2016: what a year!


2016. Where should I begin? In between Brexit, Trump and a steady stream of celebrity passings, 2016 has, in many ways, has seemed rather unreal. Who could have predicted this time last year that we would be on the cusp of immense political and social change?

For me, 2016 has been a year of great personal and professional change. I am now working as a consultant full time, and this level of freedom has given me the opportunity to explore new work streams and travel the world. The loss of family members and friends against the many highs has been poignant, but it has focused the mind and put many things into perspective.

So without further ado, here was my 2016!

I started the year with the news that I was one of Wales Online's 16 in 16 entrepreneurs to watch! A nice way to begin January.

During February and March, I began to shift my energy to consulting full time.

In April, I packed my bags and headed off to Australia and New Zealand for a month. Staying with friends in Sydney, I explored one of my favourite cities, met up with long-last family members, saw the awesome Lego exhibition at the Powerhouse, finally saw the Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries costumes (fangirl,) and travelled to Canberra to visit the Australian Parliament and National War Memorial. In New Zealand, I went back to Christchurch to see friends and see how much the great city has changed since the dreadful earthquakes.

In May, I was back to London to start work on a pilot digital project with Parliament and doteveryone. This was a fascinating experience, and working with MPs, I investigated how they use digital technology and social media to communicate with their constituents, tackle their workload and generally encourage digital democracy and political engagement. The three month project overlapped with the historic vote to leave the European Union, and to be in the UK Parliament at an immense time of political change was something which we couldn't have predicted. I stood in Old Palace Yard as David Cameron left Parliament as Prime Minister, and watched from the Speaker's Gallery as Theresa May took part in her first Prime Minister's Questions. I visited the HQs of Facebook and Twitter, and attended the American Ambassador's 4th July party at Winfield House. So many great moments and experiences that I won't forget and so many great friendships formed.

Downing Street just after David Cameron had resigned

Ambassador and Mrs Barzun

During the summer I fit in my first trip to Dublin  - such a great city! I also spent time rediscovering London and indulging in some quintessential sites including Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. I was also asked to be a godmother to my friend's little girl Emily! Such a privilege and responsibility!

The Liffey!

As we entered the autumn, I received a nomination in the Entrepreneur Wales Awards and headed back over the Atlantic to New York. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge, visiting Tory Burch HQ and returning to the World Trade Center Museum and Memorial were some of the highlights of the trip. I also won't forget the mood of anticipation by many that America was on the cusp of making history with the possibility of electing its first female President. How the mood had changed merely a week later.

One of the successes of 2016 has been writing about our new Prime Minister, Theresa May for Political Style. The interest in coverage has been fantastic, and personally, it has been great fun to keep tabs on what she is wearing and create fun content! It has also been amazing to be recognised in the press for my blogging - something which I couldn't achieve without the support of my fabulous readers. Thank you!

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The end of a year is always a reflective one, and as we head towards 2017, I feel truly blessed and privileged to have had such an extraordinary year. 2016 has taught me to grab all opportunities that come my way, trust my gut, and importantly to try. If you say no you'll never know!

Here's to a successful, positive and prosperous 2017 for us all. Make it yours! 

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