Sitting at a long table in a restaurant with my extended family for my grandmother’s 80th birthday. My cousin – the one whose wedding I attended, the one who is a mere 16 months older than me – asking whether her 14 month old son had told me his secret; that he was going to be a big brother. Feeling the bubble of happiness rise from my chest to my throat, constricting my voicebox, squeezed out of my eyes as tears of pure happiness.
Saying ‘fuck it’ just 2 weeks before the music festival in Denmark; buying a ticket, booking flights and internet shopping for a tent. Drinking breakfast cider and warm beer, øl bowling and never-have-I-ever, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar, Copenhagen and Roskilde. New friends, an ill-fated holiday romance and regretting years of ‘oh, maybe I’ll go next year.”
The glare of the bright blue sea of the Cook Islands from my perch on a paddle board, drifting slightly with the tide. Drinking piña coladas from coconuts at Chelsea’s wedding. Meeting my older cousin Gemma, who I haven’t seen since I was three years old. Being invited – repeatedly and sincerely – to visit my family in New Zealand whenever I’d like.
The intense pride/pleasure/happiness of the moment I found out that my little brother had been given a new driving licence by the DVLA, less than a year after he was hospitalised for brain surgery.
Getting horribly drunk in London with one of my favourite people and partners in crime the night before he departed London on a sailing race from the UK to Brazil. Taking my mum to meet him and a bunch of other St Andrews friends. Eating twenty McDonalds chicken nuggets on the train back to Essex.
Starting a part-time masters degree in Philosophy. Spending the first month feeling like an imposter. Finally realising that most of the cohort felt the same way, and actually are pretty awesome people. Getting a 15 on an essay I thought I’d bombed and realising I can do this.
Exploring Copenhagen on hired motorised bikes on a crazy hot day. Eating ice cream just a stones throw away from the Little Mermaid statue. Having breakfast and then lunch at the same cafe within the same half an hour because we were so hungry. Drinking in the Mikhellar bar and being warned that if we ate too much spicy sausage that it would ‘ruin everything’.
The day that John became a doctor, the first of my friends to complete their PhD. Celebrating with champagne and a visit to Glasgow to see Die Antwoord and get soaked by the cascades of rain on the journey back to Edinburgh.
At least three people who had the potential to be the romantic lead of 2015. In order, the holiday romance, the right-person-wrong-time, and the you’re-how-much-younger-than-me?! Still happy to be ending 2015 as I started it – single.
Driving my friends crazy with my six month capsule wardrobe. The never-ending cry of ‘please can’t you wear something else’? Realising that I value people more than concepts.
Having my parents and family friends come to Scotland for an early Christmas celebration. Going to the Old Course Hotel for drinks, to the Dome for dinner. Showing off my favourite place in the world and falling in love with it even more.
Slow Club in Edinburgh. Chvrches in Dundee. Los Campesinos! for the twelfth time. So much music at Roskilde.
Flying through the trees on what ended up being a perfect day at Go Ape for my 27th birthday. Seeing how friends responded; from the crab-legged clinging to the throwing themselves into the descent. Drinking so much cider in the van on the way back that we needed to beg the driver to stop at a services so we could pee.
Being shown around Brisbane by this girl, who I have know for 23 years and now lives on the opposite side of the world from me, following her dream.
Friends who decide to make the theme of their birthday party ‘glitter and drag’, allowing me to turn myself into a faux-hawked moustached hipster from Glasgow.
Going to London and finding an afternoon to go to the Carston Holler exhibit. Spending hours thinking about perception and what’s real and what’s not, before going for coffee with an old and grounded friend. Being tempted by the big-city-bright-lights of the capital, but deciding to return to Scotland.
Pier jumping on a crazy windy day in St Andrews and feeling the exhilaration of falling ten feet into the freezing cold North sea, surfacing with teeth chattering and a laugh bubbling up.
2015, you’ve been good to me. I’d like more of the same, please!