One last look at 2016

December 31, 2016

As we have been gifted an extra minute* for today, the last day of the huge clustercuss of a year that has been, I thought I'd take that minute to look back on 2016 and bid the year farewell. Ideally, sending her off with a flaming Viking funeral which is only fitting since 2016 burned us so bad that even the This Is Fine meme gets a zeitgeist-appropriate update. Fortunately, escapism is my forte - the moniker 'influencer-blogger' is basically spiel for 'makes things shiny' - so before you get loaded up on a glassful of 'forget it all' in anticipation for tonight's festivities, won't you join me for one last look at my year? 

*although if 2016 is feeling so generous, I can think of another gift to send our way, all of which begin with "This is Ashton Kutcher and you've been Punk'd!" 



JANUARY, FEBRUARY, & MARCH
I didn't know it then, but the fog of despair that I had long found myself trapped in would begin to lift in Spring, making the first frosty months of 2016 both the literal and figurative winter of my discontent. I erroneously chalked these feelings down to ennui and wanderlust; and so I travelled in search of some sort of Eat, Pray, Love epiphany. 

I visited snowy Warsaw, where I stayed in a penthouse in former Soviet headquarters. City breaks to Brussels and Edinburgh made for enjoyable European excursions - I even tried my first haggis at the North Bridge Brasserie at iconic hotel The ScotsmanI also revisited the northern Malaysian capital city of Ipoh, once a ghost town left behind by the mining boom but now enjoying a renaissance. My report on the retro revival of Ipoh Old Town was especially well received among her statesmen, encouraging new readers to comment with fond anecdotes of their hometown.


APRIL & MAY

The events of April were the most trying I've had to endure in my relatively short life. What came to light was all the more shocking not only because I had managed to hide for over a year the extend of my silent suffering, but also because nobody suspects it to happen to the girl with the charmed life, which goes to show: don't judge a book by her glossy cover. For the fleeting window that I made my situation known, the outpouring of support from my readers and followers were overwhelming, and for that I am grateful - thank you! To this day there are moments when I feel uneasy such as when I walk down certain streets or hear certain sounds, but I stand by the decision I made for my wellbeing.

I ran to Amsterdam to seek counsel with the matriarchs in my family. By some poetic justice, this wilted wallflower began to bloom again in Keukenhof - "The Garden of Europe". Just as fittingly, Summer and his golden glow came early in May to melt the snow of my winter of discontent.


Living in a Wes Anderson world at Bar Luce, Fondazione Prada in Milan
Straight outta Slim Aarons: the view of the beach from The W Barcelona
Chasing the sun to the far side of the world...
The Riva promenade of the waterfront of Split, Croatia
Seeking enlightenment at the Neon Museum, Warsaw • Pastel and mortar at picture-perfect Victoria Street in Edinburgh • A tree house in the heart of Ipoh's Old Town

Happy Birthday to me! Ushering in the first of my '3 Series' at The Standard Grill.
JUNE & JULY
Luxy and I made up for lost time in Milan: she went to church, I worshipped at Fondazione Prada, we both hit the Italian fashion house-turned nightlife industry at Dolce & Gabbana Bar Martini and Bar Cavalli. Then that fateful day - Brexit happened. In the aftermath of shock and what felt like betrayal by my soon-to-be fellow Brits, I buggered off to Spain (where I got royally screwed by the € during the summer sales) and Croatia. In Barcelona I bumped into at least 4 circles of friends but Split was far more tranquil: just me, my bikini, and my sultry Croatian sun (and I'm not talking about just the weather...).

AUGUST
On one of my typical spurs of whimsy I decided to join Luxy on yet another trip, this time to the United States Of America. In New York City we were treated like royalty from UptownDowntown and everywhere in between - proving the adage that bouncy busts, big bottoms, and Brit accents will get you far in life (or at least in Manhattan). The surrealism of celebrating my 30th birthday in Manhattan started when I woke up to Luxy's birthday surprise - while I was asleep she decorated our suite in the Disney Princess theme! The magic continued in Orlando - we spent two blissful days in Walt Disney World and Universal Studios; the former where I chatted with all the princesses like they were old friends, the latter where we lived out the magic of our favourite movies and television shows (we may have also hogged the Harry Potter rides...)

Discovering my soon to be new neighbourhood - hello, SW London!
Beaming from Mickey ear to Mickey ear at Walt Disney World, Orlando.


SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER

September was the month my feet barely touched British soil. In fact, I'd passed through Heathrow three times in as many weeks commuting across the world on long-haul flights. The struggle was real

Just a week after returning from the States, I went to Bangkok for work with only a week in London to recover from the jet lag before flying back to the very same side of the world I had just come from. I had no choice, there was business in London to be taken care of and I had only that very small window to do so before heading back to Malaysia. My trip home was bittersweet; I had to make my reunions and goodbye-for-nows as this would be the last time I could cross British borders for a while...

...and possibly to remove any temptation of impulsive wanderlust, the universe fractured my foot. Ouch.


NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

I powered through and delivered on one of my favourite collaborations to date despite my injury (as fast-healing as it was, driving on a convalescent foot is no walk in the park, ha).  Fiat lent me one of their iconic Fiat 500 cars for the day to explore the city with. After a month of being housebound, to fly through the city, weightless (albeit impeded by London traffic...argh) was pure bliss. The result is my mini guide to South West London, inspired by my move next year to Battersea Power Station

Despite a few swipes 2016 tried to get in before the year came to an end - Nasty Encounters of A Blogging Kind and coping with health difficulties - I try to be as bold as my Chinese zodiac animal, the tiger. Its embroidered likeness, emblazoned on my Christmas present not only sets my limited edition Gucci Lilith handbag apart but is also one of 3 symbols of the things I love: London, my spirit animal; and my power colour, red.


Would I do it all over again? Yes, sans the fractured foot...
Here's to a magic, dramatic, sometimes-tragic year. Adieu, 2016.

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