Monthly Chat: July 2016

Collage 2016-07-31 14_36_27

What I did


Well, I turned (whisper it) 30, that’s what I did. Gah!

I’m only playing up the thirty-dread, I don’t mind at all really! It’s amusing for me because half of my best friends are “a school year” older than me (and my husband and the rest of said best friends are the year below), so I feel a little bit like turning 30 is a bit passe at the moment!

I spent my last twenty-something Saturday cycling in the middle of Cheltenham town centre for the Wiggin Wheelie Big Challenge. A lot of my colleagues bought their adorable offspring, which we just pointed at old ladies to get their attention – it was great! We’re almost out of time for this big challenge, but while the miles have been easy, the fundraising has been anything so. Please click the link if you’d like to learn more about our efforts and our charities (and, even better, if you’ve got a few quid you could spare towards the cause).

So the actual big three-oh fell on a Wednesday, surely the most inconvenient day to have a birthday, amirite? I went to work (boring!) where I was greeted by a box of balloons courtesy of Dearly Deported Best Friend and taken out for lunch by a lovely colleague. When the working day came to a close, my husband whisked me off for French Martinis (a birthday tradition) and then for dinner in a posh art deco restaurant where I finally had proper lobster for the first time (I had to have something exciting to mark entry into a new decade, after all). I also got a very grown up gift from my husband – a pink ruby eternity ring in the style of a traditional Irish claddagh ring. He designed it alongside the same jeweler who helped him with my engagement ring – with one of those on each ring finger, I’m very bling bling at the moment!

As amazing and sophisticated as I felt eating lobster and being presented with precious jewelry, it wouldn’t have been my birthday if people hadn’t gotten dressed up, drunk and dancing. I hired a venue space in town and strung the place up with the tackiest bunting and decor I could find for my Acceptable in the Eighties fancy dress party! I’d flirted with the idea of going as Buttercup from The Princess Bride, but realised I probably didn’t want to have a floor length dress on all night, so I just decided to go OTT 80s Prom. My husband his best mates went as KISS (yes, complete with catsuits and face paint) and four of mine went as the Care Bears (which was amazing!). We also had Mario and Luigi, the cast of Top Gun, Stevie Nicks, Madonna, George Michael and more! I then brought most of the party guests back to my house (completely negating the point of having hired a function space, I know) and we sat in the balmy summer garden until about 3am. Needless to say, I didn’t get much done the next day (although I did watch Thirteen Going On Thirty).

Being a (not even a closet) huge Pokemon fan, I was pretty amused that the first roll out of Pokemon Go! was on my actual thirtieth birthday. I got it early (ahem) and therefore I’ve spent most of the month (and all of my data) trawling the world for pocket monsters. Everyone, please stop being misery-guts about it – it’s a harmless thing for people to enjoy, and the creator of Pokemon originally did so because he wanted to reconnect urban 90s children with the natural world. I absolutely suck every time I challenge a gym, and I haven’t found a Pikachu yet, but – hey – it’s gotten my husband and I out on walks where normally we’d be sat in front of the television of an evening, how can that be bad? Plus I find it hysterical taking pictures of people reacting to or posing with Pokemon, and I’ve flooded my Facebook with them!

More fancy dress – halfway through the month I attended Secret Cinema presents Dirty Dancing. Who would have ever thought I’d find a suitable outing for the white tulle skirt with wine glasses embroidered on that I bought when I was drunk?? My friends and I dressed in our finest 1963 fashions for a stay at Kellerman’s. As I’ve found with previous Secret Cinemas, there’s NEVER enough time to see and do anything, the queues for food, drink, toilets, anything are horrendous, and the weather never what you want, but they’re just so much bloody fun. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of hundreds of drunk people standing up on their picnic blankets to dance along with Baby and Johnny at the end of the film. I hear a rumour that next summer they’re going to put on Moulin Rouge – if so, I’m so there!

Another weekend, another trip – this time to Banbury to stay with one of my oldest friends and her husband. We went for a lovely gastropub lunch for another friend’s birthday (the only girl in our school friendship group whose birthday was later in the academic year than mine!) and then retired back for a barbecue (this friend is a self-confessed massive feeder).

I have the feeling that August is also going to be full of barbecues. While we’re normally the ones zooming across the country, it seems that next month people are more coming to us (plus our best friend/Best Man is also temporarily living with us while we relocates work and general life closer to us in the Cotswolds). I’ve also got a wedding, and I do LOVE a wedding (two of my colleagues are getting married – the ultimate office love story!).  See you on the other side!!

What I read

The Girl In The Glass Tower, Elizabeth Fremantle (☆☆☆☆)
Sleeper’s Castle, Barbara Erskine (☆☆☆)
Bird Box, Josh Malerman (☆☆☆☆)
Jem & The Holograms #1, Kelly Thompson (☆☆☆☆)
Unearthly, Cynthia Hand (☆☆☆)
Cynthia Hand (☆☆☆)
Hallowed, Cynthia Hand (☆☆☆)
, Cynthia Hand (☆☆☆)
Winter Is Coming, Carolyne Larrington (DNF)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling et al (☆☆☆☆)


What I wrote

Harper have made the decision to hold back publication of the second Bridesmaid novella so that the final three come out across three months, to help with pacing. Sorry for the wait! It will be worth it in the end. The paperback release has been confirmed for next spring (as we come up to wedding season, naturally!).

Meanwhile, during the hottest week of the year, the Christmassy cover for THE ONE WITH THE WHITE WEDDING was revealed! See posts here, here and here! I also did a quick Q&A with lovely Star Crossed Reviews.

I also still have that SECRET I’ve been mentioning for a few months. If you follow this blog, it might be more because you appreciate my history fangirling than my contemporary romcoms. If so, you definitely need to watch this space….


What I listened to

Top tracks on my Spotify this month

  • MO, Final Song
  • Fickle Friends, Cry Baby

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