Looking Back ~ April 2017

It’s been a while since I shared a monthly Looking Back post, which is a shame, as I wanted to try and make it a full year! But as ever, my lack of blogging-related motivation let me down, until I decided to quietly try and blog every day in May, so here we are.

Looking back on April, I did some fun stuff! It’s not always the way, so this is definitely a good month to reflect on.


I went to see Half a Sixpence in the West End, at the Noel Coward theatre, with my best friends. We had decided that we weren’t going to buy Christmas presents, instead we’d head to a show together, and April was the soonest we could all get together! Actually, it turned out that not all of us could attend, as a snafu with a work schedule meant that Jen was missing. But we had fun, despite being a man down, and the show was wonderful! So much energy, and a great performance by leading man Charlie Stemp.

I went bowling for the first time in years, losing miserably but not really caring as I had a lovely night out with my ridiculous work friends. And then, on the bank holiday weekend, my friend Hannah and I took a couple of day trips.

First of all, we went to Lavenham, which is a picturesque little village in Suffolk, about thirty minutes from where I live. I’ve wanted to stop by for a visit for a while, but when I realised that a small part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was filmed there, I made an executive decision and we went!


This is me standing in front of the building that was used for Godric’s Hollow; much CG jiggery and whizzery was used to transform it, and the actors weren’t ever in Lavenham, but it still makes this Harry Potter fan happy! There are countless other beautiful buildings there; it all feels like you’re on a film set no matter where you go! The buildings are crooked and look as though they’d make you feel seasick if you lived in them.

Then on Easter Monday, as I wrote about here, Hannah and I headed to Cambridge for the day. And what a lovely day it was, complete with Zizzi’s lunch and a raspberry ripple ice cream. Oh, and plenty of beautiful old buildings to look at and photograph, and lots of blue plaques to find.


After Cambridge came a lovely meal at Giraffe with my best friends, all of them this time, and a lovely lunch celebrating my great-niece’s first birthday. I don’t know how a year has flown by quite so quickly; it only feels like a few months since I was meeting her for the first time and falling in love. Because I’m a great aunt (I made this joke on Instagram too), I bought her a basket of books.


And then, just last week, I headed to Southend to see The Shires in concert. I worked out that this is the fifth time that I’ve seen them live, and I think that’s a record for me! They really are so very good, and have a great mix of upbeat tunes and emotional, soulful songs to make for a really great evening.

Of course, no month would be complete without a trip to the BFI Southbank to see the one and only Mark Kermode: Live in 3D. This was my fourteenth visit to this particular show, and it was another great one. Greg Proops, Florence Pugh, Jarvis Cocker and Anne Dudley were the guests, all bringing laughs, expert chat, insight and inspiration, as Dr K’s guest so often do.


Added to this, I saw three films at the cinema (Free Fire, Fast & Furious 8, The Belko Experiment), and six at home (The Discovery, Pete’s Dragon, Bull Durham, Adult Life Skills, WarGames, Elvis & Nixon). A good month, all told!

Looking Back ~ January 2017

Who can believe that the first month of the year has come and gone already? Of course anyone with a basic understanding of how time works probably can believe it, but January always feels like a challenge, and getting through it is something that has to be ticked off, instead of enjoyed.

Whatever else has happened personally, January 2017 will always be the month when I was scared to turn on the news. Unbelievably, as I write this, it’s been nine days since the inauguration, and each new day just brings more terrifying developments. I can’t imagine what the next four years will bring.

But to forget about the macro, and concentrate on the micro, January was a fairly uneventful month, as the long first month of the year tends to be. I spent the first weekend of the month working at an event at Alexandra Palace, where I managed to grab a photo with Evy Lynch, also known as Harry Potter’s Luna Lovegood. I try not to be a total loser, but inevitably from time to time it spills out, but luckily she was happy enough to let me take a photo with her. (In the writing of this, I’ve decided not to share the photo here. It’s on my Instagram if anyone cares enough to take a look!)

Pizza Express Prosecco

I toddled along to Pizza Express to try out their Ultimate Comforts menu, review can be found here; I also went to The Den at 23 in Colchester so my friend Hannah could try their Quarter Pounder Cheeze Burger, which is apparently a vegan version of a Big Mac. I didn’t have it, opting for the hot dog instead, but Hannah gave it a massive thumbs up.

Vegan hotdog

And finally, as ever with a monthly round-up post, I should mention another Mark Kermode in 3D has been and gone with myself and my buddies in the audience. He’s booked in for another year there, so no doubt you’ll hear me mention it a lot again, though I think my attempts to attend them all will once more be stymied. January’s saw two top guests; Anna Smith, president of the Critics’ Circle and film critic, and none other than Mark Gatiss, who was on top form, very funny and engaging.

Mark Kermode BFI Southbank

Fun to Come in February

• Another MK3D at the BFI Southbank

• The wedding of a very dear friend from school 

• Hopefully another weekend with my niece and great-niece

Looking Back ~ October 2016

October was a busy month. So busy that I didn’t actually have time to blog about September, because I was far too busy having lots of fun. For the most part.

It was the month of two weddings, a holiday, the biggest work event of the year, and birthdays. I always knew that it was going to be stressful, when my niece told me that she was getting married in Spain a week before I left for the aforementioned massive work event. Looking back, I’m able to just enjoy the memories of a lovely holiday and a beautiful wedding. But while it was happening, although it was fun, it was hard!



But to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start), the month more or less began with a different wedding; that of my university friends Montanna and Ryan. Their’s is one of my favourite love stories – they met on the first day of university, became the best of friends, but took a while to get together. She had to go to Canada on a year abroad to realise she was in love with him, and he went out to see her on a moment’s notice, and the rest is history. Their wedding was beautiful, and I had a lovely time, until I had to get back from the middle of Surrey due to a broken down car, and the journey was fairly hellish!




The main event of the month though, was the wedding of my niece (I know, right?) in Nerja, Spain. It was a very fleeting visit, I was only there from Wednesday night to Sunday night, but I’m very glad to have gone! It’s a really pretty town, and the wedding itself took place in a beautiful old Catholic church. I got to spend lots of time with my sister and her family, and my dad, none of whom I see that often now I live so much further away. It was a lovely four days!

Unfortunately, the timing of the wedding meant that I had to miss three days of work in the lead up to our biggest event of the year. It was unavoidable, but it did mean a lot of work had to be caught up on in the short time I had at my desk between getting back and leaving for the show! But it was a great event, hugely successful, and a good time was had by all!


Post-show relaxation has only been interrupted by a couple of social events (this is most social I have been in the space of a month ever, I think!) – the wedding party at home to celebrate with people who couldn’t make it to Spain, and a birthday party for my best friends little ones, who turn one and three within a week of each other. For someone who likes being at home, this month has been a challenge, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve done a fair amount of stress-crying. But it was a very happy month, celebrating and having lots of fun! Roll on November! (When I’ll be hibernating for a large part of the month.)

Looking back ~ August 2016

Here we are, yet again, at the end of the month, with a look back at last month! (In my defence I started this post at least two weeks ago, and then didn’t complete it!) Ah well, I’m committed to the idea now that this is never going to be something the I post at the ‘right’ time, so you’re getting it now!

August had a big gaping hole in the middle of it where I didn’t get to go to Mark Kermode: Live in 3D, because there wasn’t one. I know that sounds melodramatic, and of course, it is, but it is something I look forward to, and so it feels like a long time since the last one! The next one is on Monday, so I’m very much looking forward to that.

In other news, you know all about my trip to Liverpool, as I blogged about it here. The five days that I took off was the longest I’ve had off work since Christmas, and will be the longest I have off until January, so it was a very welcome break, and I had a lovely time.

I also went to a hen afternoon at the beginning of the month; it was for my lovely university friend Montanna, who is getting married in October, and she had a whole weekend of fun planned, but I only joined in for the Afternoon Tea at the Royal Garden Hotel. It was very lovely, and it was great to catch up with some university friends that I haven’t seen in a while. I wore a dress that I bought specially from Lindy Bop, and I even tried some victory rolls in my hair. I’m not sure the hair really worked, but I loved the dress!


I also managed to take and pass my theory test. I started driving lessons a little while ago (something I need to blog about as it’s a 34 Before 34 item), but I have had to take a short break for now while I work out how to change driving instructors! But my theory test is done and dusted, which is nice.

August also saw a trip to Scunthorpe, which is where my friend and housemate Hannah is from, for her niece’s christening. This was a lovely weekend, for which I had to buy yet another new dress (I know, right?).


With that, I’m struggling somewhat to think of anything else that I did! Instagram is usually my friend for this monthly post, because I tend to upload photos of most major social events onto there. I guess I just wasn’t all that social in August.

Now, shall I promise that my September post will be a bit more timely? Probably best not to…