2016: the Lows and Highs

I won’t lie, 2016 has been tough. I hit rock bottom and spent 12 days on a psychiatric unit, and a few months later got picked up by police with the threat of a section. They were humiliating experiences that I still find hard to think about. There have also been a lot of problems at home, which I haven’t shared here.

And of course, there’s George Michael’s death. I’m generally unaffected by celebrity deaths – the last one was Steve Irwin – but I was terribly upset about poor George. I remember desperately wanting a George Michael CD one Christmas and Dad grabbing one from Asda and hiding it under his coat in an attempt to hide in from me, terrified of being pulled up by security. I decided a long time ago that Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go would be played at my funeral for the lolz. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate George nabbing the title of most ironic death of all time from Steve?

So, that’s the grim stuff out of the way! Here are some of my favourite memories and achievements:

I performed burlesque with my troupe several times, including three performances in one weekend at Threshold festival. Two years ago I would never have been brave enough. I’m even working on my own tooth fairy inspired solo!

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I made a speech at a very dear friend’s wedding, after a whirlwind year-long romance. I hadn’t known Kairi too long, but she stayed up late into the night talking to me on the phone as I had a meltdown on a secure ward, and I felt the need to share what a wonderful person she is with her new family. As someone who is terrified of public speaking this was a big deal! We turned our dance studio at the back of our beloved 81 Renshaw into a secret garden wonderland. Doesn’t she make the most beautiful bride?

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I got more into my urbexing, i.e. urban exporation, having been taken under the wing of a seasoned explorer and a great friend. Meeting a ghost at Denbigh asylum and our various adventures dodging security guards have been a blast!

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I graduated with a Master’s degree in Screenwriting, gaining a merit despite my ups and downs thanks to some wonderfully understanding lecturers.

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I’ve dabbled with fire performance for a couple of years, but this year I picked up new skills that suit me better, including body burning and fire licking. If you’re in the Manchester area, Tinika over at the Manchester Fire School is a brilliant teacher (and heaps cheaper than the one down in London). I performed all on my lonesome at interactive art event INKbeat* in Liverpool and was dead proud of myself – and dressed as a humbug, no less.

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I met my beautiful boyfriend at Festival Number 6 in September during a Craig Charles set. I asked if he wanted a snog and the rest is history!

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Brother: move that ugly bag from the frame.                 Dad: Don’t talk about your sister like that.

What I’ve learned

2016 has taught me that a select few friends who have your back no matter what are far more valuable than many randomers. There was a point where I felt the need to cull a lot of people from my life for self preservation purposes – a need to close a chapter and eliminate everybody who would remind me of it.

 

New Year’s resolutions

My resolution every single year is to be kind. Although I try to be a nice person, when jealousy or insecurities rear their ugly heads I find myself thinking bad thoughts. I’ve said and done lots of things I regret. I could say my resolution was to lose weight, or win the lottery, but if I’m not a kind person being thin or having money won’t make me happy.

 

And finally…

Thank you to everybody who has read my blog this year and supported my writing even when I lost faith in myself. Thank you to my parents for making the 4 hour round trip to the hospital every day. Thank you to the random stranger on the Merseyrail train who told me I was really pretty and didn’t try to hit on me…

Wishing you all a wonderful 2017.

Love,

Lowri xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Santa Brought in His Sack

This year I was on a mission to support the local economy by avoiding the high street and giving loved ones gifts produced independently. I gave you some of my favourite Welsh-inspired Christmas Gift Ideas and was thrilled by messages thanking me for the suggestions. In return, I think Santa paid attention to my Christmas list too. But before I show you what Santa brought me, here are a few more bits I bought at the last minute:

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For my boyfriend’s family, who live in Chester, I bought Welsh-made products and painted their family name on a piece of slate I “borrowed” from Bethesda Quarry.
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It was an old pal’s birthday on the 23rd, and he now lives down in London. I bought three cards for the Janet Bell gallery in Beaumaris, with the intention they be framed as a reminder of home. He loved the gesture, having recently moved into a new place.
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Signed prints by Niki Pinkington to join my ever-expanding collection. Read my previous post about Niki’s work here.

I’d been dropping serious hints about this necklace by Lora Wyn, and Santa didn’t disappoint.

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He also brought me two pairs of hand crafted silver earrings, including these seashells.

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And of course, there was plenty of Toffoc flowing!

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Despite my lovely Welsh-inspired gifts, I did receive plenty of stuff you could find on the high street. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, to be clear. It’s the thought that counts.

Because I’m Welsh, a necklace made by a Welsh jeweller will obviously mean a lot to me. Likewise, I go out without knickers more than I go without false eyelashes, so I was chuffed with a replenished supply from Mum. I’ve tried so many pairs in the past, but have realised you’re generally just paying for glue quality rather than the lashes themselves. This cheap winged design from B&M is my absolutely favourite.

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Dad treated me to some Gucci perfume, which smells nice but pretty much any perfume will do for me as long as it covers the stench of clothes I’ve worn three days in a row because I’m too lazy to carry dirty washing down four stories to the basement laundry room.

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I also got this funky beanie, hand made by Barts.

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To fuel my duck obsession, family friends gave me duck tumblers by Next.

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My lovely boyfriend gave me a FREAKING MERMAID TAIL, and this bag and jewellery box which I’m amazed he chose all by himself. On point, boyfriend!

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And finally, my mum made me a personalised cook book in honour of my learning to cook at the grand old age of 24.

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Although receiving gifts is lovely, my favourite part of Christmas is carefully choosing presents for loved ones. I like thinking back over what I’ve learned about people throughout the year and coming up with something relevant. Running to Tesco for a box of chocolates is so easy, but for me the point of Christmas is showing that I really care. The cheapest, most thoughtful gifts often mean the most.

What did Santa bring you? Let me know in the comments!