (somehow!) and I'm so so glad that I did. Wishing you a wonderful 2017 too!

  10. I had to come over to your blog to absorb your lovely words before the year was up. Congratulations on starting your MA, and an even bigger congratulations for your first MA paper mark! That's absolutely incredible. On a slightly different note, I too also have a single thick hair which likes to sprout itself from my chin area - so I'm glad to hear I'm not alone ;-) Thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog, and I wish you lots of happiness and success in 2017! <3

    1. Haha what is it with these single, strange thick hairs? Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful 2017! xx

  11. What a year eh! I'm glad there were some highs for you, you deserve them. I hope 2017 is kinder to us all x

  12. Happy new year, Jennie! I haven't had as much time for blog reading lately and goodness, have I missed your writing. It sounds like 2016 was a year of change and growing for you, and that you achieved a huge amount - well done you! I'm totally with you on the chin hair thing - why!? Why there??
    I hope you have a wonderful 2017, love. Take care ♥♥

    1. Thank you, Jess! Haha, I'm really glad to hear I'm not the only one with the strange chin hair thing. I hope 2017 is a brilliant one for you! xx

  13. Loved following along for all these moments, big and small :) Happy New Year! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  14. I never guessed about the food thing. We have something in common. I wish I had the key to unlocking the mystery of it. I have found time and patience the only really useful thing. That and a lot of hugs from my dear ma. X


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