Little Loves: February 2024

I find February hard, and despite it being the shortest month of the year, it often feels like the longest.  Sometimes I keep my head down and stay quiet and just get on with things, and sometimes, like this year, I fill the month with as many good things as I possibly can to balance out the sadness.  I’ve squeezed a LOT in this month.

It was a Leap Year this year as well, so we’ve had an extra day that we wouldn’t usually have.  It seems rude to just spend that doing everyday things like running errands or working or catching up on laundry.  Instead I purposefully tried my best to make the most of it and create memories and do something extraordinary in some way.  I’d say this year was a success – my bonus day consisted of a photoshoot in the morning and a candlelit concert in the evening!

Here are all the little things I’ve been loving lately in February…



Hopeless // Losing Hope: both by Colleen Hoover.  This duology of books portrayed two different perspectives of the same story – each one from the point of view of one of the two main characters.  I really liked that concept – I felt it added depth to the characters and the storyline.  I usually find Colleen Hoover books quite light and easy to read – they’re a bit racy and a bit of fun escapism from real life whilst still covering challenging topics.  I had no idea what to expect from these two books at all but I ended up finding them quite heavy-going (topics included suicide, childhood sexual abuse, abduction and more).  I still finished them both within the space of a week – I had to find out how the story ended. They’re worth reading if you’re a fan of her work, just perhaps be mindful of the content.

Beautiful World, Where Are You?: by Sally Rooney.  I found this one harder to get on with than the previous two books this author has written (one of which I read last month).  It’s written in the same style (no speech marks, limited paragraphs) and I’m used to that now, so it wasn’t that…  I think I just couldn’t quite connect with the characters?  I still found pleasure in reading it – I actually found some of the descriptions (which often read more like statements of fact) quite beautiful and touching.  I think she’s an interesting author that I will continue to read if she publishes any more books, because despite finding them jarring (I’m not sure if that’s the right word, but it’s the best one I can come up with), I do enjoy them.

One Day: by David Nicholls.  I first read ‘One Day’ when it originally came out all the way back in 2009 (and I watched the movie too).  It’s enjoying a bit of a revival at the moment as it’s been recently turned into a Netflix TV series and everyone is raving about it.  I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s on my must-watch list.  I figured I’d re-read the book first.  I couldn’t remember anything about it whatsoever – beyond it being about the two main characters, Emma and Dexter, whose friendship/relationship spans across twenty years – so it really felt as if I was reading it for the first time.  I was not at all emotionally prepared for what happens in the story – it took me completely by surprise and utterly devastated me in equal measure, and, somewhat unexpectedly, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days afterwards.  Read it, please, it’s so good.

February reads: ‘Hopeless’ and ‘Losing Hope’ by Colleen Hoover; ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You’ by Sally Rooney; and ‘One Day’ by David Nicholls

Accidentally Wes Anderson: by Wally Koval.  I bought this gorgeous coffee table book at the Accidentally Wes Anderson exhibition I went to with Mum in London last month.  I can never resist a book full of beautiful photographs and this one was no exception.  It’s visually stunning and I love the stories that go along with the images. It’s been exceptionally curated and it was worth every penny.  I haven’t finished reading it yet – I’m dipping in and out, reading it slowly and savouring every page.

‘Accidentally Wes Anderson’ – my new favourite coffee table book




Lola’s school production:  Last year the school show was ‘We Will Rock You’, which was fantastic.  This year it was… ‘High School Musical’!  Lola played the part of a cheerleader.  The whole cast have been rehearsing incredibly hard since last November and the intense schedule really paid off – it was SO good!  It was on over three nights altogether and I went to two of them: opening night on my own; and then with Ella on the closing night.  Neil and Mimi went to see it on the day in between.

All of the kids involved in the performance – the cast, the band, the backstage crew etc… – worked their socks off and considering they’re aged between 11 and 16 years old I thought the acting, singing and dancing was absolutely brilliant.  I feel very proud of Lola for taking part – she’s made new friends and it’s definitely helped strengthen the confidence she gained when she was part of the production last year too.  She’s hoping to take Drama/Music at GCSE.

Sunrises and sunsets:  February has offered up some truly spectacular morning and evening skies this year.  Here are a couple of my favourites:

Sunrise: What a way to start the day!

Sunset: The sky on fire

Mad Monsterzz:  I was lucky enough to be offered last minute press tickets and get invited to watch a performance of The Marvellous Myth Hunter: Mad Monsterzz, presented by Weird Folk, at the Imagine Children’s Festival at the Southbank Centre in London.  I said an enthusiastic “yes please” and headed down to London mid-month to check it out.

Imagine Children’s Festival is an arts festival for kids aged 0-11 years old that takes place every February half term – it’s been going for 22 years now!  Each year there are 100+ shows and family-friendly events designed to encourage creativity, centred primarily around literature, theatre, comedy, music, art and poetry.  About half of the events are free as well, so it’s a fun and easy way to keep kids entertained and inspired when the weather is a bit grey, cold and wet outside.  There was face-painting (honestly, each of the designs were a beautiful work of art – I was tempted to have one done myself!), and a chill-out area with ear defenders provided for those who needed space from the noise and colour and busy-ness of the events.

The Mad Monsterzz show itself was utterly wonderful.  It’s all about a story collector – The Marvellous Myth Hunter – who time travels to different ancient cultures around the globe in search of stories, myths and legends.  It was interactive – everyone in the audience  (the adults as well as the kids) were encouraged to get involved.  We dutifully donned imaginary jet-packs and whooshed across space and time to land in India, Russia and Greece in order to hear three separate stories about mythical monsters.

The storytelling was incredible and the whole show was really engaging & exciting, and fully educational in terms of geography, history and culture (I definitely learnt things I hadn’t known about before!). Plus the overall theme of kindness towards others was subtly reinforced throughout the performance.  It’s aimed at kids aged 5-11 years old so I didn’t take my girls with me as, being teenagers, they’re several years older then the intended audience but actually I think they’d have secretly loved it. There were definitely younger children at the performance too.

The Marvellous Myth Hunter at Imagine Children’s Festival

I met the two guys behind the show – Andy (writer and director) and Amari (writer and storyteller: he played the part of The Marvellous Myth Hunter himself) – and they are such genuinely lovely people.  Amari got surrounded by all the children as everyone left the theatre and he spent time with each and every one of them, having photos with them, answering their questions, asking them questions in return – getting down to their level and seeming to be honestly interested in their replies.  Meanwhile Andy shared with me how the show originally came into being – it started off as a lockdown project on Zoom and simply grew from there. They now perform regularly all over the country and have some new shows in the pipeline too.

You can book them for bespoke workshops at schools, theatres, drama groups etc… and if you want to watch them in action you can find them at the following venues in the upcoming months:

23 March 2024 at Tramshed – a theatre company and community arts hub in Woolwich in SE London

20-22 June 2024 at Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse in East London

We journeyed to India, Russia and Greece in search of stories…



Ludovico Einaudi tribute:  I made a spur of the moment decision to book myself a ticket to a candlelit concert showcasing the work of Ludovico Einaudi, my most favourite composer.  I went to the same event (booked through Fever, which is a brilliant way to find fun things to do in cities all over the world by the way) last year whilst Neil was away in New Zealand.  That one took place in an old church in Birmingham and it was the first time I’d ever experienced anything like it before – it was magical. It was a female pianist that day and she was incredibly talented.

This year it was at St George’s Hall in the centre of Liverpool – an absolutely stunning venue that hosts many different kinds of events.  It was a similarly breathtaking set list to last year – a few subtle differences here and there but I knew them all – and each one was performed exquisitely by pianist Tim Abel.  He gave a little bit of background information and story to each piece, which I really liked hearing.  Overall the entire performance was spellbinding.  I’m planning to go every year in a different city if I can.

Liverpool: Music City

St George’s Hall was an incredible venue for the Candlelit Concert



A lot of train journeys:  London (twice!), Watford and Liverpool.  I quite enjoy travelling by train – it gives me the chance to read more books!



Cheerleader outfit:  Nope, not me…  Lola had to wear one for her High School Musical show.  I’m actually really proud of her for doing it – her sensory processing disorder means that she often really struggles with new-to-her clothes, so this was a big challenge that stretched her outside of her comfort zone and she managed it so well. No photos though – we weren’t permitted to take any during the performances, the costume stayed at school for rehearsals, and she wasn’t allowed to bring it home either.  I feel quite sad that I wasn’t able to document the experience, but hopefully it’ll stay in her head and heart as a happy memory in the years to come.



Mock exams: Mimi has been sitting her Mock exams at school this month – the last set of practice ones before her real GCSEs take place in May and June.  She’s been revising and has coped well with the pressure from school.  It’s crazy to think that by the summer she’ll be done with high school forever.

Photoshoot: I had the absolute honour and pleasure of being invited to capture some images of my dear friend Grace for her website and social media spaces, which she’s in the process of updating.  Her main offerings are therapy and yoga, as well as bespoke branding & website design for heart-centred entrepreneurs.  We spent over two hours together (along with Nala, who is in training to be a therapy dog), playing with the light and making sure we created images she was happy with.  I still have most of the gallery to edit (we took a LOT of photographs!), so none of them are actually live on her site yet.  No sneak peeks either – not until she’s seen them first!

London: I spent a couple of days staying with my Mum and Stepdad as I hadn’t seen them both properly together since Christmas.  Mum and I headed into London to see the Taylor Wessing Portrait Photography exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.  Honestly?  Neither of us were that impressed with the exhibition.  There were a couple of outstanding images but the rest we felt were a bit… meh.  I’m not sure if we’ll go again next year, although of course it would be an entirely new collection of photographs so who knows!  We both agreed that we much preferred the Accidentally Wes Anderson exhibition we went to see together last month.

My Mum admiring some of the images in the Taylor Wessing Portrait exhibition


Chapter two of 2024 is closed and, on reflection, February held plenty of glimmers.  Spring is just around the corner (sort of… can someone have a quiet word with whoever controls the weather please because the relentless rain interspersed with minus temperatures really isn’t fun) and March promises to bring a couple of exciting adventures.

I hope that you found plenty of little things to love throughout February and that next month holds a good mix of joy and rest for you.

With love,

Chloe x

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1 Comment

  • Reply March 9, 2024

    Carol Dunhill

    I can certainly empathise when it comes to One Day. I have read the book and seen the film and have watched the Netflix series which I really enjoyed … even with the tears and, like you, feeling bereft for days after it finished

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