A blog about travel, books and navigating your twenties in one piece

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Currently #07

Reading :: Wild by Cheryl Strayed. I'm only 100 or so pages in but wow, is this book great. The advert for the film of this book starring Reese Witherspoon drew my attention to Strayed's story and I finally got around to picking it up a couple of months ago. I'm sure most of you have heard about this book by now, so I'll just say that with every page I read I am more and more in awe of Strayed and her strength. By the sounds of things, at the time she was carrying out the Pacific Crest Trail she had no idea of how amazing she was. Quite frankly reading this book is making me want to do some sort of hike solo myself - alas I don't think I'll ever be strong enough to do that. Nonetheless, Wild is a truly wonderful read and I can't recommend it enough.

Eating :: ALL THE ITALIAN FOOD. I got back from Italy on Monday admittedly so I'm not eating Italian food right now (post on the holiday hopefully coming in the next few days!). But surely it would be wrong to leave out all the pizza and pasta and gelato if I'm going to write about what I've been eating. Having never been to Italy before, I couldn't wait to taste the food, and it definitely lived up to my expectations! I'm still daydreaming about a giant ham and mushroom pizza I ate last weekend by the beach; it was heaven on a plate!

Thinking about :: How disconcerting it can be when you think you know someone and then they turn out to be so different from what you once believed them to be. It's safe to say I've felt a bit disappointed over the past couple of days and it's made me reevaluate who I really want to spend my time with. I suppose in many ways it's a good thing and serves to remind me how lucky I am to have some really wonderful friends. Nonetheless, I don't think I'll ever get over the initial shock and pain of someone surprising you like this.

Watching :: Once Upon A Time. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before but I am absolutely addicted to this show. I started watching it a couple of months ago and I can't stop. My friend Lish has been watching it along with me, so I've slowed down recently to let her catch up so that we can watch the second half of series four together. I never knew fairytale characters being brought to our world could make for such good viewing, or that they could teach some really important lessons.

Loving :: Being in the middle of the summer holiday. It really is so lovely to have time to relax and see friends, without having any work to hand in or think about for what feels like the first time in forever! I'm trying to make sure I enjoy every minute of it so that it's not wasted.

I hope July's treated you well, and here's to August being a good'un! xo

Saturday, 25 July 2015

On What I'm Currently Listening To #01

I hadn't listened to James Morrison for such a long time when I heard this song the other day. And now I've fallen right back in love with his beautiful words. One Life is a song that I can listen to again and again and again.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

On A Day Out At Highclere Castle

Isn't this grey and rainy weather horrid? On Sunday my friend Lucy and I went to visit Highclere Castle (aka the Downton Abbey castle) and the weather was absolutely beautiful - a stark contrast to how it is today. This kind of weather always seems to make me sleepy and irritable, so it's lucky I'm off to Italy tomorrow for a few days, and here's hoping the sun will put his hat back on in the UK very soon too!

Lucy was the one who got me watching and loving Downton Abbey a few years ago, before which I'd dismissed it as a show for grannies and the like! But as soon as Luce sat me down and made me watch it I was hooked. It's such a great show and so very English with a few scandalous storylines thrown in for good measure - what's not to love?! So, knowing how much Lucy loves Downton, my friends and I bought her two summer tickets to visit Highclere Castle (where lots of it is filmed) for her birthday in December. Having felt like months since we got the tickets, we couldn't entirely believe that we were actually going this past weekend!

The castle really is as stunning as it looks on tv in real life. Once we'd made our way into the grounds we sat ourselves down on the grass and began to make our way through the most perfect picnic I've ever had. It featured ham and cheese rolls, crisps, strawberries, fresh lemonade, triple chocolate mousses; it was all so delicious! Life really doesn't get much better than sitting on the grass in the sun with such stunning views and my best friend.

Once we'd decided we couldn't possibly eat anymore (for the time being!), we made our way into the castle itself and had a look round. Sadly you aren't allowed to take any photos inside the castle, but it was so fun to explore and see where so many iconic Downton scenes are filmed.

Having seen every inch on show of the inside of the castle, we had a look around the gift shop before returning to the lovely castle gardens to resume eating more of our picnic and chatting about everything. It's funny to think how long me and Luce have known each other now and I'm so grateful to have her in my life. I know I say this a lot but I really am so lucky to have friends like this, ones you can tell anything to, who are always there to laugh with you and listen when you need them. Moving house two years ago has really shown me what a strong friendship is; one where, no matter that you don't see each other every day, when you do see each other you just pick up where you left off, straight into giggles and catching up about everything.

Sunday was a really wonderful day out and I'd recommend visiting Highclere Castle to any Downton Abbey fans. Although I would suggest not going on a Sunday as we did if you're not driving because the only way to get up to the castle from the station on Sundays is by taxi which are extortionately priced!

I hope you're all having a lovely summer xo

Thursday, 16 July 2015

On Becoming


The best way I can sum up these girls is as my soul sisters. These girls make me laugh until I cry, put up with me no matter what, show me what it's all really about. We had a sleepover last night and three of us found ourselves talking for an hour and a half about everything. It was the kind of conversation where you learn things about not only the others, but about yourself too. Things that you never noticed before. The kind that reminds you that people are people. That we're all learning, and growing, and becoming.

I was listening to a Hank Green and Emma Blackery podcast earlier in which Emma talked about the importance of our regrets in that they are what make it clear that we've grown. She talked about the importance of being a better person every single day. And that really resonated with me, especially after the conversation with my friends last night. So now I want to put it into practice; to better myself in all parts of my life.

I've been a bit all over the place over the past few weeks. Not unhappy per se, yet not entirely myself either. But reminiscing with these girls about how far we've all come and looking to who we're becoming and what it really means to grow was the wake up call I'd been waiting for. One that brought me back here to write, and to reflect, and to grow.

* Photo taken on the Barcelona Metro last week.
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