The July Round-Up

It's a long one this month, brace yourselves and get comfy! I've done so much this month and writing it all up has been a task within itself.

I started this month by paying off my credit card. That card balance is relentless, but so is my social life so the cost just mounts up. I use my credit card for two things; ticket bookings and Paypal. I have booked tickets to events like a lunatic over the last 6 months, so paying that off has been a challenge. I feel like my word for this month should have been 'credit' as well as 'fun' as they kinda go hand in hand.

TRU DAT (source)

What happened the day after I paid the card off? Tickets announced for more shows that I want to see. GODDAMNIT! But life is for living and I can always earn more money, so I booked more tickets, this time for Margaret Cho, the stage adaptation of 1984 and a couple of things for the Doctor Who Festival in November (which is the week after LFCC Winter - GAAAH! Bye money!).

So, July was the month where I cashed in all the tickets I'd been buying on my credit card, starting with Whose Line is it Anyway? which I talked about here:

That really was one of the best things I've seen on stage since moving to London. 

I went for brunch with one of my girlfriends, which was long overdue and we had a good catch up:

All Bar One do a great brunch these days. A dish and a cocktail for a tenner. Outstanding. 

I went to watch Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling at (wait for it... ) the Royal Albert Hall:

Yes, really! It was such a fun night. 

I applied for some voluntary work over autumn and winter at one of my favourite museums: the Science Museum:

Then, onto the big event for the summer: London Film and Comic Con

I'm writing a whole post about that weekend, there's a lot of ground to cover this year due to the venue change, so expect to see that on the blog next week.

My mum and cousin came to visit, I had a day in Kensington with them. We walked around the palace and the gardens, spent money in the charity shops and took advantage of happy hour in her hotel bar.

The dress my mum is wearing is one that I bought on everything5pounds and it came up a size too small for me. As it wasn't very expensive I couldn't be bothered to send it back and I knew it would fit my mum, so I held on to it until she came to visit. It fits her perfectly and it looks great. I am furious! I like it even more now! I'm glad it's gone to a good home though.

I went to the Ealing Comedy Festival last week, which is held in a huge, jolly tent in Warpole Park:

That night was Marcus Brigstocke, Seann Walsh, Nick Helm and MC'd by Stephen K Amos. Such a good night of comedy for £20. I can never recommend this festival enough.

I finished my month having a drink with my American friends who were visiting from Chicago.  I met them at the Fringe Festival last summer and they were so kind to me; they invited me into their home, fed me lasagne and invited me to screenings of Doctor Who in the Fringe offices so that I wouldn't miss an episode of the new series while I was out of the UK. Doctor Who brings everyone together!

July, you have been a very busy month but I have loved every minute. 

Articles from me this month:

I've spent as much of my free time as possible Parklife-ing this month. I have nothing of a garden (joys of flats in London!) but my borough is full of beautiful parks, so I hose myself down with SPF, I take my park mat, a bottle of water, my iPhone and a book and set up camp in there for the day. It's beautiful and very relaxing. 

If you go to Richmond, you can sit on the Green and get take out beer from a local pub to sit and sip in the sunshine, now that is summer living (and an excellent way to spend a Friday night post-working week).

Here's what I've been reading and listening to this month:

One of the hosts of this podcast, Kalia Prins, has one of the most relaxing voices ever. She has some excellent guests, a great interviewing style, lots of experience, knowledge and an open, friendly, welcoming podcast. It's the nicest hour of my week listening to it. I like to lay in the park, with my eyes closed and really dedicate 60 minutes to it. It's probably the best podcast I've found on self-love, mindfulness and gratitude. It's so inspiring and makes me want to focus hard on my self-acceptance. 

Yes, the guy who does Catfish. No, not the grey one (but Max, <3), the other one. This is a much better read than I bargained for. Nev talks a lot about his past, his Catfish experience (from the documentary film) and the ones from the tv show. I genuinely thought it was going to be horror stories from online dating, turns out it's a book encouraging people to look inward for love and love themselves first. Perfect timing for a perfect read. It has some great little quotes and workbook sections in it too: 

To the guy who tweeted me last week to say statistics are misrepresented and women get equal pay, I'd recommend you read this book (albeit he also said feminism is damaging, so I think Tara's words may fall on deaf ears...)

This was such a positive listen (I'd say read, but it was an audio book) and makes you realise how much of what you feel is down to you, how you react to things and how you let things impact upon you. I find this really useful on days when life feels like it's really taking it's toll. It's far easier to send out love into the world than sit and form resentment.

As you can see, I've been investing a lot in myself this month as I'm fully getting into the self-love thing right now. I lost another relative this month (to dementia again too, what a thoroughly awful disease that is) so taking time to focus on myself has been necessary. Life never seems to let up, so I'm taking control and sorting myself out with some mind space and mind rest to help me cope with all the things that keep happening around me. As one of my friends told me this month when things started getting too much: Alex, it's not your circus and not your monkeys - a very funny way of reminding me that not every problem, beef someone has with me, comment or issue is mine to carry around.

And that's the woo-woo section of this post over ;)

I did buy a few nice things to cheer myself up this month too:

Affirmation cards (okay, a bit more woo-woo). I had some really tough days this month and sometimes they're hard to talk myself around from. I find using my little tricks (like I mentioned in my Dealing with Anxiety post) help but I wanted something to use at the start of a day or a week if I'm feeling a bit pushed.

And this is where the Own Your Awesome cards come in:

I stumbled on these online at the start of the year but held off purchasing for a while. That week when I was feeling really pushed I got online and ordered them. They're so beautiful and have some great sentiments on them to work with. These really help set me up on days when I just need that little bit extra.

I impulsively purchased a fleet of new underwear. I do tend to do this once a year in a big underoo binge, but this was impulse. You know how it happens: you're walking through Soho on a Sunday, you wander into Ann Summers and see beautiful things on sale ...

I could hide out under there ... ... I just made you say underwear :)

I mention the brand because I haven't bought underwear from Ann Summers for well over a decade, The fits never worked for me. But I tried one of these bras on in the store and immediately opened the changing room door (yes in the middle of a store in Soho, in my underwear) pointed at my chest and declared to my friend and the sales girl that THIS WAS THE BEST BRA EVER and I WANT IT IN EVERY COLOUR. AND MATCHING PANTS. NOWWWWWWWW. Ahem. I may have been happy with the fit.

I'd been feeling a bit low of underwear-esteem that week. Barely any of my bras fit me and a badly fitting bra destroys every outfit you put over it. Investing a good wad of cash on this has brought my silhouette back to life. Invest in your chest, ladies, it's always worth the outlay.

I treated myself to a DVD boxset. Now, I don't buy dvds very often as they take up necessary space and I can rent them on iTunes or watch on Netflix but this boxset has never appeared on UK Netflix:

Everyone's favourite FBI twosome in The X-Files. Ahhh, this has been like reminiscing with an old friend. Some of these episodes I watched OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO (the horror!). As the new series starts in January, I wanted to make an effort to watch every episode before the new stuff airs. I think I skipped an entire series at some point, so some of this will be completely new to me when I watch. The opening credits look so dated, Gillian Anderson still looks perfect. What the hell is her secret?

July done. On to August. I need a word for August. If you follow me on Pinterest you'll see that one word has appeared on my pins a lot over the last two weeks: authentic


This is my word for August. Since I started living authentically I've felt a lot more free. I care less about what others think about me and I can enjoy my life more because of it. Gone to a gig and not cared who's looking at you? It means you jump up and down more and sing louder. Gone to a wrestling match and not cared who's looking at you? You're up, out of your seat and shouting at the heel wrestlers. Gone to a convention dressed as Time Lord's Companion? You ARE a Time Lord's companion for the day. You're just free. You care about nothing but being in that very moment. It's incredible and it's amazing and I want to live every day like that. In August, I'm going to try to keep working on doing just that.


No more worrying what other people think of me, listening to gossip or criticism as it filters around to me, I'm just going to get on and not give two shits. Are you okay with that? Good.


I've lots more cool stuff in the diary for next month, including a trip to a galaxy far, far away ... but I'll tell you more next month.

Enjoy August everyone! 
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