Looking back ~ July 2016

One day before the end of August, and here I am recapping July. I was tempted to miss it out, but I actually had a lot of fun in July, and I didn’t want for it not to be documented!

I began the month by taking a holiday to Camber Sands with my best friends. As I so often say on here, we are so rarely all together, but there are a couple of times a year when we try really hard to be all in the same place. One is a Christmas date, and the other is a weekend in East Sussex, where my friend’s mum has a caravan. Freebie holiday with my favourite people – there’s nothing not to love!


We got fake tattoos, we played Pass the Pigs, we went to the beach, we played Cards Against Humanity, and we generally had a lovely weekend.

My dad turned 70 and had a party, so I got to see all my family. And if it’s difficult to get my four friends and me in the same room more than twice a year, it’s actually impossible to get my entire family – all 25 of us – in the same room more than once every couple of years. So that was nice.


This is just my siblings and my dad – the photo of all of us contains too many children for me to comfortably upload it onto my blog. But this is one of my favourite photos of the year!

I went to Bedford for the Bedford River Festival in July – my brother and sister-in-law live there, so Hannah and I drove up to see them and take part in the festivities. It was a very busy and hot day; I had fun, but I was glad to get home!

Bedford River FestivalI also headed along to the BFI Southbank for yet another Mark Kermode Live in 3D. It feels like such a long time ago, because there was no August date, so I feel like I’ve been waiting forever! This time we were treated to Hadley Freeman and David Arnold as guests, as well as a special video message from Jordan Vogt-Roberts, especially for us!

Mark Kermode BFI

And last, but by no means least, I went to YALC, which is the Young Adult Literary Convention. I had planned a full post on this, and I still hope to do it, but in the meantime here’s what went down: I met up with my friend Chloe, and we saw two panels, one with Simon Mayo as a panellist, talking about revolution in YA fiction, and one with him as the moderator, with panellists talking about music in YA literature. Then afterwards, I met him, he signed my book, and was as charming as ever. Yay for YALC!

YALC Simon MayoSo, that, in a nutshell, was July. See what I mean about not wanting to miss this one out? Usually I have to scour my Instagram looking for fun things I did, but this month was all about the fun!

I’ll be back soon (probably in a couple of weeks, knowing my track record), to round up August!


Derren Brown ~ Infamous

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go and see Derren Brown’s show, Infamous, at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend. I’m fairly new to the whole Derren Brown thing, having only really cottoned on to how totally fabulous he is at some point last year, when I binge watched Trick or Treat with Anna, and then went through all of his live shows on DVD. When Anna found out that he was going on tour and that tour was coming to Southend, where she lives, we decided we had to go, so she booked seven tickets and then we waited. And waited, and waited. Seriously, it took so long for the day to come around, but it finally did at the end of May!

Writing about the details of the show is strictly forbidden. Or, at least, Derren Brown asks specifically that you do not reveal anything about the show, because it spoils it for anyone that is yet to see it. I know that I would have been devastated if someone had told me anything about it before I went, so I wouldn’t dream of doing that to anyone. All I will say is that if you are lucky enough to have tickets for the remainder of the tour, you’re sure to have a really, really good time, and if you’re a fan of Derren Brown, you won’t be disappointed. I found myself sat watching the show with my mouth agape on more than one occasion, and I gasped and whooped and cheered and applauded all the way through. It’s a fantastic show!


Before we went in, we tried a selfie. Seven people in a selfie is not easy, but we just about managed it. Of course, we had to be a bit silly too. These are amongst my favourite people in all the world, and I loved spending the weekend with them. Derren Brown was obviously a huge amount of fun, and then we got home and stayed up half the night talking about it (and everything else under the sun). Then we went for breakfast, and then to see X-Men: Days of Future Past the next day. Pretty perfect couple of days, all told.

As Infamous took place in a theatre, I’m totally claiming it as a win for one of my 2014 goals – go to the theatre!