I see so many tweets and Facebook statuses saying that 2016 has been a terrible year- with terrorist attacks, deaths of very popular people like Prince and the disappointment of the British weather. But for me, it has most definitely been one of the best years of my entire life.
This year I tried to focus on happy- on my own happiness. Right now, looking back on 2016, I can definitely say that I achieved happiness in many parts of it. Before I started to write this post, I sat down and made some notes on some things that I had done, or achieved in each month- which is how this post about 2016 will be structured. This is a pre warning that it may be a very long post as so many wonderful things have happened to me in 2016.
Not a lot happened this month, however one thing that did happen, was I met the gorgeous Anna Passey who plays Sienna in Hollyoaks. She was so lovely and told me that she used to come to my school to play hockey- hockey rivals!
This month was probably one of the best months of my 2016, the main reason being that it started off a lovely fave/fan friendship off with Lucy Spraggan. This is the month that Lucy started interacting with me properly. Before, it had just been the odd favourite of a tweet, or a direct message every once in a while, but this is the month where I found out that she knew my face and my name.
But before Lucy's acoustic tour happened it was Shrovetide! Shrovetide is my absolute favourite time of year and I have been every single year since birth, and I hope that I will go every single year until the day I die. I went with my friends Kim, Hollie, Amy and Melissa, and it was so lovely to spent the day with people who I don't usually spend a lot of time with. Although Shrovetide this year didn't last very long, I made some really great memories that I wont forget, and I am looking forward to Shrovetide 2017 as it falls on my 18th birthday- its the best birthday present ever!
First was the Birmingham date on her acoustic tour. I got to meet some of my best friends at this gig- Tyler, Shannon and Ben. The gig was absolutely amazing and what was more amazing was meeting her and Georgie. When Georgie spotted us she came over and hugged me- I felt so warm and happy knowing that Lucy's fiance knew who I was and actually acknowledged my existence. Lucy was SO lovely too and it felt like a dream come true- seeing her again after a year and 3 months. Lucy even left the building before we did- oops.
The day after the Birmingham date was the Stoke date. The day before I had been on the second row, so I decided that I wanted to get there earlier to be on the front, and sure enough, I was the first in the queue- I was ridiculously early however because even Lucy and Georgie were still at home! This gig also allowed me to meet some of my best friends too- Sarah, Steph and a few others of my friends who were in a group chat that I made, and I also got to see Tyler again. This gig was one of my favourites ever and all the memories of it make me so happy. When Lucy and Georgie arrived (finally) Georgie came over, said hi, and told us she would see us later, Lucy also came and said hi and told us she would come back out once she had been inside first. Lucy came and took photos with us all, helped momma Lyons work the camera (like normal) and went inside again. The gig was absolutely amazing despite the technical difficulties, and I even managed to be the blues man! Georgie came over to us again and spoke to us for a while- she was so lovely like the previous day and we met Lucy after, and Lucy was also so lovely, but I didn't expect anything else of her.
If you would like to read more about Lucy's acoustic tour, I did a write up of it in more detail here: http://smilerofdestiny.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/lucy-spraggan-acoustic-tour.html
Now, I thought and I thought but I couldn't come up with anything that happened in March at all.
This month was fairly eventful which sort of makes up for march! I saw a band again that I have loved for what feels like forever- 5 Seconds Of Summer. This was my 3rd time seeing them and they did not disappoint! I also got to meet one of my internet friends, Chloe, there who I love endlessly, which was really special.
I also saw Lucy in this month too! Me and my new friend at this point, Alicia, heard about Lucy being at the over 18s, 2Q festival in Derby, but as it was really close to us, we decided to go and see if we could meet her anyway, and of course we did! She actually spent a considerable amount of time with us, which was absolutely amazing- I think we were both expecting a quick picture and for her to go inside, but she spent a while with us talking about all sorts. Lucy then came out again later on when I was with my mum and my sister which was lovely of her, and again, we were talking for a while.
Told you this month was eventful, as I also went to Liverpool specifically to go to Lime Studios which is where Hollyoaks is filmed. This year I got more involved in the Hollyoaks fandom and I even made some fan accounts for a few people. I met the loveliest bunch of people in the fandom online- Lynsey, Vicki and Sally especially, and I got to meet Lynsey at Lime! Although I was really scared, I had such a lovely time. I met my favourite on Hollyoaks at the time, Sophie Austin, who has now left, Gregory Finnegan, Jared Garfield, Juan Pablo Yepez and Jimmy McKenna. Whilst in Liverpool, I also got to meet Tyler and Nicole which was so good, as I hadn't seen Tyler in a while and it was lovely meeting Nicole.
Pride month! My first Pride was coming this month and I was so excited- Lucy was playing at Birmingham pride and if that isn't a big enough excuse to go to pride, then I don't know what is. Pride was such a lovely atmosphere, and I got to spend it with such lovely people. It allowed me to see an old friend who I met in 2014 at Miley's concert and also meet my friend who I met through Lucy- Em! Lucy was absolutely amazing as normal and took the time out to come, find me and take photos which was amazing, she also gave me her VIP wristband, whoop!
Lucy video called me for the first time this month, we snapchat called and it was so lovely to just talk to her alone. She was on a dog walk with Steven, so she thought it would be a good time- I felt like I was with them! She sang her newly released song (now) called Modern Day Frankenstein to me, which was absolutely amazing and was pretty crazy as no other fans had heard it.
I had heard about a mental health short film screening in Manchester, which Jazz Franks who plays Esther in Hollyoaks would be attending, and I absolutely love Esther as a character, so I went along to watch it and to try to meet Jazz. Sure enough, I did meet Jazz and she was SO lovely! She sat in front of me and turned around and waved to me which was really lovely of her and then when we went to leave, we bumped into her, and took some pictures, I was a bit of a mess, especially when she said 'you dont have to be shy around me.' But I am so glad that I went.
If you would like to read more about Birmingham Pride and my pride experience as a whole, I did a blog post about it in more detail here: http://smilerofdestiny.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/birmingham-pride-2016.html
Not really much happened this month- only Lucy related stuff, which has happened in many months this year, so expect to be seeing more about her! This month, me, Mum and Keeley went to see Lucy play at the Cookie in Leicester, which was a new material gig. We arrived late as we had some car issues- it is a good job we set off very early else we never would have made it! She played 5 of her new ones- Modern Day Frankenstein (which was only her 2nd time playing it live), Puppy Dog Eyes, Dear You, If and Grown Up. I love all of her new songs that I heard there. However, I think it was the worst Lucy gig that I have been to- not because of her at all, she was brilliant, but because of the crowd, someone even said they would punch me if I didn't move out of her way because she couldn't see- even Lucy agreed that they weren't the best of crowds. We met Lucy after and she was so lovely, and noticed that I was more shy than usual- I didn't even know that was possible, but apparently it is, 'why are you so shy today?' We stood talking for a while too. Despite the awful crowd, it was still a good gig because of Lucy, but because I got to meet Abi, Lottie, Mel, Laura, Abbie and Ellie for the first time, and see some of my other friends- Alicia and Em again.
Lucy also called me for the second time this month, however, it was only very brief. I can't really remember much of it, but I do remember her saying 'G told me to call you,' and the screen being black- interesting, hey!
July was another one of my favourite months of this year. It started off with a last-minute holiday to Greece and a very surprising meeting with Lucy again, as she was also going to Greece, from the same terminal, at the same time, but lucky for her- not to the same place! She was so lovely to me and even left the VIP lounge to come and meet me, even though she called me a creep and tried to make up for it by saying 'love you!' That was just the start of a great holiday. Greece was absolutely beautiful, so picturesque and warm. We found a little beach that we went to most days and it was so lovely, I even liked going in the sea, however the fish did scare me- just a little.
Whilst I was in Greece I reached a year clean and this was my biggest achievement of the year. I have never ever felt as proud of myself as I was then, and it felt so good. People were so lovely on twitter and instagram also, including Lucy and Georgie. I received a message from Lucy saying 'Well done ya little ray of sunshine. Anything is possible. Xxx' and one from Georgie saying 'Well done lady, 1 year clean AND a bikini pic both in one day! Very proud of you. Here's to the rest of the years... Every single one! Xxx' I also got SO many messages on twitter which was so lovely and I really appreciated every single one of them.
Lucy opened a Salon in Preston this month and one of my best friends, Chloe, went to the opening. Whilst she was there, she video called me when Lucy was performing so that I could see Lucy perform a bit, and so that I could wave at G which was so lovely of her! I also got a call later on and Lucy and Chloe were both at the other end of the video call, which was amazing. I am so thankful to have Chloe, I even got to meet her next month!
If you would like to read more about my holiday to Greece, I did a blog post on it here: http://smilerofdestiny.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/my-very-last-minute-holiday.html
If you would like to read more about me being a whole year clean, I did a blog post on it here: http://smilerofdestiny.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/1-year-clean.html
I had an extremely busy month in August. One thing I did was go for a mini break with my Mum and Sister to Blackpool, which was lovely apart from the wind and rain. I even got to meet up with Lottie and Abi to spend the day with them and it was so lovely to see them again.
I managed to see Lucy twice this month, first at Doncaster. Doncaster was most definitely one of the best nights of my entire life. I was at the barrier to watch Lucy, it was chucking it down but because I was at the barrier around the side, I didnt get wet. I got to meet Katie, who is now one of my best friends and it was so lovely to meet her as we had spoken on twitter on the odd occasion- also it was Katie who got forced to ask for a photo with Lucy and Georgie, so I am still loving her for that! I also got to meet Ruthie who is lovely also. It was a fabulous night all in all, I even managed to get slapped around the face by Lucy Spraggan! (it was a friendly slap I promise)
The second time I saw Lucy was at Manchester Pride, where I also saw G again. I finally got to meet and spend the day with Chloe, Chloe and Chloe at pride too! Lucy was amazing on stage, and I saw G after and she told me where Lucy would be after her set (she was wrong) but because of G being wrong I got to meet Ellen, who I thought was absolutely mental at the time but I have met her a few times since and she is so lovely. I met Lucy dressed up as the joker?
What is better to ruin a nice photography walk than rain? Me and Alicia went for a walk and picnic down the trail and at the seven arches. It was going so well- until the rain set in and we had to move camp into the tunnel. Regardless, we had a lovely day, listened to some tunes (Spraggan of course) and did a few other things.
I met another lovely girl called Katie online- she was going to see Lucy in Cottingham and face-timed me when Lucy was on! She even took me over to see G. When Lucy was playing she shouted something like ‘say hi to Ebony on facetime” and Lucy being Lucy, she did! Everyone turned and starred at Katie, poor gal. I love Katie so much, she is so strong and so, so lovely. She also got me a video message from Lucy that I swear I watch every day! So that was cool.
Not a lot happened in September, only Lucy related- again! We took a last minute trip to watch Lucy in New Mills for Mums birthday, and of course Lucy made it SO special- she even spotted us sat at the back when she was meeting people and shouted happy birthday! She played two more new songs- I Don’t Live There Anymore and All That I’ve Loved, and they are two of my favourite songs of Lucy’s, they have such deep meaning, and I just love how she is raising awareness to topics such as mental health and dementia.
This is the month I found out that I was going to meet Fifth Harmony- and I cried. I won a competition to meet the girls who I had supported since they were on the X-Factor USA, it was so wonderful to finally meet them. Also, Lauren Jauregui asked me if I was okay, goodbye. A bit after I saw the girls, Ally followed me. Back in 2012/2013/2014 I had little ‘spamming’ sprees to them to try and get their follow and finally I got 1/5. Well, ¼ maybe, Camila will always be in Fifth Harmony in my heart. I also got to meet Camryn, who was so lovely. I had liked Camryn since maybe early 2013/late 2012 when I found out she was touring with One Direction, so it was great to meet her.
I saw Lucy at Staffs Uni this month with Ellen which was an over 18s gig but Lucy got me in and it was amazing! I was the blues man again, got winked at a few times and got her guitar pic, I really enjoyed it and being with Ellen, it was a nice night.
I also saw Lucy in Buxton in the same week. I went with my favourite twins Amy and Becka and listened from outside (I have photographic evidence from Ellen)! Even though we were outside, I had so much fun and Lucy came straight out to us after and asked why we didn’t come in, as Lucy had said that she would get us in.
I also got to meet Jess my internet friend at a Bars and Melody gig in Stoke. She was so lovely and let us jump in the queue with her (there wasn’t that many people behind her). However, I found Charlie quite rude, as he went past multiple times and didn’t bother speaking which is a little upsetting, as he would've only had to have said hi! Even with that, I had a good night and I do respect them both and enjoy their music.
If you would like to read more about me meeting Fifth Harmony and Camryn, I did a blog post in more detail, you'll find it here: http://smilerofdestiny.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/meeting-fifth-harmony.html
This month I went to America- finally! Ever since I have liked Miley I have wanted to go to America. My Nan and Grandad took me and my Sister- we spent a couple of days in New York City and it was so lovely. We went to the top of the rock, the empire state building, to the statue of liberty and the 9/11 waterfalls. I had such a good time and I’d love to go back to another state in America.
I have never really been out for a meal with my friends because I have been too scared but this month I went out with Alicia, Molly, Abi, Lottie and Immy- all people who I met through Lucy, who travelled from a few places in England to come for a meal for Alicia’s birthday. They were all so lovely to me and made sure I was comfortable and I couldn’t have been with a nicer bunch of girls, I had such a nice time.
Again, I called Lucy again this month before she went on her holidays to Venice with Georgie. However, it wasn’t going too well for us- we were struggling to hear each other, so we ended up typing to each other and making strange facial expressions. Although, most of the words I did hear from Lucy were swear words! It was so lovely to see her face though and to chat to her a bit, and it really made me happy.
I had so much fun ice skating this month, I went with Alicia and I haven’t laughed as much as I did that day in ages. We absolutely sucked until about half way through when we were considering completing in the olympics. And then Alicia fell.
Christmas day came and was so good, we opened our presents at home first and I got some amazing presents- including a t-shirt that says Ebola on it as Lucy requested. Me and my Sister then went for a ride with my Grandad to see our great Nanna which was nice as we don’t go too often. We then came home and got ready to go to my Nan and Grandad’s for Christmas dinner which was probably my favourite part of the whole day- I love food.
2017 is here already- I hope you all have a lovely year.