Looking back ~ March 2016

It’s probably time to stop apologising for how late these posts are coming in the month. I just have to accept that I am not organised enough to get them done in a timely fashion, though I promise that I will try!

So March was a very busy month, not least because I moved house! From where Hannah and I were renting previously, we moved about ten minutes down the road, still in Essex (though getting closer to Suffolk), and into a little house with a lovely view of the river that runs by the house.

New Home

It really is a beautiful place to live, and although we are still not properly sorted (still have no furniture in the living room, and I have a few more bits to get for my bedroom), I do love it here.

Work has been very busy, because all of March was spent building up to an event in Glasgow at the very beginning of April (the main reason why this post is so delayed!). Things have only calmed down temporarily, because we are now going to spend the next month building up to an event in Manchester in May!

There was, of course, some fun to be had in amongst the moving and the working. I went for afternoon tea with my sisters and my niece, which I will blog about separately, because it ticks off a 34 Before 34 item. I went, once again, to the BFI Southbank to see Mark Kermode: Live in 3D – I’m hoping to go every month this year so you should expect to see me mention this again and again! I was lucky enough on this occasion to hear Mark chat with Ben Wheatley, who was busy that week promoting High Rise, as he took to the stage to defend Zardoz. I was also thrilled to meet up with three lovely ladies that I have got to know on Twitter through our mutual love of Wittertainment! I am already friends with Chloe, having been with her to a few different Kermode/Mayo/Wittertainment events, but I was also able to meet up with Liz and Goldy, and we have plans for more Girl Gang-related shenanigans in the future!

Ben Wheatley BFI

I did some laughter yoga at work, which was an experience, and I had a lovely Good Friday with my friends in the park. Hannah also celebrated her birthday in March, so we spent a day in London seeing a film at the BFI and then had dinner at Zizzi’s, so Hannah could try the new vegan cheese pizza (verdict – tasty!).

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I’ve also been wearing my dungarees, a lot! They are my new favourite outfit, paired with almost anything (though not a checked shirt, for fear of veering into lumberjack territory), and I have to resist the urge to wear them every other day!

Clark's Shoes

And I bought some new shoes, which are also my new favourite thing, and I can obviously get away with wearing these every day if I want to! I had wanted them for a while, and then I managed to get them from the Clarks concession in Sainsbury’s when they had a 25% clothing promotion. We’re very happy together.

So that was my March, and now we’re already a third of the way through April!

Looking back ~ February 2016

My blog has become a place where I do a monthly round up of some sort and then go quiet for three weeks! I wish that I could dig myself out of this rut that I find myself in, but I’m struggling. Hopefully my forthcoming move (more on that shortly) will provide the fresh start I need.

How was your February? Mine was fine, if largely uneventful. I went to see Singalonga Grease, my first time seeing that particular film in that particular format, but by no means my first time at a Singalonga (nor my first time watching Grease, of course). I went back to the BFI to see Mark Kermode: Live in 3D, which was the second date of that monthly event. I am already booked up for March’s date, and I’m hoping to make it to all 12.

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I’ve been knitting feverishly, trying to get a blanket finished in time for a non-baby shower next weekend. I have had to restart it over and over again, because I’m a bit rubbish, but it’s finally taking shape and I’m hoping it will be done in time. I will share it here once it’s all ready and with the mum-to-be.

As I mentioned, I’m moving house! We were asked to move out with a fairly flexible deadline of the end of February, and though I wondered how it was going to happen, it almost has! We found a little cottage/flat/bungalow type abode very near to work, and everything has worked out pretty perfectly, and we move next week. Packing is obviously the most hideous thing that has ever been invented, but needs must. If I’m a proper blogger at any point in the future, I may share photos of the new place, particularly if we can get it looking nice!

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In other happenings, I got a second tattoo (to be blogged about); I got a dot-to-dot book; I went back to Jump Street and regretted it, as my back still hurts three weeks later. Plenty of reading, and books, as ever, as well as watching The Detectorists in its entirety – having watched the second series on iPlayer, I had to go and buy the DVD to watch the first series. I can’t recommend it enough, frankly, so if you haven’t seen it, give it a go. It’s Toby Jones at his absolute best. I’ve also started on The X-Files; I watched the odd episode as a teenager, but I’ve gone back to the start and immersed myself in it. Mulder 4 Scully 4evs.

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Oh and Dennis came into work and was adorable. As ever.

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Looking Back–January 2016

In an attempt to make my blog a little more like a place where I actually write things, I thought I’d start looking back on each month as we get to the end of it. This may work a little better if and when I actually start blogging during the month, but mostly I just want it to be a way to appreciate all the fun things I do!

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January has been a good month, all told. Most excitingly, I left the country for the first time in over six years! I am yet to blog about my trip to Iceland, but I am planning to, so for now I’ll just say that it’s an amazing place, and I had a brilliant time. Two days was not nearly long enough to spend there, so I hope to go back one day.

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I also went to see The Corrs at the O2 last weekend, with my besties. Not the best photo of the lot of us (front-facing camera, be damned), but I didn’t really take any of the gig, because I’m long since past the point where I want to sit with my phone out recording/photographing the whole thing. The Corrs were as amazing as they ever were; we were all fans of them when we were at school (with the exception of Hannah, who didn’t go to school with us), so we were thrilled to learn that they were going on tour again, and snapped up tickets. I really like some of stuff on their new album, but there’s nothing like the old classics. We had a great time!

I also went to see Mark Kermode, in the first of his Mark Kermode: Live in 3D events at the BFI (something I actually posted about), and I’m already eagerly anticipating the February date, and I’m ready to book tickets for March. I know, I know… I’ve also just become a member of the BFI; for £40 a year it’s a bit of a steal, particularly as I’m planning on seeing a lot more things there over the course of the year.

Elsewhere, I’ve picked up my knitting once more; spurred into action by a kit my sister bought me for Christmas (of which I’ve knitted just one glove!), I decided to make a start on a baby blanket for a forthcoming new arrival in the family. My renewed love has inspired two of my lovely work colleagues to learn, and I’ve done my best to teach them the basics. My blanket is coming on a treat, and I’m only lamenting that I don’t have more time to devote to it (all afternoon ideally, after spending my lunch break knitting).

I went out for a friend’s birthday on Friday night, to a place called Jump Street in Colchester. It’s basically just a massive warehouse full of trampolines, and it was such good fun! We had an hour, and we spent almost the entire time bouncing and throwing ourselves around, though I have to say that I tried over and over again to do a somersault into a big inflatable pit, only to fail at the last each and every time. I half-joked that it was a metaphor for my life; trying and failing to do something brave and exciting but wimping out at the last minute, but Hannah told me she was proud of me for trying over and over again, which is something, I suppose! I ached like nothing else afterwards – late on Friday night it was actually hard to breathe because of my aching back/neck/stomach/legs/chest/every single part of my body. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

January is, of course, always a bit of a funny month, coming on the heels of December and all its festivities. It usually feels a bit grey; whilst I don’t want to trivialise actual depression by referring to the January Blues, I think we all feel a little deflated after Christmas and everything that comes with it. But I’ve had a good month. Work feels manageable for the first time in a while, and I’ve done some lovely things with lovely people.

Each month will bring with it this update, as well as a films and books recap, and at least two other month-end posts. Possibly too many, but it’s probably the best way for me to start posting regularly again, so I’m going to go with it until it doesn’t feel right!

How was your start to 2016?

Photo an Hour #25 ~ August 2015

As ever, I’m slightly behind with recapping the latest Photo an Hour day. It took place the weekend before last, on the bank holiday weekend. When I set the date, I didn’t have anything special planned, but then as time went on, I arranged to see my sister, and then got roped in to help my friend Lucy with a show she was putting on.

9am ~ I didn’t wake up very early, but when I did, I realised that I hadn’t listened to the previous day’s Wittertainment podcast. It makes a good accompaniment to laying in bed and checking social media.

10am ~ My room needed a tidy, mainly due to the fact that the flat had a viewing, but also because my sister was coming to see me and it was a bit of a mess!

 

11am ~ My sister and brother-in-law arrived (after getting slightly lost on the way), and after a quick nose around the flat, we headed out. The Colchester Free Festival takes place on the Bank Holiday weekend every year, so we went into town to take a look at what it had to offer.

12pm ~ One of the things the festival had to offer was some ‘delisious’ burritos. I didn’t eat one, though my brother-in-law did have some doughnuts that Sarah and I helped him with.

 

1pm ~ The festival hadn’t really got going while we were there, and it wasn’t doing much for us, so we headed back into town for a wander.

2pm ~ And then we headed to the Harvester for some lunch. I love spending time with my sister and brother-in-law, and I have gone from living down the road to them to living 30 miles away, so I don’t get to see them (or any members of my family) as often as I would like.

 

3pm ~ Anyone who has ever taken part in a Photo an Hour knows that sometimes you have to take a photo of your feet, if for no other reason than you simply don’t have anything else to photograph.

4pm ~ By four o’clock I was back in Colchester, at the theatre where my friend Lucy was putting on a show. She had roped Hannah and me in to help with lighting and sound, and I got saddled with the lighting. I’ve never done anything like this before, and I was really nervous, but I ended up really enjoying it!

 

5pm ~ I was in this box for about five hours, so the photos got a bit samey! This one is of the group of performers rehearsing. It was a singing show, something Lucy and her friends put on to raise some money for charity, and it was great.

6pm ~ The set list. As you can see, I had to do quite a bit of scribbling to reassure myself that I wasn’t going to plunge the singers into darkness at inappropriate moments!

 

7pm ~ Still in the box! It did become increasingly hard to find things to photograph, as you can see. They were still rehearsing at this point.

8pm ~ Show time!

 

9pm ~ Hannah is so often around on Photo an Hour days, and I often have to take a photo of her to mix things up! She was on sound, and knew what she was doing from the off – I took a bit more practice!

10pm ~ Out of the box! This was the staircase in the car park.

That was my day! I think given that I was sat in one place for so long, I didn’t do bad at some variety!

My ever-wonderful partner in crime, Louisa from Duck in a Dress has already rounded up the day, and linked to everyone who joined in. There’s quite a few of us these days, and I just love watching our little gang grow! I have plans for a website before too long; nothing fancy, just somewhere to collate things and keep people up to date. In the meantime, I’ve started an email list, so if you want a reminder a couple of days before the next Photo an Hour day, sign up here, and I’ll send one. The next one is taking place on 26th September, who’s in?

A Very Disney Halloween

Sometimes an email pops into my inbox, and I think “I love being a blogger!” This happened a few weeks ago when I had a lovely email from someone on behalf of Florida4less, offering to send me a box of Halloween goodies for a party!

Now I already had plans for Halloween, even though I hardly ever ‘celebrate’ it as such. I went to a lovely cafe and watched an Alfred Hitchcock double bill of Psycho and The Birds with my friends, and it was great fun. But then we went back to my friend Jen’s house and cracked open some of the goodies that I was sent!

We didn’t end up putting either of the films on, because I haven’t seen either of them, and I wanted to watch them properly. We never watch films properly when we are together, because we chat too much! We did enjoy the sweeties though, and I was pleased to distribute the Scream Eggs that I received, because I don’t like them! The spider rings were fun, particularly when, the next morning, Jen picked up a cup and jumped a foot in the air because one of the rings was hiding inside and she mistook it for a real spider!