Let’s talk about… 2018.
2018 has been a pretty manic year, but it has also been filled with so much excitement, lovely friends and incredible experiences.
I have spend the last couple of days thinking about everything that happened in my life this past year. I went though all my Instagram posts and stories and realised how much went on in 2018. Most of us are wired to focus on the bad things that happened to us all and we forget the small things that made us feel good, like a “treat yo self” moment or a simple everyday hike.
So here is a little recap of what happened in my life in 2018.
January started with a bang. My friend Pietro and I have made it a tradition to spend NYE together in London. Every year we do something different and this time we brought in the new year in style. We grabbed tickets to the London NYE Fireworks and after almost four hours in the freezing cold, we got to see the London eye light up with hundreds and hundreds of fireworks. It was absolutely magnificent and worth not feeling our toes for hours. What really warmed my heart was the fact that the Mayor of London had the symbol of Venus, ♀ , projected on a building on the Southbank as the fireworks ushered in the new year and boy, 2018 was the year of the woman.
Speaking of women, I decided to team up with my sister and surprise our mum, so I flew to Italy without her knowing. We concocted a lie so that she would drive to my sister’s house, where I was hiding and we spent the weekend together. I will never forget the look on her face when she saw me walk into my sister’s sitting room and, like a true Italian mother, she spent the following ten minutes worrying about having to make my bed and cooking all my favourite meals. I also got to spend some time with my sweet little nephew who has learned to call me auntie, loves to steal everybody’s food and knows he can get away with it because he’s as cute as a button.
February saw me finding my new favourite autobiography, Kate Mulgrew’s Born With Teeth, which I just couldn’t put down once I had picked it up. This month I also finally caved to peer pressure and got myself the DVD boxset of The West Wing. Oh what a show. Thank you Kelsey for being a pain in my butt and forcing me to watch this. I’m sorry it took so long.
It might have been a pretty fangirly month at first, but February was pretty heartbreaking. We had to say goodbye to our little River when she was only about a week old. It broke my heart and made me realise how thankful I am for my wonderful Kinglets, who are so gorgeous, intelligent and brave.
I went to the spa for the first time in ages and it was wonderful. My sister and I decided to treat our mum to an afternoon at the spa and a massage. I got to hang out with my sister and talk woman to woman, something that we had never really done before, mostly, I think, because of the 12 year gap and because I’m terribly awkward and can’t even say vagina in front of my mum. We lounged by the pool, drank some fennel tea and talked about everything but work and wild toddlers.
In April I got myself a new little tattoo, a small moon on my right wrist. I love it so much and I don’t care that it looks a bit like a banana when I stretch my wrist. I took Charlie with me and very awkwardly didn’t tell her why I had asked her to tag along. It was a small tribute to little River Luna, who I ever had a chance to meet except for a good poke at the bump while she was still in her mummy’s tummy.
Bo also had her second and last litter this year. Six gorgeous black Labrador pups graced our house, chewed everything in sight and peed all over our guests. It was hard work but it was fun and puppy cuddles are always appreciated.
May was a busy month, a very busy and fulfilling month. During March and April, the company I work for, received a major advertising boost when someone from Made in Chelsea shared their necklace on their Instagram. We were swamped with work overnight and May saw our first Father’s Day sale and things became even more hectic.
Aside from work, I had quite a lot going on. Maia’s birthday party is always a welcome addition to my schedule and this year’s theme was rainbow. The amount of glitter I found in my bra and pants the following morning was actually ridiculous. Sandy and I got ready together and, as a fellow foodie, we left the club at 11.45 and got our asses to the Five Guys across the street. Somehow Sandy and I always end up there or munching on chicken nuggets at the McDonalds next door. The following day, slightly hungover me, had a spa date with Annalisa. This lovely lady got us a pamper package for my birthday and we finally decided to book our day of leisure when my work life got cray cray. It was such a lovely gesture and I felt so mellow and relaxed afterwards. We had high tea and chatted about all sorts of things, including my trip to Germany, which I’m going to write about next.
As a person who studied German and its literature for 8 years, I should have probably retained more of the language, but alas I can probably only order at McDonalds without making a fool of myself. Why, oh why, did I decide to fly to Germany? The Battestar Galactica reunion at FedCon, but more importantly Mary McDonnell, oh yes, the lady herself was at a con in Europe for the first time in about 8 years. Claudia, whom I met online about a decade ago, flew to London to meet up with me before we both flew to Cologne with Julia, who we both knew and had met before. FedCon was pretty much a dream, despite its ups and downs. I met so many wonderful people, made so many friends an bought far too much nerdy junk.
Annalisa’s birthday fell on that week, so I had to make up for it, so I took her to our favourite Mexican restaurant once I got back and treated her to fajitas and margaritas.
I got to be present at little Lillie’s baptism and got to experience how my friend Andrew and his wife Holly experience their faith and their Church It was quite eye-opening and diametrically opposed to my own experience as someone who grew up going to mass in Italy.
Only one other thing happened in June that was memorable. I got to see Margaret Atwood in the flesh and she was wonderful. She is so strange and clever and An Evening With Margaret Atwood was everything I had hoped for. She talked about The Handmaid’s Tale, her life and even read us two poems she had never published.
In July I have a standing date with the London Pride. I just love putting glitter al over my body, dance to my favourite songs and hang out with my friends. I love seeing the outpouring of love that everybody exudes at Pride. I even got a high five from the Mayor of London while wearing a super cool rainbow outfit.
The week after pride it was finally time to get my dream hair game on at Not Another Salon. Bruna worked her magic and gave me the most fabulous hair on the planet. I simply love my hair right now and it has given me such a confidence boost! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
July culminated with London Film Comic Con, where a second smaller Battlestar Galactica reunion was supposed to happen, but everybody but one actor had to cancel. Despite the disappointent and sadness, it was still a pretty fun weekend. I love a good comic con and hunting down the perfect items to join my collection. Some of the girls I met at FedCon flew to London even after the guests cancelled and we spent the weekend between the exhibition centre and central London. We went to museums, ate lots of yummy food and had far too much bubble tea.
August was all about my mum. She came to London to be with me for a week and what a week. She cooked all my favourite things and we did some sightseeing. I took her to Kew Gardens, which she had never been to, and we had high tea at Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium, one of her favourite places to go to whenever she visits. My mum also decided that it was finally time to get her first tattoo and it was so exciting and fulfilling to be able to organise that for her. I took her to the same place I had my last tattoo done and they were so sweet The tattoo is absolutely perfect and they were so nice and accommodating.
I turned 25. I am officially a quarter of a century old. I got to celebrated with the family who I live with and then ever got to spend time with my own family, including my nephew who’s a September boy too. We had cake, balloons, silly string and party hats.
At the beginning of the month, I attended the International Jewellery Show in London d I loved it so much. Before that day, I knew I wanted to work in jewellery for a while, but what I saw that day convinced me that that’s what I really want to do for the foreseeable future. I got to get my hands on some pretty nice pieces for myself and got to see incredible gemstones.
September ended on roll, with Annalisa and I going to our last Molotov Jukebox gig together, the band that made us meet years ago. It’s always fun when these guys are doing their thing on stage, even when you’re sleep deprived, have a cold, haven’t had any food all day, are overworked and have a mild case of the shingles. I wish I could have enjoyed it more, but it was pretty wonderful to once again win best dressed at one of their gigs and get to say hello to them after the gig. They were so sweet and even demanded a photo with us (and the lady who was supposed to take it didn’t really do a good job and when I die, my ghost will haunt her every day and every night).
October began and ended with a Gates McFadden fest. At the beginning of the month, the episode of the Lady Bam Podcast with Mary and Gates was finally releases and it was the best episode ever! It showed how good a conversationalist Mary McDonnell is and just how curious she is, how she really wants to know what drives and what interests a person. The month then ended with a trip to Birmingham for Destination Star Trek. Not only did I get to meet Gates McFadden, who absolutely loved my hair and is so bloody gorgeous, but I also got to chat with Marina Sirtis, who plays Deanna Troi, one of my favourite characters on The Next Generations, Jonathan Del Arco, Jeri Ryan and, drum roll please, Kate Mulgrew!!! Yes, I met Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager and she signed my copy of her book. It was a pretty exhausting weekend. I had barely slept the week before the event, I had been working like crazy and because the trip to Birmingham was so last minute, I had to commute to Birmingham both days, which meant a pretty early wake up call. On that Saturday night, I also had tickets to see Company, the Stephen Sondheim musical, in the West End. It’s one of my favourite musicals and Patti Lupone is in it. It was absolutely wonderful and I’m still reeling about it months later (I am actually going to see it again in a couple of weeks).
But this is not all for the month of October. I also met Lisa Edelstein and oh boy, there were tears before and after I met her, but while I was in front of her I kept my cool or at least I tried. For those who don’t know, I have been in awe of Lisa for more than a decade. I followed her career and fell a little bit in love, in a perfectly innocent, platonic way, mind you. Meeting her was a dream come true and I got to do it with my friend Ana, whom I had met online thanks to House MD in the first place. Lisa was so sweet and, despite my mumbling, smiled the whole time. We got to see her short movie, which is absolutely brilliant, in my favourite independent cinema, The Prince Charles near Leicester Square. I celebrated a successful day of fangirling with bubble waffles and bubble tea. You gotta love a short film festival near Chinatown!
November saw me finally getting my very own bespoke ring, which I designed and picked gemstones for. I never take it off!
I got to spend a girly night with Annalisa, watching the Twilight movies, which we love to hate, and doing face masks.
The month ended with another trip to Birmingham to MCM Comic Con, where I got to meet Mary McDonnell once again and I got to spend time with most of my fabulous Mary Girl Gang. We had so much fun and even squeezed in a good old Mexican dinner with some well deserved tequila. That weekend was pretty exciting. I got to chat with Mary about all sorts of things and even manages to give her a booklet Claudia and I worked on earlier this year. She was so touched by what we had compiled in that book, I don’t think I’ll ever forget how she took my hands in hers and looked me straight in the eyes. Excuse me while I go all mushy and starry-eyed.
I came down from the high that October and November gave me. Work was crazy. The rush to get all the orders ready before the 21st left some pretty deep dents in my mental and physical health. I had to oversee about 95% of the production and it drove me to tears most nights, but we were successful and everybody got their Christmas presents.
Something that was pretty hard to deal with was the fact that Annalisa left to move to the States. I have no idea when I’l be able to see her again. She is getting married in 6 days and I can’t be there for her and it adds so much guilt to my already pretty fragile state of mind.
I spent Christmas is Italy and, as lovely as it was to get to spend some time with my family, it was pretty draining. My trips to Italy always leave me a bit unsettled, but luckily, this time, I had Pietro to cheer me up and keep my mid occupied. We flew back to London together and spent almost a week going to our favourite places and eating far too many hamburgers and pancakes. We said goodbye to 2018 in comfy clothes, watching Mamma Mia, eating pizza and ice cream while reminiscing all the good things that happened in the previous 12 months.
2018 was pretty brilliant and, with its ups and downs, it has given me so much, has opened new doors and has given me so many new friends that I will cherish for years to come. It was a year of small and big changes, a new hair colour and new digs: it was a year of goodbyes and new relationships. It’s the first time in my life that I feel like clutching onto this past year and never let go. It was fun, it was fulfilling and I can only hope 2019 will be just as good.