Oh 2015. What a bittersweet year it has been…
At the start of the year, I was living at my Cambridge college. January proved to be one of the toughest months I've ever lived through: a friend of mine suddenly passed away, and as with everyone who knew her, I struggled to come to terms with this. I don't mind admitting that I spent several weeks barely eating or sleeping and drinking far too much.
As painful as it is to lose anyone that you care about, I truly believe that it's much tougher to comprehend the unexpected death of a young person. If there was anything positive about January, it was the closeness and strengthened friendships that came from people coming together to celebrate a life. I think this picture, which was taken as I passed through Pembroke College, is the best symbol of the month that saw a bright light ascend.
In February, things were still tough. Still barely sleeping, my coping mechanism consisted of throwing myself into my academic work and reading a great deal. This picture is a good representation of February, as it shows me starting to venture out of my shell despite looking quite unwell. Platform 9 3/4 is a must visit for all Potterheads, but I'd recommend not going during the weekends!
In March, the research for my MPhil thesis began in earnest. This meant a lot of trips to London, where I'd carry out my research in British Library and Parliamentary Archives. I also popped over to the Bodleian Library in Oxford. In between, I found a little bit of time to spend with friends and I took this shot from London Bridge.
When I started at Cambridge, I made sure that the first thing I became involved with was the Boat Club. Throughout my Mhil year, I was part of the women's crew and learned to row in an eight. Despite everything that occurred in earlier in the year, I managed to keep up with rowing and it was probably the only thing I made sure I left my room for. In April, my training schedule was ramped up a gear in anticipation of the annual May Bumps races that see each college row against one another. This shot was taken from the side of the river as this double scull came back into the Boathouse next door to ours.
Things didn't stop in May: it was the month my MPhil thesis had to be handed in, as well as the month of my sister's wedding over in Spain. After spending most of April exhausted from non-stop work and an intense rowing schedule, I enjoyed a few days off in the sun. I just love Mediterranean decor, and the colours of this shot caught my eye whilst I was taking a gentle walk around the neighbourhood my sister lives in.
June is a bit of a misnomer, as it was the month of my college's May Ball and the Cambridge phenomenon known as May Week. I finished my MPhil this month, and briefly moved back to my parents house. June is also significant as it marks the month that I got together with my boyfriend Alec, who came to my May Ball and even stood with me in the rain at the river side as I watched my college boats race in the May Bumps.
July was momentous, as I secured myself a graduate job and finally moved to London after many years of longing to live here. This is the view from my balcony on one of the last genuinely nice summer mornings in 2015. Alec is stood trying to cool down from the heat of my fifth floor apartment.
August brought along some beautifully placid days, which weren't too hot to enjoy. After an exhausting six months or so, I was rather lazy: I spent my time settling into my new job and trying to restore a sense of equilibrium and routine to my life. This photograph was taken as Alec and I lounged by the riverside in Kingston after a morning of shopping. Such a beautiful scene!
September saw me sent to Hong Kong for work. Having not flown long haul for many years, I quickly found out that I suffer from severe jet lag and spent my entire four-day business trip trying not to fall asleep. As I had to work, despite feeling so rough, this shot was taken as I walked through the streets to a business lunch. I really wish I'd been over there for a longer period of time because I really couldn't appreciate it when so laden down with jet lag.
I left my job in October, after realising that I utterly hated it. Somewhat miraculously, I found a new job in less than a week. To celebrate this change in circumstances and my transition to proper adult life, I decided to embark on this radical haircut. This is the first time since my mid-teens that my hair has been above shoulder length. It's very refreshing and apparently I look much better for the 'chop'!
Soggy November saw me graduate from the University of Cambridge and become a Master of Philosophy. I still can't really believe that it is mine: there was quite a long period of time where I thought I wouldn't get one degree, let alone a second from one of the best institutions in the world. My parents have had it framed and hung on their living room wall – it was even decorated with tinsel for Christmas!
What else can I say about December, other than Christmas? Like so many other, I trekked all the way back to the country to spend the festive period with my family. Whilst I was there, I took full advantage of my mothers much larger kitchen and enjoyed some truly scrumptious food. The Coca Cola ham in the top right hand corner even received a comment and like from Nigella Lawson on Instagram!
I hope 2015 was productive for you. Have a Happy New Year – make sure you write tomorrow off for the inevitable first hangover of 2016!