Well, we’re officially over halfway through 2019!
I’ll skip the ‘where has the year gone?’ comments – I’ve got enough of a complex about aging and the passing of time as it is! But it’s got me thinking about my goals for 2019 and so far, having looked back at the list I wrote in January, it seems as though I’m doing ok!
I’ve been writing and performing, I’ve been trying to go to the gym as much as my schedule (and energy!) allows, and I’ve already read 17 of the 26 books I want to get through in just six months.
June had me working towards these goals even more. After the madness of May, I still managed to keep busy, while dealing with somewhat of a come-down (but I won’t bore you with the details of that!)
Here’s what kept me busy over the last few weeks.
Performing more poetry (and at the Royal Albert Hall, too!)
The first week of June saw four performances in just eight days, which was immensely exciting and also exhausting. I kicked off with a guest appearance at Moving Voices, a monthly event in Southampton, on the last day of May, followed by competing at the Hammer & Tongue National Slam Finals at the Royal Albert Hall on 1st June. Then I set off to appear with The Front Room at Southsea, before rounding it all off at local arts festival, DIY Southampton.
It was such a learning curve, and a wonderful experience, and made me even more determined to keep learning and improving! I saw an improvement in this short time alone.
You can see all my upcoming performance dates on my performance page (there aren’t any on there at the moment, but I’m hoping this will change soon!) There are also details of everywhere I’ve performed so far.
I might also write about my experiences of performing, if anyone’s interested!
Our Stop, by Laura Jane Williams [Gifted]
I was delighted to receive a gifted proof copy of Laura Jane Williams’s first novel, Our Stop, from Avon books. I’ve loved everything Laura has written so far, and even received guidance from her through two of her writing courses, so I couldn’t wait to get my teeth into her new work of fiction.
I devoured this book in a matter of days; I won’t tell you any more than that, because I’m aiming to review it in full very, very soon. But if you’re thinking of pre-ordering a copy, or getting one on your Kindle, I really do recommend it. It’s the perfect holiday read!
Always Be My Maybe
From one rom-com to another! I am a sucker for a witty, wonderful romantic comedy on screen, and Netflix’s latest is a corker. Always Be My Maybe follows a much-explored trope – that of the friend who is always an ‘almost’, romantically – but it’s incredibly funny and original with it.
It’s almost worth watching for Keanu Reeves’s cameo, alone! Ths film is perfect for a Saturday night in. I know I’ll be re-watching soon enough.
War on the Line with the Watercress Line [Gifted]
I had a wonderful time in June riding the rails and being taken back to wartime Britain with the Watercress Line last month. My parents had a great time too! It was so nice to explore a part of Hampshire I had yet to see, even a decade after moving down here, and it was the perfect Father’s Day treat.
You can read my honest review of the experience – and see me all dressed up in 1940s spirit! – here.
Matilda The Musical at the Mayflower Theatre [Gifted]
I was lucky enough to see Matilda for the second time when it arrived in Southampton last month, and it was just as delightful as the first time. I will always have a soft spot for the tyrannical Trunchbull!
If you’ve been wondering if this show lives up to the hype, I can attest that it does. There’s a reason why it’s been so popular for so long.
Read more of my thoughts in my review for Broadway World UK here.
The Tenth Hole, Southsea
While I was in Southsea waiting for my aforementioned performance with The Front Room, I stopped by The Tenth Hole; a spot in the city I’ve been wanting to visit for years, but never found the time!
These guys are infamous for their amazing cakes, and my experience did not disappoint! I ordered a chocolate orange brownie cheesecake and it was so indulgent and delicious (though I’m ashamed to say, I couldn’t finish it!). Definitely worth the wait.
I’ll definitely be back, and highly recommend popping in if you’re in the area. Their savoury food looked pretty delicious, too.
June was a very good month for films! I took myself off one Sunday afternoon on a solo date to watch Booksmart at my local Picturehouse Cinema, after hearing many great reviews online. It was great fun, and I enjoyed it much more than expected!
I’ve been chewing over some thoughts about this film and keep meaning to write about it, so here’s hoping I get round to that sometime soon. So many blog posts, so little time!
A Thousand Splendid Suns at Nuffield Southampton Theatres [Gifted]
We were very lucky to have another great show in Southampton in June – the stage adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s best-seller was beautiful and moving. Sadly, by the time this blog post is published, it won’t be on anymore – but you can read my full review here.
I finally got round to seeing the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, one weekend in June. I’m very glad I made the effort to see it – it was fun and fast and has had me listening to Elton John tunes ever since! But again, I have more thoughts on it. Cause for another blog post perhaps (though I’m not sure when I’m going to have time to write them all!).
Cyanotype printing [Gifted]
At the end of June I was invited along to try my hand at Cyanotype printing with local artists Bex Willis and, oh my goodness, I had the best day. It was so addictive and such a simple process, and I am so pleased with the art I created!
There are more workshop dates being released in July; you can find out more about the experience here!