It’s funny how the end of the calendar year makes us reflect on life more than most days do. It’s not like we look back at the last 12 months on March 21st or September 2nd. Alas it’s when the last number of the date changes we look back and think of all that has happened. And 2017 has taught, reminded and affirmed for me, that finding what you love and doing it as much as possible is what life is all about. That friendship is more important than almost anything. That you should hold the family you adore close to your heart. That you should always chase your dreams and follow the whims in life which make you all feel aflutter.
2017 for me, as a fan and as a Thatter, as with any year there is a tour was defined by exactly that. 2017 was the year we went to Wonderland. Was the year that I saw the Wonderland Tour 18 times, that I went to Fusion Festival, saw the opening night of ‘The Band’ and was in the tiny audience of ‘An Evening with Take That’ and ‘Let it Shine’. It was barriers and queues and never ending travelling. It was joyous and exhausting and along the way, well it stunned us all.
I’ve tried many times before to explain the happiness that concerts bring. And I still don’t think that you can fully understand unless you feel it too. You feel it in your bones and in your soul, a light and a euphoria that seeps right through you. To make memories with your friends, with people who get it, and the band whom you love to the moon and back. It’s always worth every second of time, every penny of money. It always will be and 2017 showed that yet again to be true.
A little tally:
Trips outside of London in 2017: Dublin, Dublin, Birmingham, Newcastle, Dublin, Manchester, Sheffield, Norwich, Manchester, Dublin, Manchester, Liverpool, Faro, Southend, Bristol and Dublin. A total of 16 trips, mostly which shows that when I’m not stalking the favs I go home a lot.
Musicals seen: The Girls, Half a Sixpence, The Band, Dreamgirls and Crazy For You x 2. My fav, the wonderful Caroline Flack was in the latter musical for a short time and I got to see her twice and Caz was unfailingly lovely. The Band was incredible, like watching my life on stage, really must go again soon.
Concerts and TV shows attended: Besides the 19 Take That concerts, I saw An Evening With Take That where Mark Owen was magic and Let it Shine where I watched Mark laugh for 2 hours. Literally there is no other way I’d rather spend my time. Watched Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone with a live orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall which was spellbinding. And I saw Olly Murs’ tour in Dublin and accidentally grabbed his crotch. I still feel violated.
Books read: 106. A personal best. Next to seeing the boys live, reading is my absolute favourite thing to do and I managed to do a lot of it this year. Additionally started writing my third novel which I plan on completing in 2018.
Fav telly show: I don’t watch much telly anymore, since I don’t own one, but Love Island, fronted by my fav, has to get a shout out. It garnered endless conversations in work with customers and staff alike given its addictiveness. I met Gabby and Marcel in Liverpool but my favourite post Love Island moment was when Camilla showed up at my workplace, right outside our team brief and I shouted ‘It’s Camilla!!’ and everyone rushed to the door to stare, like she was royalty. Well she was certainly Love Island royalty.
Other highlights: When Gary Barlow read my blog! And the fact that Mark's water bottle sits on my bookshelf. Pride(I really must actually go to Pride next year rather than working but it’s nevertheless wonderful to just be a part of), Harry Potter Book Night in Feb(Hufflepuff Pride for life y’all) and whenever I went home. On top of that honestly just whenever I felt happy with the people I love. The people I cherish know I adore them. So thanks to anyone that I chatted with in a queue, screamed with on a barrier, moaned to in a sort room (oh hey fav work people), grabbed drinks with, got a meal with, went to pubs and parks and bookshops with and anything else besides. You truly make my life and made my 2017 better. Here’s to more fun, to more laughs and books and concerts and joy and memories in 2018. Let’s make it a good one.