A few years ago The Bloke and I were spending our first Christmas together at home as a married couple. I was beyond excited – normally we celebrated our own Christmas together a few days early, then would travel up north to be with our individual families (mine live in Bolton and his are in Sheffield) and on Boxing Day he would drive across the Pennines and meet me, where we would then drive back down to Birmingham. I spent weeks planning and organising everything – putting up the tree, writing and sending cards and presents, sorting out the food and TV schedule – and by the middle of December everything was pretty much finished, aside from the fresh produce I needed for Christmas dinner. Continue reading
Of all of the jobs I’ve held over the years, one of my favourites was working behind the bar in different pubs and nightclubs. Of course, any job that involves dealing with the British public (particularly when alcohol is involved) is always challenging, but despite it being a physically and mentally exhausting, I absolutely loved it. I loved the staff, the interaction with the customers, the music, the atmosphere, the DJ’s – on a good night it was almost like being paid for a night out with my favourite people.
After a few years I found that the same characters appeared in every establishment: 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
After becoming self-employed in 2015, I have got myself into a (albeit happy) little rut and daily routine in which I run my business. It’s a nice way to work, but over the last few months I’ve been feeling the need for a new challenge. As if the universe was trying to tell me something a friend tagged me in an advert on Facebook the other week for a major Birmingham website that was looking for Freelance Content Creators for their lifestyle section of the website. It was the perfect opportunity that I had been looking for – I’ve been a lifestyle blogger for six years, it would potentially be a chance to meet a whole bunch of new people within my field, I’d be able to write whatever I wanted about the city I have lived in and loved for most of my adult life and it wouldn’t impact on my social media business and freelance writing work that I already do. Continue reading
I had planned to take the day off on Saturday and have a bit of self-indulgent me time while The Bloke was off on a photography thing. I had worked every day that week and was looking forward to having the house to myself, putting all the technology away, snuggling up under a blanket and watching a cheesy film and an unhealthy breakfast.
The cat, however, had other ideas.
We awoke on Saturday morning to see that Mr Jerk had developed a swollen eyelid and was busy shaking his head and attacking his little face. So, after the usual ‘there’s-no-way-you’re-putting-me-in-that-cat-carrier’ power struggle, off we went to the vets. Continue reading
After teaching for nearly ten years and working with thousands of students it is inevitable that I run into them from time to time as I am going about my daily business. Generally, it’s a relatively painless experience- they either say hello and stop for a chat, look past me as if I’m not there and carry on walking, and the odd few will ignore me yet feel the need to shout my name out at me from a distance. The name-shouting is something that has always baffled me – I must give the impression that I regularly need reminding of what my name is – but I generally ignore it until I’m ready to leave, shoot them my nastiest teacher expression and walk away. I don’t teach anymore, therefore I don’t need to pretend to like any of the little cherubs who wish to cause trouble when they see me like I had to before. Continue reading
I’m serving some ‘food barrel realness’ after consuming more than my entire bodyweight in Toblerone, cheese, crisps, dip, honey roasted peanuts and potatoes over the last few days. I always find it incredulous how quickly the Christmas Eve / Christmas Day period actually goes, especially with the hype and the level of preparation that goes into the weeks (and sometimes, months) leading up to it, and yet it is already over for another year, seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Our Christmas was spent at home with the cat. I had planned our eating and viewing schedule and got most of the food ready in advance, and for the most part, it all went very well. Continue reading
The Christmas Market has returned to Birmingham and The Bloke and I visited some of it when we were shopping for my outfit for the Birmingham Awards event this Saturday. It’s still too early for Christmas in my opinion, but I must admit that I particularly liked this Santa, looking like he had already been on the mulled wine already and was currently enjoying a little buzz from the booze! He’ll be a mess by the time the big day actually arrives…
There’s a scene in one of my favourite films – 500 Days of Summer – in which the two main characters lovingly pretend at playing house in an IKEA as they enjoy the honeymoon phase of their new relationship. It’s a beautiful sequence, accompanied by cutesy dialogue, and even though I’ve watched it a bajillion times it never fails to make me smile.
So, it was inevitable that this would be the first thing that would pop into my head when The Bloke suggested an impromptu visit yesterday morning. Despite the fact that we have lived together for years, and have been to IKEA on numerous occasions, I somehow imagined a scenario in which we would flirt our way around, being cute in various home set ups and having a lovely time.
Not quite, predominantly because I forgot how much I LOVE going to IKEA. Continue reading
Last week was wonderful.
The Bloke and I watched Matilda on Monday night at the Birmingham Hippodrome. I’d heard endless good things and was intrigued to see how it transferred to the stage, and in many ways it didn’t disappoint. The set was incredible, the songs and choreography were great and some of the actors in particular (Bruce Bogtrotter, Miss Trunchbull and Miss Honey) were fabulous. However, it wasn’t completely my thing – I’m an enormous RENT freak and the shows that I have enjoyed the most have much more of a rock inspired content (Rock of Ages being one of my favourites) and while the child actors were certainly talented, I found it difficult to totally understand their dialogue at times. There was also a technical hitch in the second half which caused the show to be suspended for a little while, so by the time it finished it felt excessively long. It’s certainly something that I’m glad we had the opportunity to watch, but probably not something that I would rush to see again.