The Bloke’s cousin turned 21 this week and we were invited to her birthday party last weekend… in Blackpool.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve been to the Vegas of the North, but I’ve always had a soft spot for it. We visited many times during my childhood years – on a clear day it was possible to see the famous tower in the far distance from my home and we had a yearly outing to the Illuminations, where my sisters and I would be in competition to win the coveted 20p for being the first person to spot the tower on the way. Of course, my mum felt guilty about giving just one of us money and so we would inevitably each get the money, but it remains as one of my happiest memories.Continue reading →
Last night The Bloke and I were invited to go and see the The Rocky Horror Show at the Alexandra Theatre. It’s one of my favourite musicals (this being the third time that I have seen it), but my fifteen year old former self was particularly enthusiastic about the casting of Blue’s Duncan James in the roll of Frank’n’Furter and A1’s Ben Adams as Brad. Additionally, we were treated to pro dancer and performer (including as a pro dancer and winner on Strictly Come Dancing) Joanne Clifton, the ever fabulous Brummie Alison Hammond as the Narrator for the Birmingham shows only, and the incredible Kristian Lavercombe who was also reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1300 performances in The Rocky Horror Show around the world. Indeed, he played the role in the last Rocky Horror performance that I watched and did a brilliant job.The Rocky Horror Show first began life in 1973 before an audience of just 63 people in the Royal Court’s Theatre Upstairs, and tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky clean college kids who meet Dr Frank’n’Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his castle whilst on their way to visit their favourite college professor. The fact that it is outrageous and has a questionable plot doesn’t matter – the iconic songs and fishnets galore provide a brilliant theatre experience, and I couldn’t wait…Continue reading →
As my workload has increased over recent months I have found that my general feeling of anxiety and overwhelm has grown with it. I have recognised the fact that I easily slip into a familiar and comfortable rut when I feel like this, and so I have had to develop a consistent routine and adopt healthy habits to continue to be productive and motivated. Everything is instantly easier when done in moderation, and so I have taken the time to make sure that these daily habits are broken down into small chunks, becoming part of my routine instead of perceiving them as extra tasks to add to my permanently large lists. Here are some healthy habits that I have incorporated into my day.
Mindfully focus on the positive. I have a specific set of mantras and quotes that I remind myself of each morning.
Wake up earlier, even if it just by fifteen minutes. While the prospect of dragging yourself out of a warm comfy bed is the last thing that most of us want to do (particularly if you already have an early start), but those extra minutes will give your brain chance to wake up for the day. Use the time to stretch, do some deep breathing or meditation exercises. I also avoid using the snooze button.
Develop a routine, schedule your time and avoid sabotaging yourself. Procrastination is a huge time waster– block out what you need to achieve and give yourself a reasonable time frame to do it, focusing on just one thing.
Last night The Bloke and I were invited to watch a production of The House on Cold Hill at the Alexandra Theatre.
Adapted from the best-selling 2015 novel of multi-million selling author Peter James and based on his own experiences of a haunted house, the play is a ghostly thriller that tells the story of the Harcourt family – Ollie, Caro and daughter Jade – as they move from Brighton into their dream house in the country that has stood empty for the last forty years. As they begin to sense that they aren’t the only residents at Cold Hill, their new residence quickly turns into the stuff of nightmares… Continue reading →
Last night I was invited to see Hair at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. After winning the 2018 WhatsOnStage award and direct from a sell-out London run, the 50th Anniversary tour stars Dancing On Ice 2018 Winner Jake Quickenden as ‘Berger,’ Daisy Wood-Davis (Hollyoaks / Dreamboats and Petticoats) as ‘Shelia’ and Marcus Collins (X-Factor Finalist / Kinky Boots) as ‘Hud.’
Set in 1967, Hair tells the story of a group of politically active and sexually liberatedhippies – the ‘tribe’ – living a bohemian life in New York City. Claude, Berger, their roommate Sheila and their friends struggle to balance their lives against society and their conservative parents in ‘the Age of Aquarius,’ united in song as they rebel against the American flag and conscription of one of their own – Claude – into the Vietnam War. Continue reading →
I have been to the restaurant a number of times. This, however, was slightly different: Marco himself would be there, meeting guests and signing copies of his book. I was asked if I would like the opportunity not only to try new dishes from the menu, but to sit and talk with the great chef himself.
Along with Lauren Foster from What’s On Birmingham (check out the interview in their June edition) and a small media crew filming us, what was supposed to be a short interview became an informative and, quite frankly, rather hilarious chat that lasted well over half-an-hour. He’s an incredibly charismatic and charming character and while my nerves were obvious, it was easy to relax into conversation and enjoy his company. Continue reading →
I started a dark and moody Wednesday in the hair salon, and ended it in the woods in the glorious sunshine.
As you do.
I got my hair cut for the first time in several years. It’s something I had been meaning to do for quite some time, but the fact that 1. I’m incredibly lazy and 2. I dislike paying large amounts of money for something that inevitably spends most of the time being tied up in a ponytail, meant that it was long overdue. I loved having ridiculously long hair (it hung all the way down to my lower back) when I went out, but during the rest of the time it had become an annoyance.
There’s nothing more horrifying than the moment after you’ve had your hair washed and brushed back and you’re faced with yourself in the mirror while waiting for your stylist. If ever there’s a point where I can see the similarities between my round head and an ageing turtle, then this is it. And there’s nowhere else to go – spinning around and facing away from the mirror would only result in staring directly at somebody else who is experiencing the same thing, so the only option I’m left with is to try not to awkwardly stare at myself and find something interesting on the table in front… Continue reading →
The Bloke and I watched in horror last night as the news reports of the devastating fire at Notre Dame were broadcast.
We were lucky to visit the cathedral in 2011 – I surprised him with a five-day visit to Paris and Notre Dame was at the top of the list of things that we wanted to see. It was truly a magnificent experience – neither of us follow a faith but couldn’t help be more than a little overwhelmed at the beauty, architecture and history of such an incredible building. Continue reading →
As the weather has improved, The Bloke and I have been ‘out and about’ over the last week.
On Wednesday we went to see a performance of American Idiot at the Alexandra Theatre, a musical based around the songs of Green Day. I wasn’t sure what to expect – The Bloke is a huge fan of Green Day and our assumption was that it would be done in the same way that We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia are – incorporating the songs into the plot line. Marking the shows 10th anniversary, it was exactly that – set after 9/11 it follows the stories of three childhood friends and the individual journeys that they follow as they make their way in the world. Continue reading →
In 1996 I went to a Party in the Park festival with some of my friends. At the tender age of 15 I was generally a stadium rock and Brit Pop enthusiast and had started to go to concerts – my first being Bon Jovi, supported by Van Halen and Thunder at Cardiff Arms Park for the These Day’s tour in 1995, followed by Blur at the GMEX. Despite my general rock persuasions, I also had a perhaps stereotypical penchant for boy bands and teen-focused male singers. Take That tickets had always been impossible to get and they were on the verge of splitting up, so when I saw that Peter Andre would be performing I jumped at the chance to see him.
I remember it being a beautiful day, and I was looking forward to singing along to Mysterious Girl and screaming about how gorgeous he was. Unfortunately, when we arrived there was an announcement that he wouldn’t be attending that day as he was ill, along with a voice message from him apologising to fans. I was gutted.Continue reading →