At the end of July, August was shaping up to be a pretty quiet month. Somehow, it ended up filling right out and I got to do a bunch of things and go to a bunch of places that I really, really enjoyed.
I’ve been missing the California coast something chronic lately, but I’ve managed to visit two UK beaches in August to try and sate my seaside cravings. The beginning of the month saw a pre-birthday trip to Margate, Kent, with Kat, Grace and Sheenie which was brilliant, perfect day for it weather wise and just a really lovely place. At the end of the month, Sheenie and I headed to Southend, Essex. Southend will always have a special place in my heart. It’s very local to me (I live right on the other side of the water), went to college there and a visit to Peter Pan’s (now Adventure Island) was my birthday treat every year as a kid. I still love it now, but don’t visit very often so appreciate it more when I do.
Getting on for a year after we started – 12th September 2015 – my sleeve tattoo is finally finished. I could probably do with one last session to touch up and reline a couple of little bits, but for the most part, it’s done and I couldn’t be happier with it. My last session was the most uncomfortable yet; not necessarily more painful than anywhere else, but let me tell you that elbows are a very unpleasant place to be tattooed. You can feel your bones vibrating all the way down your fingers, an incredibly weird sensation. There’s still a bunch more tattoos I want to get cracking with, but I need to be careful with money so we’ll see what happens.
Generally speaking, there’s something that makes me feel intensely uncomfortable about keeping wild animals in captivity, but Colchester Zoo is definitely one of the most reputable and almost inarguably the best zoo in the country. Their conservation efforts trump any other UK zoo, and many of their animals are rescued from far more dire situations; one of their gorillas spent her formative years in a testing facility and one of their Sun Bears was saved from entertaining punters in a Cambodian karaoke bar. Although I know that Colchester does a really good job, I still can’t shake the feeling of guilt (in a very similar feeling to the way I hate myself sometimes for eating meat but not having enough willpower or inclination to go vegan). I feel like this might be my last visit to a zoo. We’ll see.
Who doesn’t love this movie? When my good pals Jimmy and Jo offered me a ticket to go see the musical stage adaptation, with lyrics written by Tim Minchin, I was hardly going to say no. I did wonder how they were going to handle the repetition of the film and worried about how well that would translate on stage, but it was just handled so intelligently. Andy Karl’s portrayal of Phil Connors was just incredible, the score was brilliant, the set design stunning. Groundhog Day is only at The Old Vic until 17th September before it’s bound for Broadway, and I cannot urge you enough to go see it if you get the chance. It’s genuinely better than the film.
Oh, and I also had a birthday. Hard to believe that I was 17 when I started writing this blog, and now I’m only half a decade off 30. Time really does fly. I was sufficiently spoiled, too – an enormous set of Prismacolor pencils (you don’t understand how much I love these) from my dad and sister, an equally enormous framed print of #wifeywestcoast road trip photos from Sheenie, delicious birthday cakes from Grace and Kat, and the guys at work… couldn’t ask for more, really.
So, there’s August – and summer – done and dusted. September is looking pretty devoid of plans so far, but if August is anything to go by hopefully it will fill right up. What have you been up to?