2015: Four Weddings and A Funeral

What a year. It’s been strange, and challenging, and wonderful, and sad, and suddenly better than before. There have been some highlights this year, and in my traditional New Year’s Eve summary, I want to touch on the five I mentioned above. Because for once, my life actually followed the plot of a Hollywood movie!

January began with the titular funeral. The Famalam said goodbye to our beloved Norma, who died on Christmas Day 2014. Norma worked with Ma and Pa for twenty years, at their business, and did every job possible, from caring for residents to running the place in their absence. Both my brothers and I worked under her, and learned so, so much about how to do things “properly” at work AND in life. She had a heart of gold, a wicked cackle and a work ethic that would have made the most ardent workaholic ask for a break. I find myself often thinking of her.

We miss her very, very much.

February came, and without missing a beat, Ma, Pa and I schlepped up to Leeds for my cousin’s wedding. She looked beautiful, her husband was a very proud chap, and the ceremony and reception were delightful. It was excellent to catch up with family close and far, and best of all, my Grandma got her wish to dance at a grandchild’s wedding. (Thanks Dawnie!) Dawn and her new husband set a precedent – I’ve been hearing many tales of my adult cousins buying houses, settling down and generally pairing off into domestic bliss. (I am the oldest, and the most hideously irresponsible, so I am still slumming like a student. Yay for directionless drift!) I’m looking forward to the 2016 announcements of babies!

April and May mostly passed in a flurry of wedding preparation, as my bestie Little Octopus got married at the end of May. Another beautiful ceremony, and an awesome reception (if I do say so myself, having constructed 60 wedding favours, 240ft of bunting and all the wedding flowers….) In recognition of my contribution, L.O. and Steeb bought me a monogrammed clipboard, which I love. They also went shopping for me on their honeymoon, which has triggered a love for very expensive, not-readily-available-in-the-UK make-up. Luckily, they make regular trips to the US, so I should be able to fuel my addiction in 2016. Not so sure about my bank balance and funding this, but…

July was upon me before I had a chance to take a breath, and I found myself flying to Australia to attend a different cousin’s wedding. (I’ve got many cousins. There’s millions of them.) Calum and his gorgeous bride Neatsy married in a beautiful and very moving ceremony, in sunny Townsville, QLD. Having been terrified of flying for most of my adult life, I feared I would panic and die whilst attempting to get there, but it turns out, taking seven planes in three weeks really cures a fear of flying…that and an awesome book called Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker. Calum and Neatsy were incredibly happy, and we got to spend a few days with them and our other cousins in Brisbane before they jetted off on honeymoon. It was a perfect summer holiday, even if it did use up all my annual leave and money. 10/10, would recommend.

And finally, October hit me, and I returned to my old haunt, Southampton, to see another pair of friends tie the knot. Ben & Jenni had a wedding that reflected them so accurately – from the music, to the hymns, to the readings, it was the perfect expression of their personalities and love. Jenni looked beautiful in a purple and ivory wedding gown, and Ben rocked a kilt like a boss. It was a privilege to be invited, and an honour to attend.

In between all of these things, I found time to volunteer for a number of work projects, which led to a brand new job that I start in a few days’ time! And in three hours, I shall be hosting my traditional New Year’s Eve Party, complete with onesies and deep-fried foods, and some very dear friends.

2015 started the way I meant it to go on, and it’s been better than I could have ever imagined.

Happy New Year, dear readers, and I leave you with my favourite New Year’s Eve ballad, my Dear Acquaintance by Regina Spektor.

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