May Day British Beach trip avec pooch!

french bulldog, Personal Experience, Travel

So Easter, then Mayday equals a lot of extra days off. This May Day bank holiday I had my mum visit me from France! Yay.

Thought I might share a nice day at the British seaside with the pooch! He hates being left at home and we love taking him with us. I think it’s great that you can take a dog with you. London is pretty good for dog friendly places but where we are going is super dog friendly!

We decided to treat her to a day trip to Leigh-on-Sea a place that if I won the lottery I would move to in a heart beat. If you have never been to Leigh it’s so lovely. A traditional British fishing town where dogs are welcome in so many places!

We got the train up and arrived at Leigh-on-Sea just before 12pm. It was busy considering that the weather was grim. Dogs were everywhere. We walked passed the cockle sheds passing lots of walkers a few tourists and a lot of locals!

All the puppies

It isn’t a long journey but obviously a pint was in order! Also more frenchies and the most gorgeous British bulldog Hugo!

He was super friendly. He jumped straight up on the table and Frank, not to be out done, jumped up to!

Then we wandered up along the front and hadn’t walked more than 10 paces before we came across Sara’s Tea garden which is an amazing dog friendly cafe. Frank had his own menu and came away with his own homemade snacks! Pretty much every table had a dog underneath it.

Oh yes the human menu was pretty great too.

The great scone debate

We all had the scones and the Essex Tiptree jam. Jam first then clotted cream!

I really don’t understand how people put jam over cream it’s practically impossible!Tea was good. As a Brit we judge tea places quite harshly. If I say it’s a good cuppa it’s a good cuppa!

Then we had to walk off our scones! So we walked all the way up to Chalkwell. The houses along the sea front are the stuff of (lottery) dreams said the weather wasnt perfect but it was great for walking. Frank tried to give me a heart attack by almost jumping in the sea!

On-Sea Estuary

Technically it’s the estuary not the sea, but do I love it! Leigh-on-Sea has won awards for its beaches even though its not big. Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach which is a shame because Frank loves sand.

Just before the main beach there is a little bank between the buildings so we let Frank play with that stretch of sand whilst we waited!

Of course we walked all the way there and walk all the way back! It was a lovely walk and by the time we got back we were ready for a nice local pint at Ye Old Smack.

Plus I had some time for some planning! Lots of birthdays and appointments this month!

waiting for the train

We were happy. Eaten yummy scones, gorgeous ales, 15000 steps befriending lots of puppies.

We checked the train times. Still had time to snark in another drink!

This time something warm. Then home.

How was your bank holiday?

Most embarrassing moment

Personal Experience, Travel

Day 28, most embarrassing moment, 30 day blog challenge

Most embarrassing moment!

Well, there has been a few!!!!

Okay I need to take you on a little trip to an incredibly beautiful city Krakow. We had arrived and spent two days wondering the city. Heaven.

Mulled wine!

We went to lunch and had steak I think. All the food in Poland was exceptional. We had a few vodkas. Trying out the homemade flavours. Then we went to the market and tried the mulled wine. Also yummy.

Vodka

Then we went to Krakows oldest vodka bar. We did a few rounds pretty sure we had 10 shots on the table at one point. This place was cool and tiny it had 2 tables inside. A cute little bar and then to get to the toilet you had to climb up ladder type stairs to get to the top.

I was tipsy when I left

Then we went to another bar. Again we had to climp up ladders to get to our seat. Gavin asked me to get a round in.

I was drunk.

Too drunk, I needed air.

Only I didn’t go back to the bar afterwards. Instead I went back to the market place. Crawled under a stall and asked the Polish man to show me how to make a nail.

Forge a nail!

Yes this drunken Brit talked the old polish man into forging a nail. I was dressed in my fancy green skirt. Unfortunately I still had Gavins wallet on me which I promptly lost.

No idea

This is the bit I don’t remember.

Getting home. Gavin was out looking for me and when he had searched everywhere he decided to head home. I also had the key to the apartment.

Gav found me, singing to myself outside of the apartment trying to get in. He said that when he asked me where I had been I just smiled and said I made a nail. Then we walked up all those stairs and I passed out.

So I woke the next day feeling pretty okay considering I had drunk a lot of vodka. But then I had had over ten hours to sleep it off.

So embarrassed

What happened next is what was embarrassing firstly I couldn’t really remember what had happened except that I made a nail, but secondly Gavin suggested that I had stolen a nail from one of the many crucifixion statues.

I had no idea and I was horrified.

We also had no money except a few euros and technology.

It turned out I did make the nail. I remember clearly chatting away to that man and his whole family. Thinking of it now is horrifies me.

Gavin was amazing. He didn’t yell but he did make me promise never to wander of ever again.

He still doesn’t let me take his wallet in case I don’t come back. So this is the nail.

It’s a beauty.

The irony is that we traveled hand luggage only. So we had to leave the nail there!

It was a very expensive nail!

And maybe my most embarrassing moment!

I blame the good vodka.

Do you know where I will be in 5 years because I don’t!

Fitness, health, Organising, Travel, weight loss

Day 15, where will you be in 5 years, 30 day blog challenge.

I hate this question where do you see yourself?

Really I am a dreamer so I see myself as ……..dreaming.

No idea.

Knowing what I want to achieve is completely different from where I see myself. Because I don’t..

Do you? Honestly? I don’t have a five year plan I just have some goals I want to achieve. I hope I have achieved them.

So what I hope to achieve in the next 5 years!

I hope I have ticked off more of my bucket travel list. At least 15 countries would be great! Japan is next year along with a surprise for Gav for his fortieth. But Italian city’s I would love to explore! Need to learn to drive first though!

Brmm brmm

Driving ironically isn’t a hope or a goal. I would like to do it but it’s not at the top of my agenda. I feel like I wouldn’t make a good driver because I am too nervous. But that would change plus I wouldn’t have a small car! I would have a tank so that would give me bigger balls. I love Ute trucks and old fashioned range rovers with the wooden panels. I would remove the engine and put something greener in it!

Health and fitness

I hope I am a happy size 10/12 (US 6/8). I hope I do yoga and my core is strong and healthy. I hope I can run 10K without too much struggle. I hope my relationship with food is healthier.

This is the most important part. I hope I am fit, mentally and physically fit. It is a lot less about weight loss and a lot more and being healthy which is the right attitude to have. It’s the right step in a healthy direction whilst still treating myself to a dominos and chocolate 🍫 every now and again.

Courage

I hope to have more courage on the mountain. To bomb it down with the rest of them as long as it feels comfortable. To surf the powder and explore more slopes in different countries outside of the french Alps.

Doing what I want to do.

I would like to be a blogger full time?! Travel and lifestyle ( too vague to be successful, I know). Could this happen, well today is day 15. Half way through the challenge and I have almost doubled my followers, so thank you. Maybe in five years my blog will be successful

Love

I hope my marriage to Gavin is strong loving and kind. I hope that we still talk about everything and anything. I hope he doesn’t mind if I ask him in the middle of the night random questions about apocalyptic films and that I agree with Thanos.

I hope our house is filled with the pitter patter of tiny paws ( yes more dogs and cats) that I have a new kitchen and my house is clean and tidy.

Investing

I hope my savings account is nice and healthy and that I can indulge in treats for me and Gavin when ever I feel like it. I would hope that my spending habits would be healthier too. Less disposable shopping and getting back to investment pieces.

Conclusion

Okay so this was a bit of a silly blog, sorry. Like I said I don’t have a 5 year plan.

I want to be happy and healthy. I want my life to be filled with Joy. I want to be kind to everyone. I want to try a lot of gin!

Best trip of my life

Personal Experience, Travel

Day 10, Best trip of your life, 30 day blog challenge

I have so many amazing holidays most of them involve involve the Seychelles.

Saga Holiday

When I was 20 my dad mentioned that he was going home. So I asked if I could come along! It was brilliant, I hung out with all his 50year old friends and honestly I couldn’t keep up with the drinking!

From Jo bringing is home made apple schnapps, yummy, to Harry showing me his party trick which is balancing a champagne bottle in head.

My saga holiday was bloody awesome. They all looked after me and I had a great time.

Sister trip

A few years later my sister suggested that we go to Seychelles together….

We spent our days hopping on the Tata from beach to beach. Eating delicious pizza at the Pirates Arms ( that’s how long ago we went). My dad wasn’t there but we ended up watching Argentinian soap operas with my granny! We hopped on the tata to watch movies at the cinema.

When we went to Pralin our taxi driver dropped us off but refused to pick us up. So we had to walk half way around the island in the pitch black. The road was surrounded by jungle and felt like it took forever!

Romantic Trip

First time I took Gavin to Mahe. Oh it was so lovely, good meals, snorkelling for hour, great cocktails. Gavin loved it. Even when I I took him down the wrong path which meant walking 40minutes in the jungle ( we got lost) and then discover the correct path!

La Digue was beautiful and our cabin was romantic and gorgeous!

Friends

We had a group holiday to furs where? You got it. Sun fun and sand. Again we snorkels drank and swam. The best food, wonderful restaurant and a great location.

Our snorkelling boat got delayed and we ended up on a private boat all to ourselves. Littlest to little Island at high volume.

We are definitely going to do a group holiday home again.

Family trip

Last summer was my sisters 40th and due to my wedding she wasn’t coming to Britain even though she wanted to. So I flew out to spend ten glorious days with the kids, my dad and his friends.

It was so much fun! We got to explore Seychelles through their eyes! Dad rented the most amazing house a short walk from the beach and with its own little pool!

We drank gin and dad cooked most of the time and we had ice cream from an amazing shop in Victoria! Me and Vicky talked about everything under the sun, we tanned and had fresh avocados picked from the tree!

On the way back I got to spend a whole week with my mum in France. It really was a perfect trip and although I missed Gav like crazy, it was good for us.

The Seychelles

So I have been more times than I have mentioned. I like to go every two years and my dad visits me to.

You may think I am lucky, and I am. But I wish they were closer. I hate saying goodbye and I hate that with the exception of my brother and mum I have to check the time before I call them.

It may seem crazy going back to the same place again and again but I love it. I learn something new everytime.

This is my heritage.

This is my family

Is this my Island?

What are my 5 Goals…… making me plan and think!

Advice, Personal Experience, Planning, Travel, Wedding

Day7, 5 year goals, 30 day blog challenge.

So this has made me think, think about what I want for myself, my work and my relationship.

So in 5 years I want to achieve…

1 get married. I know you already know I am achieving this goal this year but it still a big one for me!

I love Gavin I want to be his wife. I can’t wait for our wedding day. Hopefully it doesn’t rain but if it does we will have to go out and buy wellies and umbrellas!

For my home

2, get a new kitchen. Can that be a goal, yes well we will have to save for it so it isn’t something we can just splurge on willy nilly. It will take time to plan and find the right bits.

Our kitchen is nice it’s just tired. The bottom of the cabinet have spit due to water issues and I really really want a dishwasher!

I also would like a cabinet next to the sink and maybe french doors that go out into the garden but we will see.

I would also love a little toilet and sink upstairs but Gavin is really against that for some unknown reason.

There a few bits around the house that are tired and need a bit of TLC and after the wedding is a good time to focus more.

3 my blog being successful

I am so greatful for every single follower it means the world to me that for some reason you would read my blog. Gav gets an update with each one I get, and I punch the sky, John Bender style.

I would love it to be even better where I can have a proper website not just a page. I would like it to reflect me a lot more. My friend is a super talented graphic designer and after all the wedding craziness is over I will be looking to her for advice.

If it was a success I could spend a lot more time on the photography. Carefully planning layouts rather than the snaps you get right now.

4 travel

Japan is on my bucket list along with Vietnam, Laos and Singapore. I would like to have visited all of these countries in the next few years. We are honeymooning in Japan and plan to stop of on the way at another destination. So that will be two ticked off my list.

I have a fair few countries in Europe I really want to go to. I have never been to Italy, there is so much I would love to explore there. I feel like Italy’s city’s deserve destinations of there very own! I have also never been to Ireland and need to visit as we have ancestors there.

Iceland, Norway and Sweden are places of such beauty that are not far away but expensive to visit so this will definitely be a highly planned exciting schedule.

So travel is a big one!

5 Working less and earning more

Is that possible? I meaning working 4 days a week instead of 6. Maybe doing my dream job/ jobs…..

I wouldn’t mind working from home once a week so I could look after my dog. Currently I work 5/6 days a week. But I set the Rita so at least I decide when I work even if it is 6 days straight. I don’t mind but it can be draining.

Perhaps in5 years I will achieve my dream job and be a blogger full time. Travelling the planet, renovating my perfect little house and writing full time.

Who knows?

I always struggle to think of answers to these questions but so far this challenge has been more about a challenge for me to understand what I want rather than a challenge of writing a blog everyday!

I am really enjoying this!

I dream of recruitment? Do I?

Planning, Travel

Day 4, Dream career, 30 day blog challenge

Does such a thing As a dream job exist? Lots of you will say yes and you do it. A few of my friends are in their dream career. But having a dream and following a dream are too different things.

When I was a kid I had a lot of dreams I wanted to be a vet, marine biologist. I had a great science teacher and I find science and factS so fascinating. But I was good at art!

I love my job! If I could tweet it a bit it would be my dream job but I have other dreams….

Travel dreams

I dream of being a travel writer, exploring and writing about food and experiences all over the world. I could easily spend a month in all the countries of Asia, embracing cultures, eating, seeing and absorbing.

My list of places to visit increases all the time. I am always enthused to visit a country and being European there really is no excuse not to travel to Europe more.

I don’t have a favourite country as I haven’t been to them all. I have always enjoyed writing. I used to make up stories all the time.

But being dyslexic even though it is only mildly, holds me back. I loved English at school. I had a great teacher, thank you Miss Dunlop, she was also my drama teacher. But I was a B Student. I never thought I was good enough to be a writer.

I was good at art at school I didn’t excel at much else, so I was never motivated to write.

It’s something that I love so much!

It would truely be a dream job!

Designer Dreams

I also dream of being an interior designer. I love interiors I used to say that Elle decoration was my bible and Habitat was my Church! Very uncouth I know. But that is how I felt.

That was until the world went Scandinavian interior mad and I got bored. Bored of seeing white boxes and pale greys on every page. I think the world is still a little Scandi mad! If you follow me on Instagram you will see that most of the accounts I follow are interiors.

I have an eclectic taste. I love colour and sentiment. I don’t think you should buy something because it’s on trend but because you love it. You home is like your wardrobe you should invest in it! You should care about each piece. There is nothing wrong with a few pieces that you bought and regret. Nor a few trend pieces to update your house but the landfill doesn’t need any more faux sheepskins that take a 100 years to biodegrade.

I abhor content creators who fill the dump with their mistakes. A house can eve live and change but you should not be flippant with it. Pieces of furniture should be something your love.

I probably would not make a great interior designer because I am too passionate about the craftmanship that goes into each piece.

Artist

I paint and draw and I dream of a time I actually have time to paint and progress my art but I don’t.

This is something I am good at and maybe after the wedding it need to be something that I actually focus on in my spare time. After all with how people shop now I could create a career from my own little house!

Or at least I don’t have time to draw and paint. I am planning on getting my MA in the future I just don’t know when that will be.

This

I would love for blogging to turn into a career. I know that there are many bloggers out their and I am definitely not niche enough to get a massive following but I have been doing this for a year now and get so excited with every single follower and like.

If this was my full time job then maybe I could incorporate my other dreams within it.

We will see!

We need to talk about Mario!

Personal Experience, Travel

So I loved Bulgaria. It was a wonderful week of great weather, pristine slopes, mountain dogs and my instructor.

I am a nervous snowboarder. Anything can unnerve me. On our first day my friend Jamie’s hit an edge and dislocated his shoulder. Not much of a holiday for him. As this happened on the first day I decided enough was enough I needed a lesson. I need to rebuild my confidence and go back to basics.

Private Lessons

So the lessons were really reasonable and the quality of them was brilliant. I have never had a private lesson before. Even when I have had lesson with group of 3 I have always been the last down the mountain or struggling to catch up. In France if you get lost they just leave you to find your own way back.

I cant be hard on the french instructors as their job is to get the best out of you as fast as possible. But for me however this type of learning doesn’t work. I hate to be last and I just end up being frustrated.

So i asked at the Samokov hotel Ski school for a lesson. I was really lucky. I got Mario! He was so nice and kind and new exactly how to handle me.

The first thing he said was not to worry we can go at my own pace and take our time till my confidence builds up.

He guided me through every turn, every patch of ice, he even held held my hand when I turned toe side edge of a steep red. His control of the board was a thing of wonder.

Encouragement

I mentioned earlier that racing down the mountain and always trying to catch my breath wasn’t the best training for me. The problem with being slow and last is you never get time to rest. People are always waiting for you. So by the time you catch up it times to push on again.

With Mario it was different.

All his encourage made me want to try harder and face my fears. The reds in Bulgaria were gorgeous and wide. So even though it was steep with a few patches of ice, the slope was amazing.

I pushed my self everyday, with every lesson and really enjoyed myself. In the end I I chose to have 4 lessons. I looked forward to hitting the snow. And on day 3 the snow was pretty perfect. Fresh powder is a snowboarders best friend. Even I was hitting the fresh snow and attempting little jumps ( completely failed) and loving it.

Yes I fell over a few times but it didn’t put me off!

Doing it for me

I normally spend my time with Linda, she skis, I board, we encourage each other down harder slopes. We drink vin chaud to reward ourselves and always have a great time. This time with her husband injured she didn’t want to leave him. His accident unnerved her skiing!

Normally each holiday I have a few good days of boarding and a few shitty days of hating it. This time I enjoyed every single day. Considering I didn’t spend most of my days without the group I really enjoyed myself. I snowboarded for my self.

Mario was the reason for this

I needed his encouragement and advice. The main thing he taught me:

  • Relax
  • Don’t bend your knees too much ( thats the fear)
  • Don’t panic
  • Stop looking down
  • Look where you are going
  • Don’t panic

Don’t loose my bottle!

I just kept going.  I went from top to bottom turning the whole way. I freaked out at the narrow flats but Mario got me cruising along them. I still freaked out about them but he had me linking all my turns.

He told me I get stuck in my head when I should just relax. I can do it, I have a lot of control and I know what to do, I just don’t push myself.

He also said that being in a group can be hard. That when your the best you excel but when you aren’t the best, it can affect your confidence. That’s why me going with a smaller group is good. That’s why me, Linda and John make such a good team.

I do feel a wee bit bad because everything Mario told me  Gav has said a million times. The problem with boarding with your loved one is when they tell you what you are doing wrong you can tell them to eff off! He gets frustrated with me, i get frustrated with him. he will spend 8 hours boarding… me not so much.

I get annoyed at Gav too easily even though he wants the best for me. But he pushes me to the point were I don’t want to prove myself. I need Linda to ease myself down the mountain.

Lessons learnt

I need to snowboard for myself.

I need to do what I want when I want. If I want to take myself off the mountain. If I want to get up late spend a few glorious hours boarding followed by a leisurely lunch. If I want to have a few drinks and watch Linda put her mittens on the wrong hands, then laugh all the way down the mountain, then I am going to do it.

Doing it for me.

Its my holiday too and should enjoy myself.

A little thank you

To Gavin, for putting up with my snowboarding nerves for years. I think I have lost my tittle of worlds slowest snowboarder. ( Maybe I am the third slowest definitely need a medal!).

To Linda, for always being my drinking slope buddy. For encouraging me and supporting me then having another drink just for fun! and for putting your mitten on the wrong hand!

And to Mario, for being the best instructor a girl could wish for. If you are staying at the Samokov Hotel in Borovets then please ask for Mario. I can’t recommend him enough.

I hope I will always have a little Mario on my shoulder guiding me down the mountain. Encouraging me so that I constantly improve.

Because I want to!