I boarded a train taking me back to a place I called home for three years. I’d visited Lancaster a handful of times in the last twelve years, and each time it felt different – I felt different.
The first time I went back was a couple of months after packing up my life there. Boarding the bus I’d caught so many times before, staying at a friend’s house I’d spent many an evening in, laughing and drinking tea…I felt like a ghost, shadowing through the place that so many memories.
Going back again twelve years later felt just as strange.
I have never understood the appeal of going home every night to eat dinner, sit in front of the telly and fall asleep, repeating over and over, living for the weekend. For me, I think every day can be an adventure, even if it’s just people watching in a coffee shop. Birmingham is notoriously quite bad about shouting about all the great things going on in the city. So I thought I’d try and write down some ideas, as much to remind myself, but also hopefully as help for others. I should probably place a caveat here; these are very much the things that interest me, and there are so many other things out there, that I haven’t covered because I wouldn’t know the first place to look.
Social media can be painful because we feel like we’re always ‘on’ and always seeing the best of other people’s lives and comparing it to the mundanity of our own. But what if we stopped seeing social media like that, took an active part in it and used it to better connect with our friends?
I was talking to my friend C about her decision to deactivate her social media accounts, to give herself some breathing room. C and I have newly defined our relationship as friends; previously just Facebook friends, Instagram followers and occasional meeter-uppers at events. But when she said she was leaving social media I dropped her a message to say I’d miss her and I’d like to keep in contact. I realised that whilst I ‘liked’ a lot of her photos, occasionally comments and watched her Instagram stories, I had never really expressed how much I enjoyed seeing them, until it was almost too late – and I wasn’t the only one.
Fat Friends the Musical is a feel-good play with plenty of belly laughs. (I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)
Reuniting the characters from Kay Mellor’s hit TV show, Fat Friends follows the struggles of a group of overweight friends who attend a slimming club based in Headingley, a suburb of Leeds. Kelly has a larger-than-life personality but is struggling to fit into her dream wedding dress, lovelorn group leader Lauren is trying to find the man of her dreams, whilst Kelly’s father Fergus is just trying to keep the family chip shop open.
I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions, there’s something a bit joyless about them – they always seem to be about berating yourself for not being good enough. And I’m quite versed at doing that without having resolution hanging round like millstone round my neck. But I do like the timeliness of setting myself a challenge that is smart – sensible, measurable, attainable, resourced and time-limited.
This year I wanted to revive some of the challenges I’ve done before, like the book and film challenges, but add in another one for the theatre. A few years ago I went to the theatre quite a bit, and I really enjoy it, but with everything going on it’s really easy to forget this.
Alice is about to click send on an email to her parents to tell them she’s a lesbian, when her partner of seven years, Fiona, reveals that she has always thought she were a man and now wants to start living as one, as Adrian.
As Adrian begins his transition, Alice wants to be supportive but is conflicted what this means for her: is she still a lesbian if she is in a relationship with Adrian, does she want to be in a relationship with him, and what about her work colleague Lelani? And what does this mean for Josh, Adrian’s older brother and Alice’s ex; will he finally move on from his own heartache at losing his girlfriend to his own sibling?
This month can mainly categorised by what my boss terms ‘floored by flu’. I ended up off work for two weeks with the flu, which included the worst sinus pain I’ve ever had, double ear infections, sore throat and the inability to be more than four steps away from a kettle. Whilst I’m over the worst of it, some of the symptoms are stubbornly sticking around and I’m trying not to push it too much.