Aaaaand she’s back (back, back, back again..) and since we’re a scary number of days into July I thought I would start of with a June favourites. You know the drill by now. June was actually a pretty busy month for me as it included my birthday and a weeks holiday from work which I crammed as much into as I possibly could. Slight regrets due to my perpetual tiredness but I’d say it was worth it.
First up on my favourites for last month is Funny Girl, the multi-award winning West End musical which I saw in London on my week off with my best friend (shoutout to Catherine if you’re reading!). The musical is based on a movie musical which is based on a book which is based on the real life events of the one and only Miss Fanny Brice; played in the movie (and originally on Broadway and the West End) by queen of musicals herself, Barbra Streisand. Sheridan Smith was set to revise the role for the first time since Ms Streisand ended her run back in the 60’s, however after a couple of months with the company she was taken ill but is due to return later this month. Sadly for us we didn’t see her perform but we were lucky enough to watch her understudy, Natasha Barnes, and we were not disappointed! The rave reviews she received were more than deserved and after having a starring role in such a prestigious musical I’m sure she’ll go far – she’s definitely earned it. If you like musicals/theatre/stellar performances and have a free afternoon or evening in London, I would highly advise you to grab a ticket for this while you can as it’s only on for a couple more months and for a near perfect view it didn’t cost the earth (like theatre so often can!). One of the best stage shows I’ve seen, it’s got a bit of everything – comedy, heart and some of the best songs in showbiz.
Next up is another performance, look at me being all cultured! This time it was at the Bristol Colston Hall for Nashville: In Concert which was the tour of the US TV show Nashville. I’m a huge fan of this show and couldn’t be happier that it’s been renewed for a fifth season after momentarily being cancelled… And yes, I did sign the petition to save it. The tour featured four of the main ‘characters’ singing both as they do on the show and as themselves, since they’re all country singers in their own right. Scarlett O’Connor (Claire Bowen), Gunnar Scott (Sam Palladio), Will Lexington (Chris Carmack) and Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten) introduced each song and explained the stories behind them which made the evening nice and intimate, however they did have us partying in our seats as they danced round the isles of the stalls. It was such an incredibly fun night and the talent in the room that evening was phenomenal, they’re all such gifted performers and I felt lucky to be able to see them perform in person on such a date restricted tour. My friend even managed to get her ticket signed after the show for me (sadly I had to get the bus home and they don’t wait for anybody) by my favourite character Deacon – he wrote my name and everything! *fangirls into the distance* Anyway, if you’re a fan of country music then this show will probably strike a chord with you – I’d start from the beginning as there’s lots to catch up on even though there’s currently only 4 seasons. Enjoy!
I can’t write a June favourites without including Orange is the New Black. I won’t give anything away in case you’re still catching up but OMG. Just watch it. Watch it now.
One of my New Years resolutions was to read more books. And I can say, half way through the year that I have read one solitary book. I don’t think I’ve finished a whole book for a good few years so this was some accomplishment for me although it shouldn’t have been so hard because the book was great, hence it being in this list. Around the World in 80 Dates, written by Jennifer Cox, is exactly what it sounds like. Her own true story of how she travelled the world (thanks to her job at Lonely Planet and her well connected friends) one date at a time – all the way to 80. This funny, sweet, romantic yet sassy tale is a perfect book for those of you who love romance, hilarious/perfect/awkward date stories or travel… Or the whole lot combined! It will definitely give you a severe case of wanderlust making you want to pack in your 9-5 and follow in her footsteps. An easy and enjoyable read for holidays, the work commute or bedtime, and from someone who struggles to read full books, I’d highly recommend it.
A final favourite for June is something a little more sentimental; friendship. I don’t know about you but sometimes I get a feeling, like a pang of gratitude for certain people in my life. Whether it’s just when they message out of the blue, send you a funny meme/gif/photo of someone you don’t like (come on, we all do it!) or whether you spend time with them and you’re like yes, thank you for being my friend, I appreciate you. It can be with new friends, old friends, friends you haven’t seen for years but have reconnected with, literally anyone and for me it’s been a mixture of them all. June was a pretty social month and it was nice to catch up with people I hadn’t seen for a while as well as making time for new friendships; like a trip to a new town with a new friend for afternoon tea in the sunshine. Reconnecting with old friends is such a heartwarming feeling too; the realisation that you’re still the best of friends even though there was a time when you thought you’d grown apart but you’re still the same people with the same goals and ideas and appreciation for each other. So I’m thankful for those friends, the new friends and the pop up every now and again friends. The ones that plan your birthday and make sure you have a great time, the ones that remind you to be your best self everyday and encourage you to do the things you love. I’m grateful for you all.