Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The whole picture: January 2018

Catch up with my December round-up, and take a look back at my 2017.
Rochester Castle
Not my new abode, unfortunately.

What I've done in January

Well that's 1/12 of 2018 over, and in the true January spirit of being broke and going into hibernation, it doesn't feel like much has happened. I've made headway on approximately half of my 2018 to-do list. I've tackled the running by running a couple of miles on a few different nights, and although I'm not at the 10k stage yet, I'm getting there.

In an additional flurry of fitness optimism, I've signed up to Vertical Rush. If you're not familiar with what that is, you can find out more (and have a laugh at my expense).

Where I've been in January

Topes Restaurant in a wonky building in Rochester High Street

My big trip this month was to Rochester. When I say 'big', I'm talking big by January standards - it's only an hour away on the train, far enough to feel like a proper day trip, but close enough to spend four hours on a Sunday wandering around and still be home in time for a Sunday roast. My motivation for going was to tick off the 'visit a new place each month' part of my 2018 plan, and I'm already glad I wrote that plan out and shared it with the world, otherwise I may well have been tempted to stay in bed instead.

Other than that, I've been lugging my trust camera around London for run-ins with Lumiere and Winter Lights, two excellent free light festivals that went some way into lifting the gloom out of January. I also saw my first proper improv comedy show at The Comedy Store in Leicester Square. I went in feeling dubious and came out converted, my ribs aching.

What I've eaten in January

Salted caramel donut freakshake at Maxwell's Covent Garden, London

As I write this, my most recent food adventure was a return trip to Maxwell's in Covent Garden, where I finally had one of their salted caramel freakshakes. It's an improvement on the vile Unicorn freakshake they were serving up last year, but (top tip!) there are better freakshakes to be had at BRGR.CO in Soho.

Sticking with the sweet tooth theme, the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea at One Aldwych was something of a disappointment, failing to deliver on the quality, quantity and substance fronts, which is impressive in itself.

A perk of the job presented itself in the form of the chocolate fondue at Jaz and Jul's Chocolate House in Islington, which I was tasked with filming for a short video. Heaps of strawberries and marshmallows, and one chocolate-dipped scarf later, I waddled back to the office on something of a sugar high.

I've also revisited a couple of local places, including the excellent Basil in Tonbridge (go for the chocolate flapjack, you won't regret it) and an extremely satisfying sausage sandwich brunch at Teal in Hildenborough, a highly-underrated former roadside diner which has been transformed into an inviting upmarket cafe.

What's coming up

You'll (hopefully) notice me upping my game significantly on this blog in the next few months. I'm really keen to grow it in terms of number of posts, and hopefully, followers. If you like what I'm doing, please share it with someone else. If you have comments or suggestions, please let me know in the comment, chat to me on social media (details below), or contact me.

Other than that, the next big plan is a two-week trip to Cuba, split between Havana and Varadero. If you've got any tips for either of these locations, hit me up with them.

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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