May & June - Blog Header - LifeAfterLdn.com

My goodness it’s been a busy couple of weeks! I keep meaning to write more, I really do. And to read more blogs, and to get involved in more twitter chats, but gosh, it’s been mental and time keeps racing away from me. There’s been a lot of crazy family stuff with hospital stays lasting a lot longer than anticipated (don’t worry, everyone is fine now), a beautiful wedding, my annual trek to Leeds for a music festival and several birthdays – some were even for humans!

In addition there’s been some changes at work and I’ve started house-hunting again! So it’s been kind of mad, and looks like it’s going to carry on that way really. Away off up to the Highlands again in a few weeks too, so hopefully I’ve have some more lovely snaps of the stars and the like to share with you all soon.

But lets take a peek at some of the bigger things that’ve been going on…

Slam Dunk Festival turned ten

I’ve been going to Slam Dunk since it held it’s first fest in Leed’s Millenium Square back in 2006 with Fall Out Boy, The Academy Is, The Hush Sound, Hellogoodbye and…some other bands – it’s been ten years so I can’t expect to remember everything!

It’s changed a bunch since then, for one, it’s massive! There’s now several stages across various university buildings as well as the square and Leeds Academy and a handful of bars. I was apprehensive about the move from the refectory, but for the most part it was relatively pain free – though I know some friends didn’t get to see bands they wanted to see in Academy so they’d obviously sorely underestimated how many pop-punk fans were keen to see the likes of Four Year Strong and Set Your Goals.

As I didn’t photograph the festival (only the third time that’s happened!) I didn’t really take any photographs throughout the day. Apparently this was a great shame as Panic! At The Disco’s Brendon Urie spent most of their hour-long set with his top off. Still not certain I understand why they dedicated ten minutes of the set to playing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody instead of playing more new songs from Death of a Bachelor, but nevermind.

Regardless it was an excellent weekend away catching up with lots of old friends and pretending I still live in  mid-2000s pop-punk bubble.

Ticked off (part) of a Bucket List item

Remember my bucket list? It’s been harder than I’d hoped making headway on my list, but finally at the end of May I made a dent. Sort of. En route back from Slam Dunk Festival, my friend Emma and I decided to stop off in Newcastle and head to one of their cat cafes, Mog on the Tyne.

I’ll be totally honest I’m still not sure how I felt about this Cat Cafe. Admittedly I’m very bias towards my Maison De Moggy fam, but this cat cafe just felt a little too small for all the fabulous felines living it. It’s very different circumstances as well – these are all rescue cats, and I expect that this is a major contributing factor for why they all seemed extremely timid when we were there. I felt guilty for petting them because they didn’t seem like they liked it very much. Though again, with MDM, the furbabies have had much longer to get to know me and to be so comfortable with playing games (Philippe was meowing demandingly at me just yesterday because he wanted us to play with his favourite toy), and sitting on my lap – whether for cuddles or to try and steal my cake!

Tinks - Mog on the Tyne - Cat Cafe - LifeAfterLdn.com

Gizmo - Mog on the Tyne - Cat Cafe - LifeAfterLdn.com

Stan - Mog on the Tyne - Cat Cafe - LifeAfterLdn.com

After we said goodbye to those balls of fluff we headed back to Edinburgh…and over to Maison De Moggy for Pierre’s second birthday party.

Pierre - Maison De Moggy - Cat Cafe - LifeAfterLdn.com

Two cat cafes in two countries in one day. Just call me a crazy cat lady already 😹

Theatre Trips

I’m really enjoying life at the Citz, but if there’s one thing I really miss about life in the West End it’s the musicals. After a splurge on tickets a couple of months back the end of May brought the first couple of shows in our musical theatre diary.

American Idiot

I missed American Idiot at the Arts Theatre in London when it enjoyed it’s UK debut last summer, so was really excited to see it when it made it up to Glasgow. With the vocals of Amelia Lily (who, as I said to my mum during the interval – I’d be shocked if she isn’t played Elphaba in the West End within five years) and Newton Faulkner I was so certain this would be a fantastic night.

American Idiot at the Kings Theatre Glasgow - LifeAfterLDn.com

Maybe I’ve just been to too many musicals, but it felt like there was something missing. The choreography was a little cringe-worthy – I’m not sure what would have made it more punk, but it was difficult to watch without laughing sometimes. The accents were also, quite frankly, ridiculous and the plot was lackluster. It was pretty heavy sometimes, and I’m not sure that was adequately protrayed in the marketing – it was definitely not for the faint-hearted! That being said, the vocals of the majority of the cast were phenomenal and the rest of the audience (clearly massive Green Day fans) loved every second of it.

American Idiot at the Kings Theatre Glasgow - LifeAfterLDn.com

The highlight for me was understudy Llandyll Gove who effortlessly handled the role of alter-ego St Jimmy. He was totally wild! Finishing the show with Time of Your Life was a really lovely touch as well.

Guys & Dolls

The following week we were back in row L of the King’s Theatre (just two seats over oddly enough) for Guys & Dolls with Wicked’s Louise Dearman, and uhm, Grease 2’s Maxwell Caulfield (have you got Cool Rider in your head yet? Because it was in mine for days…)

Guys & Dolls at the Kings Theatre Glasgow - LifeAfterLDn.com

This show was phenomenal. I really wished I’d seen it in the Savoy with Jamie Parker (ya know, that bloke who’s playing Harry Potter now), but the whole touring cast were brilliant – the set looked magnificent and it was just so much fun. There were some delightfully funny bits and some moments were downright silly – I’d go see it several times again if I could!

Guys & Dolls at the Kings Theatre Glasgow - LifeAfterLDn.com

Our next show isn’t until October when we’ll be flying off to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and then a new sell-a-door production of Little Shop of Horrors in November as well.

New camera!

For well over a year I’ve been gunning for a new compact camera. Don’t get me wrong I love my 5D mkIII (no really I LOVE IT), but it can get really heavy carrying it around at shows and family events. There’s still a lot of uses for it but I really wanted something for social occasions and travelling that would give me a full range of manual controls and excellent high quality images at a fraction of the weight of my hefty dSLR. Enter the brand new Canon Powershow G7x mkII.

It cost a pretty penny but two weeks into using it I know I’ve 100% made the right decision. Being able to instantly transfer images across to my phone should hopefully make me a little more active on social media too, as currently I feel like the limitations of the 5s are kind of holding me back from posting much. It was perfect for this little event we were at earlier this week…

A Wedding!

This past weekend my not so wee cousin Charlie got married and our family ventured down to Meols Hall Tithe Barn near Southport for the wedding celebrations. It rained pretty badly on the drive down but somehow come Friday morning the sky cleared up and we had a really beautiful day for the wedding.

Cousin's Wedding - LifeAfterLdn.com

Cousin's Wedding - LifeAfterLdn.com

Cousin's Wedding - LifeAfterLdn.com

Cousin's Wedding - LifeAfterLdn.com

Cousin's Wedding - LifeAfterLdn.com

Charlie looked incredible (and Tom did too of course, but she’s my cousin so I’m totally bias) and everything about the wedding day was really magical: the ceremony was lovely, the food was delicious, the bubbles were plentiful, we couldn’t have asked for more.

Written by Shiona