Monday, 21 September 2015

Summer 2015

California. One of the best holidays I've ever had. We flew into Las Vegas and, after a few nights in Sin City, we hired a car and drove through Death Valley, Yosemite, Sonoma, San Francisco, down the stunning PCH to Venice Beach, San Diego and, finally, back to LA. Brilliant.

I finished my photography course at the start of the Summer. It was one of my #30forThirty aims and, despite a few grumbles, I'm glad that I took the course as it's encouraged me to experiment with my camera settings and generally take my camera out more.

As Fleetwood Mac cancelled their Manchester gig hours before they were due on stage, my Mum 'replaced' the tickets with two nights in London. I went to the V&A museum for the first time, wandered through Kensington Gardens, had a lovely afternoon tea, and cried my way through Les Miserables. I love this musical and saw it performed in Manchester a few years ago. This was the first time I'd been able to see it in the West End and it lived up to every expectation.

Meeting beautiful babies. Four of my good friends have become mums this Summer and I've loved cuddle time with their precious cuties.

M bought me tickets to Chester Performs: Romeo and Juliet as a birthday treat. It was such a lovely, and thankfully dry, night. You can take your own picnic and the theatre is set up in the round, with all the action in the centre. The performance was fantastic and the light dipped as the play approached it's final, candlelit scenes. I also took my mum to see the same company perform Wind in the Willows in the afternoon - bonkers, but lots of fun!

We wandered the short distance to Sefton Park for Liverpool's International Music Festival. I danced to Basement Jaxx, ooo-ed and aahh-ed at the pretty fireworks, and realised how old I was when Artful Dodger and Space took to the stage.

End of the Road festival was a brilliant weekend away and a welcome distraction from some of the personal rubbishness that was going on this Summer. We celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and treated each other to tickets. We travelled down on Thursday, arriving in time to pitch our tent in the dark and drool in front of food trucks. I settled for a delicious grilled cheese toastie. Over the next three days, I wandered between the four main stages enjoying the brilliant musical line up (highlights: Sufjan Stevens, East India Youth, Alvvays, Tame Impala), belly laughed at the comedy stage, had my portrait drawn in a photo(portrait)booth, had a private folk performance in a tiny dark box (Folk in a Box), successfully hunted out a couple of secret gigs, told Charlotte Church to 'sssshh' (realising it was Charlotte Church only when she was invited up to the stage to belt out Hopelessly Devoted at Robin Ince's midnight Dirty Bookclub) and walking around Larmer Tree Gardens.

We'd expected our kitchen refit to be a pretty painless experience. It has not been. We've had crumbling plaster, workmen who've not given us all the information we've needed to be able to plan ahead/we've not asked the right questions of our workmen, and we've juggled it at the same time as some pretty crappy happenings.

This has been a Summer of highs and lows, but California was a definite high- what a holiday! I've not been able to look at my holiday photographs yet, though (a combination of mood and a broken PC). Looking forward to editing them!  
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