29/12/15 - Life Update

Remember earlier in the month when I promised that some "fun Christmassy" blog posts were on the horizon?  Well, that didn't happen, did it?  Oops!  That seems to be very much the way of things recently; every time I tell myself I'm going to dive back into blogging, I just...don't.  I have half-written posts littering up my Blogger dashboard and folders of photos on my desktop that I've never quite got around to using.  I've done so many things that I could have written about, but the motivation and the time simply weren't there.  But all that is going to change starting now, so here's a whistle-stop tour of my last month to get us up to speed for the New Year.

The main blog post I had in mind was one about the Manchester Christmas Markets.  I had all the best intentions, with a bullet-pointed plan and plenty of photos to accompany it...but the finished product just never materialised.  Every year, Manchester's markets get bigger and better - the route expands, and there are new festive sights and smells around every corner.  It made my walk to work just that little bit more fun as the city came alive with traders from all over the world.  As always there was something for everyone, but this year I was particularly drawn to the foodier side of things.  My favourite stalls were the three m's: macaroons, mushrooms and marshmallows!

Into the Woods at the Royal Exchange is another thing I would ordinarily have written about, had I motivated myself to do so.  Each year, the Royal Exchange offer a festive alternative to the usual pantomimes (you can find my review of last year's Little Shop of Horrors here) and this year's production was nothing short of enchanting.  It's splendid festive fare for all the family; I find that flipping familiar fairytales on their heads is always a crowd-pleaser and the Royal Exchange's innovative staging of this Sondheim classic is an absolute delight.  It's running until 16th January 2016, so I would seriously recommend getting tickets if you're able to!

Another highlight of December was seeing Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott of The Beautiful South fame perform at Manchester Academy 2.  I didn't really know many of the songs but didn't want to pass up the offer of a ticket.  Not only did I recognise more than I expected, even the ones that I wasn't particularly familiar with were so upbeat and catchy that it didn't really matter.  It was probably the most fun I've had at a gig in a long time - so much so that I've hardly stopped listening to them since!

December was a particularly hectic month and I wish I'd done a better job of documenting it all on here, but there's no point beating myself up about that.  I'd rather be too busy to even think about blogging than have all the time in the world and nothing to write about!  My aim for 2016 is to ingrain blogging properly into my routine; the new year will be a chance for a fresh start in a lot of ways and I'm determined to make the most of that.

So here's to bigger and better things; I hope you all have an excellent start to 2016!

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