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Do you make a special plan for the 29th of February each Leap Year? I always mean to – to celebrate it as a holiday (like the characters from 30 Rock do with Leap Day William) – but somehow when the time comes I never quite manage it.  I remember in 1984 when I was a student I woke up, decided that the day should be memorable, and took myself to Oxford on a train for the day, because I had never been there.  I can’t imagine being that spontaneous now.

This newsletter focuses on some adult education – no, not that type – more the type of evening classes or activities that can enrich your life.  There’s a wealth of stuff to learn out there – do send me any recommendations that you may have for a future newsletter.  And on the subject of dates, there’s a round up of some International Women’s Day themed or inspired events for everyone:  men, women and those who have escaped the confines of binary gender identification and definition.  Enjoy all!

Night Skool


Want to scratch that study itch?  I’ve been attending an evening class since September and I’ve caught that learnin’ bug again: the classes are at the Birmingham and Midland Institute and I noticed that there’s a range of *ahem* eclectic lectures and study days there: or if you prefer something more “crafty” there’s some Lates at the Barber Institute (I fancy making my own terrazzo coasters but maybe Queer Love poetry is more your scene!).
 
And you know your new year’s resolution to take a proper lunchbreak like you promised to do after your mandatory Mental Health training?  Hat-tip to I Choose Birmingham, there’s still time to catch the Living Well mental health pop-up in the Great Western Arcade:  lunchtime and early evening free talks and sessions on fitness, sleep and mental well being.  Genius idea.
 
And given that podcasts are now rising in popularity (7.1 million people listening each week, and rising) isn’t it time you made one yourself?  There’s a course on 29th February that will show you how.  Now there’s a way to use that “bonus” day.  More podcast news next time too.

Thursday 19th November 2020* 


*That’s the date of International Men’s Day this year, as hundreds of people ask on Twitter for “hilarity” (and to which Richard Herring dutifully responds, raising money for women’s refuges in the process).  So while he’s stuck on Twitter you can get out and about and see some stuff by and about women – some of which takes place around International Women’s Day which, as if you had to ask, is on 8th March.
 
First up – you’ll have to get your skates on as it’s limited availability but regular host of The Guilty Feminist, Jessica Fostekew in her show “Hench” at mac on 15th March explores her big strong strength. Have you ever watched a feminist try and take ‘hench’* as a compliment? It’s like watching a snake eat but funny.  (*I had to look it up – “hench” apparently means someone (usually a man) who is large, fit and muscular)
 
Women and Theatre have another iteration of their “Women and Work” series on 7th March at Birmingham Rep featuring performances and discussions, exploring a range of issues about women and work; drawing on the experiences of young women, retired women, and those who have seen massive changes in their sectors over the last 35 years. I’ve seen the trilogy this work is based on.  It’s recommended.
 
And shortly after that do catch Augmented by Sophie Woolley also at Birmingham Rep – I first encountered Sophie as a speaker at Hello Culture Identity.  Now a real life “cyborg” because of activating digital implants, Sophie’s brand new play is a personal story of the joy and conflict of becoming 'hearing' again after years of total deafness.

Where I've been

Delivering staff and senior team Away Days at Play to the Crowd in Winchester , bringing their strategy of “Delight and Unite” to life.
 
Watching Madonna in the Madame X tour – and no, she wasn’t that late (thanks to Caroline Spiller for box office vigilance to make that one possible).
 
Went to February’s Soul Fire Sunday which was a sell out!  So save the date for the next one – Sunday 15th March. 
 
Experienced a VR performance by Cirque du Soleil as presented by Limina Immersive – more dates here (and Limina are partners of the next Hello Culture Remix in Manchester on 26th February where I have the honour of being host again) 
 
 
That’s all for this month – “Staying In” will ping in your inbox for the end of Feb.  As ever – if you like what you see or go to an event I’ve recommended let me know.  PS:  Did you miss January’s Staying in Edition?  It had a lower open rate than usual.  We think some of them may have gone into Spam, Trash or "Promotional" because of the embedded video... so take a look in there if you missed it last month.
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