Hi everyone and welcome to this weeks (slightly late) blog post. It is also the last post of February so hopefully it will be a good one. It has been quite a busy week for me but it has dragged as well. Anyway here is what has been going on in my life this week and been on my mind.

For many of you with families it was half term which means a week off but for me it was the same as any other week and that meant the commute to work. If there are two things that don’t go well together it’s half term and a daily commute. The train is often even busier than normal and the experience is something best described by Dante. Add to this an ongoing speed restriction (for mysterious general maintenance) that is in place on the Northbound track between Darlington and Durham and it is not an enjoyable experience and I’m starting to fall out of love with the commute. The glamor that I had when I started back in 2005 is disappearing fast. I suppose I had better get a move on and start getting ready to move out sometime soon.

This week there were two big award shows on the TV. The first were the BAFTA’s. Britain’s answer to the Oscars. Generally I thought they got it right and I was pleased to see ‘Gravity’ and ’12 Years A Slave’ do well. I was also pleased to see Frozen get best animation as my love for the film and music is growing daily. I was surprised about some awards in particular best supporting actress. Now I have to admit I haven’t seen ‘American Hustle’ but the general feedback I have heard is that it’s ok but nothing special so I was surprised that Jennifer Lawrence got the award over Lupita Nyong’o who was outstanding in 12 Years A Slave’. Hopefully she will get the Oscar instead.

The other award show on TV this week was the Brit Awards. Now I used to be a huge fan of the show and would buy all the winners (if I didn’t have them already) and try to predict the winner. In recent years though I have not been as bothered about it but still watch the show. The awards were fairly predictable even for me now that I am no longer the target audience for  Radio 1. There were some good performances especially from Bastille, Beyoncé and Ellie Goulding. There were however lots of terrible sparkly outfits. Seriously where did they all get them from. They were hideous, only Beyoncé just about carried the look off but it was touch and go. Then there was Kylie. I am obviously a huge fan of Kylie but seriously who told her that dress was a good idea? I was going to buy the winner of best album but after seeing the Arctic Monkeys behave the way they did when they collected their awards I’m not going to. I think someone needs to tell them they are not the first to act that way and it’s not big or clever.

On Thursday night I had a night out at the theatre with my mum as I took her to see Balleyboyz at Darlington Civic Theatre. I have said before I am not a fan of ballet in general but I do like some of the contemporary groups such as Matthew Bournes ‘New Adventures’ and now Balletboyz. I had heard of the company before but this was my first time seeing them. They did two routines. The first was called ‘Serpent’ and involved the all male company wearing very little (not that I noticed their perfectly toned and muscular physique)and dancing very softly and intimate and had beautiful connections between the dancers. The second routine involved them wearing more clothes (damn) and was called ‘Fallen’. This was more contemporary dance / street than ballet but was a high energy dance routine. It was a great show and I found myself lost in the intensity of the dance and I would highly recommend the group for you to see if they are at a theatre near you.

For a while now as part of me trying to dress smarter and more professional I have been wondering about trying some mens fragrance. I have had some in the past but do struggle to pick one that suits me and is suitable to wear everyday. The reason it has been on my mind is because I am discovering that a lot of men now do make an effort in this area. That  aerosol of Lynx Dark Temptation is ok but it needs more sophistication. I’m mentioning it on here because its hard to bring up with men. For example I was talking to a guy this week who had a great fragrance on but I could not ask him as it wouldn’t have been socially right to say ‘You smell good’. I’ve looked at lists of best-selling fragrances for men and have tried some testers in Boots but you can only do that for a few before smelling like a cheap salesman. So any suggestions are more than welcome.

On Friday night and Sunday afternoon I had rehearsals for the Tempest. I mentioned in a previous post that I was involved again with a local theatre group and this year we are doing two productions. We have ‘Under Milk Wood’ on May 18th & 19th which is indoors. As it is a radio play format we will be doing several characters each and I am practising my Welsh accent but it needs some work. Then we do The Tempest 26th-29th June where I play Boatswain (last year army this year I’m a sailor next time I must be a pilot). So it is going to be a busy few months for me. It was good to see familiar faces from last year as well as some new ones. I am lucky i know the play well as I did it for A-Levels so it is all flooding back to me. I am sure it will be just as good as last years.

Because I knew I was busy on Friday night and Sunday afternoon I had a relaxing day on Saturday. It has been a while where I just sat back and relaxed. On the night I watched the musical film ‘Sunshine on Leith’. It is all music by the Proclaimers which brings back happy memories of car journeys as a child. It is actually a good film and has that upbeat feeling that ‘Mamma Mia’ has. It also has beautiful shots of Edinburgh in it. I loved the final scene and I would have loved to have been involved as an extra in it as it looked so much fun. It is certainly worth trying at some point.

The film seemed perfect viewing over the weekend because of the memories it brought back as for a few days now I have been feeling a bit nostalgic and thinking about things I used to do as a child, toys I had, books that I read and films I watched. Also been thinking about my grandparents as well. I don’t why I am doing this I just am. Maybe I’ll features one of this stuff into special blog posts over the coming months.

Well that is it for this week. Sorry for the lateness but I hope you have still enjoyed it. So until next time bye for now.

Top Programme of the Week – The Brit Awards

Top Song of the Week – Snow Patrol – Lifening

Book I Am Currently Reading – The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer