A Year in Review: 2015 Roundup

2015 was an interesting year for me. The first half I spent in London stressed out, overworked, forlorn and totally disillusioned by the culture and life that London promises to deliver and falls short of. The second half (after I decided to leave and move back to Southampton for several reasons – both personal and professional) was a lot more relaxed – sloth-like even – home-DIY abound and countless hilarious moments with my sisters. Settling into a new job has since been great (it’s really fun and I enjoy it a lot) and I have loved being back in the presence of my mother, who I have not had much time to spend with in my short/long life and was my no. 1 reason for deciding to make the move back to Southampton. After my experience of living in London, which made the 9-5 grind feel like an onslaught to my soul, I have developed a new found appreciation for my hometown. It may not be as busy or as glitzy as London (or as dirty frankly), but it still has a lot to offer.

I have put together a sort of collage of some of the shots I took throughout the year which are sort of nice-y. I didn’t plan to do a post like this at the start of 2015 – if I had, I may have taken better pictures. I’m trying to reconnect with the creative side of myself a bit more which was squashed out a bit during the past few years due to my life being solely focused around academia, so this is the reason why I decided to do a visual blog post today. I have recently made a more concerted effort to focus on my writing, painting and photography and I plan to continue this in 2016.

So here it is – my end of year visual round up of 2015:

Don’t think I will find an amazing housemate like Meena again! She made London feel quickly like home for me when I moved there in 2014.
I took this shot on my Canon DSLR on the way to or back (I can’t remember) to London Fashion Week 2015, where I was helping a friend by photographing the latest range of her fashion line.
This is a picture of me and my sister during the evening when the new UCL Union officers were announced. She steam-rollered the competition, receiving an incredible number of votes to take up the spot as Education & Campaigns Officer. She is also the Chair of UCLU now and has already managed to push through one of her manifesto aims – 24/7 library opening hours for UCL during exam periods. Proud of my baby sis ❤ (people usually say I look younger than her, I am actually three (academic) years older…)
Finally went to New York this year, which had been on my list for a while. This picture was taken on the way to Staten Island. This shot is a bit murky because my crappy iPhone 4 was held up against the glass of the window on the ferry but I really like the clouds framed in the shot.
I loved Chicago sooo much more than New York. There was something city-like yet tranquil about the whole place and the food was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I cannot recommend a visit here enough. This shot is of me walking alongside Lake Michigan. As you can see, I was totally unprepared for the weather.
This was my last day of living in London – June 12th. I had a delicious thai lunch with my colleague and friend Nicole, and then dinner and drinks and final farewells in Whitechapel in the evening with a few of my other favourite people in London.
Summer in Southampton. I took this shot after jumping off the bus after work. Like I said earlier, I have a new found appreciation for the whole place 🙂 .
This is my favourite restaurant in London/possibly the whole of the UK/world. I discovered the place rather late during my stay there and so I couldn’t resist taking a trip back with my friends from Cambridge when we had a meet up in August. It’s French food and all so drool-worthy.
The New Forest is located next to Southampton and is a lovely place to visit and just like pander about the market and take in the fresh air. Considering I’ve lived in Southampton pretty much my whole life, it’s rather tragic that I have only been here only once before this visit I think :/ .
Another beautiful shot of Southampton city centre. Autumn is always wonderful here and I remember spending a lot of my time as a kid collecting conkers. Not sure for what reason though. I took this shot on the way to work. It was raining and looked so pretty.
I did a writing course at the University of Southampton which spurred me to join NaNoWriMo this year. Although I did not reach the word count of 50,000 in a month (actually no where near it), I am a lot more motivated and confident with the ideas that I did brainstorm and the stuff I did write to use as a base for my novel. I love this picture because it pretty much sums up who I am – I love stationary (my lovely notebooks are a reflection of art nouveau and William Morris, both of which I am a huge fan of), I am obsessed with tea cakes and tea atm and I cannot live without my Macbook.
Christmas lights on Highfield Campus, University of Southampton. Got this lovely shot after a sweaty gym session and desperately needed to upload a good pic onto the University social media accounts. Coz that’s my job.

Lots of other things happened this year which I haven’t shared photos of above, like my eldest sister getting re-married (to a great guy this time – third time lucky eh?), my other sister having the most beautiful baby boy ever – he brings so much joy to my life that it makes me want to cry (I avoid looking at pictures of him when I’m not with him because I quickly spiral into despair); spending Ramadan with the fam, Eid x2, my younger sister graduating from UCL, settling into my new job, lots of parties, high cholesterol and overall just being less tragic about everything and fulfilling my travelling plans.

Regarding 2016 – thus far I have resolved to shed the pounds that have crept up on my waistline over the past few weeks due to back-to-back Christmas parties and family engagements, start and *finish* writing my novel (after a huge philosophical/somewhat motivational speech shovelled down my throat in the middle of the night by my younger sister), pass my driving, complete my CIM Professional Marketing course (which I have totally neglected even though I forked out an arm and a leg to pay for the bloody course last year), take my love life more seriously (my sister is keeping tabs on me for this) and start playing Chess again – because I bloody love that game and because I love winning it even more. And of course, continue to keep writing on this blog! I am looking forward to graduating with my fake MA from Cambridge this year, visiting Rome and Singapore (flight tickets for which I have just booked!) and seeing my friends get married, both in the UK and abroad 😀 .

Thank you to everyone who follows/reads my blog and to everyone who has given me really positive feedback on it – it always takes me by surprise but also makes me feel more confident in my writing, which was the main reason I started this blog in the first place. Happy 2016!


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