As we say too-da-loo to another year I like to reflect on the things that have happened over the last twelve months. On a national level if 2016 was a year of shock, highs and lows, 2017 was a year when consistent crap seemed to be the norm. Brexit limped on, inflation continued to rise, and horrendous ‘breaking news’ featured so regularly there was no room for horrified, wide-mouthed reaction or you’d have permanent jaw ache. It wasn’t all bad, but you get the gist.

On a personal level, 2017 brought around the year of change. My friends started having beautiful babies, got engaged, and moved out.  I changed my home, my job, and my relationship, even my hair! I went from ridiculously happy, super positive to the saddest I’ve been in ages, back to being pretty content.

The whole ‘consistent crap’ has also been a continuing theme in my family situation, and my new life in London definitely hasn’t quite turned out how I imagined it would. It also appears having my hair chopped off consequently lost me all my powers (so I believe…)

However, if there’s one fact I do know about this year- it was the year of love. Absolutely nailed it. Forget Megan and Harry, Straw and Cox was the biggest love story of 2017.

I said goodbye to any toxic relationship I’d ever had and welcomed with open arms the sort of love only seen in Disney films. It is glorious. If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t fill your stomach with butterflies and your heart with joy get out now. Trust me, you can do better and it’s worth the wait. When the person you’ve fancied for ages turns out to be everything you’d ever hoped for, and also weirdly appears to be the male version of me, it’s pretty fucking awesome. I not only get to wake up with a man who’s beam brightens my mornings, but I also get to wake up with my best friend.



I can’t believe how different this feels from last December, and that’s why I like to write little roundups at the end of my year on the blog as it’s a nice reminder of what’s happened and also how I feel. We can never really measure progress unless we record it, so I’d definitely recommend starting if you don’t already.  Letting my barriers down was the best decision I ever made. Rule book out the window, feet first.

Alas, as they say, I wish you could have it all. I sort out my love life and everything else turns to shit.   I moved to a city of chaos where I felt lonely and sad. I’ve given up the hobby I’ve loved since I was 7 in exchange for a job that frustrates the hell out of me. There’s this huge inner conflict in me, which sounds ridiculous and, if anything, I hope it royally fucks off next year. I’m like the worst needy girlfriend- I just want London to love me, even though I despise the hell out of it at times.

It’s been a weird old move. I moved for my career and for my relationship and I’m not going to lie I feel like a fraud. One thing I have learned is exactly what I DON’T want to do anymore which sometimes is just as helpful as knowing what you want to do.  I just miss horse riding and my yard so damn much.

2017 was also a year of realisation. I don’t know if it’s an age thing, or just taking a positive from spending so much time alone, but I realised I’m actually very content in my own company. Maybe it’s because no one cares in London but I’m more than happy now to go for dinner on my own, and it feels GOOD. I also realised the value of friendships and who my true friends really are. When you leave somewhere you’ve lived for a long time you leave a mass network of connections. The ones that matter become vividly apparent.  Thank you to every one of you who has listened, cared, and supported me this year. I love you all and it means more than I could ever show. I hope I can do the same for you.



To say I’m gutted not to be seeing in the New Year lit up by the fireworks in Sydney is mahoosive fat understatement. But I’m also looking forwards to finishing work and watching the incredible fireworks in London on our balcony.   As I mentioned last year I don’t like to make resolutions, in fact the only thing I said I’d do this year was to carry on doing as much exercise as I could, which will continue.  I also want to travel as much as possible. In 2017 I’ve managed to visit five different countries including four that I’d never been to before.  This is pretty good for the average person in my eyes, especially as two were the other side of the world.  I also managed to do quite a few creative shoots this year, and working at Wimbledon was the BEST.  However, there are a few things that I would like to keep at the back of my mind next year, and I will read this post again in a few months to remind myself.


One of my favourite shoots this year, and one of the best days


Firstly, I want to be grateful for all the parts of my life that make me feel good and for all the successes I have, no matter how small. I would never, ever have expected to be writing this sitting crossed legged in a London newsroom this time last year, so here’s to the unexpected and making the most of it. Last year I ran away from it all, in 2018 I will attack it all head on.

I need to let go. Let go of the things I can’t control. I can’t fix my family, I can’t make everyone happy and I can’t always be on top of everything. Toxic people don’t have a place anymore and I have to move on. Sometimes silence is the most powerful weapon.

On the other end of the scale, praise and support is more than welcome. This year, if you spent ANY amount of time on social media, there’s always some pernickety argument or actual shit storm brewing. Judgments, criticism, and bitching. People pointing out the smallest mistakes, or jumping immediately on anyone’s failures or flaws. I want next year to be the year we’re all a tad more supportive, god we need it!

I spent several days away from social media at Christmas and I wasn’t even bothered. I didn’t miss the glutinous pictures of the piles of food consumed, the endless videos of next-door’s kids, or the brags about the ‘#BestChristmasEver’. When we don’t feel great, and we don’t feel good enough, enter social media. There’s nothing like the illusion of inclusion to make you feel utterly miserable.  I guess ultimately this time next year I’d like to have a bit more balance, and also patience. When we notice a void we try to fill it, I’m just not sure what I want to fill mine with yet.

So before we all march into 2018 like we’re embarking on a life-changing voyage, with a heartfelt promise of leaving all misgivings and mistakes behind, let’s not be shortsighted enough to act as though these are exclusive to the last twelve months. Maybe the order now is the acceptance that this IS the status quo, we either put-up-and-shut-up, or do something different.

Happy New Year and thank you for all your support,

Jem xx



2017 in pictures:

So I think I can safely say I win the award for the least festive post, but it’s also kind of timely. T’is the season of consumerism and all that goes with that, so bear with me…

The reality? The Great Barrier Reef only looks like this after a saturation filter.


“The future of all life now depends on us” Sir David Attenborough warned, in that glorious voice you can only pay attention to.

The final episode of Blue Planet gave us a stark look at the impact of human behaviour on marine life; shock was promptly followed by sadness. This immediately brought about a rallying call on social media to do more to protect our environment. Even MPs got involved- a flurry of tweets ensued, pledging their alliance with ‘backing the blue belt’. Since then it’s all sort of died down. Well it is Christmas, and we need to dash off to buy ALL the things.

At work this week I was (trying to) organise contributors to speak about the subject of plastics in our oceans. Nearly all were too busy to come on camera, not too busy to tweet about it though…


This got me thinking. It’s one thing declaring how heart broken you are on social media, and how disgraceful we are as a race, but what are we actually going to do about it? Fair enough we can lobby MPs and get them to sign up to #backthebluebelt, and help increase marine protection in the overseas territories here but once we’ve tweeted our MP then what?


Whenever I hear the word ‘plastics’ I usually think of Mean Girls (if you know you know right?) but now I just think ‘mean humans’. It’s a never-ending chain. Plastic manufacturers aren’t going to stop- they make a mountain of money from our mass consumer habits, and government changes can take an age, so ultimately I think it’s down to us.

No one wants a grumpy Octopus…


Last week I made a note of all the plastics I used in one day and was horrified. From my toothbrush, to food packaging, the fork I used at work, to the cup for the water cooler, even the plastic wrapping on the dishwasher tablet (why though?)

So imagine if everyone I know stopped. Just stopped using as much plastic. Then imagine if everyone they know stopped. Imagine if ALL humans stopped. We’ve survived the 5p plastic bag charge so why not go further?  Just one person might not seem like a lot, but if you just think ‘fuck it, one person isn’t going to make a difference’ then nothing would ever change. Yes I did go and watch the Lorax recently (thanks Wordy) and if you haven’t seen it, do it. Just take a reusable drinks bottle with you…





  • 1. CWARFEE

How about that daily coffee on your commute? The UK throws away an estimated 2.5 BILLION cups a year, and there are only TWO places in the UK with the facilities to recycle them (a standard recycling mill cannot separate the material in the cup that makes it waterproof) and don’t forget about all those lids either, or the extra sleeve, and the stirrer, not to mention the individual pods we use at home…Jeez.

Just take your own cup in- Pret offer 25p off a coffee if you provide your own, which is going up to 50p in January. Hurrah! Also this makes use of all those cute cups you buy that just sit in your cupboard gathering dust. Some coffee shops offer a free drink if you buy a reusable cup from them, and they also make great Christmas gifts too!


Much happier now…


What about the 38.5 MILLION plastic water bottles we use in the UK? Only half of these get recycled…

I realised I was buying two bottles a day on some occasions which is insane. Yes I bloody love an Evian, but I also love having money to spend on something that I can’t get for free.

I bought a massive one so I could make sure I was drinking more water, and for some reason bringing my own water bottle to fill up at work also made me drink a load more water too. Win win!

So treat yourself to a bottle and think of all the other glorious things you can spend your cash on instead. Just make sure your bottle is BPA free.

While you’re at it, add to your amazon order some Tupperware and let’s cut down the amount of cling film we use.



Use your own cutlery. Our work canteen charges 5p to use their plastic cutlery if you bring in your own lunch, and rightly so. You can use their regularly cutlery for free! If you can be bothered to make your own lunch you can be bothered to open the draw to grab a fork too.



Now I likes me a Gin, but I never drink it with a straw. The only Straw I need in my life is my darling man (it’s his surname) so let’s ditch the straws for all our other drinks too. Just Google the video of the turtle having a straw pulled out of its nose. You’ll never want to use one again. So many pubs and bars have jumped on this and if you are a bar/café/restaurant owner you can join up to Straw Wars here.



Ditch the plastic toothbrush. I never even thought of this until I made a note of all the plastics I used in a day. Yes we don’t use that many every year but think of all the billions of people, it all adds up.  I know a few people that buy Bamboo toothbrushes, just make sure you can actually recycle them. A few sneaky companies sell ones where you have to remove the bristles before recycling, or it just gets dumped, which defeats the object obvs.

There’s a really interesting post written on ‘My Plastic Free Life’ about how biodegradable some of these toothbrushes really are, pig hair anyone? You can read her post here.

  • 7. IT’S A WRAP

Food packaging has to be the WORST. It’s actually ridiculous. You buy your apples on a plastic tray, wrapped in plastic, then you put them in a plastic bag (although hopefully not now) and take them home, just to ditch all the plastic. WTF. It’s fairly easy to buy plastic-free fruit and veg, shop at markets and smaller shops where they’re not as packaging obsessed, or just buy them individually and don’t use a bag. You should be washing them anyway, so it literally makes no difference.


I think half the problem is councils don’t make it easy, or clear what can be recycled and how. Maybe this is something we need to address more? Scandinavian countries, and places like Germany are smashing it at recycling, it’s such a shame we’re so rubbish at it. Pun intended.

This is an important subject, and I do feel passionately about it. I think the more it’s talked about and passed on the better. I went diving in the Great Barrier Reef last year. It made me really sad how bleached everything was, and I felt so guilty for even being there, but it was an incredible and humbling experience.

Let’s clean up our acts and clean up the oceans. If you want to know HOW it all ends up there, check out this Green Peace article here.


To find out about what to do with your food packaging read here.

Bored of your regular Netflix? Watch Chasing Coral here.

Other useful links:


HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ONE AND ALL, spend it with those that matter and the people you love, whoever they are,


Jem  xx

This is not a sponsored post.


How happy are you right now on a scale of 1-10? There are SO many reasons why we don’t always feel on the upper end of that scale- work, family, friends, relationships, failure, loss, loneliness. So many.


I was going to wait to write this post in a couple of months’ time. But the more I think about it and the more the scribbles in my notebook mount up I realised that actually the timing is great because I need to write this and take it all on board myself.

Over the last few weeks and months a few people have mentioned to me that I seem a bit distant and that I sound a bit sad, I was also asked why I was so MIA on Instagram, which I think is a bit weird.

There’s so many discussions about how our lives aren’t honestly represented on social media and I think this is true, up to a point. Only YOU choose to share what you put out there. I’m also a firm believer that if you’re feeling a certain way, or not feeling a certain way, why lie about it? You should be able to communicate what’s going on inside, and as a photographer and a creative I think this is what I do. A lot has changed recently, not just in terms of where I live and work but also in my personal life too. It’s not always easy to post smiling photos when you actually feel like crap, so why do it?

You should be able to reflect how you think and feel in your own way and you have the right to do so. Equally no one wants to see some form of Britney Spears-style break down all over their feed, and you should have more self-respect than to do this. There’s already too much pseudo-profound bullshit out there without sharing some meaningless quote pasted over an image of rainbow.  I think it’s funny how people judge you on social media. Maybe my tone has just changed recently, but whatever it is I’ve definitely had a few comments, which kinda got me thinking.

It appears I’m going through some weird transitional phase in my life. In September I moved to London. Away from my friends, family, horse, and the little comfortable life I’d got going on. To say it’s been odd is an understatement.I’m trapped in some kind of limbo right now and if I’m honest I’m not really sure what the hell I’m doing and I’m struggling with how to deal with it.I think when you’re in your thirties you feel like you should have your shit together, and I sort of thought I had. If you haven’t it’s a horrible feeling. Mentally I went from feeling like I knew where I was heading to suddenly BOOM everything changed.  Change can be a good thing. It was welcomed, and needed. I think unfortunately along the line I just lost my way.



I’ve been taking photos and making loads of notes of things ever since I moved here.  When I started to write this post I’d found a photo on my phone. It was taken not long after I’d moved to London. I was at such a low point. I think everything had hit me all at once. I was miserable, had no home (that’s another story and too boring and complicated for words), I felt lonely, isolated and just didn’t feel like me. Anyway, I was sitting in a car letting the tears roll and decided that I never wanted to feel like this again. I took the photo and it’s just awful. It’s so sad and I’ll never show it to anyone, why would I? It’s not an attention thing but I kept it for me and for what it means. It was like a landmark. I’d spent weeks trying to blame everything around me- work, circumstances, and people, for how I felt and I got to this point and thought fuck it. I don’t want to feel like this. No one should. But we all will and we all do at times.  It’s crazy how in this city of sirens, surrounded by almost 9 million people, I’d never felt more alone.


I’ve seen first hand people get into a REALLY bad place mentally and I never want to get like that. Feeling low is such a downward spiral and it’s so easy to just keep falling.  I was talking to one of my best friends recently. I said I shouldn’t complain- on paper my life is GOOD. I have a decent job, I live in nice flat in a gorgeous area, I have a boyfriend, lovely friends, etc etc blah blah blah. She said that was rubbish. Yes there’s some awful shit going on in the world but that doesn’t mean you lose the right feel down when you’re struggling. Everything is relative.  It’s so hard to feel happy and grateful when you just feel plain crap. Sometimes it IS insignificant and you have to metaphorically slap yourself around the face and remind yourself of this.

That’s why I took the photo. Basically to remind myself to get a bloody grip. Don’t get me wrong- I’ve not had any big revelations yet and there certainly wont be any ‘Transformation Tuesday’ posts from me, but I did make a vow then to do all I could to stop feeling like that. Which is why I started writing this.

I love writing. It’s so therapeutic. I always kept a journal when I was younger and now I always make notes- I have a bazillion voice notes, scribbles and photos all over the shop. If I can help myself feel better, maybe I can share this with other people too. Including the person in my life who needs it more than me.  I am so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life. I have a great support network and it’s important to not lose sight of this.  Any change is tough and adapting to change can be hard. Especially if you go somewhere expecting it to be a certain way and it’s not (FYI London is mental).  But these are the things I’m doing to get back on track, and I hope they help you too.




Firstly the best way to just happier in general is to remember all the good stuff you have and just be grateful for everything. I’ve listened to loads of podcasts and Tedtalks recently and one that really resonated with me was a talk by Brother David Steindl-Rast (which you can watch here)

Appreciating what you have goes a long way in putting a smile on your face.



I read somewhere that Instagram makes you feels bad about yourself and Twitter makes you feel bad about the world. This is so true. If you’re not feeling great social media is the WORST. I know people who are OBSESSED with it. Like addicted obsessed. If I’m honest the ‘Explore’ section on my Insta feed makes me want to vom sometimes. Also what the hell do I look at for these ‘videos you may like’ to be suggested!??

It’s impossible to have a realistic perception of anyone’s life through Instagram and we’ve all fallen down the rabbit hole of looking at stuff we shouldn’t or things that’ll make us feel crap. Block that shizzle and follow accounts of things you’re interested in instead. Get inspired rather than sad.

Step away and rather than looking at it just live it. I went on holiday recently and didn’t post a thing (apart from a horse photo obvs). It’s pretty liberating to not stare at that illuminated brick all the time.




This is hard one for me at the moment. I’ve given up a hobby I’ve been doing since I was 7 now I’m in London. I still have my horse but he’s retired now and he’s not up the road anymore. Yes there are stables in London, but it’s not as easy when you live miles away from them. Plus I don’t just want to be plodding around a school, when really I want to be galloping across a field! When you have a hobby you’re part of a community, its like family. I miss that so much. As I’ve not had an actual home since the end of July any kind of permanent gym membership has gone out of the window too, which is killer as I used to be there four mornings a week.

My point is whatever your situation, get a hobby! Do what makes you happy- gigs, films, theatre, whatever. Just get out and do it- even if it’s on your own. It’s another way to meet new people. I’m fortunate in that London has a bazillion classes. If I want to learn to be a fire-breathing pole dancer I can…




It’s so good for your soul. Even if it’s not abroad book a train ticket, go and visit that person you’ve been banging on about for ages, or just jump in your car and drive somewhere different. There’s so much to see out there and travelling to new places is an instant mood-lifter.




You can’t escape the fact exercise makes you feel good about yourself. You don’t need to join a gym or be an athlete. Dance, run, walk. Whatever. I used to always do this before work and it genuinely set me up for the day. I never had the energy after work and I get home so late now. Get up and get it done. You’ll never regret a work out. The feeling during a run can be torture. The feeling AFTER a run is glorious.



This is something I’m looking into at the moment- if you use the pill, implant, patch etc then do you actually know what you’re putting into your body? I changed mine a while ago and I swear the week before a period I have two days where I just want to hide from the world and cry into my Soreen. I swear when I wasn’t taking it I was happier, and possibly slimmer, but my mood was definitely different. Maybe this was relationship related but if you’re feeling low and stuffing yourself full of hormones this surely can’t be good. Make a note of how you feel and when. Then have a think about the alternative. My gorgeous BFF did a video on this, which you can check out here (TalkBeckyTalk).



Don’t rely on other people to make you happy. Find your own happy. The cliches are cliches because they are true- you’ll never be happy with someone else if you can’t be happy on your own. I’m definitely guilty of looking to other people for this. I moved to London to be with someone I love, but I’d hate for one second for them to feel responsible for my happiness. We were talking about this the other day how we both had a weird feeling when I found out I’d got a job here. If you’re making changes think really hard about them and why you’re doing it. Listen to your gut instinct.

Last year when I returned from Australia I genuinely thought my next move would be abroad, it’s a weird old life but it’s also short so make the most of it.

Steer clear of thinking ‘things will be better when X happens…’ they WONT nothing will change. It’s still your mind set just different circumstances, so do something about it.

Don’t always be looking forwards for something else to happen in order to act- have things to look forwards TO, but don’t be waiting for shit to happen. It won’t unless you make a change.

We all need friends and loved ones for support but at the end it’s down to you.




Whether you own your on place or you’re at uni make your space a little cosy haven you’ll enjoy being in. There’s no place like home after all, so you want it to be a happy one. Fill it with photos of anything that makes you happy, keep it tidy and clutter free and just make a space you’ll be happy to come back to every day. I can’t wait to have a more permanent residence, living out of suitcases and boxes for four months sucks. I’m so fortunate to live in such a lovely place now but it’s not my belongings that surround me and I have no control over what I can bring here. Roll on the move in November!




This is quite new to me but something I now absolutely adore. Total and utter escapism, expanding mind and imagination. It took me four years to finish Eat, Prey, Love. In comparrison I’ve just read four books in three months. Not only does it make a smelly commute beneath an armpit more bearable but it keeps me away from emails and ALL the social media. If you can’t be arsed to read listen to a good podcast or audio book. Any recommendations send them my way!



Make a banging playlist. I had an amazing nostalgic drive home the other week singing my heart out (alone luckily) to all the tunes I used to love. Music is medicine for sure.




I recently bought a little notepad and started writing down all the things that make me happy, even basic things. The stuff I love, things that I want to do, shoots I want to try etc.  In a nutshell anything that made me happy. Making notes and actually planning things inspires me to do them more. Getting things out of my head and onto paper feels awesome. I’ve written out shoot ideas and projects to work on. If you have a blog or just love photography get a load of people together and go and shoot some stuff. I miss my crazy Wolfpack in Nottingham and Leicester, we’d just set up random shoots and get cracking. It’s a lot easier to shoot when you have someone with you, so grab a pal and try something different. Get some smoke grenades, go somewhere random, or set up some random props. I’m definitely the Instagram husband in my relationship. My camera roll speaks volumes about my life at the moment, it’s just pictures of my boyfriend on his own and stupid memes!  Writing and photography has always been a passion project for me, and that’s the kind of shizzle that makes me happy. If you’ve got all your ideas on paper you’ll always have stuff to work on when you have the time.



I’ve written this post mainly for me, as a little reminder of what I need to do. Hopefully it’ll help other people too. Sometimes, even when you think you’ve got your shit together you’ll realise you haven’t, but that’s the joy of life- who knows what’s going to happen. Everything is an opportunity and we all have to make the best of what we have. Work out what’s making you sad and change it. This doesn’t really work if you’re grieving but you can still find so many ways to find a smile. Hitting a rock-bottom sadness makes it all the sweeter when you realise how far you’ve come when you reach the other side.


I started this blog a few years back when I was trying to heal my Eczema. I wanted to share my experiences- what I ate, what I used instead of steroid treatments, and also any products I could find that were suitable for all the sensitive shells out there. When I took the images for my blog I realised that as this was my only focus it meant I couldn’t share all the other things I do and the images I take.

I also promised myself that the moment this blog started to become too much of a headache and less of an enjoyment I’d take a step back.  So much has been going on this year- new job, new city, new man… well he’s not really new anymore but the point being so much has been going on I just kinda let this fall by the wayside.

I also realised that the things I want to share and write about didn’t necessarily fit with my blog’s original intention, so I’ve decided to change it a little. I love writing on here and I love creating images and sharing what I’m doing, but I want to be able to post about EVERYTHING. If I find a miracle product for sensitive skin I wanna share it, equally I want to be able to post about the shoots that I do and all the other things that scuttle out from my imagination.  I want to write about the things I care about and share my creative projects too.

No doubt my blog will go through many incarnations, just as I do as a human, but it will always remain a consuming hobby for it’s adapting author.  In the words of Dr Seuss*:  ‘It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become…’

Jem xx


*From ‘The Lorax’, and if you haven’t seen this then shame on you!




2016.  What a messed up year.  We lost so many greats- Bowie, Wood, even Wogan.  It was also the year of Brexit and all that came with that, oh and of course not to mention Trump.

On a personal level 2016 was the year of heartbreak, frustration, and incredibly poor timing. Even Brad and Angelina didn’t make it…

The year started out happy, promising and with a man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with.  Somehow along the way that all turned to shit and I went from practically killing myself on a horse to one of the worst years as a family since Mum died.

I remember last year writing a post about how I wasn’t going to make any new year’s resolutions and I’m kinda glad I did- failing at impossible goals was the last thing I needed in 2016.  Let’s face it- we all promise ourselves in December that next year will be ‘our year’, we’ll climb a mountain, or live entirely off green vegetables.  Nothing like the cold reality of disappointment when you realise it’s not your year, you can’t even climb the stairs without tripping up, and McDonalds know you so well they offer your ‘usual’ as soon as you walk in…

Of course we all go into a new year with the best intentions but if I’m totally honest 2016 for me, and many of my chums, was a pretty turbulent year filled with inopportune events. This included my horrendous riding accident in February, the day before I was going on a course I’d been waiting AGES to get a place on, work frustrations and just generally terribly poor timing on a number of things.  I even found an amazing personal trainer and after only a few sessions she told me she’s off to a new job.  Sucks.  To be fair we’ll stay mates but she’s a bloody beast in the gym and I’m going to miss her and that peachy butt sooo much!

This year I think the only resolution I want to make (and it’s not really a resolution) is to continue exercising as much as I can.  Exercise is an escape. It provides time to get lost in your thoughts, or just lose your thoughts to pushing yourself, and you feel so good afterwards it’s a no brainer for me.   I think to be honest this is more a continuation of a lifestyle than a resolution and if you look at something like that it’s not something you’ll easily break.

Processed with VSCO with s5 preset

Gemma to the power of two = double trouble…

Anyone that knows me knows that I like to be in another country for New Year’s Eve, and this year is no exception.  I’m dashing off for Christmas too this time- today I’m flying to Australia for almost four weeks armed with a year’s supply of freelance savings, a couple of new bikinis and my oldest friend in the world.

I’ve known Gemma since she was born (just under a year after me) and her Mum was BFF’s with mine. We grew up together and had the cutest childhood.  I think one of the reasons we’re such close friends is we’ve got that much dirt on each other it would be lethal not to stay that way!  This girl has been through SO much this year and come out stronger and happier than ever and I’m so proud of her and everything she does.  I am privileged to have so many good friends in my life- they are, after all, the family we choose.  She’s more of a sister to me, and what this girl doesn’t know about me isn’t worth knowing.  This year we’ve got each other through what we now refer to as  ‘Black Sunday’, ‘dark August’ and all the other utter rubbish times this year- from not being able to walk, to ALL the boy dramas, and from work issues to family chaos.

You know when you have that friend that you don’t even need to say anything to and you know exactly what the other person is thinking.  This is Gemma.  We just get each other.


Heartbreak was everywhere this year.  Couples that I literally thought would be together for the long haul seemed to fall apart left, right and centre.  I started the year with a man I genuinely thought I’d be with until I was grey and seriously wrinkly; it’s crazy how so much can change.  Not just within a year but within a matter of hours!  Maybe my Disney- fuelled childhood provided me with unrealistic expectations of love and romance, and a fairy tale ending is purely that- fictional.  Gin and Prosecco profits will definitely be on the rise thanks to me and my pals…

To anyone I hurt or upset in 2016 I am truly sorry.  To anyone who hurt me- I hope you are too.  What a fucking roller coaster.

It’s not just been a year of heartbreak in terms of relationships but also in terms of my family situation too.  It’s so bloody fragile and it rips me to pieces on a daily basis.  I think when things are good in a family you take it for granted.  I would do anything to have my normal family life back but right now that seems like a distant dream, maybe an impossible reality.  I literally cannot wait to get away from it all and discover new places I’ve never been and run straight into the sea.  It’s a big world out there- adventure is waiting…

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    ‘All I’m after is a lifetime of laughter’  

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year it’s that you have to surround yourself with people that lift you up.  Equally you have to lift your friends up too.  I’ve been pretty slack with a couple of friends this year and that’s something that definitely needs to change.  It’s ok to expect your friends to be there when you’re down but I also need them to know they can rely on me too.  It’s so important.

In a year when hate and anger won votes and elections it’s easy to focus on the negative but there’s actually a whole heap of things to be positive about and I have so much to be grateful for!

I just want to smile my way through 2017. Laughing is my favourite things in the world and if you are surrounded by people that can make you laugh so hard it hurts, well then life is just SO much more enjoyable.


My beautiful BFF Becky and I at the festival of dreams…

So here’s to 2017- let’s hope it’s better for all involved! You never know who you’ll meet on that spur-of-the-moment night out, or what’s waiting for you just around the corner, and don’t forget- Prince Charming comes in many different guises…Exciting times indeed!

Thank you to everyone who has read my blog, supported me and helped in any little way.  I love you all and I wish you all a Merry messy Christmas and a Bonza New Year!  I’ll see you on the other side.  Now where’s my passport…


Jem xx