If I were to describe April 2023 in one word it would be grey. There has been the odd day of sunshine but it has been unseasonably cool and cloudy and one has had to seek out the colour and warmth.
If you’re searching for warm and humanity this month, the place to find it is in Ted Lasso, each episode of the new series is wonderful. In this week’s episodes the themes of immigration and racism were at the heart of the storyline yet it still felt so uplifting and positive, its a comedy where you can go from one emotion to another in seconds. I listened to an interview with Jason Sudeikis, the lead character and producer, this week and it made me love the series that little bit more, what a brilliant cast and production team. Mr S and I have also been watching the series, Funny Woman, starring Gemma Arterton, its a lovely pastiche of 1960s London but also addresses the changing values of the time, well worth a watch.
This week it was time for my decennial task, renewing my passport. I changed it to my new name when I got married which was also the week of my 30th birthday so its an easy date to remember for the renewal. I chose to take and upload my own digital photograph, the online renewal is a great feature but I did need a few takes until the photo passed the quality test. I think I will feel rather sad when I get my new passport, it will be the new blue cover as a result of Brexit and I presume that the wording will have changed to His Majesty, sometimes its the little things which are reminders of the changing times.
Recently I have been listening to a few fashion podcasts with the focus on sustainable fashion. In February I ordered a skirt from Unfolded, an ethical company which makes clothes to order and it arrived this week. I am very happy with the skirt, the size, colour and pattern are perfect and I can’t wait to do a little twirl in it. I also wore a pair of wedge espadrilles today which I had picked up brand new in a charity shop a few weeks ago, I do like a mooch around a charity shop, a lot of times there is nothing suitable but sometimes there is a little gem which makes the browsing worthwhile.
Although its a bank holiday weekend, we didn’t really have any big plans, the boys had tickets for the football today and I wanted to do parkrun yesterday. However I did want to something special to mark the longer weekend. Usually this might have been a bit of parkrun tourism but as my top two tourist parkruns are in very busy holiday towns, I decided to give this idea a miss and ran and volunteered at our home parkrun. Instead, I chose to visit some gardens which has been on my to do list for years. These gardens came highly recommended but I had never found the time to visit, a Sunday at the end of April did seem like the perfect opportunity to see the colourful blossom and looms. The gardens were magnificent, I feel like I have discovered my little sanctuary and actually feel quite emotional about the visit. There were the formal Italian and Japanese gardens and then the more relaxed, rock and water, woodland and heather gardens, all were special in their own way. My daughter came with me and despite her indifference at the visit, she was enthralled and took some incredible photos, I really can’t wait to go back and revisit in a different season.
As we left the gardens, I stopped to let a car out of a side road and glanced at the post box to my side as the car drove off. To my excitement (and my daughter’s bemusement) the post box featured the really rare Edward 8th insignia, of which there were only 161 made, and the only one that has been missing from my #postboxbingo. #postboxbingo dates from the first lockdown and was a feature on my favourite podcast With Me Now. It helped give our walks a focus and fun in some strange and worrying times and I was so happy to finally complete it three years after the challenge began. I didn’t want to simply look up an address and go the the post box but find it spontaneously, I like that a doing a nice thing led to its discovery.