The month that was: April 2017

What happened:
I've been freelancing in Tunbridge Wells this month, which means I've been staying with Olly's parents some of the time during the week. I've missed my London lunches! (And London.) It did give me time though to listen to S-Town when I was travelling - an excellent, albeit sad podcast, and one I highly recommend.

Easter plans were cancelled as my mum was admitted to hospital, so that's where I spent it, though Dad and I did sneak in a few games of bowling. (Mum was in hospital for just over two weeks, but she's thankfully out now.) The weather was miserable that weekend, too - a stark contrast to the previous weekend which got to 26°C. We headed to the park to soak up some sunshine and see the cherry blossom, though it's been cold ever since!

At the end of the month, I had a week off freelancing for my birthday, which was much needed. We headed to Belgium for three days, and took in Brussels and Bruges. (Posts coming soon!) I absolutely loved Bruges - it's so pretty - and we ate some awesome food in Brussels. The weather though was so mixed - we had snow, rain, wind *and* sunshine - but it was nice to get away and explore a new country.

And then, because I'm super lucky, we went to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This was my original birthday event, booked all the way back in October 2015! The production itself was awesome, and even though I still wonder whether an eight story was *really* necessary (and question some of the plot flaws), I really enjoyed it. We also had a mooch around Soho between the plays, and visited the House of MinaLima (the guys who did the graphic props for the Harry Potter films), which was cool.

What I ate:
In Belgium we had an awesome lunch of fish and chips with a twist at Bia Mara. We ordered Malaysian curry panko fish with seaweed salted chips and pineapple ketchup, plus a lemon and basil tempura fish with seaweed salted chips and homemade garlic truffle. Both beautiful flavours, though the Malaysian curry panko was that little bit more special! Next door but two to Bia Mara is Peck 47, a great spot for brunch. We also had dinner at Fin de Si├Ęcle, an awesome (cash only) restaurant serving tasty Belgian cuisine. (And so, so reasonably priced.)

My birthday dinner was at Colonel, who do awesome steak, and I also enjoyed a starter of Flemish-style asparagus three ways (below left), plus a "deconstructed Snickers" for dessert. In Bruges we headed to The Old Chocolate House for some awesome Belgian hot chocolate and waffles. And, of course, in both Bruges and Brussels we had lots of frites. (Fritland in Brussels do an interesting sandwich called the Mitraillette, topped, naturally, with chips.) Oh, and an awesome giant chocolate meringue from Elisabeth. Happy tummies all around in Belgium!

Closer to home, we had takeaway from Motu Indian Kitchen, and headed to the Soho branch of Red Dog Saloon for a BBQ dinner. Motu Indian Kitchen is a takeaway-only kitchen from the people behind Michelin-starred Gymkhana - the food is DELICIOUS. We also picked up two new cookbooks - Tom's Table and Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet - and Olly bought me a Brew Tea Co pot for my birthday. Hurrah!

What I watched:
We finished watching Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which was good fun, albeit a little too wacky, and then watched season two of Wayward Pines. It was a slow start, but then got better. We also blitzed through Big Little Lies. Even though I knew what was going to happen as I read the book last year, I really enjoyed it. Great adaptation! I also continued watching Riverdale, plus started watching the final episodes of Pretty Little Liars. (The end is near... finally!!)

Films watched: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Mother's Day, Finding Dory, The Good Dinosaur, Ghostbusters, Bend it like Beckham, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1.

At the cinema we went to see Ghost in the Shell (OK), Power Rangers (set itself up really well, but a tad too long), Fast & Furious 8 (better than expected), plus Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 (I love Baby Groot so much, and Drax was hilarious; not so keen on the soundtrack this time though).

What I read:
In April I read five books and abandoned reading two books. My favourite books of the month were The Winner's Curse and The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski. (I'm currently reading the final book in the series, and hope it matches the other two for awesomeness.) I also enjoyed The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell.

How was your month? x

The month that was: March 2017

What happened:
I finished my freelance contract, my friend came to stay, we met friends for lunch and a walk on the Southbank, I *finally* went to the hairdressers, we travelled to Yorkshire to visit my family, plus we went to the Star Wars Identities exhibition at The O2. (And Olly constructed the LEGO Millennium Falcon that I bought him, just because!)

In Yorkshire, we had a mooch around York in the sunshine and climbed to the top of York Minster - before catching up with my family, playing board games, and hitting up Volcano Falls for some adventure mini golf. (I'm dreadful.) As for the Star Wars exhibition, it was enjoyable enough, but shorter than I expected. If you're a fan though, you'll enjoy it.

What I ate:
The eating out list this month included: The Ivy Brasserie Soho (my swordfish was dry so had to get them to cook another one, and the service was very hit and miss), Bukowski (prefer the Brixton branch to the one I went to in Soho), Nando's (classic), The Draft House (OK), Ping Pong (all the dim sum), Drakes Fisheries (proper fish and chips, though sadly missing scraps), Cafe Fleur (new favourite for brunch) and TGI Fridays (Jack Daniels's sesame chicken strips FTW).

What I saw:
We finished watching Better Call Saul - I can't wait to see what happens next - and we blitzed through Santa Clarita Diet. It's amusing enough, but I wouldn't say you have to go and watch it RIGHT NOW. We also watched season two of The Man in the High Castle. It took me a while to get back into it, but that ending... oooooh! And watched all of Iron Fist, which got a bit flat towards the end - definitely could have been a shorter series. We also started watching Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (amusingly odd) and Riverdale (my replacement already lined up for the end of PLL!).

IMDB films watched: Forest Gump (13) and The Godfather (2). Other films watched: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Doctor Strange, Florence Foster Jenkins, A Street Cat Named Bob, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Trolls, The Boss, The Martian and A Hologram for the King.

At the cinema, we saw Logan, which was really awesome. I'm not really a Marvel fan, but it truly was excellent. We also saw Kong: Skull Island and, of course, Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast was wonderful, and you don't have to choose between loving the classic cartoon or this one - you can love them both, OK!

What I read:
In March I read ten books, and listened to two audiobooks. I absolutely loved listening to David Attenborough's Life on Air (wonderfully read by him, too) - he's had such a marvellous career - but I didn't rate Local Girl Missing. Books I enjoyed reading in March: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella and How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss.

How was your month? x


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