With bread and milk now widely available again, I think it is time to focus on all things spring. March started with a twist and the first few days felt like a Narnia-inspired dream sequence. Snow fell causing much of the UK ground to halt. Transport stopped, schools and work places closed. In supermarkets milk and bread were stripped from shelves by people in fear that it might never thaw. Here, it thawed the very next day. Snow was either the best thing ever or a complete pain. Or if you have a child, initially it is the best thing ever until snow gets in your wellies and then it is a complete pain.
It is time to put winter hibernation to one side and get embrace March and all things spring. I thought I’d share some of the things that are inspiring me to forget the duvet and afternoons on the sofa and re-enter a post winter-world.
In February we celebrated 100 years since (some) women got the vote and March brings International Women’s Day, for me is spring about celebrating all things female.
International Women’s Day
Thursday March 8th is IWD 2018 with events up and down the country, from pamper sessions in a pub in Bath to the Women of the World festival on the South Bank in London. This year’s theme is #PressforProgress and a call to think, act and be gender inclusive, which means something for everyone. There will be some events that are safe spaces for women but there will also be many events that are gender inclusive.
We don’t all have the most straight forward relationships with our mothers, we don’t all have living mothers, we might not be mothers but it is hard to escape a connection to Mother’s Day. Forget the commercial hype; whatever your status in relation to being mothered or being a mother, I suggest thinking about something you’d like for yourself. A treat. I had my nails ‘done’ an couple of weeks ago, it was a pleasing hour of pampering which left me with shiny nails that made me smile.
Mother Nature is the ultimate female and she is wonderful in spring. Daffodils are starting to appear, tulips buds are tinged with colour, in National Trust properties there are greenhouses full of hyacinths. Grab a flask of coffee and warm coat and throw off winter with some gentle exercise in the form of a walk. Fresh air and greenery is a great mood booster. One of life’s pleasures, for me, is a long walk with a friend. Walking is relaxing, healthy and between friends is great for conversation and a good catch up.
A Night Out
Winter nights give me little inspiration to leave the house. Now the evenings are lighter I’m feeling social again. I’ve ideas for evenings with friends but also after months of being cooped up in the house together, I’m also keen to get book a sitter and get out with my other half. Getting a trusted sitter isn’t always easy, click here for more information, but so worth organising. Having a proper conversation over food or seeing a film together are the things I often forget to organise and yet those evenings of leaving domestic life behind make all the difference in a relationship. On my radar for evenings in March are films and comedy.
Women’s voices have been loud in Hollywood over the last year, change is happening. Change relies on us supporting women in film and women’s film. March is Oscar’s month and on my list are films with women central to the story: I, Tonya the story of figure skater Tonya Harding. Three Bill Boards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Frances McDormand won the Oscar for Best Female for her uncompromising lead character. Lady Bird a comedy around a mother/daughter relationship written and directed by Greta Gerwig. The Shape of Water described as a fairy tale, the film stars Sally Hawkins and won Oscars in 4 categories.
Comedy nights some how fall off my radar and yet when other people tell me about comedy events they’ve been to, I always think, what could be better than an evening spent laughing. There are comedy nights up and down the country, initially comedy can seem very male dominated, so seek out women comics and support them. Current tours are listed here. Looking for specifically female events, keep an eye on What the Frock, which is an all-female comedy brand, initially started in Bristol. What the Frock now hosts events across the UK including: London, Edinburgh and Manchester.
There are opportunities for events out with books this month or maybe just stay in and read. In 2015 Catherine Nichols discovered that “writing under a male name makes you 8 times more likely to be published“. From being reviewed to being featured at festivals there is a male dominance in literature. However, in 2017 literary top 10 was dominated by women. Good news for female writers. This month in Bristol is the Women’s Literature Festival . For general literature, there are literature festivals up and down the UK in March including: York, Oxford, Essex. Curling up with a good book is good for the soul. I’ve just read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and I’m reading Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore.
What are you reading in March and what are you plans for the month?