My 2015, or 'In which I became a shopkeeper, slayed Internet trolls, travelled to 8 countries, and got fat along the way'

December 31, 2015
Thank Jeebus for the advent of social media/blogging (delete where applicable) - without them my only memory of 2015 would be the revelation that Agent Fox Mulder is a dead ringer for my boyfriend.

Recall, recap, recollect: The 5 Themes of My 2015 Highlights

The truth is out there, or rather here in my blog: while the events of twenty fifteen have gelled into a mushy, jelly-like mess my brain failed to solidify (I need more mental gelatine!), several hundred photos and thousands of words tell a very different story. A technicolour story that could pass for a life well lived, if you don't look too closely at the hairline cracks forming in the concealer under my eyes. Compulsive hoarder that I am, I find that the years' highlights, much like everything else, are best displayed when grouped into collections. So I arrange my most memorable events of 2015 into five themes to aid your understanding (but mostly mine. My brain put where?)

What kind of wide-eyed idealist dares to open a very-niche boutique in an extremely competitive neighbourhood of one of the most expensive and cutthroat cities in the world? Only fools (Henry) and bloggers (myself), that's who. We had the best of intentions: to be curators of fine taste, sellers of wearable pieces of military history, and purveyors of accessible luxury in one tastefully eclectic (if somewhat dusty) vintage boutique on East London's Cheshire Street. And it seemed we would, had a 'what are the odds?' setback of epic proportions not smacked us in our pretty little faces one fine day in April (and then many less-than-fine days in May). We prevailed, and a little over two months later Regimental Vintage finally set up shop at 68a Cheshire Street, a mere 500 feet east from the first location that we lost out on. 


Being a divisive little upstart seems to come naturally to me despite my purest of intentions. How else can I explain naming my blog Posh, Broke, & Bored in earnest self-satire or blogging click-bait posts like Nasty Encounters of A Blogging Kind and Let's Play Blogger Bingo: 15 Flatlay and Blog Clichés? Ironically, what really rubbed a whole bunch of people the wrong way was my honest-to-God (if impassioned) first-hand account of some truly shocking behaviour by a group of people aligning themselves with an 'anti-gentrification, anti-capitalist, anti-hipster' movement, using socialism as an excuse for vandalism. Naturally, the rabble came out in force to harrass me on Twitter: from death threats to poorly-researched slurs ranging from 'Tory b*tch' to 'Neo-Liberal *expletive*' (which one am I, guys, Left or Right? Make up your mind!). Joke's on them - the attention earned me my first live appearance on BBC news, quoted in The Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail etc. and a huge boost for business when many people who'd seen me in the news came down to my shop to show their support and laud my 'courage'. Guys, I'm just a humble shopkeeper!


The year wasn't just drama and hysterics: I also managed 9 very enjoyable holidays including two trips back to Malaysia, visits to 5 new countries (Latvia, Vietnam, Finland, Russia, Estonia), and rendezvous in two already familiar lands, Thailand and South Korea. I dashed through the snow on a six-dog open sled in Riga, added Hanoi to my list of visited Communist cities, dealt with jetlag in the contemporary luxury of The St Regis Bangkok, got up to monkey business in Borneo, browsed Nouveau Nordic design in Helsinki, marvelled at the old-world splendour of Moscow and Saint Petersburg, chuckled at the medieval madness of Tallinn's Old Town, jetted off to Seoul for 56 hours, then finally Kuala Lumpur before heading back to the daily grind in London.


How does one manage a semblance at a social life? If devolution isn't already an accepted concept, then I present myself as evidence that a social butterfly can in fact crawl back into its cocoon and revert into a fat couch-potato of a grub. Even worms have to eat, and so this very hungry caterpillar would stray from the safety of her pad to show her face at choice social occasions. In London it was the opening of my friend's gallery Soho Revue, Royal Ascot, Jaeger Le-Coultre Gold Cup polo, and the first night of BBC Proms. I fared reasonably well in Kuala Lumpur, putting in an appearance at the annual Malaysia Tatler Ball, my brother's wedding at The Chateau, and the F1 Malaysia Grand Prix Gala


The vivid image I've just painted of my year thus far has been mostly enabled by my photography (don't pretend that you read everything I write. I know for a fact that 98% of you are just here for the pictures trolololololololooo). Proof that a picture is worth a thousand words - and so I'm a figurative self-made millionaire thanks to Canon. It makes sense for me to upgrade my camera gear since I sorta kinda make a living from my photography. I took the plunge and finally bought my first full-frame, the deceptively compact and pocket-friendly Canon 6D. Verdict? I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONNNN


Twenty fifteen, thank you for the tears, the cheers, and the love (all the weight I've gained, not so much). 
To all of you reading this; friends, family, and even foes: here's to another whirlwind of a year, but not before we wipe the slate clean at midnight and start with a fresh new canvas full of promise and potential! x

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