It was coming to the close of an incredible day in Bath. Bath is a beautiful city so I had been thrilled to spend some time there, excited about my Christmas present of a trip to the Thermae Bath Spa (more on this to come…) and looking forward to our meal out before returning to Bristol. However, I wasn’t quite ready for it to come to an end. Lucky for me, James had foreseen this and had booked us into a hotel as a surprise. I had no idea until we actually arrived at the hotel – I don’t know how he and his family had managed to keep it a secret!
There is something rather special about red squirrels and I’ve always felt quite attached to them. Perhaps it was growing up in Cumbria, but I always enjoyed Beatrix Potter’s The tale of Squirrel Nutkin and at one point we had a red squirrel who lived in our back garden which was great. Because they are now so rare, it feels incredibly lucky if you have seen one. When we heard about a place in Scotland that had an abundance of red squirrels which you could get quite close to, it definitely seemed worth checking out.
I first came across the #take12trips challenge a couple of years ago and thought it sounded like a great concept. Taking 12 trips in 12 months? Yes please! If you love travelling it’s great, but as a student my immediate concern was funding it. It’s all well and good when you are earning a lot, or if someone is paying you to take those trips, but otherwise it just isn’t possible. Or so I thought…
Happy New Year! We’ve now reached 2017 and many people will be turning their thoughts to New Year’s Resolutions. Perhaps you’ve already broken one…
Last year I wrote a post that was less about resolutions and more about goals. Visualising where I would like to see myself in a year’s time and what I can do to get myself there. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t complete them, but they are things I would like to achieve. What do you want to get out of this year?
Another year is almost over and it’s time to look ahead to 2017. There are some parts of 2016 which have shocked and upset a lot of people and are best left in 2016, but although it has been a year of highs and lows, overall I’ve had a pretty good year.
At the start of the year I wrote a list of what I wanted to get out of the year and I did quite well. I managed to visit the places that I had planned to (and a few more!). I took a blogging course, proved to myself that I could Foxtrot and got a permanent job. I started the year brushing up my French and trying to learn German via Duolingo, but unfortunately didn’t keep it going throughout the whole year… Last year I had a brief reflection on what I had learned in 2015, so now it is time to have a look at which lessons have come out of 2016.
In fact, it’s less than a week until Christmas and I’m beginning to wonder where the year has gone. Whilst there is still time to reflect on the whole year, I’ve actually been thinking recently about what I’ve been doing over the last few weeks. Whilst the shops may start preparing for Christmas from September (which is far too soon), this year I’ve actually managed to have a whole host of Christmassy activities lined up in the lead up to the day itself. Even discounting a magical trip to Cologne Christmas markets, there’s plenty I’ve done which has made the whole season feel festive, rather than just one day.
If you follow my blog, you’ll already know about my love for Christmas markets. This time last week I was in my element as I was visiting the Cologne Christmas markets which were every bit as magical as I had hoped. It was busy, in fact it was incredibly busy, but for very good reason. The markets were stunning, particularly at night, and it was a great experience to be able to absorb the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. With a week to go until Christmas, I couldn’t be more in the mood.
Every so often when exploring a new place you will walk into somewhere and, despite having never been there before, will feel completely at home. This happened to me and James when we went for a long weekend in Bradford. On the first night we popped into Brew Haus for a drink thinking that it looked quiet and quite nicely decorated, and we ended up returning the next night. We could have quite easily stopped by again on our final night but decided we ought to try somewhere else whilst we were there.
I was delighted when my little brother got into Liverpool University as it was an excellent excuse to visit the city and get to know it better (I was pleased for his sake too!). I had already decided I liked Liverpool after a trip last summer, and had several things on my list that I wanted to visit this time. Keen to be accommodating, I asked him where he would like to see or where he would like to go to eat… and then wished I hadn’t bothered. Whilst I did get caught up in the “uni bubble”, I was still keen to explore and get to know the city I was living in, whereas Andrew is quite happy in his bubble. It felt more like I was the one showing him around… but we did have an excellent time!
I love Christmas markets. The food, the decorations, the gifts on offer… the whole atmosphere is wonderful. There is nothing quite like being wrapped up against the cold weather, enjoying mulled wine under a giant Christmas tree. Christmas markets in the UK have taken off in a big way, and it seems like almost every town has a fair or market in the lead up to Christmas, but they quite often promise more than they deliver. If you want a proper Christmas market, something that you will cherish the memory of for longer than the drive back home, I would urge you to go abroad.