Gratitude in Challenging Times


Three weeks ago I went to Manchester. I took my mum out for an early Mother’s Day lunch, booked a hotel room to myself, shopped, walked around in the glorious sunshine, admired the local street-art and caught up with some of my oldest girlie friends, where I got so squiffy that my hangover took several days to subside.

And then, the apocalypse seemingly happened.

It is always easy to sympathise, but equally as easy to be nonchalant when awful things are happening in a different part of the world. Despite the rapidly growing numbers of people affected and the increasing panic as Coronavirus cases arrived in the UK, it didn’t really hit home until the last ten days when the process of shutting everything down in Birmingham began. Continue reading

Review: What’s In a Name? at the Alexandra Theatre

“Look what happens when the trendy lefties move in!”

Adapted and translated by Jeremy Sams from Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de La Patellière’s hugely successful ‘Le Prénom,’ ‘What’s In a Name?’ made its UK debut in Birmingham in 2017 and has now embarked on a UK tour. Continue reading

Review: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at the Alexandra Theatre

Miguel Angel, AJ Jenks, Sasha Latoya, Cartier Fraser in Buddy

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to the Press Night of Buddy at the Alexandra Theatre.

Telling the story of the Texas-born rock and roll legend Buddy Holly from his meteoric rise to fame before his tragic death at the age of 22, Buddy has become known as ‘The World’s Most Successful Rock & Roll Musical,’ celebrating it’s 30th anniversary year with a 2019 – 2020 tour. Seen by over 22 million music fans since it opened in London’s West End in 1989, the show has has enjoyed extraordinary success, having played a record- breaking 4450 performances over 556 weeks on tour in the UK and Ireland, as well as 5822 performances over 728 weeks in London’s West End, winning numerous awards along the way. Continue reading

Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

This is not a pantomine…

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to watch the hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Alexandra Theatre.

Co-written by the wonderfully funny Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is described as ‘a highly physical comedy packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick, delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring.’ It has definitely been on my ‘to watch’ list. Continue reading

Review: Band of Gold at the Alexandra Theatre

Last night the Bloke and I were invited to the press night of Band of Gold at the Alexandra Theatre.

Written by the award-winning Kay Mellor, the nail-biting thriller was inspired by 10 months of research in Bradford and Leeds into the world of sex workers. Set in 90’s Yorkshire, Band of Gold tells the story of a group of womenCarol, Rose, Anita and Gina – as they battle to survive whilst working in a notorious red-light district. When one of their colleagues is murdered, they need to find the killer before they strike again. Continue reading

Review: The Bodyguard at The Alexandra Theatre

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to see the Press Night performance of The Bodyguard, The Musical at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.

Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar nominated Warner Bros. movie starring Whitney Houstonand Kevin Costner, The Bodyguard tells the story of the complicated relationship between former Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer and superstar Rachel Marron, when Farmer is hired to protect her from an unknown stalker. Each expects to be in charge; what they don’t expect is to fall in love. Continue reading

Review: Ghost Stories at The Alexandra Theatre

Shhhhhhhh…

Last night The Bloke and I were invited to see Ghost Stories at The Alexandra Theatre.

Created by Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson, Ghost Stories has arrived at The Alexandra Theatre for its first ever UK Tour following a sell-out West End and international stage performances and a smash hit film starring Martin Freeman.

Described as the ultimate twisted love-letter to horror, a supernatural edge-of-your-seat theatrical experience like no other, the show comes with an age restriction of 15, a warning that Ghost Stories contains moments of extreme shock and tension and advises that those of a nervous disposition should think very seriously before attending. In my naivety I took this with a pinch of salt. Surely it wouldn’t be that frightening?

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2019: A Year in Review

As I was creating my Bullet Journal spreads at the beginning of the year I decided to incorporate a Memories and Highlights page, not only to keep track of all the positive things that I experienced, but also to serve as a gratitude list. I have diligently filled it in all year.

It turned out to be invaluable. I haven’t particularly felt like I have enjoyed this year very much and my mental health has been low at times, but being able to look at an entire page of experiences, events and things that have brought joy to my daily life has successfully served as a reminder of how much fun I’ve had and how lucky I am. Granted, there have been a few things personally and professionally that haven’t been pleasant, but these have been far outweighed by the positive.

Here are just some of the fantastic things that have happened in 2019… Continue reading

Review: The King and I at The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham

The King and I at The Alexandra TheatreLast night The Bloke and I were invited to see The King and I at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.

Starring West End actress Annalene Beechey in the role of Anna and Broadway actor Jose Llana as The King, the critically acclaimed Lincoln Center Theatre production of the Rogers and Hammerstein musical arrives direct from a record-breaking season at The London Palladium as part of its major UK tour. Directed by Bartlett Sher and featuring an instantly recognisable score with songs including Getting to Know You, Shall We Dance and Whistle a Happy Tune, the production features a company of over 50 performers and a full-scale orchestra.

Set in 1860’s Bangkok, The King and I tells the story of the rather unconventional and tempestuous relationship between King Mongkut of Siam (now known as Thailand) and Anna, a strong-willed British widowed schoolteacher who is employed by the King to tutor his many children, highlighting the battle between male and female, Western ideals and Eastern traditions. Continue reading

Banksy in Birmingham

A new Banksy artwork has appeared in Birmingham, highlighting the plight of rough sleepers in the city in a video that was posted on his Instagram page this afternoon with the message:

God bless Birmingham.

In the 20 minutes we filmed Ryan on this bench passers-by gave him a hot drink, two chocolate bars and a lighter – without him asking for anything.

Being an enormous Banksy (and street art) fan, I immediately jumped in a taxi (after spending twenty minutes trying to figure out the location) and we headed off to the Jewellery Quarter. We were lucky – some news crews had just started to appear but as it was before the point where the school and working day had finished we were able to see it without any issues. The driver got out and came with me to take some photos too!

Banksy in Birmingham

Banksy in Birmingham

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