April 19, 2015

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Chief |

The weekend is nearly over and I’m sulking like my nephew-dawg who is feeling a tad displaced by actual-nephew baby. Even though he still gets allll the attention and allll the hugs and allll the love.

Chief |

See? He is unimpressed. am unimpressed. When’s the next bank holiday weekend already? We’ve just binge watched about 5 episodes of Series 5 of Community (nNooooo Trroyyyyy Whyyyyyy) and I’m trying to tune my brain into Monday-focused thoughts. Just give me, oh, 8 hours sleep and they’ll just about have found the station. Happy weekend all…

Haa-appy birthday to me…

April 9, 2015

birthday cake |

Well. Here it is. 29 years old today.


I may or may not have had a small terrifying moment the other day where my heart nearly leapt into my tonsil cavities, just spiralling into the thought-wormhole of ageing and life and being 29 and oh my god University is so long ago and oh my god I’m the sort of person who eats quinoa and irons her duvet covers and knows how to apply nail varnish now. What.

I don’t think any of these things qualify me for adult status, either. Maybe that comes with the big 3…oh. In all seriousness, I never had a life plan that involved ages (“marry by 25, own a house by __” etc), I only ever had things I wanted to be and do, and at some point you realise that even if you were rich beyond rich and even if you lived til you were 130 and even if you had a Bernard’s Watch, you’d still never have time for all the things you want to be and want to do.

And on that note… cake anyone?


March 29, 2015

Amsterdam |

So, I think I’ve found another spirit city. Thanks to a weekend of lashing rain and biting wind, the Amsterdam I will remember (until we visit next) is a muted palette of greys and creams, brick and brown water. The bikes that sit everywhere drip-drip-dripped and co-ordinated dames und herren pedaled around with open umbrellas in one hand and handlebars in the other.

Amsterdam |

Speaking of cyclists, here’s an accurate depiction of how I felt during my 72 hours in Amsterdam, chancing my life at every crossing and cycle lane. I have never wished for owl-like neck reflexes so much in my life.

Amsterdam |

But, the potential for becoming a traffic-death statistic aside, I fell in love with candle-thin houses, three windows wide in the most gentrified city I’ve ever walked around – at least, obviously, the most central parts. Gratifying, actually, to see so many independent shops and eateries, even if they’ve all been hit with the hipster stick, (though, who am I kidding? I love a good sans serif logo design as much as the next person…). It was a city of casually-dressed cyclists riding ancient-looking sit-up-and-beg bikes (unlike London where so many people who cycle to work kit out like they’re Bradley Wiggins and act like they’re climbing the pyrenees rather than trying to get to their desks)

Amsterdam |

I wish the sun had shined a little so I could a) wear the other shoes I’d shoved into my backpack b) don the sunnies I had so optimistically purchased from Topshop and c) hire some bikes and enjoy Vondelpark a little more…but we ended up checking off so many restaurants, bars and museums, probably because of the weather, I almost can’t complain. (Almost).

Amsterdam |

Thank god for the internet and glutenvrij tips, too. How did we cope before Google? Moeders was one of my favourite meals we ate, Pancakes! does gluten-free dutch pancakes (NOM) and Greenwoods offered gluten-free bread topped with some amazing avocado-chicken-cottage cheese-poached egg goodness. So. Good. Don’t go to Amsterdam without stopping into Wynand Fockink either, for some tasty, tasty liqueur. If you like beer then Cafe Gollem is a can’t-miss and De Zotte near the Leidseplein was my favourite place for a great atmosphere to have a chilled-out drink.

Amsterdam |

Also, tip: do as we did and go Thursday-Saturday. Probably because we stayed away from the area around Centraal station, we managed to be leaving the dam just as the Stag parties were getting going…and that was some pretty sweet timing, I’ll say.

Monday calls…and my feet may ache from the cobblestones but I feel refreshed going into the week. If you need me, I’ll be reading The Miniaturist and daydreaming about those canal houses…


March 11, 2015

whitby | whitby | whitby |

Back from 5 days at home with my family…I’m all talked out and missing nephew cuddles and nephew-dawg snores. Real life calls, like laundry loads and work, but it’s only two days to the weekend, so I’m sure I can just…hold on…


February 28, 2015

Chemex |

Oh hai. It’s nearly March!! I would say “how did that happen?!” but for me it happened in a blur of various illnesses and work projects and books and dark nights and moving flats and wedding planning and so, what I guess I’m trying to say is, I’m pretty sure I know how it happened. But that it has happened, is always something that never ceases to amaze me. Time, dude. It trots on.

latte |

Anyway, here’s more coffee photos to top up like, a zillion other coffee photos on this blog. (Yes, I definitely need to take my camera to more places). I will never stop being thankful for the fact that a cafetière can froth milk passably well, but if I ever found one of these in my flat, I would also be a very happy person. We’re having a lazy morning after seeing Andy Zaltzman’s show last night (with bonus added guests Daniel Kitson, Russell Howard and Alun Cochrane. Score!) and I’m zipping through Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist from my Christmas books. Loving it. What are you reading/drinking/weekending…?


Sky Garden

January 25, 2015


Have you heard of the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie? I had no idea it even existed until the fiance spotted an IanVisits blog post about it, and grabbed us two tickets. Amused because, we thought it would be like NYC’s Highline, but it’s more “highline for the 1%” as Sean put it…

Sky Garden |

Less sky ‘garden’, more ‘sky cafe and bar with a pleasant bit of foliage’. But the views are amazing, and the tickets are free, so, why not!?

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I’ll tell you what though, it’s freaky to stand in front of the Shard at the left hand side of the viewing platform, walk to the right and see, directly in front of you…the Shard. How does that even work? The science of perspective is not my strong point.


Afterwards we wandered around Bank/St Pauls area, revelling in the quietness and the fact that we found an insane tiny Tesco chock full of American treats, a hot sandwich bar and a ton of Snapple and Arizona soda. (Nearly £3 a bottle, like). It was the first weekend since 2014 that we’d spent some time out in central London, enjoying the crazy good things the city has to offer – and for free.

Sky Garden |

2015: more tourist days in our own city. Yes please.

(PS: some other ‘grams from the morning here)

Enter 2015, stage left

January 2, 2015

Glastonbury Tor |

2015 is stretching out in front of us – quite languidly at this point, given most people don’t go back to work until the 5th (sorry, all you freelancers who’ve not really stopped working over the break). We saw in the first day of the year on top of Glastonbury Tor, being buffeted on all sides by the wind and mizzle. It was brilliant.

Have you written a 2015 goal list yet? Do you even? I love doing it…though this year it’s taking a little longer to coalesce, because sometimes it’s difficult to hear your own voice and needs in the middle of all the noise and shoulds and ought tos. One thing’s for sure though, 2015 will definitely be about more minimalism, less unnecessary stuff and less unnecessary decisions.

I’m piling podcasts up to listen to on the commute and running, including The Lively Show, Office Hours, Beyond the To-do List, The Art of Simple and the final two episodes of Cabin Pressure, which I still haven’t had a chance to listen to yet…

Happy New Year everyone!

2014 in the rearview window

NYC * Coffee * making time to see old friends (and dirt biking in the rain) * Belfast * Middlesboro * A hen * two weddings * Budapest and those amazing baths * Hever Castle * three summer 10k races * lazy breakfasts at home (the best kind) * Dorset in all its beauty * newly-converted to Kindles (took me long enough * 30 books read and umpteen more manuscripts * More coffee * two choir concerts – including a brilliant rendition of Rutter’s Magnificat at the Royal Festival Hall * more Chiefy dog and family time * NYC > NY > Wisco > Chicago > Boston * Some theatre (but nowhere near enough) * battled e-brain * my first Twickenham match * London in all its glory * fresh flowers * new hobbies and getting back into old favourites * country walks * skylines and airmiles and dreams and some really tough parts that sucked (especially health-wise)… 2014 was the quickest year yet. Who’s ready for the next?