The Best Of 2016


Since David Bowie left the mortal realm, the world has become a terrible place. But despite this, I thought it was important to look back at my personal positives of 2016… no matter how sad I am that Carrie Fisher is dead. 2016 was a year of big changes for me. After months of agonising over the decision, I decided it was time to repatriate myself back into British life. I’d gotten a tad complacent with everything… so obviously my brain decided to change it all at once. 2nd times a charm, right?

So, in order, I bring you my highlights of 2016.

Visiting Florence

I’ve wanted to visit Italy for as long as I can remember – and after almost two years of living on the continent, I finally got my chance. I traveled round the country by train – and although the trip was slightly derailed by the destruction of my passport – Florence was by far my favourite desintation. I saw amazing architecture, did fantastic shopping, marvelled at incredible art… and saw creepy fetus mannequins from the 19th century. I will definitely be back.

Reading Stephen King’s It

Much like visiting Italy, I had always wanted to read It. And although it really didn’t live up to the ‘omg so scary’ reviews I’ve been hearing my entire life, it was huge. Like, physically. And I’m glad I read it. And it makes me feel less terrible about failing my Goodreads Reading Challenge this year. Seriously, it was huge!

Giving up teaching

Although I have never wanted to end up as a teacher, it somehow became my job.  Yet it was always my means of staying in Madrid and getting a pretty decent income. So I stayed. But at the same time I was interviewing for summer camp positions to keep myself fed for the 3 months of Hell I was about to experience, I took a chance and interviewed for an unpaid editorial internship. And got it. Although I then had to decide between teaching and eating and gaining experience in the field I loved and starving – I’m glad I took the risk as it proved I was capable and qualified to do what I loved and gave me the push I needed to leave the safety net of Spain. Even if I did have to eat a lot of pasta to do so.

Seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Seeing this play was a long time coming. I first bought the tickets in October 2015 and spent an agonising year waiting for my time to come. I’ve written about the show in great detail already, so I won’t dwell on it too much, but it was definitely my favourite part of the year. Not only did it fill the empty place in my soul of the waiting for a new Potter release, but my quick trip to London was the catalyst for my eventual return to the UK. Thanks, Harry.

Doing a Brexit of my own

And finally, the most important change for me in 2016, moving back to the UK. Despite being on the top of my game in the ESL world, I knew it was time to move on. So after packing my entire life into two suitcases and a cardboard box, I took the leap and moved back “home”. I write this blogpost to you from my new place in Brighton. I have no idea what’s going to happen next, but I imagine it will begin with job interviews, vegan food, and maybe a new haircut.

Cheers to you, 2017.

Seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Last October I arrived home from work to see that the online queue was open to buy tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I had no faith that I would actually manage to secure tickets, but I knew I’d hate myself if I didn’t try. THIS WAS HARRY POTTER WE WERE TALKING ABOUT.

So I sat and waited, periodically checking the tab, and then boom – I was in. Now at this point I didn’t know you could set a price limit for your tickets but this turned out to be a good thing, because the tickets I was offered were £60 and in the Grand Circle.

“AAAAAH WHAT DO I DO?”

“BUY THEM!”

“IT’S £240!”

“IT’S HARRY POTTER!”

My boyfriend swayed me. I clicked purchase. I was expecting buyer’s guilt to kick in at least once in the eleven months I’d have to wait until I saw the show – but it never did.

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So finally September rolled around and James and I hopped on a plane to London to have a week of Harry Potter madness. We saw the play on our second day. When picking up our tickets, the woman behind us asked the box office if she could buy some. Mate, I bought these tickets eleven months ago. Don’t even try me.

We killed some time in Foyles looking at books – some Potter, some not. Grabbed a drink in the cafe and headed over the show super early to queue for our seats.

Sorry to break it to you all, but I’m 100% about to #KeepTheSecrets. I’ll only let it slip that… the show is incredible. And that reading the script is not the same. I’ve seen a lot of negative stuff about The Cursed Child now but most of those people haven’t seen the show and are basing their opinion solely on a fraction of the experience. It’s a play, people, it’s meant to be seen.

Yes, there are some plot holes which contradict earlier established canon.

Yes, it does feel a bit like fanfiction.

Yes, reading the script isn’t a particularly enthralling experience.

BUT DAMN SEEING THE SHOW WAS MAGICAL.

The visual effects, the comedic timing, the incredible acting – particularly from Scorpius Malfoy. It was one of the best theatre experiences I’ve had.

A few days after seeing the show I started reading the script and whilst I’m enjoying it because hello I’m reading a new Harry Potter book, I can see that I probably wouldn’t have ‘got it’ if I hadn’t seen the show first.

I get that theatre is expensive and tickets are hard to come by, but if you ever get the chance please see the show. I went into it without any knowledge of the plot and enjoyed every minute. In fact, I was so mesmerised that I really didn’t notice the plot holes until later googling (my bad).

Overall, I just really wish people would stop attacking the show – or Jo Rowling. She gave us the books, she gave us the movies, and now she’s given us the play. Keep thinking of it as a nice addition (like the charity books) and not as part of the ‘Harry Potter series’ and you’re fine.

Seeing The Cursed Child was one of the best experiences of my life and I’ll be in awe of it for years to come. SORRY HATERS ‘CAUSE IT’S WONDERFUL. ❤