The journey.


So, today is December 31st, 2012. Exactly one year ago I sat and created this blog. Ready to be filled with 365 photos, one every day to record my life as I knew it in 2012. And boy, am I glad I did it. 2012 has been a whirlwind, roller coaster year, I could barely keep up, let alone remember everything I did. Having this to look back on is amazing. I’ve looked back and remembered things I’ve forgotten. Some posts and photos have prompted other memories, hidden behind posts, not necessarily written down. Have I found it difficult? No, not at all. Have I found it hard to keep going, or a chore? Not in the slightest. Have I got bored? Never, how can I, I’ve been documenting my incredible life, both the minutiae and extreme, and everything in between.

So, to start with, I probably should do a yearly total of the [very unscientific] statistics (double counting allowed) which I did in my mid-year review in June:

  • Posts about food: 39
  • Posts about running/fitness/exercise: 47
  • Posts about alcohol/hangovers/going out: 51
  • Posts about/including friends/family: 101
  • Posts about Film Club: 14
  • Posts about the weather: 17
  • Posts about travel/Peru: 37
  • Posts about work or work events: 18
  • Pictures of my bum: 2
  • Pictures of my legs: 5
  • Most boring picture: Putztag (14th Jan)
  • Most fun picture to take: first Film Club – superheroes (12th Jan)
  • Favourite picture: too many to choose but top one might have to be Tah-dah! (19th Oct)
  • Most meaningful picture: thoughtful (11th Dec)
  • Posts with hidden stories behind them: 7
  • Post that makes me smile: Dan H, remembering how I made him wait while I ran to get my camera, then made him pose, in front of loads of people (26th Apr) and Shortbus (13th Dec) just because it made us laugh lots, provoked some interesting chatter and made me realise why I love my Film Club buddies
  • Most painful picture: running fall (29th Mar)
  • Prettiest picture: I love Barefoot beach run (10th Oct) and Ludlow Castle (11th Apr)
  • Most difficult post to write: Happy anniversary (8th Jun) and today – The journey (31st Dec)

So, the same trend has followed. The majority of posts are about friends or family, which doesn’t surprise me one bit. I have the best bunch of people around me someone could ask for. From those who have been with me for years, to those I’ve met along the way to those I’ve met over the last year. You’re all awesome and special in all kinds of ways and I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’ve rekindled friendships, made new ones and strengthened the ones I’ve had for a long time.

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for a few days now, and thinking about what to include in it, and what (and how) to say it. There’s so much I’m not quite sure how to write it. Most blog posts have come naturally, what’s in my head ends up on the screen and gets published, there’s no review, no moderation. But this one, there’s almost too much, and it’s all jumbled up in my head. In a way, there’s no need to write anything at all apart from this one sentence: I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. There. That’s all I wanted, and it’s happened. That’ll do.

But, it’s been so much more than that. I remember this day last year like it was yesterday. Sitting there, starting this blog I was thinking about the crappy few months I’d just had and how 2012 was to be a new year, new start. I wondered what it would bring, what things I would see and experience. I remember how excited I felt, and the relief to be starting a new year. I remember all the grief, sadness and guilt I felt at ending my marriage and how I wanted to put that behind me and start afresh. But, the overarching emotion I felt 365 days ago was freedom. Freedom to make my own choices, freedom to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Freedom to make 2012 go the way I wanted it to.

I had realised I didn’t really know who I was anymore. Deep down I did, it was still there, but it had got hidden. Day to day? No. I had become Tara. A Wife. I’d spent so long thinking of someone else I’d forgotten about myself. I forgot what I liked, what made me who I am, my hopes, dreams and ambitions. I remember standing in a shop at the end of last year and feeling totally overwhelmed. Thinking “I don’t know what I like. I don’t know if I like this because I actually like it, or whether it’s something ‘we’ would like or whether I like it because my ex-husband wouldn’t have liked it.” I didn’t realise this was happening either, I was completely oblivious. I had changed. Paps had disappeared. So many people now have commented on how different I am. Those that knew me before a relationship have said I’m back to normal; back to me. Those that have only known me in the last few years say how much I’ve changed. Apparently I was quite quiet, subdued. I had no idea. I’m not normally one to be quiet. But I was. Not any more though, and not apologising for that either 😛

I didn’t think I was unhappy, but I knew things weren’t right. But I know now what it is to be happy. Really, truly happy. For me, it’s a sense of freedom, confidence and contentment to just be me. Not to worry what anyone else thinks, and to spend my time doing things that I enjoy and mean something for me. Happiness for me doesn’t come from anyone else, no one can ‘make me happy’; I am in charge of my own feelings and emotions, and I choose how to react to different situations.

Everything in life makes me the person I am, and this and all I’ve done in 2012 has made me the person I am today. I’m a better person, I know that (with a few more wrinkles). I’m 100% happy and comfortable with the person I am today. In fact I’m pretty chuffed; sure, I make mistakes, bad choices and I’m occasionally grumpy, but I learn from it all and move on. I like to think I’m a pretty decent person most of the time. What you see is what you get; I’m friendly and will chat to anyone, always up for a laugh and will bend over backwards to help people. I’m loyal and will do anything for my friends and family. I can’t be bothered with negative people or people that take the piss. And I don’t give a shit what other people get up to.

So do I know who I am now? Yep, I sure do. Who am I? If I were to describe myself: Adventurous. Carefree. Free-spirited. Stubborn. Sociable. Happy. Kind. Positive. Clumsy. Mischievous. Party animal. Whether you’d describe me as the same, I have no idea. I hope so, I like to think that I wear my heart on my sleeve and what you see is what you get. No bullshit.

I was trying to think of all the things I’ve learnt over the year but there’s probably too many because I know I have, but I just can’t think of what they are. I should have noted them down as I learnt them. I have an iPhone for petes sake, it has a notes app. There’s that saying “you learn something new every day”. It’s true, even if you don’t know it. Doesn’t have to be a big thing, a skill or a fact. Can be all kinds of things.

Off the top of my head:

  • I know how to make a Picso Sour
  • True friends are there for you unconditionally
  • Don’t drink more than 1 bottle of wine, it will make you drunk
  • Accept you will have memory loss if you drink tequila slammers
  • I can hang a picture
  • Exercise makes you feel better
  • It’s OK to ask for help sometimes
  • You can’t make someone do something their heart isn’t in
  • Life is too short
  • Health is so, so precious
  • I like garlic bread
  • I DO dance like no one is watching, and I don’t care
  • Life is better in your 30’s
  • I like my own space and company
  • I love to laugh
  • I can do anything I put my mind to
  • I know all about the Incas in Peru
  • I’m a terrible procrastinator
  • Opportunities are there to be taken
  • Everyone deserves respect
  • I wasn’t always wrong
  • I can run a long way
  • Money isn’t everything
  • Success is measured by you, and only you
  • Tattoos do hurt, but not that much
  • Earth is a big place but it can be a small world
  • Some people will never change
  • Sex can complicate things, and other times mean nothing at all
  • I like champagne
  • Pure, unadulterated lust is amazing
  • Eating healthily makes me feel better but I can’t get over the pure deliciousness of chocolate
  • Everyone has a story to tell
  • There’s a positive in everything
  • Everyone needs to be looked after every now and then, even me

It sounds a bit wanky to call 2012 a journey, but it has been. I’d like to say thank you to the people who have joined me on it (again, a bit wanky but I don’t CARE). There’s so many of you. Too many to list individually. But everyone has helped me in different ways, and you probably don’t even know it. What you’ve got from me, I have no idea. Hopefully something but maybe nothing. I know I’ve had a selfish year; it was always the plan to have some time to myself and do what I wanted, needed and chose to do, and so I do feel like I’ve not given anything over the last year. Definitely more take than give. And for this I apologise.

It’s said that people come in (and out of) your life at different times, for different reasons. Some stay only a short while, some for a long while and some forever. Life is constantly changing and that includes the people you associate with, whether friends, acquaintances or family. I’ve said it so many times but I’m surrounded by some of the best people ever. For all kinds of reasons. I know lots of people, and I am lucky to have lots of people I can call friends. I’m going to try and mention as many people as I can that have touched my life in 2012, for all kinds of reasons. I can’t mention everyone but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what you’ve done, or that you haven’t had an impact. Every single person I have met or spent time with this last year has had an impact on me in some way. Now, I might miss someone off, and I truly apologise if I do. It’s not intentional, my brain is full to bursting while writing this, please understand. And if I do miss you, please tell me off and I will send chocolate.

So, thank you to (in no particular rank order):

  • My family. Always there if and when needed, never prying, never overbearing, never judging. Supportive when needed, without having to ask. Provide food when required. Odd in the nicest way and different to me in most ways. A constant in a crazy year. I love them.
  • Best friend Laura. Has known me for a long, long time. Always there, even when she has her own things going on. Not afraid to tell me the truth and happy to listen to me going on. Provides food and Maltesers and makes me part of the family. Makes me watch paranormal films. Makes me laugh. Hope we stay friends forever.
  • Film Club. I have never laughed so much as at Film Club. I have watched films I would never have watched, had conversations I would never have had and took photos I never thought I would. Everyone should have a Film Club in their life.
  • Neighbour and friend Karl. Unfortunately for him, close proximity to my house has given him the default job of chief Paps-looker after. Makes me cups of tea, feeds my cat, helps me get in my house when drunk, closes my curtains and leaves a light on for me, listens to my drivel and dishes out sympathy, advice and food. Cannot ask for more. Truly appreciate everything.
  • People I met travelling. In France and in Peru, and anywhere in between. Everyone has a story to tell, and people are fascinating. Learnt new things, expanded my mind and understand more about the world and people with everyone that I met.
  • Police people. I had some truly fabulous work mates from the Police, most of whom I am still in contact with and regard as friends. I have no idea how common that is but I think it’s pretty special.
  • Uni people. Thank you to everyone I work with. When times were crap you made the day to day bearable. I laugh so much at work and have met some amazing people. We do some pretty funny things, and have some random conversations. I have literally never laughed so much or as hard when talking about being sick when drunk (Steve and Helen).
  • Charley. A gorgeous friend who I feel I take, take, take from, as much as she says I don’t. Tells me straight, gives sensible advice and a kick up the arse when I need it. Provides tea and biscuits in copious amounts. Has a welcoming house where I feel so at home.
  • The Fletchers. Listen to my problems, provide food and beer and a welcoming retreat and let me rant as much as I want.
  • Boss Matt. Best boss ever. Listens, knows my problems and understands. Has given me an easy time over the last year and been supportive constantly. Always buys me a beer. Top.
  • Menfolk. From the mild flirtations to the dates and everything in between. Thank you.
  • CD. For the advice and email chat. Kept my pecker up and helped me believe in myself.
  • Jane. Fellow positive thinker and all round special friend. Provided support even when times tough in her own life. Makes me laugh. A lot.
  • Craig. Running buddy and someone to confide in. Mutual support shared through running and helped me keep going.
  • Alex. Top friend. Makes me cups of tea and looked after my house. Shares stories.
  • Lis. Provided sanctuary, a breath of fresh air and a bit of culture in London.

And everyone else. Thank you. If it’s one thing I can say for sure, it’s that I couldn’t have done it without you all. As much as I think I am (and might seem) a tough cookie, who can do everything herself and doesn’t need any help, that’s not [always] true. As much as I said it’s not such a big deal, it is. I needed the support, even if I didn’t know it. Everyone needs a little looking after now and then. and you looked after me.

So, what’s in store for next year? I don’t know. Well, I do and I don’t. I don’t want to have everything planned out. That’s something I’ve enjoyed this year. Not knowing what was going to happen, or where I’d be heading. I spent years with it [my life] ahead of me, all mapped out. That’s not me. Not at all. But, I also don’t want to coast. I have some ideas and some plans. Not detailed, but a direction. I’m not going to expand on it, I don’t know for sure yet. But, lets just say I want to make the most of the time I have on earth and not waste a minute. For now, I have my brother’s wedding to look forward to; to watch him and Tanya start their new life together, their adventure. My next adventure, 2013, starts now.

Thanks for following a year in my life, in pictures and words. I hope it’s been entertaining. I’ve certainly loved seeing my life spread out before me in photos. I can see the change in me through them; not only in my hair colour and length, but in the [new] wrinkles, my skin and my body shape. But what has mostly changed, but you probably won’t notice it, is my eyes and my smile, and what that sits behind them. The stress that’s gone, the contentment that’s replaced it, the confidence, the happiness and the spark that’s come back.

As 2012 draws to a close, I have a final message to myself. “You are happy. Happier than you’ve ever been. You made the right decision, and you know you did. Love life. Dare, dream, do. We are here and it is now. Enjoy.”

A year of change.


Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized



So, this is the penultimate photo a day. That’s crept up! I was going to go to the beach this afternoon to blow away the cobwebs and get some fresh air but when I got to Horncastle I decided to go to Snipe Dales instead. Snipe Dales is a bit of a go-to place for me. It’s where I go if I want a bit of quiet time, and bit of space to think and somewhere to have a bit of a walk. It’s where I went when thinking about ending my marriage, and it’s where we both went when talking about saving our marriage. It’s where I went to think about how my life was going earlier this year. Lots of memories but each time I go I think about something different.

It’s in the Lincolnshire Wolds, and is very pretty and calm. I hardly see anyone else, whenever I go. Today it gave me a bit of time to think about this blog and tomorrow’s last entry, and to think about everything I’ve done, achieved and experienced in 2012. I can’t quite believe it’s come around so quick. I feel like I’m at a bit of a crossroads in my life now. The last year has been crazy, amazing, incredible, difficult, fun, brilliant and I’m kind of thinking, right, what next? More of the same? Something different?

I do know that I won’t be doing another photo of the day. It’s served it’s purpose, I’ve loved every minute of it, and I now have this incredible record of my first year of single life. I enjoy looking back on it, and I hope my friends who have followed it have enjoyed it too. But, it’s time to finish. Next year I’ll still take photos, but not a daily record. I’m going to have a blog too, but I’m not quite sure about what yet. I think some of it depends on what I plan to do. I’ve got some ideas but now I need to put some plans in to practice and get cracking on.

I do know though, that, like this time last year, I have no idea what next year holds. And yet again, I love that fact. It’s exciting. Who knows what I’ll end up doing, where I’ll end up going and who I’ll end up meeting.

So, which way should I go at those crossroads? I think I know.




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Posted by on December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized


Holiday running.

I’ve kept up my running over the holidays. I knew I would, that was never in doubt but I can see how easily some people might not. It helps that I’ve had a running buddy over the last couple of weeks who’s made me run fast and up hills. It also helps that I’ve not been at work and had too many plans, so I’ve been able to fit it in when I like. It’s also helped that it’s been such crappy weather. What? You crazy woman, is what you’re probably thinking. But no, lots of rain means muddy, soggy, wet off road running. Which I LOVE. I feel alive (as well as dirty). My trainers are full of mud and so filthy. I really need to get some new ones anyway, but I love the fact they look and feel worn. Like they’re meant to. Things are meant to be used, not looked at. This is probably a bit of a reaction to my old life sometimes, like I’m being a rebel, but hey, that’s how I feel. Get dirty, feel the world, live life.


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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Uncategorized



Trying to get back to eating a bit more healthily. There’s been a lot of chocolate, sweets, lardy food and alcohol that’s gone in my mouth over the last few weeks so now that Christmas is over i’m trying to get back to normal. I’m doing Dry January which is no alcohol, but I’m also going to use it as a chance for a bit of a detox, so I’ve decided that there will also be no shit food too. So, no takeaways, no sweets or cakes, and definitely no chocolate. It’s not necessarily for weight loss, as I’m fairly happy with what I look like but crap food makes me feel like crap, which I don’t like.

So today started with porridge with bananas and raisins. Lovely.


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Posted by on December 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


Driving [around] for Christmas.

I’ve done a bit of driving over the last couple of days, to go and see people for Christmas. One bonus is no hangovers because no drinking, hurrah! Because I walk to work now I don’t actually get to drive my car much any more. So when I do drive, I really enjoy it. Especially if there isn’t many other cars on the road. I’ve had a lovely couple of chilled out days, just what the doctor ordered.


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Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Uncategorized


Boxing Day.

I spent the day with my best friend Laura and her family today. Last year I spent Boxing Day with them too as Laura wouldn’t hear of me being on my own over Christmas. I really appreciated that.

I’ve known Laura since we met on the first day of secondary school, which was over 20 years ago now. Jesus, that makes me feel old. I’ve been married and divorced, and she now has a little family all of her own. Not sure how that all happened, because the last day of school doesn’t seem like 5 minutes ago. I wouldn’t change anything for the world though. Here she is with her lovely family who, along with the rest of the Daly clan, make me feel part of their family, and always have.


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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Uncategorized


Christmas Day.

OK, so who stole the last year? It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since last Christmas Day. Although it does in a way, it seems a lifetime ago. A lot’s happened since this time last year.

Today was different to the usual Papworth Christmas Day. It’s always been at Mum and Dad’s house for as long as I can remember (although I’ve not always been there as I would have been at the in-laws some Christmas Days). Mainly because they always had the biggest house. I remember when I was a teenager Christmas used to last for a week or more. Me and my brother used to have friends over, my grandparents, uncle and cousins would stay for a week or so so it would end up a bit of a party house, always something going on or someone different to talk to.

Today it was at my brother’s house. Him and Tanya hosted because my Grandad is still in hospital and my Nan didn’t want to be reminded of Christmas without him in the usual place. It was a bit weird but really good. Tanya did a bloody cracking Christmas Dinner and we had a lovely, chilled out Christmas Day.

I did tell them though they’ve now set the precedent for hosting Christmas. 😛

Thanks guys, it was a lovely day. I have a small family but they are all pretty amazing, if not a little odd. 😉


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Posted by on December 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Christmas Eve.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m not feeling 100%, I think I’m getting a cold. So I have had a chilled out day today. Caught up on some jobs around the house, cooked Donna lunch, went shopping for some last minute food bits for Boxing Day and then watched films with the cat on the sofa. I was supposed to be going out for a couple of drinks this afternoon/evening but I just don’t feel up to it. It’s been nice though, a bit of me time and nowhere to be. Lovely.



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Posted by on December 24, 2012 in Uncategorized



I went running with a marine today. Marines are very fit. They make you run fast, and up hills. I did get a little bit of a rest when I got carried (him running) UP a hill by him (!) but apart from that it was hard work. We ran round the South Common and it was also very muddy. I slipped over onto my arse, got covered in mud and cut my finger. We then ran and jumped through puddles on the way back. I think a couple of people watching us thought we were crazy. THIS is the kind of running I love. Carefree, who-gives-a-shit, muddy child-like fun. Fun. Fun. Fun.12-23


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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Uncategorized



Because of how much I drank last night and how crappy I felt today all I could manage to drink today was water or tea, much to the disappointment of the person I went out with tonight. I’m far too old to do two nights drinking in one go, especially with as much as I drank last night. Still had a nice time though.


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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Uncategorized