This is not the first time I’ve written this blog post.
WordPress decided to delete my carefully, lovingly crafted post without saving previous versions (or so it says) – so here I am, starting again, and (re)writing my first blog post in a long while.
I think I started the original post by lamenting at where the year is going, so…where has the year gone?!
We already have our feet planted firmly in October, boots muddy and jumpers fresh from their hiding places. 2022 seems to have rocketed by, and already we are staring down the barrel of its final weeks.
However, less of that – it’s time to get back into sharing a few of my favourite things from last month. As usual, I do this in the hope you might discover something new, share my joy, or simply relish being nosey.
Here are 10 things I greatly enjoyed from September 2022!
1. Winchester Life Drawing Club
You may be aware of my love of dabbling in a little art every so often. I was thrilled to discover these regular life drawing sessions in Winchester City Centre, and decided to use a day of annual leave to attend one of their midweek events. It was friendly, chilled and really inspiring; two hours of almost-solid sketching, without tutoring, in the lovely Design Junction. This session was £10 and, while it’s not a lesson, I think that’s a great price for two hours of creative time away from busy life.
I had a fantastic time and am keen to return – perhaps for one of their Drink & Draw sessions on a Friday night!
2. All in the Mind Festival 2022
I’d been meaning to attend this local mental health festival in Basingstoke, run by Fluid Motion Theatre, for years – and finally, this year, I was free to go!
Plus, I was attending as a performer! I was thrilled to be on the Brain Food Zone stage with so many talented performers, and had a great time sharing some of my poetry with the audience.
I also loved spending the day enjoying the sights and activities around the venue. I had heaps of fun and met some fantastic people. I’m already looking forward to 2023!
Watch my Reel to learn more.
3. AD – The Lion King at Mayflower Theatre
This legendary musical has been in Southampton for a few weeks now, and I was over the moon to be invited to the Press Night at Mayflower Theatre last month. I’d seen the show before well over a decade ago, and knew I was in for a treat; but it was just like watching it for the first time. This show is spectacular, with an incredible cast and incomparable staging, music and costumes, right town to the tiniest detail.
The Lion King will be in Southampton until October 15th so, at the time of writing, it’s down to its final days!
Watch my Reel to find out more.
4. Music in the City
Music in the City was back in Southampton this year, and we managed to catch a couple of acts as we wandered around the city centre.
This is one of those brilliant local events that fits into your day; you can see as much, or as little, as you like or are able to, and you never know what you’ll stumble across while you go about your plans.
I particularly love seeing live music performed in unusual spaces – this year, I saw musicians in the Holyrood Church ruins, and in one of the city’s vaults! Definitely a date for your diary next year.
5. Write a Note
I’d like to consider myself a Write a Note regular now, if that’s ok?
This monthly open mic night, run by ArtfulScribe and hosted by local poet Anita Foxall at MAST Mayflower Studios, is always a joy. Poets, comedians, musicians and more share their work with others in a welcoming, cosy environment. From published poets to new writers, the range of experience means anyone can join in – or just come along to watch! There’s always a fantastic guest act, too.
September’s session was brilliant. We were spoiled by music from Jack Dale and Bastien Terraz, whose work was absolutely stunning (I bought my first CD in years from them, which proves how much I loved it!). I also met so many lovely people and enjoyed some top-notch words, too.
You can read about the September Write A Note in In Common, where I’m featured in Anita’s latest round-up article. There’s even a brand new poem of mine for you to read!
Book your free ticket to future open mics via the MAST website.
6. Chapel Chats with Ladies Wine & Design, Southampton
I attended my second Chapel Chats session with Ladies Wine & Design Southampton in September. It was yet another opportunity for insightful and inspiring conversations about creativity and corporate life as women over glasses of wine!
Hosted at the Design Chapel – a hidden gem of a co-working space buried within Southampton Common’s cemetery – these regular events are fuel for the soul. I recommend getting stuck in if you’re a woman in the creative industries in or around Southampton. It’s worth finding out if there’s a LWD chapter near you, too, if you’re not nearby, since this is a global organisation!
7. GHT Lates #5
Every month, Southampton’s God’s House Tower offers a unique Friday evening experience: live music, great food, drinks, contemporary art and abundant history.
Their GHT Lates are very, very special, and I had a wonderful evening enjoying my second – and their fifth – event! I was enchanted by the music of Lucy Kitchen, Frankie Knight and Jim Chorley, and devoured the loaded fries I nabbed from the night’s caterer, Three Cuts Burgers.
I love an opportunity to support local and small organisations, musicians and businesses, and this lets you do all that and more in one of the most unusual and enriching ways, and for a decent price! Bring on October’s GHT Late.
8. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
Sometimes I love a slightly predictable, easy-to-read, stereotypical romcom read. These books are perfect escapism; not working your brain too hard, but giving you all the comedy, plot twists and flirtations you could desire.
Emily Henry’s Book Lovers was all over my social media feeds and Goodreads this summer, so I decided it was an absolute must-read for our first week abroad in forever. It didn’t let me down. I loved it. Add it to your TBR pile if you haven’t already, and you’re a sucker for the likes of Beth O’Leary and Laura Jane Williams.
9. Jane’s Patisserie’s raspberry brownies
Brownies are a staple bake, and I’m always looking for ways to jazz them up a bit. I do have my go-to recipes, but I’m starting to get braver and branch out.
This raspberry brownie recipe from Jane’s Patisserie is certainly up there with one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made. Oozy, rich and tangy, it’s a must for fruit-and-chocolate fans. I have one more square saved in my freezer, and I’m waiting for the perfect time to enjoy it.
10. Playmakers’ Local Talent Night
The latest Local Talent Night, hosted by Playmakers at Theatre Royal Winchester, was such a pleasure. There was a strong focus on community, culture and refugee residents, with so many talented artists from refugee and international communities. This brought so much depth, poignancy and emotion to the whole night. I was particularly moved by the Ukrainian Women’s Choir, who were beautiful to listen to and connected with the audience so well.
This event is a bit of a hidden gem, and I really recommend you check it out if you live in or around Winchester next time it’s in the programme.