As June draws to a close, and with just over five weeks before Suze is due to be born, I wanted to reflect on the past six months. I suspect the next six months will be quite different to the last, so I wanted to take this opportunity to digest the first half of the year and allow myself to enjoy some of the memories.
We started 2018 with our traditional New Year’s Day walk. This year we headed along the canal through Camden and Regent’s Park to the top of Primrose Hill. As always, it was a refreshing and satisfying way to kick off the year and a good way to blow away the cobwebs of the previous evening.
On 5 January we had our 9 week scan and were able to see baby Suze for the first time (although at that point we didn’t know she was a she!).
Our good friend Mark came to visit from Canada and joined us, along with my sister- and brother-in-law for some iceskating at Somerset House and a trip to see Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum.
We spent a relaxing weekend in Yorkshire with my father-in-law and his wife, and my parents also joined us for a lovely walk in the Yorkshire countryside.
And I headed to Birmingham for a perfect day with the polo pals, Katie, Helen, Suze and Mark for a reunion with our teammates Sophie, Cheri and Collette.
Back in London I took Mr S to see Girl from the North Country for his birthday and we finished the month by passing the 12 week pregnancy mark and finally being able to tell our friends and family our news (although I’m sure many had their suspicions after my booze-free Christmas!).
February saw us heading off to Slovenia for skiing in Kransjska Gora, enjoying time outdoors at Lake Bled and sightseeing in Ljubljana.
We also had a really great visit from my parents, sister, brother-in-law and the boys. We took them to the Science Museum, to see Buckingham Palace and for tea and cake on the South Bank.
If we hadn’t had enough snow in Slovenia, March saw plenty in London.
Surprisingly, there was a lot less up north when we headed to Manchester to spend time with our pals Becks and James. Snow did hit when I returned to Manchester two week later for Becks’s birthday celebrations, but that didn’t dampen a perfect day with some of my oldest friends.
This second trip up north also provided a perfect opportunity to see mum and dad and enjoy a rather chilly walk with my good friend Laura and her baby Alexander.
We also enjoyed a few jaunts to suburban London for walks, lunches and lovely long chats with our wonderful pals Mairead and Steve and Ceri and Ed.
The month concluded with a delicious vegan afternoon tea and trip to Tate Britain to see the Impressionists in London show with my fabulous friend Georgina.
April kicked off with another exhibition, this time Picasso at Tate Modern, followed by cake at Harvest E8, one of my favourite north London vegan-friendly cafes.
Finally the daffodils opened in Green Park after a very snowy winter, making my walk into the office a lot jollier. Being greeted by flowers on my desk from another happy author also helped!
April was also marked by a truly fabulous surprise trip to Versailles and Paris with my wonderful water polo girls, Katie, Helen and Soph.
Mr S and I enjoyed plenty of London walks during the sunny weekends, exploring the river Lea and Walthamstow Wetlands sustained by a feast from the vegan food market in Hackney.
And I enjoyed an early morning view of the Monet and Architecture exhibition at the National Gallery with my fabulous colleagues Polly, Rosie and Tom.
We finished the month with a wonderful trip to Copenhagen to visit our lovely pals Kathryn and Greg and their beautiful baby Rose (and managed to squish in some sightseeing too!).
We returned to London ready for the renovation work on our kitchen to kick off on 30 April.
The first weekend in May saw Helen, Soph and I at BeFit London where we enjoyed a killer spin class and a relaxing yoga class, as well as getting onto the leaderboard for a skipping competition!
Sunny Sundays offered plenty of opportunities for London walks and I enjoyed a stroll through Finsbury Park, Highgate and Waterlow Park with Mr S and through Victoria Park with my lovely pals Ariana and Antonia.
A trip to Birmingham, ostensibly for the Eurovision Song Contest, also saw me enjoying a surprise baby shower.
And on the Sunday we went stand-up paddle boarding, although for me it was just a spectator sport! Still, I participated fully in the vegan roast dinner afterwards and was so pleased for the chance to see my lovely pal Letty while there.
In May we also enjoyed a trip to Centre Parcs to celebrate mum’s birthday. We marked the Royal Wedding with our own tea party, as well as getting stuck into all of the Centre Parcs fun of running, kayaking, swimming and archery!
The following weekend I enjoyed the Regent’s Park Race for Life with my fabulous running partner Lou to mark her 30th birthday and my 30 weeks of pregnancy.
And we closed the month with a Garden party at the Palace in the glorious sunshine.
June began with a trip to see Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ with the lovely Georgina and her husband Tes, followed by lots of lovely chats and delicious food at By Chloe in Soho.
I enjoyed the exhibition Splendours of the Subcontinent at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace and put on my own (very small) exhibition of drawings from our life drawing class.
We also headed off on our treehouse adventures in Wales, marked by plenty of relaxing, strolls in the countryside and deliciously indulgent ‘us time’.
I also got to see Legally Blonde the musical, as a belated birthday gift from my pals Katie, Helen and Soph. And got round to redecorating the spare room ready for our new arrival.
We enjoyed a weekend in Hampshire at a mini family festival of fun organised by our friends Ben and Fern, where we were able to catch up with lots of Mr S’s old uni pals on what was a truly perfect day.
We had a lovely visit from my mother-in-law and I enjoyed a wonderful morning in the sun with my sister-in-law in Potters Bar.
So that brings me up to today.
It’s been six months, five exhibitions, four countries, three theatre trips, two rooms (and a hall) redecorated and one race. We’ve enjoyed many of walks, lots of spinning classes, even more yoga and swims, and all of the best friends and family.
While I’m so excited about the future I’m also really grateful for the now and all of the experiences we have had.
So are we ready for the next six months? I guess we’ll see…