DEAR 2015

20.12.15

Dear 2015,
Well, you have certainly been different. That's for sure.
But am I ready to turn my back on you yet?
Honestly.. I don't know if I am. I mean you've been an absolute up and down year for sure - and the biggest change of all, but I suppose in a way, I'm clinging on to you. I feel like I don't want to let you go for fear of not being as 'strong' in 2016. I know that may sound a little silly, a little wimpy even but I feel quite content with you. I kind of like that I almost feel in a bubble in a way. A shit bubble at that sometimes, but a new bubble I've created, and grown attached to.
And I guess, I don't feel quite ready to see what's for 2016. It's all going to be new.
Scary yet exciting.
Challenging yet adventurous.
Hurdles yet learning curves.
And the unknown.
But instead of dwelling on you as a year, because I've learnt that living in the past means you can't see the future, I just wanted to write my thoughts to a few select people. The people who've really helped me in 2015.
And quite honestly? Without them, I don't know how I'd have coped.
Well, I know I'd have probably bought fifty more cats, but I'm still working on that Papa!


To Mama Mcfred, Papa G & Craig,
Your support and love can never ever be thanked enough, and although you are family and always will be important to me, I cannot quite express just how much you have done for me this year. Those reoccurring conversations of reassurance from you all and your patience has been incredible and the fact that you always just knew mama, when I needed you the most without asking, is something I shall always admire and hope to be like, in the future.
I know you slightly doubted me at the start of the year, but it only made me more motivated to show you that I could do it - and maybe that's why you doubted me, because you knew that I just needed to find that strength inside me. And I did. I did it with determination. Because of you three.
I owe you all endless dinners and cat sitting duties. And a huge amount of wine too.

To the sassy peas,
Sassy girls, I knew you were always good eggs, but this year has only highlighted even more why I'm friends with you, and although I always knew you would be there, I never realised just how much you were like you have even more so. Those extremely long emails helping to navigate me through life, those pick me up whatsapp messages daily and the replies from you in the middle of the night when my brain went into overdrive, have gotten me through some dark and unsure days. Your experiences and words of advice have always been appreciated, and the fact you picked me up right after my operation is one of the many reasons I l want to be around you all the time!
You girls, really are special friends. And I feel lucky as punch to have you in my life.
Our cheese evenings, sleepovers and whatsapp group, always warms my heart.

To the best girls,
For all those times spent laughing and crying with bottles of wine, for all those evenings spent dancing away our troubles and for all those phone conversations feeling like life gets on top of us, you girls will always be top. And even though I sometimes worry that I'm being a burden when I feel sad, or pester you to put a date in your diary to see me, I wouldn't want to have spent this year without you all as much as I did. Because you girls are what any friend should have and need - a shoulder to cry on, a drunk friend to dance with, an ear to listen, a pal for single evenings and a sidekick for causing mayhem and adventures.
I hope you know I'd do exactly the same for you all.

To my family,
During the time of moving, your help, support and love was hugely appreciated - and not a day goes by where I don't thank you for helping me set up home. Those Sunday mornings when you pop round for a coffee to check in on me, and those evenings when we catch up over a glass (or two) of wine always gave me a boost.
I know you can't pick your family, but even if you could, I'd still pick you all.

To Mr Runklebum,
You may be a cat, but you aren't any normal cat. You may not have a clue what I say and you may not quite understand the concept of a bath, but the fact you'll sit there and listen to me for hours whilst I talk about everything and anything, and how you just know when I need a big furry squidge the most, that's what makes you a pretty special chap.
You are awesome. And a pretty blissful housemate.
Apart from when you pooped in the bath. We'll have less of that next time.

To me,
You did it. And you know what, you should be proud. You SHOULD.
You may not have gone through hell like others, but you've had only your fair share of shit compared to what you've ever known, and you're allowed to feel all the emotions. It's OK to cry, and it's OK to feel great.
You've managed to pay your bills (even if it means cheese intake is limited at times!), you've made your house into a home, you're settled into a job and you've even sorted your Christmas presents on time. You're doing just fine.
So hey, treat yourself to something nice. Oh wait. You already did.
Just don't be so hard on yourself in 2016.

"The book is called Opportunity, and its first chapter is New Years Day"

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The lights are twinkling through the branches of the green tree, the pile of presents building up around them, the cards draped and hanging off every corner of the room and the warmth of the fire heating up a cold dark evening. The festive songs are playing regularly, and the movies give you that festive contentness. The advent calendars are getting lighter than before, the fridge is filling up with cheese and wine and the excitement is really starting to come together as plans appear closer, panic and rush slowly settles down.
That's when you know Christmas is round the corner.
Giving presents is one of my favourite things about this time of year (I mean, LOOK at those chocolate magnets!). Once that instant feeling of worry and panic about what to buy loved ones has gone, the excitement of ordering more than you should have for people to show how much you care, is definitely a plus of Christmas. Daniel Wellington kindly sent me a watch to gift someone, so I've decided to wrap this up neatly for my brother (he won't read this) along with the other presents. I think he'll like this! If you fancy treating a loved one to a classic watch, use LITTLEWINTER15 to get 15% off your order - and then what you've saved, treat yourself. That's my motto!
Wrapping presents in my head is always much more enjoyable than when reality sets in. The sellotape ends up with strands of hair stuck in between that and the wrapping paper, the string tied bows look a little lifeless after a while, and the neat folds in the corners become more crumpled as time goes by. But I'll always persist, and when the assortment of presents come together for people, I feel chuffed as punch with them.
So much so that I pride myself with a huge mug of hot chocolate, I open a box of chocolates and I stick on my favourite Christmas film - The Holiday.
Because it just never gets old. Especially with Mr Bean. Actually all of it.
"Eight is a lot of legs, David"

"Christmas waves a magic wand over the world and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful."

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Once upon a time, I wore dresses all day everyday. And then like everything, things just fizzle out and I found true love with jeans. Because jeans just go with everything, and are much easier to throw on in the morning when you want an extra five minutes in bed, and seem to create a completely different look each time. They go with everything. And I suppose if you've some junk in your trunk then y'know, we flaunt it. Kinda.
But since I felt like I was changing this year, as the months have gone by, I've found dresses creeping back into my daily life. Still belted, and complete with my leather jacket and boots of course.
Because we can't change EVERYTHING!
I like my dress sleeves long, my necks high and nipped in at the waist on occasion. I'm also partial to a pocket or two making any dress with a pocket, a beautiful winner in my eyes.
I mean, it's not like I put anything in said pockets, but there's nothing more satisfying than standing in a cute little dress (attempting and most likely failing, to look cute), and slipping your hands gently into your pockets - because, well, it solves all problems for awkward hands.
I also like my dresses to consist of blacks and greys and navy's and snippets of white, but this month green is drawing out to me. It's a step up from my current wardrobe, whereas three years ago this JOY dress would have fitted in perfectly to my bright and bold print clothes, but alas, colour and print is here. And i'm overJOYed.
Get it? Yeah, I thought that pun was great and couldn't help myself.
But seriously, I'm so chuffed with this little number that I think I've worn it more than acceptable in the past month.
It's those pockets, I tell you.
They've gotten me weak at the knees.
Maybe it's time I find something else to get excited about - pocket obsessions may be borderline peculiar.
And the reason i'm still single...
Dress: JOY* | Belt: Warehouse | Boots: New Look

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Because, sometimes it's easy to forget our good qualities in the jumble of insecurities and worries. And even if it takes us a little longer to think of our strengths compared to our weaknesses, we all have them. They're in there somewhere - we just need to find them and display them with pride.

My nickname is Katy Mitten. That's pretty awesome - and it's a great conversation starter.

I can make people laugh. Whether they're laughing at me, or with me, it puts a smile on people's faces. A genuine smile I think too.

I have cracking ankles. Like seriously good ones I think. You know when people say relationship goals? Yeah, I'm ankle goals.

I'd drive around the world for a friend whenever they needed me (well, money's tight but I'd try my hardest), whatever time of day. I have so so much time for them.

I care for people. For everyone. A lot. Maybe more than I should, but I do.

My personality is like a chameleon's. I'm good in most situations and can adapt myself to blend in well. Unless you started being sick, then we'd have an issue, and I'm not such a good chameleon then.

I'm pretty humble. I think most people know that.

I'm a cheap date. "Oh what do I want to drink? Yeah, I'll just have a bottle of cider and that's me done. Don't worry, I'll still dance on the tables for you.."

My ears are good at listening (if you talk loud enough that is), and my shoulder is perfect for crying on. I may cry with you, but I can provide you with ice cream and marshmallows and make a sad situation better.

I do really good facial expressions when I'm talking about things. Expressions that fascinate people when I'm telling an interesting story. And a not so interesting story at that.

"Self confidence is the most attractive quality a person can have. 
How can anyone see how great you are if you can't see it yourself?"

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The last time I wrote Five Happy Things, I felt low. And I felt lost - and I suppose in a sense, I have done right up until this week yet writing down a few things that really do make me feel better, they help. In that moment. And they make you remember that actually, sometimes we can be a little lost and that's OK but those simple pleasures will always be there.
And they are. And actually over the last few days, I feel like I've so many things I could write down, but I'm going with my top five. The random five at that too.

Pre Birthday Celebrations. Because everyone enjoys their birthday, and even more so when you get to spend it with your favourite people. And what's even better is when you drag it out over five days. Yep, we're talking various different meals, a girly sleepover, cheese and fizz with family times and a day of shopping for yourself. Now THAT does make me happy.

Reindeer Ornaments. I can't help it. I don't know why I'm so into them. But reindeer ornaments at Christmas have me contemplating buying the whole shop. I want them everywhere in my house and I want to take them all home. They make me smile, and they look cute. Especially the one that's wearing a cable knit.

Messages. A perculiar one maybe, but receiving messages off the girls when you least expect it - a simple "thinking of you" and a pick me up tweet really helped me realise that they are always there. And somehow they just know when to send a message at the right time. I love technology for being able to contact them whenever and wherever.

Overdue Catch Ups. That friend you've not seen in ages and tell yourself you'll message her soon? Do it. Because actually, you pick up exactly where you left off three years ago, and you wonder why you left it so long. And when they turn up at just the right time with flowers and a bottle of fizz, that's why you remember they're your friend.

Writing Lists. I can't stop myself. I write lists every morning at work, and re-write it by lunchtime. I write lists in my notepads of things to do, and I write lists on my phone. I really like writing lists. I may not get everything on my list done, and it may be pointless. But they make me feel organised.
Nobody needs to know I'm not.

"We cannot control the wind, but we can direct the sail"
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When I was younger and I heard my mama constantly talking about the weather, supermarket deals or how quickly the year just seems to go, I vowed to myself never to do that as I grow up.
But it's inevitable - because as you get older, the weather plays a big part in your day (and is always the reason behind your current cold), supermarket deals really DO need discussing and tracking down, and well, time genuinely does seem to fly by as the years go on. How? Why?
And this year has certainly done just that.
It's December. Already. Which means, regardless of if we want to admit it or not, Christmas is looming. Fast!
I suppose I'm a scrooge when it comes to Christmas decorations. I mean I'm not the classiest girl in the world (you should see where I live...), but I can't help find the decorations a little tacky, like too tacky. And I have a rule that Christmas doesn't begin until after my birthday (it's the 7th FYI) but this year I broke that rule. I decided on a tree within seconds whilst browsing a charity shop at the weekend (it was THREE pound, I couldn't resist), half attempted to put some lights on, before observing it as a masterpiece,  sprinkled some tinsel about that I once hated and placed my love for reindeer ornaments on my fireplace. And declared it Christmas in my house.
For me, December (and January, and February.. And maybe up until April) is about hot chocolate. All kinds of hot chocolate too. Some days I like it with cream and marshmallows - a double helping of marshmallows is the best, but other evenings, there is nothing quite as satisfying as curling up in bed with the throw, the candles lit and indulging in a really rich creamy hot chocolate. And you know what's even wilder? When you dunk in a Lindt* reindeer to the hot liquid watching it melt. And I don't even have to share with anyone...!
I realise now why Christmas jumpers were invented, baggy ones at that - it's so that we can eat as much food as we want during the month and not even have to feel guilty. Wherever you walk, we are surrounded by delicious food, and it always seems so much more appealing to want to buy everything and hibernate in your house devouring every crumb. When this Harrods hamper* turned up on my doorstep (and after a very un-strong like time carrying it up the stairs) I wanted to throw a party right there and then and share the biscuits and delicious cheese twists with anyone and everyone. Because who doesn't like chutney on their cheese twists and washed down with some delightful fancy tea and finished off with one, or two triple chocolate chunk biscuits.

I think Christmas might be a good one this year...

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