A travel and style blog

2018 - What the hell happened there then?

Hello, and very nearly Happy New Year to you! Has the holiday season treated you kindly? I hope that your batteries are fully recharged and you're raring to see what the new year has in store. May it bring you only good things... and cash, while we're hoping for things, we may as well hope for cash.

I was looking forward to pondering over the past year and sharing my highs and lows with you but it dawned on me that I might be the only one looking forward to that. You have after all already suffered read my posts as the year passed. So instead, as a sort of last minute Christmas gift to you, I'll try to avoid too much self indulgence and share with you the lessons I've learned. 2018, if nothing else, brought me some valuable lessons.

Düsseldorf in December

Hello, hello! How are you? I do hope you enjoy my final travel post of the year which could have been aptly called 'One Million Photos from Düsseldorf!' I've laboured over this one with love to give you a good old flavour of the German Christmas Markets, or what they call in Germany, Christmas Markets. (A legitimate discussion that took place between Oliver and I)

Over Size Me

If you never watched the 2004 documentary Super Size Me, then the genius of this title is wasted on you. Either way, it's the best that's coming to me on a Sunday evening fresh from a train journey after a weekend in London. Oliver and I headed to the big smoke to have a mooch about and catch up with a dear old pal of mine.

In an unfortunate twist of fate, my friend fell ill and cancelled, so we spent a Saturday in Notting Hill just the two of us, with only a whiff of Monica and Chandler when the friends they meet on holiday bin them off, about us.

Edinburgh On 35mm

Bonjourno pals. How's tricks? I hope your winter woollies are well and truly out and you're slinging your transitional coats over them with gusto. and yes gents, a transitional coat is a necessary item.

The other week I made my maiden voyage to bonny Edinburgh for 3 days of city wandering, broken up by food, drink and cliched impressions of the Scottish accent. Do you do that? Feel inclined to impersonate the accent of whichever region you happen to be in?

A Quick Catch Up (with just a hint of a whinge)

Well shame on me, I've done it again. It's been two months since I sat down to write on here! Two months! (I read somewhere that if you've had a gap in blogging, you shouldn't draw attention to how long it's been as you might get away with nobody noticing. Well to hell with the rules. It's been two months!)

Fortunately, I'm very happy to say that, unlike my blogging break earlier this year due to unforeseen mayhem with ones cervix, there has been no dramatic reason for my most recent hiatus. This time I've been... *drumroll ... thinking. Yes, I've been having a good old think about blogging, social media and the addictive little on-line world that we live in. The culmination of my musings? It's all going a bit far isn't it.

Take Me To The Inn At Whitewell

Should I ever have a nervous breakdown, and, strike it lucky on the Postcode Lottery, I'll be knocking at the door at The Inn at Whitewell. I couldn't think of a more apt place to get away from it all than there. If you've never been, it's the most beautiful countryside inn tucked away in tranquil rural  Lancashire. Think green hills, tweeting birds and stillness. Not much to do except enjoy the view ... and the food ... and the drink ... and the Molton Brown toiletries ... 

Something Witty About A Bike

Hello again. I want to tell you about a new love in my life. A corker of a bike, a Pashley Britannia (good old Cycle to Work Scheme coming in handy for you there). Ten minutes or so and my commute to work is done, fifteen if I've over filled the basket and my bag bounces out cycling up a curb (actual event). 

Picking your stuff up off the street is a bad start to anyones day.

"Don't mind me, nothing to see here."

Crapping in Cannes

A true story ... regrettably

Hello pals, how's tricks? I do hope all is well in your world and that your summer is passing a little slower than mine, which is slipping away in a blur. There's been a hint of the melancholy about me this last week, post holiday and all that. By day I've been accepting my fate (as an administrator), and by night I've been off to bed early with Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse, grieving over the unexpected loss of who I took to be the protagonist, Mrs Ramsay. If it's not one thing, it's another.

I have no doubt that your heart goes out to me, what with settling back into work after a break in the Côte d'Azur, but please, no cards or flowers.

At least this weeks post takes me back, momentarily, to the South of France, for one last visit, which incidentally is just what I paid, before boarding the train thankfully out of Cannes. Allow me to explain.

Take Me To The French Riviera

The woman on reception at the Henri Matisse Museum told me something in French. She asked me if I understood. I nodded. This was of course, a lie. My limited knowledge of the French language stopped abruptly on successful completion of my GCSE 'several' years ago. In hindsight I should've brushed up a bit before our five night break in the Cote D'Azur, but then it wouldn't be a proper holiday if you aren't knocking on charades door each time you order a cornet (one scoop s'il vous plaît).

By the end of our stay in Nice's vibrant old town, I was competent enough to order successfully, two apple doughnuts for myself and Oliver. That's what an unanticipated obsession with Pomme will do for you. My bilingual confidence soured and gave me one more reason to love the French Riviera.

Frocks, Food & Cornwall

Wild Cornish Flowers and Sea Views in St.Ives
Hello! How nice it is to be back blogging, and on a much lighter note this time. Thank you for all your kind comments about my last post... It was a scary one to share but what a lovely lot you are.  Thank crikey it's business as usual today.

I recently spent a much needed week away in St.Ives, Cornwall. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I absolutely love St.Ives. The bluest of seas, the prettiest of views and the most wonderful laid back creative way of living. Why don't I earn a living selling hand made vases?? 

When Life Hands You Lemons

These photo's have been sat in my drafts folder for two months, waiting for me to make my mind up whether I should write this post or not. It's a personal one you see and even as I type, I'm still in two minds about it. 

With the hope that it'll be cathartic for me to put it into words, and with the hope that maybe another will benefit from reading it, here goes nothing.

I'll cut to the chase and keep it brief. In April I was diagnosed, after a routine smear test, with cervical cancer. Quite the flaming spanner in the works.

Spending The Night At Saltmarshe Hall, East Yorkshire

Well hello again. How's tricks? I hope you're keeping your pecker up despite this weeks' surprise visit from Storm Emma. Chilly would be an understatement wouldn't it! Anyway, on a more positive note, I mentioned in my last post that I'd spent a lovely night away recently and, as promised, here's a little bit about our first mini getaway of 2018.

And That's A Wrap...Dress

Why do I look like I've just found out that Cedric's been at it again with the parlour maid? I promise that was unintentional, and, I promise that I'm not stood next to an urn. Or at least I hope not.

I've been looking forward to sharing my new Saturday night number with you since, well, Saturday night. My polka dotted, frilled, red wrap dress of dreams (may Johnathon Ross never have to read that aloud).

Too Soon To Say Goodbye ... To Tights

I got up ridiculously early, for a Saturday, so that I could pose outside the Empire Services Club without anyone thinking a) what the chuff is she doing and b) where in Gods name are her tights? The early bird catches the worm and all that. 

It was therefore disappointing to arrive at said Services Club to find a) a coach parked up and b) more people passing through Hartington Road than you'd expect in the early hours on a Saturday morning. I was tempted to sack off the "shoot" (if pleading with your fiancé to take photos of you classes as a shoot), but, it seemed a shame to let my first bare legged outing of 2018 be ruined by fears that Lancashire isn't ready for wannabe style bloggers prancing about it's streets.

How I Travel With A Fear of Flying

Sandy beach in summer

Disclosure: When I say fear of flying, for me personally, it's more a fear of being trapped in a large tube with a number of strangers, no fresh air and the inability to get out if I want to.

Flying never used to bother me. I used to find it exciting, part of the holiday in a way. I don't know why things changed along the way but, it's safe to say it bothers me now. 

Maybe it just came with getting (ahem a little bit) older, or maybe its the after effect of a lingering stressful situation, back in yonder year, that threw my fight and flight out of whack? Anyone else conduct their own psychoanalysis? 

Whatever the reason, when I've flown in recent years, I've found myself ruminating on the thought, "If I want to get out of this plane I can't!" Cue dry mouth, palpitations and my next thought, "Is it too late to get off?"

Listen Very Carefully ... I'm Keen On These Striped Trousers

Good Moaning!

One of the best things about blogging is the endless possibilities of where it might take you. Well this weekend my blog took me to France a park in Preston, followed by a quiet room at home where I tried to think of as many references to Allo Allo as I could. 
I know, I know, she wears a Beret and starts making crude references to France. It's very cliché, but I couldn't resist(ance). 

*accordion plays

I Made It To My Mecca (aka) Deliciously Ella's Deli

Deliciously Ella's Deli London

If you've read my blog before, it will come as no surprise to hear that I swear by Deliciously Ella's approach to eating well. I've said it before and I'll say it again, her recipes are delicious, packed with goodness and practical! No fad dieting, no depriving yourself of any enjoyment in your food and no spending most of your day in the kitchen preparing just one meal. Just simple recipes made using natural plant based ingredients. She's my good food guru if you will.

You'll find me in my Deliciously Ella recipe books at some point every week and I love them! If I'm pressed for time I'll whip up a batch of Raw Brownies (using just three ingredients!!) or if I've got a little longer, I'll try my hand at a Chocolate Ganache Cake. But, as man can't live off desserts alone, her easy weekday dinners have been a hit in our household too, with leftovers saved for work lunches. 

I've been dying to visit a Deliciously Ella Deli ever since the first one opened back in 2016, and on a recent trip to London I finally made it to my Mecca. 

Shoulder Pads & Bucket Bags

Guess whose back, back again... shoulder pads. Well not really. Not in an 80's power suit sort of a way, or at least I hope not. But a softer version seems to have made a revival, seeing that most of the blazers I've looked at recently have the little blighters included.

I usually put any clothes straight back on the rack the minute I feel any suspect cushioning, but this H&M blazer was an absolute bargain in the sale at £15!! so I asked myself, "what would Maggie Thatch do?" and I went for the pads.

TCB (Taking Care of Business)

I'd like to start by asking what do you think of my blue steel?! Kudos to fashion bloggers for making what is definitely not easy look easy. 

I've tried something different from my usual content with this post, which I'm loosely branding as a style post, and do hope you enjoy it. I've toyed with the idea of doing a style post for a while but always talked myself out of it. The fear of being lolled at one can suppose.

Fashion graduate I am not, nor am I a natural in front of the camera but I do love clothes. A streak that caused my Dad to declare "NO MORE DRESSES" back in yonder year after he helped me move back home. It was at the end of what I'll call, a relationship faux pas, that culminated in an unplanned return home in my mid 20s. I remember Dads declaration vividly. The prospect must have scarred me.

Why I'm Not Looking Too Far Ahead In 2018

Well here we are, January 1st 2018!! Happy New Year Everybody!

I hope you've had a lovely festive break however you chose to spend it. Mine was spent with (in no particular order) family, food and ahem my fiancé. I'm still getting used to saying fiancé, but what a lovely adjustment to be making. (I did NOT take my ring off to wash the pots and forget all about it the other evening. and yes I 'wash the pots' - hands that do dishes can be soft as your face. Think on.)

I love New Year for the way it naturally makes you feel all reflective, plus it's the perfect time to start planning for the year ahead and all that you'd like to achieve during it. I love a New Year's resolution but, like many others, come one week into January they're usually gone with the wind. Surpassed by thoughts of summer holidays and lighter nights that are on their way.

That's why this year I'm only attempting one resolution.

Don't look too far ahead...

Here's why.
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