A Writers Retreat

What do you get when you combine three published author bloggers and me, a converted hospital, rolling countryside, pig farms, beautiful beach huts and a spare weekend?

A self-made writers retreat.

Yes, I’ve just spent the weekend in a gorgeous house with my blogger friends Sacha, Helen and Geoff with the purpose of using some rare free-time and utilising each other’s knowledge, experience and skills to not only attempt to catch up with our writing goals, but to take the opportunity to throw a few ideas around and get some immediate feedback on what we were working on. Geoff had very kindly offered to host us at his home, which was part of a converted former hospital. Continue reading

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Lessons, Limoges and Lilliput Lane

George Orwell’s house in Notting Hill

This week has been a little hectic. The Bloke has had a week off, we’ve been organising a bajillion things at once and trying to spend some quality time together, and I’ve been desperately trying to keep on top of my daily checklists. It’s been a mixed bag of fun and stress all rolled into one busy package.

But, we’re never too old to learn new things, and this week I have learned a lot.

A raspberry in a glass of prosecco makes it taste less like what I imagine unwashed feet do. I must be the only female I know who doesn’t like it, but it’s almost palatable with a raspberry.

Upgrading on a travel West Midlands train is a pointless waste of money.

I make a mean French Toast, after trying it out for the first time last Sunday. My buzz was cut short, however, after my friend informed me that her 11 year old regularly makes it for herself. Continue reading

How to Spend 4 1/2 Days in New York City

The Bloke and I recently visited NYC on our honeymoon and had an absolutely incredible time. It’s a fast paced, exciting and vibrant city that has interesting things to see and do on every block, but it isn’t possible to do it all in just one visit, particularly on a limited budget.

It is, however, possible to experience an enormous amount of things in a short amount of time and without spending an enormous amount of money, and we’re proof of this as we’ve just done it ourselves.

It is worth noting at this point that we were staying at a fairly centralised hotel – Hotel @ Times Square on West 46th Street, near 6th Avenue, so it was possible to easily walk to a number of the locations we visited on the first few days, but the subway is efficient enough that it is easy and inexpensive to get from one side of Manhattan to another in a short space of time. Continue reading

The Honeymoon: NYC 2017

As I sit on the train on the journey back from Heathrow I can’t actually believe our honeymoon is already over. We stayed for 5 days in New York, and with the time difference it worked out that we did a day in London beforehand too.

Getting to NYC was a bit of a nightmare, and the flight back wasn’t much better, but the rest has been totally and utterly fabulous. It’s been a whirlwind of travel and people and sightseeing and noise and VERY cold weather, and I’m absolutely exhausted, but it was a wonderful experience. My back aches, my feet and legs hurt, my gloves are shredded but my phone and The Bloke’s camera are now full of pictures and I have a million memories to cherish and write about.

Here were just some of the highlights… To see the images in a full screen simply click on them. Continue reading

Suzie Speaks Blog Party!

Welcome to my blog party!

I haven’t hosted a blog party in a very long time, and there are a few things that I would like to take the opportunity to celebrate:

  • Suzie Speaks hit 20,000 collective followers a little while ago
  • I am getting married next week
  • Halloween is approaching

Continue reading

Blog Friends, the Cutty Sark and a New Obsession

It’s been a busy few days that have involved blog meet-ups, a jaunt around London and my new favourite thing… WASHI TAPE.

My American blog friend, Tiffany from A Girl and Her Passport is currently in London after resigning from her job in Qatar so she can travel around Europe… as you do. After talking through our posts and online for years, it was the perfect opportunity to finally meet up, so I found myself on a train at 6.10am on Saturday morning (yes, I genuinely love travelling at that time as there is nobody else around). As I was going to be ‘in town’ as such, I also took the chance to meet another blogging friend, Donna from JottoJot for breakfast as she is in the second trimester of her pregnancy. Continue reading

Blog of the Day: A Girl and Her Passport

I love travel blogs – they give me an insight into parts of the world that I have always wanted to visit from a first hand perspective, and if I am planning a trip I will spend lots of time reading travel posts from some of my favourite bloggers to gain ideas of things to see, do and eat that are not part of the usual tourist hotspots.

Tiffany is one of those bloggers. An American ex-pat currently living in Qatar, she is the creator of A Girl and Her Passport, a travel blog that documents her travels and experiences of countries from all over the world. What I like about Tiffany’s blog is the fact that she varies her posts to incorporate all areas of travel, from reviews of hotels that she has stayed in, individual activities in cities that she has visited (I particularly loved this one about a Thames boat trip in London), what to pack for specific activities, and, my favourite of all of them, humane and ethical encounters with wildlife in places that I would consider to be exotic – her Elephants in the Wild post in Sri Lanka made me incredibly envious. I love her photographs from her travels: Continue reading

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