Last week ended up being a bit of a whirlwind, as I miraculously passed my driving test on Thursday afternoon and then flew to Budapest the following morning. It was all a bit mad and only now am I starting to settle back into my usually-quite-boring life again.
The Budapest trip was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend, Michael – he’d remembered that I’d wanted to visit the city for a while so it was a fantastic surprise and I felt very lucky. Our trip was booked as a five-day adventure to the Hungarian capital on the Pest side of the river Danube, a journey to Buda on the other side being only a walk-over-a-bridge away. To say I was excited would have been a major understatement and I’d been counting down the days since the moment I’d found out we were going.
We’d expected Budapest to be freezing, packing our suitcases to the brim with thick, woolly garments, hats, scarves and gloves, though it was actually quite mild and gloriously sunny. Our hotel was a beautiful and modern building that was located on the outskirts of the inner-city, and venturing out to explore felt like a new adventure every morning.
Most just-turned-17-year-olds celebrate their birthdays with their first driving lesson, but I actually spent mine in the cinema watching ‘Up’ with my Mum and six-year-old brother – that probably tells you just about everything you need to know.
Unlike most of my friends I never had the urge to start driving lessons straight away – everywhere I ever wanted and needed to be was essentially within walking distance, and I really did like walking providing I at least had a pair of headphones and a good stack of podcasts or music to keep me occupied. I was quite content not having a car – couldn’t afford one even if I wanted to – and had a great, reliable set of friends that would drive me anywhere I needed to be if I asked them nicely. (Thanks especially to Ruth, Alice and Harley who have been my taxi-slaves for the past six years – oh, and my parents, who’ve fulfilled that role for the past twenty-three).
Today is my blog’s fourth birthday, yay! So to celebrate I thought I’d have a little dig through the archives and share some of my favourite posts since I started back in 2011. Here are my highlights…
1. Chatalie The Natabox (2012)
About why my blog is called ‘Chatalie the Natabox’ and where this name comes from. Probably one of the most scarily honest posts I’ve published, ahh!
2. What makes an artist an artist? (2012)
I talk about musicians who don’t write their own music, and why as a society we seem to have such an issue with this
Come 2016, I’ve decided to defy the idea of making new year’s resolutions simply because I’m so shit at keeping them. I guess it’s that ‘quit while you’re ahead’ mentality that reminds me I’ll only be disappointed and end up wanting to drown my sorrows in buckets of wine.
The idea of ‘starting on a blank slate’ in the new year is a nice idea in principal, but sometimes I think we can become so fixated on fixing ourselves, or thinking what’s next, that we forget to look back and remember all the good things we’ve done already. It’s far more satisfying to tick off the things that make us go, ‘YES, I achieved this’ than those that say, ‘Jesus woman, have you still not done that yet?’
Lauren Laverne calls this ‘The Anti-Bucket List’ in January’s edition of GLAMOUR magazine, dismissing all the silly things she says she should be doing and listing all the amazing stuff she’s actually done. Emma Gannon also wrote a list and it’s seriously brill (read it here).
My boyfriend and I went to see the film Sisters late Sunday afternoon and it was just as brilliant as we’d both imagined it would be. What worked so well was the innocent conviction of the humour, the awkwardness that even when barely watchable still had us rolling around in hysterics. The SNL cameos were pitch-perfect and the script was so sharp, fresh and witty – although to be fair, anything written by and starring two of the greatest comediennes ever to walk the planet (Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) is ordinarily a ceritified hit before your bum even hits the seat.
Even as I giggled at my recollections afterwards, I got to thinking about how I might have interpreted the film a little differently if I actually had a sister of my own. The idea of having a sister has always been a bit of an on-off novelty – not that it’s ever really been my decision to make, but given that my parents are now both in their 50s and had their youngest child almost 13 years ago, I very much doubt I’ll be finding a surprise new baby sis gurgling under the tree on Christmas Day this year.