This time last year, each of us Style & Then Some-rs wrote a Christmas wishlist detailing all the things we hoped would be waiting for us under the tree come Christmas Day. This year, rather than listing what we want, we’re each going to write about our favourite things from 2012. And not just consumer goods either. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in this country, so we thought we’d use that other great Turkey-centred holiday to remember all the things we’ve loved in the last year. Call it an antidote to the myriad gift guides currently populating every magazine and website you happen upon at the moment if you will.
1. This here blog
OK, this may sound like a rather self-congratulatory start, but it’s not like that. It’s because I’m really happy with how S&TS has developed over 2012. We took on two new girls - Katy and Jo - who are not only excellent writers but all round great gals too; went to two more London Fashion Weeks; gathered lots more readers and online pals; and generally had a lovely time doing it. I’m really happy that I have this great creative outlet and five awesome friends to hang out with too, and I hope it carries on for a long time yet. Sorry, I think I’m getting a bit soppy now.
2. I got my first proper writing job
After Sophie Charara kindly hooked me up with her contacts at the Press Association, in April I started doing work experience there every Monday on the Features Desk. To my total surprise, this turned into a proper part-time job in July, and I’m still there now, writing about fashion, beauty, film, TV and lots of other stuff, every Monday. I can confidently say I like Mondays considerably more than the average Londoner, and considered how many interns toll for years without pay, I feel really lucky to be there.
3. I finally went to the Edinburgh Festival
After years of people telling me ‘you HAVE to go to the Edinburgh Festival, you will LOVE it,’ I went. And I loved it. Here’s why.
4. I discovered the Best Festival Ever
My other fantastic festival find of the year was Beatherder, a tiny (in comparison to any of the big ‘uns) mostly electronic music festival in my glorious home county, Lancashire. My friend Ruth took me along and even though I hardly knew any of the 20 people we were with I made loads of new friends and had probably the best time I’ve ever had at a festival, even though it rained almost constantly. I really hope they keep the capacity to just 5,000 so that it stays just as good in future, because I am DEFINITELY going back.
5. I gave up drinking
After suffering monumental hangovers for years, in September I decided to trial giving up alcohol, and I haven’t looked back since. OK, I fell off the wagon once, but that was it. Going teetoal was far easier than I thought it would be (it turns out I’m not as socially dependent on booze as I thought I was) and has vastly improved my life in many ways. I highly recommend giving it a go.
6. I found my new favourite sitcom
Yes, I know it’s Mitt Romney’s too, but Modern Family is the best comedy programme I’ve seen in years. Here’s why.
7. Some of my favourite people came to London
My Best Friend in the Whole World, Caroline, moved back from living in Australia, three of my bezzies back from a year away travelling and S&TS’s own Katy ‘Spinky’ Spry visited the capital frequently. This might not mean much to you, but I was pleased.
8. I found the Best Shirt Ever
OK, admittedly, this is a material possession, but it was such a good find I have to share. You know when you happen upon an item of clothing that you subsequently wear so much that can’t believe you lived without it? Well this winter I discovered that Uniqlo’s men’s size extra small flannel shirts are way better than the women’s for me, because I don’t really have any curves to speak of, and promptly started a collection of them. They are warm and comfy, and if you like a bit of androgynous style, I can’t recommend them highly enough. With this many varieties available, my collection is far from over.