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!)
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Friday, 14 October 2016
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…
Friday, 7 October 2016
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.
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.
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!
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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