Author, blogger and model, pictured with her dog, Wilko
It’s been a memorable year. It was probably the most up-and-down year, but also the most fun, which I know might sound strange. My sister Rachel’s diagnosis with cancer at the start of the year really shocked our whole family. But it’s kind of come full circle, in that it’s the new normal, and she’s inspired our whole family. I suppose it puts everything into perspective. I am definitely not as stressed a person as I used to be. I’m really enjoying each moment, and I take the majority of opportunities that come to me.
The family has become a lot closer, and now Rachel is on the road to recovery, and things are getting so much better. We got Wilko this year as well. I don’t remember what my life was like before him. He is so good; he has just slotted into the family.
Rachel and I are going to Asia this year for Christmas. We are going to Hong Kong, Thailand and somewhere else; we haven’t fully decided. It will be a nice long holiday. We go away every Christmas; it is our thing. We had said this year we would stay in Ireland, but then as the months went on, we just thought, ‘Well, you only live once’. We’re leaving two weeks before Christmas, and we’re back New Year’s. We’re so used to going away at Christmas time. I remember there was another Christmas Day that we ended up having dinner with a random Italian family. It’s our normal.
I will definitely indulge when we’re away. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Stephen’s Day, I will eat whatever I want. Like you would at home. I think it’s in our mentality. We are trained to think, ‘I will eat everything at Christmas’. Barry’s teabags come with me everywhere, and a selection box. But I will still continue to train. I get quite antsy when I don’t train. I have already looked up places I can train in Hong Kong. There’s a really amazing place we went there last year that has Muay Thai boxing, so I will just train as normal.
You have so many Christmases in your life, so I like to do something a bit different. I’m sure once I settle down and have a family, I’ ll be at home for most Christmases. It’s just nice when I’m young to go off and experience different things, and how people celebrate Christmas, and its different meals, all over the world.