October 2019 Things

And just like that, the new academic year kicks off and everything starts to settle down. October is still a little chaotic at the start, but we’re almost back to ‘normal’ by the end of the month, which gives me more time for myself.

John Robins – Hot Shame
I adore the comedian John Robins and I was so excited to see his Hot Shame tour at the Hammersmith Apollo with my BFF (and fellow PCD) Tim. John told a masterful tale which had me laughing and squirming in equal measures, and as Tim noted, it was painfully relatable. I don’t know anyone else who can do a 20 minute section on dehumidifiers and still make me laugh so much.

Watch Number 18
I can’t go a couple of months without a new watch.

Living With Yourself
We watched the whole of the Paul Rudd and Aisling Bea Netflix show, Living with Yourself in one sitting. It was like an entire series based on the Buffy episode, The Replacement where Xander was split into two – one with good hair and styling, and one without. And I loved it, and couldn’t guess how it would end.

Vaporetto Pizza
I love food trucks, but living in The Country in the UK, they are few and far between. It was inevitable that I would get giddily excited when realising that a Vaporetto pizza truck had set up on my drive home from work. It’s just a little too far away for me to get them home warm so a little bit of re-heating is required, but they make beautiful pizzas. It’s almost like I’m back in Texas

Brexit
Still European. Thank goodness.

September 2019 Things

September always seems to come and go in the blink of an eye – we spend the whole month panicking about the students coming back, and all of a sudden, campus is filled with them.  This September was exceptionally tough and ended with me doing a 70 hour week.  Oof.  I need the whole of October to recover.

Richard Ayoade interviewed by Adam Buxton
A couple of years ago, we saw Adam interview Richard at the Emmanuel Centre in London.  This year, they were both at the Royal Festival Hall talking about Richard’s new book and his career.  Richard was definitely more relaxed this time around, but again the audience Q&A was oddly negative.  I don’t get why people try to be funny by being cruel?  Still, Richard handled the stupid questions well and they both made me laugh.

Louis Theroux interviewed by… Adam Buxton!
Continuing the theme of Dr Buckles interviewing my favourite men, we were back at the Royal Festival Hall to see Adam and Louis.  He was also discussing his new book, a memoir in which Adam was mentioned 7 times (he counted).  It’s always a joy to listen to the two of them chat, and the Southbank Centre has put it out as a podcast for everyone to enjoy.

Work
Normally, I pick 5 things each month for my favourite things, but I outside of the two Southbank Centre events, I have done nothing else of note other than work – no books, no TV shows, no new music.  I’m quite tired now.

August 2019 Things

I’ve seem to have had a summer break from blogging – completely unintentionally, but the month somehow got away from me. And now we’re in September, which is already shaping up to be incredibly manic (certainly from a work perspective).

Misshapes: The Making of Tatty Devine
At the beginning of the month (which feels like a lifetime ago), I dragged Tim to the Tatty Devine exhibition in the Lethaby Gallery, Kings Cross. It celebrates 20 years of the jewellery brand with exhibits showing off all of the beautiful things they’ve made over the years. It’s just started touring the UK and is well worth a visit for a Tatty fan.

Away Suitcase
I’m such a cliche. I became a little obsessed with Away suitcases after seeing them appear in various vlogs like Kara and Nate and when reading the rave reviews they received from other travel bloggers. So when I needed a new suitcase for a weekend away in Copenhagen, I decided to bite the bullet and buy one of their small carry-on bags in Coast. It was such a great decision – we managed to fit so much into it and it was so easy to manoeuvre around the cobbles in Copenhagen. Plus, the ejectable battery was a lifesaver when I realised I’d forgotten my plug adapter. Husband keeps mocking me for being so easily influenced, but I don’t care – I love it so much.

Copenhagen
Speaking of Copenhagen, we spent the last weekend of the month in my favourite place on earth. More on this later.

Neom facial
I noticed a couple of weeks ago that the new Neom store in Guildford offered spa services, so when I had a couple of hours of TOIL to take, I popped into town on the way home from work to experience one of their facials. It was heavenly, and entirely silent for a town centre location. I’m going to have to remember to blog about it because I enjoyed it so much.

Brunch at the Cosy Club
Another trip into Guildford to spend a £50 voucher I received from a bad meal in Bristol last year. We invited my Mum as we didn’t think we could spend £50 between Husband and I, so we feasted on eggs, pancakes, and assorted bacon treats. It was delicious.

July 2019 Things

July was an incredibly emotional month, and I was only at work for half of it!

Farewells
I said goodbye to an awful lot of friends and co-workers at work due to various re-structures. It was tough. I’ve been to 6 leaving parties in the past two weeks, and invited to a bunch of others that I couldn’t attend. Morale is pretty low at the moment, but we don’t have time to wallow as we have a lot to be getting on with in August and September.

Bom Dia!
I had my long awaited holiday to Portugal at the beginning of the month. We did nothing all week, which was perfect.

Moon and the London Contemporary Orchestra
The last time we were at the Barbican for the AI exhibition, we saw a showing of the Duncan Jones film Moon on the calendar. 2019 is not only the 50th Anniversary of the moon landings but also the 10 year anniversary of the film’s release, so the Barbican were celebrating by screening the film with the score played live by the London Contemporary Orchestra. It was spectacular – the score by Clint Mansell is so atmospheric, and it was so phenomenal to see it performed live.

Netflix’s Dark
I’m cheating a little with this, because we watched this last month and I overlooked it in last month’s Things, but I have remained obsessed with the German language show, Dark on Netflix. Season 1 aired a while ago, so it took me a while to remember who everyone was but I soon picked it up. This show continues to blow my mind (no spoilers) and I can’t stop reading articles, listening to podcasts, and scrolling through Reddit theories. Can’t wait until season 3.

Spa afternoon with my Mum
For my Mum’s birthday (which was a couple of months ago, I bought her a trip to the spa. The first chance we both had to enjoy it was earlier this month, and we spend a blissful couple of hours at the Brooklands hotel spa. Expect a blog post soon!

June 2019 Things

So so late with this blog post as I’ve been on holiday for the past week, but before I write about that – a recap of my June.

The end of semester
Guys, we’ve made it. We’ve managed to get all the way through the academic year in one piece. Goodness knows how. Whilst we don’t have the summer off (as most people expect from university staff), I do get rewarded with a fairly quiet campus for the next three months. It’s bliss.

Late Night
If I could have booked my ticket for Late Night when Mindy Kaling announced it, I would have – I love everything she writes, and this film has the added bonus of Emma Thomson who is always brilliant. I dragged my BFF to the Picturehouse Central to giggle along to Emma’s acerbic put downs, and incredibly chic footwear. I can’t wait to see it again.

Six The Musical
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Six – a musical where the six wives of Henry the 8th are competing to be the lead in a girl band. It had the potential to be really cheesy, but it’s genuinely brilliant – I downloaded the soundtrack as soon as I left the theatre and have listened to it on repeat since then.

The Park Spa at Warbrook House
I feel like my search for the perfect local spa will continue for a while, but the Park Spa at Warbrook House very nearly ticks all the boxes. It has a wonderfully rural location, which means it has the number one item on my list – tranquility. The staff were really lovely, and the facial I had was incredibly relaxing. The only thing missing is the product – I’m not a fan of Espa products, but as everything else was overwhelmingly positive, I’m sure I’ll be back.

Sol de Janeiro – Sol Stick
I can never tell if I like the smell of the Sol De Janerio range, but I definitely love the smell of the Sol Stick – it’s like vanilla and biscuits, and I just want to eat it. It’s SPF 50, so perfect for my ghostly white skin, and doesn’t feel like it’s blocking my pores when I slather it on my face. As it’s solid, I can throw it in my handbag for when I’m taken unawares by the weather. I’m already addicted to using it.

May 2019 Things

Two bank holidays – always a pleasure. May was actually quite busy after a couple of quiet(er) months. I just need to get around updating this blog!

Celtic Manor – again!
Bank Holiday one was spent at the Celtic Manor yet again, with afternoon tea and a couple of spa treatments. We did consider booking the same for Bank Holiday two, but it was more expensive and we were feeling lazier!

Mermaid Hair
Over the past few months, I’ve been steadily getting rid of the orangey undertones in my hair. We finally managed to crack it, so the wonderful Jo at Gilded Hair gave me mermaid hair. Everyone at work was incredibly shocked, I can assure you of that.

Tatty Devine Sample Sale
This was my second sample sale experience, and I spent a silly amount of money. Hurray!

Comedians Giving Lectures
A couple of weeks ago, Sara Pascoe tweeted that there was tickets available for the taping of her new show, Comedians Giving Lectures. It combined two of my favourite things – funny, funny people, and Powerpoint presentations – and I managed to get tickets for the penultimate episode featuring Tom Allen (who I ADORE), Nish Kumar, and Natasia Demetriou. All three comedians were as brilliant as expected, and it was fun to see the taping, particularly after seeing how the Americans do it on a couple of occasions. Hopefully I won’t see myself in the audience when it airs in a couple of months.

Robot Cocktails
More on this in a future posts, but we visited the Barbican for an exhibition on AI, and decided to partake in some robot-made cocktails. It was very unnecessary, but super fun.

April 2019 Things

April 2016 Things_2

London Marathon 2019
I am phenomenally proud of my little brother – he ran the freaking London Marathon! We made our way up to London a couple of Sundays ago to see if we could see him – I’d read a lot about the best places to spectate so we weighed up all the options and decided on the halfway point in Wapping just by Shadwell DLR station. It was very busy as soon as we got off the train, but we walked a little further up The Highway and managed to get a good spot on the barrier. And then we saw my brother! He looked fairly cheery, although I think he was in significant pain at that point but we sent him on his way again.

We had planned to get down to Canary Wharf to see him again, but we couldn’t get back on the DLR as it was rammed full of people, so instead we took my Mum for some coffee to warm her up, and then put her on the tube to see him at the end of the race.

I’m not a bit fan of crowds so I was a little nervous about going up there, but I highly recommend it. The atmosphere is great which the runners really appreciate, and there are plenty of places to get to the barrier if you pick the right area. We even got to see some celebrities.

Easter Vacation
For some inexplicable reason, my University closes for a week over Easter. I took the opportunity to do very little – brunch with Mum, a bit of shopping, a few beauty treatments, and discount Easter eggs. It was definitely needed.

April 2016 Things_3

Shopping at Gunwharf Quays
I have been on the search for a new bag, and had heard that a new Kate Spade outlet had opened at Gunwharf Quays so took myself down to Portsmouth to check it out. I was sadly disappointed – there were a lot of great bags in the store, but not what I was looking for. I tried the Lulu Guinness outlet as well but left empty handed. It was a remarkably quick visit

Fleabag
I didn’t really get into Fleabag season 1 – I’m pretty sure I watched it all, but it didn’t draw me in. However, season 2 grabbed me and we watched it all in one night. Such incredibly unbelievable writing and it left me heartbroken!

New Phone
Husband has been driven mad by the appalling performance of my 2 year old Nexus 5X (which is actually my third one – they keep breaking and Google keeps sending me a new one). The battery was awful, apps kept crashing, everything took 30 seconds to load, but I stayed with it because the alternatives were stupidly expensive. And then, out of nowhere, John Lewis dropped the price of the Pixel 3 and I snapped it up. The difference has been incredible, and I can’t wait to play with the camera properly.

March 2019 Things

Brexit and more work chaos – what a month.

New Forest Trip
Amidst the chaos, we managed a couple of days away in the wild New Forest. I very much needed it.

Brunch at the Oxo Tower
I’ve been to the Oxo Tower for Afternoon Tea and lunch on a few occasions, but never brunch so we gave it a go in March. I was a little disappointed as I had picked out the Hong Kong toast from the menu only for it to not appear, but I instead choice a very delicious sweet potato and corn fritter. The brunch is in the bar, but is very relaxed and it reminded me how much I enjoy the meals there. Must book Not Afternoon Tea again soon.

Elisa Lodato
I read both of Lodato’s books in March – she’s a phenomenally beautiful author and as soon as I put down The Necessary Marriage, I had to pick up An Unremarkable Body straight away. Her writing is very hypnotic but quite unassuming so when the big reveals were made in both books, I was almost winded! Really quite delicate – I can’t wait for her next offering.

BFF-led therapy
After a very stressful couple of weeks, I met up with Tim to wander the South Bank and have a cathartic chat about the madness at work. We stopped by the new BFI restaurant, where we seemed to annoy the waiter by asking for a starter and desert, before delighting a pair of fellow diners for reasons unknown.

Miscellaneous
I wasn’t sure how to categorise this last one, but whilst March started with me both European and employed, I wasn’t sure that I would be able say the same at the end of the month.

Fortunately (on both counts), I am still European and still employed. Let’s see how we fare at the end of April.

February 2019 Things

Despite things lurching from bad to worse at work (we’re talking BBC News reports levels of worse), there were some bright spots in February.

Snow
My last Monthly post ended with no snow – February started with snow! Admittedly, I had a bit of a terrifying journey home from the airport where we almost skidded into a variety obstacles, but it was pretty whilst it lasted.

Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist
Tim and I ventured under Waterloo station for the Vault Festival to see Tilda which is an absolute riot of a show. Byron Lane writes and stars in a show about an ordinary guy going through a hard time – his boyfriend has left him, his parents are a nightmare. Out of nowhere, Tilda Swinton (played by Tom Lenk) swoops into his life to study him for her latest role. It is so stupidly funny – you pretty much don’t stop giggling for 80 minutes at all the niche film and theatre jokes. At the end, the wonderful Byron was in the bar taking photos of people with Tom. It was such a fantastic experience, and I’d love to see it again.

Educated by Tara Westover
Wow, what a book. Educated is a phenomenal memoir from a woman who grew up in a fundamentalist family, her father obsessed with the end of days. It’s not spoiling the ending by saying that she managed to work her way out of Idaho, and I am currently urging everyone to read it. Her family do dispute her version of events, but I believe it’s possible for her truth to be valid as well as theirs. I was blown away by her writing and was so emotionally drained when I turned the last page.

The Midlands
I had two work trips booked in back-to-back – one in a generic hotel conference room in Birmingham, one at the University of Leicester – so rather than come home, I decided to stay the night in B’ham. I was able to fit in a facial (classic work trip activity), a bit of shopping, and a lovely catch-up over pizza with my favourite married couple. I’ll be honest – the area of the city I stayed in wasn’t particularly pleasant and the rest of the trip was a bit of a struggle, but at least I got to see some beautiful Tracey Emin neon at St Pancras Station on the way home.

Russian Doll
Like everyone else in the western hemisphere, we binge-watched Netflix’s Russian Doll in one evening. Honestly, I couldn’t decide what I thought about it – clearly there was something in the show that kept me watching, but I wasn’t sure if I like it. I think after (over)analysing my feelings about it, I decided that it ultimately left me a little unfulfilled because there seemed to be a number of threads that weren’t fully explored. That said, I’m pretty sure there’s going to be more seasons, so maybe that will satiate my curiosity on this quirky little show.

January 2019 Things

January 2019 was an entire waste of a month. I don’t think I did one thing of note, which admittedly doesn’t bode well for this blog post…

New job
Not me, Husband. His new office is based in Portugal (sort of) so there’s been a lot of video chatting over the past month. There’s also been a lot of driving to Heathrow airport early in the morning like I’m an Uber driver. I don’t get tipped.

Macro Lens
For Christmas, I treated myself to an Olympus Pen PL9 camera. I’ll be honest, I mostly bought it for the retro styling, but it helped that John Lewis had an offer for a free macro 30mm lens. I’m addicted to taking close up photos of random things, including the Rhea Kulcsar ring I bought myself in Chelsea Market.

CD clear out
I have quite the collection of CDs. Correction – had. They were sitting in boxes taking up space in the spare room; space that we just can’t afford to waste in our tiny house. Over the past few months, we’ve tried selling them on those apps where you can scan the barcode and get them sent off, but we just weren’t making a dent in the collection.

So we bagged them up and took them to the recycling plant. It was traumatising.

Greatest Dancer
As huge Strictly fans, Husband and I were looking forward to the new BBC show, The Greatest Dancer. It started very shakily and we did not enjoy the audition rounds which were far too stylised. The live shows have been amazing however – the quality of dancing has been spectacular, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the acts. I hope it gets a second series.

No snow
As we got to the end of January, I was really looking forward to a snow day or two, but it was not to be. Not until February…