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The Muddy year in pictures

How much fun did we have together in 2018? Well, this much! 

How was 2018 for you? I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve had more relaxing years! But for all the way Muddy consumes me it’s my total passion and it’s a blast – 7 day a week mayhem. Here are the Muddy highlights this year – hope you enjoyed them, and thanks for staying with me on the ride.




A quiet start to the year because my body was a temple for at least the first four days of it and nothing but contemplation, early nights and searing boredom would do. Once that was out of the way it was time to review Jacobs Brasserie and do a road trip around the country catching up with all the Muddy editors.


Usually the most depressing month of the year – remember that snow and cold snap? – but for Muddy February is always fun because it’d it’s when everything springs back into action with new exhibitions and shows. I threw the first comp of the year – a £1000 two night stay at 5 star Luton Hoo, before sneaking off with my mum for a week in the sun. Just. Because!


Had lots of fun writing about how to take the perfect selfie (or not – see below!) and, of more use, I spent hours sweating over my first Insider Guide to Oxford.

It felt only right to give away £700 of new season Winser clothes and maybe the highlight of the whole month for me was meeting Anna and Debbie, the two female founders of All Bright, the all-womens networking, investment and members club. I’m a big believer in women helping each other – life’s hard enough without femme-fighting.


Victor’s in Westgate Oxford was the venue for my worst hangover of 2018. It started elegantly enough (below) but OMG how it descended into the biggest Muddy team party evahhhhh. Totally recommend Victor’s by the way, it’s a fab spot…

In other news, the Muddy Awards kicked off for the 6th year. Whoo hoo!  This year we were ready for the internet and the voting deluge, and it all went swimmingly across 20 Muddy counties.


We had winners! And brilliant ones! The Muddy Awards drinkies started a bit inauspiciously with rain, but of course it all ended up sunny and fabulous – the perfect celebration for my favourite event of the year. To top it off, one lucky Muddy Awards voter won the £1000 stay at Buckinghamshire’s 5 star Stoke Park with VIP tickets to Boodles tennis tournament.


I never get bored of trying on half a million pounds worth of jewellery, do you? Poor sales people, having me point at baubles I will never, ever afford at the brilliant Boodles tennis tournament at Stoke Park. Let me tell you for the record, this stuff is heavy, we’re all better off at Accessorize! Sort of.

The World Cup gave me the opportunity to write a very non-sexist ode to the most intellectual men in the tournament (it was a short feature). Love Island divided readers but brought me and my top-knotted son closer together as we discussed whether Georgia was loyal, babe.


HEATWAVE! The Muddy team decamped for outside yoga (I know, get us!). I met the Jersey Boys, searched out flattering bikinis, and counted down the days to the summer hols.


Like an elephant it took me 2 years to give birth, but look how bonny the Muddy Fun Finder is. Coochy coo! I took my brood off to Wilderness Festival and had the best time ever – I’m not prone to sentimentality but even I will never forget singing and jumping up and down We Are Family with my 11 year old daughter and best mate watching Nile Rogers. At the end of the month I slunk off for my summer holiday to Greece and it was heaven. My main exertion? Reading the entire list of August Muddy Book reviews!


OMG. Carnage. The Muddy national schools site launched, we gave away £500 of hush clothes (lucky lucky reader!) and a fantastic £500 stay at Mount Edgcumbe in Kent. More Sex Please, We’re British was one of the most popular features this month. Um, wonder why?


A big month! Psychologies published a six-page feature on me (EEEK!), plus Muddy Stilettos was announced as Finalist in the prestigious Major Players/Drum Awards 2018. Unexpected, but a very pleasant surprise.

We also held our second Literary Salon at the Henley Literary Festival with amazing authors including Farrah Storr (ed in chief of Cosmo), comedian Viv Groskop and hot new author Caroline O’Donoghue. It was a corker! If you didn’t make it, please come to our next one – they’re about as non-stuffy and super-fun as they get.


It took four reads of an email and a check up on the journalist involved for me to believe that a proposed Daily Mail feature on me as one of the 50 Most Inspiring Women in the UK wasn’t a hoax. But I ended up in the feature and my mother will be dining out on it until 2025. In other news, Reader Treats launched, my way of saying a big thank you to loyal Muddy Stilettos subscribers. New treats get loaded up every week so don’t forget to check up – they’re all massively covetable.


The Muddy Christmas Party (yes, I’m still suffering). What else? Well, I’ve just beaten the world record for the most pantos watched in a single week. In stuff that’s actually useful for you, I’ve zsushed up the Bucks/Oxon Insta account – please do follow me, there’s always stuff on there that you won’t find on the main bit of the site.

Phew. I think that’s finally it! Writing this with a glass of champers and some sour cream and onion lentil puffs by my side – because I’m classy like that – I’m now going to sign off. I hope you have a fantastic end to the year, thank you so much for all your support. I’m going to take a week off, then I’ll be back with a bang to help you make the very best of your free time in 2019.

Hero x


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