The constant changes that we subconsciously undertake within ourselves never ceases to amaze me. Unknowingly, we make these small incremental improvements to ourselves each day and what’s even more astounding is that we don’t notice these changes until suddenly, one day, we’ve changed beyond our expectations. I guess it’s a little like spring. The signs of spring are there, if you look – in the snowdrops buried under the snow or those blue clear-skied days, but it’s only once spring has sprung that we’re surprised and suddenly take note of this new revelation.
In comparison to January, February felt like a battle. A battle against the whirling constant improvement (I have to hope it’s improvement) but it’s only now it’s March that I feel brighter, stronger and ready to start again. Whilst driving to work last Friday morning, ‘Afternoons and Coffeespoons’ came onto the radio and it was just what I needed- sunshine in a song. I’m quite enjoying writing a monthly review post but had been pondering what to call it. Alas, the Crash Test Dummies’ song became its new title, because essentially my life is just that – a round up of afternoons, measured out in coffeespoons.
Despite feeling a little unsettled, there really was a lot to smile about in February. So, without further ado, here’s February in review.
Following on from my thoughts on feeling marginally unsettled, I spent the majority of February trying to get in a better frame of mind by becoming more organised – in all aspects of life: work, wedding planning and blog writing. Slowly, but surely, organisation has helped me to become more motivated and, as a result, I’ve started to have more self-belief in myself.
Back in January, I read a blog post about motivation on Alex’s blog, Bambella, which continues to resonate with me. While most of the techniques Alex talks about are similar to keeping a bullet journal – her post was a welcome reminder of the simple ways to stay motivated and ultimately, feel on top of things. I absolutely love this quote:
Do something today that your future self will thank you for
And since discovering this quote, I’ve found myself wondering what I’ve done each day that my future self will indeed thank me for. Sometimes I appease myself in the knowledge that a simple email or conversation can lead to positive changes we just mightn’t know it yet.
You can find Alex’s post, here.
Which brings me onto self-belief. It’s been a year since I first started to question my motive for blogging (I’ve written about trying to stop focusing on the numbers and living a less digital life, here) but it was in February that I simply let go and started to reconnect with why I enjoyed blogging in the first place – meeting fellow bloggers and writing in detail.
At the end of February, I attended Giff Gaff’s Plan Smart event and it was so bloody refreshing to catch up with like-minded Manchester bloggers. We’re all hoping to meet up for a coffee and cake date soon – I can’t wait!
In February, I escaped the bitter chill to envelope myself in the warm bubble of Manchester’s theatre scene. Absorbed with stage shows that transported me to many different eras, the month kicked off with a visit to Manchester’s Opera House to see ‘Strangers on a Train’, followed by ‘Teddy’ and ‘Brief Encounter’ at The Lowry and ended with my first trip to the ballet – something entirely different to the shows we usually see.
In total, we went to see four theatre shows in the month of February which really challenged my preconception about theatre and made me realise that theatre isn’t just defined by musicals, it’s so much more.
Living close to the sea, the Beast from East didn’t wreak as much havoc as promised in the north west. Something to be thankful for, I guess, but it left both John and I dreaming of days hunkering down in front of a fire, hopelessly snowed in. While we did see blustery snow flurries and chilly winds, we were fortunate (I think) that it didn’t disrupt our daily lives, if anything, it enhanced it when it made a beautiful backdrop for Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’.
February wasn’t just about theatre shows, we also manager to fit in a trip to The Bridgewater Hall to see Iron & Wine. When John and I first met, we discovered a mutual love of Iron and Wine, especially the ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’ album. We still love that album, so much so, that when John spotted Iron and Wine’s Manchester tour date he instantly booked it as a birthday treat, which due to the timing ended up being a Valentine’s treat.
I’d never been to The Bridgewater Hall before, but we’d definitely return. Not only do the seats in the venue offer a great view of the stage, it’s the acoustics that are outstanding. The surprise of the evening was not that we didn’t know many of the songs on Iron and Wine’s set list, but their support act, Half Waif. Originally from Massachusetts, Nandi Rose Plunkett, has eclectic influences. From Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, to traditional Indian bhajans which she accounts for her unique sound. Nandi’s vocals are captivating alongside her eclectic mix of instrumental sounds and her humble stage presence, endearing.
It’s always difficult to select a favourite track when you’re new to an artist, but I keep returning to ‘Keep It Out’, especially when writing. It helps me to concentrate and
Seek out Half Waif on Spotify by clicking here.
How could a month pass without some element of wedding planning? The realisation that our wedding day is in less than six months has hit home and part of February was spent completing a rather mundane task -calculating budgets and figuring out the finite details.
On the brighter side, now that I’ve found my wedding dress (hurrah), I’m now searching for the perfect dresses for my adult and younger bridesmaids. So far, with the help of my adult bridesmaids, we’ve exhausted the collections found on the high street and online, so have now turned to bridal shops. We’re getting closer, but I still feel a long, long away from the vision I have for my leading ladies.
It feels like a month doesn’t go by without me mentioning Cornwall – I feel as though something pulls me back to the coast and that simple way of life. So far this year, I’ve unintentionally been buying more first-hand (always online) than second-hand. Blame it on being busy, blame it on working full-time hours or blame it on the donations in my local shops – it’s been slim pickings.
I’ve been following Seasalt Cornwall since I bought my yellow Seafolly jacket back in 2014. Years on, I follow them across all social platforms and I’m always hopping onto their site to browse their new in. When I see something I like (and more importantly need) I invest. So, when I was recently sent a pair of sheepskin slippers and introduced to Celtic and Co – also based in Cornwall, I inadvertently discovered another Cornish brand to covet. With the weather acting like a petulant child, I’m smitten with the quality (they’re seriously beautiful) and these Women’s Sheepskin Boots are tempting me.
March will see the beginning of the legalities of our Lake Bled wedding. Another less glamorous task, but yet again, an essential one. That said, in March, we’ll be celebrating five years together – typically, in a low key manner no doubt. I’m also on a mission to clear our home of the things we no longer use or need to raise some essential wedding funds! A quiet month expected, but I’m looking forward to it.