Tag Archives: Travel

Life in Miniature

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If you’ve happened to stumble upon my earlier post “Utopia HQ“, you’ll know how much I love beautiful National Trust property Wallington House, previously the much-loved Northumberland home of the unconventional Trevelyan family.

Among Wallington’s quirky curiosities is the gorgeous Doll’s House room, which lovingly displays 18 houses, the oldest of which dates to 1835, and which includes the Hammond House, with 36 fully furnished rooms, 1,500 pieces of furniture and 77 china faced dolls. The Hammond House has electric lights in every room and even had running water! No trip to Wallington is complete for me until I’ve spent some time gazing through the tiny net curtained windows, and peeking into the often busy world of the dolls. I hope these photos give you a little taste of this life in miniature. Continue reading Life in Miniature

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Out of time

Time, time, time, see what’s become of me, while I looked around for my possibilities…

And it’s time, time, time that you learned…

I need a little time to think things over…

I haven’t looked at my blog for a week and a half. I love looking at my blog, so there is only one reason for this – time. In the past two weeks I’ve working away in the flat fens of East Anglia and in the shadow of the mountainous Lake District. Rushing from east coast to west coast, visiting my parents, taming wild rescue ponies and working on social media for the awesome PACT Animal Sanctuary, sorting out my parent’s camper van (packed to the brim with charity stuff), managing projects, going to a Foo Fighters gig, running the Newcastle branch of the Women’s Equality Party, going to my niece’s hen do dressed as Samantha from SATC, doing great crested newt surveys in the evenings and environmental education for schoolchildren in the daytime. Oh, and as our house purchase fell through a couple of weeks ago at the last minute, whenever I’m home I’ve been viewing houses every evening… and on Saturday, literally on the way to a friend’s wedding we bought a house! Continue reading Out of time

Tripadvisor: When reviews go bad!

A couple of years ago, my partner and I were preparing for a two-week roadtrip across the north-eastern US states. Ten states in two weeks required quite a lot of research, and TripAdvisor quickly became one of our most trusted allies in the search for decent motels. Now, if you’re no stranger to TripAdvisor, you’ll know that the wise TripAdvisee tends to filter out the best and worst reviews as the dumping ground for the over-enthusiastic (such as Alec Baldwin’s guest appearance in Friends):

Or the overly-negative:

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Anyway, we spent considerable time researching motels in Atlantic City (top tip: Don’t stay in a motel in Atlantic City. Trawl and trawl until you find a special offer at the Golden Nugget, for example. On arrival, put on your most English accent and say you’re only in the city for one night, it would be bloody brilliant to have a room with a view. Result: hopefully end up with this): Continue reading Tripadvisor: When reviews go bad!

Weekender: Edinburgh

Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, is almost unrivalled amongst the great cities of the world for history, culture, architecture and beauty. It really is the city that has it all (apart from the weather!). I was lucky enough to do my Masters degree at Edinburgh University, and then lived and worked in Edinburgh for 5 years. I know the city like the back of my hand and even though I moved away 7 years ago, I still miss it sometimes – there’s nothing like feeling inspired every time you walk around your home city. I still visit family and friends there frequently, and never tire of the blast of bagpipes from the piper on the corner of Princes Street and Waverley every time I exit the train station.

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Princes Street

Edinburgh’s tourist attractions are world-renowned – the Royal Mile, an ancient cobbled street leading from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace (the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh – you can tell she’s home when the Royal Standard flag is flying); Prince’s Street; and the Edinburgh Festival to name a few. So I thought I’d take you off the beaten track for a behind-the-scenes look at Edinburgh’s better kept secrets.

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Bridge above Calton Street, below the Royal Mile

Continue reading Weekender: Edinburgh

My weekend with Richard

A car park in Leicester, in the English Midlands, may not seem like the obvious inspiration for a weekend break – but this weekend, it could well be one of the most interesting places to be in the UK. Let me hand over to my friend Jen at Adventures in Ink to explain…

Tales from the Notepad

I may have been neglecting my blog for a while, sadly, but no more!

I am so excited that this weekend is finally here – my weekend with Richard (III, for those who weren’t aware of my obsession). When it was announced that they had found Richard III’s body in that famous Leicester car-park, I knew I had to visit, and so I did, last August, for what I imagined would be the only time…

A very excited me, by a certain excavated parking space... A very excited me, by a certain excavated parking space…

And then, I had a very lucky day in December – having entered the public ballot, I was delighted to receive an invite to the service of Compline on Sunday 22nd March. I, of course, said yes.

So here we are, two sleeps from my weekend in Leicester, and I felt obliged to warn you that there may be a lot of random uploads and…

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Weekender: Norfolk, England

I grew up in Norfolk, so I am more than slightly biased, but there’s no denying that it’s an amazing weekend destination. It’s a land of flat and gently rolling barley fields and poppies, home to the Bowie-name-checked Norfolk Broads, endless miles of golden sandy beaches, flint houses, thatched cottages, windmills, ancient churches, village greens and country pubs.

Poppyland

Norfolk is a county that has no motorways, gets the best of the British summer sun, and has produced national treasures as diverse as Admiral Lord Nelson, Stephen Fry and Alan Partridge. The pace of life is slow and gentle, and it sometimes feels like not much has changed since the 1950’s. Continue reading Weekender: Norfolk, England

Colour me Friday – Seafoam Green Style

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I spent this week up on Kintyre on the west coast of Scotland. Surrounded by sea on three sides, it’s a beautiful, wild, windswept (and this week snowy) peninsula. I headed home just as the hailstorm which had kept me awake most of the night turned to snow, I turned to one of my favourite travelling hobbies, “roadtrip window gazing” at the foamy sea. Since I got home, I’ve been thinking about what a lush and under-appreciated colour seafoam green is. Hope you like this week’s picks and pics! Continue reading Colour me Friday – Seafoam Green Style

Rust

english electricI love rusty old things and I’ve been collecting them for a few years, in the form of photos, rusty shapes from RE, and random finds. My favourite was an old rusty metal house I found a few years ago in a burnt-out bonfire on an abandoned gypsy site, and kept it for a while. Not knowing how to clean it up, I eventually threw it away, fool! I could have used one of these methods.

My job often takes me to old industrial sites, which frequently turn out to be a source of inspiration. I’m attracted to the story behind these objects, their changing textures and colours, and above all the fact that, in many cases, it was the act of abandonment which eventually caused them to be beautiful. I took these photos in the storage area of a steam railway yard and at an old coal mine, both in the north-east of England, and on trips to Bosnia-Herzegovena; Provence, France; The City of the Dead, Cairo, Egypt; and Woodstock, NY and Portland, Maine, USA.

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Outside tap at cafe, Grimaud, Provence

Continue reading Rust

My two week Blogiversary

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My blog is two weeks old today! I have no idea what I was expecting, but so far I’m loving it. This year has been really challenging and I almost got to the point where I lost my relentless and “naive” (to quote one of my best friends) belief in humanity. Well I have to say that the past two weeks have really started to restore my faith in this regard – and that’s down to YOU lovely people!

thank you rollip

As a very tiny thank you I’m starting an occasional reblog of some of my favourite posts from my new-found blog friends. First up is Melba Sunshine. One of those people that you just know you’d be friends with in real life, I love her use of colour and pattern in the below reblog, and her travel posts actually make me want to visit the places she’s describing, even if I’ve never heard of them, such as Troyes, France, featured in “A very french road trip.” She was also the very first person to like one of my posts and follow me! Thanks Melba Sunshine!

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I love TED

ep28_extrasensory_wide-2ee7d2146cae8022f9de58a1daea3845e92a9dd8-s300-c85I’ve spent a lot of this year on the road for work…endless 6-8 hour commutes alone to spend endless unwanted weeks away from home. After a few months, I became (temporarily) bored of almost all music (and I LOVE music), radio, scenery (and we’re talking epic scenery)…you get the picture. Repetition is not good for an eclectic mind. I have the attention span of a gnat.  What kept me going was discovering podcasts (I know, I need to get with the programme, everybody else has been listening to podcasts for years, but up until now I just assumed that they would be an unwanted distraction from my very important “singing in the car” time). Continue reading I love TED