First Working Week of Winter… ❄ FU Loves The Midlands #33
Here we are in the first working week of Winter.
I’m here in the garden at Ivy Cottage. It’s the same garden as the one I would regularly film in at the start of the lockdown in March. For me and Jonathan, we’ve been lucky: the garden has been a place where we could lose ourselves and get rid of lots of anger and fear with some hard graft. As a result, we were blessed with a stunning garden throughout the lockdown.
Since then, two seasons have come and gone. And just like in life and business – we’re in a position, now, where we need to take stock. And I’m guessing you’re no different. We must cut back harshly where needed, but lightly trim in others. We should weed constantly, but also remember to feed. We should cultivate and propagate, as, like plants, ideas need the right growing conditions, too.
I suppose what I’m clumsily trying to say is that nothing is permanent. We’re all in a state of turmoil at the moment. Some of us are angry. Others feel defeated. Most of us are scared, but none of us should feel alone, or unsupported. We will get through this. This is not forever.
Your garden might look different next year to this, the same with your business and life, but learn from nature: adapt, bend with the wind and sow the seeds to help make sure next year is Best in Bloom.
As the night draws in, as I’m filming, please do get in touch with us if you could do with lightening your load. Email us and simply say ‘I need some help with my gardening’, and we’ll be there. You can reach us on [email protected] or [email protected]
Take care of yourself and each other,
Kevin, Jon and the #FUFighters
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What’s white, round and giggles?
A tickled onion
THE GRAND HOTEL BIRMINGHAM OPENS ITS DOORS
We’ve been so excited since the news broke of the renovation and restoration of the stunning The Grand Hotel in Birmingham. After just a couple of friends & family preview events last week, they’ve had to postpone the soft launch until after lockdown. Darn. We were looking forward to reviewing one of the city’s most iconic Grade II* buildings, which overlooks the city’s prestigious Colmore Row and Cathedral. For now, here are some sneaky peeks here.
ARE YOU IN LOAF WITH BAKING? APPLY FOR THE GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF 2021
Who’s the best baker you know? The Great British Bake Off is looking for The Midlands’ best home bakers to enter the tent! If you or someone you know is a smart cookie in the kitchen, maybe it’s time to take a whisk and apply! The deadline for all applications is Sunday 6th December 2020! Click here to apply online now.
COMMEMORATING THE BLITZ – ONE NIGHT IN NOVEMBER GOES ONLINE
This November, Belgrade Theatre is commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz by revisiting its critically acclaimed production, One Night in November. Filmed in 2013, the breathtaking wartime drama will be available to stream online via the Belgrade’s website from 14-30 November – read more here.
TAKE A PEEK INSIDE EVERARDS MEADOWS
Leicestershire based family business, Everards, have revealed the first glimpse of their new Everards Meadows home, which opens Spring 2021, showcasing a state-of-the-art brewery, beer hall and shop – take a look here.
CONTACTLESS FUNDRAISING RAISES MONEY FOR HOMELESS
A campaign to help the homeless through contactless technology is now raising money to provide Covid-secure accommodation throughout the winter. Give Leicester has raised over £25,000 to date, in aid of the One Roof Leicester night shelter, but has now put a new focus on fundraising in order to address concerns facing the city’s most vulnerable people in light of the coronavirus pandemic – find out more about it here.
LOVEBRUM REVEALS WINNING SHOTS IN ‘BRUM THROUGH OUR EYES’ PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION
Green spaces, reflections, taxi ranks and tramlines were just some of the subject matter for the stunning winning entries in LoveBrum’s ‘Brum Through Our Eyes’ photography competition. With over 60 submissions, judges said they were impressed by the quality and diversity of images, ‘showing off the wonderfully unique heart of Birmingham’- check them out here.
WEST MIDLANDS’ ARTS SECTOR BACKS CAMPAIGN TO BRING CHANGE FOR BLACK ARTISTS
A group of Black artists and leaders from arts organisations across the West Midlands, have launched a pledge for action: More Than a Moment: Action with and for Black Creatives. It marks the beginning of the region’s cultural sector implementing genuine action and monitoring progress towards meaningful and long-term change with and for Black creatives in the region. The pledge is designed to dismantle the systems that keep Black artists and creatives from achieving their potential and is a promise for radical and permanent change- find out more here.
SUSTAINABLY STYLISH: THE INNOVATIVE ARTWORK DESIGNED TO HELP BRITS STAY GREEN THIS WINTER
With many of us spending more time at home than ever before and to help people be more energy efficient this winter, E.ON has teamed up with illustrator, Melanie Johnsson, to create heat-sensitive artwork. The unique and innovative artwork is designed to transform when the temperature in the home gets higher than recommended, indicating it could be time to turn the heating down and save on energy and heating bills – find our more and how you can win a limited-edition print here.
HAVE FAITH: INTERVIEW WITH PALOMA FAITH
From number one album success, through to battling her way to becoming a mother, Paloma Faith’s remarkable career continues in setting her sights on a return to the charts with her ambitious new album. Read the full interview here.
THE BELFRY CELEBRATES FOUR WINS AT WORLD GOLF AWARDS 2020
The Belfry Hotel & Resort has claimed victory with four wins at the prestigious World Golf Awards 2020. Their trophy cabinet must be creaking! Find out more about their award wins here.
BIRMINGHAM COMEDY DUO LAUNCH SATIRICAL NEWS PODCAST
A hilarious news podcast, scripted by comedy sensation The 2 Jonnies, launched this week aimed at giving people a much-needed laugh in these difficult times. Bringing the day’s news delivered with humour, Todayful shares the top stories and headlines from voice actor Matthew Keylock – find out where you can tune in here.
NEW FOXES BOOK SET TO EVOKE THE MEMORIES OF THE 90s
A new ‘tell it all’ book by one of Leicester City FC’s most renowned board members of the 90s, promises to relive the glory days of The Foxes’ journey to the top. Featuring contributions from over 40 prominent players, team managers and celebrity fans, including striker Emile Heskey, manager Brian Little and TV chef Rustie Lee, Minding My Own Football Business is the story of Barrie Pierpoint, LCFC’s first chief executive and director of marketing in the 90s. Discover more and find out how you can pre-order a copy here.
LOCAL YOUTH RECEIVE DIGITAL ACCESS TO ASSIST LEARNING
250 local young people will receive individual laptops and free data to support their learning at home through an initiative between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and SCC. The young people, from 12 RSC Associate Schools in Birmingham and Warwickshire, will receive individual laptops and 12 months of free data per user to support the resilience of schools and young people through the challenges of the current academic year. The equipment will ensure that students can access high quality learning and arts opportunities at home as well as in school– find out more here.
BIRMINGHAM ROYAL BALLET’S THE NUTCRACKER TO BE STAGED AT THE REP THIS DECEMBER
Birmingham Royal Ballet and Birmingham Repertory Theatre are excited to announce a specially adapted production of the classic Christmas fairytale, The Nutcracker, which will run at The REP from 14 – 22 December 2020 – discover more here.
TOP TIPS TO HELP YOUR GARDEN STAY HEALTHY THIS AUTUMN
As autumn continues and winter approaches, our gardens may be starting to wilt. Fear not, Toro, a global leader in turf and landscape equipment and Hayter, a premium British lawnmower manufacturer, have got some great tips to keep your garden looking lush this autumn – read them here.
CURVE LAUNCHES #LIGHTSFORLEICESTER CAMPAIGN
Curve theatre is asking people living in Leicester to design and display stars in their windows for a special, top secret project. While full details of the project remain under wraps, the stars are set to be a symbol of hope for the city, following the #RainbowsOfHope social media trend seen across the world earlier this year – find out how to take part here.
THREE CRACKING ORIENTAL RECIPES TO LIGHT UP BONFIRE NIGHT
There are plenty of ways you can have fun this Bonfire Night and Wing Yip, the UK’s largest Oriental Grocer, has revealed three recipes with an Oriental flare and packed full of flavour, that will surely be a blast for the whole family – check them out here.
READY, STEADY, BAKE! LIMITED EDITION NUTELLA HOME BAKING KIT
Grab your pinnies, dust off your baking trays and unleash your inner master baker with the Nutella Brioche Baking Kit. Available now, the baking kit is the perfect way to while away the lockdown hours, without resorting to banana loaf. Find out where you can purchase with a 20% discount code here.
BURN BABY, BURN
We’ve been huge fans of Avanti Candles since they launched in 2018. This Leicester-based entrepreneur is a Chemist by day, but a wax-toting inventor of all things gorgeous and smelly by night. The new Avanti range is already firmly in place in our house and we’re loving the new seasonal fragrances that include Oud Rouge, White Tea & Mint and Night Jasmine, available as candles, reeds and – their new line – room sprays. Supporting local has never made more scents – www.avanti-candles.com.
“Your greatness is not what you have, but is what you give.”
– Alice Hocker