My Week In Pictures 25th – 31st May

This week has been another joy – I hope this trend of all the fun continues forevermore!

Monday

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On Monday I was still in the Gower – so I woke up in a tent smelling like bonfire. I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Thank the lord for bank holidays – they are just the tonic. I had a big ol campfire fry up in the morning, then took a walk up a big hill and drank a bottle of becks..#yolo (or the the living part might be over sooner rather than later if I continue with fry-ups and beer!)

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Later we drove back to “business-as-usual London” which is sad but we did cross the Severn Bridge, which is pretty cool.

Tuesday

I was supposed to be going to the theatre on Tuesday but that was cancelled so instead I made dinner for me and Will and watched Game of Thrones. It was a lovely chill out I didn’t expect to have.

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Wednesday

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Champange Wednesdays are a thing, right? Well if they aren’t, they SHOULD be! Me and my lovely blogging friend, Katie Brennan, went to sample the delights of Champagne club at Kettner’s – my new most favourite eatry and champagne house in the city! OBVIOUSLY before heading up to the club, Bren-dawg and I had to have a cheeky little happy hour cocktail!

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Katie and I sampled 6 different champagnes…but y’know, all it a days work!

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ALSO GUYS THERE WERE MACARONS. Champagne and macarons…yep.

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ANYWAY a proper post on Champagne club will be up soon!

Thursday

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After getting a little bit lost around Liverpool Street (despite working there for 3 years!) I found myself amid some fun street art and ready to watch my friends Emma and Charlie perform a gig at a club called Pipeline.

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I love watching these fabulous ladies perform – they are so talented and finding their sound as Patchwork Skies!

Friday

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Fri-YEY! I love a Friday a really do! This week I had some drinks with Katie (YES HER AGAIN!) and a new blogging friend, Frankie, at Planet Hollywood. Following that I went to see BRADLEY COOPER in ELEPHANT MAN! AHHHH!!!!! The review is embargoed until tomorrow so I will share it on Official Theatre then.

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After seeing Elephant Man, I headed to the pub with Katie then off to a party of an old uni friend who I haven’t seen in YEARS. Hurrah.

Saturday

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SO Saturday was a big day! I had two events to speak at/ help with at the Southbank Centre. I was invited to be a speaker in the Web We Want Fest and helped host a quiz on the Snog bus. You can read ALL ABOUT IT here.
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Later Will, his mum Sue and I went for dinner at Ping Pong on the Southbank.
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We started with a well earned cocktail and then had a lovely dim sum feast! YES TO ROAST PORK PARCELS! YES TO SALTY EDAMAME PEAS!
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Sunday
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AHhhhh after a BIG week, I am now trying to catch up on all the writing that goes along aside the fun! Thankfully I had bacon, avocado and tomato in the fridge to see me through!

Woosh. SO. Yeah. Next week. That’s about to happen! I hope you all had an amazing week!

Web We Want Festival – Southbank Centre

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As you may know, yesterday I was asked to speak at the Southbank Centre’s Web We Want Festival, an awesome three day event running through the whole of the Southbank that included exhibitions, digital art, talks and all the fun surrounding the world web! The guy who INVENTED the internet was even there! What a LAD.

Why Blog?

Some of the activities and events on offer were some truly awesome retro games, talks on the end of privacy, advice on how to build a website and even how to win at online dating! The talk I was participating in was Why Blog? alongside with three other bloggers/instagrammers,  Michael of Symmetry Breakfast, Lulu Kitoloto, Jenny Howze of BritMums plus blogger and discussion leader, Davina Drummond.

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I was invited to talk about my experiences building Official Theatre from nothing to a successful business using the power of blogging as well as my experience blogging as hobby. Each speaker was really diverse; BritMums is a site aimed at mothers, Symmetry Breakfast is a cross between art and food (YUM), Lulu’s blog, Afri-Love, aims to inspire African’s to do whatever they aspire to, and Davina who blogs about art and being a mother.

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So why do I blog? to cut a 5 minute speech short (I also think it was filmed so I will post it when it is up) because a) in business it allows you to break the corporate veneer and communicate with your readers/customers on a personal level, b) socially speaking, it does wonders – I set up #LDNtheatrebloggers less than a year ago and now have SO MANY new like minded friends, c) as a record – looking back over past blogs, especially My Week In Pictures posts, really helps me appreciate what a lovely life I live and how lucky I am!

Later the floor was opened up to questions from the audience, which was fun. I seriously picked up so many amazing tips from my co-panellists.

Thanks to all my friends who came to support!

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Snog and Blog

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Later on I was invited to a blogging networking event as part of the Web We Want Fest which was taking place on the Snog Yogurt bus (YES BRIGHT PINK FROZEN YOGURT BUS.) Not only was I attending the event, in which we were given freeeeeeeeeeeee Snogs (oioi!) I was also hosting a web savy quiz! All the fun.

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Some of my favourite people were aboard the bus, including Ed, Katy, Rebecca (pictured below), Emma and one of my new friends Charlotte (all of which are put of #LDNTheatreBloggers.) I also met some lovely other travel and lifestyle bloggers such as Roma and Sarah.

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It was so nice to have a network with fellow bloggers and a snog! A HUGE thanks the two MEGA babes from the Southbank Centre who organised the event, Tallissa and Hannah (who also runs a crafty blog!)

Lovely Hannah and cheeky young Ed giving it the 'ol photo steal :)

Katy and me :D

I Bloooooomin loved having a blog and snog and literally left wanting snog everyone and everything – what a fantastic day all round at the Web We Want fest!

Without blogging, I wouldn't know these babes.
Without blogging, I wouldn’t know these babes.

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Kettner’s Pre Theatre Menu

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Oh life, sometimes you are kind to me!
As you may have spotted in my recent post about a 1940’s event I attended, I have found a new love: Kettner’s!

Kettner’s is a fabulously classy restaurant and champagne bar dating back to 1867! Not only is it steeped in all kinds of history, it has a very close association to the theatrical world. For example Oscar Wilde was a known regular at the venue and (my favourite fact) Actress Lillie Langtry and King Edward VII used secret tunnels connecting the venue to the opposite Palace Theatre to have illicit interval affairs!

Such is my appreciation for my new haunt of the season, I wanted to share the venue in all its fabulousness to a few of my theatre blogger friends, who I thought may appreciate Kettner’s for its top notch cocktails and theatrical history. What we all discovered together is that the FOOD THERE IS GREAT! Read about what we ate (and what we DRANK!) below!

Happy Hour
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It obviously would have been RUDE of me not to sample one of the Kettner’s Happy Hour cocktails! I opted for a Negroni, which always makes me feel kind of 60’s and businesslike, like it is the kind of cocktail Joan from Mad Men would be supping.

There is something very important I need to tell you about the Kettner’s Happy Hour….the cocktails are BRILLIANT. AND ONLY £4.50!!! No seriously. And I am not talking your cheapo Weatherspoons happy hour cocktail for £4.50 either…these are the real deal.
Happy Hour runs from 4-6.30pm on Sunday to Thursday. If you are lucky enough to be able to get to the venue during these hours then I would say this is HIGH priority.

Champagne

Champagne at Kettner's
Champagne at Kettner’s

Kettner’s is as much a Champagne bar as it is a restaurant, so obviously we HAD to try the champagne. Settling into our reserved area in the Skylight Nook, myself and 9 other blogging beauties, plus the lovely ladies from Kettner’s, Sarah and Hannah, enjoyed a cool glass of Moutard Brut Reserve Champagne. Heaven!

 Starter
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During our trip, we sampled  the delights of the affordable Pre-Theatre Menu (for us West End Wendy’s to enjoy before sassing off to one of the many nearby entertainment houses.)

Above is the GLORIOUS chicken and bacon salad which I ordered as my main.  The chicken and bacon were in a beautiful crispy and subtly creamy pile in the centre, surrounded by salad leaves, a tomato salsa and some olive oil. It was divine.

Obviously us bloggers have absolutely no shame, so were all snapping away pictures of one anothers dinners. Luckily for you this means you can not ONLY see what I had, but also see what else is on the menu.

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Above is the Goats Cheese Royale with red onion marmalade and a mixed leaf salad. I am told that this was also a delight.
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Above is the avocado, prawn and mango salad, which was a close second choice for me. As I ordered fish for my main I decided to go with the chicken, but I have to say I did have a serious case of food envy when this came out! Nonetheless I am glad I went for my chicken and bacon salad.

Main Course

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Above was my choice of mains, the pan fried sea trout on a bed of sun-dried tomato risotto.  When I go for dinner I love ordering things I wouldn’t usually have at home and as I rarely buy fish and risotto can take hours to make properly, I went for this well sized lovely.

The fish has a satisfying crisp to it and the tepenade dressing was very complimentary to the taste of the trout. The risotto had the perfect texture, but I think could have been slightly more seasoned. All in all an excellent choice though!
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Another moment of food envy! Above is the grilled pork chop with sage mash, red cabbage and onion jus. My blogging friends tell me this was quite the delight and perfect for those looking for something a bit heartier.
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Above is the vegetarian option, a wild mushroom, spinach fettuccine with a rocket and parmesan salad. The lovely Erica who was sat next to me tucked into this making plenty of encouraging “mmm” sounds.

Desert
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I saw the words “raspberry macaroon” written down and was sold. What was presented was a delightfully tart yet satisfyingly creamy mousse, on top a meringue, the sweetness of which cut through the zing nicely.  Thumbs up.
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Above is the chocolate pot with madeleines, which is a good option for the chocolate lovers out there! Personally I like a lighter dessert so I think this one would have been a touch too rich for me!

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Lastly, we have the lemon posset with raspberry tuile which again I am told was delightful. This would have been a second choice for me too as I LOVE lemon and all things citrus. West End Wilma’s accustomed pallet assures me it was a joy.

SO that completed our taste and drink adventure to the LOVELY Kettner’s.  Some info you may like to know:

Pre-theatre and Post theatre:

2 courses £21.50
3 courses £24.40
All prices are inclusive of VAT. A discretionary 12.5% service charge will be added to the bill.

The Champagne Bar:

Happy hour – Sunday to Thursday 4 pm to 6.30 pm
(Selected cocktails)

EXCELLENT RIGHT? Right!

Thanks again to Kettner’s for having us! I will see you soon!

London Coffee Festival 2015

Last week I went to the lip smackingly smashing London Coffee Festival.

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Having never heard of the event in previous years (apparently it has been going on for a few years) THIS year it came to my attention and my eyes were fully on it. Why? Because there was going to be coffee, cocktails, cakes and live music. Why NOT!
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As I had a jam packed bank holiday weekend planned, I could only go to the festival on Friday after work. I had just under 3 hours to explore ALL OF THE COFFEE BASED FUN. Challenge accepted!

My friend Kate came along with me and we headed STRAIGHT for some coffee!

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This little beauty you see above here is a flat white from the genuine fitties at Shoreditch Grind – who make AWESOME coffee. I was glad they were at the Coffee Fest as they have helped me in the past with an event I run for some bloggers back in November. It was good to touch base with them and sup their wonderful coffee once more!

ALSO guys, BAILEYS WERE THERE AND THEY WERE GIVING OT FREE SAMPLES OF THEIR COFFEE LIQUEUR! YES YES YES!

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ALSO THERE WERE CRONUTS. CRO-NUTS. They’re a cross between a doughnut and a croissant. They are sent straight from Jesus. They are. AH!

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There were so many fabulous things to eat alongside coffee, but also so many things to concoct WITH coffee. One of those beautiful concoctions was the “Boozy” Salted Caramel Affogato which was essentially ice cream, biscotti, coffee and alcohol. IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL!

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Above is Kate and I worshiping the God of Affogato.

Post salted caramel dream, we decided to take a coffee and cake break to investigate the bar which was, you bloomin’ guessed it, serving coffee cocktails.

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I opted for a negroni (including coffee drippings), which was quite refreshing after all the rich food and creamy coffee. Kate went for a dark and stormy, which also was pretty good.

Refreshed and BACK in the game, we headed upstairs to the musicy space for more coffee and cake! Yeeeeahhaaa! (MAY have been slightly caffeinated)

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Kate and I decided to sit down for a bit with our next coffee and watched some of the live music, at this point it was some crazy drumming and dancing, which was a little bit like our insides after 1000000000 coffees!

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OKAY SO WE HAD ONE MORE COCKTAIL, so sue me! We kind of HAD to try the Espresso Martini’s, because we were at a coffee festival and it was Friday night and if we didn’t we could have be thrown in jail. Social jail.
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To use a phrase coined by my lovely co-blogger friend, Katie Brennan, I was smacked off my tits on caffeine by the end of the night!
Kate and I headed away from the fest buzzing and ready to party. HURRAH!

BUT before we left, the lovely London Coffee Festival hit us up with a faaaaabulous goodie bag! They are called “goodie” bags for a reason and this baby was absolutely packed to the brim with coffee and non coffee based goods. Thank you, you beauties!

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A BIG thanks to my super talented and super beauts friend Michaela, who not only was marketing manger of DREAMS for the whole event, but also hooked me up with some tickets. #majorbabe.

My Week In Pictures 4th May – 10th May 2015

This week has pretty much been a joy, it was a four day working week and I had plenty of theatre, friends, drinks and fun. The only downside to my week were the election results…but let’s not get into that in a happy week round up. Apparently you win some you lose some.

Monday

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Hurrah! Bank Holiday Monday, or May Day as we call this one, is one of my favourite days. The tradition for the past three years is to go to Standon May Day and watch Will and his family folk band, Bullenbush Band, play. This year was my fourth outing to the tiny village of Standon and the sun kept up its tradition of shining!

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It is all very quaint in Standon – a bit of ale drinking, some folk music, some Morris dancers, the annual may queen parade and some fete stalls. Lovely.

Tuesday

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On Tuesday I saw Hay Fever at the Noel Coward theatre with Felicity Kendal in. The show was pretty average I thought but it was nice to be back in the theatrical fame after a week of illness last week!

Wednesday

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Hurrah! I ordered an Eat First for lunch on Wednesday as well as introducing my colleague and friend Amelia to them as well. YUM. They deliver freshly cooked, healthy food to your office (in central London only for now) in MINUTES. YES.

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On Wednesday evening I recorded my radio show the scuttled home amid a storm, trying but failing to avoid the rain. As I got in and watched the rain from my window, I saw this beauuuuutiful rainbow! It even had a friend trying to join it.

Thursday

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Thursday was election day in the UK. It is a very important day; I am aware how lucky I am to live in a democracy and how many people fought for the right to vote, especially women such as Emmeline Pankhurst. So vote I did!

That even I saw a topical yet whimsical piece of musical theatre called Vote For Me, which is running at the London Theatre Workshop above the Eel Brook pub in Fulham. The theatre space is great – a small black box studio perfect for Fringe performances.

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The show was hilarious and me and the 18 bloggers I bought with me had a Q&A with the cast after the show. Plus there were doughnuts. Hells yes!

Friday

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Fri-YEY! After a very standard day at work, I had SEVERAL beers in my office building with some of the other companies that work there. I then continued the party on my own on the train with a cheeky homeward traveller!

Later me and Will invited his brother, Ryan, over and we drank some more and ate ridiculously buttered popcorn. I love a good chill out!

Saturday

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Ooosh. I can still feel the burn from the gym sesh Michaela and I went on Saturday! She snuck me into her gym (as I go to one near my office) and I did alllllllllll of the treadmill-ing and cross-training whilst she had some kind of punching sesh with her personal trainer.

After the gym we had a delightful breakfast of croissants, eggs and bucksfizz on the terrace at M’s house in West Hampsted.

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Later we headed for a cocktail at Frankie and Bennys (yummmmm) and watched the new Blake Lively film, the Age of Adeline which was entertaining as a chick flick but not exactly a classic.

Later that evening Will, his friend Matt and I headed out to Dalston. Awooga.

Sunday

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After a bit of a lie in, Will and I headed to the British Museum to see the Ancient Lives exhibition which is made up of Egyptian Mummies.

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The exhibition was interesting but extremely haunting!

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Later we headed to Wahacca for some dinner and followed it up with a cheeky sipping tequila each. Mine came with a crazy Sangrita (tomatoey, tabasco-y, spicy gazpacho-y thing!) which was a bit intense, but I think it added to the experience.

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Nothing like a bit of tequila to round off the weekend!

What did you get up to this week? Let me know! My  week ahead is set to be a good’un for me! I hope it is for you too!

My Week in Pictures 27th April – 3rd May 2015

Waa at the beginning of this week I was feeling  pretty under the weather so I cancelled two theatre trips I had planned and sent one of my reviewers instead. It was very weird being indoors 5 nights in a row from Sunday – Thursday! Nonetheless I managed to have lots of fun towards the end of the week and  tomorrow is a bank holiday, thankfully!

Monday

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Monday I contracted the plague. The actual plague. Although really it was just a cold. Anyway, despite being a total grump I managed to just about appreciate a nice sky as I walked home!

Tuesday

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I went to work on Tuesday even though I wasn’t feeling to good and this was mainly because we were due to have a company lunch. I love lunch and this time it was going to be at The Diner in Shoreditch. I thought if a burger and milkshake can’t fix me then what can! I had a lovely halloumi and avocado burger with sweet potato fries plus a strawberry milkshake! POW!

Wednesday

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Ah, despite the beauty that was Tuesday’s strawberry milkshake, I stayed home on Wednesday. I was supposed to be going to the theatre that night but I cancelled on that too as I really just needed some rest. Feeling a bit meh, all I could do to bring me joy was look out the window at this beautiful tree in blossom. Hurrah happy tree!

Thursday

Corinthia Artist in Residence Opera 2015

Thursday was back to business and I felt somewhat better. I had a press event at London’s 5* Corinthia hotel for the announcement of the Corinthia’s Artist in Residence award, which was won by Emily Wall (read all about it here.)

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As is customary for press events (worth attending!) there was lots of champagne. Yum. Unfortunately I was still not 100% better so I just had the one glass, but I appreciated it greatly.

Friday

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On Friday I was back in the game! After another night in on Thursday I was feeling a bit stir crazy and couldn’t wait to meet my friend Kate after work for the London Coffee Festival, which my other lovely friend, Michaela was part masterminding!

We were given the full VIP treatment at the festival (which will get a blog post of its very own asap!) including some free cocktails and all the coffee we coud possibly drink before turning into murderous, over caffieneated monsters. Watch out for the post for all the info!

Saturday

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I got up early and drove up to Cambridgeshire to see my sister, brother in law and niece, Isobel. We went for lunch at a pub in Linton which was very nice indeed, and even nicer to get food and a drink for under a tenner – London, you suck.

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Later on I headed over to my friend Lizzie’s new house for a plentiful BBQ and a catch up with my oldest friends. We drank (a lot!) ate (A LOT) and dance (like twats.) It was perfect.

Sunday

I stayed at Lizzie’s the night before with all the gals and we had leftovers for breakfast, including cookies, camembert and chips!

Later I popped in to see mum and beautiful Bracken, who was happy as he had been in the sea earlier today!

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After that I drove to Hertford to stay at Will’s parents house and tomorrow I am watching their family band, the Bullenbush Band, perform at a May Day festival in Standon!

Hurrah! SO I am glad I didn’t die of bubonic plague! Hopefully next week will involve more theatre than this week has.

I hope you are all enjoying your bank holiday weekends!