Hey guys! So today’s post is a particularly joyous one as I celebrate 5 years of ‘Amelia in Hull’! It is hard to believe that 5 years ago today on 21st January 2021, I was just setting up the site and I had no idea about the experiences and memories it would create for me. Being a blogger has become such an integral part of my life and I am so thankful that I decided to create ‘Amelia in Hull’ 5 years ago and that I have sustained it ever since. I also want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me over the last 5 years whether that be through liking and commenting on posts, following me along on my adventures or even just interacting with me on social media. Your support means the world to me! In this post, I’m going to take a trip down memory lane and recap some of my favourite blog posts of all time as well as reflecting on the experiences I have had over the past 5 years and what blogging has taught me overall.
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE POSTS
First ever blog post!: This is where it all began. While this post is definitely not a literary masterpiece, I presented my aims for the year and for the future in a concise way and clearly suggested the type of content that I was aiming to produce on my blog. It will always have a special place in my heart purely because it was where my blogging journey began. Everyone has to start somewhere!
When Hull had a police force: The Hull police force is an integral part of Hull’s history especially from my perspective as my Grandad served in the force for a number of years. It served the city well until 1974 when it was merged with several other local forces to form the collective Humberside Police Force. Since I never met my grandad, this post was a way for me to understand him better and explore something that was an important aspect of his life. Plus, it further proved to me that Hull has a rich history that was interesting to research.
Famous people in Hull: Amy Johnson: This is my favourite post from this series, mainly because of how much Amy inspires me. To see a woman from Hull achieve such a monumental aviation goal to become the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia is very inspiring even in modern day society. Amy faced many challenges during her journey to achieving this and that is why she will forever be embedded in Hull’s history. It was an honour to document her life in this blog post.
One day maybe event: This event was based around the May 1980 democratic uprising in South Korea which played an important part in the country breaking away from dictatorship. It was a very well thought out event with lots of twists and turns and it was very thought provoking when linked to the uprising. This event has always stuck out in my memory as one of the best city of culture events so naturally it deserves a place on my list.
Author Richard Bloss visits Hull: This was the first opportunity that came along via my blog. Richard Bloss contacted me after seeing one of my posts and the rest is history. I really enjoyed running the workshop with him in the primary school and also assisting him with the book signing. It gave me a glimpse into the sort of career I might have in the future and I can’t thank Richard enough for giving me this opportunity.
AG and family: Interviewing my 100 year old Great Nan: My Great Nan turned 100 in 2018 and I had the pleasure of interviewing her. She shared some fascinating experiences that had happened throughout her life and it was lovely to connect with her in this way. I am happy to say that as I write this post, she is still alive and will be celebrating her 104th birthday in April.
The Big Malarkey Festival and the Blundabus: I became a young reporter for the Big Malarkey festival in 2018 and had the opportunity to blog about the events happening for the young people on the Blundabus. There was such a range of activities to do from song writing to poetry workshops and the two days that I spent at the festival were very enjoyable. A massive thank you to the Big Malarkey Festival for giving me this opportunity!
My experience as Young Reporter for Pigzine: The art work ‘Pig’ visited the Freedom Festival in 2018 and I was recruited to be one of the young reporters that observed the public’s reaction to it. All our observations were then logged onto the Pigzine website. It was another fantastic experience and it was intruiging to see how the public reacted to the social experiment that ‘Pig’ had created. Thank you so much to the Freedom Festival and Kaleider for giving me this opportunity.
Fagin’s Twist: This was another city of culture event that really stuck in my brain because of how much I enjoyed it. Through acting and dancing, the performers portrayed an alternative version of the much beloved ‘Oliver Twist’ from the perspective of Fagin. I cannot tell you how much I love villain backstories and the performance really succeeded in humanising the character of Fagin who had not had an easy life. I would love to watch it again if the opportunity arose.
AG Interviews: Kofi Smiles: Kofi Smiles is a BBC Radio Humberside Presenter who was the face of 2017 city of culture for the BBC. In 2019, after initially meeting Kofi at the 2018 Big Malarkey Festival, I set up an interview with him for my blog. It was fascinating to hear his answers to my questions and to have the experience of interviewing a local personality. Thank you so much to Kofi for agreeing to be interviewed by me!
Liquid Jade first impressions : It would be hard to write this post without including one of my cafe posts. Hull has some wonderful cafes and there are so many more that I want to review in the future. However, Liquid Jade has a special place in my heart as being one of my favourite cafes. I often take friends and family there with me and I have always enjoyed the food as well as the beautiful, cosy interior. I’m already looking forward to my next visit!
Tour of Hull with my friend: My friend Alice visited me in Hull for the day and I couldn’t resist giving her a tour of Hull. This post details some of the best bits of Hull that I showed to her and it would be a perfect reference point for someone who is looking to visit Hull.
AG travel diaries: Spain: It would be criminal to not include one of my AG travel diary posts in this list. Since 2017, these have been a staple in my blog and they are one of my favourite type of posts to write. As Spain was our last foreign holiday before Covid-19 hit, this post is pretty important to me and it details some amazing memories that I have from that vacation. Hopefully we’ll be able to go abroad again soon!
Freedom Festival 2019: The Freedom Festival has been running in Hull for many years and it is one of my favourite events because of all the incredible culture it brings to the city. The Freedom Festival 2019 had some incredible acts and performances and it almost made up for the lack of a festival in 2020 due to Covid-19. Luckily the festival returned again in 2021 and hopefully it will continue to go from strength to strength in the future.
I’m featured in a book?!: After blogging about the ‘Open Bridges’ event and other events that were affiliated with it, when the experiences were collated into a book, excerpts from my blog were published in it. To be able to say that I was published in a book at the age of 15 was an incredible achievement and I am very thankful to everyone who contributed to making it happen.
20 reasons why 2020 should be the year you visit Hull: This post did not age well at all and got lost in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic that raged that same year. That being said, it received very positive feedback via Twitter and I am very pleased with how I wrote the post overall. It is still just as applicable now as it was in 2020 and hopefully it can still reach tourists this year.
Coronavirus diaries: Amelia : This series was founded during the first Coronavirus lockdown and it was a godsend as it provided me with blog content in a time when everything was cancelled and we were confined to our homes. I’m very proud to have this series on my blog as each post is a little piece of history and they really represent the mood of the country during the lockdown from different people’s perspectives.
My braces journey : This was a post that I had planned for a long time and it was so amazing to finally write it in 2020 after I had my braces off. I can’t describe the confidence boost that occurs after the braces come off and you can see how straight your teeth are. It was quite the journey getting to that point but it was so worth it in the end with the result.
Results day 2020: This was another key event that happened for me in 2020 as I received my GCSE results. Not sitting the exams was one of the weirdest things ever but I still got grades that I was really happy with it in spite of the circumstances. It will be a lovely post to look back on in the future and reminisce about.
Review of Austen’s Emma: I really enjoyed writing this post and expressing my love of ‘Emma’. There is nothing I enjoy more than analysing literary texts (hence why I’m going to do a degree in English literature!) and hopefully I’ll be able to publish more reviews of books in the future.
WHAT I’VE LEARNT IN MY FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING
Five years of blogging has taught me so much. Mainly, I’ve learnt that the most important thing is to enjoy writing the content that you publish. In 2018/2019, I was starting to find it hard to balance writing my blog with other commitments at school and outside of school. I felt obliged to keep writing weekly posts even though it was a struggle for me and this impacted on my enjoyment of it. Now in 2022, I write whenever I have time without worrying about publishing a post every week and I love every minute of it. Having a relaxed upload schedule works a lot better for me than sticking rigidly to a strict one.
The other thing I’ve learnt is to not worry about my stats. Again in 2018/2019, I was desperate to maintain my high stats and felt bad about my writing if the stats even dipped slightly. Although they are important, they are not the most important part about blogging and like I said before, the enjoyment of blogging has to be prioritised before everything else. If I could give my younger self any advice it would be that: to always enjoy blogging no matter what!
WHAT I HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS OF BLOGGING
My blog is going to go through some changes over the next few years as inevitably I’m not going to be in Hull as much once I go to university in September. It’s hard to plan for the future as I’m not even exactly sure where I’ll end up for university at the moment but I am determined to keep blogging about Hull as much as I can. This city has captured my heart and I cannot imagine being too far away from it in the future. My goals for my blog include continuing to produce as much content as possible and continuing to enjoy this amazing blogging journey that I’m on.
Thank you for reading this post! There’ll be another one out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull