A Day in South Kensington

The other week The Bloke and I attempted to take advantage of a ticket sale from a train company. It went a little wrong, but we still decided to use the offer and have a day out in London, as we haven’t done that for a while.

We decided to spend the majority of the day around South Kensington – it’s a beautiful (and very expensive) area with several museums and it’s one of the few places in the city that we haven’t explored as much as we would like. We were on the train at ridiculous o’clock, as usual, and by the time we arrived at Euston the weather was fairly clear and sunny, so we took advantage of the early morning to get there before the madness of tube travel at the weekends began. On the way there I discovered an image on Pinterest of a ‘thin house’ on Thurloe Square, opposite the Victoria and Albert museum, so this was our starting point. We found it and then spent some time just wandering around the streets, admiring the private parks and the beautiful town houses and flats, along with the statue of Bartok, followed by breakfast in a local Pret a Manger (where I’m CERTAIN that we were sitting across from Julian Lloyd-Webber, although I didn’t have the nerve to go and say anything to him). Continue reading

A ‘Hidden Gem’ Travel Link-Up with A Girl and Her Passport

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Are you a travel blogger? Looking to connect with the travel blogger community?

Tiffany, over at A Girl and Her Passport is guest hosting a travel link-up along with a few other bloggers, which is open to all travel bloggers long as the post is relevant.

For those of you who don’t know of Tiffany’s beautiful blog – she is the creator of ‘A Girl and Her Passport,’ she is an American ex-pat living in Qatar, and she describes what she does in her About page:

Hi, I’m Tiffany… From here, I travel the world exploring countries’ culture, art, history, and food and to share it with my readers through stories and photography. My focus is on independent travel with an eye for finding the uniqueness of each place I visit.

The theme of the link-up is ‘Hidden Gems,’ and the post that she created about her own hidden gems has some really beautiful images. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: A Girl and Her Passport

I’m always envious of travel bloggers, in particular when I see their beautiful posts of all the places they have visited and the experiences they have had.

Tiffany is one such blogger. The creator of ‘A Girl and Her Passport,‘ she is an American ex-pat living in Qatar, and she describes what she does in her About page:

Hi, I’m Tiffany… From here, I travel the world exploring countries’ culture, art, history, and food and to share it with my readers through stories and photography. My focus is on independent travel with an eye for finding the uniqueness of each place I visit.

I absolutely love her images:

Continue reading

The Obligatory Christmas Train Journey Post…

It’s 7.30am and I’m on a train up north to spend Christmas with my family. I feel like I’ve written that sentence so many times…

I discovered that tickets to Manchester – my usual destination – were really expensive and there were no connecting trains to Bolton, so I managed to bag one to Wigan instead for £8.50. The only trouble is, it was at 6.15am. It’s worked out well so far – there’s a storm set to hit the north later on this morning, by which time I should be happily relaxing in my jammies at my Mum’s house. The carriage is pretty much empty, so I’ve taken advantage of that and sat at a table with a power socket to charge my phone. There’s the usual whinging toddler (“But whyyyyy? Nooooooo, I don’t want that! Muuuuuum I waaaaant thaaaaat”) so I’ve put my headphones in and am listening to The Backstreet Boys. They’re not normally my travel music of choice, preferring 80’s rock anthems usually, but it feels like a Backstreet Boy kind of day. Continue reading

Suzie in the City

After a truly brilliant weekend with a lovely bunch of bloggy friends, I prepared myself for the trip back to Birmingham. As Sacha lives quite a distance from me (three trains and a tube connection), I thought that I had everything organised, and as I had made it relatively unscathed (despite the unexpected detour) I was at the station with what I thought a spare twenty minutes until the first train of my journey was ready to leave. The main part of it was from London Euston, and I thought my train left at 1.00pm, only to discover that it was actually at 3.40pm – the train the day before had been that that time instead.

That meant that, by the time I arrived at Euston, I had about three hours to kill before my train left. So, as it was a glorious day, and I’m never one to miss an opportunity to be a tourist, I purchased an all-day tube travel pass and went off on a little jolly around London, setting myself a challenge to see as much as I possibly could in the time limit. Continue reading

Halloween Blog Party – Meet and Greet!

imageI haven’t hosted a blog party since February and with Halloween just around the corner I thought it would be a brilliant opportunity to create a space for the blogging community to share a few links from their blog and potentially meet new people. I always have a great time, with hundreds of links being shared, and it means that I get the chance to find new blogs to follow and catch up on some posts that I may have missed.

Welcome to my Halloween Blog Party!

For those of you who have never participated in a blog party before, here are the rules:

1. Choose your favourite post from your own blog. The subject of the post can be anything you like – blogging, food, parenting, life, travel, thoughts, photography… Note: This should be only one post at a time or it will get sent straight to the ‘spam’ folder but please don’t share more than three overall – spend the time visiting other bloggers instead. Continue reading

What a Carry On!

I predicted that I would be shattered, but nothing prepared me for just how much my feet would hurt on the train heading back home.

Those of you who regularly follow the blog will know that I’ve spent the past three days in London, touring all the Carry On sites of interest outside Pinewood Studios. As an early birthday present for my mum, who is quite possibly the world’s biggest Carry On fan, I mapped out loads of the blue plaques, grave sites and filming locations in and around the London area.

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As an extra gift, I had managed to purchase a print from the extremely talented British Comedy and portrait artist Steve Lilly (@Stevelilart), who just happened to live about ten minutes away from me, which I gave Mum when we arrived in London. She loved it!

It was exhausting, but we pretty much managed to cover everything I had planned.

On the first day we visited Maidenhead Town Hall, which was used in several of the films, and walked just around the corner to the high street, where a few of the scenes from Carry On Camping was filmed. Continue reading

It Smells Like Summer

SummerIt smells like summer this morning.

Despite having a bad night’s sleep, I woke up in a disgustingly good mood. The current heatwave we are experiencing means that it’s already beautifully warm, even at 8.00am, and when I stood outside the scent in the air somehow reminded me of foreign holidays I have been on. My Facebook feed is littered with complaints from hot and uncomfortable friends, and The Bloke, who can’t handle any sort of weather except temperate, clear and dry is struggling, but I love it – after what has seemed like an age of living in the cold and dark, it’s nice to feel some real sun on my face.

I did my last bit of freelance work yesterday for the summer, which means I now have two months off. Two months. I can’t believe how quickly this academic year has gone, and the fact that I have remained reasonably financially stable throughout. There were so many worries and anxieties that accompanied last summer, but I’ve been able to prepare for this one over the last year, and I know that as long as I don’t go out and blow all my money on cocktails (which is always a temptation), I should be fine until Christmas at least. I’ve been enjoying the last few weeks and for the first time ever I haven’t felt like I have counted down the days or desperately wished my life away just to have a break. How lucky I am. Continue reading

10 Inexpensive Things to See and Do in London

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London is known for being one of the most vibrant, interesting and, ultimately, most expensive cities in the world, and The Bloke and I are lucky enough in that we get to visit several times a year.

There are certainly no shortage of things to experience, but many of the more popular attractions can be quite costly. Last weekend, as our budget was tight, I decided to plan an adventure around the city that consisted of free or inexpensive things to see and do. It turned out to be one of the best trips we’ve ever had!

Note: The key to saving money is to plan specifically in advance what you would like to do and see – buying tickets for things or aimlessly wandering around until you find something will usually result in spending money that you hadn’t budgeted for. It may also be a good idea to pack a lunch in advance to save money on food during your trip. Continue reading

An Amazing Few Days in Scotland

Wow.

It only seems like five minutes ago since I published my engagement post, but since then The Bloke and I have been busy exploring the incredible sights that this area of Scotland has to offer. We’re staying at Creel Cottage in the coastal village of Johnshaven, and as well as relaxing and enjoying the views and calm atmosphere here, we’ve been able to go and see some things that have been on my Bucket List for a long time. It’s like something from a film set – everything is just beautiful – and the people are open, warm and friendly.

Here are just some of the highlights: Continue reading