Sunday, 31 July 2016

My UK Travel Wishlist

One thing I mentioned in a previous post about being single is my dilemma around travelling. I want to explore the world but my fear of doing so alone is still holding me back. I can find this both annoying and upsetting. I get annoyed with myself because I feel as though I am allowing my fear to hold me back and sometimes, momentarily, I feel sad that I don't always have someone to share experiences with.

Last year I decided that I had had enough of missing out and decided to take a two week road trip in the UK on my own. I've always liked the idea of going on a road trip, following numerous hours spent watching American films and loving being out in my car, music turned up loud. You
can read about my road trip here.

I still don't feel confident enough to travel abroad alone so instead of thinking about all the places I would love to visit but don't feel ready to at the moment, I thought I would focus on something achievable; other places in the UK that I would love to explore.

So, here are some of the places I would love to visit in the UK

1. Scotland

2. Lake District

3. Wales

4. York

5. Sheffield

Have you spent much time exploring the country you live in? Where would you like to visit?

Sunday, 17 July 2016

My Weekend

This weekend has been just what I needed. For the last two weeks I have been preparing to leave my job and start a new one. Another change for someone who doesn't manages change very well, although I am getting better at it, university placements have helped a lot with that. The last two weeks have been all about work, working long days at last weekend to get all my cases as up to date as possible to hand over to a new member of the team. My team organised a leaving lunch for me and two other members of the team, who are also moving on for various reasons, which was lovely and we were all pretty spoilt.

I'm not good at goodbyes though so felt a bit strange and uncomfortable. I also found Thursday, my last day, more emotional than I thought I would and there were a few tears in the privacy of my car as I drove home. To cheer myself up I went to a local pub with a friend for a few drinks later that evening.

My plans on Friday were what got me through the last two weeks, a morning relaxing at Ufford Park Spa with my Mum. After all that laying about I wanted to curl up and a long nap, I was shattered. I ended up going back to Mum's and watching a film before heading home for an early night.

Yesterday, I spent the morning on the sofa, coffee in hand, catching up on some of my favourite tv programmes, which is a pretty normal Saturday morning for me. At 3 o'clock a group of us met at Suffolk Food Hall to enjoy afternoon tea for a friends baby shower. I love the design of the restaurant and the view from the large windows. The spread provided for the afternoon tea was also delicious, lots of different sweet treats to try.

Google Images
A friend came over in the evening, which meant a quick tidy up, we walked along the Quay, enjoyed a cocktail, picked up a Chinese on the way home and ate it while watching some Sex and the City.

This afternoon I have a date with my garden as it has become a little wild in recent weeks, the typical British weather of sunshine and rain has not helped. I feel that I have had time to myself, time with friends and some time to get back on top of things, or at least start to anyway.

What would a great weekend look like for you?

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Image from Pinterest
The definition being a day or period of celebration or an organised series of concerts, plays or films, typically held annually in the same place. I like that definition, although the inference is that the celebration is linked with religion, I think that music festivals are a celebration, a celebration of music. I had been to see a few artists live at venues like the O2 in London but my first festival experience was Wireless in London. Since then I've been to the Isle of Wight Festival, V and Sundown. This year I've been to two local festivals which I have really enjoyed; Red Rooster and Maverick. My decision to get tickets for larger festivals is the line-up, are there going to be artists and bands playing that I will get excited about? Where as, the reasons I have decided to go to the more local ones is because of the genre of music the festivals are celebrating; Americana and Country.

Red Rooster Festival

My friend couldn't make it on the day so I was faced with the decision to not go and miss out or go it alone. I took a chance and went for it. I was nervous, nervous that people would look at me and judge me for being on my own. But I also felt that way about going to the cinema on my own and I got over that! I'm so pleased that I did go, the sun shone, the sky was blue and the location was beautiful. I took a magazine with me, a blanket and spent the afternoon relaxing, as the evening drew in I took another wander around the grounds and headed to the tent where I danced amongst strangers, for a while I forgot to care what people thought and threw myself into the moment. It felt amazing!


I went to a day of the Maverick festival with my family last weekend. Again, we were really lucky with the British weather and it only rained for a few minutes. The site was not as big as the Red Rooster, however, there were more stages. There were stages of various sizes hidden around the place. Because the site was smaller, it actually made it easier having Grandad with us in his wheelchair.

Things I love
  • Live music
  • Festival atmosphere
  • The variety of food and drink stalls
  • People coming together
  • Relaxing and/or dancing depending on my mood

Things I don't like so much
  • Camping
  • The rain and cold

A festival I would love to go to
  • Boardmasters - even though I don't skate or surf I would love to watch and I can just imagine the location and atmosphere would be awesome.

What festivals have you been to and loved?

Sunday, 3 July 2016

What I'm Reading: The Girl on the Train

Google Images

I read this a while ago while on holiday. I had a lot of talk about the book and the upcoming film, a lot of hype. Perhaps this is why I had an expectation already formed when I opened the first page. Personally, I could not connect with the way the book was written or the main character. Having said that, I needed to read it through to the end to find out what happens and what a twist! I thought the explanation towards the end of the book was really clever.

If you haven't read the book and want to, you may not want to read further.

The book highlights two important issues, I feel; domestic abuse and substance abuse. The main character, Rachel, uses alcohol to numb her negative feelings, which the reader is led to believe are around the break up of her marriage and her inability to become a mother. However, as the story progresses she has also used alcohol to block out the abuse she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband. A key factor in her unravelling the murder mystery. What really caught me was the manipulation of the murderer and abuser, I, as a reader, did not pick up on, I would be interested to know if other readers recognise it.

There is also a lot of judgement of Rachel due to her substance misuse and the impact her drinking has on all areas of her life; work and friendships as well as her own health. I grew up in a family who appeared to have quite judgemental views of those who misuse substances and subsequently end up homeless, those were the views I listened to and thought I had too. That was until I undertook a student placement in an organisation who supported individuals in their recovery. I listened and learnt a lot about the reasons people may start taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Developing an understanding of why, did help me develop some empathy and compassion. The reasons why are not excuses, however, they can be painful experiences that people need support with to work through and find healthier ways to manage.

Have you read the book, what were your thoughts?