Wednesday, 22 March 2017

This Is The Week That Was #18

Welcome to this week's edition of 'This Is The Week That Was' where I have an entirely one-sided chat as though I've phoned you up to talk about myself and you've sneakily left the receiver on the side and gone off to make a cup of tea or have a wee while I rabbit on.

Where I've Been

I was disappointed to have missed out on this year's Liverpool Comic Con because you know I'm a part-time geek, but I've had a lot on and sometimes you have to give these things a miss.

When I say "had a lot on" I essentially mean the nursery run interspersed with catching up with friends and family for quick teas and coffees, absolutely hammering the bakery counter at Waitrose, and a trip to the Meat Factory on Lark Lane for their famous hoi sin duck fries.

I remember when I was about 10 and I had crispy duck and pancakes for the first time with my parents in a Chinese restaurant and I've been hooked ever since. When I found out you could get crispy duck kits in supermarkets it enhanced my whole life so much and since I've discovered the wholly inauthentic addition of hoi sin duck on fries and pizza I really couldn't be happier.

What I've Been Writing

I keep meaning to expand my Entertainment section of the blog more and include more film and theatre (read: actually bother to go to the cinema and theatre in order to write about it) but since what I mostly do is watch telly (or rather, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other catch-up services) I will carry on doing my little round-ups in the meantime. This week I wrote about three historical dramas all on Netflix: Wolf Hall, Hitler The Rise of Evil and The Crown.


What I've Been Reading

Adrian Mole: The Collected Poems

Adrian Mole was one of the best characters to come out of the 1980s. I wasn't old enough to totally 'get it' when his Secret Diary was first published by my siblings each had their own copy and I remember it being on telly when I was growing up too. Although the later sequels didn't quite hit the mark for me, I still think Sue Townsend's teenage protagonist is absolutely perfect.

What a lovely surprise then, it was to find out that a little book of his Collected Poems was being released this month to mark the character's 50th birthday. It's only a few quid so pick one up to add to your bookshelf or as a gift for someone you know who loved the 80s.

Psych of The Living Dead: The Walking Dead Psychology

The Walking Dead is one of those shows that I was very late to the party with, but that's not always a bad thing. As with Game of Thrones and other box sets, I sometimes find that saving them all up and binge-watching them helps you stay invested in the characters and plots. Unfortunately I binge-watched The Walking Dead then there was a lull in between filming and I struggled to enjoy it as much as I had done previously. After all, there's only so much zombie-squelching and in-fighting you can endure. I even But what I do still like is the changes in group dynamics over the years, the character development and probably what you're meant to call 'personal journeys' (but what I'd call 'someone used to be a twat and now they're not' or vice versa).

I'm not going to go all GCSE English Lit on your ass but I suppose at a stretch there's a touch of the Lord of the Flies about what a post-apocalyptic world will reduce a group of people to. So as 'unofficial' and 'unauthorized' as it is (and the cover just screams strongly-worded letter from the lawyers office doesn't it?) it's that kind of discussion I like to mull over and exactly the reason I was chuffed when I was given this book about the Psychology of the Walking Dead as a pressie.

Until next time, have a boss week!

B x


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Netflix & Chill: What I'm Watching

Every now and then I like to have a quick round up of what I've been watching and chat about what I think is worth giving a try if you want to check out something new, are glued to the couch feeding a new baby, or are lolling around in bed on a hungover Sunday. This time it's the turn of Wolf Hall, Hitler: The Rise of Evil, and The Crown all on Netflix.

Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall was on telly absolutely ages ago and as I missed it first time round I was chuffed when my friend got hold of a cheap copy on DVD for me. I make no secret of the fact that I love historical dramas and when they're done right they're absolutely my favourite kind of film. I gave it another watch on Netflix because it's only 6 episodes and well worth a second outing.

Why these Lords look like they about to drop the hottest lute and hurdy gurdy mixtape of 1533?

Charting the story of Thomas Cromwell and his professional relationship with King Henry VIII as he courts Anne Boleyn in his quest for the all-important male heir that the country needs, there's plenty of well-known actors' performances to enjoy.

The mini series, first aired on the BBC, stars Mark Rylance (who voices Flop in CBeebies' Bing) as Cromwell, Damian Lewis as the King, and Claire Foy as his second wife (and yes I spent every episode reciting that rhyme in my head trying to recall what happened to all the unfortunate women in his life).

Perfect costuming, great script, and excellent cinematography: it ticks all the boxes for me.

Hitler: The Rise of Evil

This is a weird one. I'm not sure why I picked this; I think I was in the market for another factual drama and the fact that the eponymous role is played by Robert Carlyle sold it for me. In fact there's quite a few faces in it; Liev Schreiber (Ray Donovan, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Stockard Channing (Rizzo from Grease!) and Matthew Modine amongst others who you recognise but can't put a name to a face.

Still... it's all a bit 'made for TV'. Maybe it hasn't dated well from 2003 - I mean the costumes are great, and the hair and make up. The locations are good... the sets don't look quite as realistic on the definition of current TVs.... I can't quite put my finger on it. I'm often slightly put off by dramas which have a mish mash of accents (if you ever watched Borgia aka Borgia: Faith and Fear you'll know what I mean), and there's all sorts in here: English, American, slightly German (are they really German or were they just getting into character? Who knows!? Perhaps it's like when someone in 'Allo 'Allo does an accent, like Officer Crabtree!) and anyway, that takes the shine off a bit for me.

Nevertheless it's an interesting glimpse into what I hope was facts gleaned from historical accounts of the nazi era. Whether Hitler himself was such an odious character in real life, I'm not so sure. I mean I think we're pretty much all agreed he was an evil prick, but at the time he had the charisma to convince enough people to support him and I'm not sure Robert Carlyle's character conveys that.

Ve Heff Vays of Making You Votch

I'd be interested to know how much truth there was in the sympathies and inclinations of various characters but I don't think there's enough hours in the day for me to research it all sufficiently, so instead I'll take it all with a pinch of salt.

Fortunately, it was only a two parter, so I didn't have to invest in it too much, and saw it through to the end, never to watch again.

The Crown

I was excited to watch this when it first came out as another great Netflix Original a while ago. It took me a little while to warm to Claire Foy as Elizabeth even though I loved her in the 2008 BBC adaption of Little Dorrit (although I am a massive Andrew Davies fangirl and will watch anything he touches). Her clipped RP accent was very good; but I rather thought made her sound even less down to earth than footage of the young princess (and later queen) in real life.

There were a few moments that I did wonder were a spot creative license: my mum was aghast at the idea of Prince Phillip smuttily suggesting the Queen 'kneel before him' (I'm not sure how royalty are supposed to ask for a blowy but my apparently this is not it).

Claire Foy in The Crown

Surprisingly, fellatio hints notwithstanding, Prince Philip (played by Doctor Who aka Matt Smith) came across sympathetically at times, and I also found myself warming to the character of Princess Margaret. She seemed human, passionate, a bit rock n roll, and a victim circumstance. Again, my mum disagreed. Although not anti monarchy in any way (as far as I know) she described Margaret as a "parasite". Whereas I'd grown up with a middle aged Princess Margaret cutting the occasional ribbon, my mum had grown up with her living the wild child lifestyle which probably pissed off a lot of working class people. That said, I'm still a sucker for star-crossed lovers and her story with Group Captain Townsend got me right in the feels.

Very well made with super costuming, script, sets and locations. Big thumbs up (or should that be a royal wave) from me.

What did you think of these Netflix dramas, and what else have you been checking out lately? I'd love to hear your recommendations for something new!

Monday, 13 March 2017

This Is The Week That Was #17

Hello and welcome to This Is The Week That Was which was a week without eating out so I'll spare you pictures of food for a change. I haven't given it up for Lent or anything, eating out, I'm just skint and have got no mates at the mo.

So instead, what's new with me? Well, I went Primo's 'parent consultation' at nursery this week which I'm not going to go into detail about - firstly because that's his private business and not mine to tell all and sundry about, and secondly because I feel like with the best will in the world these things usually turn into a Stealth Brag and that's just not my style.

Anyway, it was a good chance to catch up with his teacher and find out more about what floats his boat when he's there without me and it's also a useful juncture for me to review what we do together at home to help his development. I'm no SuperMum, you all know this already, but I am pretty capable and I feel like I should stretch and challenge myself a bit more in certain areas.

One of the things I'm keen to do more with him is what they call "mark making" which as it sounds is drawing, painting, colouring etc. He never seems that interested in doing it with me and I tend to let him choose what he wants to do at home but I think I'm going to gently encourage a bit more of this.

It's so much easier in the summer when we paint on long rolls of wallpaper in the garden and use chalks on the paving slabs but I usually stick to crayons indoors and perhaps I ought to mix it up a bit.

In the meantime we've been really enjoying all the buds and blossoms and seeing spring making an appearance lately. One of my absolute fave parts of being a mum is being outdoors with him and showing him plants and flowers and I don't do it nearly enough cause I honestly don't make as  much of an effort as I should, but fortunately we live in a leafy part of the world so there's a fair bit of nature on our doorstep.

We've also joined in with the mini growing project on Instagram (check out the hashtag #HeyitsMRbloom) with the very inspirational ladies behind Motherhood Reconstructed and Hey.. Is That Me? which has got me in the mood for national gardening week next month (update: still no sweet peas but we live in hope).

What I'm reading

Late to the party on this one but finally started The Girl On The Train. I'm enjoying the structure and style of writing but I have to confess I got a considerable way in before I realised that the diary-style entries skip back and forward in time and weren't chronological. Might help me understand what was going on a bit better if I paid slightly more attention.

I've really been enjoying the Whores of Yore Twitter account and all its historical titbits (if you'll pardon the ghastly pun) and links to really interesting facts about women and sex work throughout the ages, language and terminology, portraits, and the risks (and diseases!) they endured. There's lots of pictures of very hairy muffs but is also a celebration of all women, whatever their roles in life and I think that can only be a good thing.

From one 'fiery twat' to another; I also very much enjoyed reading about my gorgeous' little mate Scarlet Wonderland's recent axe-throwing trip to Manchester. She's about four foot fuck-all so the idea of her lobbing weaponry about is absolutely hilarious to me, but also (don't tell her this) dead inspiring because she's the kind of little ball of energy who just goes out and does whatever the fuck she wants. I on the other hand, spend about four months debating whether I should try an activity and then generally decide it's probably better if I don't. But who knows - maybe axe-throwing is something I could give a whirl, too (figuratively, that is - literally is still debatable).

Until next time, give yourself a high five from me.

B x


Monday, 6 March 2017

This Is The Week That Was #16

Hola and Bienvenido to another instalment of my gripping life. This week I've had my fifth cold in as many weeks so am pretty sure am dying of incurable neshness (to the uninitiated, 'nesh' means someone who's feeble and feels the cold; I'm pretty sure it's not scouse but I only know northerners who use it).

With that cloud of self- diagnosed doom following me around like Eeyore you'd think I'd Carpe Diem or Live, Love, Laugh and other popular mottos that 'Dawn from Admin' cites as #tattoogoals, but alas I can report no new news. Better than Fake News though, right?

Where I've Been

I went for lunch at Ropewalks Lounge on busy Hanover Street in Liverpool city centre. I wrote about my visit separately actually because I started to here but you know what I'm like; I get carried away when I've got something nice to say - such are these occasions so few and far between.

Ropewalk Lounge, Liverpool

Yard & Coop

I'm nothing if not adventurous so they very same weekend I ventured all the way to the OTHER SIDE of Hanover Street back to Yard & Coop where I first visited the other week. I'd been having ecstatic visions of their buttermilk fried chicken like a young St Bernadette and couldn't put it out of my mind so "popped in" for lunch and ordered some of their boneless thighs with fries and gravy (do not even begin to judge me until you've tried it!).

The staff are so lovely you just want to hug them, but I also don't want to get barred so much so I just smile and leave an adequate tip instead and refrain from physical contact. Oh, and you get your bill in an egg box with cadburys mini eggs in. Cute!

So they get the thumbs up from me again. No surprises there. They must put crack in their fried chicken seasoning because I swore I wouldn't go to the same place twice for at least six months but I've been there twice in the last few weeks and I think if I'm being really honest here I'd have my tea there every week if I could get away with it. Then ruin it for myself forever because I'm good at that.

Fry-yay: Yard & Coop, Liverpool

Home & Bargain

Yes I'm quite the luxury blogger aren't I? Desperately entering competitions*, eating with my fingers, and buying 52-piece Easter craft sets for £3.99. If you think that's a glamorous week then you'll be even more impressed that only a few days ago I also had cause to utter the sentence "Will you please just STAND STILL while I get the poo off the tambourine".

*The winning answer was "My favourite LEGO superhero is Batgirl because the boys have had the spotlight for too long" btw. Solidarity, my little yellow-faced plastic sisters!

Believe it or not, I'd never been to a Home Bargains - or Home & Bargain as it's known in its spiritual home of Liverpool - until last year when I was persuaded to go by maudlin journo/fellow blogger/reluctant mate/Home & Bargain fangirl ZoeYak who absolutely raves about it. Home & Bargain is one of the few things I've seen her be genuinely animated about (the others being Lindsay Lohan and Butter Pies - she's from Preston; what can I say, we all have our foibles). And while she's perhaps not the kind of person your mother would want you to be influenced by (sorry Zoe's mum if you're reading this - she's a good egg really) she wasn't wrong about this absolute Bargain Heaven.

I got heaps of stuff for 3 year old Primo - semi educational books for £1 apiece, the absolute ribbon and pompom fest mentioned above, some cheap canvases for him to do some 'artwork' on, toys, socks and other bits and bobs. I also, in my wisdom, bought a plastic sledge because "you never know when it'll come in" then promptly left it in Subway when I was getting an Italian BMT.

What I've Been Writing

My blog is first and foremost about me, and you've probably noticed that even though Primo features largely in my life (read: is my entire life - or at least on a par with carbs) I don't take full photographs of him and don't really talk about very personal family/parenting stuff.

That said, I thought it might be nice to feature some more family orientated stuff on the blog since being his mother has such a massive influence on my life. So I was thinking of shouting out some books we've enjoyed, reviewing one or two things here and there; nothing heavy or forced. And the first thing I thought I'd share is his new little toys that he's so fond of: his Itty Bittys by Hallmark.

Anyway I don't want to alienate anyone who's not interested in children's stuff (I mean, I barely am myself if we're honest) but I know I've got a heap of parents who follow me and also let's face it I spend nearly every waking hour with the kid - I'm going to end up talking about his toys at some point aren't I!

What I've Been Watching

I've been rewatching The Sopranos over the last couple of months. It's probably my most rewatched series and I'll never tire of it. I'm coming up to the penultimate episode and I know it'll get me right in the feels like previous viewings. It's crazy how you can get invested in storylines and characters and how the end of a box set can leave you feeling all at sea or worse: absolutely devastated. So I'm honestly preparing for a low mood immediately after I finish the last episode but on the bright side at least I'll hopefully stop eating baked pasta and cold cuts at 10 o'clock at night before I do a James Gandolfini myself.

Other than that, I've been dipping in out of Netflix and checking out other stuff old and new which I will cover in my Entertainment section on the blog (seems the best place for that sort of thing). It's not all latest releases or blockbuster films; it's often dramas on Netflix or the BBC iPlayer which you might fancy giving a watch if you're in the market for something new, have insomnia, or are up at all hours doing night feeds and nappy changes (so glad those days are over for me!).

Until next time,

Peace out homeslices

B x

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Itty Bittys: Starting Our Superhero Collection

My 3 year old and I have just started our first collection! We've gone for Itty Bittys by Hallmark for our collectibles - these small and affordable soft toys I found in cool superhero ranges that won't break and don't need batteries. What's not to love!?

When I was a kid I didn't really collect anything. I can't quite remember if this was because I was a simpleton devoid of any imagination or ability to appreciate nice things, or because my mum and dad simply could not be arsed, but I was never a collector.

My sister, the boffin, avidly collected stickers and displayed them very neatly and colour-coordinated in a dedicated album. Remember those Scratch 'n' Sniff stickers from the 80s? She had all of them and I was insanely jealous. The popcorn one was my favourite.

My brother on the other hand seemed to collect bad school reports and bogies.

I once tried collecting mugs, but I wanted to keep them in the kitchen alongside the normal household cups and everyone got pissed off with me when they wanted a brew but kept reaching into the cupboard and pulling out a novelty (and slightly racist) mug from Ireland with the handle on the inside, or one in the shape of a camel where the palm tree kept poking you in the nose every time you had a sip of tea.

So I'm not trying to live vicariously through my child or project my childhood dreams onto him (if I was, he'd already be signed up to tap dancing, bell-ringing and we'd have a matching set of family metal detectors by now) but I thought it'd be fun to start collecting Itty Bittys with 3 year old Primo.

Itty Bittys, for the uninitiated, are little soft toys from Hallmark which I first found around Christmas time in a card shop and got a couple as stocking fillers. *Ahem* - I mean I bumped into Father Christmas in the card shop and he asked me what I thought and I agreed they were a good idea (just in case you are reading this in four year's time, nosey child).

The first ones were R2D2 and Yoda from Star Wars and they were such a hit as stocking fillers I realised we were onto a winner. Retailing at around six quid, they've been fab as potty training and tooth-brushing rewards without having to resort to sugary treats, and are cheap enough for kids to spend their pocket money on. They've also come in handy as little presents for the many godchildren in my life and are pretty reasonable if you're trying to stick to a budget for attending numerous kids' birthday parties.

They're cute enough for younger children (I hate seeing toddlers with really grown up toys - don't wish their lives away!) but with Star Wars characters and superheroes to choose from, I'm hoping he won't grow out of them any time soon (probably not before 40 if he grows up to be a real nerd!).

We expanded the Star Wars side of the collection with C3PO and have now branched out into Marvel superheroes with Iron Man and the Hulk, plus new additions from the DC Comics characters with Superman (who was the cutest little curl in his forehead) and Wonder Woman (my son is so right on - he's got a Duplo Wonder Woman too and he adores her, but then who wouldn't: she's a badass chick with a massive motorbike).

You can also get Snoopy, Scooby-Doo, and Wizard of Oz ranges but Primo has never heard of them and I think I've already got my work cut out with resisting his pleas to buy him the extra large Spider-Man Itty Bitty he spied in the card shop and keeps reminding me about with puppy dog eyes! For now though, he sleeps with them all in bed with him every night so it won't be long before they need a new home - perhaps a picture shelf to stand them all up on in his room?

You can start your own collection from your nearest Hallmark store (I just call it "the card shop - the one that's not Card Factory") or online - here's the link to the official Amazon store.

Did you collect anything when you were a child? Or do you collect anything with you kids now? Leave me a comment below! I would particularly love to hear from anyone else who was a sad git like me and collected novelty mugs. Please tell me I wasn't alone!


Friday, 3 March 2017

Ropewalks Lounge @ Novotel Liverpool

In my This Is The Week That Was blog posts, I always try and include where I've been and what I've been up to and it invariably involves food. Sometimes I go on a bit so I find myself dedicating a separate post to an eatery and this time I wanted to give a shout-out to Ropewalks Lounge in Liverpool...

Ropewalks Lounge @ Novotel, Hanover Street, Liverpool

I popped in for lunch at Ropewalks Lounge, which is on the ground floor of the Novotel on busy Hanover Street, after winning some cinema passes in their competition to celebrate the launch of the LEGO Batman Movie. I didn't go to see LEGO Batman, as I didn't have my own sidekick with me, but I'll use them at a later date.

What I will say is it's a surprisingly nice little* oasis in there you know! I don't know why I'm surprised - I'd often walked past and casually remarked it looked nice inside. I guess I just thought that a hotel restaurant is a weird place to go if you're not staying there. Which is a bit daft when you think about it.

*It's not that little actually - it goes really far back from the front door and is an absolutely fab retreat from the rubbish weather and trudging round shopping (if you don't know already, I'm not really a girly girl and my idea of hell is a shopping trip where I get that burning sensation in the balls of my feet and don't even stop for a wee or a bit to eat).

Since proper shopping wasn't on my agenda (don't tell the Scouse bird police they'll strip me of all credentials and send me to Coventry - possibly literally) I wasn't in a rush and I was happy to order a few things off the menu. Some of them were called 'Table Bites' so I thought, as you do, they'd be little piddly things especially at 3 for £12. Something along the lines of a tapas restaurant or the onion rings section of a pub menu; that's what I had in mind.

So these three items were considerably bigger than expected. In fact the Italian meatballs alone (which came with some nice focaccia) would feed a younger child on its own (one to bear in mind if, like me, you resent forking out for ungrateful little fusspots). The calamari was soft and tasty, the massive chicken skewers (which came with separate peanut satay dip) was nicely done and there really wasn't any need for me to have ordered a separate club sandwich but I did and I don't regret it one bit cause it was bloody lovely.

So it's definitely worth checking out if you're in town and if you're staying in Liverpool at the Novotel then you're in for a treat because they've got an X Box for kids, a big screen for the sports, and a quiet games area and swimming pool downstairs. In fact I read a blog post ages ago (and I'm sorry I can't remember who - if it was yours, please give me a shout in the comments section cause I'd love to read it again). And anyway she visited Liverpool with her young family and stayed in the Novotel and it sounded so good that I have been thinking that I should go and stay with 3 year old Primo as part of my hair-brained scheme to ease myself into travelling alone with a small person.

Anyone who knows me will know that the thought of going to Tesco reduces me to trembles and the last time I tried to brave an overnight stay anywhere with him (a serviced apartment just around the corner from Hanover Street) I had to call my friend for help the next morning because I couldn't pack my things away and check out properly and had tears and snot running down my face.

Me and my "overnight bag" 

I digress. What was I saying? Oh yeah - it's nice and bustly in this Ropewalks place with guests relaxing with a drink, people lunching, kids occupying themselves - but even with all that going on we still enjoyed a quiet lunch away from any noise (sssssh!) or other peoples kids (booooo!). The decor is lovely and the staff were dead friendly. Not sure what else you'd want really. Maybe complimentary wheelbarrow to be transported back to your car by a sturdy member of staff after over-indulging in those deceptively named "Table Bites"?

Sunday, 12 February 2017

This Is This Week That Was #15

Hi, are you here for the slightly tedious round up of my unimportant life and what I've been up to lately? You are? Fab, take a seat. Let's begin...

Where I've Been

So since last week's 'Week That Was' nothing earth shattering has happened. But that's good news right? It's been fairly quiet, dare I say boring. But sometimes 'boring' is the goal.

I met a REAL friend in PERSON which was fab. Not a new friend; an established friend who's a really good egg. I could at this juncture, if I really wanted, make a tenuous link between being a good egg and the fact that we met up for breakfast; but I'm too tired and you're probably not nearly pissed enough to find it funny.

Anyway my friend is a good egg. She is patient with me when I forget to reply to texts. She has a dry sense of humour and laughs at me (not with me) when I say stupid things. She cocks her head to one side and scrutinises me with a wry smile when I tell her about my latest harebrained schemes - like working together, finishing our masters as planned, and how last time I saw her I swore I was going to start my own business and write a sitcom. She sends me flowers on my birthday even though I couldn't even tell you what month hers is in (I feel like April rings a bell, but November would also suit her so not quite sure) and even sent me a bouquet on the 5th year anniversary of us meeting at college. How cute is that?

Where I Haven't Been

Anyway meeting my friend for breakfast made up for the fact that I couldn't attend an 'Insta Mums' meet up (I'm not actually sure if we're all mums actually and it doesn't matter either way) of women from all over the country for a nice lunch and clinking glasses in Birmingham. The get together was organised by the fab @WhatTheSchujj and I was really looking forward to it - to meeting her and others that I follow (and those who I haven't interacted with yet).

I mean I was totally scared, don't get me wrong; you can't live with Anxiety and just rock up to these things without first dwelling on a whole world of 'What Ifs'. They're all dead fashionable for a start, and wear grown up shoes and I wear trainers. They have exciting and meaningful careers and I just abandoned mine in the hope of never having to do any proper work again. They're all well-travelled and my most recent searches on Trip Advisor were the Isle of Man and Benidorm.

And it's at this point I have to stop myself: these are all just things that my personal 'anxiety filter' tells me when I look at other people's Instagram accounts. But Instagram doesn't give you hello hugs and twinkly smiles and laughter and all the other things that real life does. So I missed out there, on those real life things, and all I'm left with is the unquashed What Ifs.

As it happens, it wasn't anxiety that stopped me. It was 3 year old Primo's sudden and unprecedented bout of conjunctivitis, a spell of vertigo on my part, and a buggered alternator that stopped me. But the feeling of failure still lurks. "Could do better" - I have marked myself - and "3/10 for effort".

What I've Been Reading

A while ago I subscribed to Zoe Yak's newsletter so I can read her blogs as soon as they're published. She's my mate, like in real life (I know, I know, imagine me having more than one friend - quite improbable isn't it?), so maybe I should keep more up to date with her writing but I like things made simple for me and also she's very stupidly rather modest about her writing and doesn't announce her new blogs on social media nearly as much as she ought to.

ZoeYak: someone with about as much zest for life as I have

I love her tips for good blogs and articles to read and podcasts to check out, and she's just very very funny.

I've also dipped back into one of my favourite blogs, A Sense of Place by Ronnie Hughes. I love it because he doesn't hold any punches when it comes to social issues and what he thinks of new developments in Liverpool, and he goes for fab long walks around the city and beyond, documenting points of interest along the way and taking loads of photographs.

One of Ronnie and Sarah's recent strolls around Liverpool's Dock Road on 'A Sense of Place'

What I've Been Writing

I worked with the lovely people at The Guide Liverpool for the first time and did a little piece for them called 10 Non-Cringey Valentines Dates in Liverpool, all about alternative places to go that doesn't involve overpriced set menus and massive naff teddy bears.

Before that I wrote all about my dream of a Mum Cave (like a Man Cave - clue's in the name; geddit?) if I had one of those fancy shed/garden room things.

Other than that, I've just been writing To Do lists as long as my arm and crossing very little off. Story of my life!

Until next week; Adieu, Adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu...

B x

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