It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day...

I sit here today, New Year’s Day having welcomed the new year in last night in style...well, of sorts, I was in my new, lovely pyjamas (thank you Michelle, I absolutely love them, they got a lot of compliments too) at our friends Matt and Kim’s house whilst playing Linkee (a rather frustratingly fun general knowledge quiz) and clock watching waiting for the midnight chime. 

No point in staying up in uncomfortable clothing when the option for pj’s is there. Hahahahaha  

I’m not a huge fan of NYE in all honesty, it’s a bit over hyped, seeing as every day is a new day, with endless possibilities for change and chances. I don’t stay up and see them all in. I’m very much an early to bed type. It was all well and good in my single youth where snogging strangers at midnight was a highlight of the year, but I’m older and wiser now and I can snog Chris at any time hahahahaha.

But I can say that on reflection for me personally 2018 was a very fine year. There were some of life’s little crashes and knocks of course but on the whole we’re ok, happy, healthy and grateful.

I’ve had lots of emails and messages from readers of Gladrags over the last year that haven’t had such a good 2018, and for you I wish only good things for the year ahead, health being the priority, once that all behaves itself you’ll be flying, literally in some cases, with special treat holidays to look forward to as a reward for kicking cancers butt and becoming stronger, more tenacious and super human! Be well, get strong and go live it to the fullest! xx

I have loved receiving such kind messages from people. Mainly because it shows people get why I started writing this blog 3 years ago on the 31st December. 

Yes, it’s about clothes and dressing well after cancer in my case and ostomy surgery, but it’s more than that. 

May aim is to show people what is possible, that a full fulfilled life is waiting for you, because I know from very personal painful experience what I thought my life was going to look like post treatment and surgery. My life now couldn’t be more polar opposite of what I truly believed it would be like. 

I do have male readers too which kind of proves it’s not only about my clothes, it’s about positivity and living well, and feeling good about successfully navigating a rotten situation into the beautiful Technicolour amazing life I lead now, and even on the most mundane days I feel everything intensely and love even the boring stuff. I’m grateful for the chance to wake up every day. 

Honestly I thought I would live in isolation and morbid sadness, I thought I wouldn’t ever see my friends in the flesh again, just keeping in touch by phone and emails.  

It never occurred to me that post surgery I’d look in the mirror and be happy with my reflection, but I’ve got news for you, I do! Not in a ‘oh I’m soooooooo amazing’ type way, I’m positive not deluded. But I look at it and think wow, you got through all that and you don’t look too bad for it. 

I appreciate you can’t force yourself to be happy with your scars, or bags or even extra flesh if it’s not how you feel inside. But try and find the positives, you know full well there are some. Find them first and you will feel more positive about the rest in time.  

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It seems like a life time ago now but we had a wonderful Christmas. I was having some mild anxiety on the lead up to the big day, I always do,  but once Sam came home Christmas Eve the anxiety evaporated, well it switched track at least because I had terrible indigestion from the moment the anxiousness left. Just shows how an emotional response can become a physical one.  

Sam and Milly decided that as it was the last Christmas before the baby comes next month (yes! I’m going to be a grandma next month!!) they would spend this Christmas with their own families.  

My mum and dad usually spend Christmas with us but they booked to go away for it this year. So our actual Christmas Day was very quiet, just the four of us. It was really very special. 

I dressed for dinner in my usual fashion, which is to say overly dressed for just a trip to my own living room, but I dress for my own personal gratification, no one else’s.  

Ben thought this was bonkers but after I complained that he hadn’t made the effort...track suit bottoms and a T is not what I class as Christmas lunch ready, he added a tuxedo jacket to his ensemble...much better hahahahaha ;) 

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Jumper from Michael Kors, faux leather Skirt from M&S, tights from Tesco, Shoes from Christian Louboutin. 

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All dressed up for Christmas lunch. 

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We had forgotten that the dog is so highly strung she can’t cope with noise in general, any noise at all actually, she’s a bit of a nutter, so Christmas cracker pulling didn’t go down to well with her!  

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Once the dog was sedated...I mean placated...we got on and enjoyed some Christmas games.   

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Sam had very kindly brought some bubbles for me. He researched what the best non alcoholic bubbly was (I haven’t drunk alcohol for well over two years now and Milly being pregnant means she’s not drinking at the moment either). It was actually very nice and much appreciated. 

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The festivities continued with cuddle time with  my baby boy.  Christmas is a family time after all. Hahahahaha 

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Although my mum and dad had gone away for Christmas they Skyped in for our annual Christmas evening quiz, once my mum had worked out which way the camera was facing that is.  ;) 

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It was like they were here in the room with us. Hahahahaha It was really lovely. It was as if nothing had changed at all. 

Then Boxing Day was spent as it has been for many years now with our friends. Boxing Day lunch happens to be my favourite meal of the year, cold meats, mash potatoes and assorted pickles.  

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Top from Monsoon, Jeggings from Next, Shoes from Christian Louboutin. 

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Ben’s girlfriend bought me some lipsticks which was lovely, it was in a set of 4, so I used it all at once...make up is not my area of expertise ...anyway turns out it’s more of a one at a time type thing. Less is more. Hahahahaha  

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I dressed the table for lunch in Ralph Lauren...thank you TK Maxx for your little bargains!  

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Ben had very sweetly bought the twins some teddy bears but the girls were terrified of them. Must be slightly confronting to have a bear that’s far bigger than you thrust in your face. 

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I bought the girls mini Dysons...start as you mean to go on and all that. Hahahahaha 

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We were a few people down for lunch this year, James was a bit poorly, and Tanya was in prison...it’s ok, she works there as a nurse! Hahahahaha 

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Secret Santa at lunch was highly successful. Kim received two owls amongst other things, Matt had stolen my Christmas decoration owl as a joke back in November...so someone very kindly bought her her own. My owl was only repatriated to his real home on NYE!! Hahahahaha 

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I was hoping to keep Kim and Matt’s new owl for myself. He looked rather at home here. :)  

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Chris and I took Pepper for a post Christmas beach walk, not quite as exotic as the year we spent Christmas on the beach in Cuba, but we couldn’t take Pepper there so Clacton is the new Cuba in my book! Hahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahaha 

And then came NYE, I did actually get dressed in day clothes to go to Matt and Kim’s...

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Top from Tesco, Cardigan from Tommy Hilfiger, Trousers from Hobbs, Shoes from Mulberry

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but my new pj’s were on straight after dinner. 

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The new year was seen in in all its glory. The fireworks in London were amazing, we watched on the telly, whilst Ben and Kaitlyn went up to London to see them live....all those crowds and waiting around, urgh, not for me, I’m way too old for that now. Hahahahaha 

So as the new year dawns, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my insides for behaving themselves for the entire festive season (I have a feeling having indigestion was a blessing as I didn’t/couldn’t over indulge) and I’d also like to wish you every happiness and good health for the year ahead.  Happy New Year! 

Lets have a great one!  xxxx