Little Loves: April 2024

April felt like a bit of a scattered month, much like the erratic rain showers that have dominated many of the days.  It’s been alternatively full-on busy then almost achingly slow.  I know the latter is needed as we prepare for a busy upcoming season of exams and uni visits, so I’ve tried to welcome it where I can, even though I find it hard.  Blossom, green leaves emerging and the occasional peek of sunshine have all helped.

Here are all the little things I’ve been loving lately throughout April…


The Power:  By Naomi Alderman.  I finally finished it!  It’s taken me six weeks in total – I found it quite hard work but I was too intrigued to give up on it, I had to know how it ended.  I loved the concept of it when it was first recommended to me, and the blurb on the back was what really drew me in… “All over the world women are discovering they have The Power.  With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain – even death.  Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they’ve lost control.  The Day Of The Girls has arrived – but where will it end?”

It was… interesting.  That’s the only word I’ve got for it.  I can’t say I enjoyed it as such (honestly, I felt kind of relieved when I finished it) but it did make me think.  A lot.  There was a great deal of politics and religion in it, neither of which are my favourite topics, and I have absolutely no idea what to make of the ending – I’m not entirely sure I understood the message it was trying to leave the reader with.  It’s a book that’s going to stay with me though for sure, although I’m not entirely sure it’s for the right reasons.  Worth reading, but only if you’re willing to venture into the depths of some very big existential questions.

‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman

The Summer Of Impossible Things: by Rowan Coleman.  After ‘The Power’, I felt like I needed something a bit lighter; a bit… fluffier?  When I was looking through my ‘to be read’ pile, trying to choose what to read next, this book seemed like it might tick those boxes.  I’m only about a quarter of the way through so far – the concept is interesting, although the main part of the story is only just getting started.  I’ll report back next month.



Guys & Dolls:  I love going to the theatre, I love musicals, I love London and I love getting to do new things that I’ve not experienced before.  Last time I met up with my friend Hannah, she mentioned that she really wanted to go to see Guys & Dolls at Bridge Theatre (situated on the south side of the Thames, near Tower Bridge).  When she described it to me and invited me to go with her, I immediately said an enthusiastic “yes please!” because it sounded incredible.  It’s a theatre with a difference: the stage is in the middle of the space with the audience surrounding it; and it’s an immersive performance – the actors are in amongst you so it feels as if you’re part of the show with them.

We’ve both been looking forward to it for months.  We only get to see each other a couple of times a year so actually going to something like this, rather than simply for coffee, felt quite special.  It was quite an epic adventure to actually get there – train delays and cancellations galore – so it took me six and a half hours in total and I literally made it to the venue 30 seconds before they closed the doors for the performance to start.

I’m so glad I did though because it was AMAZING.  I’ve never experienced anything like it before. We had standing tickets, so we were right up close to all the action.  I didn’t know the story of Guys & Dolls at all, so watching each scene unfold was like a little bit of magic coming to life.  The acting and singing was phenomenal and as soon as it was over I wanted to watch it all over again.  I loved it, and Hannah did too.

It was supposed to finish it’s run in August this year but they’ve just extended the shows until 4th January 2025 and I may need to go back and watch it again, perhaps from one of the seats this time as I think it’ll give a totally different perspective on the performance.  If you get the chance, go.

The Bridge Theatre is an incredible performance space

An immersive performance of Guys & Dolls – it was absolutely phenomenal!



Elizabeth Gilbert:  Just a week after my wonderful evening at the theatre described above, I was back in London again.  This time for ‘An Evening With… Elizabeth Gilbert’ at the Barbican.  I’ve long admired Elizabeth Gilbert for her unique way of being in the world and the unconventional life she’s lived.  I have read several of her fiction novels – ‘The Signature of All Things’, ‘City Of Girls’, and ‘Eat Pray Love’ to name a few.  My favourite work of hers though is her non-fiction book ‘Big Magic’, which is an absolute must-read for any creative.

Getting to hear her speak in person was pretty magical.  Her topic for the evening – which I’d been expecting to be about living a creative life – was ‘Love’.  It was a pretty broad thing to cover and she did it beautifully, with complete elegance and finesse.  She was an engaging, charismatic, honest and authentically humble speaker – a wonderful storyteller who was funny, wise and inspiring.  I’ve seen many speakers over the years and most of them move around the stage a lot.  Liz didn’t – she stayed in one spot and absolutely owned the auditorium with her presence and connection with the audience.

The Q&A that followed her talk was fascinating, and I took many notes throughout the evening that I know I’ll refer back to time and time again.

Elizabeth Gilbert onstage at The Barbican in London

The Tortured Poets Department:  The excitement building in our house this month in anticipation of Taylor Swift’s brand new album was tangible – so much so that Ella got up at 5am on release day so she could listen to it all the way through, uninterrupted, before college.

Thirty-one songs is a lot to take in, and, on the first listen-through at least, to be honest by the end I found that they’d all kind of blurred into one.  Now that I’ve listened a few more times I’ve been able to differentiate between them and I’ve picked out some definite favourites:  ‘Guilty As Sin’; ‘But Daddy I Love Him’; ‘imgonnagetyouback’; ‘The Black Dog’; ‘I Look In People’s Windows’; ‘I Hate It Here’; and ‘The Manuscript’ are top of my list…

She really is an incredible lyricist.



My Mum really happy:  It was a milestone birthday for my Mum this month and I wanted to make a fuss of her.  She has stacks of vinyl records that have been in boxes since they moved house fourteen or so years ago, but she doesn’t have anything to play them on.  Mum talks about sorting through them and getting rid of them relatively often, but never actually does it – I think deep down she wants to keep hold of them.

With that in mind, I surprised her with a record player for her birthday present and I think she really loved it.  We spent a happy morning setting it up and flipping through all of her old vinyls (Bowie, The Eagles, The Beatles, Queen, Pink Floyd…) and choosing which ones to listen to.  Her favourite used to be Georgie Fame – the look on her face as the music started was absolutely priceless.  I hope she gets many, many hours of joy from it.

Getting to grips with her new record player

Choosing which vinyl to play first from her collection…



New hair:  I’m trying to grow it longer for the summer so I only had a tiny trim this time but it definitely felt better to have it tidied up a bit.  Of course I took some self portraits to document it.  This one was my favourite.

New hair = new attitude? (PS yes that’s Luna hiding in the corner of the photo, she has separation anxiety and cannot be away from me for more than five minutes…!)



Work Experience:  Ella did a week of work experience during the Easter holidays at two local heritage sites in our town.  She really enjoyed learning more about the history of the venues as well as all the different roles involved in looking after and running historical places – everything from finance to events to customer services.  She liked it so much that she’s going back to do an extra day later on in the summer!

Art GCSE:  Mimi sat her very first GCSE exam mid-way through the month – Art.  Ten hours spread over two days and she handled it really well.  Since then she’s been revising hard for the rest of her exams, which begin next month.


And now all of a sudden we’re a third of the way through the the year and chapter four of 2024 has already come to a close.  May is going to be a busy month of birthdays and exams and I have a couple more trips planned in too.

I hope that you found plenty of little things to love throughout April and that next month promises to be full of good things.

With love,

Chloe x


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