The month that was: January and February 2019

What happened:
The New Year started with a bad hangover. Actually, it started off with singing and merriment with Olly's sister and husband, then throwing up, then the hangover. Happy 2019! But, since we had Olly's mum and nan coming round for a New Year's Day roast, plus a toddler who was now awake, we had to rally to cook Tom Kerridge's treacle-cured roast beef for our guests. The thought of cooking beef at 55°C for a mere 45 minutes and eating it wasn't the most appetising of thoughts with our queasy tummies, but it was bloody (literally) delicious.

We had a weekend of birthday celebrations in mid-January – on the Saturday for friends at Pergola Paddington, then we headed to Kent the next day to celebrate our nephew and niece’s respective birthdays. We headed to Yorkshire in January to visit my family, which included a trip to the bowling alley, and in February we said goodbye to Olly's great granddad, which was super sad. Olly also completed his first half marathon in February, and I headed to the Olympic Park to cheer him on at the finish line with his mum.

I had the best-laid plans at the beginning of the year to work on my book. See, in the day job I get 30 days annual leave, plus the bank holidays on top – and I also bought an extra week's holiday. My plan was to take ten half days in January and February and use those half days to work on my book. Work, however, has been manic, and I've had to cancel every single half day. I did manage to take one full day off, and I did edit 25,000 words, but that's been it. Hmph!

We headed to the theatre in January to watch The Comedy About a Bank Robbery – good, but I didn't enjoy it as much as The Play That Goes Wrong. I returned to theatre in February to watch Six – that was brilliant. It’s super short – it comes in at a mere 75 minutes – but it's good fun. Think The X Factor meets Girls Aloud meets Horrible Histories. See it if you get the chance! We also went to the Snoopy exhibition, Good Grief, Charlie Brown!, at Somerset House in February – I didn't realise how much of a social commentary Schulz had weaved into the comics, but I enjoyed considering Snoopy and the Peanuts gang through adult eyes.

What I ate:
In January it was all about the burgers: Patty and Bun at Pergola Paddington (amazing), Byron (always yum), Lucky Chip (delicious; pictured below) and Bad Egg (again, delicious) – the latter two were in our Time Out Burger Box. And we snuck in a Dishoom breakfast before we caught our train to Yorkshire (the best).

In February it was all about the Sunday roasts: Blacklock (epic, as always; pictured below), Queen Adelaide (good for a pub) and Smokehouse (bloody good) – Smokehouse was another Time Out Burger Box card (yes, we’re using them up as they expire soon!), and I'm sure we'll be back there to try their burgers.

Lunchtimes saw a return to KERB at the Gherkin for Mexican Fried Chicken (my new favourite – the flavours were incredible) and Only Jerkin (an old favourite). I also had dinner and dessert with a friend at Sen Viet (awesome spring rolls; average bun ga Hue) and Milk Train (candy floss ice cream FTW), plus dinner with another friend at The Folly (they messed up the food, and the service wasn't great either). Another sweet treat I enjoyed in February was Doughnut Time's Ice Ice Bae Bae doughnut – definitely a new favourite!

What I saw:
TV-wise we watched the Beeb's version of  Les Miserables (excellent), the Bros documentary (they stressed me out!), season 4 of Better Call Saul, The Grand Tour, Fyre Festival (what idiots), season 4 of Black Mirror (Hang the DJ was my favourite episode) and started watching The Good Place (just getting into it).

Films watched in January: The Change-Up, The Other Woman, Spectre, Pacific Rim: Uprising, Red Sparrow and Life Itself. At the cinema: Colette (enjoyable), The Front Runner (expected better), The Favourite (quirky), Vice (fascinating), Stan and Ollie (liked it) and Green Book (my favourite film this awards season).

Films watched in February: The Martian, Book Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Meg, The Kissing Booth, Aloha, The Big Short, Ocean's Eight, Sierra Burgess is a Loser and Superbad. At the cinema: Alita: Battle Angel (great visuals; OK story), Mary, Queen of Scots (far too long), The LEGO Movie 2 (not as good as the first), and On the Basis of Sex (what a lady!).

What I read:
In January I read a mere three books – eek! – and I wouldn't recommend any of them as must-reads! In February I finished off my audiobook – Busy Phillip's excellent This Will Only Hurt a Little (5*) – read 13 books (much better), and abandoned reading one book. My favourite book read in February was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – another 5* read.

How's 2019 treating you? x

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