2013 is the year!

2013 has been an incredible year for me, I feel like I am finally beginning to feel more settled and content after the sometimes turbulent few years since losing my Dad. This time last year I wrote a list called ‘2013 is the year!’ which included thirteen things I wanted to do or achieve before January 1st 2014. Whilst I didn’t quite manage everything (maybe running 10k, becoming self employed full-time and moving out was a bit optimistic) I am really happy with the things I did achieve such as starting a blog even though I left it quite late and visiting Rome. Whilst I didn’t visit Norway in 2013, i’m all booked up to go in March this year and that’s gotta be half a tick right? There were also a few things that were not on the list but i’m really happy to have checked them off anyway. So here’s to 2013, this is a brief summary of some of the things my year included.


January was the month I turned 23, my mum baked me a huge victoria sponge (my favourite) and I ate with family and friends to celebrate.

There was a lot of snow which meant that me and Magnus spent a lot of time outside enjoying the falling flakes. My brother and I also built him a snowy samoyed friend.

I bought a new car which could handle the weather a bit better (this meant no more chipping away icicles before I could drive!) only to crash it a week later due to the slippery roads – luckily both cars escaped with minor scratches!

I had a biopsy on my mouth ulcers which was an unpleasant experience but all turned out to be well (apart from a having terrible mouth ulcers).


Leanne holding a birthday cake

samoyed in the mist

samoyed wearing a scarf next to a ford cortina in the snow

samoyed dogs in the snow

samoyed dog snowman made out of snow


In February I visited Portsmouth for a few days, then had a visit from Heather where we drank tea in a greenhouse and had to watch youtube videos to discover how to eat our first custard apple. I photographed some beautiful flowers for a florist and started a great new job in marketing, leaving the call centre behind.

Me and Heather in the greenhouse

Photographing flowers


I became obsessed with coconut oil and making gluten free pancakes using only eggs and bananas. I drove Lulu for what would be the last time in a long while due to her failing her MOT test. I searched for a new place to live only to decide it wasn’t the right time. Attended a course in London to help me in my new role as a Social Media Marketer. Ate a lovely meal with my family in a beautiful country pub and took a trip to London to see The Gaslight Anthem with friends. I also became a Blonde.

Banana pancakes

Lulu's last voyage

Me and Magnus

Giant Yorkshire Puddings

The Gaslight Anthem at Troxy

Going blonde


In April Magnus and I hiked with a pack of Huskies and had dinner in a pub. I visited Southampton and Portsmouth to see friends, watched A Place Beyond the Pines at the picture house and bought some pretty new Vans.

Magnus and Luna


Husky Walk


May was the month I made a new friend through our love of old cars (who I accidentally invited to a car show which wasn’t happening) so we went for a country walk instead. I did a lot of walking this month in the beautiful sunshine and attended some boot fairs where I found a Caribbean cookbook full of exciting recipes.

Summer walk with Magnus



In June I walked four Samoyeds together at one time and looked every bit the crazy dog lady I am. I enjoyed many a graze box at my desk in work, did a couple of bootfairs, dyed my hair lilac, watched the Boss at Wembley, walked along the beach at midnight, walked across the beach in the daytime, photographed a wedding and had some great days out with friends.

Bruce Springsteen

Me and Fabia


I had my first couple of weeks off work in 9 months so I took a trip to Southampton and Portsmouth to visit friends where treated myself to a new pair of shoes and a handbag. The sunshine meant a few barbecues with my family and I attempted to go for a run or two (one day I will keep it up).

A low point was when I threw up on myself (and my car) on the way to the airport before flying to Rome for a few days. Once we got there it was a lot better – I saw the Boss again at a festival, visited the Sistine Chapel for the second time, roamed around at night to get a feel for the place and took a train to the mountains which made me cry in a tunnel. The best part of the trip (and probably the highlight of my year) was when I kissed my best friend by the tiber river because he’s the one.



As July moved into August I found myself in hospital after getting constant pains in my stomach since the day after I flew back from Rome. My appendix burst, went gangrene and tried to kill me. I spent ten days in hospital with drains coming out of me and drips going in, hallucinating from the morphine and unable to eat. I dropped a stone, missed two weddings I should have been shooting, cried because I missed my dog and because I couldn’t move and experienced first hand how fantastic NHS nurses are (but how its almost impossible for them to give people the care they need). I came out of hospital and slowly recovered thanks to food packages from Siobhan (best present ever) flowers from a friend who lives far away and some cuddles from Magnus. I became a national trust member and I received my ‘save the date’ card for Rae and Dave’s wedding which made me very excited. Lulu had some welding to help her move a step closer to being back on the road and Tom painted her for me on a canvas. Mark visited me and helped me put a stone back on by taking me for dinner and I baked lemon meringue cupcakes for the first time.

in hospital

after surgery

Out of hospital

Appendix scar

lulu gets some tlc

Lulu on canvas

Magnus in the woods

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes


I began September with Steve and his family in Italy and had the most beautiful time (read this post) and Magnus and me hiked with huskies as the sunshine turned to rain. I ate a whole load of wagamamas, played retro games on the Sega and received another ‘save the date’ card which got me pretty excited indeed. I went to a dog show with Magnus where he had so much fun he slept all the way home and I bought some raspberry and passionfruit curd to make cakes with.

Magnus in the car

Tom wagamama

Steve Wagamama


In October I went with Steve and Magnus to London to a vintage car show/boot fair where Magnus got way too much attention and it left me feeling shy. I dyed my hair peach and it looked awful for a while and somehow ended up with two pairs of hiking boots for free. I photographed a wedding, edited all the photographs and ate Arments pie ‘n’ mash. Me and Steve booked our plane tickets for Norway 2014. I carved the headless horseman in a pumpkin. Took my mum for lunch and dressed up twice as a skeleton for Halloween.

Magnus in London

pie n mash

halloween at work

Me as a skeleton 2

Me as a skeleton


November began with a visit from Mark where I took him to Canterbury for an amazing meal, then it was time to celebrate Magnus turning two on fireworks night. I watched fireworks with Zoe and Sam and we took Magnus and the pups for a birthday walk. I visited York with Steve, Chan and Aaron and spent a whole day looking at trains. I felt a little under the weather after and missed my nan. We celebrated my Mum’s birthday and ate lobster for the first time, then  I took a trip to Guilford, ate tapas and drank mulled cider as things started to get festive. I wrapped presents and a lady at work gave me some Norwegian Krone for my trip next March.

Mark and Magnus

Me and a mexican

Mark and a mexican



Lobster Dinner

Norwegian Krone

Me and Steve


December was a mixture of christmas shopping, catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while and spending time with family. I won a Hamper at work full of treats which was pretty exciting and ate them all within a day. Christmas was quiet this year, my brother cooked us Christmas dinner for the first time at his flat and I spent boxing day with Steve. Under the Christmas tree I found a hamper, a bikini, some sparkly underwear, a coat and some Mcbusted tickets (sorry not sorry) amongst various other lovely treats. I counted down to 2014 with my mum and brother after a good curry with friends.

Pub Dinner

Christmas Dinner

Things i’m excited for in 2014 include flying to a mystery destination for my birthday, seeing my friends get married, watching the northern lights (fingers crossed), taking more photographs, awakening my 13 year old self by watching two of my old favourite bands perform together, going camping and seeing people I’ve missed for a long time.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?