It sounds like a cliché, but what a year! You know when you feel like some years just pass you by unnoticed? Or you feel like you just can’t wait for them to be over. Well this year, for pretty much the first time, it felt like a lot changed. And I’m pleased to say for the better.
January: Starting a new job in January is always going to feel great. I’d landed my dream job as Gelato Chef in the centre of Brighton. But this didn’t come without some large amounts of stress thrown in at good measure. And no I’m not talking about making gelato. The exact same week I started my new job our family business went under. And to top it off Murray was away on a lads holiday – skiing. Talk about extremes. So whilst trying to be enthusiastic and fit into my new role, as well as continuing my shifts at my second job in the Dukes Kitchen, inside I was really sad and really tired.
March: Onwards and upwards and welcome to the world of fluffy kittens. A friend of a friend’s cat had given birth to some tabbies and knew we were looking. Henri and Eugene have just turned one and looking back on 2014 (this is going to sound mega naff) I’ve realised that these little creatures have really had an impact on my life. I underestimated how much a pet can change how you are feeling. Our house now feels like a home and we have more of a routine.
May: The month of May came by pretty quickly which meant my blog had turned one. I wanted to mark this occasion by challenging myself and what better way to do it than publishing a post a day for a whole month. It was hard, but I managed to complete the challenge and I felt a great sense of achievement at the end of the month.
June: After my Dad not having much luck with jobs (I’ve come to the conclusion the UK is ageist) he decided to move back to Germany, where he lived and worked before moving to England a few years earlier. A friend of his offered him a good job as a restaurant manager. It was sad to say goodbye to him again, but it was for the best. My brother who was living with him moved in with our grandparents. We travelled to Bristol in a van to help move them out. It was a very tiring weekend and quite stressful (as moving house always is) but what came next was pure joy. It definitely made up for it. Murray and I had tickets to a secret gig in Bristol that night to see none other than DAMON ALBARN! Best.gig.of.my.life.
After writing all about Puglia it was now time for us to go on our holiday to that exact place and visit my family. Two weeks of warm weather and beautiful beaches were just what I needed in preparation for arriving back to the gelateria in Brighton for the height of gelato making season. This came with the some fantastic news. My Black Truffle and Honey Gelato invention had won 3 gold stars from the Great Taste Awards!
July: This was a very demanding month for both Murray and I (more Murray). I was busy in the kitchen while Murray on the other hand had a photography commission to complete, a large studio job on the go and a huge cycle ride from John ‘O Groat’s to Land’s end to undertake. The bike ride was a massive success and he raised, along with a small team of friends, £15,000 (!) for the JPK Project.
August: Murray and I celebrated 5 years of being together, woohoo!
November: After umming and arring whether it would be a good idea or not, my brother decided to move to Lewes so that we were closer to each other. Who was he moving in with? Murray’s brother. He had a spare room going and it was perfect timing, why not keep it in the family?
Murray and I manage to wangle some tickets to the sell-out Damon Albarn gig at Royal Albert hall. Best.gig.of.my.life.part.2.
December: My Pasticiotto went on sale at Gelato Gusto and I became a vegetarian again – much to Murray’s disappointment.
Even though I spent this New Years Eve nursing a poorly cat, instead of having a night out in Bristol with the besties, I finished 2014 feeling very happy. Reflecting back I have recognised why that is. Running a struggling family business is incredibly testing and takes up a lot of your headspace. I felt an enormous amount of pressure (insert Italianess here) to ‘help the family’ and now that has gone I feel liberated. And yes, we lost a lot of money and the stress probably knocked a few years off of our lives, but we are all much MUCH happier.
And my favourite thing of 2014? I touched Damon Albarn twice in one year!