I can’t believe that I’m 27. Well, actually, if we are going to be pedantic about it, I’m 27 and two days old (which makes me sound like a little kid trying to sound older). I know it will sound silly, but I already feel ancient. It’s probably a combination of the left-over dregs of flu, far too much alcohol due to a number of booze-fuelled celebrations, and a lack of sleep taking its tole, but every day since my birthday I’ve woken up feeling on the verge of my 90th!
Looking back there is nothing that I really regret about my 26th year on this planet. I’ve had surgery, tests, blood, guts, gore. Met amazing people, told truly inspirational stories. Worked at the Mirror, stayed in London, met royalty, seen a Broadway show and hundreds of dragonflies. Rode insane rides, climbed the Empire State Building, appeared on the BBC, waved a wand in Hogwarts, been to Wimbledon – and many more magical things.
For the second year running I celebrated my birthday surrounded by incredible journalists and editors who work for Trinity Mirror, rubbing shoulders with people who both inspire and astound me with their talents and passion. Last year I was honoured (and astounded) to be named the Young Journalist of the Year, this year I just drank too much and met the queen of Countdown.
Joking aside, I was humbled to be highly commended in the New Reporter of the Year (regional) category. The journalist who won the title, Neil Keeling, is incredible – he continued producing exclusive stories for the MEN despite suffering from kidney failure. I felt embarrassed to even be put in the same category as him to be honest!
Anyway, on my birthday I woke up with a pounding headache, and a memory of far too much wine, talking, and general fun following a very glitzy awards do. I dragged myself to the conference and had to put up with my ostomy making the rudest noises ever (as per usual when I’m hungover) while sat next to a room of highly influencial people (as I tried to listen to the speakers) , who have the ability to hire me and fire me, many of whom were sitting within hearing distance – typical!
Returning home on the train, clutching my certificate and a notepad of ideas for the office, I wanted nothing more but to go to bed and curl up with a yummy hot chocolate. Instead I unwrapped gifts (yippee), opened cards and was forced back into the cold for a lovely meal with my boyfriend.
It was a stunning evening, filled with laughter (especially when the waiter got the whole restaurant to sing to me in my old name as it was on one of my cards on the table) and surprises.
Andy – god knows why he sticks by me – managed to totally shock me for the first time in our relationship, by keeping a secret for months on end. He had managed to plan a five day holiday to Bruges, complete with a spa break, rail travel and stunning hotels, without letting slip at all. He even booked the time off for me – so my editor was complicit.
How none of this leaked out totally flummoxes me! But he managed it, and it is the most stunning and magical gift I could have hoped for after our amazing trip to America earlier this year (which i am determined to blog about by the end of the week).
So, despite feeling ever older and tired due to the Winter cold, this year I have had an amazing birthday, and got some lovely presents from my friends, family and colleagues… here’s to many more to come.