Saturday, 31 December 2016

2016 reflections

I know I know...3 posts in just as many days...I'd like to say that this is me starting a new years blogging resolution early but, in actual fact, I'm just trying to put off all of the packing I have to do.

Obviously a New Years eve reflective blog post is mandatory... this is, after all, the LAST DAY of a very tumultuous here it is...apparently people are trying to remember 2016 for the good parts and so 'best 9' is a proper thing now, so I thought I'd jump on this trend and give you a few of my own: 

Firstly my best 9 Textile Candy/illustration/work posts of 2016

Some of my best 9 photos with friends-such a happy year.

Finally this #bestnine collection represents my favourite moments/memories from the year. Top to bottom and Left to right: taken from my Italian road trip in Florence, sunshine picnic in the park with my lovely Brussels family, my first ever website- probably one of my proudest moments, my friend Charlotte's wedding(her love story completely fills me with hope for the future), me at the top of one of the Alps in Switzerland, a country walk with my siblings when I moved back home, screen printing my own products for my Christmas stall, my Brussels birthday celebrations back in February, and finally another shot taken on my Italian roadtrip in Venice.

2016 was a year that many people will be happy to see the back of; there seemed to be so much trauma, sadness and tragedy. From the deaths of some of our famous favourites to multiple terrorist attacks, from zika virus outbreaks to political debate and turmoil, 2016 is definitely a year that will be remembered. 

Oddly I have actually had the best year of my life! Here's a few of the reasons I have loved 2016:

- While living in Belgium I made some of the closest friends I have ever had- thank you to my little family there who made living abroad so easy and filled my life with so much joy!

- I have travelled around Europe a lot more and visited: Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruges, Prague, Budapest, Stockholm, St Moritz, Naples, Rome, Venice, Florence

- I have crossed some things off my bucket list- climb a volcano, go to Italy, save some money, live abroad for longer than 6 months.

- I committed to starting a business and created(all by myself) my first proper website

In preparation for writing this New Year's Eve post I looked at what I had written last year and it turns out I had actually listed some New Years resolutions for 2016 on my's a screenshot of them...surprisingly I actually did the majority of them!

SO.....time to set some NEW new years resolutions, I'm gonna keep them fairly doable once again:

-learn a new language...more than partially...

- save 5-10k so that in 2018 I can either put down a deposit on a house, spend it on travelling, or set up a business(setting 2018's resolutions already haha!)

-carry on visiting new places

-learn to cook/bake

- keep creating new work

-read more, watch tv less

- write my business plan

- live a healthier lifestyle- eat well and stay active!

As I already mentioned, in 2016 I got the chance to travel a lot more and it made me realise what a spectacular world we live in. It's been amazing to see areas of both natural and man-made beauty and experience other cultures, foods and traditions. I think my top 3 moments have been: being on top of the alps in Switzerland, seeing an opera performance in Rome and going to colourful Burano island. There's the cliche saying, which I embarassingly love, "travel is the only thing you buy that will make you richer."
Some of the cities I've been fortunate enough to visit this year: Amsterdam, Prague, Bruges, Rome, Budapest, Venice, Burano island, Stockholm and St Moritz(top to bottom and left to right).

Although I've had a great year personally, I have also felt a huge deal of sadness about the state of the world. One of the things I really despaired of was the lack of toleration we showed towards one another after Brexit and the Presidential campaign. Politics in 2016 has driven an even greater wedge into already existing divisions and the name-calling and hostility(on both sides)shown following these elections has been horrible to witness. I am not a politician, I know enough about politics to form my own opinions but not enough to patronize anyone else about theirs. This may be my political naivety speaking but, in the grand scheme of things, surely the way we treat each other matters far more than political opinion!Hopefully in 2017 we all make an effort to be more open-minded, understanding and patient with each other- I know that I definitely will!

I will be ending 2016 with hope, both for my own life in 2017 and for our lovely little earth. I have hope that we will avoid destroying it more in 2017 than we did in 2016. Hope that our governments will learn from history and stop making the same mistakes and hope that the new US government will stop using Syria as their own personal battleground to fight with Russia. I have hope that Theresa May will negotiate a good Brexit deal and will do so before things turn sour, and that the outcome of the different European elections set for 2017 will increase the security and stability of Europe. 

One more thing I have hope for is that the world will stop focusing on gender and sexuality above people and personality. I understand the need for equality and inclusion but 2016's hyped up political correctness seemed to only cause animosity and over-sensitivity. The media pushed feminism with tags like #supportyourlocalgirlgang meant for good but, in an attempt to reach gender equality, we surpassed it and ended with what seems like an anti-male mafia. 2016 saw a lot of real issues losing their impact after being softened by social media.  We turn problems into 'trending hashtags' to 'join in on the conversation' and we put opaque flags over our profile photos to show 'solidarity' with countries that have experienced terrorism, completely selective of the countries that are deserving of this. Why did we do this- because in 2016 it's 'on trend' to appear to be humanitarian. I know the new year is meant to be a time of celebration, where we all get fairly drunk and have fireworks and champagne but I think it's important for people to understand the gravity of what actually happened in 2016. While the world appeared to be having a meltdown the mainstream media chose to focus on our favourite stars and cultural figures that died(I've tried to keep this list to one person/month to avoid us feel down).

Other famous figures lost in 2016 include: Victoria Wood, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan and Bill Cunningham.

Yes these are all sad but what about the countless other lives that have been lost this year- are they less deserving of a headline? Terrorism,once again, has been a consistency of the year. We witnessed attacks in Brussels, Nice and Germany but these had a small loss of life in comparison to the death toll in Iraq and Syria where suicide bombings and beheadings are now commonplace.

When blogging I often try and avoid talking about real issues as they aren't popular and I usually get less page views/followers- shallow, I know, but that's the nature of the (blogging) beast. One of my resolutions for 2017 is to include more posts of depth as I have noticed this year that the mainstream news has refrained from showing us anything that might induce fear or panic. I will of course still be doing trend posts and writing about print design/fashion, but I'm going to try and provide more articles of substance too

I've been thinking a lot recently about why I started this blog, why I continue posting and where I see it going in the future. I  always wanted to use it to show people how interesting fashion/design history can be and how it is reactive to the economy, politics and social culture- I have somewhat abandoned this in 2016. Reading through my comments and messages I've received about the blog I seem to have quite a wide audience with some readers wanting the print/fashion trendboards as a resource to aid with research whereas others prefer the more personal, deeper articles and I'm quite keen to keep these two groups of followers. I would love any suggestions people have of what material they like most on my blog and what they would like to see more of so that I can do my best to provide content that people actually want to read.

Anyway....I don't want to leave this post on a depressing note about the state of the world so here are a few things I found hilarious about this backwards, illogical and completely ironic year! 2016 was a year that confused the Instagramming public so much that #quittinginstagram became the most common Instagram hashtag...

...2016 was such an illogical year the the British public were overruled on the name Boaty Mcboatface, but not on their decision to leave the EU....ha!!!

The past year saw global politics spiraling into disaster, everything escalated so quickly that we all felt the need to be still, so still that the mannequin challenge really took off. 

In times of trauma we all need escapism....some people have chosen to escape by dressing up as creepy clowns......others by changing their persona completely through various celebrity endorsed snapchat filters...if the global news is getting you down you can now change your face to be: a dog, a bunny, a deer, a strawberry, a piece of toast, or whoever else's face you would like to swap with...

....but we've made it out the other end ...just about....

yeah apparently this is an actual real website....

I'll be completely honest in saying that I usually spend New Year's Eve, as does most of the U.K, getting pretty drunk in a, usually overpriced, nightclub.... this year I'm opting out and staying at home. Next year I will be relocating AGAIN, and no matter how many times you leave your family it doesn't get any easier. I want to welcome in the new year with some of the people I'm close to.....I only hope that my parents will stay awake until midnight....failing that I will spend tonight celebrating with our little westie and a glass of bubbly!

My hot New Years eve date ;)

I have a few things to look forward to already next year: my volunteering trip to Ghana, my new job in Switzerland and several of my close friends are getting married!Hopefully 2017 will be even better than 2016!

I hope you all have a lovely New Year's eve celebrating!

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