Monthly Chat: September 2016


What I did


So that’s my favourite month – and the summer – over for another year!

We managed to squeeze one more barbecue in, for all it’s mostly been raining. Husband (Oli) and I invited a close group of friends over to celebrate our second wedding anniversary, a marriage that was severely tested by the having to assemble a picnic bench in the half-light the evening beforehand. It rained basically all day, but thankfully my patio is covered so we at least got to sit outside for a little bit before we retired inside for drinking games and shenanigans.

September 2016 isn’t just our second wedding anniversary, but also marks ten years since the month we first met. We made sure to book our favourite brasserie for dinner (best calamari EVER) and go for a romantic (Poké)walk after the meal. A few years ago, before The Best Thing I Never Had came out, before we were even married, I wrote this blog post about our early relationship and how it was an inspiration for the book, if you’d care to have a read. It’s a cliché, but I really am very lucky to be married to my best friend.

After all that romance, some time apart – I went to London for work for a few days, staying in my work’s fancyass London flat opposite Regent’s Park (what’s less fancy is the UNHOLY TRAFFIC NOISE). I got to have catch up time with my Favourite Editor Charlotte (and got very excited about Future Books, even though that future is preeeetty far away right now). At the end of the week Oli arrived and we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Now, I wanted to see Matilda, but as Gene Wilder had recently died, Oli insisted that we see Charlie instead. After the first musical number he bent to whisper in my ear: “I just realised I’ve already seen this.” Sigh. Luckily I enjoyed it anyway!!

More London fun that weekend – it was time for Proms in the Park, the year’s biggest, drunkest picnic. And this time it was the year’s soggiest picnic. It literally bucketed it down for the entire day and most of the evening. We gave up attempting to keep dry. I did sit in a bin bag for the longest time before admitting defeat. So concerned was I that I would get trench foot from my permanently sodden tights, that I took a plastic picnic knife to the toes and made myself some makeshift leggings (do not try this at home). The pictures look pretty miserable – and I needed about seven steaming showers to rid myself of the clammy feeling – but it actually raised a little bit of Blitz spirit on the night. Plus, it was great getting to see All Saints (the ten year old inside of me was very pleased, screaming along to Never Ever and Pure Shores), The Feeling, Rick Astley (surprisingly good!) and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (sing it with me now: “Sheeeeeeerrrrryyyyy, Sherry BABY, Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerryyyyyyyy!).

Well, I didn’t contract trench foot. But I did suffer many foot related woes in September. At some point during our wedding anniversary celebrations I dropped a heavy-bottomed pasta bowl onto my big toe with enough force that it cracked in half (the bowl, not the toe…) leaving a pretty impressive triangular bruise… That bruise had just about cleared up when the (already wobbly) glass bath screen decided to come loose and LITERALLY puncture my foot with its corner whilst I was innocently trying to shower. After Oli rescued me and bandaged up my “that-probably-needs-stitches” foot, he went back to having no sympathy, as it *ahem* had technically been my job for the past few months to arrange for someone to come in and fix the screen. Hey, I’m a busy woman! Either way, I couldn’t get shoes on for a couple of days, which made getting to and from work tons of fun.

Due to said foot injuries, I didn’t get much cycling done during the last few days of the Wiggin Wheelie Big Challenge. Never the less, we finished a whole day early! The BBC was there to film the last few miles, check out the video here! So now the miles are in, but the fundraising goes on until the end of the year. I’ll be doing Sober October (probably a good thing, seeing how much I went “out” in September!) and mistressing a pub quiz too next month,

Lots and lots of friends and family-time in September. Aside from the anniversary party, we had my mother in law, step-father in law, father in law, grandparents in law, sister and one of my oldest friends and her husband come to stay over the course of the month. With the latter we took advantage of the mildness of the day and went to Stratford Upon Avon. There was a food festival going on (how convenient!) so after we took a little sail on the river (naturally) we stuffed ourselves full of deliciousness (including churros – so many churros).

Finally, what was already a pretty fantastic month (foot pain aside) ended on a high – Friends Fest at Blenheim Palace! It was pretty thronged and maybe not exactly what we were expecting, but it’s still a bit of a thrill to sit at Monica’s kitchen table, or pretend to sing Smelly Cat at Central Perk.

So, bring on October! Where we swap barbecues and beer gardens with friends with slow-cooker casseroles and movie nights, and start buying hot chocolate syrups in. Crap, I’d better get my coats dry-cleaned… See you next month!


What I read

Miss You, Kate Eberlen (☆☆☆☆☆)
The Sister, Louise Jensen (☆☆☆)
Empire of Storms, Sarah J. Maas (☆☆☆)
Blood Lines, Angela Marsons (☆☆☆☆)



What I wrote


Bridesmaids #2 (Wedding Dress) released, and Bridesmaids #3 (Hen Weekend) went off to be edited! It’s the home straight now guys!

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

  • Ellie Goulding, Still Falling For You
  • Bastille, Good Grief
  • Digital Farm Animals, Millionaire

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