20 Jun 2018

A Few Days By The Sea

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

I need to unpack. I need to load the washing machine. I need to go for a run. I need to do a lot of things.

But, nope, procrastinating by talking to myself as per usual – that and watching The Handmaid’s Tale which may be the most stressful TV show of all time.

G and I spent the past few days in Dartmouth, Devon. My parents have a little flat there so obviously we take advantage of this where possible. We always seem to do this in June, the weather is always decidedly mixed and we always come away saying we really should go for longer next time.

We’re familiar with the place so there was no pre-trip planning or preparations. We barely even packed accordingly; just threw some clothes in a bag and hopped in the car. I’d say the journey was stress-free but I’m never stress-free when I have to drive and there was plenty of traffic jams. But then we were there, sat on a roof terrace looking across the River Dart and everything was pretty darn swell.

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon
These days, in the world of us travel-bugs anyway, you’re meant to explore as many places as possible. I am so guilty of maximising out my annual leave to squeeze in all the new adventures but as we lazed away the days in Dartmouth, I just kept thinking that there really is something about returning somewhere, becoming familiar with a place far from home.

What did we do? Well, we had one morning where the weather was particularly glorious; we sat in beach chairs on Blackpool Sands beach and I marvelled, as I do every time, at how it could be right in the middle of the Mediterranean.  The weather went off a bit that afternoon but we pulled on our waterproofs and went for a walk up to the castle, had an ice cream on the way and then sat on a rock on Sugary Cove for ages; just enjoying the peace. This was interrupted by a couple of dogs and owner arriving. There was one that had a ridiculous amount of energy and was constantly running up and down chasing rocks – the owner told us that she was half border collie and half chihuahua (?!). The other was half german shepherd and half huskie; he’d been a stray in Bulgaria and they’d adopted him whilst holidaying out there. He had the most poufy tail which made me laugh every couple of minutes. Honestly, we could have watched those dogs run around for hours.

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

 Otherwise, we mostly ate. And we ate well. A gorgeous Sunday roast at Bayard’s Cove Inn, the tastiest vegan fry up at Blackpool Sands café, cinnamon toast & banana milkshakes at Alf’s, cream teas at Beth’s – Dartmouth is a foodie’s paradise.

And a pub-lovers paradise also. The Dartmouth Arms gives you plastic cups and lets you take drinks out onto the front where you can sit right next to the water and admire those gorgeous pastel houses as the sun sets. We also really like The Floating Bridge, a fact emphasised by the – count them – 12 separate card transactions made there in the past 4 days.  They have a gorgeous little roof terrace where we like to watch the mini car ferry go back and forth, as well as a crackin’ menu. They’re famous for their fish and chips but the rest of the menu is also spot on (goat’s cheese linguine and firecracker burger are both good’uns).

We moved between cafes and pubs, beaches and benches along the waterfront, and the quiet of the flat where we read, watched dvds with an indoor picnic and wrote – well I wrote, G watched the sport scores. Each to their own.

It was all really good for the soul and, as much as I love home, I was very reluctant to leave.

Dartmouth, Devon

Dartmouth, Devon

13 Jun 2018

The Weekend | Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Visiting St Albans

Visiting St Albans

This weekend, my girls came to stay and that always makes me an excitable-child level of happy.

Maybe if I’d never met G and there was no such thing as ginger cats or melted camembert, I’d probably say these 5 gals are the biggest love of my life. They’re just the fucking best. Trying to find a weekend that we can all actually do is about as likely as seeing a giraffe just chilling in St Albans park but it does occasionally happen; and this weekend was one of those occasions.

Visiting St Albans
The girls rocked up on Saturday afternoon and we headed to the park armed with a blanket and cooling bag like the true adults that we are. We also had a rant about the fact that ‘99’ ice creams do not cost 99p so I feel like we covered all the important world topics for the day.

We set up camp, I whipped out the spread I’d put together (bread, hummus & vegan cookies) and we rejoiced in the fact that the sun was out despite all the predictions of pure cloud. It was a joy even if the ‘99’ ice creams we bought did cost £1.99. Change the name already jeez.

Tell you what lads, Tesco bakery bread is well and truly underappreciated. The olive bread is amazing and don’t even get me started on the jalapeño and cheese.

We mostly ate, nattered and cooed at the little baby crawling after the pigeons, and if that’s not a good afternoon then I dunno what is.

The evening was spent in The Bishop’s Cave where we bemused the waiter by how seriously we took the task of choosing our cheese (yeah, we got a pen & paper out…). We ate antipasti, some incredible truffle crisps which I need to get my hands on, and 3 cheeseboards. Oh my god so good.

As an aside, I’ve been – for the most part – REALLY GOOD at the whole vegan thing until this moment…

We also drank plenty of wine. When G saw my card transaction the next day, he was like ‘was that each?!’ so, lol, we did well.

And then we skipped our way home through the cathedral grounds, taking stupid selfies as we went. Back at the flat, there was also some kind of drunken dancing to Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl which I think started because we decided that someone using the foot pump to blow up the airbed kind of looked like an Irish jig… but who really knows.

Visiting St Albans

Visiting St Albans

Visiting St Albans

Visiting St Albans

Visiting St Albans

Visiting St Albans



2 Jun 2018

Little Gems: 33

Happy things

I cleaned the bathroom this morning and man does it feel good. It looks like the kind of bathroom you might be willing to actually bathe in now, rather than some place you’d hover-pee in. I also made the genius decision of adding two new bars of Lush soap, one on the side of the bath and one on the side of the sink, and now the room legit smells like a Lush shop and I am all about that life.

I am currently dosed up on ibuprofen – in an attempt to battle horrendous period pains – but am trying not to let it ruin my Saturday. G is away and I’m having one of those days where you just potter about. I’ve cleaned the bathroom, tidied and hoovered the rest of the flat, wandered out to buy fresh peonies, sat on the terrace and started a new book with magnum in hand (can confirm the praline flavour is a good’un) and am in the process of baking some fresh cookies with an Elton John album blaring in the background. Just call me a domestic goddess. Rest of the day will probably include a bath-bomb-filled bath in my freshly cleaned bathroom and a bowl of pasta pesto with a week's worth of Corrie. Living the dream (kinda is my idea of living the dream tbh).

Anyway, some recent good stuff from the past few weeks:

Summer does seem to be sticking around finally and it’s making my heart sing more than usual. I love the quirks of each season and G jokes that I’m always done with one and ready for the next several weeks before they arrive. But, this year in particular, it really did feel like winter dragged it out as long as possible and I have been yearning for some sunshine. Also there have been some truly epic thunderstorms recently and the lightning has been incredible!

Plans for the summer are growing by the second. The big ones include holidays to Scotland and Croatia as well as weekends in Devon and the Peak District and plenty of little plans and day trips with friends in between. And ice cream obviously.

The Irish referendum results. HELL YES. What a beautiful moment. I was pretty shocked at the blatant lies and scare-mongering on the ‘vote no’ posters whilst we were in Ireland the other week and so relieved to see the yes vote win, and by a landslide as well! It should always be a woman’s choice no matter what.

I’ve become a little more refined with my reading. My natural instinct has always been to finish a book but I’m learning that struggling to finish a book is simply a waste of time when time is already precious. I was reading The Crow Girl recently and it was well written, creepy plot line… but I found it really disturbing and began to lose my motivation to pick up after 150 pages or so. So I put it on the shelf for another day and moved on, and I found it rather liberating. I’m also becoming more selective about what I read and it means I’ve read some absolutely brilliant novels recently.

Sat in our favourite pub last night chatting about how, in exactly a year’s time, we would be getting married there!

Watching Designated Survivor on Netflix and The Handmaid’s Tale now it’s back on Channel 4. Both so good! Also v much enjoying A Very English Scandal; the BBC mini series about Jeremy Thorpe currently airing.

This mac n cheese recipe by Katy. I swapped the courgette for broccoli cos I’m not a fan of courgette but otherwise so. damn. good. The garlic in the sauce is uh-mazing.

My trainer collection seems to have grown once again. I had an Asos voucher burning a hole in my pocket and as a result, these converse and these vans have ended up on my feet. Those yellow vans though <3

Peony season. How can you not love it?! 100% my favourite flowers.

Really loved this article on the suicide storyline in Corrie. I’m a not-so-secret fan of Corrie and I think this storyline was handled so well and raised a lot of awareness. Watching it was about as fun as sticking pins in your eyes but that’s hardly the point.

We spent an afternoon in Cambridge during the bank holiday weekend. We sat in a pub right on the river and watched all the punters going up and down whilst munching on nachos and Eton mess. It was pretty dreamy.

Films I’ve loved recently: Ladybird (like watching a beautiful Polaroid picture), Journeyman (heartbreaking), Love Simon (hell yes to a high school rom com with a gay protagonist) and A Quiet Place (so clever, so terrifying).

Hope your weekend is a good one dear reader.

Happy things

1 Jun 2018

Fridays, Veganism & A Year To Go

Fridays, Veganism & A Year To Go


Hello. Hi. It me. *waves*

Today is my first – what I like to call – ‘typical’ Friday in a while. The kinda Friday I default to when there are no other plans/trips/work commitments. It goes pretty much like this: spend the morning doing work emails/tasks from the sofa/bed usually in some state of half undress. At midday, make myself presentable and get my shit together so I am out the flat by half 12ish. Head to café for lunch and writing time. Stay in café for approx. 2-4 hours depending on how said writing time is going. Have a mosy round the shops on my way home. Usually includes Lush and Waterstones and G rolling his eyes when he sees the bank statement the next day. Heading back to the flat for an hour or so where I either write some more or procrastinate until G gets home. And then head to the pub for the evening. Tbh, it’s often my favourite day of the week.

I’m currently in the café part of the day and have just consumed a cheese toastie. There may be a chocolate chip muffin waiting to be engulfed as well.

FYI, this post is just going to be a bit of a ramble about current thoughts idly swirling around my brain.

Thought no. 1: it is a year today until our wedding day! 1st June 2019. As of tomorrow, we can start counting down in months. I’ll be honest, I’ve recently been a tad frustrated at our booking so far in advance. I know why we did it – we need 3-weeks-worth of annual leave for the wedding & honeymoon we have planned and that wasn’t possible this year. But the type of wedding we’re having means I know we could have planned it in less than 6 months and had it, say, August this year if we’d wanted. And that knowledge sometimes makes me impatient because a year STILL FEELS SO LONG.

But at the same time, I want to head for the honeymoon straight after the wedding, 6 months would not have been enough warning for some of our friends living abroad and the wedding signals (for us) the end of rented living and the time to start house hunting. Which means leaving St Albans. And I’m not quite ready for that just yet.

I realise this is an incredibly privileged, first-world frustration to be having – I’m just brain dumping on ya.

Anyway, one year today!! This is something worthy of celebration right? Cos I kinda want to use it as an excuse to crack open prosecco or summin’…

Thought no. 2: veganism. No, I am not becoming a vegan – sibling, if you’re reading this, I apologise. But I read yet another article this morning that said avoiding meat and diary is the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on earth and I had yet another ‘oh crap Kate, get your shit together’ moment. I strongly believe in helping the planet as much as possible (current mission is to stop using single-use plastic) and reducing my meat and diary intake will make a significant difference (I mean if we all do this - I don't just grossly overestimate my impact and importance). I try to eat as little meat as possible and, whilst I’m not perfect, I’m mostly good at it (mainly because I’m not that fussed about a lot of meat). I’m much less successful in the diary department and I really want to improve this. (Part of this involves accepting that cheese has the biggest carbon footprint of all diary products… *sobs hysterically*).

I know I am not an all-or-nothing type person. If you tell me I can’t have something and there’s no immediate implications if I do have said thing, I am more likely to fail. So I’m considering adopting a predominantly vegan diet during the week and then relaxing at the weekend. That way I know I can still have cheese, non-vegan cakes and hell, even some chorizo, should I want to; which, I hope, will make it much easier to stick to but still dramatically reduce my diary and meat intake overall. That’s my theory anyway.

And on that note, I’m probs gonna go browse vegan cookbooks in Waterstones.

See ya. X