2022: A Year in Review

My nine most liked Instagram photos of 2022

2022 has been a whirlwind of a year. Despite issues with my physical and mental health as well as dealing with bereavement, I stayed with my parents more often this year than I did last year.

Here are the peaks and troughs of 2022:


My purple fidget spinner that helped me with my rockiest moments and some items from my Flawsome Drinks haul.

This was a mostly rocky month for me. Upon returning home from my parents’ house over Christmas and New Year, the man in the shop below my block of flats seemed half asleep, my dinner boiled over and I saw an accidental spoiler for a TV show I was planning to catch up on. My block of flats was still in lockdown at the beginning of the year, but it didn’t last much longer. Towards the end of the month, an on and off issue with the water supply in my block of flats started. It was the first time I had no running water in my flat since 2019. 

Some positive points of January included working on a backlog of webinars for my neurodivergent recruitment agency that I couldn’t edit in autumn 2021 while my MacBook Pro was being repaired, and uploading my first YouTube video for my personal channel for nearly a year.


My personalised mug and coaster set; me wearing my new glasses; SimplyCook Thai Red Prawn Curry; and SimplyCook Spiced Butternut Squash Risotto.

The on and off water supply issue continued for most of this month. It got so out of hand on the third weekend that my parents very kindly invited me to stay at their house for a week while the issue was being fixed. I liked this idea because I wasn’t planning to stay with them over Easter. Although my parents spent a lot of time clearing out the house of a family friend who had died last year, I still managed to spend some time with them, especially when I cooked and ate some meals with them.


Some photos from the Beano exhibition at Somerset House.

My parents drove me back to London at the beginning of this month and helped me with the enormous pile of washing up that I left when I had no water (the water was working again at the beginning of March). 

Over the second half of this month, I began to feel very anxious due to the sudden change of routine with regards to my support staff helping me with cleaning my flat two days a week. The cleaning was postponed on one of the days, which worsened my anxiety. I also believe my anxiety caused me to feel sick and have stomach pains, so I decided to see the doctor about it. The doctor put my nausea and stomach pains down to anxiety as well as a women’s health condition I have.

Some more photos from the Beano exhibition.

Some highlights of March included visiting an exhibition based on The Beano comic in Somerset House and meeting up with my friend who lived down my street to go to a local coffee shop.


My M&S Extemely Chocolatey Orange Easter Egg before I cut down on my dairy intake.

I spent most of April feeling a lot calmer than I did in March but towards the end of the month, I began to feel anxious and nauseous again. I associated this with the manager of my block of flats telling me that a maintenance person would come to fix an issue in my flat on a planned volunteering day. When I spoke to support staff about this, they said the maintenance person would visit someone else’s flat but not mine because my issue wasn’t recorded on the job sheet. I was relieved that I could proceed with my volunteering as normal. I was also anxious when my parents told me they were ill.


My haircut for May 2022; my birthday presents; and my birthday card from my parents.

At the beginning of the month, I was very concerned when my parents told me that their illness was actually COVID-19 because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to spend my birthday with them. My brother also tested positive with it. Thankfully they all tested negative in just over a week. I also had a medical appointment in association with my women’s health condition and the results came back as normal.

My mum and me in Starbucks, Cineworld Newport. Photo credit for me in Starbucks: Gail Slocombe.

The best part of this month was my birthday week that I spent with my parents and other relatives in Newport. Highlights included my birthday tea, a McDonald’s lunch, and shopping trips to Cardiff and Newport.

SimplyCook Sundried Tomato Gnocchi that I cooked for my mum and me.

After my birthday week, my mum stayed in my flat for 2 nights. She helped me clear out my flat and we took my unwanted belongings to my local recycling centre and charity shop.

When my mum returned to Newport, my anxiety returned. It dawned on me that I felt much calmer when I was with my family than when I was alone in my flat at that point. I decided to see the doctor again and she referred me to have a blood test done.


My working from home do not disturb sign with random gobbledegook in the border.

This was not the easiest of months for me due to the anniversaries of the passing of my maternal grandparents falling in this month. I had my blood test the doctor requested done and I was told that my thyroid was slightly abnormal, so I was asked to have a repeat of the test. Unfortunately, I had 3 unsuccessful blood tests this month where the medical staff couldn’t draw any blood from me due to feeling nervous and overwhelmed. This made me very anxious and angry. As a result of my continued anxiety, I lost my appetite and began eating much less than usual, which made me lose weight quickly.


A hot air balloon in Friars Walk, Newport.

In the first full week of the month, my friend from down my street told me that she was moving to Swansea. That weekend, I went to our local coffee shop with her for me to say goodbye and wish her good luck. I also had a successful blood test the week after.

My anxiety and low appetite continued for most of the month. When my parents stayed at my flat for 2 nights towards the end of the month, I told them about my health issues. They were very concerned, so they got me to gradually start eating more. I also cut down on my dairy and gluten intake and cut out certain foods that I was worried would make me ill. After my parents stayed at my flat, we made the spontaneous decision for me to stay with them for just over a week. I stayed at my parents’ house for the last weekend of this month.


My room in our Airbnb in Hay-On-Wye; Mum and I sitting on the balcony of our Airbnb; me standing in front of a Hay-on-Wye model train; my dad and me outside Hereford Cathedral; and the Hay-on-Wye clock tower.

My parents and I spent the first 4 days of this month in Hay-on-Wye. We stayed in a small yet cosy Airbnb, visited the local town and visited Hereford. I spent the rest of the week in Newport and met with my new social worker to update some paperwork about me and discussed the potential for me to move back to the area. I returned to London at the end of the week.

Upon returning to London, my anxiety resurfaced but it wasn’t as bad as it was in previous months because I knew I would see my family again soon. I got my blood test results and I was told that I had an elevated red blood cell count but everything else was normal, including my thyroid. 


My room in our villa in Ciudad Quesada; the exterior of our villa; the iconic Ciudad Quesada arches; my mum, dad, sister and me at La Mata Beach; and a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in Kingsway Shopping Centre, Newport.

I went on my first trip abroad for 9 years to Ciudad Quesada, Spain, with my parents and my sister. Despite the intense heat and the sad news about the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, I had an enjoyable trip overall. We stayed in a lovely villa; visited Ciudad Quesada itself, La Mata Beach, Rojales and Alicante; went bowling and played mini golf. My mum and my sister even stayed in Valencia for one night while my dad and I remained in Ciudad Quesada.


Some graffiti under a bridge over Glebelands park, Newport; me photographing the graffiti (photo credit: Gail Slocombe); and my Subway roast chicken salad that I ate when I watched Mrs Harris Goes to Paris.

When I stayed with my parents this month, I received the sad news that my dad’s godfather had a stroke and died. I was especially devastated by this news if I knew him for years, he lived very close to my parents and like his wife, he was very kind. Apart from receiving this news, I continued with my volunteering, went shopping in Cwmbran, saw Mrs Harris Goes to Paris, visited my dad’s fishing lake and visited Caerleon.

The Little Mermaid DVD menu; my mum and me at the cafe in The Priory Hotel, Caerleon.

Upon returning to London, I began the process of applying for housing in Newport.

In terms of my health, I had my fourth COVID-19 vaccination and my flu jab. I also had a week-long cold that I probably picked up from my dad. Upon meeting the haematologist, she advised me to stop taking multivitamins that I originally took when my appetite was lower. She also informed me that I would need further tests done in relation to my high red blood cell count, which made me feel nervous.


The gluten-free chicken casserole my mum and I cooked; some photos of the British Museum.

My mum stayed at my flat for 3 nights earlier this month. We went shopping in my local high street and my nearest big shopping centre; visited the British Museum and my great-aunt; and cooked a gluten-free chicken casserole.

My mum and me at her Women’s Institute meeting; the reindeer decorations we made at the meeting; and the Knife Angel sculpture when it was in Newport.

After my mum stayed in my flat, I stayed with her and my dad for a week. I continued with my volunteering, attended my mum’s Women’s Institute meeting, met up with some friends in Swansea and visited my grandparents. I also saw my siblings during this time. 

My new Apple Watch Series 8; my new iPad mini 6th Generation; and my new iPad mini case.

Towards the end of the month, my sister had COVID-19, but she eventually recovered. I was also told that I would have maintenance work done in my bathroom, but this was postponed by a week. Other highlights of the month were ordering some new technology, half of which I received later this month.


My new iPhone 14 and case for it.

This was quite a stressful month for me. I had repeated thoughts of being misunderstood and misheard, which made me not feel myself mentally. These thoughts even occurred while I was away with my family for Christmas and New Year. I also had some moments where things went wrong, which added to my stress. 

Snowy grounds at Warner Leisure Holme Lacy; me on the steps of the hotel; some nutcrackers from the Hereford Nutcracker Trail; my rooms at the hotel; my family and I at dinner at the hotel; my dad and me with hot drink and cake vouchers we won in a hotel quiz; and a fountain and some hotel gardens.

I received the other half of my new technology at the beginning of this month. I sold some of it and re-gifted the other part to my dad for Christmas. For most of this month, I was away from my flat for the longest since I moved there in 2017. My family and I stayed at the Warner Leisure Hotels Holme Lacy House Hotel for 5 nights before Christmas (please read my review on TripAdvisor here). I also spent my first Christmas at my family home in 5 years.

The Christmas presents I received in 2022; my Christmas lunch; my family and me at Christmas lunch; and my sister with her Christmas presents from me.

While 2023 will be another year where I will take each day as it comes, my biggest hope is to move back to Newport to live closer to my family.

GOODBYE 2022, HELLO 2023!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All photography is my own except the photos my mum took of me sitting in Starbucks and photographing the Snagglepuss graffiti.

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