25 Jul 2016

Off to Iceland

Iceland

WE’RE OFF TO ICELAND.

Yes, right now. Literally as you read this, I’m sat on a train in my best comfy travelling clothes (basically pjs let’s be honest) on my way to Manchester airport and being that person who hops onto a commuter train on a Monday morning with their suitcase.

Soz little commuter pals; I know it’s a dickish move.

I imagine they’ll be silence over here for the next 10 days or so unless I can hook up to wifi then who knows? Although I am going to attempt to do a little internet detox whilst I’m out there cos lol, defs addicted.

Cept we all know I’ll be updating instagram the moment I find any wifi cos I’m weak okay.

Basically I’ll do an internet detox when finding wifi has proved impossible... Um, that counts right?

Good one Kate.

I don’t know what to tell you.

I’m tired and run down with a definite need-a-break-from-reality feeling going on. Which is probably very good timing. But not seeing G for two weeks feels more challenging than I thought it would right now.

But I am also so excited. It’s kinda hidden under the run-downness and the standard holiday prep; is my bag too heavy, where the fuck did I leave my passport, HOW MANY PAIRS OF KNICKERS SHOULD I TAKE? That kinda shiz. But the excitement is there. I’m sure it’ll burst out once we’ve got through the living hell that is airports and flying. When we land in Reykjavik and there’s a ten day adventure ahead of us.

I don’t know what to expect and that makes it all a bit magical.

There really, truly, is nothing like a new adventure.

See ya in ten days babies.

24 Jul 2016

Bubble Bridge

Bubble Bridge

Tired of London, tired of life.

I freakin' hate that saying.

If you're tired of London, it's probably cos the tube has been suspended, because you're so damn sick of breathing in pure exhaust fumes, and spending a small fortune on a sandwich and people being so goddamn rude and why the heck are we all running around everywhere?! I have half an hour to do a 15 minute walk; WHY AM I RUNNING AND SWEATY AND OUT OF BREATH.

Maybe you're tired of London because you just need a flippin' break.

I can't escape London. I love it and I hate it. I wish I could leave yet worry what I'd do without it.

I'm pretty sure I'm in an abusive relationship with a city.

This photo was taken when I'd chosen to be in London. When I'd voluntarily left my flat, got on a Thameslink train ON A SUNDAY and headed into the capital.

I walked from Blackfriars to City Hall, to meet some friends from uni that I hadn't seen in an age. I saw people basking in the sun and I smelt authentic street food. I saw niggledy (is that a word?) little street corners that I would usually ignore and made my way through the crowds without an ounce of irritation. I walked along the water and marvelled at the architecturally-unique skyscrapers reflecting in the Thames. And I saw children running around in the sun, chasing bubbles.

I took this photo on a day when I loved London.

22 Jul 2016

A Year of Blogging


A Year of Blogging

I'm currently typing this on my iPad and bluetooth-connected keyboard. My iPad is lying flat on the sofa, only just in the corner of my eye, and the keyboard is on my lap, physically unconnected. I'm mindlessly writing whilst staring at a darn sexy view of Dartmouth from the top of the valley. I am literally writing with a view. This is when technology is pretty flippin marvellous. It's started to chuck it down outside but that's okay cos I've whacked on G's hoody and a thick pair of socks and the rain falling on the trees outside the bathroom makes it sound like you're in a rain forest when you're in the there with the window open. Pissing in a rainforest. Hashtag life goals.

Anyway.

It's been a whole year (well it will have been by the time you read this) since this little corner of the Internet came into existence.

One whole year.

Kinda making that sound unnecessarily dramatic; a year isn't really that long. But I feel it needs acknowledging; that my blog needs a little wave.

Hiyaaaa babes!

Cos it feels so much longer than a year; how can it have only been one year?! This little babe has somehow managed to get herself so well integrated into my life that I don't believe you when you tell me she's only been around a year. No, you're in denial.

This blog represents a lot for me. This blog represents taking back control of my life after running around flapping and screaming like an actual seagull for over a year and a half after leaving uni. It represents making the decision to focus on the things I love; that I will always be one of those people who works to live. It represents the realisation that it's okay to not have your shit together; that being happy and focusing on the small things is enough.

This blog came about soon after I met G which changed everything. It came about when I realised that writing and exploring and laughing at the confusion and uncertainty were all so much more fulfilling then crying cos I didn't have a career plan or a clue what I was supposed to do.

I'm so glad this blog gave me my writing mojo back, I'm so glad it gives me a space to document and explore this time of life. I'm so glad of its little readership, and how people have taken the time to tell me that my words made them laugh or cry. I'm so glad I plucked up the courage to create this little space.

Happy Birthday A Belly Full of Words; I'm so excited to see what your second year will bring.

20 Jul 2016

Everything you need to know for a lazy weekend in Dartmouth, Devon


Dartmouth, Devon

Hi there pals, how’s it going? I’m writing this SAT OUTSIDE. Like, sure, I’m wearing a thick pair of socks (can you tell I wrote this before this melting-level heatwave hit?) but who even cares? It’s July and finally warm enough to sit on the terrace with my laptop and pretend I’m like a writer in a film. Rather than a writer who has spent the past few hours trying to make a dent in the huge pile of dirty washing we seem to have acquired and despairing over the fact that I have definitely managed to work my way through three quarters of a jumbo pack of chocolate digestives in less than a week. Ain’t life so glam?

So, yeah. Dartmouth. A cute little town in Devon that you need to be checking out asap. My rents looooove this place. Like they have a flat there and everything. Pretty sure getting a second home is how you know you’ve made it in life.

Here’s a little guide of things to be doing, based on my knowledge built up over several visits.

Boat trip from Totnes

So, if you’re not driving, the best way to get to Dartmouth is to get a train to Totnes which is around 3 hours from London Paddington (unless you get caught up in a bants derailment crisis and somehow end up in Winchester – more here). Totnes is about 12 miles from Dartmouth and it will cost you around £30 in a taxi. OR you could wander down to the water and get a boat there. There are loads of different boat trips between Totnes and Dartmouth, some of which will probably take you straight there. But the one time I made the effort to go get a boat, my best pal and I got one that took you on a two hour trip, giving you a load of local history and just generally letting you chill on the top deck of the boat with the sun on your face and breeze in your hair. We got super lucky cos the weather was an utter babe so it was one dreamy experience. But even if the weather isn’t so great, it’s different and fun, and cheaper to get the boat. Also takes you right into Dartmouth’s harbour so boom, you’re in the centre of town straight away.


Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


Brunch at Alf's

Where everyone goes for brunch. And I do mean everyone. The entire of bloody Devonshire likes to queue outside of this place, particularly at the weekend. So go on a weekday pals. This was always my favourite place to brunch in Dartmouth, but this time around I did go and check out Bayard’s Cove Inn and their smoked salmon was so babin’ that my loyalties are now confused. But I’ll still recommend Alf’s to anyone. It’s quirky and rustic and has a everyone-and-anyone vibe going on. The banana milkshakes are on point as well *insert circular fingers emoji*.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon



Bayard's Cove Inn

Like I said, this place made me question things. Like maybe Alf’s wasn’t the best place for brunch and lunch. Cos I had both at Bayard’s Cove Inn and oh maaaan, so good. The smoked salmon really was the best thing I have ever given my taste buds. But go try both and judge for yourself.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


Walk to Blackpool Sands

Okay so you could just drive the few miles down the road, or get the 15 minute bus but if you wanna feel like you’re walking off that 7th cream tea (hey, I ain’t judging) and see some pretty babin’ views, then I’d suggest walking the coastal route.

I will admit that the first time G and I walked this route, we might have taken a bit of a detour along some rocks which you definitely could not walk along and might  have had to have retraced our steps and might have forgotten to bring any kind of water so were majorly dehydrated and were all like is this how we die or...? So yeah, take water. And stick to the map.

The walk takes about two hours and, just FYI, there is a hill about half way that’s steeper than freakin’ Everest and will make you all kinds of attractive sweatiness.

Those coastal views though. Definitely enough to make you want to go live on the edge of a cliff and buy your own boat and be like what is this London you speak of? And walking down the hill with the view of all of Blackpool Sands is just the one. In my opinion, Blackpool Sands is one of the most beautiful beaches ever; it’s just this dreamy, tropical-like beaut. Although, it’s not actually sand. Soz. Cakes full of all kinds of gooey goodness in the cafe though.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


Bushell's

For an intimate, candlelit dinner; this is the place. Full of fresh, local produce; it’s the kind of place where they bring you warm bread without you even asking. Isn’t this basically what we all aim for in life? I used to think this place was quite pricey but then, lol, started spending all my life in London. The entire front of the restaurant is made up of a big circular window which overlooks the harbour and you can walk back along the front and pretend you’re in some kind of romantic film (rather than waddling back clutching your food baby). 

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


The Floating Bridge

A pub/restaurant if you’re looking for a more chilled one. There’s a seating area out the front which is practically on the water. You can watch all the boats bobbing around, the ferry going back and forth, the steam train chugging by, and make friends with ducks.

Hashtag life goals.

There’s also a dreamy rooftop terrace that catches the evening sun, and they do the best fish n chips in Dartmouth. Just FYI, get the small fish. Medium is generous even for a food lover like me and the large will basically be like your very own woman vs food episode.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


The Castle 

A bit closer to home is the castle which sits right on the edge before the land just dramatically drops into the sea. It’s easy to find from the centre of town; just follow the signs. I’ve never been that fussed about going inside but the castle looks cute sat guarding the harbour entrance and you can sit outside the cafe, drinking wine and looking out at the horizon. Not too shabby eh?

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


Sugary Cove 

If you continue up the path from the castle and round the coast a lil bit (only a few minutes walk), you’ll come to Sugary Cove which is basically a secret little cove straight outta Poldark or summat. You gotta go down some steep, crumbling steps (and yes, that does mean you’ve got to walk up them again) but more often than not, you get the little beach to yourself. You’re welcome.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon

A chilled evening in

Because these babies important. You’ll need supplies so hit up The Deli at Dartmouth for a cheese counter full of dreams, chutneys, snazzy crackers... no you’re so middle class.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon


Mooch

Dartmouth is pretty as hell. Just go wandering for a while. There's cute shops and cafes on every corner, and even a little cinema. Also there’s a steam train that goes back and forth on the other side of the water and it defs looks like The Hogwarts Express. Just hitting you up with Harry Potter spots cos every place should have one.

My favourite mooch spot is walking/sitting along the front - particularly in the evening when it's gone all quiet. Dartmouth definitely has a Mediterranean feel to it and along the front is prime time to gaze at the pretty colourful house built into the hillside and imagine you're on a Greek island.

Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon
Dartmouth, Devon

17 Jul 2016

17 thoughts of an anxious flyer

Anxious flyer

1) What if someone snuck a bomb, 3 bags of cocaine and a terrorist midget in my bag when I was buying my almond croissant? 

2) I wonder if anyone has actually attempted to take an electric drill on holiday with them? 

3) Didn’t set off the metal detector. Pure elation.

4) Oh no wait, yes I did. Now they’re going to awkwardly pat my crotch. There really ain’t nothing up there pal. 

5) Do nail scissors count as a weapon?

6) Wait, there’s defs half a pack of paracetamol at the bottom of my bag. What country am I going to? Is it one of those where paracetamol is illegal? AM I GOING TO BE ARRESTED FOR DRUG SMUGGLING?

7) “Flying is just like getting a train.” Oh fuck off. 

8) I am now going to spend some quality time with my brain, envisioning every air disaster I have ever heard of. 

9) No but, seriously, what did happen to flight MH370?? 

10)  Turbulence. Thou art satan.

11) I feel sick. I can't hear anything. I'm hungry. Ears have popped. Probably deaf forever now. I'm hungry. Feel sick.

12) Oooo Pringles. 

13) WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS ARCTIC CHILL?! 

14) Spent the entire flight shivering, step off the plane and feel sweaty and grubby as hell. Logic. 

15) Oh THANK GOD. My perfectly valid passport was allowed through customs. 

16) Think I got away with the moment he asked where I’d flown in from and I went ‘er, um, er....’ Basically, my tongue stopped working and I looked like a tongue-less twat. Good. 

17) Is the hearing in my left ear ever gonna return or nah...? 

12 Jul 2016

Flying from Budapest

Flying from Budapest

I am at Budapest airport, it's 33c and I have sweat in places I didn't even know could sweat.

Soz for the over share. 

I've just brought a fresh bottle of water which is already warm and some questionable-looking Hungarian sweets for the plane cos my ears pop faster than a balloon when flying.

I have just said goodbye to two of my oldest friends after a pretty dreamy 3 days together and made my way to the airport by myself (she says like a proud 5 year old).

I've got one of them feelings. Like I'm in a film and life-is-pretty-smashing music is playing in the background (obviously there's less sweat in this movie moment). Life can be pretty special can't it?

Going to Budapest was a somewhat spontaneous decision. I mean, I didn't just decide to go the night before cos lol, as if I'm that spontaneous.

I knew my two galpals had decided to book a relatively last minute Europe trip, travelling to Budapest, Vienna and Rome but I knew I didn't have the cash or annual leave to join at such short notice so I wished them a fab time but sadly declined.

But then, well, there was just a moment. A moment of 'oh fuck it'. A moment of ‘just goddam make it happen’. Work with what you've got.

Life is short. Hashtag clich├ęd instagrammer but, hey, you know it is. When you look back at the 'best moments of your life’, it won't be smugly looking at your full ISA account or working that extra hour in the office. It will be actual, proper moments. Moments full of laughter and glorious, beautiful people. Moments which make smelling armpits on your commute, and dragging yourself through the working day and every other daily frustration worth it.

When I look back at the last few days in Budapest, I won't think of my thinly-stretched bank account or having to argue for the day of leave at short notice. I'll think of spending actual, continuous quality time with some of my oldest friends, which happens so rarely these days. I'll think of drinking strawberry lemonade looking over the Danube. I'll think of our child-like excitement over eating candy floss. I'll think of the incredible water/light show we accidentally stumbled across on Margaret island. I'll think of the three of us lying on my bed swapping photos and laughing.

I'll think of the moments.

I didn't have the cash or the leave to go on a mini travelling trip around Europe, but I had enough for something. Something pretty special. So I made it work.

I think what I’m trying to say here is that there will always be a reason not to do something. There will always be money worries, money that you think you can’t part with. There will always be life admin that needs doing, limited annual leave. But you have to make it work. For those moments.

Work with whatever you have, but for godsake, make it work.

And on that note, I'm going to head to my gate and hope the guy next to me doesn't notice the wet patch I leave on the seat cos ffs still sweating.

Bye babes.

2 Jul 2016

Seaweed & Acne


Acne

How's your acne? (You can have that chat up line for free babes; works every time.)

Bad skin runs in my family, apart from my sister who has clear skin and a little waist and flat stomach. Like seriously, where did that little Barbie-child come from?

When the joyous teenaged years arrived, and that lil babin’ angry red skin crept across my face, it was bad enough that the doctor popped me on a steady diet of antibiotics. For a bit, they did actually do the trick. It never cleared up completely but enough to hide with make-up which I guess is all a 15 year old really cares about.

But then it came back. Uninvited. Kinda like one of those awkward moments at a party when that idiot shows up.

I mean, it never reverted back to pre-antibiotics but it was enough for me to be like FFS, yet I never went back to the old doc. Probs cos I was at uni and wasn't actually registered with a doctor. Hashtag student life.

These days, I don’t really remember having a face that didn’t have a red, blotchy thing going on. I don’t even blink when my face cracks and bleeds and I’m used to gritting my teeth when someone is complaining about having one little spot on their otherwise-perfectly-clear chin. In some of my low points, my mum, bless her heart, has offered to pay for me to have treatment privately.

Compared to many people, I’m that gal complaining about having the one spot and I totally appreciate that. It could be worse. A lot worse. But it still doesn’t mean that I don’t feel frustrated that I never grew out of it or have a low moment in front of the mirror, or find myself unconsciously running my fingers across my bumpy cheek.

The other day, I was looking into some kind of seaweed face-mask/moisturiser/magical unicorn cream. The internet had told me seaweed was good for acne. Time to go faceplank the beach.

Problem was the magic seaweed lotion was pricey. And there isn't actually a guarantee that it works. Seaweed is just one of the many, many, MANY things that the internet tells us cures acne. Look it up if you’ve got several years of your life to waste.

And that, right there, is the problem. I haven’t got several years of my life to waste by slapping seaweed on my face. There are enough things I wanna be doing without adding some kind of bizarre seaweed dance to the mix. I got places I wanna go, shit I need to do, a life to lead and all that jazz. The only bloody reason I have some kind of pressure to get rid of said acne is because some moron somewhere decided that we should all have flawlessly smooth skin, and then encourages people to photoshop every goddamn photo we ever see within an inch of its life to make us think that it’s actually possible. 

Sigh.

Worrying about how I look bores me. The best looking people in the world are those who are healthy and happy because they are out there living, eating good food, being active, enjoying life. The best looking people are those that are laughing. Not stood in front of a mirror in a dingy bathroom, worrying about their face.

So, rather than go rub my face on some seaweed a dog may or may not have pissed on, I’ve decided to accept that I’ve got a bit of acne and just sit on a beach like a normal person. 

Hey, maybe one day I will grow out of it and perhaps there will be a time when I want to take action but in the meantime... nah.

There will be days where I’ll look at those angry red spots across my cheek/back and be like guys, could you just CHILL THE FUCK OUT and probably want to scratch them all off when they don’t but, for the most part, I’m going to embrace some of that body positivity people keep banging on about and accept that this is my face.

Hiya face; looking good today babes.