Monthly Chat: January 2016

Collage 2016-01-31 16_56_59

What I did

Ain’t no time for the January Blues in my house – the first month of the year is an almost straight run of big birthdays for me. And – almost like I didn’t realise that I was going to be stupid busy – I chose January to become addicted to the Netflix sensation Making A Murderer and, on the rebound, the podcast Serial (yes, I know I’m super late to the party, but can we discuss? Seriously, I have OPINIONS. And I’m kind of a lawyer so they’re legit. Honest). I also got stuck into playing Majora’s Mask on my 3DS (I got it for Christmas) so I’ve been pretty involved with the amazing retro-Zeldaness. This preface goes some way to explaining why I got so little reading done this month (see the usual What I Read section, below).

Speaking of me being kind of a lawyer: in the world of Real Erin and Day Job Concerns, there was a bit of an upheaval. The promotion I’ve been working for for almost two years (!!) happened with alarming haste straight after the Christmas holidays and I had to move away from my lovely open-plan desk with my lovely friends and go and sit in a little glass office. It’s killing me being away from my mates (and the office gossip hub!) but it’s exciting times nonetheless. Now I’ve prettified my new desk with general sparkly tat and a vanilla reed diffuser, it’s feeling pretty homely. You’d totally trust a girl with a sippy cup on her desk with all your trade mark and IP law concerns, right? Right?

Also in the office, the Wiggin Wheelie Big Challenge began the second week of January – if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have seen mention of it. Basically all us lovely, kind-hearted lawbods have taken it upon ourselves to cycle around the world in 180 working days. Not for our health (although I’m definitely feeling a bit fitter already), but to raise at least £100,000 for four charities (Maggie’s, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Autistica and Alzheimer’s Society). I’m “donating” a steady 45 minutes and 15 miles per week although I hope I get a little better before too long. Please take a moment to check out our JustGiving page and see if you can spare a few quid. We’re smashing the cycling – but we need all the donated pennies we can possibly get.

On the subject of exertion: myself, my husband and a few of his work friends decided to try out ‘the new thing’ in the area – Gloucester’s Jumptastic. It’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a room where the walls and floor are trampolines. It’s been weeks and my stomach muscles are still sore, although I’m not certain whether this was from the jumping exercise or from the laughing. It was a great way to spend an hour and we’ll definitely be going back (and maybe the small children somersaulting madly from pad to pad or taking death-defying leaps from platforms won’t shame me quite so much this second time). Check out my Instagram (@rinylou) for a cringe-worthy clip of me being swallowed almost whole by a foam pit.

Like I said earlier, January = birthdays for me. I would never, ever manage a Dry January. The first was at a flipping posh piano bar in Smithfields, where I had already shamed myself by arriving early and alone and not being able to work out how to get into said bar. This faux-pas was followed by very quaffable wine, £11 Jagerbombs and us screaming requests for Queen at the poor pianist. I ended up missing the last train back to where I was staying and having to pay for an Uber (ouch) – so that and the aforementioned £11 shots were the reason I had zero money left the remainder of the month. Cue sad tweets about sad dinners.

One of my other best friends turned 30 the following weekend, but thankfully for my liver and my bank balance we are postponing formal celebration until we do a weekend away in April (can’t wait!). We did still drive down to Windsor to have a group dinner on the day itself, and while we were in the area we decided to flex our National Trust membership cards and visit the lovely Hughenden Manor (stay tuned for one of my National Trust Travels blog posts about it later in February). Sadly we missed the other usual Big January Birthday because my husband hurt his wrist and couldn’t drive us back to London for it. I’m pretty sure it’s a Fifa-injury, although – trust me – all the jokes about excessive wanking have been made at his expense.

February is set to be epic!! Some of our loveliest friends are coming to stay (and that gives me a legitimate excuse to watch Frozen and dance around like a twat, as I can do it with their 2 year old). I’m going to be having a total piss-up (let’s be honest here) with other lovelies from the Harper Impulse family on the 12th in London. Husband and I are having our first break away just us two since our honeymoon (recommendations for what we simply MUST do when in Riga, please?) – and, also excitingly, are tacking a cheeky weekend in Oslo onto it, where some of our friends are joining us – including, MOST excitingly, Dearly Deported Best Friend (see multitude of past posts about her and her influence on my novel Somewhere Only We Know)!!

See you after February 29th! I love a cheeky Leap Year…

What I read

The Bronze Horseman, Paullina Simons (☆☆☆)
Half A King, Joe Abercrombie (☆☆☆☆)
Truthwitch, Susan Dennard (☆☆☆☆)
Behind Closed Doors, B. A. Paris (☆☆☆☆)
Salt To The Sea, Ruta Sepetys (☆☆☆☆☆)


What I wrote

So I can speak a little more freely about my current project because it’s appeared on Amazon and Goodreads, which I take as a go sign! Here we go with my four-part novella serial, BRIDESMAIDS! January’s writing time – however sparse it was – was dedicated to really getting to grips with Nora, Bea, Cleo, Daisy and Sarah. I can’t wait until I can share more details!

I put together a quick piece on exactly why I had so many boob selfies in 2015… Check out my recap of conquering the #100Dresses Challenge!

I also wrote quite a few pieces and interview answers for some very interesting features that will be appearing in the coming weeks – watch this space!


What I listened to

Top 5 tracks on my Spotify this month

  • Rachel Platten, Stand By You
  • High Valley, She’s With Me
  • Hey Monea, Filthy Rich
  • Birdy, Keeping Your Head Up
  • Geri Halliwell, Mi Chico Latino (don’t judge me… it’s part of the soundtrack for the Bridesmaids series!)

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