At the end of every month I like to look back and reflect on ten things that made me happy and that I’m thankful for. February is my birthday month so there was lots to be happy about this month!
A trip up to Edinburgh
Earlier in the month I went up to Edinburgh for 5 nights to see my dad who had gone into hospital for an operation. Obviously this didn’t make me happy but what did was spending more time in Edinburgh than my usual flying weekend visit.
We were staying in an absolute stunning West End AirBnB, which was around the corner from Dean Village so of course we had to go and see it. It doesn’t feel like you’re in Edinburgh at all!
On one day I got to have lunch with my cousin Liam and then drinks in the evening at The Dome with my cousin Jackie. If you’re visiting Edinburgh I’d really recommend The Dome as it’s a stunning venue! I also managed to fit in lunch with a friend, Rebecca, before my train back home. And my dad’s op went really well, so that was a relief.
A night at The Shard
One of my birthday presents from my lovely, thoughtful husband was a night at the Shangri-La at The Shard! I’d been wanting to go for ages, even though we live in London!
I will be honest and say that, whilst the view was stunning (we could see Tower Bridge), the room itself was quite underwhelming. The sky pool looked amazing but stupidly I didn’t think to take my costume!
It was pretty awesome though waking up on my birthday to a spectacular view (even if it was a bit grey).
Dinner at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Another present from my husband was dinner at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal at the Mandarin Oriental (this was on the same night that we stayed at The Shard).
The concept is that the dishes are inspired by Britain’s culinary past, such as Meat Fruit which dates back to 1500. The food was absolutely faultless and the steak was one of the best I’ve ever had – although that should be expected of a two Michelin starred restaurant. I’d definitely return!
My lovely friend Tanya, who lives in South Africa, organised for some beautiful gladioli to be delivered for my birthday. They came through the postbox from Bloom & Wild and lasted around 2 weeks! I buy fresh flowers every week for the house but it’s always a delight to be given flowers.
Facing my fears
February was such a busy month work-wise and there were a couple of specific projects that were causing me a bit of stress. I was really nervous about them but they actually went really well! I’m a big believer of facing your fear and doing it anyway.
Lunch at Jose Pizarro
I love tapas and one of the best restaurants in London for Spanish tapas is definitely Jose Pizarro. We love going to the one in Bermondsey and sitting at the counter so we can watch the chefs cook. Whilst we were eating I noticed the chef with an unusual item so asked him what it was. He handed us a bit to taste and it tasted just like pork crackling, but it was trout skin! It was amazing.
One of the items we always have to order off the menu is the croquettas, which change often. These ones were squid ink – yum!
Read a good book
I’ve been making more of a conscious effort to read more this year and this month I read the very quirky ‘Convenience Store Woman’ by Sayaka Murata. It’s a fascinating insight into Japanese culture and traditional roles in society. I’d really recommend it!
I always have fresh flowers in our flat but I’ve only had a couple of plants by the kitchen window (which are rather sad looking… I can’t lie. Although remarkably I’ve somehow kept them alive for around 3 years). Since December I’ve gone a bit plant mad and now have three in the living room and one in the bathroom. I heard they were good for stress and well-being and I definitely feel a bit more Zen when I look at them. Any tips for keeping them alive though?!
Fyre Festival Documentary
This documentary was just, WOW. It’s the story of ‘the greatest party that never happened.’ Think a luxury island with a star line up of acts, beautiful people, fancy food, drinks flowing, yachts as an accommodation option…. instead, what festival goers got were cheese sandwiches and tents.
What was also really interesting, for me in particular, was how influencers had been used to help sell tickets yet they were selling a lie (not that they were aware though). It brought up interesting questions around their influence and the industry as a whole.
The Dropout podcast
Shout out to Jasmin Charlotte for making me aware of The Dropout podcast, which was gripping! It’s all about the real-life story of the rise and fall of Stanford University dropout Elizabeth Holmes and her tech company Theranos. This story has it all – fame, fortune, romance, lies, deception, fraud and failure. Plus the fascination with how her voice changed…
Now I know the Fyre Festival Documentary and The Dropout podcast seem a bit odd to add to a list of things that made me happy, given they were about fraud and failure but I do love a good documentary!
So that’s my ‘ten happy things’ for February! How did your month go?