Traditions

I love Friday night, particularly at this time of year. When we both worked in schools, The Bloke and I would desperately look forward to it – we would get in after struggling through an often crappy week, order a takeaway, get the blankets out, put the heating on and would spend of the evening snuggled up with the cats while watching a film, desperately happy that we wouldn’t have to get up and go to work the next day. Even though we’re now both in a different situation with regards to where and how we work, we’ve carried on with the weekly routine – we still curl up on the couch under a blanket and watch a film, although the cat now prefers to sleep on his own blanket on the armchair since his feline sister passed away last year.  Continue reading

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A Wicked Evening on the West End

The Bloke and I are in London to celebrate The Bloke’s 50th birthday. We’re staying in an awesome apartment and have had a whole bunch of things on the itinerary for the last few days. 

Last night we went to see Wicked for the first time. It has been something that we have both wanted to watch, and I have always been jealous of the fact that I never got to see the Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel partnership. Whenever we have come to London and wanted to see a show it has always seemed to either be sold out or too expensive and we have ended up going to watch something else instead. However, this time at least, as if the stars had aligned, we were able to get reasonably priced tickets in great seats, and I had been looking forward to it. Continue reading

All Change

I live in a row of terraced houses in a suburb of Birmingham with a set of neighbours on each side in the connecting properties. We’ve lived in this particular house for about 3 1/2 years, and while the residents have changed numerous times in the house to the left (which is a rental property like ours), the ones to the right have always been a nice couple that we’ve had a good relationship with.

The biggest problem with terraced housing is that the walls are often paper thin, meaning that even a basic conversation can be heard next door. A year ago I had a little rant about how noisy the new neighbours were – from the evening they moved in the music was cranked up and the parties started, but after having a conversation with one of the tenants he appeared with a bunch of flowers, an apology and his phone number with the instruction to text if they were being too loud. Continue reading

Reconnecting

2018 has been quite a mixed year for blogging, so I took a little break for a little while. However, I’ve started to develop my posting schedule, have suddenly found myself with a whole list of content ideas and was quickly reminded of the sheer joy it brings and just how much I missed it. I also miss the connections that I have with some of my online friends and their posts… 

During October a number of my writer friends start to plan for National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) with the goal being to write 50,000 words. To coincide with this, I’ve set myself the challenge of participating in my own little National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) but on my own terms and will be posting every single day for the entirety of November.  Continue reading

The Vows I SHOULD Have Said at my Wedding

A year ago today, I put on a big, poofy dress and walked down the aisle in front of our family and closest friends, given away by my mother to Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believing.’ Now, when I say ‘walk,’ imagine the kick-line of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders (if the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders had overdone it on the cheesecake and hadn’t properly exercised in years) – my dress was so massive and poofy that I was desperately trying not to fall on my face, so I chose kick the bottom of the dress out of the way instead.

What can I say – I like to keep it classy. 

The Bloke looked all dashing and handsome in his suit, we said our vows, the registrar made a joke about triplets (don’t ask), and then we took the photos, ate the food, cut the cake, danced a bit, talked a lot and generally had a rather knackering (but wonderful) day.  Continue reading

Giraffes, Lego and the Big Five-0 for The Bloke

The West Midland Safari Park Giraffe Experience

Last year The Bloke didn’t really have much of a birthday celebration – we were getting married a few days afterwards and still dealing with flowers and centrepieces and general wedding nonsense, so this year I made a promise to myself that I would make a huge effort. 

Today he turned 50. The big Five-0. He’s not a fan of birthdays and let’s just say that he is far from pleased about reaching this particular milestone, so I did what I usually do… I completely ignored his bah humbug birthday attitude and have spent several weeks planning an epic ‘The-Bloke-is-50-and-not-happy-about-it’ celebration with the help of my sister-in-law.  Continue reading

I’ve Been Shortlisted!

It’s the start of a new day, new week and new month and the weather is glorious. As always, I know it is going to be busy over the next few weeks, but there’s something about the beginning of a month that feels incredibly motivating, even if I’m still tired from the day before…

I had some amazing news on Friday. Last month I discovered that I had been nominated for Blogger of the Year at the Birmingham Awards, with the shortlist of finalists to be announced at the end of September. I honestly didn’t expect anything would come of it – those of you who follow the blog regularly will know that I love my adopted city (having lived here for 17 years now) and write about what I experience in and around Birmingham within many of my posts, but as I don’t have a specific niche dedicated to it like many of those who have been shortlisted in previous years I didn’t think I would make it past the first round. I nervously kept checking the website on the announcement day, my heart beating out of my chest when I saw the link appear… Continue reading

Lunch at the Rose Villa Tavern

The Rose Villa Tavern, takes from their Instagram page

I received a text on Sunday morning:

Fancy going to the Rose Villa Tavern for lunch today?

I love waking up to texts like that.

Located on Warstone Lane in the Jewellery Quarter, the pub is part of the popular Bitters and Twisted venues and is a refurbished Grade II listed building with ornate stained glass windows, an old fashioned casual vibe, function room and a beer garden. In contrast, it serves a contemporary American style menu, a wide selection of beers and ales and fabulous cocktails. I’ve been to the Rose Villa Tavern on several occasions in the late afternoon and evening when it was quite busy, so I was interested to see whether it was any different during a weekend lunchtime. Continue reading

A Week in New York

Note: all of the images featured in this post are my own and are set as galleries – click on the images to see the full size.

The Bloke and I have just been to NYC for a week. We have visited once before on our honeymoon in November last year, but as we were there for just over four days we wanted to go back and attempt to see as much as possible that we had missed last time. We chose to go at the beginning of September – arriving on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend – with the hope that the city would be slightly quieter and the following week was back to school. 

We wanted to experience both the tourist and non-tourist places, so I spent several weeks before reading blogs and watching vlogs about everything to see and do, mapping out our activities according to each day. This wasn’t set in stone and would allow us to change each daily plan around according to the weather.  Continue reading

Start Spreading the News…

New York montage

It has been a little while since I last posted, predominantly because I’ve been on holiday in New York. The Bloke and I visited just under a year ago on our honeymoon, but as we were there for just over four days we decided to go back for an extended period of time and try and see some of the things that we missed.

It. Was. Epic.

We travelled by subway, water taxi and cable car. We saw a ridiculous amount of movie locations and sweltered in the intense heat. I ate a Cronut, gay ice-cream, pancakes, slurped on the most amazing pink lemonade and developed a rather worrying Snapple addiction. We missed an appearance by Hugh Jackman and Neil Patrick-Harris at different points, laughed (and almost cried) at Kinky Boots on Broadway and got a crick in our necks from looking skywards for so long.  Continue reading