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:


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.

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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