Goodbye 2017 hello 2018

Goodbye 2017 hello 2018

31st December 2017 13 By Rachael Stray

I can’t quite believe that 2017 is coming to an end and we’re preparing to say hello to 2018! What a year 2017 has been for the hubby and I.

If you’d told me right at the beginning of 2017 that I’d be living back in the North East, bought a new house and started a new job I would’ve choked laughing. But all of that has actually  happened in just one short year.

So what happened to us in 2017?

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary in June but because of the BIG move we didn’t really celebrate. We’ll make up for it next year don’t worry!
We attended three beautiful weddings this year and cuddled some gorgeous new arrivals.

Hannah's wedding

I caught the sun a wee bit at Hannah’s wedding!

My husband and I decided early on in 2017 that we’d make some big changes – namely a new start in my native North East.

We’ve been incredibly lucky.

If I’m honest I didn’t expect our big move to happen quite so quickly everything sort of fell into place like pieces of a puzzle.

Steve landed a new job up North and I quickly followed suit.

Thankfully our mortgage offer was coming to an end in our lovely home so we didn’t have to pay any exit fees. Fortunately we didn’t hang around to put our house on the market.

Within just one day our lovely Lincolnshire home was snapped up by a first time buyer – we even managed to make a profit which we safely nestled away as a deposit for our new home.

Saying goodbye to our family, friends and my lovely colleagues in Lincolnshire was really hard but my heart has always belonged to my beloved North East and the homesickness was getting harder to shake.

By mid-June we packed up our worldy belongings with the help of Steve’s parents and made the journey up the A1. We squeezed ourselves into our temporary little home and started to settle into our new jobs.

Fast forward six months and we’ve moved out of the little rented house and into our amazing new (and hopefully) forever home just a short drive away.

But the changes haven’t stopped there.

My husband left his new job almost two months ago and has started another one! New jobs are like buses in our house – you stay in one job for 15 years (him) and then new ones come along quicker than you can take the congratulations cards down!

I’ve learnt a lot in my new job thanks to energy advice training such as ways to keep warm at home, how to create interesting infographics and Spark videos as well as becoming a Dementia Friend.

Working just a stone’s throw away from the gorgeous Newcastle and Gateshead Quayside has meant being able to see my beautiful bridges every single day.

Is there a better entrance to a city?

Tyne Bridge Newcastle Quayside

The famous Tyne Bridge with the Swing Bridge and High Level Bridge in the background

However, I’ve recently handed my notice in at my new job too. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, as my colleagues are so friendly and fun and the work we do is so worthwhile, but another opportunity arose which I just couldn’t turn down.

So I will be leaving my current job mid-January and taking up a new role straight away. I’m a wee bit nervous as it will be a new challenge but I’m really excited too.

We are all moved in at our lovely new home and are starting to settle in. We’re so fortunate to have had so much help and support from both sets of parents who helped us pack, unpack and clean which has meant we aren’t living totally upside down! We’ve met some of our new neighbours and everyone has been so friendly and welcoming.

We’ve even had our first snow and saw the real community spirit in action with everyone chipping in to shovel the road and put grit down.

We have managed to visit our family and friends back in Lincolnshire which has been lovely and we’ve even had visitors up here too!

I’ve really enjoyed catching up with family and friends back in the North and educating Steve in the Geordie ways.
Catching up with friends
I’ve definitely enjoyed having Gregg’s stotties back in my life too!

Being able to go shopping after 5pm has also been a real treat! Both the shopping centres in Newcastle and the massive nearby Metro Centre in Gateshead are open till late and it’s bloody brilliant!

For the last couple of weeks of 2017 Steve and I have been able to car share into work too which we’ve never been able to do before. Getting up earlier (especially with the darker mornings) hasn’t been so great but actually driving in together and taking it in turns has been really nice. We’ve got to spend more time together, saved some money and helped the environment a little bit too!

In the last week of 2017 we celebrated Christmas in Lincolnshire with our family down there and then we are doing it all again this weekend with my family.

And of course I started this blog and I have been blown away by all the support I have received both on and offline.

What am I looking forward to in 2018?

I’m really looking forward to spending more quality time with Steve and showing him even more of the amazing North East – I have lots of day trips planned in my head.

Next year is the Great Exhibition of the North so I’m particularly excited about all the events and activities that will be taking place. I’m hoping it puts my beloved North East on the map for even more visitors to come and see what we have on offer. My home city of Newcastle has been named the number 1 place to visit in 2018 officially which you can read all about here Newcastle ranked as number 1

I’m obviously looking forward to getting stuck in at my new job but saying goodbye to my lovely colleagues will be hard!

Both of us are looking forward to feeling more settled in our new home and unpacking those last few boxes (we’ve got it down to just the small bedroom to sort out). I will do some blog posts relating to our new home in the New Year.

I’ve been asked to be godmother for one of my best friends’ newest arrivals, with the Christening taking place in March, which I’m really honoured to accept.

I turn 30 towards the back end of 2018 so I’m really looking forward to ticking more items off my 30 things to do before I’m 30 list. I’m hoping to celebrate with friends as we’ll all start turning 30 from September onwards until August 2019 (lots of Prosecco and giggles will be had I’m sure)!

I really hope more family and friends come to visit us – we have three spare bedrooms now so we’ve plenty of space to accommodate guests!

A few of our friends will be welcoming little ones into the world so I am definitely looking forward to some cuddles –  I just love that new baby smell.

Steve keeps saying we’re having Christmas at our house next year so maybe I’ve got hosting Christmas to look forward to too?! And by hosting I mean Steve in the kitchen and me pouring the drinks!

I will of course keep blogging with posts going live on Tuesday’s and Sunday’s so please stay tuned.

I don’t know what else 2018 will have in store for us but I hope it’s nice things.

Right then I better go and get ready to say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018. I wish you all a very happy and healthy 2018!
Happy New Year

What were the best bits of 2017 for you? What are you looking forward to in 2018? Let me know in the comments below.

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