2013 has been a blast.
My blog traffic boomed in January following my post about the trials and tribulations of being a young councillor, and even more so after posting my letter back to a homophobe in The Herald in December. I met a young woman from Lincoln who told me that my election inspired her to stand for election to her local council. I got a selfie with Chuka Umunna, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary.
I got a mention from the Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, Natalie Bennett, after sitting on a panel at UK Youth Parliament South West’s Question Time in October. In June, Labour won a by-election in Plymouth, taking Southway from the Conservatives and electing Councillor Jonny Morris. I quit smoking for three months. I started smoking again.
We welcomed my youngest niece, Sofia Katie Taylor, into the world. I went to Tolpuddle Martyr’s Festival in July for the first time and met my hero, Mr Tony Benn. Plymouth Pride in the Park was held in my ward, and I had the honour to be able to speak on behalf of my party and constituents. I decided I don’t like red wine.
Andy Murray achieved a stunning Wimbledon victory, and I spent most of the day raging every time someone referred to the event as “the first time a Brit has won Wimbledon singles in 77 years”. My picture of Virginia Wade following her Wimbledon win in 1977 was shared nearly 300 times on Facebook! I went back to university (again) and left (again) after finally having the courage to admit academia really isn’t for me. The Equal Marriage Bill was passed through Parliament. I kept First Great Western in business with the amount of train journeys I took.
I seconded Councillor Vivian Pengelly in the Plymouth Guildhall during the City Council AGM where she became Lord Mayor. I saw in my 20th birthday at my local Borough Co-operative Party AGM, where I became Membership Secretary. I united (and reunited) with my beau and with him, alongside seeing him promoted into the cabinet of Southampton City Council, sampled the delights of Portsmouth and Eastleigh for the first time, as well as nearly wetting myself on Colossus at Thorpe Park.
I went to Portugal with my family and fell in love with Albufeira on The Algarve. I was elected as the South West Representative on the Young Labour National Committee, and onto the South West Young Members Committee for Unite the Union. I spoke at Labour CND’s AGM, alongside Jeremy Corbyn MP and Owen Jones. I got some new followers on Twitter!
I made my very first snowman in the North East thanks to a very special friend. I gained a wine tasting qualification. I spent a lot of time arguing with racists and laughing at the UK Independence Party. We selected our great candidate for the General Election, Luke Pollard, and watched all the Tories scattering when they know they’re beat.
I got my very first motion on the sexualisation of children and young people passed in full council. I had a few haircuts and starting wearing lipstick. I finally learnt to walk in high heels. I drank a lot of wine, cried a lot and spent the rest of the time laughing or being angry. It’s been a frustrating, stressful, exciting and fulfilling year, and that’s without the politics! On that note, I’ll end with two of my favourite quotes of this year:
Former Tory leader of Lancashire County Council when asked why his party lost in Lancashire “Because more people voted for other parties than voted for us” and “UKIP out-loonied us this time and stole our votes, but we will be back” – Official Monster Raving Loony Party.
Happy new year!