Wednesday, 21 December 2016

12 things I’ve learned in 12 months



1. The big stuff, like Brexit, and Syria, and the President, and benefit cuts and the continuing existence of Nigel Farage – is going to happen. And it might break your heart, but all you can do is know that you did your bit in your own small way to set the world to rights. A vote, a tweet, a blogpost. Buying refugees gifts on Amazon, buying homeless people coffee in the morning. Doing whatever you can to make your world the one you want to live in. Sometimes that just means knowing that you’re a good person, and believing that even in a scary world, if there are enough good people out there being good, we’ll be alright in the end.

2. And when you’re really despairing about the state of things, the best thing to do is find like-minded people and get really, really drunk with them and rant about it.

3. If you try to cover red hair dye with blonde, you’ll get orange. That was a scary couple of hours.

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Selfridges Forest on The Roof Restaurant

I actually went to Selfridges Forest on the Roof restaurant last year too, but never blogged about it because I got carried away with, you know, Christmas. I really regretted not sharing the photos because it’s such a gorgeous place – so much so that my best friend and I, who I visited with, decided to make it a yearly treat! I don’t know why it’s so good, but I’m already looking forward to going again next year!



As last year, we managed to take a Friday off for a little break in our manic work schedules and headed to London for a bit of shopping (aka me panic-buying two dresses for the wedding I had on Saturday – nothing like leaving things to the last minute!) before heading to Selfridges, the most Christmassy place in the world, probably. There’s a lift that takes you straight upstairs to the gorgeous festive corridor leading into the restaurant - although if you're not in a mad rush like us, definitely head to the Christmas section for a little look first! 

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Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Franco Manca – the best pizza in Britain?

If you’re thinking ‘you seem to be using the festive season to visit every restaurant left on your list,’ you wouldn’t be far wrong. But last year, I ate about 10 Christmas dinners in the run up to the big day and overdid it a little, so this time I’m trying to incorporate other cuisines into my festive celebrating as well. Cuisines like PIZZA.


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A sparkly evening at the German Gymnasium


This sparkly restaurant right outside Kings Cross Station has been calling to me for a while now, but last night a few girls from my old work and I decided to give it a try for dinner.


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Friday, 9 December 2016

Burt's Bees Gift Set GIVEAWAY competition!

Oh hi guys. 

I haven't done a giveaway on my blog in a little while, and in the spirit of Christmas I thought I'd give away something from one of my fav brands, Burt's Bees! Burt's Bees do an amazing selection of natural skincare products to sort you out for the holiday season. 

You will win: 
 - Beeswax lip balm with vitamin E
 - Wild cherry lip balm
 - Rhubarb lip shimmer
 - Intense hydration day lotion 
 - Soapbark and camomile deep cleaning cream
 - And the nature's best tin!

To enter simply follow me on Bloglovin' and on Instagram using the Rafflecopter entry below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck, and merry christmas! 

Cate x
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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Ted Baker card holder of dreams

When I was 18 one of my proudest possessions was my Fossil purse. I bought it in Bloomingdales in New York, and it was multi coloured leather and absolutely massive – a huge wallet, literally like the size of a clutch bag, with space for about 100 cards and enough coins to sink a ship. I loved it. I eventually lost it when drunk with an ex boyfriend in a Walkabout – I called them and they said they never found it. I was more upset about the purse than the £50 inside it!


Somehow, slowly over the years, I’ve made the transition from huge purse that doesn’t fit in any bags and weighs a tonne, to a  simple card holder. I don’t know when exactly I realised how much easier it was to carry a card holder – I think it started off as an oyster card holder and then one day I realised my purse was just taking up extraneous room in my bag! For the last few years I’ve been using a rose gold Accessorize one, which I loved but has been looking a bit battered lately. I’d seen so many posts/videos of girls picking up shiny Chanel ones, but that’s a bit far out of my price range – I wanted something in between!


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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Winter Seaside Weekend


In the olden days, people used to say the sea air was a cure for illnesses. If you had flu or a cold or whatever (and you were rich enough) you’d get shipped off out of London to breathe in the air and bathe in the cold water, and presumably eat ye olde fish and chips, and you’d be right as rain.


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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Homeowners!



Sorry for the slight blog hiatus, but as you might guess from the title of this blog post, we’ve had a little bit going on! Finally, after months of trying, my husband and I own a flat in London!


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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

How to sneakily celebrate Christmas now, #3

It’s become a bit of a tradition, this post. Every year, as soon as I’ve thrown away my mouldy old pumpkin, I’m overcome with the urge to deck the halls – but am stopped by so-called SENSIBLE people claiming it isn’t Christmas until such arbitrary dates as 1st December (some say 24th December – who are you monsters?) and therefore I am forced to be SECRETLY FESTIVE. Here are my first two posts, if you haven’t read them:


You wouldn't think I'd be able to force any more cheer into November, would you? Aha, my friend, you are wrong. And so, without further ado, here are another, even sneakier 10 ways to bring a bit of festive cheer into your lives without making your nearest and dearest think you’ve, you know, gone a bit nuts and think you’re living in a Home Alone film. Enjoy, you can thank me later when you’re in a secret world of Christmas bliss.


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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The perfect Autumn/Winter rose gold phone cover from Case Company


Things I hate about my iPhone currently:

1.  Having low storage. Seriously guys – I see the message ‘You have low storage’ or ‘Storage full’ more than I see my close friends and family. What are we going to do about these iPhone storage problems?! Surely we can’t go on like this???

2. The fact that Depop has half downloaded but due to the above storage issues I can’t open it and yet I can’t delete it either, and so I can’t stalk inthefrow on Depop or try and buy her designer shoes for £30. Cry.

Things I do not hate about my iPhone currently:

1. My gorgeous new phone cover*. I mean. Just look. (Ignore the champagne. But it was a Sunday so why not...)



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Friday, 11 November 2016

Little life loves this week

 This week, I’ve FINALLY started to recover from the flu! If you’ve noticed a bit of an absence over the last few weeks it’s because I’ve been majorly suffering – literally bed bound for four whole days, it has been the opposite of fun and I’m so relieved to be coming out the other side! It’s actually put me in a brilliant mood, so here are the many things I’ve been loving this week…(note the absence of Donald Trump and the John Lewis advert...)


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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Welcome to the world, little one

On 1st November 2016, at 5.11am, after a long and intense labour, my sister brought little baby Alexander Digby Gordon into the world, weighing an impressive 10lb 5oz, and capturing everyone’s hearts immediately. (As well as making sure that my husband’s birthday – also the 1st November – would become a bit secondary forevermore!)


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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

A perfect Autumn Sunday at Pearce's Farm

You know when occasionally you think 'I've really hit peak life, here?' Last weekend I headed back to Hertfordshire, where my family are from, on the most gorgeous sunny Autumn Sunday. I'd just managed to succeed in purchasing Glastonbury tickets, so I was in a really good mood already when I arrived and met my (heavily pregnant) sister and my best friend to head out for some food as a kind of impromptu late baby shower (my friend wasn't able to attend the original one!) 



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Friday, 14 October 2016

Life loves this week

Haven’t written one of these in a while, but I’ve been a bit grumpy for no real reason this week and I feel like when you feel like that it’s important to focus on the positives and the fact that, err, there’s nothing actually wrong, it’s just you’d quite like a life where you could laze in bed till 10am every day. And therefore, here are my Friday faves…


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Friday, 7 October 2016

The Cormoran Strike Book Series (aka more JK Rowling books YAY!)

About two years ago now I read the first Cormoran Strike book, ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling,’ written by JK Rowling under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I remember that I saved it up for a business trip to Birmingham where I spent the days in a cold, dusty paper mill, counting boxes (don’t even ask). It was freezing and every night I came back, ran a hot bubble bath, poured myself a diet coke and got lost in the world of Cormoran and Robin and Lula Landry. It was excellent – I loved it, and not just because it was by JK Rowling. It was a truly brilliant mystery, with a touch of the cosiness Rowling brings to Harry Potter but an edginess that she uses in the Casual Vacancy. Most of all, it was fun. The sequels weren’t out yet, though, so I vowed to buy them when they were, told everybody the book was great, then promptly forgot about it.



Until recently when Rosie mentioned on her Instagram that she was ploughing through the series as she anticipated the birth of her new baby (she's had her now, btw. GORGEOUS). Immediately I looked them up and realised the next two books in the series had come out (I say the next two, because Rowling promises this isn’t the end, and I hope it isn’t!) This time, I saved the books up for my wedding anniversary weekend in the countryside. I reread The Cuckoo’s Calling, then devoured the sequels – The Silkworm and Career of Evil.

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The Crystal Maze Experience

Who remembers the Crystal Maze? *Insert blushing emoji* Not me! Despite being a child of the nineties, I somehow lived my 29 and a bit years with never even seeing the show! But when a girl at work described it as ‘a bit like a better clueQuest’ (you can read my review on that here) I knew I wanted to go. The start date kept getting pushed back, but eventually, after a tonne of crowd funding, Crystal Maze opened in Angel and we were given a date of Saturday 1st October – so at 4pm we all gathered excitedly at the pub! Now, before you go any further, don’t worry – I am NOT going to spoil the experience for anyone going. There are no phones or cameras allowed inside the maze and you wouldn’t want to know – half the fun is the surprise!


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Barcelona Beach Bums

I’ve loved a lot of cities that I’ve visited over the years. New York is amazing and busy. Paris is romantic and dreamy. Berlin is gritty and cool. But I love Barcelona most of all.

 You know why, when you really push for a reason, that I love Barcelona more than any of them combined?



It has a beach.

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Barcelona Touristing – Sagrada Familia and Gaudi Park

On our second day in Barcelona, we decided that rather than walk round the city, we would use one of the tourist buses. I’d done this the last time I was in Barcelona and have also used the one in Dublin, and they’re really excellent – it’s a great way of seeing the whole city, getting some fresh air (the buses are open top) and getting some info about what you’re seeing via the headphones! It’s pricier than a normal bus, obviously (around $30) but it’s worth it if you want to ensure you see everything, and get a bit of wind in your hair!




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Barcelona Girl’s Trip!

I used to go on holiday with my girlfriends all the time. Granted, most of them were to such exotic destinations as Gran Canaria, Ayia Napa and Malia, but we always managed to stay in nice hotels (exception: Laguna II in Tenerife, which I’ve noticed now has such poor reviews on Trip Advisor that it’s practically condemned) and had a brilliant time doing the usual holiday things – diet coke in the sunshine/by the pool, and too much wine, what else? (Occasionally kissing ineligible men in sweaty bars after downing sixteen luridly coloured shots, but let’s keep that on the down low). 


ANYWAY, after growing up, getting married and becoming super boring (and super busy), girls holidays have been relegated to hen dos only. My friends and I decided to put a stop to this and find a time we could actually go away for a long weekend together. Let’s quietly ignore the fact that to do this, we had to go away Sunday-Wednesday – the point is that, miraculously, we found time, found a destination, booked it, and on Sunday morning at stupidly early o’clock found ourselves bleary eyed at Stanstead, off to Barcelona!

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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Wedding anniversary - cosy weekend in the countryside part 2

On the actual morning of our wedding anniversary, September 25th, we woke up in our cosy bed and opened the cards from our thoughtful friends and family – and from each other, of course!


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Wedding anniversary Part 1 - Cosy weekend in the countryside

I cannot believe it’s been a whole year since I got married. A whole year since I stood nervously in the cool sunlight in my childhood town, clutching my Dad’s arm and waiting to walk down the aisle. I literally don’t know where the time has gone! We knew we wanted to do something to celebrate our first anniversary and one of our favourite things to do together is have a long weekend in the English countryside. So that’s exactly what we planned – and it was absolutely perfect. Honestly, this post might make you feel a bit sick because it’s so idyllic #sorrynotsorry!



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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Goodnight my little friend

On Friday 23rd September, after three and a half years of snuffling, burrowing in fluff, eating Cheerios and generally being the cutest thing in the world, my little Pickle gerbil closed his eyes for one last time.
 
'Hi, this toilet roll is my bed now' 
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Thursday, 22 September 2016

A weekend at home for my sister’s baby shower


I still can’t believe that my little sister is having a baby! But the evidence is getting rather unmistakeably clear. Baby Gordon (Baby G to his friends) is well and truly showing at this point, and with only just over a month to go before he is due to make his long awaited appearance (he’s only got about a day to go if you ask my mum), it seemed about the right time to throw him and my sister a baby shower.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My Delights

This weekend I read a wonderful article by the even more wonderful Dolly Alderton, one of my favourite journalists and, to be honest, girl crushes. I love everything she writes – I remember reading a quote by Joss Whedon once in which he said that he wishes he could ‘eat someone’s brain and steal their ideas’ – and that’s kind of how I feel about her, except to 'ideas' you could also add 'insane legs'. But her latest piece was one of my favourites -  this beautiful list of all her delights in life. A lot of posts on my blog focus on this idea that happiness is found in the ordinary, but I’ve never been able to sum up as perfectly as Dolly how the beauty of life resides not in the extraordinary but in the everyday. I’m sure I still won’t be able to put it as well as she did, and you are perfectly welcome to click off and go and read her list instead, but I wanted to add my selection – the mundane that I delight in, all the time. 

It’s quite long, I warn you. I’m quite a happy person. Sorry about that. But here we go anyway.


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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Little book round up – what I’ve been reading lately


My last post on the books I’ve been reading recently was much more popular than I expected, and I even got a couple of tweets asking me to include some of the ‘heavier’ books I read! I don’t know that I can quite bring myself to go into all of those but I did think I’d give you a few of my highlights from the last couple of weeks in case there’s anything you’d like to pick up.

Can you even imagine if you had this in your house...
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Friday, 16 September 2016

Life loves this week


This week has disappeared – I honestly have no idea what I’ve done with it. I know it’s a cliché, but I don’t know where this year is going – in a couple of weeks’ time it will be my wedding anniversary, and it makes literally no sense to me that it’s been an entire year since I got married, and then my sister will be having her baby, and… basically can we just slow down a bit because otherwise I’m going to be 45, okay thanks?



After that little rant, here are the things I’ve been loving this week…
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Thursday, 15 September 2016

5 weird things about Instagram


 I love Instagram, I’m not even ashamed to admit it. (@Catscruse, FOLLOW ME, I take a lot of photos of white wine and sunsets, okay that’s enough, shameless self promotion over.)



I’ve always used Facebook most frequently for sharing photographs, and then along came this entire site dedicated to just that, so I didn’t have to force my pretty avocado on toast upon unwilling family friends and people I used to work with anymore. And ignoring the part where you compare yourself to someone’s edit of a perfect life, and get obsessed with followers and cry over why someone else got 200 likes on their photograph of an egg and you only got 189, oh my god I'm uglier than an egg, blah, blah, I think Instagram is mostly a nice thing. It’s fun, it’s pretty, and most people don’t believe it’s real. 

But okay, sometimes it’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Here are 5 of the weird things about Instagram that I’ve noticed. You've noticed them too, but if you've noticed more, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

5 goals for 2016


 Okay not gonna lie – I totally got this idea from HannahGale’s blog (which is fab btw, don’t go and read it till you’ve finished this post because you’ll fall into a vortex of hilarious lists and anecdotes and you’ll have forgotten all about poor little me by the time you’ve managed to haul yourself out.) But I did actually do a pretty similar post last year. I think it’s something about this time of year – it reminds me of new stationary and clean, fresh school diaries that I always promised not to graffiti, and new fashion (even though I’ll clearly just buy ANOTHER maroon jumper). New beginnings. So I wanted to note down a couple of things I’d like to manage by the end of the year!

Buy a yacht. Totally realistic goal right?

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Tuesday, 13 September 2016

10 things to love about hen dos

A few weeks ago I went to a brilliant hen do. We had a buffet and prosecco on the Friday night. A spa, including a hot lava shell massage (best. thing. EVER) on the Saturday, followed by cocktail making and a night out. Then waffles with bacon on the Sunday. I got home feeling refreshed and happy. And yet so many people think hen dos are awful, so if you're dreading one right now, here's 10 things to get excited about... 


Beautiful bride, short stunted friend (me)

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Friday, 9 September 2016

Life loves lately

If I had to scale this week against the ones I’ve had recently, I would call it Much Better. YAY. Here’s why…


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Thursday, 8 September 2016

Basic Bitch things I love about Autumn


I’m a summer baby. I like long days and warm nights, the feeling of stepping outside and the air being hotter out than it is in; I like bare feet and maxi dresses, cider and festivals, BBQs and golden skin and cold white wine in rooftop bars. So I’m actually pretty pleased that Autumn has had such a revival over the last few years, giving me a couple of things to look forward to as my favourite season comes to an end! Essentially, I don’t care how basic it is – if it keeps me happy as the days get shorter, I’m involved…


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Monday, 5 September 2016

Why your girlfriends are the best kind of friends

I just came back from a hen do and was having a polite conversation about it with a colleague in the kitchen (you know: ‘How was your weekend?’ ‘Good…not long enough! You?’ and so on). When I mentioned I was on a hen do she screwed up her face and said,
‘Ugh, yeah, I dread those…I just get on so much better with men, you know?’


No. I don’t know. But I do know that this seems to be the cool thing to say these days. As if saying you don’t like hanging out with girls even though you are a girl makes you one of the lads – yeah, you’re basically Zoe Ball, you are, downing pints and playing pool surrounded by blokes, looking amazing even though you're just in denim jeans and a band t shirt - you’re so down to earth, you, and they’re all your mates but they're also all secretly in love with you because you’re just so awesome and attractive. What a narrative to tell yourself.

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Friday, 2 September 2016

Life loves this week

This week in the ongoing list of irritating health calamities to befall me this year, I burst a blood vessel in my eye. Literally just sitting watching TV. I honestly don’t know how I manage these things.
Despite that, it’s been quite a good week – let’s go and see why (hint – mostly due to really good TV shows)... 


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Thursday, 1 September 2016

A band that changed my life – The Avett Brothers

Last night I went to see the Avett Brothers play at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. It’s the fourth time I’ve seen them.



The first time was back in around 2009. I really liked this guy and I wanted to find a gig for us to go to. It was when folk music had exploded in a big way and I was really into this band called the Avett Brothers. I didn’t think he would ever have heard of them, but he said he had vaguely from his time living in California, so he agreed to come along. I don’t think either of us were expecting too much, but it was amazing – such lively, entertaining music, so much better live than on my little pink iPod Nano – and during one of the slower songs, the beautiful 'I And Love And You,' the boy I liked a lot put his arms around my waist and I remember staring up at the blue lights and thinking, if this is the best it ever gets, then this is pretty good.

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Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Bank holiday calm

I used to spend bank holidays in a whirlwind of activity and alcohol. I’d fill it up months in advance and the second the clock on the bottom right of my screen ticked round to home time, I’d be off to some bar with wine glasses in my eyes. I’d spend the days ordering Dominos pizza to my sofa, watching back-to-back episodes of Scandal before dragging myself up and out again.

Let’s be honest. I still do this sometimes.


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Friday, 26 August 2016

Green Man Festival

Green Man festival is my anti-Glastonbury. If you’ve been considering going to a festival for a while but you’re a bit nervous, or you have kids or you just really love folk music, I’d 100% recommend it. It’s the easiest, nicest festival I’ve been to – it’s basically just like going to a nice campsite but with some music thrown into the bargain. There are even showers in every camp!


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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

My First Park Run

I wrote here about how recently, I’ve really started enjoying running for the first time. Obviously, about two days after I wrote that, I suffered a paterllar subluxation (read: dislocated my knee repeatedly) and I was out of action on the running front for over 3 months. At the beginning, I found this really frustrating, because I’d really seen my running improve and it was sad thinking of how much work I’d have to do to get back there again – but quickly it became apparent that my injury was quite serious, and I was more concerned at, say, being able to hobble to a summer BBQ, or make it round Glastonbury festival, than I was about being able to run again. That seemed like a bonus – or even, at times, a mystical dream!


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Friday, 12 August 2016

Friday Favourites

Whole week no blog. If last week wasn’t great, this one has been a whole new level of crap – just one annoying, irritating thing after another really. Today is the first day that I finally feel like myself again, enough to celebrate the things I have enjoyed this week and to think YES, it’s the weekend! C E L E B R A T E!



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Friday, 5 August 2016

Life loves this week

I’m going to be honest. For one reason or another, this hasn’t been the best of weeks. I’ve got a headache that won’t quit, my husband has job worries that have come out of nowhere, and quite frankly I wish we could both spend the weekend cocooned on a desert island somewhere with just a book and the sea for company. Or, to be honest, go home and get a hug from my mum and dad (I finally admitted defeat and called my Dad yesterday and even hearing his voice made things 100x better  - sometimes you just need your parents!) But there has been a lot of fun in amongst all the shit, so here we go…


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Wednesday, 3 August 2016

A perfect weekend

One of those where you wake up late and the sun is shining through the balcony windows and the days spread out in front of you lazily and shimmering, when you have no obligations but could do anything. We ate avocado on bagels and drank lattes in bed, watching the end of the Tour de France, and then Ian went for a run and I had a long lazy bath and then sat on the balcony and let the sun dry my hair. When Ian was back we wandered to the shops to get a mini picnic which we ate in Victoria Park again, the second part this time, under the shade of a tree watching dogs barrel about and children laughing. We hired Boris bikes and cycled lazily in circles round the park, racing each other and stopping for melting Mr Whippy ice creams with strawberry sauce in the sunshine. When we were finally tired we sat in the golden sunset for a well-earned drink – white wine from a little bottle for me – watching a very unsuccessful game of rounders (highlight – when a girl managed to knock a perturbed man from his bicycle about half a mile away). We wandered to our favourite pub in the park, the People’s Tavern, glittering in fairy lights and filled with people playing crazy golf and drinking Pimms and cocktails from the make shift bars.  It was pretty busy so we didn’t stay long, defecting to another pub directly outside the park where we sat in a shady corner, drank and chatted until we were hungry enough (not to mention drunk enough) to go for dinner again. We ate in some low key Indian and then headed to a little bar where we sat at a crooked wooden table until they called for last orders and we wandered home.










And in weeks where I feel like life never slows, my phone never stops flashing, my emails pile into hundreds, it’s nice to know, in some small corner of my brain, that there was a day like this, and that there will eventually again be days like these. 



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