Saying goodbye to 2014

Field of Light at St Andrews square, Edinburgh

I can’t pretend that I am anything but glad that 2014 is over. Whilst there were a number of good things that happened through the year, my memory has been coloured by my brother’s diagnosis and subsequent brain surgery. I wanted this post to be a recap of the year to remind me that there were good times as well as difficult ones.

Last January I moved back to St Andrews, the little town I studied in for four years which still holds a piece of my heart. I spent a lot of this first month watching Netflix and working late. In February, Stace and I went to London to see Taylor Swift – a fantastic evening that I won’t forget any time soon. In Edinburgh, I also saw the art installation in St Andrews Square – Field of Light.

Clubbing with KC in Manchester
In March, I travelled down to Manchester with one of my favourite people, KC. We went clubbing on Canal Street – so much fun – and took a bunch of ridiculous selfies. March also saw phase 1 of the St Andrews Students’ Association redevelopment completed – the Rector’s Cafe opened, and by the end of the year was joined by the new Main Bar and the Beacon Bar, the cocktail bar at the top of the building. My wonderful cousin had a baby shower in anticipation of the birth of her first baby. Finally, I also became an assistant warden at one of the University halls of residence on top of my 9 – 5.

Spring party in St Andrews
In April, I enjoyed a garden party with all the students from hall – complete with sunshine, ice cream and copious amounts of Pimms. I decorated my room with momentos and pictures that made me happy.

Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Photo
May
was a good month; my cousin gave birth to a baby boy, I was invited to St James’ Palace to be presented with my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, I met an amazing group of people who introduced me to competitive board games playing. Stace and I saw Sky Larkin and Los Campesinos! in Edinburgh within just a few weeks of one another.

Carley in a convertible in Spain
Carley in a convertible in Spain

June was all about drinks with colleagues, pool with friends and a trip to Spain to surprise my mum, who was holidaying with my stepdad and some family friends. (Being driven around in the Spainish sun in a convertible is something that gave me a lot of joy!) Just don’t mention the World Cup! There was also a tube stop party where I dressed as Wimbledon and had a lot of fun. At the end of June, I met the cutest twins in the world and also their mum; Laura, of Becoming Mums – someone who felt likes I’d known forever at our first meeting.

T in the Park 2014

Commonwealth Games 2014 in Glasgow
July
brought T in the Park with Stacey and her cousins, seeing Haim, Chvrches, Ed Sheeran (for the first time!) and Biffy Clyro. There were also a number of parties in St Andrews. Stace and I went to Glasgow to see some athletics at the Commonwealth Games – an uplifting evening.

Family in Anstruther, Scotland
August
was my birthday; a total washout, but improved by wonderful friends; seeing God Help The Girl and Belle and Sebastian in Edinburgh and a fab night out at Studio 24. The end of the month brought my family up to St Andrews to visit, including my cousins, aunt and step brother, none of whom had been to Scotland before.

Hall Spirit in St Andrews

Cheese and Wine in St Andrews
In September, the students came back to St Andrews and there were a bunch of fun events which I had to attend as part of my wardennial duties. I went to Glasgow with Stace to see Lewis Watson (he’s amazing; one of my albums of the year). Then came the news of my brother’s brain tumour.

Ed Sheeran!! Glasgow 2014
My life was turned upside down, but in October, in between visits to Essex, I managed to get to a wine fayre (dangerous but oh so enjoyable…) and got to spend more times with the newest member of our family. When Mitch’s surgery was organised, my whole family managed to make it to Centre Parcs for my Aunt’s 50th birthday. I also got to see Ed Sheeran again – this time at the Hydro in Glasgow; a brilliant night I replay in my head often.

Chvrches - Edinburgh 2014

Goths and hippies party
November
.  Just before Mitchell’s surgery, Stacey and I saw Chvrches again in Edinburgh – Stace’s 6th time seeing them, my fourth. After Mitch came home from hospital, I went back to Scotland and attended a very entertaining goths and hippies party.

Afternoon tea at the Old Course Hotel
December
brought a trip to Manchester with Stacey – seeing Los Campesinos! for the second time this year and the eleventh time in total. I took one of my friends with me on a spa day to the wonderful spa at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews. For another friend’s 21st birthday celebrations, I treated us both to afternoon tea at the Old Course hotel – such luxury. Just a few days later and I was on a train down to Essex for Christmas and then back to the bubble for a new year’s celebration.

Now, here’s hoping that 2015 will bring good cheer, health and happiness to everyone I know and love.

Carley

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