February is done! I cannot believe it – I still feel like it’s the middle of January.
It bloody isn’t. SPRING IS COMING.
So this is a new thing I started last month to take a little time appreciate all the wonderful things I have in my little life, each and every month. I am a firm believer that only positive things can come of being more positive and taking time to stop and look at the glorious, great and good in this here world. A little bit of gratitude never did anyone any harm. Cheesy? Yes, but we know I’m all about the Brie. Side of Mozzarella. Camembert topping. Extra portion of Halloumi. Stilton shavings.
I live in that there London. Mummy G lives in York. That’s upwards of 200 miles between us, so time spent together is very precious. I had a week off last week so of course I took the chance to jump on a train and see her. We had two lovely days of fun, food, superior air and silliness. Hurrah for these precious times.
2. Doing a little bit of good
When I first joined Radio 1 I was involved in documenting all sorts of silliness like Greg James taking his clothes off (again) and Scott Mills and Chris Stark being spat on twice a week (aka Innuendo Bingo if you’re not familiar). These days I have found a little online niche doing ‘the worthy stuff’ which is really fulfilling and equally as awesome, just in a completely different way. This past month I’ve worked on two really great projects – Greg in Uganda for Comic Relief and an Anti-Online Bullying Campaign involving a nice bunch of vloggers – I made it into this one here by lurking awkwardly with a camera. I know my job is ‘cool’, but it’s nice to feel that you’re playing a teeny tiny part for the greater good, so here are two entirely lovely job satisfaction ticks.
3. Meeting Type 1s IRL
Ohhhhh Kerry, Kerry, Kerry. I’ve had so much pleasure in meeting virtual members of the wonderful type 1 community in person, but rarely do you come across a fellow cheese-loving, egg-obsessed, fitness-enthusiast, positive and entirely hilarious goober that also has a malfunctioning pancreas. Kerry emailed me in June last year with a hilarious load of waffle that read like I’d written it myself. Having met as part of a bigger group back in December, she came to London to see her sister last week so naturally, we met up to eat eggs and ponder life. I didn’t take any pictures because I’m a fool, but I promised her I would work some Photoshop magic on this little baby…
4. This Train Guard
This TFL guardian angel watches over us all on Platform 7 of Highbury & Islington overground station each and every morning, and he is quite frankly the only positive experience of the entire commute. Highbury & Islington at rush hour is hell on earth. His lovely tone, his funny remarks and positive instructions really do make my morning. My favourite is ‘for those of you that are smiling as you enjoy the services offered on the London Overground this morning, thank you for helping us have a wonderful day’. Hero. I wanted to go and ask him for a proper picture but I chickened out, so sorry about this one:
5. The Seaside
Oooohhhh I do like to be beside the seaside. Much like the Yorkshire air, breathing the sea air just brings me so much calm and content. Me and Ian went to Brighton for a couple of nights to get out of the city and just do what we do best – eating and drinking and losing track of time in the process. It was glorious; the food scene in Brighton was really exciting, and we had oh so much lovely wine. That, plus sea air, plus chilled people = therapy.
6. Pretty Little Things
This kind of links on from the point above, as I got these in Brighton. Two very different but equally gorgeous pieces of jewellery from a lovely little shop called Lavender Room on one of the Upper Lanes. The Estella Bartlett wishbone is my new favourite thing – I’d wanted a simple gold piece for a while that wasn’t going to tarnish in three days, and I love how this is just a little bit quirky. I haven’t really taken it off.
7. FKA Twigs live
Nominated for the Best British Breakthrough Act at last week’s BRIT Awards, I tagged along to an FKA Twigs gig with my girlfriends more for the chance to hang out with them. Although I think her album is incredible, it’s not exactly full of singalong belters, so I wondered what she would offer a live audience. A ridiculously stunning, post-modern contemporary art performance that had me gripped in its entirety, that’s what. As an ex-dancer I couldn’t get over the strength she must have in her body to be able to perform in the way she did and keep her vocals as note-perfect and haunting as she did. If you get the chance, go. If you can’t, see the full gallery from The Line Of Best Fit here for an idea.
8. Feeling like a warrior
It’s no secret that I am a fan of exercise, but I felt I’d become a bit complacent in my gym efforts, and I wanted to switch it up a bit and really challenge myself. One small chat with a trainer later, and I found myself attached to a bungee rope sprinting the length of the gym at 7am. Sure. I also happened to win a session with Rich Tidmarsh, personal trainer of many an England rugby player as well as Millie Mackintosh, among others. He showed me how to lift properly for the first time in my life, and it was entirely awesome to see how simple changes in form can really shake things up.
9. Malteaster Bunnies
Fitness chat aside… oh these babies make me so happy. Normally I opt for a very dark (like, 80%) chocolate if I’m going for a sweet hit, because it’s mmmmm. BUT these bunnies just keep crying out to me at the till, and it’s entirely justified because they’re the perfect size to fix a hypo. So entirely medicinal, right? And absolutely critical that I have one to hand at all times, yes? Thought so.
10. This delicious Jess Glynne tune
Ohhhhh this is such a delightful note to finish on. Last month I was on about Jessie Ware, this month it’s another strong female London vocalist – Jess Glynne. She’s been smashing it with her vocals all over the shop, and recently won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with Clean Bandit for Rather Be. Casual.
Anyway, her new tune is all of my favourite things – uplifting, feel-good, vocally smoky and delicious, and full of hope. Hooray for that.