We often leave writing these newsletter forewords until the last minute – and this week is no exception. It’s hard to know from one day to the next what’s going to be announced, much less how we – and the nation – are going to respond to it. Only this week, we’ve seen the new tiering system come into force and seen/heard some of the reactions to it, including the near-riots in Liverpool. Will these new restrictions work, who knows?
What all this media noise does do effectively, however, is make us anxious. And angry. And scared. What to believe? Who to trust? Which are the real stats based on real evidence, and which are #fakenews circulated to stir up emotion? It’s nigh-impossible to know, but what’s easier to see is that it’s dividing the nation again – much like Brexit. And we saw how ugly that became.
So, we’re taking control of how we engage with the world from now and taking inspiration from the Power of Love this week. No, not the Frankie Goes To Hollywood version, but the new business book by an author friend of ours, Sarah Higgins, that looks at how Love can be used in the boardroom (and life) to build emotional intelligence and create better businesses – for you, your staff and those close to you. Given the climate in the country (and world) right now, it couldn’t be better timed and we’re up for giving it a whirl.
So, as a tip of the hat to the Power of Love, we bring you our best stories of the week, all chosen with love by us to entertain you, inspire, educate and keep you feeling that we’ve got your back.
Jon, Kevin and the #FUFighters
Voting ends on 23rd October, so don’t forget to vote for us! Just click on the picture above and it’ll take you straight to the voting page, yes, it’s really that easy!
OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE
What do you get from a pampered cow…?
BOOK NOW TO SEE WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR IN BIRMINGHAM
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is a treat we look forward to every year and it’s coming to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) from Saturday 17 October 2020. Tickets are now available to book for the world-renowned exhibition, but be warned: it will sell out, so act now. Find out more here.
DESIGNER EXCHANGE: THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Sustainable products and a demand for more environmentally friendly gifts are at the forefront of everyone’s mind (credit to David Attenborough). With Christmas a mere ten weeks away (eek), Designer Exchange offers gifts for the eco-friendly, yet fashion conscious connoisseurs – find out how they can make your Christmas that little bit easier and greener here.
NOISY NEIGHBOURS? HOW ABOUT LIVING WITH THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS?
If next door is getting a bit noisy and you’re looking to take advantage of the drop in Stamp Duty, why not take a look at this familiar period property: the house used in the filming of The Silence of The Lambs as serial killer Buffalo Bill’s lair. Recently listed for sale, this estate agent’s creepy guided virtual tour is to die for!
BLACK FUTURES LAUNCH AT BELGRADE FOR BLACK HISTORY MONTH
With Black History Month now widely marked across the UK, October is generally recognised as a time for reflecting on the past. But how does history inform our understanding of the present, and how will current events shape the histories of the future? Belgrade Theatre is staging a month of exhibitions, discussion and workshops – get involved here.
SIX FOODS THAT AREN’T AS GOOD FOR YOU AS YOU THINK
What if you found out that your favourite healthy snack wasn’t actually healthy? Many ‘guilt-free’ alternatives are essentially junk foods in disguise, with some loaded with sugar, artificial colours, sodium, trans-fats and other additives that diminish their nutritional value. We spoke to Nutritionist, Donia Hilal from Personalised.co, who outlines the top 6 foods that aren’t as healthy as you think – see if your favourite is listed here, then step away.
ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANISATIONS IN THE MIDLANDS GET £23 MILLION BOOST
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and Arts Council England have announced that cultural organisations In the Midlands are to receive over £23m as part of a vital financial boost from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.
This will help 135 theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, to ensure they have a sustainable future and continue to bring joy to local communities and international audiences.
Organisations that have received grants include in Leicestershire Curve, 2 Funky, Leicester Cathedral, Leicester YMCA, People Dancing, Soundhouse and Athena and in the West Midlands Birmingham Royal Ballet, Corey Baker Dance, Geese Theatre, Hare and Hounds Pub, The Pen Museum and Sonia Sabri Company.
More funding announcements are expected in the coming days. You can see the full list of recipients here here.
CHOCOLATE, PYJAMAS AND TEDDIES…JUST RIGHT FOR HALF TERM
To celebrate the launch of their Christmas creations every child who visits the Lindt chocolate shop in their pyjamas on Wednesday 28th October will receive a free chocolate Teddy dressed in Pyjamas. Find out more here.
SPOOKY SIPPING AT THE IVY THIS HALLOWEEN
With Halloween just around the corner, the team at The Ivy on Temple Row have been busy creating some spooktacular treats for all to enjoy, including deliciously wicked cocktails and a showstopping dessert – get all the boo-zy details here.
CELEBRATE NATIONAL BAKING WEEK BY BECOMING YOUR OWN STAR BAKER
Did all those posts about Banana Bread leave you feeling inadequate after lockdown? From complete beginners to the more experienced who want to expand their skills, the award-winning bakery, Ruth’s Little Kitchen, is offering online classes, including an ‘Introduction to Baking’- get involved here.
WEST MIDLAND’S MAYOR OPENS A CREATIVE INCUBATION CENTRE TO NURTURE YOUNG TALENT
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, visited the Martin James Network offices to officially open CoLAB – a creative incubation centre to mentor and support entrepreneurial talent across the Midlands- find out more here.
THE REP STAGES WORLD PREMIER THIS DECEMBER
This December, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, will present the world premiere of Constructed, a new play by CJ Lloyd Webley and Lightpost Theatre Company. It’s playing in The DOOR from 3-5 December 2020. The new commission joins sold-out world premieres from Birmingham Royal Ballet (22-24 Oct) and Rosie Kay (21 Nov) in a season of new works at The REP this winter. It’s so wonderful to be getting back into theatres again- find out all the info here.
MUSCLE MEAT LAUNCHES TO CATER TO BIRMINGHAM BODYBUILDERS
Frustrated by the availability of quality protein products for body builders and fitness fans during the pandemic, an entrepreneurial husband and wife duo from Birmingham have launched a new online food delivery business, helping the UK stay on top of their health and nutrition during the coronavirus outbreak – get all the meaty info here.
LONELY PLANET RELEASE THEIR ULTIMATE TRAVEL LIST
Satisfy your wanderlust from your armchair and plan for the day when our adventures can start again, with the help of Lonely Planet’s Top 500 unmissable global travel experiences – find out what tops the charts here.
DRIVE IN WINTER CINEMA LAUNCHES AT NEC
After a frosty year, we’re all in need of the merriest Christmas ever – and what better way to feel the Yuletide magic than to cosy up and enjoy iconic Christmas classics on the big screen with friends and family? Find out how you can enjoy a festive family drive in here.
NURSES HONOURED WITH BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL
Two local nurses have scooped the prestigious British Empire Medal for fantastic leadership and care to patients during the Covid-19 pandemic – read their inspiring stories here.
HIPPODROME REOPENS WITH ABSORBING VAN GOGH EXHIBITION
Our social media feed has been on fire this week, as Birmingham Hippodrome has welcomed back visitors for the first time since March for the UK premiere of Van Gogh Alive.
Created by Grande Exhibitions, Van Gogh Alive is a digital art experience using stunning projections, classical music and scent, giving you the unique opportunity to step on to the Hippodrome’s main stage and truly venture into Van Gogh’s world.
Van Gogh Alive is now open until 31 December and tickets can be booked at https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/van-gogh-alive-the-experience/
SCARIEST MOVIES REVEALED
With the spookiest day of the year nearly upon us, a new report by thortful.com uncovers the top 10 scariest (and least scary) films of all time… find out who’s top and who’s bottom here.
THIS WEEK’S MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE
“Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”
– Harvey Fierstein