Looking Back On 2015

Seven Sisters
Beachy Head trip with Leonie, this place is incredible.

A 2015 highlights post would typically come at the end of 2015 or even shortly into 2016 (you’d expect at least, right?), but this site started last week so that just didn’t happen. With the purpose of this whole project being to preserve the details of memories I’d typically forget, I’m gonna go ahead here and drop a few anecdotes that stand out about the incredible year that was 2015.

I took a well overdue trip with an old best friend, his soon to be wife and another great childhood friend (the variety that you get along with so well but don’t talk to enough). It was Easter and everyone finally had time, so we headed to Afan Forest Park in Wales with a car full of bikes. As teenagers we’d always wanted to go away on a trip like this, we had plans to take off in a van to another country so this actually came pretty close (although the childhood vision was more France/ Spain/ America than Wales, no offence Wales, you’re great). I  had a seriously messed up wrist too (I forget what from, typical of me really) and had to grit it out.

The scenery was incredible and I soon realized that you don’t have to travel too far to see some really beautiful places. I should also mention we arrived at 4AM the Friday night in the most horrendous downpour, it really took back to camping as a teenager (typically with the same people too) and setting up tents in the worst conditions, never do you appreciate warmth more than after those experiences.

Sights from the trails in Wales.

FESTIVALS. Speaking of tents, my weekends spent at festivals were a massive part of 2015 that I’m so grateful for. Volunteering at The Great Escape kicked it off in May where I supervised the wristband crew, they trusted me with a free delegate pass and absolutely killed it discovering new bands (hello Slaves, Meat Wave) and loads’a lovely people too. This was followed by Slam Dunk South (impeccable line up and fine company), then I returned to volunteering once again at Forgotten Fields, Reading Festival, Shakedown, Oxjam, and finally Bestival on the Isle Of White. [I’m going to write a post about why you should volunteer at festivals this summer real soon].

Notable acts range from Fickle Friends to The Jacksons (damn they can dance), that band that did the song ‘Jump Around’ and although I stayed for most of their set, I must have got distracted because I left before that hit… Jungle, Alexisonfire, Jack Garratt (I had just finished a shift and the group I worked with invited me along to his set, I had no idea who he was but what a show), Kenrick Lamar, Phoria, Dillon Francis, Stray From The Path, Skrillex, Action Bronson, While She Sleeps and so many more.

Shakedown Festival.

I went vegan. This was a change I’d wanted to make for a while but hadn’t committed to until March ’15. I’m a year into it now and I just wish I’d done it sooner, I could share the reasons why it’s worth your time but instead I’ll leave this thought instead; first hand experience > misinformed stories shared by others, it’s worth giving a go.

I went to my first wedding, and when I say I ‘went’, I mean I spoke as best man at my lifelong friend Joe’s wedding, so it was quite an experience. We stayed in the most beautiful cottage/ apartment place for five days leading up to the wedding with loads of family as well as all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen. The wedding itself was on the 23rd of December so the whole experience was really festive and special, speaking as best man was probably the most nerve wracking experience of my life (to date at least) but I’m so glad I was a part of it.

Other highlights include;

  • Countless shows outside of the festivals. Meat Wave, Gnarwolves, Counterparts, Hundredth, Marmozets, Max Raptor, Architects, While She Sleeps, The Xcerts, Neck Deep, Stormzy, Akala, Lower Than Atlantis and plenty of great local bands like Up River, Blue Eyed Giants, Rory Indiana, The Island Club and SKIES who you should definitely look up and go see. This is a decent list but I know there are way more and I’ve forgotten them, which sucks.
  • I turned 21.
  • Finally made a trip to Ireland to catch up with family that I hadn’t seen in years. Dublin is great and we had a chance to check out loads of the city, Kilmainham Gaol (one of Europe’s biggest unoccupied jails – weird as), the Guinness brewery, typical sightseeing etc.
  • I passed my driving test. First time in busy Brighton, it’s still weird to think I can just buy/ rent a car and go.
  • The grime phase. Early on in the year I literally listened to JME and only JME for a solid two months. I managed to see him/ Boy Better Know/ Skepta 3 times throughout summer at different festivals and even met Jamie at an Integrity signing at Rare Kind Records here in Brighton (where I helped him find vegan foods). Ask my housemates about this one…
  • I got into running, discovered Parkruns, local clubs, Strava, and set my sights on longer distances.
  • I passed year two of uni (I had the one incredibly painful module that could have went tits up).
  • I skated loads.
  • Saved a sheep from a lifetime of embarrassment, it had it’s head stuck between the barbed wire fence and all it’s friends were looking at it.
Sheep Saver
The sheep behaved exactly like a dog it was great.

There’s definitely plenty I’ve missed here, but it’s a start. I’m really looking forwards to writing more throughout the year so I have a real collection to look back on.

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