Rowls- 2016 year in review

Allow me to introduce myself, I am Hannah aka Rowls/Wiggles, and I make up the other 50% of Clarke and Rowls.

So as my counterpart has written her year in review, it is only right that I write mine!

As cliche as it sounds 2016 really was a roller coaster of emotions for me. The beginning of the year was incredible. At the end of 2015 I bit the bullet and quit the job that I hated with no idea what I was going on to do next! So with my last official day being 31st December, I began 2016 with a fresh slate and a new sense of optimism. Katie and I had already booked Australia so I knew that was on the horizon and I could not wait.

I started off with about 5 weeks off- basically until the money ran out and I started to get bored so I went in search of temp work and landed at CPFT- a mental health trust doing general admin and filing- not glamorous at all but the friendships I made here are still going strong.

I also began bootcamp- something which Katie was already doing and I was desperate to look good in a bikini at Byron Bay so I jumped in and never looked back (but definitely did falter when burgers were concerned) however I got to the skinniest and fittest I’ve ever been (don’t be fooled though, I’m not still there haha). By the time March 28th rolled around I was the happiest and probably the healthiest I’ve ever been, ready to start our adventure down under.

We landed in Melbourne after what felt like forever! I didn’t know which way was up when we got there but we were greeted by my amazing friends with beer and the promise of burgers (sensing a theme yet) so that happened before I fell into bed.


Over the next few days, Katie and I spent our time exploring the city and doing all manner of touristy things before she whizzed off to celebrate her friends’ wedding, and Sara and I explored the Great Ocean Road which was just incredible, but photos speak a thousand words, so…


After a few more days in Melbourne, it was time for Sydney- something I NEVER thought I would actually experience, and the feeling I got when I pulled into Circular Quay on the train and saw the Harbour Bridge for the first time is like nothing I’d ever experienced- I actually let out a little squeal haha. This week was spent seeing friends. I stayed with my friend Gary who kindly gave up his sofa for a week (shout out to his understanding housemate Leeny as well who was a total babe). My friend Lily was also located in Sydney and by pure luck and fate our friends Porridge and Matt were staying too so it was a big reunion, filled with beaches, beer, many ciders and a lot of laughs.

Then it was time for the tour. Katie and I reunited in Sydney airport and flew off to Darwin. All I remember of the flight there was looking out of the window and seeing a shooting star which I think was a good omen. We landed and then spent the next four weeks travelling from Darwin, down through the Northern Territory, over to Cairns and all the way down to Sydney (Checking every bed for deadly spiders as we went). I have never in my life seen so many incredible things. There were three moments on that trip that I have never felt happier and they were standing on top of Kings Canyon, watching the sunset over Uluru with some new friends who I think will be friends for life (You’ve met Sykes already) and standing at the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge at the end of our tour. Not to be too soppy about the whole thing, I am honoured to have done it all with Katie by my side.

So of course this bubble had to burst at some point and we returned home. I went back to my temp job for a few weeks but then I managed to land an incredible new job, so you are now looking at the Communications and Engagement Officer for NHS England. It was a bit surreal to be honest but I’m pretty proud of myself.

So with a new job also came the opportunity to move out so I now live with my friend Georgia. After three months of living together we finally have a working boiler. Hurrah! This, believe it or not, is a huge deal for us, as living in slippers and three jumpers has been less than ideal. But we do have a good time.


I also managed to fit in a few mini adventures last year which included a week in Spain, a trip to Leeds, a weekend in Nottingham and a few visits with my fellow uni journos, both in London and Cambridge, and not forgetting the most incredible weekend away to Galway to celebrate my 27th birthday! I sprained my ankle, became a fake auntie twice in one week, and spent Christmas and New Year with some fabulous friends and family.

Unfortunately though, after the best 8 months ever, things went south when my brother was involved in a serious car accident. He’s ok, but it has been a long road to recovery but 5 months on, he’s getting there!

So I went from the top of the world to falling with a hard, and all too real thump. But this sort of thing really puts life into perspective. It is so short and you never know when your time may be up, so why the hell not say yes more and try new things!

So that is what we’re going to do. Having rung in the New Year with some of my favourite people on earth it is time to get this show that we call 2017 on the road!

Love Rowls x


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