So, in what has easily been the weirdest year of my life, I just want to stop and say a huge public Thank You to everyone who has been an amazing friend in 2014. I’ve really tried to think about everyone who’s been part of my life this past year, but I suppose the biggest risk with a list like this is if I’ve missed anyone obvious. Huge apologies if I have.
Basically this is a cheesy acceptance speech, except I didn’t win anything. OR DID I?
To Clio Chu, who saved me from being homeless, and was a generally awesome friend.
To Daniel Lian, Yao Zhou and Lan Wu, who had to join Clio in being my therapists for about half a year, and (mostly) did so with impressive tact and patience.
To Kitty Meeks, who had to help with this despite moving to Scotland.
To Vicky Morton, who will always mean the world to me.
To Jamie McT, my out-of-London refuge and a constant reminder that friendships last.
To Alex Thompson, another friend who’s always been there for me.
To Karen Dhesi, Alexandra Tyson-Beer and Loren Parry, who demonstrated that friendship-after-work is not only possible, but all the more meaningful for it.
To Matskie Seiboth, Phil Jackson, John Ewbank, Owen Anderson, Rachel Jenkins, Hugh Lund, Steven Bruce, Charlie Phair, Trishna Tripuraneni and Dara Walsh, old friends I see too rarely, but am always glad when I do.
To Emma Bruce and Jason Balluck, who saved me from living as a homeless person in Southend forever.
To Rosy Smith and Sherene Meir, who – along with Emma – were the world’s best ever team and helped create the world’s best ever Team Day.
To Ian Russell, Laide Ladipo and Jess Dunning, the most amazing colleagues you could hope for.
To Katie Edmunds, Jeremy Turner, Monika Verceskyte, Aurelien Plaisant, Aurelien Wodon and Arber Beqa, my housemates (well, sort of, Jeremy) who helped make a difficult transition much easier.
To Rosie, Ross, Freyja, Micah & Jonah Longdon, who were an amazing surrogate family when I arrived in New Zealand.
To Patrick Smith, Polona Drvoderic, Ada Lee, Molly Winder, Cristiane Santos, Pia Gohl and Maria Kuhlmann, who helped make my first two months in New Zealand fantastic.
To Richard, Sheena, Leo & Lex Wood, who helped open my eyes to the wonderful world of WWOOFing.
To Fiona Lulham, who’s kick-started my new career in hostel management.
To Mikaela Nordlund, Fabio Simonetti, Lucas Bauer, Zio Mirco, Diletta Di Legami, Anja Pokorny, Lily Kruse and Maryann Leap, who ensured that Nelson felt like my first Kiwi home.
To Francesca Sidhu, Jeremy Hay, Ben Spencer, Jodie Manning, Matilda Wallis, Thomas Bale, Lucy Manders, Becca Lever, Richard Watson, Emily Whyte, Rachel Reid, Michelle Man, Penny Sarchet, Sarah Hubbard, Karen Diss, Keith Bundy, Dragos Cazan, Agne Juk, Tricia Cook, James Seiboth, Kirsty Maddock, Matt Warden, Deborah Joseph, Zhao Huang, Gwan Ho, James Tann, Dane Jacobs, Karl Lodge, Kirstyleanne Leonard, Hongze Yao, Jarla Schmidt, Yannic Bar, Jess Brohier and Ivana Amato, friends old and new, who I’ve enjoyed spending time with this year.
To Hanski and Lizzy, best sisters ever, and total role models for being positive, caring and brave in life.
To Mum and Dad, who have always been the most supportive, loyal, loving parents in the world.
I hope to see as many of you as possible in 2015!
Snapshots of NZ