It’s less than a year since I wrote my post on starting a new chapter and now I’m starting another one, if not a new book! Things have been very busy and there are a lot of changes in store so I decided it was time for a bit of a life update…
I’m sure that everyone can think of somewhere close to home that they haven’t really explored. Either somewhere you go with a specific purpose, such as to work, or somewhere you’ve been but never really tried to get under the skin of. It’s very easily done and might be because you don’t think that place is worth exploring, but it’s often nice to discover things that are right on your doorstep.
Before I’d even started packing for my recent long weekend in Cambridge, I’d received a text from the friend I was going to stay with which contained very specific instructions. “Bring dance shoes, student card, and clothes you don’t mind getting slightly wet”. I was slightly intrigued as I knew some of the things I’d be doing, but not everything. One of the great things about visiting a friend in a certain location rather than just going to see the place is that you will usually get to see local’s spots, rather than just tourist locations. You are also part of their life for that weekend so end up doing things you might not usually do – which was certainly the case when I went to see Chloe.
Anywhere you go, people will be keen to tell you about what makes that place unique. It might be what makes that location so much better than anywhere else, or it might just be something quirky which happens nowhere else. However, I heard the phrase “only in Cambridge” countless times over the course of the weekend I was visiting Cambridge, and from multiple different people. Cambridge clearly has a distinct set of characteristics (beyond being incredibly flat!), which are very obvious to those who live there.
Some places just feel like returning home, and for me I think York will always be one of those places. As the city where I spent my student days, and some time afterwards, I got to know it very well and have some fantastic memories of my time there. Even though I feel completely comfortable in York, it still felt slightly odd returning after a little while and seeing the things that had changed. Whilst I had limited time to spend in the actual city (I was primarily there for a dance competition) I still managed to fit in some of my old haunts.
I’ve now been blogging for two years, which is scary in many ways as it means that it is two years since I handed in my dissertation and finished my degree! However, in those two years I have managed to fit in an awful lot more than I thought I would. I’ve been doing plenty of travelling, working hard and earning money, bought a car, completed multiple online courses to help me learn more about what I’m interested in and much more besides.
A year ago today was the first time I shared my blog with anyone I knew. Before that I’d been worried about what people might think, and didn’t want to come across as “look at me”, but sharing it is one of the best things I did. The support and feedback that I’ve had from friends has been amazing and it’s really nice knowing that some of you have been following me on my adventures. I’ve also completed The Blogger Course by The Travel Hack which has helped me to feel connected to a blogging community and helped me to learn a lot, both from the course and from other people taking it.
My blog still isn’t perfect, and every time I read somebody else’s, or log in to post, I think about all the things I could change to make it more professional. And maybe I’ll start making more of those changes over the next year. But for now I’m just happy writing, and having read over some of my earlier posts I can already tell that my blogging style has developed and improved!
I initially didn’t think I’d be able to keep this up for six months, let alone two years. Here’s a round up of some of the highlights from those two years:
The post with the most views: Happy Birthday – 1 year old!
The post that generated the most comments: Eastern Algarve, Portugal Highlights
The most liked post: New Year in London
I’m also particularly pleased as my review of Sophie’s Steakhouse inspired a friend to go and I really enjoyed writing my review of No.15 Great Pulteney, knowing that the hotel hadn’t been open for that long but has since been featured in magazines and on websites as a great place to stay. I felt like I was ahead of the trend for once!
Enjoy and thanks for reading!
Copenhagen has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to go, and I’m not sure why as it wasn’t somewhere I knew much about. I can only blame my obsession with the Hans Christian Andersen film when I was younger… Anyway, James and I were looking for somewhere for a long weekend break and realised that we both had friends living in Copenhagen so it was the perfect time to go.
When you arrange to go to Copenhagen for a weekend of sightseeing and catching up with friends, the last thing you expect to find yourself doing is heading to a farm to watch cows jump. However, we had been reliably informed by our friend that the Sunday of our stay was the day that the cows across the country were released from their barns for the summer. They get so excited that they leap about and generally have a great time, whilst Danish families in the area watch and enjoy free dairy produce from the farm. So after a day of seeing the sights in central Copenhagen, we headed out into the countryside to watch cows the following day.
When you live so close to the Lake District, it can be easy to forget what a beautiful place it is to visit. I don’t visit it anywhere near enough, and each time I do I promise myself I’ll be back soon, which usually turns into many months later. The problem is that a lot of the time the weather isn’t fantastic, and when it is it becomes overrun with tourists making the roads busy and parking difficult to find. Luckily, I had the perfect opportunity to visit recently. The skies were blue, it was a weekday and it wasn’t yet the school holidays, so I jumped in the car and headed for Grasmere.
I think that brunch might be my favourite meal of the day. In fact, if I lived in a city and wasn’t spending as much money visiting places I could quite easily get into the habit of going for brunch every weekend. It’s nice being able to have a lazier morning, enjoy a big meal and then not worry about eating for the rest of the day, but still having plenty of time to do things. I also think that brunch is late enough in the day that you can follow up your meal with some cake, whereas breakfast is just a bit too early for that unless it’s a special occasion.