Looking Back on 2017
2017 was a rollercoaster of emotions. From the loss of loved ones to the gaining of new family members, it was certainly a year that was full of surprises and not all of them good. However, there is always something to be grateful for and despite all the heartache this year gave me plenty to appreciate as well. I didn’t get out on many big adventures, but life in itself is all the adventure you need sometimes. Here’s a look back at the past 12 months…
Darcey was a stick insect that we found injured in my garden. She was struggling after losing a leg and would have soon become food for something else so we brought her inside, made her a home, and supplied her with daily fresh pesticide-free brambles. She reached maturity and lived out her life cycle with me, and it was so amazing to see her transform into a fully grown critter and start laying eggs! Being an insect she didn’t have the longest life cycle, but whilst she was here she made me smile more times than I can count.
Now I’ve mentioned her before, but she is by far the best thing from this year! My best friends had a baby girl back in August and watching her grow during the two months I spent practically living with her was such a heartwarming experience. I’ve never been much of a baby person and I’m still in no hurry to have my own (I’m not sure I ever will be), but she has been a light in a dark year and being around her as she discovers the word was pretty magical. They now live in Spain and I’m looking forward to visiting them in the new year. You can expect some Wildling Worldwide posts to come out of that!
Countryside Walks With My Mum & Bruce
Getting to spend time out in nature with my mum and the dog is always a highlight. It’s moments like the one pictured that I will forever treasure. Memories don’t have to be expensive outings or holidays away, there’s plenty of experiences to be had on your doorstep and 2017 was a reminder of that. Back in June I took part in The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild challenge for the second year running. I spent it closer to home this year, which meant that I started to really appreciate the subtle changes in my garden and local area far more than I previously had. It’s such a great challenge for reminding ourselves of the nature that surrounds us everywhere we go.
Making a More Bird-Friendly Garden
I adore watching the birds in my garden, as anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know. Earlier in the year I was approached by Haith’s bird food and asked if I would like to review their sunflower hearts along with a feeder. As soon as I read up on their motivations as a business and how much they love wildlife I was more than happy to, and I’m so glad I did! Not only did it mark the first brand collaboration on this blog, but it’s also helped me attract a ton of new birds to the garden. Since working with them I’ve also gone on to add fat balls to the garden for winter and I’ve started to see black caps, goldfinches, blue tits, coal tits, long tailed tits, great tits, and an occasional thrush alongside the sparrows, dunnocks, blackbirds, robins, starlings, and wrens that were already visiting.
Surviving an Operation
Now it may seem weird to put this as a highlight, but I’ve had a few operations in my life and whilst I’m not in a hurry to have any more, they have taught me strength. They remind me that I can get through a lot, and even when things feel like they’re going to hell the scars are a constant reminder that I have survived much worse. So whilst the operation and the recovery wasn’t a highlight, the strength it reminded me that I have is invaluable.
2017 was the year I, along with people across the southwest, saw the craziest storm of my life. The entire sky was pulsing with light in every direction and despite only being on the edge of the storm it was still the most insane thing I’ve ever witnessed weather wise.
Possibly not the most exciting place in the world, but I’d never been and it was nice to have a short break. We went up for my friend’s baby shower and I was struck by how weird the seafront is… As someone who has grown up in the southwest, I found it pretty insane seeing such a large stretch of ocean without any cliffs!
One of my favourite memories of the year is getting to watch seals play off the cost of my local beach. Whilst I knew they were around, I’d never personally seen them there before. It never fails to amaze me how lucky we are in Cornwall to have such a huge range of wildlife on our doorstep! It makes me more determined than ever to do what I can to help protect the environment and I’m looking forward to doing more beach cleans etc. in the new year than I managed to squeeze into 2017.
All in all 2017 wasn’t the most adventurous year, but I did appreciate the little things far more. I’m looking forward to exploring further afield in the year ahead, but this year made me incredibly grateful for what I already have.