I wake up each morning full of enthusiasm and intentions and tell myself that I’m going to write a blog post today. I get up, turn on my laptop… and then it’s 6.30pm and I find myself finishing work for the day and feeling mentally spent. It isn’t that I don’t want to blog – even after eight years I still get an enormous buzz from pressing the ‘publish’ button, but it has become less of a priority as other things have taken over. I’d like to change that, especially after receiving so many nice messages from bloggy friends who were wondering where I’ve been.
As I haven’t posted for several months, there’s a lot to talk about.
Today I should have been travelling up north to spend some time with family members (some of whom I haven’t seen in two years) and so I have spent the last week working extra hours every day in preparation to allow for the time off. Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out how I had planned, although admittedly it wasn’t completely unexpected (feel free to Google the analogy of playing chess with a pigeon for further clarification). While I’m disappointed, I’ve found myself with an almost free day to myself for the first time in a while, which is a positive turn of events. I’m going to watch my favourite films, eat brunch at my favourite place, take my friend’s completely adorable dog for a walk and get reacquainted with the blog and some of my favourite members of the community.
For the most part, life is pretty good. Business is great – I’ve worked incredibly hard, built up an ever-growing group of fantastic clients and I’m so lucky that in such uncertain times things are continually on the up. The circumstances of the last eighteen months have played a huge part in this – the restrictions of staying inside with nowhere to go removed the usual distractions of life and created more time than I would normally have had, so I took advantage of it while it was there.
I have, however, started to venture out more as things have re-opened. Not long ago I saw my mum for the first time since March 2020 and decided to make a mini holiday out of it. Rather than staying at my house for a few days I figured that it would be much more fun to book a hotel room as we were both vaccinated (my mum actually had Covid last November), quarantined and had done lateral flow tests. We visited all my favourite places – we ate tapas at Bar Estilo, drank cocktails and champagne and watched the sunset from the terrace of Marco Pierre White at The Cube, saw the Van Gogh exhibition at The Hippodrome (I saw it last year and it was so good I had to go again), ate brunch at The Medicine Bakery in The Mailbox and my mum was let loose in the shops. Despite the fact that we are incredibly similar in many ways, we have a very different approach to shopping. If shopping was a sport my mum would be an Olympic champion many times over, whereas I know what I want, go in and buy it, say thanks and leave. Suffice to say, I was shattered, but it was so much fun.
The Bloke and I have also taken a few little trips when he has been on annual leave. We visited Cotswolds Lavender Farm which was beautiful (although the sat nav decided to make the day slightly more interesting by sending us 20 miles in the wrong direction, especially when we found ourselves at the end of a dirt road in the middle of nowhere), and a few weeks ago we went to Formby beach. I worked out that it had been 20 years since my last visit and it was totally worth it – for the most part it was relatively quiet and the weather was lovely, so it gave The Bloke the opportunity to try out some photography stuff by the sea while I sat on a blanket and put my feet in the sand.
One of the most exciting things recently has been that the theatres have started to open up again, and The Bloke and I were invited to the launch night with a performance of the 2021 Tour of Anton Du beke and Giovanni Pernice, the professional dancers from Strictly Come Dancing. It felt almost surreal at first – we were present on the night that Everybody’s Talking About Jamie was cancelled following the government announcements in March 2020 and we left expecting it to be just a few weeks, but almost 500 days later both The Bloke and I found ourselves asking “did that actually really happen?” It was so nice to catch up with people who we haven’t seen since then too!
The show was fabulous. Anton (who really needs to be given his own comedy show) and Giovanni were accompanied by incredibly talented dancers and singers, and I found that by the end my face hurt from all the smiling and laughing I had done over the previous few hours. It felt good to sit back, enjoy and feel almost normal again!
It was also a massive privilege to see one of my oldest friends get married in June after the wedding had been postponed last year. The bride looked stunning (I had been wedding dress shopping with her in Feb 2020 so already knew that she was going to look completely epic), the groom looked very handsome in his kilt and it couldn’t have been more perfect despite the fact that there were still heavy restrictions in place with regards to the ceremony and reception.
I’ve also got lots of exciting stuff to look forward to over the next few months. I turn 40 later this year and have made plans to go to London for an extended weekend, complete with a whole bunch of places that have been on my bucket list for quite a while.
Onwards and upwards!
What about you guys? What have you been up to?