Weekend in London 8th June – 9th June 2019

London 2

A few months ago my Mom announced she was going on holiday to Spain for a few nights. People that know me know that I don’t get on well with my step-dad and the thought of spending five nights alone with him was not appealing in the slightest. I like going to the theatre so decided to book one of my usual trips to London for one night to escape for a little bit.

On the Saturday I caught the train early-ish, around 10AM and made it to London around 12PM. I don’t normally bother with a suitcase when I go to London for the night as I can fit my things into a backpack but I hadn’t stayed at home for two nights prior to going to London and hadn’t had chance to pop home so I had no choice but to take a suitcase with me. Luckily Euston do store bags for people but Jesus wept at what cost? It was a lot more complicated than it had been when I’d stored my bags in Japan because my bag had to go through a scanner like you get at the airport but I suppose you can’t argue with safety precautions. At least my suitcase was safe and I didn’t have to lug it into the theatre with me (though I think they’d have denied me entry anyway).

My first show was ‘Betrayal’, a show I didn’t know much about and had only booked because Tom Hiddleston was in it. I went straight to the theatre and joined the complicated queue system – luckily there was a member of staff outside who pointed people in the right direction and made sure people were in the correct queue. There were people lurking near the stage door who I guess were there on the off chance they’d meet Tom – me and Becca had been planning to do this the week before when we were in London but unfortunately didn’t have enough time.

Betrayal

Picking up my ticket was easy enough and I went off in search of the bathroom. I ended up at the top of the theatre and stood in a ridiculously long line and when I got to the front I was annoyed to discover there was literally one toilet. Whoever designed that needs to re-evaluate their life.

My seat was good, I was down in the stalls, a few rows back and on the aisle. This ticket hadn’t been cheap and I’d forked out £140 to see this show. There were signs everywhere advising that if you needed the loo mid-show that was a shame because you wouldn’t be allowed back into the auditorium. You literally couldn’t miss them yet it didn’t stop one bloke getting up mid-show – the attendant literally sprinted down the aisle to tell him he couldn’t go back in if he left so he reluctantly went back to his seat.

The show began and it wasn’t a long show, only 90 minutes without an interval and relied heavily on the three main actors which were Tom Hiddleston, Zawe Ashton and Charlie Cox. I’ll be 100% truthful and admit that whilst I was happy to see the show as I would’ve been gutted to miss it, it definitely wasn’t my cup of tea. It was just three characters talking, lots of long dialogue and not much action. Which like is fine. Just not particularly my cup of tea. The play was non-linear as the further into the story we got the further back in time we went, and the basic plot was that Zawe was married to Tom Hiddleston but was having an affair with Charlie – I can’t remember the characters names, sorry!

I’m also very ashamed to admit this after how much I spent on the ticket but once or twice I did nearly fall asleep. No disrespect to the actors who did an amazing job, or the story itself, it’s just I’d had a lot of late nights that week and there were a lot of long, dramatic silences in this show. When the show finished I had wanted to try and meet Tom but I was so relieved to walk around and wake up a bit that I decided to just collect my luggage and go find my hotel. A lot of people did try and meet Tom, the girl sitting next to me literally climbed over me to leave the theatre so she could go and join the queue by the stage door outside. I would’ve loved to have met him but I was pretty much a walking zombie by the time the show was over.

In the end it was quite lucky I didn’t join the queue as the trip to my hotel was actually quite long. I’d booked a Premier Inn in Chiswick, an area I’m relatively familiar with as I used to stay regularly in a budget hotel in that area. This meant it was quite out of the way of central London which is a both a pro and a con. A pro because the general area is quieter and a con because it takes longer to get there.  I caught the tube to Turnham Green and then went off on the fifteen minute walk to find the hotel.

I’ve discovered that generally you can’t go wrong with Premier Inn and if you get the right deal they can actually be cheaper than most ‘budget’ hotels. After a few naff hotel rooms I’m comfortable just sticking with Premier Inn for the moment. Check-in was easy and my room was a decent size.

I was then met with a dilemma. I had a ticket for ‘Mamma Mia’ at 7:30 and I’d been hoping to get to the hotel, have a power nap and head back out. Due to how long it had taken me to get to the hotel I literally had ten minutes in the room before I needed to head back out to get to the theatre in time. It was just as well I wasn’t hungry because there definitely wasn’t enough time to get dinner. I was honestly so tired that I wondered about losing my money and just getting an early night. If I’d nearly fallen asleep at ‘Betrayal’ would I last for an evening show?

In the end I knew I’d regret not going so I put my shoes back on and headed out. It did take a while to get to the theatre but I got there in plenty of time to use the loo, grab a drink etc. It was nicer as I’d been able to dump my backpack in the hotel and only had my handbag with me now. My seat was good, I was on the top balcony at the end of the aisle but on the front row and the stage didn’t seem very far away at all. There was a bar to stop people toppling over the edge of the balcony but if I leant forward it didn’t obscure my view.

Mamma Mia

The show began and I’m so happy I decided to just go for it as the energetic music and general atmosphere of the theatre kept me awake and I loved every second of it. At the end the actress playing Donna announced this was the last night for a lot of the cast including herself and it was a bit emotional, and I’m truly glad I didn’t miss out on it. I had seen ‘Mamma Mia’ in London previously with my Mom but at the time I wasn’t a fan of the film. I am now and was glad to see it now that I’m a bigger fan of the story and the songs. I also didn’t remember the atmosphere being as fun as it was but maybe that’s because it was the casts last night or maybe that’s always the atmosphere? I’m not sure!

The journey back was long and unfortunately I believe I picked up a bug on the underground. The journey was convenient actually as I didn’t have to change but I remember sitting in a seat, listening to my iPod and holding onto the bar for some reason and I think that’s where I picked something up. I made it back to the hotel feeling a tiny bit under the weather but I shrugged it off, had a shower and settled down into Premier Inn’s comfortable bed and went to sleep.

One of the most convenient things about Premier Inn is that in the lift they advise what breakfast times are the busiest, which are quieter etc. I’d paid extra for a Premier Inn breakfast so I didn’t have to faff around finding anywhere to eat and when I went down it was a bit busy but they managed to find me a table straightaway. Everyone milling around was doing my head in so I didn’t spend long down there before heading back up to my room.

I’ve been to London so many times now that I feel like I’ve ‘been there and done that’ with all the tourist spots so I chilled in my room until it was time to check out and then headed back to Euston so they could store my suitcase for me again. I don’t understand their prices though because three hours and under is only £6 something, anything between three and twenty-four hours is £12. Where is the logic? Surely between six hours and twenty-four hours would be a bit more fair than three?

I spent some time chilling at Euston before hopping back on the tube to go and see ‘School of Rock’. I’ve seen this show a couple of times and hadn’t intended on going to see it. For Christmas my Dad got me some ‘theatre tokens’ which were a thoughtful gift but unfortunately are only redeemable either over the phone or in person. I hate talking over the phone so had originally been planning to bring them with me then shop around until I found a show. I accidentally left them at home when I set off a couple of days previously so on a whim just paid for a ticket to see ‘School of Rock’ again as I do love that show and it had been a while.

It was when I reached the theatre that I began to feel under the weather again, I could feel my throat was a bit funny so I decided to treat myself to a cookies and cream ice cream which didn’t help very much but did taste really nice. My seat was good, just a few rows from the stage and the view wasn’t blocked. It’s a decent theatre, not massive and quite modern so I enjoy my visits there.

As usual the show was amazing, if you’re a fan of the film then I think you’ll definitely enjoy the stage version. It’s essentially the same storyline as the film but with more songs. My favourites include ‘Stick it to the Man’ and ‘When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock’. When I first saw the show they were giving out badges but they’ve stopped doing that which is a shame but I’m glad I got one!

School of Rock 2

After that it was back on the tube to Euston, quick dinner at Burger King and then time to catch my train back to Telford. I’m glad I went but gutted I picked that bug up on the tube as it lasted a week and I haven’t felt that ill in a LONG time – it was actually horrendous. But overall it was a good weekend in London and I’m looking forward to my next theatre weekend – I just need to book it!

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Weekend in London: 2nd March – 3rd March 2019

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You may recall my post from last year where me and Becca went to see Cursed Child for the first time. Before the show had even finished we both decided we needed to come again but this time in better seats. More tickets were announced about a month later and we quickly snapped up two tickets worth £150 for both parts which was a bit of a leap from the £30 we’d paid for both parts the year previously. We had to wait almost an entire year but eventually the date came around and we were off to see the show again.

The first time we went we came on a Wednesday meaning we’d both had to book two days off work. When we booked the second batch of tickets though we both knew we worked Monday – Friday 9 – 5 so we were sensible and bought tickets for a Saturday so we didn’t have to take any time off work. London was a little busier due to it being a weekend but it’s not like it mattered as we were in the theatre for most of the day.

We caught the 10:08AM train just as we did the year before which got us into London Euston at 12:33PM. Both times I’ve been super stressed that one of the trains is going to get delayed and we’re going to miss the first half of part one but of course that didn’t happen. Our train was reduced from ten carriages to five but we both managed to get our seats and our carriage actually wasn’t too busy which was strange.

By the time we got to London we were starving but knew there wasn’t much time to be fussy about where we ate so we ordered food inside London Euston. I got Burger King which I don’t love but will eat when desperate and Becca got two pizza baguettes. Last year I’d been convinced the show started at 2:30PM when it actually started at 2:00PM – we were lucky we’d arrived early to take photos outside the theatre as otherwise we probably would’ve been late.

This year we were way more stressed for some reason and the moment we finished eating we went straight to theatre. Google Maps kept screwing us around but luckily we managed to find the theatre okay, picked up our tickets and went straight inside. We were so worried about being late we actually ended up in our seats 35 minutes early. This was good though as it gave us time to use the loo, grab a drink and just generally chill before part one started.

Cursed Child

We were on Row J in the stalls at the end of the aisle so the view was much better than when we’d been at the very top of the theatre. Last time there’d been a whole section of the stage we couldn’t see. I’d been worried about someone tall sitting in front of me and they did but if I leant forward I could see between their heads and still had a good view.

Some of the cast had changed whilst some were still the same – me and Becca had a conversation about who we thought had changed and we mostly disagreed on who was the same but both agreed it was definitely the same Draco as when we’d last been. Regardless of whether they were the same or not the cast were amazing and I quickly got sucked back into the story. I’m not a big fan of the plot but it’s told better on stage than it was in the screenplay, it just works better.

I think I prefer Part Two to Part One but Part One is still amazing and it was great getting to see the magic closer up this time. Before either of us knew it Part One was over and we had to come back later for Part Two which started at 7:30PM.

Because we’d been in such a rush to find the theatre and get inside we hadn’t taken any pictures yet. Luckily it was still bright out so we took individual pictures in front of the theatre and Becca eventually worked up the courage to ask a woman if she’d take a photo of the two of us. It came out really nice and then we set off to find somewhere for dinner.

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Last year we’d checked straight into our hotel so we could dump our bags but this year they weren’t too heavy so we decided to just go out for dinner instead (which turned out to be a good choice as you’ll discover later). Finding somewhere to eat with available space in Central London is never easy and we walked around for maybe half-an-hour to an hour before finding an Italian place that was relatively reasonably priced and had a table so we went inside.

It was a bit crammed but it was a nice place. Becca flitted between wanting a meal, wanting a starter, not wanting to eat at all, and then said she’d love a dessert but there weren’t any on the menu. Luckily I found the dessert menu on the table so Becca settled on a slice of apple pie and two chocolate milkshakes whilst I had an orange juice and spaghetti Bolognese. It was a nice meal and killed sometime between part one and two.

Last year after seeing the show me and Becca had made some poor decisions and spent a lot of money on unnecessary Harry Potter merchandise. We both agreed this year we would stop each other from spending – mostly because of a concert ticket fiasco the day before but let’s not get into that, that’s for another post. We needed money for the following Friday so we agreed not to let each other make any unnecessary spends. Which is why I was nervous when Becca kept suggesting we go to PRIMARK as they had a Harry Potter section.

After getting Becca’s word that neither of us would spend any money we went to have a look and it’s safe to say the pair of us nearly caved in. There’s nothing I love more than house specific merch and our town is dreadful for that. Becca really wanted a Slytherin night shirt and I wanted a Hufflepuff nightie but we didn’t let the other spend any money before heading off to see Part Two.

I personally think Part Two was funnier moments and just generally prefer it (although as mentioned, Part One still has amazing moments too!) so I was looking forward to this one and it was just as funny as I’d remembered it. Obviously the whole of it isn’t hilarious there are some dark or sad moments too but it’s still amazing. And just like that Part Two was over! The day we’d been waiting for over a year had finished.

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I won’t talk anymore about my personal opinions on the show as I already did that on last year’s post but like if you’re a Harry Potter fan you need to see this show, it’s actually amazing. If you read the screenplay and hated it, don’t worry, I get you, but it’s much better on stage than in the book.

After leaving the theatre it was time to check into the hotel which should’ve been a half-an-hour tube journey away. We got on the Northern line to Waterloo and prepared to change to the Jubilee line only to hear an announcement that it wasn’t running. Neither of us had any signal so we left the station and went to find an alternative route. My phone was being relatively useless (telling me we needed to catch a boat) but luckily Becca’s phone took us on a route that involved a bus ride and then getting on the DLR.

It was getting quite late at this point and both of us were exhausted. I was suddenly worried check-in would close and checked the booking.com app to see if this was the case and it advised check-in was until 11PM. It was now 10:50PM. I tried ringing the hotel to let them know we’d be late and ask if anyone would be there but nobody would answer even though I was getting charged 19p a minute to call the stupid number.

When we finally got off the DLR Becca followed the Google Maps instructions on her phone and was clearly so keen to get to the hotel that as I hurried to keep up with her I almost fell over. Unfortunately it was really confusing trying to find the hotel as it was next to a river, lots of areas were blocked off and there was construction work everywhere. At one point I could see the hotel but couldn’t tell how to get there. We even had to duck under a chain (or crawl under in my case) to get to the pavement. I could see Becca getting increasingly frustrated and was relieved when we finally reached our hotel.

Last year we’d booked a twin room and had arrived to find we’d been given a double bed but decided to just put up with it. This year we were actually given twin beds but they were so close together it might as well have been a double. We were so tired that neither of us cared and within an hour we were both in bed.

Neither of us slept particularly well but we couldn’t have a lie-in as we had a slot booked at Madame Tussauds for between 9:45AM – 10AM, and as the jubilee line was down we had to allow for more time to get there. I got up feeling like an absolute zombie but managed to throw some clothes on and we were out by 8:15AM.

The trip to Madame Tussauds turned out not to be too difficult but we did both nearly fall asleep on the first bus. We were a bit early so we grabbed a drink and then played I Spy to pass the time. In the final round I nearly murdered Becca ‘cos her one was stupid (“I spy with my little eye something beginning with T” – answer turned out to be ‘Transport’). Whilst we were playing we joined the queue and before we knew it we were inside.

I hadn’t been to the Madame Tussauds London since I was about 12 with my Mum – we came to London for the day, queued three hours to buy our tickets and by the time we were done it was all we’d had time to do. With Becca we bought our tickets in advance meaning we got in a lot quicker. As it was a Saturday it was quite busy but it was worth it, we love places with lots of photo opportunities and that’s pretty much what Madame Tussauds is for!

Madame Tussauds

We took tons of photos in every room and I’m happy with most of them, I wish my hair had looked a bit better but that’s life I guess. We had our photo taken on the ride mid-way through Madame Tussauds but neither of us liked it very much which was lucky as we didn’t really have the money to spend on anything other than food. They’d also added the Marvel 4D cinema since the last time I went and as a massive Marvel fan I really loved it. The last section was Star Wars themed which went completely over my head but Becca’s a big Star Wars fan so she had lots of photos in there.

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Madame Tussauds had killed an hour or two so when we came out we still had a few hours to go until our train home so Becca asked what I wanted to do. I said I wasn’t sure so with a grin Becca asked if I wanted to go to Kings Cross.

We’d been last year and that had been our absolute downfall, I’d spent way more than necessary at the Harry Potter shop and knew I would again if we went but for some reason we still agreed. As we got on the tube I made Becca agree that we’d only spend £15 each.

When we got to Kings Cross the queue to have your photo taken with the trolley had been cut and we were a bit confused so we decided to go into the shop instead and there was even a queue to get in there. I’ve never seen it so busy in my entire life but it was midday on a Sunday so I guess it made sense. Inside was absolutely rammed so I felt like I couldn’t have a good browse, just getting to Hufflepuff section took about 50 years. It didn’t stop me from buying a Cursed Child lanyard (which I now wear at work like a lame-o) and a Hogwarts Oyster Card holder (as my Hufflepuff one from three years ago had finally bit the dust). Overall I spent about £7. Becca spent about £25, I can’t even remember everything she bought, I know she bought a little Ron necklace to match her Harry one which I’m a bit jealous of. There was a necklace with Luna’s glasses on, I might have to go back and buy that ‘cos it was so cute.

Once we were done in the shop we went and asked about the queue for the trolley photo and the woman informed us it hadn’t been cut it was just so long that we had to go and queue outside so we did that. This was only the third time I’d been but the other times I went it had only taken about 20 minutes max to get your photo taken – we queued for over AN HOUR. We’re such Harry Potter trash I swear to God. We killed time in the queue by doing impressions and just generally messing around until finally it was our turn.

Becca’s been a few times so she’s had her photo taken with every scarf at some point so this time she picked Gryffindor as it matched her outfit. I did the same as I already have Hufflepuff and Slytherin so I only needed Gryffindor and Ravenclaw to complete my collection and Gryffindor matched my outfit. We asked if we could have a picture together and we changed into our actual house scarves (Becca’s a Slytherin and I’m a Hufflepuff) and asked for a fight photo. It came out quite well so when we went in I bought the group one where we’re looking at the camera, Becca bought both group ones and her solo one. Becca ended up going quite a bit over the budget in the end.

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As we’d queued so long to have our photo taken we now had to head back to Euston to grab lunch and head back home. We were both exhausted and kept falling asleep on the first train back but after that we had to change twice until eventually my Mum picked us both up from the station.

Overall it was an awesome weekend, it was great to see Cursed Child again (in better seats) and we’re already talking about going next year and visiting the Studios as well next time which would be so much fun. I’m already going to see the show again with Hirst in August and my friend Janie has mentioned going and seeing it but honestly there is no such thing as too many times with Cursed Child!

Favourite Memories with my Friends

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Here’s another post celebrating 10 years of friendship with my favourite nerds. I thought in this post I’d mention some of our favourite memories. I doubt I’ll manage to fit them all in because already the list is really long and there are tons that I can’t remember so prepare for a long post.

Rhyl

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Our first ever holiday! It’s strange now but it seemed so difficult to pull off at the time. We wanted to do something before me and Jess went to university in London because we were under the impression it’d be ages before we saw each other again (whoops) so we decided to go on a small holiday to the beach. We looked at most seaside towns but settled on Rhyl, I can’t really remember why but we decided to go.

Jess hadn’t long passed her driving test and I can’t remember if Hirst had her licence by then or not, she wasn’t long off either way so Jess and Hirst sat in the front because they could both drive and me and Becca sat in the back having a great time. I’d made a CD before we left that mostly contained songs from the ‘Into The Woods’ soundtrack but also had some cheesy Disney music on it too which we listened to and sang along with the entire way there.

We stayed in a house and it was a bit of an old person’s house to be honest but it was nice to have our own space. If we wanted to go to the beach front we had to drive but it didn’t matter too much because the house had been relatively cheap so we didn’t care.

We did some fun things while we were there – did shots on the first night in the house, went to an aquarium, went to the circus, went to a fairground that nearly ended all of our lives and watched the sunset on the beach on the last day. It was quite a simple holiday but we all enjoyed it and we still look back at it with fond memories.

It’s weird to think we found it so difficult to plan at the time considering we’ve been abroad five times now but yeah at the time we had no clue what we were doing but I think we did quite well for our first holiday together.

Paris

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Our first trip abroad, something I thought we’d never manage to pull off. Basically we went to Paris to go to K-Con (except for Hirst) and we had about maybe two months’ notice at the most. Tickets went on sale about a month before the concert so we had to rush to book everything and get our spending money sorted in time. But we did pull it off and it was amazing.

Due to time and money we didn’t have much choice and had to book a coach to take us to Paris instead of a plane because it was a hell of a lot cheaper. It wasn’t too bad on the way there because it was an overnight coach (although Becca did down eight sleeping pills which stressed the rest of us out) but the way home was torture. We got on the coach with nothing but a box of maltesers and three mars bars and within two hours we’d completely eaten our supplies. Luckily the driver had the sense to stop at a service station when we got back to England. That sausage roll and chocolate milk was one of the best meals ever.

I loved our first trip abroad even though it was far from perfect. The hotel we stayed in was a bit naff, I got scammed out of ten euros at the Eiffel Tower (Jess only got scammed out of five while Becca and Hirst got away) and me and Hirst got told off by a lady on the metro but honestly it’s one of my favourite trips we’ve been.

We did all the typical tourist stuff, I’m pretty sure we didn’t even meet up to talk about it that much because we knew what we wanted to do. We saw the Eiffel Tower, went to Disneyland, went to Notre Dame, saw the Mona Lisa painting, went down into the catacombs. And best of all we went to K-Con and saw BTS, Block B, f(x), FT Island, IOI and SHINee live.

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I was exhausted by the time we eventually got back to England (it took us about 18 hours) but it was worth it. We vlogged this trip and it was the first time we’d ever attempted to vlog a trip but it’s still one of my favourite vlogs to occasionally rewatch. If you’d like to watch it then click here [x]

Harry Potter Studios

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For my 20th birthday I was told that Jess would be staying with her Auntie and that Becca couldn’t get the day off work so I thought me and Hirst were doing something together. Turns out it was all an elaborate trick and the three of them were taking me on a surprise trip on my birthday. I was thrilled that it had been a trick because I had cried a little when I thought everyone was busy on my birthday except for Hirst, because I’m dramatic like that.

They took me to the train station and we changed at Birmingham New Street with me still having no idea where we were headed. They’d hidden letters within my presents and cards and I was told I had to use these letters to figure out where I was going, which I was going to do on the connecting train. This was a plan that quickly failed when I went to WHSmith with Jess to look at food and she turned to me and asked “Do they even allow food in the Harry Potter Studios?”

There was a moment of silence before Jess tried desperately to change the subject upon realising what she’d done but I couldn’t pretend I hadn’t heard it. The others were mad but I couldn’t wait. I’d been to Harry Potter Studios with Jess the year previously but I hadn’t read the books at the time and I was excited at all four of us going even though Hirst hadn’t seen a Harry Potter film at that point.

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I had the best day ever, it was so nice of them to surprise me like that and I had an awesome time. I even got to push open the doors to the Great Hall because it was my birthday. We got a ton of cool photos and it was probably the best birthday I’ve had so far. Thanks guys!

24K

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I’ve talked a lot about the time I saw 24K by myself but the first time I went to see them was with Becca and Jess and we went to London together. We had an awesome time even before the concert started, the train journey there was hilarious and Jess downed an iced coffee when we got to the hotel and went a bit hysterical. We spent all afternoon trying to find something to do and hours later we ended up at Big Ben for some reason? Then we headed to the concert and waited outside in the rain until we were allowed in.

We were stood towards the back but 229 is quite a small venue so it didn’t really matter where you stood because there was still a good view. At the time I didn’t even know many songs and I was a casual fan but oh my god they were so good that I had to stan. 24K are one of those groups where their songs are good but you don’t sit back and think ‘wow that’s amazing’ but once you’ve seen them live it all changes. They’re one of the most energetic groups I’ve ever seen and seem to genuinely care about their fans.

We had such a good time that me and Becca saw them again in Amsterdam and met them that time. We talked about it for ages afterwards and there’s an eight minute long video of us freaking out about it once we got outside, it’s one of my favourite things to watch. I’m really hoping 24K come back to Europe this year so we can see them again because it’s been a while since I saw them with Becca and I wanna freak out with her again.

Driving Around

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For some reason in August 2015 just before me and Jess went to university the four of us would meet up and just drive around in someone’s car. A lot of times we just drove around because we weren’t sure what to do so we ended up in the Aldi car park a lot of the time just chilling. We don’t really do that anymore because we’re all too busy which sucks.

One of my favourite times was when we drove around in Hirst’s car and for whatever reason Jess rolled the window down then tried to roll it back up and Hirst’s car was quite old so it kept rolling itself back down and I remember sitting in the back seat crying with laughter. We went to ASDA to buy some snacks and two girls decided it’d be fun to follow us around and take the piss out of me so obviously my friends had my back and as we were driving out of the car park we spotted them walking along so Jess rolled down her window and yelled at them. They yelled at her to kill herself and Jess started doing some manic laughing then tried to roll the window back up but obviously it was Hirst’s dodgy car so they kept rolling themselves back down.

I can’t remember if it was the same night but we decided to walk up a hill and it was quite late at this point so we were driving down some country lanes in the pitch black and me and Becca were in the back worrying that a werewolf was going to pop out the bushes or something. We never found the hill we just managed to creep ourselves out.

Innuendo Bingo

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I remember playing this when we were maybe sixteen or seventeen and at the time it was the funniest thing ever. Unfortunately we played it when we were a bit older and we didn’t find it as funny anymore but the first time we played it was hilarious. I was pretty good at the game, Jess came a close second but Becca was definitely the worst.

For those who haven’t played Innuendo Bingo and don’t know what it is, you fill your mouth with water and listen to some clips of innuendos. The idea is you hear the innuendo and try not to laugh or in some cases massively fail and spit the water everywhere. As I said, Becca wasn’t great at the game and she was stood directly opposite Jess and every time she managed to spit her water the length of the garden and land it right on Jess’ shoes. Becca was way funnier than the actual innuendos a lot of the time.

It’s a shame we don’t find it as funny anymore but it’ll still be a good memory.

Bean Bamboozle Challenge

I don’t have any photos of this one unfortunately or any videos but God, what a day. Jess had been on about playing this game for a while and eventually bought the beans and brought them into college. The four of us only had one lunch break a week altogether and that was on a Friday so that’s when we sat down to play it. Out of me, Jess, Becca, Lucy and Hirst only me, Jess and Hirst decided to play.

If you haven’t heard of this challenge basically you buy a box of jelly beans which will be colour coded on the back. There are several of each colour but there’s a difference in the taste. For example a brown one could either be chocolate flavoured or dog food flavoured. It’s pretty much impossible to tell which is a good one and which is a bad one and the challenge is that if you get a bad one can you finish eating it?

What an absolute joke that game was, Jess got all eight good flavours whilst me and Hirst got seven bad ones and one good one each. We ate all our bad flavours except for rotten egg and vomit. The ones I definitely remember eating were smelly socks, dog food, baby wipes and snot. Dog food was particularly hard and I remember Lucy and Becca saying “That smells so bad that I feel sick.” Yeah, it must’ve been so difficult for them.

It’s funnier now but at the time I did want to vom a little bit, they tasted absolutely horrific. I’m convinced that Jess can’t taste if she has a bad flavour but we have yet to test that theory.

Tully’s Farm

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Becca had mentioned this a couple of times over the years and that she wanted to go but it was one of those things we talked about but never got round to planning until eventually she put her foot down in 2017 and insisted that we go. Hirst decided to sit this one out because she’s not really a fan of people dressed in costumes, especially if they’re jumping out and deliberately trying to scare her. To be honest I was very worried too but ended up absolutely loving it.

I wrote a long post about it here [x] but basically it was really funny, I made Becca and Jess hold my hands the entire way round and Becca was making me laugh so hard from how much she freaked out. It was a brilliant night and we’d like to go again this year but it might not be possible with everything going on around that time.

Amsterdam

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I already mentioned we went to Amsterdam to meet 24K. It was the first holiday where we went on a plane together and I was honestly terrified. My Mom very kindly drove us to the airport and then suddenly we had to navigate our way through the airport. In the past I’d just relied on my Mom to sort everything and I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit nerve racking being there without a parent. But we were fine and we got to Amsterdam in one piece!

We were very lucky with that holiday because the weather in Amsterdam was gorgeous so it made the city look even more beautiful. It’s definitely somewhere I’d love to visit again because there were a couple of things we didn’t manage to see, for example Anne Frank’s House was sold out because we hadn’t planned it until the last minute. But we saw some amazing things like the palace, Vondel Park, went on a canal boat tour, the red light district and the ice bar. Truthfully my only regret is that I didn’t do a weed brownie with my friends on the last night but ultimately that’s my fault.

Given the opportunity I would definitely go back because it’s truly a beautiful place and I had some good times with my friends there. Even if we did stay in the dirtiest Airbnb apartment I’ve ever seen in my life.

Hirst’s Birthday Party

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I will be 100% honest with you now that the party has passed, I wasn’t looking forward to this. Not in a nasty way but at the time I wasn’t really into parties, I didn’t drink and I just didn’t really like them. But obviously as Hirst is my best friend I knew I would have to go and I would have to find a way to enjoy it. You only turn 21 once and I was not about to ruin my best friends party by having a bad attitude.

Anyone who knew me knew that I hated alcohol, refused to touch the stuff most of the time but I realised that to have a good time I might need to get a little drunk. The trouble was that I knew I could put on a happy face but they know me too well and I knew that if someone mocked me and said they knew I wasn’t having a good time then I’d turn sour very quickly. But I couldn’t let that happen so I quickly figured out the best way – down a bunch of shots and get a bit drunk.

Hirst was a bit surprised when I said I wanted to but Becca agreed she’d do it too and that was the plan. I was nervous before we went but I knew I just had to get on with it. I’m painting a picture of me proper dreading and hating this party, I honestly was looking forward to it and I did get into it when I bought my costume, I was just a bit apprehensive at the time!

I actually had the best time ever. Me and Becca had like three shots each every half-an-hour and eventually got just a little bit drunk. I say a little bit. Becca cried outside the venue and I lost count of the amount of times I fell over. We were both a little bit of a mess but hey we were happy (except for when Becca cried) and I have nothing but good memories of the night. I’m really glad that whenever we talk about it it’s nothing but positive. And now I’m looking forward to any other parties I may get invited to in the future!

Lithuania

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Mine, Jess and Becca’s birthdays are very close together so for our 21st Jess and Hirst decided to team up to book a holiday for me and Becca. Their original plan was to go to Blackpool but somehow they ended up booking flights to Lithuania and that’s where we ended up going.

I’d never really heard of Lithuania before and for the first 24 hours or so I had a really difficult time remembering the name of the country – there’s a video of me on the plane trying my best to pronounce it, I really don’t know why I kept forgetting. So I didn’t know much about it but ended up absolutely loving it, it’s probably one of my favourite places I’ve ever been.

I think what I liked is that it was quieter than most cities so you could actually see and do more, for example we made a wish on the lucky brick (mine didn’t come true but whatever) and it was one of those things that if you were in Paris or somewhere more popular you wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near it.

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It’s a shame that Jess got sick on the Sunday but other than that it was an amazing trip and I’d definitely go back in a heartbeat because I really liked it there.

Slender Man

The four of us became proper best friends when we were about sixteen and around that time we started playing ‘Slender Man’ quite a lot when we hung out. Over time the game kind of loses its appeal because all you do is walk around these woods looking for pieces of paper and it only really gets interesting if you find one or see Slender Man himself, 90% of it is just walking round in circles though.
I remember when we first started I absolutely loved it but I was also too scared to look at the screen so the first time I sat on a different sofa and just watched the others play it for the first few rounds. We went in pairs so that someone controlled the mouse and someone controlled the keyboard. The worst combo had to be Becca and Hirst, Hirst kept panicking and Becca kept telling her off. For example saying “Oh great, the ground, just what I wanted to look at!” The best combo probably would’ve been Becca and Jess because they’re probably the bravest. When I eventually played I kept looking away from the screen ‘cos I’d get creeped out and was probably a bit useless but it was a fun game at the time!

Looking Around the School

The secondary school the four of us went to was quite an old building and when we joined the school we were told that they were going to be building another one and by year eleven we would move into this magical new school. That didn’t happen because the planning permission didn’t go through or something but our school did eventually merge with another one and they built a new one, we’d just already left by that point.

Someone on Facebook had posted some photos they’d taken of our school now completely abandoned so we decided to have a look around it for old times’ sake before it was completely knocked down. A lot of other people in town clearly had the same idea because when we walked down the gate was unlocked and we could just walk inside.

We were quite lucky with the night we picked because when we went into the old science labs there were a ton of shot glasses, condoms etc. so there had clearly been a party going on at some point and the next night a few groups went into the school for a look around. The only people we saw that night were a group of lads on bikes who thankfully left us alone and let us carry on looking around.

It was strange to see the school we’d gone to for five years was suddenly abandoned but it was cool to be able to enter rooms that had once been forbidden to us, for example the staff room, the kitchens, the basement etc. It was creepy because we went at night but it was definitely worth it. It wasn’t exactly the safest building anymore but none of us were injured.

Some of the highlights include me and Jess smashing plates just because we could, Jess trying to break a TV with a fire hydrant but the TV was the sturdiest thing ever and wouldn’t break, me collecting any keys I found and ending up with about 500, Becca and Hirst ripping framed paintings off the wall to keep and Hirst taking all the chalk. I’m making us sound like complete vandals, all the stuff left behind was definitely not wanted anymore so we weren’t just being assholes! It was a good night, I’m sad the school’s been knocked down now.


Greece

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Greece was our most recent trip and we had an amazing time. It was a ‘surprise’ for Hirst’s birthday that I managed to completely ruin. Basically, we gave her cards with little hints about the trip inside and gave her 50 euros each so she’d know we were going away but the plan was not to tell her. I’d been worried that I’d get a bit drunk at her party the night before and tell her but luckily didn’t, only to end up accidentally telling her when I was completely sober the next day.

Other than that the trip was a complete success. We rented a car, something which I’d been a bit nervous about, and drove round the island and just driving through Greece listening to absolute bangers was amazing. The highlight was definitely the lake, I would go back there in a heartbeat. We had so many laughs on that trip and the weather was amazing. I’d love to go back to a different part one day.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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Me and Becca went to see this show, it felt like so much waiting around but the day eventually arrived. It was worth the wait, it was absolutely amazing and it was so good that we’ve booked to go back next year but with more expensive tickets this time. The only thing that had sucked about last time was that our view wasn’t brilliant. I wrote a longer post about it here but yeah, it was amazing.

London

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This was our first sight-seeing holiday and I guess it brought out the tourists in us. I’m pretty sure we went because Five Seconds of Summer were performing in London on Hirst’s birthday and the day after – she didn’t want to be away for her actual birthday but as a sort of birthday trip we went to see them the next day.

We obviously did some over sightseeing while we were over there – Camden Market, Trafalgar Square, Platform 9 and ¾, the Globe Theatre, Oxford Street. We also went to see a show, it took a lot of debating on what we should see but we eventually settled on wonder.land which was sort of based on Alice in Wonderland but was about an internet app or something… By the time we got to the theatre we were all so exhausted I’m surprised none of us fell asleep during the show. It was a good show but I remember us all sitting there before it began, none of us speaking and just looking absolutely dead inside.

It seemed like the weekend was over way too quickly but we had an amazing time and I’m glad we all went.

I’m sure there are tons and tons of other amazing memories that I’ll kick myself for not including on this list but it’s already quite long so I’ll end it here. I hope you enjoyed reading this and here’s to ten more years with my favourite nerds!

Things That Make Me Happy

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I’ve noticed something strange recently. At the start of last year I had an awful first few months where I felt low and angry pretty much all the time but by August things melted away and I just enjoyed the second half of the year feeling pretty good. I was determined that the start of 2018 would be better so I got myself organised and did some things I’d been putting off that I actually really wanted to do – I got my first tattoo, went on my first solo trip abroad, started piano lessons and did my best to generally cram in as much fun stuff as possible.

Regardless of this though I still felt low and angry a lot of the time just like the beginning of last year. To be fair I feel like I tried harder this year but some things happened completely out of my control. My Grandad passed away in February. I’ve never lost anybody before and to reach 21 and not lose anybody is a pretty amazing but I don’t think I’m coping well with it now it’s happened. Then a couple of months later my colleague Malcolm also passed away. I had never attended a funeral in my life now suddenly this year I’ve attended two within the space of three months.

Other things were getting me down too but I don’t really want to dwell on them in this post. This post is about what makes me happy so that hopefully in my lower moments I can refer to this and do my best to cheer myself up. I’m quite dramatic so when I’m upset it’s quite easy for me to just wallow in my own self-pity but I don’t want to keep feeling sorry for myself. So here is my list of things that make me happy.

Travelling

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Okay obviously I can’t just get up and go abroad every time I feel sad because honestly I just couldn’t afford that lifestyle but usually at any given time I have a trip to look forward to. At the moment those trips include Paris, Japan and South Korea (and then Paris again). It doesn’t even have to be abroad, I love going to London which I do quite regularly.

I’ve been to some amazing places over the past few years including Benidorm, Paris, Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Lithuania, New York, Poland and Greece and I loved every single one of them. I travel so often that I figured out since starting my job last March I have visited six new countries within that time. I now have a reputation in the office of being a bit of a jet-setter and I’m not complaining, I love having that reputation.

In February I was telling a colleague I’d just got back from Poland to which they responded “So that’s you done with trips now for the year?” Done with trips? In February? I don’t think so. The moment I’m back I’m ready to book the next one and it’s usually never long before I’m off somewhere else again.

I went to see the nurse recently who told me “I do like going on holiday but I also hate it because of the depression I get coming back home” and I feel that, I do get quite down when I come back to work after an amazing trip but ultimately I could never stop travelling and don’t plan to. There are so many places I want to see!

Books

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I love reading books but unfortunately I don’t always have the motivation. I feel like I haven’t read as much this year as I normally do but I haven’t lost my love for it. I’m pretty much always in the middle of a book and I can leave it for a while then just get straight back into the story. My Mom told me she can’t do that, she has to read it all in one go or she loses the plot but I could leave it a while and just pick it back up whenever.

At the moment my favourite book is ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’Neill which isn’t the most cheery book ever but I still love pretty much everything about it and I’m looking forward to the movie version (I’m praying it doesn’t suck). Other favourites include the Harry Potter series, ‘The Lost and the Found’ by Cat Clarke and ‘Am I Normal Yet’ by Holly Bourne. I just love getting lost in a book for a few hours instead of staring at a computer screen like I so often do.

I definitely need to read more because there’s a lot in my ‘to be read’ pile that I haven’t look at even though they’ve been there for over a year. It’s on my bucket list to have a year where I read at least two new books a month so I might have to make that my 2019 goal. I’m actually so excited I might start collecting the books and preparing now!

Cinema

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I swear our local Cineworld has healing powers or something. One day I was up town and got really bad period cramps but the moment I got to Cineworld and was sat in the screen with my large chocolate milkshake they completely stopped. For ages I had an unlimited card so I spent an awful lot of time at that cinema and it never failed to cheer me up, even if the film I saw was dreadful. I got rid of the card but now have it back again because I go so often that I might as well.

This year I’m going to write a list of my favourite 2018 releases and films that I think will be quite high on the list are ‘The Greatest Showman’, ‘The Incredibles 2’ and ‘A Quiet Place’ because I just absolutely loved those movies. I don’t understand people who would rather watch the movie at home on DVD, there’s nothing better than watching a movie on the big screen.

My Mom

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The woman drives me up the wall but ultimately she is my best friend. Not a day has gone past that I haven’t spoken to my Mom, even when I’m away I text her regularly and we always know what the other is up to. We work in the same building so every Friday we meet up to have lunch and we always make time to hang out with each other.

It’s convenient having her in the same building because one day I came into work and my friend informed me that one of my colleagues had been bitching about me while I’d been off the week before. I was already sad about other things and that kind of tipped me over the edge so at lunch time I went into my Mom’s office and had a mope to her. She took me over town and treated us both to a slice of cake and had a chat about what had upset me.

Last month we started watching Love Island together, something I never thought I’d be interested in but it was cool that me and my Mom had something to watch and talk about together. I could tag her in the memes on Facebook and we could just have a laugh. It was nice, I enjoyed watching it with her and I just love spending time with her.

Theatre

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I’ve always loved going to the theatre but I didn’t really consider myself a ‘theatre fan’. I just assumed everyone liked going as much as me – it wasn’t until last year or the year before that I realised yeah I actually love the theatre an awful lot. One of my favourite weekends was my birthday present to myself last year – I spent the weekend in London and watched five shows – ‘Annie’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Dream Girls’, ‘School of Rock’ and ‘The Comedy About A Bank Robbery’.

My favourite show so far is probably ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’. Me and Becca went in March (as you can read here) and had such a good time that we’re going back next year but in the more expensive seats so we can hopefully have a better view. If I’m sat behind a giraffe now I may have to cry.

I don’t just go to London, I’ve seen some good shows at closer theatres in Wolverhampton and Birmingham. There is a local theatre a short walk away from my house but there’s not usually much on there to be honest although I do go and see the panto every Christmas Eve there.

But yeah, I’m usually quite happy when I’m sat in a theatre watching a show.

Going For a Run

Unfortunately I don’t always have the motivation for this which is annoying because usually I feel really good afterwards and I know that it’s good for me. We’re in the middle of a heat wave right now in England so I can barely walk anywhere let alone run but I love going for a run in the cooler months, especially when it’s dark and no one can see me. I thought about signing up for the gym because that might motivate me to exercise more as generally exercise does make me happy but gym memberships are quite expensive so I decided not to because, y’know, running’s free. Now I’ve written it down I can come back to this and hopefully force myself to exercise!

My Friends

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I already wrote a long post about what I love about my best friends but like… I do love my friends. An awful lot. Even when we argue I still love them. We’ve made some amazing memories together and I know we’ll continue to, probably for the rest of our lives. I can’t see us breaking friends any time soon and I can’t wait to see where we all end up.

This year we’re celebrating ten years since we all met each other. The idea was to get a joint tattoo but we’re not sure that’s happening anymore. Regardless I’m glad we’ve known each other for ten years and I can’t wait to celebrate twenty years in 2028.

Hanging out with three of them makes me insanely happy. I’m in the middle of writing a post of my favourite memories with them to celebrate our ten years of friendship but even the small times where we just sit in someone’s house and talk mean an awful lot to me. Even just our Facebook group chat can mean a lot to me. Hearing about Hirst going to ASDA to buy some garden gnomes at 11PM the other night really made my night. So yeah, chilling with my friends makes me super happy and I need to make more of an effort to meet up with them regularly – difficult because we’re adults and have our own responsibilities and schedules but we’ve managed so far.

K-Pop

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Lame but music does make me happy, especially K-Pop. Recently me and Jess went to a K-Pop Night in Birmingham which was amazing until around the 3AM mark when I was suddenly exhausted. But it was cool to be able to dance to songs I knew as opposed to when we went clubbing the week before and I barely knew any of the songs. It was a good night though and I’m looking forward to the next one when hopefully Becca can join us.

I also love going to K-Pop concerts – so far I’ve seen BTS, FT Island, f(x), IOI, SHINee, Block B, 24K, EXID, Snuper, Highlight, KNK and Dreamcatcher. There are plenty of other groups/artists I would absolutely love to see including but not limited to G-Friend, Red Velvet, TWICE, Hyuna, CLC and so many more.

Another thing I love about K-Pop is being able to learn the dances. Even though I’m sure I look like an absolute moron doing them it still makes me happy to give it a go. I’d love to rent out a dance studio for the day and just learn the dances to my favourite songs but as I can’t afford that I will have to make do with my living room whenever my parents are away.

Going out for Meals

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Okay but who doesn’t love going out for a meal? Having food cooked for you and then not having to worry about the washing up afterwards is lush. I never really eat anywhere fancy because I’m a fan of just simple food so my favourite place to eat is Wetherspoons. If I’m feeling more adventurous than I do love going to TGI Friday’s but the food there is quite a bit more expensive. It doesn’t matter where I am though to be honest I just love going for a nice meal out whether that’s by myself or with friends/family.

My only issue with this list is that a lot of the stuff costs money and I need to find more things that are free that make me feel happy. Feel free to comment with things that make you happy, I might be able to take inspiration!

Mischief Movie Night in Birmingham Review

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It’s no secret that I’m a Mischief Theatre fan. I’ve seen both of their current shows in the West End more than once, I saw Peter Pan Goes Wrong while it was on and I travelled to London to see Mischief Movie Night. So when I knew they were coming to Birmingham I knew I had to get myself a ticket. For a while it looked unlikely that I’d be able to go due to being broke as fuck but in the end I managed to get myself a ticket for the Sunday matinee.

On the day I was so worried about being late to the venue that I showed up 45 minutes early. I’ve already mentioned that I am someone who cannot stand coming to the theatre late, I would rather be super early than be two minutes late. I’d been a bit stressed that they wouldn’t let me in because I’d forgotten to print out my ticket but luckily I was reassured that as long as I had it on my phone then it was fine.

The show was at the Birmingham Hippodrome which I’ve visited a few times before but it wasn’t actually on the main stage it was in the Patrick Studio which is a bit smaller and feels a lot more intimate due to its size. The seats are tiered well so wherever you sit you’re guaranteed a good view. I was sat about 2-3 rows from the back but the view was still perfect.

Although I’d enjoyed both ‘Mischief Movie Night’ shows I’d seen in London since it’s an improv show I was a bit worried at the start that I wouldn’t find it as funny as the first couple of times or it’d be awkward or this or whatever else. However once it had started my worries disappeared because it was just as good as the first two times.

At the start the audience are asked to shout out what type of film they’d like to see, the actors take suggestions and then let the audience decide by cheers which they’d most like to see. One suggestion was met with complete silence by the audience which was honestly pretty funny. In the end we decided it was a disaster movie set on Mars which would include a cute puppy and relaxed kissing. I can’t remember which title was chosen it was either ‘Martian Meltdown’ or ‘Everyone is Melting’.

One of the actors doesn’t take part but sits to one side and sort of ‘directs’ the movie (this time it was Henry Lewis who did this) and adds to the humour by pausing, rewinding, fast-forwarding, showing bonus footage and just generally helping to progress the movie. This honestly works so well, I was crying with laughter at some points because it was just so funny.

I had a lot of favourite parts but the ones I can remember are:

– Jonathan Sayer entering the scene as an old man character, looking at Dave Hearn for a second then going “Don’t mind me” and just trying to exit the scene

– Literally anytime they made up a song, especially Henry Shields and Bryony Corrigan’s welsh couple song at the end

– The advert for Robo-Bear

– Relaxed kissing

– “I often wondered in this scene why the child picked up the puppy by the balls?”

– The debate about who should stay behind on the planet and face certain death and Henry Lewis constantly screaming “ONE OF THEM’S A ROBOT! THEY’RE REALLY GOING TO LEAVE THE CHILD BEHIND AND NOT THE ROBOT!?”

There were so many more moments but I won’t list them all because honestly just the whole thing was fantastic from start to finish, I was legit crying throughout the entire thing. I know I probably haven’t done a very good job at describing it, it’s one of those things that you have to be there to appreciate how funny it is.

I’m so glad I went because I’ve been having a bit of an off year so far and that hour or so watching that show was probably the hardest I’ve laughed and the happiest I’ve felt in ages. I just completely forgot about everything and got 100% invested in the show. I asked afterwards if there were any tickets left for the evening performance but unfortunately it was sold out so I had to head home but I’m so glad I got to see that one. I’m considering travelling to Cheltenham to see it again but I’m not 100% sure yet.

Basically, if you ever get chance to see a Mischief Theatre show (especially this one) I’d definitely recommend it because they’re absolutely hilarious. Apparently ‘The Comedy About A Bank Robbery’ is coming to Birmingham in August so I’ve decided I’m going to drag my Mom to come and see it with me. I made my Dad go to London to see it and I’ve now seen it four times so I definitely need to make it a fifth.

And shout out to Mischief Theatre for a fantastic show, I loved every second and I’m so glad I went.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London Experience

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You have no idea how happy I am to finally be able to write a review of this show. I’m sure most fans appreciate this struggle but I bought mine and Becca’s tickets on 23rd January in 2017 and we finally went on Wednesday 7th March 2018. Let me tell you though, it was worth the wait. I wanna make it clear before I go in that I will do my best not to spoil any aspects of the show – I’ll talk about the plot a bit but I won’t ruin anything that makes the show amazing. Be prepared for a long post, here we go!

Because we’d had the tickets booked for so long we almost got to a point where we forgot we were going. We didn’t book our hotel and train tickets until less than a month before we left and I just kept forgetting that this was something I could look forward to. The year felt like a lifetime but when the day arrived it felt like I’d booked the tickets just yesterday. Me and Becca caught the train at 10:08AM and tried to pass the time on the two and a half hour train journey. Mostly by messing around on Snapchat, updating Becca’s Instagram story and then moaning when there wasn’t any data.

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We got to London Euston, wolfed down a sandwich from Sainsbury’s and then headed to the theatre because me and Becca are absolute lovers of taking photos and we wanted as many outside the theatre as possible. It’s just as well we headed to the theatre early because I had it in my head that the show started at 2:30PM but once we’d finished taking our photos I saw that actually the show started at 2PM. It was an absolute panic but we grabbed the tickets and joined the back of the queue which had snaked around the entire theatre.

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Becca began to worry we wouldn’t get inside on time but luckily the queue moved quite fast. Security were strict and like I can understand why ‘cos it’s a popular show but they were extremely strict. Me and Becca had to bin about £5 worth of uneaten snacks between us because you can’t take in any outside food or drink. I mourned the loss of those snacks for the rest of the day. Security checking our bags was a bit awkward because we hadn’t had time to run to our hotel so all our personal stuff was in there and it was an intense bag search, they don’t just have a quick feel I mean they proper go through your things. Then you have a metal detector across your body and then you’re let in!

When we booked the tickets I was earning minimum wage and working one day a week so I had to borrow money off my Mom meaning I could only afford the £15 tickets right at the top. I’d been a bit worried about the view and when we sat down I was even more worried. Becca sat down first and I was like “How’s the view?” to which Becca replied “Awful, I can’t see anything.” Because we were so high up there was a railing to stop people falling which blocked the view a bit and then also the lighting blocked it too. Luckily when the show started we realised the view wasn’t too awful, it just meant doing a lot of head moving and not being able to see if anything happened in the bottom left corner of the stage. But to be honest I’d been waiting so long to see the show that I was just grateful to be inside the theatre at that point.

Inside the Theatre

I want to point out that I had read the book before going to the theatre and although I’d enjoyed some aspects (reading about Albus and Scorpius’ friendship being the best part) I really didn’t like the overall story. I feel like other than completely ruining some aspects there were also a couple of plot holes (which I’ll talk about later) so I just didn’t really like it. However, I was still super excited about seeing the show because I’d heard from my friend that it was absolutely amazing and I just generally love being at the theatre. So I went in with an open mind and pushed aside my negative thoughts about the book.

Guys, it was amazing. I’m so glad I went with Becca ‘cos I feel like we turned to each other every other minute like ‘Oh My God!’ and just generally freaked out about everything together. The cast were amazing and I honestly just loved every second. In the interval we had so much to talk about because it’s just so good that you want to discuss everything you just saw in detail. I remember moaning in the first interval about how before we knew it the whole thing would be over and I knew I’d be sad.

We watched the second half of Part One which was just as amazing and came out of the theatre at about 4:50PM. I’m so glad we decided to watch both parts on the same day because I wouldn’t have wanted to wait an entire day to see Part Two. I’m also actually really glad it’s in two parts instead of just one because it spreads the magic out for longer.

Because Part One had finished a bit earlier than we’d originally thought it would we decided to head to our hotel to check-in which was about twenty minutes away by tube to the theatre. It wasn’t the greatest hotel we’d ever stayed in but it also wasn’t the worst. My only complaint would be that we booked a twin room but for some reason ended up in a double room and then it was boiling hot in there for most of the night. But it didn’t matter because we were only there a few minutes before heading back to the theatre.

We grabbed dinner at a fast food place right across the street. We picked it for its convenience but unfortunately although the place even sold some food specifically for dogs it had little to no vegetarian options so Becca ended up ordering two portions of fries for her dinner. I had a chicken burger which was tasty but not very big. The fries portions were massive though and their milkshakes were good. Still quite pricey but at least it was close to the theatre.

Food

We took more photos outside the theatre in the evening because we’re absolute trash but these didn’t come out quite as well since it started to get dark. We joined the back of the queue which again had snaked around the theatre but went quickly again and we’d also dumped our main bags in the room so now we only had handbags which meant we got through quicker this time.

Dark Theatre

Once inside I knew it’d be a mistake but since we were earlier we decided to take a look at the merchandise. I had the quickest glance and decided to buy a t-shirt with the show name on it since I was enjoying it so much. Becca said she wasn’t gonna get anything so I queued up and bought it for £19.99 – by the time I’d got back she decided she needed to buy a program so she got one for £12. It was really pretty so we spent time looking through that before Part Two began. We were so far back that we didn’t really know what people’s faces looked like so actually getting to see them up close in the book was interesting. And then Part Two began!

It was just as amazing as Part One but also quite sad because we knew we were nearing the end and that tickets are almost completely sold out until next year. Everything about it was just brilliantly done and by the end we knew we needed to see it again at some point. The moment the next batch of tickets is announced we are getting some more. I remember getting stressed when I bought them last year because I was in an online queue for forty-five minutes but according to some other fans that’s absolutely nothing compared to how long they waited. I also heard horror stories of people getting to the front of the queue and getting kicked out but luckily that didn’t happen to me. I will fight people for tickets next year, trust me.

I wanna give another shout-out to the cast because honestly they were amazing, so full of energy and played their parts absolutely amazingly. My favourite had to be Scorpius, Becca genuinely cried with laughter several times and honestly he was just amazing. All the cast were though, they were honestly amazing.

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Right, I’m about to talk about the plot ‘cos I assume that even if you haven’t seen the play you’ve probably read the book. However if you don’t want to read my spoilers about the plot, skip past and I’ll put a ‘Spoilers End Here’ line in bold so you’ll know it’s safe again!

First of all, I do not for one second believe that Harry James Potter would ever tell his son that he wished he wasn’t his. I don’t care how angry he was he just wouldn’t say it. After everything he went through as a kid he wouldn’t suddenly turn around and be a complete dick. Even Draco was running around like “My son! Clear his name! Won’t someone please think of my son!?” Also Harry literally stalking his son to make sure he couldn’t see his only friend was actually pretty abusive like really?

Secondly, the whole Delphi plot confuses me a bit because like other than the fact that Voldemort and Bellatrix having a kid is just absolutely ridiculous how on earth could Draco not have known about her if she was born in the Malfoy Manor? Did he not notice that Bellatrix was pregnant? I understand he was probably at school but nine months is a long time and he would’ve gone back home at some point and surely seen her? Also, when would she even have had the time to like be pregnant and give birth? Surely there was a lot going on at the time and she wouldn’t have- Whatever, I’m not getting into this.

Thirdly, do not even sit there and tell me that Cedric Diggory would’ve become a death eater under any circumstances. He got humiliated in a bloody competition and became a death eater? You really expect me to believe that? You can honestly piss off.

And now onto my fourth and final point. Scorpius and Albus are 100% a little bit in love with each other, they can push this whole ‘oh Scorpius fancies Rose and Albus fancied Delphi’ until the cows come home but I know the truth. Usually I’m the person that’s like “Do we need romance? Can’t we just let people be friends, not everything has to be about romance” but this is my one exception. I ship it so hard and I don’t care what anyone says I 100% believe they’re gay.

Scorpius and Albus

SPOILERS END HERE.

Basically, I am going to see this show again. I don’t care if I have to wait another full year, I am going again. Me and Becca wanted to bring Jess and Hirst with us but they’re not into Harry Potter as much as us so we’ll see. We’re also hoping to get slightly more expensive tickets next time so we could hopefully get a better view. But overall I wouldn’t change anything about our first time seeing the show. I was worried we’d be sat by annoying people who went on their phones or talked the whole time but we were very lucky. I think because everyone’s waited so long to see the show they do actually have some respect and put their phones away and shut up to watch it. I wish people were like that at every show!

The next day Becca came up with the idea of visiting Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station to get our photo taken again. We did originally go with Jess and Hirst back in April a couple of years ago and we each got an individual photo then a photo of us all killing Becca since the woman taking the photo ‘didn’t like Slytherins’ apparently.

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Me and my friends are quite sad and we all have our own houses and we actually each have matching merchandise that’s in our own house. Becca is Slytherin, Jess is Gryffindor, Hirst is Ravenclaw and I’m a Hufflepuff. But as me and Becca already had photos with our house scarves on we decided to go for different ones. She chose Ravenclaw and I chose Slytherin and we each got our individual photos before taking a double one. We were asked if we wanted friendly or duel to which Becca said “Duel!” so the man told us how to pose. The moment Becca put her arm above her head the people in the queue started cheering for some reason and it was super embarrassing but I’m so happy with how the photo turned out.

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We headed into the shop and that was our downfall to be honest, it’s even bigger than when we originally went in April and oh dear. To be fair if I’d really caved in I could’ve spent more but in the end I bought the professional photo of me and Becca, a Hufflepuff umbrella, a Hufflepuff pen and some postcards for my scrapbook. Becca bought the professional photo and a stuffed Hedwig. In just 24 hours I’d managed to spend £50 on Harry Potter merchandise.

Becca

We got breakfast and we really wanted to do more Harry Potter related things (because it had reached that point where we’d just accepted our nerdiness) but we couldn’t find anything so we decided to go sight-seeing. We’d never been to Buckingham Palace together so off we went. Becca’s Mom loves the Royal Family so Becca knew a surprising number of facts about Buckingham Palace, it was actually quite funny she was like my own personal tour guide.

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After that we had to accept the trip was over and we caught the train back to Telford. You know when you get post-concert depression? I think I’ve got post-Harry Potter depression because it was honestly amazing and I’m just so sad it’s over. I came back to work and within minutes of going through my emails I was in a bad mood and just wanted to be back at the show. Me and Becca are going to make sure we have tickets for next year, it was that good! If you get the opportunity to see the show then I really recommend it. I’ve seen almost every show running in the West End and let me tell you, this is the best one I’ve ever seen.

I just beg that no one turns this into a movie. Put the stage version on DVD and I’ll be happy but please don’t turn it into a movie. The storyline is awful but seeing it on stage redeems it whereas I think a movie would just ruin it. There’s something about the theatre having limited resources compared to movies that makes it even more magical.

There we go, I wrote about this play in way more detail than anyone ever asked for. If you’ve seen the show then let me know what you thought in the comments, if you’re going to see it then let me know in the comments, just please talk to me! Thanks for reading.

10 Favourite Theatre Shows

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At the start of last year I wrote a list of my favourite shows on in the West End [x] but that list has slightly changed and I wanted to include shows I’ve seen that aren’t on in the West End because some of those are equally fantastic. So here are my ten favourite theatre shows I’ve seen.

10. Kinky Boots

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I think this one made the list because I saw it not long ago and I was impressed. I’d never had an interest in seeing it but since I’d seen most shows in the West End by that point I decided I wanted to see something different so I booked a ticket for this on a whim. It was actually really good – however what wasn’t really good were the three teenagers sat next to me who were constantly on their phones and kept talking the entire time. I’d love to see the show again but in a better seat and hopefully away from irritating morons who have paid money to see a show and are just ignoring it for the sake of their phones. You can do that for free at home, why pay money to do it in a theatre?

I’m getting off track. Kinky Boots was an amazing show; it’s about a failing shoe company who try a new angle to save their business. Their new angle is creating a range of high-heeled shoes for drag queens so their shoes last longer and the heels don’t break. Apparently the story’s based on real events which is pretty cool. It’s also a film so I might need to watch that although I’m sure it won’t top the theatre version. If you’re ever in London and looking for a good night out I’d definitely recommend going to see Kinky Boots.

9. The Woman in Black

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I’ve seen this show four times. Twice by myself in the West End, once with my friend Jess in the West End and then a fourth time in Wolverhampton with my Mum when it was on tour. It’s no secret that I love horror films and I’d really enjoyed the film. In college we were supposed to see ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ in London but when the theatre was undergoing construction we had to get reallocated tickets. Half of us would see ‘Once’ and the other half ‘The Woman in Black’. I desperately wanted to see ‘The Woman in Black’ but typically I got allocated a ticket to ‘Once’ which was generally quite dreadful. So when I went to London for a book signing I decided to make the most of the opportunity and went to see The Woman in Black.

I loved it! So different to the film but still amazing in its own way. It’s simple yet so clever how it’s done – there are only three actors in the entire play, two men and the Woman in Black herself. There’s a brilliant atmosphere and no matter how many times I see it I still manage to jump at every little bump and sometimes just thinking about the show gets me really creeped out. If you haven’t seen it then I really recommend you do, it’s fantastic.

8. The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

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Another show I’ve seen four times, all in the West End! Three times by myself and then once with my Dad and Step-Mum. I’d been trying to convince my Dad to take me to a West End show for ages so in the end we settled on The Comedy about a Bank Robbery because I just knew he’d like it. For the first ten minutes or so he tried to keep a straight face but in the end he weakened and started laughing and was clearly enjoying himself!

This show is by Mischief Theatre who are my favourite theatre company and this is probably my favourite show by them. The show is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a comedy about a bank robbery. My favourite scene is definitely the one at the end of part one, the whole scene in Caprice’s apartment. This show has me in hysterics no matter how many times I see it and I really can’t recommend it enough!

7. Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

When I first saw the film of this I wasn’t particularly impressed by the storyline. But then we performed the play during our last year of Secondary School and I quickly fell in love with pretty much all of the songs. Most of my class mates complained that we were putting on a depressing show for our final year performance but I loved it. My favourite songs were ‘Feed Me’, ‘Closed for Renovation’ and ‘Finale Ultimo (Don’t Feed the Plants)’.

For anyone who doesn’t know what Little Shop of Horrors is about it’s about a man named Seymour who works at a failing flower shop who finds fortune and fame after discovering a strange and interesting plant he names ‘Audrey Two’. But he soon realises the fortune and fame comes at a terrible cost as the plant only grows when fed human flesh.

Unfortunately this show isn’t on in the West End but luckily it was on in Birmingham the night before my 20th birthday so I went to see it and loved every second of it. If I ever get the opportunity to see it again then I’ll be there in a heartbeat because I loved it.

6. School of Rock

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I’ve been to see this twice in the West End and loved every second of it but I’ve found this show is pretty expensive. For good reason because the show is amazing but still. It took me a while to find an affordable ticket the first time I saw it. I went again as a birthday treat to myself so I spent a bit extra to get a better ticket.

Surely everyone knows what School of Rock is about since it was an amazing film but if you don’t then it’s about musician Dewey Finn who hasn’t had his big break and is struggling to keep down a job and pay rent. In order to raise a bit of money he pretends to be his friend Ned Schneebly and takes a job as a substitute teacher at a school. When he realises how musically talented the students are he forms a band with them to enter them at the Battle of the Bands concert.

Because I loved the film I knew I had to see the show and I loved the show just as much. There are more songs in the show version and I love them – especially ‘Stick it to the Man’, ‘When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock’ and ‘You’re in the Band’. If you can get a ticket then I really recommend it, it’s amazing!

5. Matilda

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At one point this was my favourite West End show and I do love it. I’ve seen it three times and I love it, especially the songs – my favourites being ‘My House’, ‘Naughty’ and ‘The Smell of Rebellion’. I was always a fan of the film Matilda as a kid so when it became a West End show I knew I had to see it. So my Mom treated me to tickets for my 19th birthday and off we went.

I loved everything about it. I preferred that it focused on Matilda’s cleverness rather than her mind powers; I just preferred that angle on it. It was also interesting to see their spin on Miss Honey’s back story which although was a little unbelievable was also really neat. I think this show went on tour not too long ago and will probably go on tour again so I really recommend going to see it if you can!

4. Hairspray

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I had been waiting SO long to see a stage version of this show! I watched the film as a kid and immediately loved it and I love pretty much all of the songs. I sort of saw a stage version of it when I was fifteen because I went with my friend to see her little sister’s school play of it but although it was good it was still just a school version. But eventually I managed to get a ticket to see it in Wolverhampton a couple of weeks ago.

It was a battle to get to Wolverhampton, it decided to absolutely throw it down with snow and I was really worried the train would be cancelled but thank God it wasn’t. I hopped on the train and when my Mom asked how I was getting home I text back to say I didn’t know. I could be stranded in Wolverhampton for all I cared but I had to see that show. Very fortunately my friend Lucy from school was also at the show and very kindly offered me a lift home from the train station which was just as well because I honestly had no idea how I was getting home afterwards.

It was worth the wait – the show was amazing and everything I’d hoped it’d be. My favourite moments included ‘I Know Where I’ve Been’, ‘Run and Tell That’ and ‘You’re Timeless to Me’ (which was a song I absolutely hated in the film version). The only thing I prefer about the film version is that Inez is the one who gets crowned as Miss Teenage Hairspray. This is such a feel good show and another that I’d definitely return to if I got the opportunity.

3. The Lion King

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This was another show I wanted to watch for absolutely ages and eventually I got tickets for my eighteenth birthday. We were right on the front row and it was honestly fantastic. I’ve only been back once more so my friend Jess could see it and I splashed out extra so we could sit on the front row again. I’d love to see it more but I don’t want to sit at the back and have my experience of it ruined.

Surely everyone knows what ‘The Lion King’ is about so I won’t explain it to you but the stage version is truly amazing. When I took Jess to see it we sat through the opening number and she turned to me and said “I know we’ve only seen one song but this is the best show I’ve ever seen” and it is honestly amazing. If you ever get the opportunity to see it you should definitely take it.

2. Anastasia

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Unfortunately I’ve only seen this show once because I saw it on Broadway whilst I was in New York. It was my first Broadway show and honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better first Broadway experience. Me and my Mum were in our own box which had a fantastic view of the stage and the show was just truly amazing. I don’t think I’ve actually seen the film the whole way through but it’s quite different to the film as there’s none of the magic from the film it’s a more political version.

Everything about this was amazing – the songs, the costumes, the scenery. Apparently it’s supposed to be coming to Europe and the UK at some point and I am honestly waiting. I know Becca wants to go and see it so it looks like I will be going to see it again at some point. If it comes near you anytime soon then make sure you get a ticket because it’s honestly amazing.

1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One + Two

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So uh I saw this literally less than a week ago and I honestly fell in love with it. I bought the tickets for me and Becca last January and we finally managed to see it. I’m not going to talk about this one too much because I’ve written a really long post about my experience which I’ll be releasing on Wednesday but all I’ll say is that I loved every second of it and I’ll definitely be going again to see both parts at some point. As I said, I won’t say much more but I’ll post a link when I release my experience post.

There you go, those are my top ten favourite theatre shows I’ve been to! Let me know what your favourite ones are below.