With 2015 coming to an end, for the past few days, #PeopleThatMadeMy2015 has been trending on Twitter. I always like to get involved with this type of hashtag as it's nice to show your appreciation for the people that have positively impacted on your life during the year. However, the more I thought about it, I realised that 140 characters were nowhere near enough for me so I thought I would share my gratitude to my faves here instead.
FYI, this is likely to be a long, rambly and soppy post, you have been warned!
2015 has been quite an odd year for me. On reflection, both good and bad things have happened that I could never have foreseen but they do say that everything happens for a reason. However what I'm most grateful for this year is being given opportunities to make incredible memories, most of them with some of the most wonderful people by my side.
Kingsland and the girls
The start of 2015 provided me with some of the most memorable occasions, as Kingsland released their album through Pledge Music, therefore, any pledges we made were fulfilled. From the studio session, guitar lesson, listening party, the canal and the album party, I have no regrets whatsoever in pledging for these things as they were all very special in one way or another. The guitar lesson was my highlight, being taught to play by one of my favourite people and actually not being half as rubbish as I thought I would be! The canal boat was also brilliant as there were only 4 fans in our particular session, and we had such a laugh. I have #KingslandConfessions videos on my phone which I should upload at some point as they're hilarious.
|guitar lesson with JJ (always will be Thomps to me)|
Of course, there was also the tour. It was literally the most fun week trekking across the country! There was something about every date that made it memorable. Manchester was one of the best as I spent it with some of my favourite people. However, I still cringe at the time we spent in the nightclub afterwards hahaha. In Newcastle, we had the dressing room meet and greet which was really funny and surreal. Norwich was just the most bizarre gig, whilst London was the most lively, made even better by Jay/Jamie/Shaun making an appearance! I should also probably mention the awkward m&g haha. Brighton was probably the least memorable gig however I adored the place itself, my inner child couldn't cope with all the amusements on the pier! Lastly, Birmingham which was a bit sad as it was the last time I saw them as a group, however, I will never forget that there was another gig on that night, a band called Flatbush Zombies and the Underachievers. Their fans were grown men, who were fangirling so hard, I swear we've never looked that ridiculous lol. We googled them outside the venue and it was just so weird but hilarious too.
Obviously, with supporting a band, you come across a lot of people and make friends along the way. I'm not going to name every single person as I'll probably forget someone, however, everyone I've spent time with this year at gigs has made 2015 special for me. KL/solo gigs would not have been the same without any of you. I've always tried to be open and friendly and make time for everyone, so in that respect, I've met so many great people. There are a few people that I should mention specifically.
There's Dannii, who is my all time favourite person to go and meet bands/singers with, as she is so caring and always takes photos for you when hugging/chatting to said artists. She's also one of the most fun people, I always have a great time when she's around. There's Nikki, who I've shared many times with this year. We facetime a lot and talk about the same old things 90% of the time but it never gets boring. I've lost count at how many times I've listened to her be shouted at by her mum or watched her cooking food at stupid o'clock. There's Charlotte, who's like a little sister to me. I can't remember how we became friends as the first time I saw her at Connor's meet up, I took an instant dislike as one of her pals was SO annoying but I'm really glad that I actually got to know her, as she's one of the sweetest people. I've also got to mention the northern trio, Rach, Chelle and Jo. They're so much fun to be around. I'll never forget the day Chelle got to meet Nathan Sykes for the first time - it was the most precious thing, so much so that I cried along with her ha!
Everyone else that's pictured has made my year so special too. There's also people that aren't pictured - there's some who I haven't got around to taking selfies with, whilst Jakie, one of my favourite people ever, sadly lives across the pond. Nonetheless, as cheesy as it sounds, the people I've made friends with through Kingsland will always mean a lot to me.
The only bad thing is that shortly after the tour, the band split which of course upset me a lot. As well as not getting to see the boys regularly anymore, it also means I get to see less of all the girls. The best thing about Kingsland gigs was knowing pretty much everyone that was there. When I go to smaller gigs now, I barely know anyone which is just weird to me. Of course, the fact that some of the boys have gone solo gives us opportunities to see them, but it's really not the same. Whether together or as individuals, Thomps, Con, Josh, Matt and Jay made this year really special, and the memories made will stay with me for life. Supporting KL has been one of the most incredible/expensive/crazy/fun/frustrating times but they'll always have a place in my heart and they'll always have my support. I miss the KL boys and all the fam so much, but nonetheless I'm grateful to them for making 2015 such a special year.
I've been friends with Sarah for around 5 years now. We met in University and she is the only person that I properly keep in contact with. We instantly clicked and we've remained close ever since. Ever since we left Uni, it's been more difficult to see each other and this year she moved to Cardiff, so I've probably seen even less of her. However, it then makes me appreciate the time I spend with her even more. Despite not talking all the time, we can meet up or start a conversation and pick up exactly where we left off. I value her friendship so much, I know that we will be lifelong friends. She's had a really tough year and I just hope that 2016 sees her get the happiness, health and security that she truly deserves.
|that windswept time at Bracelet Bay|
I had to include the little one, as she's very important to me. This year I got to take her to see Kingsland perform for the first time, and I've seen her on a couple of other occasions. Whilst we don't speak as much as we used to, she's always a little ray of sunshine and she definitely made this year great for me. This year she also got to meet Joe Root, one of her favourite people in the world, and that in itself made my year as I know that meeting an idol brings you so much happiness. It's so lovely to see her grow into the beautiful person that she is, she makes me proud to have her as a little sis.
|tour times with the little one!|
Laura and Nicole
The terrible twosome haha! Again, I haven't been able to see much of these two this year, however, they have still been very supportive and made my year. They came to watch me do my charity climb (more about that later on), which meant the world. It was so nice of them to be cheerleaders for the day and to spend time with them afterwards. Of course, Laura also started her book blog this year which Nic and I write guest reviews for. I'm so proud of what she's achieved with it so far and can't wait to see the blog develop further in 2016. I'm also dead excited for our little meet up in January, as well as Laura and I meeting one of our favourite authors, Jill Mansell, eep!
|2016 goal is to take more selfies haha|
A lot of musicians are included within people that made my 2015. I've spoken loads about Kingsland, but there are a whole lot more that have given me happy memories this year. Firstly there's Take That. I went to four of their tour dates this year, and every single one was just an incredible experience. They are phenomenal showmen and never fail to put a smile on my face. I even held hands with Gary and Howard during concert walkthroughs which added to the experience. The Britroyal boys were also a prominent part of my summer. We had our pledges with Kais and Mazin, one day out in London and another in Windsor. I've genuinely not laughed so much in a long time. The banter was flowing all day and they are genuinely such nice people. There wasn't ever an awkward moment. Through them, I also got to meet J.R Richards and his lovely wife Min, as we pledged for one of his studio sessions. We went to AIR Studios in London and it was the most incredible experience, what a stunning place! After several years, I got to meet Aston Merrygold again at Sunday Brunch, he was so nice as I remembered and certainly made me smile this year! (The only thing that saddens me about that day is that I was too scared to try and meet John Newman who was also at Sunday Brunch haha). I've also got to know Concept a bit better this year, and their visit to Cardiff supporting Only The Young was one of the highlights of my year. They care for their fans so much and spent ages making sure they met and chatted with everyone. Their weekly covers always make me happy too.
|Britroyal, Concept, Aston and Nathan|
As a The Wanted fan, a few members have made my year too. I got to go to Nathan Sykes' first headline tour which was incredible, his vocals are unreal! I also met him again recently at a signing and his attitude towards fans is something of which he should be credited for. He has so much time for everyone. Jay McGuiness also made my year - I miss the bugger more than words can say, but seeing him dance his heart out on Strictly every week made me so happy. Is it normal to cry watching him every week? Probably not, but he managed to reduce me to tears with every single performance. His Pulp Fiction jive was the most captivating thing I've ever seen - I've watched it back a million and one times, his mum makes me sob so hard when they show her going "oh myyy god!!". Of course, I had no doubt that my boy would win, but it didn't stop me from deafening the neighbours with my screams and frightening my mum with the inability to breathe for crying lol. I even won £70 after placing a bet, cheers Bird! I've also got to mention Tom Parker but more about him later on....
I'm so lucky to have the mam that I do. This year has been extremely testing at times, for her more than me, but it's made us even closer. We're inseparable most of the time, and I love having her as a gig buddy. She's crazier than I am, that's for sure! Not to mention an extremely bad influence when it comes to gigs etc. haha! We're so similar, always finishing each other's sentences, saying stupid things or singing really badly (and loudly ha). I am so proud of her - she's one of the most caring, hard working people and doesn't get enough credit for it. She has such strength and despite feeling like the world is against her at times, she always ploughs through. She's a fighter, and I couldn't ask for a better inspiration or role model in life. I'm not the best daughter out there, but she's certainly the best mum. You can't pick your family but I count my lucky stars everyday that I have her as a mum. It'll always be the two of us against the world. I hope that 2016 brings her the happiness that she deserves in abundance.
The O2 Climb supporters
One of my biggest achievements this year was climbing the O2 Arena for charity in memory of my grandad. Anyone who knows me is probably sick of hearing about it, but you can read about it here if you wish. What made the day so special, was the incredible support I received from friends on social media. I raised over £560 (before gift aid) but none of that would have been possible without those generous souls who donated towards the cause. I will forever be grateful to every single person who supported in any way. Not everyone can donate, which is completely understandable. That's why it also meant just as much to me when people took the time to wish me luck or give me words of encouragement. It meant the world to me and is something I'll never forget - there aren't enough thank you's in the world! It was also amazing to have Laura, Nicole, Kais and Mazin there to support on the day, as well as being able to climb with Mim.
Yes, a musician, but he deserves his own little bit. At the beginning of this year, I started listening to a singer called David Bulley after watching one of his YouNow's with mum. His voice blew me away and I became a fan instantly. A few months down the line, I got to meet him at a gig. Bless him, he was so quiet and shy, I'd never met a singer that was like that before. However the minute he went on stage, he transformed into this confident performer, the crowd lapping up every note he sang. Since then, I've been to see him perform several times and it's a pleasure watching him grow in confidence with every show. I've also had the chance to get to know him on a personal level, he's one of the funniest people I know, as well as being super caring and genuine. I hate it when fans say that they're friends with singers because to me that sounds silly, but I really have found a friend in David. He's been so supportive of me during the year and I can't thank him enough for that. Through him, I've also got to know Rob, who is hilarious, and Adam, who is the only person I know that is just as much of a Take That fan as I am! Without a doubt, he is one of the people that made my 2015 and I can't imagine not knowing him now. I look forward to seeing him smash his own headline tour next year. I'm so proud of what he's achieved so far, he really does deserve the world.
My twinny, where would I be without her?! Mim most definitely was a part of making my year great. I've managed to see her a few times this year, but I'm most thankful for the fact that she did my O2 charity climb with me. I would have struggled so much more without her - the fact that she's fearless made me push myself to be a little fearless too (even though I felt physically sick haha). It was such a special day for me and getting to climb alongside my best friend just made it even better. This year I even got to see One Direction with her, and it was cute to see her in an environment where she's really happy. I'd be lying if I said that our friendship was perfect this year because it wasn't. However, at the end of the day, it's made our friendship stronger. (I couldn't ever not be her friend anyway, she knows too much lol!). This girl knows more or less everything about me and she puts up with my ramblings/sitches over weird people ha. She's one of the most important people in my life - this year made me realise that even more and I hope that she's someone that will always be in my life! The only crap thing about being friends with Mim is that we live miles away from each other so I don't get to see her very often. I really hope that I see more of her in 2016, and I hope that next year is amazing for her. She's a very special person and deserves the best in life always.
|at the top of the O2!|
Finally, something that's made my 2015 particularly special is joining the CelebMix team as a writer. I wrote a post about CelebMix last month, but for anyone that doesn't know, in September, I applied to be a voluntary writer for the site. I got accepted a few days later, and the rest is history. What makes CelebMix special to me is the freedom to write about the celebrity world, whether it be music, film or TV stars. As an avid fan of celebrity culture and a lover of writing, the experience I'm getting is both priceless and ridiculously enjoyable - it never feels like work. At the start of December, I got to interview Tom Parker from The Wanted on his new solo project. I arranged everything myself, and as a TW fan from day 1, this was the ultimate experience for me. I begged for a day off from my full-time job so that I could go up to London - only an idiot would have passed up on such an opportunity! It was so surreal but extremely worthwhile, for sure it was a moment that made my year and one I will never forget.
Another thing I love about writing for CelebMix is that we are different to other news sites. We pride ourselves on being positive about celebrities instead of fighting them like some press do - of course, a lot of stars come with controversies in abundance, but there's good in everyone. Some people make money from writing crap about people, whereas I'm proud that our writers steer away from this. Being a part of CelebMix has made me realise that I would like to do this as a full-time career, and while I have a long way to go, it's something that I'm determined to work hard towards. I can't thank Jack enough for giving me the opportunity to join the team, and for giving me additional responsibilities which gives me so much valuable experience. The rest of the team are also a joy to work with, we have such a nice community of writers that help each other with ideas and how to improve. I can't wait to see how the site grows and develops next year, I truly believe the future is bright for CelebMix.
|interviewing Tom = life goals!|
2015 has been one of the best on the whole. Experiences and memories made have been priceless and I'm really grateful for the good things that have happened. I have no idea what 2016 will throw my way but I hope it involves all of the people that made this year so special.
Hwyl am y tro!