Saturday, 31 March 2018

The whole picture: March 2018

Catch up with my January round-up. There was no February round-up as I was busy sunning myself in Cuba. #Sorrynotsorry.

What I've done in March

My first March adventure came in the form of snorkelling in the Atlantic, just off the coast of Varadero. We took a catamaran out to a reef where many fish gather, and spent a jolly hour splashing about in top of the waves. Suffice to say I've now added 'fish-botherer' to the hobbies and skills section of my CV. Next stop: scuba diving.

The end of the holiday was doubly painful because not only was I saying goodbye to sunshine for the foreseeable future, I was coming back to face the challenge of racing up a skyscraper. Six days after I packed my bikini away, I took part in Vertical Rush in Tower 42. I've never understood the phrase "my lungs are burning" until that day, and altough I only ran up eight or so floors, I got to the top in 14 minutes and 10 seconds. There's still time to donate to my fundraising page, if you're so inclined - oh, and here's a video of me doing it.

The view over Lewes from... a hill, somewhere

After speeding up a skyscraper, a light walk up a Sussex hill seemed like a doddle, so I took on the hills that I've been eyeing up outside my nan's house for years, walking from Ringmer to Lewes via cows, wind turbines and golf courses - ending in a pub, naturally.

Where I've been in March

Cuba, obviously. I've been banging on about it for weeks. But I've been back for three weeks now, and have managed to squeeze a few other bits and pieces in.

I was desperate to see the V&A's Winnie the Pooh exhibition (which ties in with this afternoon tea), and it didn't disappoint. Seeing the process of both the writing and the illustrations explained really brings home how clever AA Milne and EH Shepard's books are - and of course, there are plenty of cute touches, including a chance to have your photo taken on a replica of the Poohsticks Bridge. Side note: if you're into Winnie the Pooh, watch the film Goodbye Christopher Robin. I watched it on the plane, and while it's cute, it also gives a lot of the backstory to the characters, some of which is darker than you might expect.

I was back in South Kensington a couple of weeks later for the press launch of the Natural History Museum's annual Sensational Butterflies exhibition. Press calls with professional photographers are always fraught to the point of violence as everyone grapples for that perfect shot, and as a twenty-something woman in an industry saturated with middle-aged men, their disdain and patronising attitude towards me is always obvious. At first it intimidated me, but now I just get my shot and get out, leaving them to their macho mind games.

Last but not least of my activities this month was a trip to the press launch of Swingers, a crazy golf course that's opened in the old BHS on Oxford Street (top tip: don't Google 'Swingers' - you won't find what you're looking for - or perhaps you will... - and it'll ruin your Google ads for life). I've racked up a few fair London crazy golf courses through my job, this one being the most sophisticated by far. You've still got your street food and your bars in there, but it feels like the more grown-up sibling of the like of Junkyard Golf. Oh, and the holes here are a lot harder...

What I've eaten in March

You didn't think I'd let a month go by without an afternoon tea, did you? Celebrating the birthday of a very good friend, we combined our two favourite things and headed for afternoon tea in a bookshop. Full review here.

I've had to go cold turkey - pun intended - on my buffalo chicken addiction for a few months since it got out of hand, but I returned for one of Meat Mission's bundles of deliciousness after completing that skyscraper challenge. It's dangerous to know that it's so close to me office, I can head over there, order a burger to take away, and be back sitting at my desk within 34 minutes. The temptation is strong every single day.

What's coming up

My plans for April so far consist of a weekend in Leeds with a uni friend, and possibly a trip to Columbia Road Flower Market. Foodwise, there's an American diner I plan to try out, and I'm reviewing a couple of restaurants and an afternoon tea or two for work - perk of the job.

You may also notice a couple of minor changes on this blog. There's now a whole section dedicated to afternoon tea, another about UK travel, and one specifically about South East England. If you've got any suggestions for what I should cover in these areas, get in touch.

Follow me on InstagramTwitter and Facebook to keep up to date with next month's antics as they happen.

See also - what I got up to in:

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