Hello everybody, and welcome to the February 2018 edition of Monthly Highlights. I know I say this all the time, but it really doesn’t feel like a month has passed since I flipped my calendar over to the cute dog representing Feb. And now, it’s time to flip it over to March? What the heck.
What I will say though, is that I’m really looking forward to March. I’m loving the fact that I get home and it’s light, and that’s only going to improve as we head into the next month. I also have lots of fun things planned, including a trip up north to see my fam-a-lam, a trip to Cardiff for a well-overdue catch up with one of my uni friends, a couple of fun events at work, and the start of our wedding anniversary celebrations. So yes, much excite.
This post, though, is about February, and all the lovely things that happened this month.
1. The Greatest Showman
What a great time for film at the moment. The Greatest Showman is a truly uplifting story about never giving up on your dreams, pushing boundaries, and celebrating diversity. I absolutely loved it, and have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat since before I even saw the film. Hugh Jackman is brilliant as P.T Barnum, and the love story between Philip (Zac Efron) and Anne (Zendaya) had me swooning all over the place.
2. Lunch at Fressh
A new vegan cafe opened up in Birmingham last year, and I’ve been itching to go for ages. This month, I made it happen. It’s called Fressh, and they serve exclusively vegan food. And the other huge tick for me, is that it’s healthy, too. They use natural, wholesome ingredients that are responsibly sourced, and eco-friendly packaging. Tick, tick, tick. I had the Tex Mex Sub with a side of sweet potato fries, and it was damn delicious.
3. A surprise 70th birthday party
Luke’s auntie turned the big 7-0 at the start of the month, and by way of celebration her daughter threw her a surprise 70th birthday party in Northampton. It was a really lovely night, Luke’s auntie was definitely surprised, and it was a great opportunity for us to catch up with lots of the family.
4. Belated birthday celebrations up north
As January ended up being such a busy month, I didn’t get up to see my family to celebrate my 30th until a few weeks ago. But it’s not a problem, it just meant that my birthday lasted an extra three weeks. Hoorah for that! I love going back up north, partly for the people, and partly for the sea, which I really miss when I’m at home in Birmingham. I don’t think I could be further from the sea if I tried! We went for dinner and played Trivial Pursuit and it was just lovely.
5. I got offered a new job!
That’s right, ya gal got offered and accepted a new job! V exciting. I’m staying with the organisation I’m currently with, but moving to a different team. I’m hoping it’ll be a nice mix of familiarity and fresh challenge. The team I’ll be joining is full of lovely people, and I’m looking forward to moving over in May.
6. We went to see Willy Mason
This was actually at the end of the assessment day for my new job, and I think it really helped me to get through the day knowing I had something fun and exciting planned for the end of it. Luke and I drove to King’s Heath after my interview/his day at work, we had a delicious dinner at Loco Lounge, and then made our way to Hare & Hounds to see Willy Mason perform.
7. Blueberry Muffin Nakd Bars
Holy shiitake mushrooms. I’ve been a fan of Nakd bars for yonks now, but they’ve really raised their game recently with the new flavours. The queen of which, is Blueberry Muffin. You know when you eat a healthy bar that’s described as being apple-flavoured, and you take a bite and say ‘erm…I suppose there’s a hint of apple in there. If you really focus your tastebuds’? Well that’s what I was expecting to happen when I tried these, but…wait for it… THEY TASTE LIKE ACTUAL BLUEBERRY MUFFINS.
8. Friday afternoons off
It’s that time of year when everyone’s using up the remains of their annual leave. I had a couple of days to play with, so I took a couple of Friday afternoons off this month. It’s really nice to get a head start on the weekend, plus, it means you wake up on Saturday thinking it’s Sunday, so mentally you end up with an entire extra day. Sort of. With one of my afternoons, Luke was off for half term so he met me in the city after I finished work, and we went for pizza, and then to see I, Tonya, which I’ll talk about more below. With the other, I went to the gym, had a soak in the bath, and read a book. Amazing.
9. I, Tonya
Luke and I went to see this on the day it came out, and I can honestly say, it’s epic. I was aware of the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident, but I only knew what the media presented – that Tonya Harding was a bad guy. If you’re not aware of the story, Tonya and Nancy were figure skaters on the US team. In 1994, Nancy was attacked at a skating rink when a man struck her knee with a baton, with the intention of breaking her leg and removing her from the competition. The attack was reportedly orchestrated by Tonya’s ex-husband, Jeff, and Tonya was suddenly presented as a villain in the media. Margot Robbie plays Tonya in the film, and paints a much fuller, more sympathetic portrayal of what happened. Tonya has always maintained that she had nothing to do with the attack, but she didn’t come forward when she later learnt things about it that could have lead to a quicker prosecution. Perhaps we’ll never know for sure what happened, it’s just one word against another, after all. But this film is captivating, thought-provoking and shocking, and I highly recommend you see it.