I often lose track of what’s important in my busy daily life – something we can all be guilty of. I hyper-focus on things which are meaningless, fill my life with STUFF and don’t spend enough time looking at the world around me with intrigue. So, this year my Summer Wishlist is a pretty short one…
I’ve now been to Switzerland twice, and seen a fair amount of the countryside and towns. I have to say, I absolutely love it! It’s somewhere you can get some real relaxation, or check out vibrant city-life, or just pause while you take in the breath-taking views.
There are so many reasons to visit Switzerland that aren’t on here, because I’m just one girl and I’m not the authority on Switzerland but, here are a few things I’d recommend!
Very recently I’ve been cycling round and round between over-stressed and uber-motivated. Although I love my busy lifestyle and get bored without it, I tend to let myself get burnt out. I am pretty sure there are tons of you out there like me!
So this weekend, when my fiance and I went on a mini-break to Switzerland, I knew I had to let myself relax. I planned beforehand to take a load of blog photos and while we did get some great shots, I didn’t let it govern the holiday’s activities. I think sometimes, it’s important to enjoy the little things and not see life from behind a phone or camera.
Harry Potter Studios is one of the most magical places on earth. I REALLY don’t want to spoil anything for you and I’d encourage everyone who likes HP to go, so please look away now if you don’t want to see the details…
Are you still here? Okay, good.
It’s the most Magical Time of the Year!
I revisited the Harry Potter Studios this week, for an exclusive evening tour which included a meal, Butterbeer and a Guidebook (plus entry til midnight!) The drive there was great as I brought along Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit and absolutely smashed the competition – as any Ravenclaw would.
“My Dad Wrote a Porno” was my gateway into podcasts. It’s a podcast that no-one has spoken to me about, other than the person who shared it with me or the people I shared it with, and I didn’t realise it was so worldly renowned. However, when I mentioned the other night on Facebook that I went to see My Dad Wrote a Porno Live (MDWAP Live), so many fans came out of the woodwork!
For those who aren’t familiar with this podcast – it’s the best! 3 friends getting together to discuss one of their dad’s (lovingly rubbish) smutty self-published novels, “Belinda Blinked.”
Goodwood Revival has always been my home from home. As some of you may know, I adore 1940’s and 50’s attire, so once a year I get to dress in the most beautiful vintage dresses and head off into a festival entirely set in the past. This year was no exception and Goodwood was just as enjoyable as ever. I would say the weather definitely put a dampener on it but you can’t help that!
Goodwood Revival has changed so much over the years I’ve been there. It seems to have gained popularity with casual festival-goers and in turn, they’re popping up more VIP areas… Coincidence? Perhaps not.
However, there are the same vibes flowing through those crowds as there always has been! Everyone is encouraged to dress up and get involved and they keep introducing new things all the time. If you don’t wear period style dress to the event I am basically disowning you now, sorry not sorry.
So what’s involved?
If you aren’t scared of anything, are you even human? I have a few irrational fears, the kind that few people share and aren’t based on real explanations (like heights, drowning etc.) I am so disturbed by one of these fears, that I can’t mention it in case friends decide it would be funny to send me pictures of said creatures, my other is bathophobia.
Bathophobia; is a fear of unknown depths. (Not a fear of baths.) Places of utter blackness deep beneath the world, and my particular phobia relates to water too. I often get bad dreams about the vastness of the sea and rivers that defy gravity and surround me. I’d promised myself I’d address this fear and so this week when going on a trip to the Peak District I decided to face my fear!
Part of my 30 goals to complete over the next two years involves going to see a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. I chose Salome by Oscar Wilde as he is one of my favourite writers. So here’s my write up – a chance for me to exercise my long-lost analytical skills and offer a mini-review of the play. The play is described as “a tragedy in one act”. For a plot write up you can click here but otherwise, let’s carry on!
Gender Bending, Done Right
Time for the most photo-heavy post ever as I’ve just returned from Amsterdam! We had a brilliant time trying to get a good alternative Amsterdam experience that isn’t just getting high or visiting the tourist traps. Here are just a few main points on the things I found the best (and the worst) from the little cross-section we got.
As always all my own opinion – unsponsored and completely biased.
Room Mate Aitana
Alternative Amsterdam Museum Day
Shamelessly drunk in the daytime…
Moving on, we walked back up through the Red Light District in the early evening and the atmosphere had changed dramatically. The pubs were overflowing, smoke filled the air, the lights were glaring and the ladies were out in force (it wasn’t even 6-pm). Of course, there were no pictures allowed but I have to say it should be on everyone’s travel bucket list!
Killing Time Highlights
We saw the outdoor chess board in tribute to the famous Dutch Chess Player Max Euwe with a little group playing chess in the sun.
We visited the IAmsterdam sign and the Modern Art Gallery gift shop which was full of amazing art and design literature. It made me realise we need a bigger library…
As I spent last weekend visiting Brighton, I decided to do a quick review of what I’ve learnt about it over my many trips there! Brighton is like my home from home – I feel like I really belong there and if I could, I’d happily live there. I have visited at all times of the year, doing “the tourist thing” and also exploring with friends that live nearby, which helps when you’re trying to find out the places where the locals go!
So here is a very brief guide to visiting Brighton – where to go, what to see and sometimes where to give a miss (despite the hype). Every time I visit I am exploring more and more, so I am sure there will be updates as I go! As always, my completely biased and unsponsored opinion -please feel free to completely disagree!
Sights to See
Street artists in Brighton are extremely talented. You won’t find just scribbled tags here – every alleyway (and sometimes the frontages) are covered with artwork. Every time I visit the walls have changed and new artwork has appeared. It just makes everything just that little more interesting and vibrant.
The South Lanes (at night and in the day)
The reason I’ve put the lanes in the sights category is that they can be very busy – too busy to even get a look-in at the shops! If you’re going there in the day I’d recommend a weekday, and I’d also say, bring lots of money… It’s home to the famous ChoccyWoccyDooDah and other awesome establishments.
In the evening, it’s really atmospheric – walking through on a warm Saturday night I came across glowing little restaurants, iconic pubs and bars and really talented buskers setting the scene for us.
Another place I’ve put in the sights category rather than the “buy” – it’s great if you are out to buy some awesome curiosities but, I never have enough money to spend! I think one reason for the pricing is its commercialism, but it is the ultimate bric-a-brac store. It’s a treasure trove of quirky stuff! If you’re there for the unusual then definitely worth a purchase, but if not then do shop around first!
I will forego the cliché pictures of the burned down pier… But seriously there are some cool things to see on the sea-front. The pier, the permanent carousel, the pub that looks like a ship, the kissing picture, the big… doughnut thing? Awesome.
Places to Buy All the Things
Churchill Square (and the surrounding area)
The main shopping centre for Brighton, which has all of the core shops you’d expect on the high street – plus some extras! The Lego Store, Pylones and Scribbler (to name but a few they don’t have in my city)… I even enjoy high-street shopping more when visiting Brighton than at home!
Coming from a city deprived of any real ‘alternative’ shops, when I visit the North Laine I tend to spend ALL of my money! Everything is so colourful and different to anywhere else I’ve seen! Camden eat your heart out! There are no cheap crappy remakes and big chains here – each shop is unique and wonderful. Another place to visit on a weekday.
This is Not a Butchers (etc.)
The name, the weird and funny stuff to buy – just a great little shop filled with quirky gifts. I told myself I wouldn’t name any specific shop to go and buy things in but, this one is just really cool. To make it a bit fairer, I will also mention I love to shop in Tuff Tarts, LUST! and Pussy too. (Yes, they’re the actual names.)
Eateries and Drinking Establishments
Burgers and Cocktails
I find it difficult to put the label “the best burger I’ve ever had” onto any burger, but Burgers and Cocktails has to be one of the most memorably awesome burger joint experiences EVER. Their nachos are to die for, their fries – sublime, and don’t get me started on the cocktails. They were half price for happy hour so my friend and I tried four as a matter of course. No regrets!
This place is just the best! It’s got an amazing atmosphere, and even more amazing mixologists. They play old school jazz, rock and roll and blues music. I am yet to go when they’re hosting an event / live band but it’s on the list! I didn’t take any pictures here because I was too busy dancing my pop socks off!
As soon as you hit the Lanes coming from the train station, you come across La Choza. The amazing smell of burritos hit you as soon as you pass it and on more than one occasion it’s drawn me in! I’ve heard there’s also a La Choza kitchen at the Hare and Hound pub should the restaurant itself be too busy.
The North/South Lanes
I cannot name these few places above without giving a bit of a catch-all header for all the other amazing independent restaurants and cafes. There is such a vast choice available that I couldn’t write down all the places I’ve been to/have yet to go to! My advice to you is; get off the high-street, go to the lanes and just follow your nose!
Places to do Nothing at all
The gardens surrounding the Pavillion are great to visit in the summer – just to chill and not do a lot. I’ve not been inside yet, but the outside is just stunning! There are always (super talented) buskers playing soft/jazzy music as you relax in the sun – Bliss!
Rent a deck-chair, have some fish and chips and do absolutely nothing at all! Visiting Brighton’s stony beach means no sand between your toes (yuck); you can just enjoy the sea. Coming from a landlocked city I definitely appreciate it!
…is a new experience every time. Over the last 4 years, I’ve been countless times and loved every moment. I never felt like I was doing the same old thing or felt out of place!
I could continue but I feel like you need to explore for yourselves if you haven’t been already!
If you have been I’d love to know your thoughts and recommendations on some good places to visit!
Until next time,