Category Archives: life


October 26, 2016

Bruges |

(^ except this photo was taken in Bruges).

But oh my goodness, get yourself to Ghent. It is beautiful, and dreamy, and everyone should do the free walking tour with Fabian (except maybe not because then we’ll hear the same stories and you might write that novel before I do).

Belgian golden hour, Bruges |

Bruges canals |

But then do nip to Bruges for a day trip and some more chocolate and stepped rooves and about 5 billion types of Belgisch biere (if you can drink it) and one type of red wine (if you can’t).

the stepped rooves of Bruges |

In the evening, speed on back to Ghent and your impeccable air BnB and feel glad that you’re escaping the 5 billion tourists drinking the 5 billion types of biere. Nip into Pols instead and try as many types of Jenever as you can handle.

Pol's Jenever, Ghent |

Pol's Jenever, Ghent |

Pol's Jenever, Ghent |

If you’re here in the autumn, wander out to the castle in the mid-morning mist and imagine the Stropdragers parading their ghostly selves through the town…then hole up in a pub to warm up and toast your 11 years of coupledom and all the years of exploring to come.

Belgian flag from Ghent castle |

Ghent fog |
Dank je Ghent for a beautiful weekend; I can’t recommend you enough!


October 15, 2016

hot chocolate |

Before Dunkin Hot Chocolate held the ultimate in my hot chocolate affections (a real thing, rest assured) there was this drink called Chantico. It came out of Starbucks in a tiny size, with raspberry or peppermint syrup (if you wanted). Though it wasn’t long before they pulled it from the menu because, let’s face it, even they balk at what was probably a day’s calories in a cup.

hot chocolate |

Whenever I think about it I’m ten years in the past, walking through a wintery DC, with John Legend’s music in my head and a cup of this in my hand. Turns out it’s not that hard to emulate: some cream, some milk, some chocolate…voila. A day’s calories in a cup.

hot chocolate |

It isn’t really cold enough for this yet (and it hasn’t even been rainy enough to crack out the My Fair Lady dvd…what gives, weather?) but I suppose I didn’t let that stop me. It’s a fine accompaniment to the latest books I have on the go…mainly Sherlock and Sherlock spin-offs (“Moriarty” anyone?) as a way of escaping this insane election/brexit/hurricane/Syrian devastation news cycle. Chocolate is indeed a balm when all around you feels just a little bleak.

Seasonal reset

September 12, 2016

Lately I’ve been:

  • Lamenting the end of summer and easiness (but not so much that I’m not willing sweater weather to arrive, September you are such a tease)
  • Spending sunny afternoons with lovely friends, lying in the grass at Richmond Park and discussing everything and anything but failing to get any good photos of the deer
  • Getting overly-enthusiastic about Bake Off being back (also read Sue Perkins’ autobiography, can’t recommend it enough)
  • Taking a break from accountability (but will be back at it soon)
  • Realigning some old loves with my current life (you know what I always hated? Bikinis. Why spend your precious gym/workout time thinking about them? Out they go. Also I never liked having ‘long’ nails, but I now love polishing them, so my stubby nails will be as red as I like. Oh and I no longer will be embarrassed about the fact that almost everything I like is now a Pinterest cliche. Screw it! I shall love those things anyway and decorate this autumn with ALL THE PUMPKINS etc etc)
  • Working slowly, slowly towards the development of a passion project <3
  • Marvelling that it’s nearly our 1 year wedding anniversary. How!? Wha-! And again, how!?
  • Trying not to think about Christmas
  • Or how much I would like a rabbit.
  • Being basic, cause PSLs baby!


Welcome in, Autumn…I am so ready for you!

? There’s a moment you know, you’re f-

June 26, 2016

still life

Isn’t this a nice scene while the country is falling down around our ears? Here, have some coffee and a bit of this peanut butter chocolate square (v. tasty).

If you woke up on the morning after the referendum, looked at your phone, and your first reaction was ‘I’m sorry, what?’, then your next reaction may have been to go straight on social media and vent about it.

Much like me. Much like most of my politically-minded friends.

There’s a lot to be said about social media bubbles. They engender a certain level of ignorance, they reflect our prejudices and privileges…and they give us a space to say, ‘oh thank God, you too?’ when something happens that is monumental to us. They also are terrible places for genuine discourse, and often incredibly binary and simplistic. We, all of us, know we’re unlikely to ever change anyone’s mind with a facebook ‘debate’. That doesn’t stop us trying.

I’ve seen a lot of cries of ‘sour grapes!’ from Leave voters who now think the Remain camp are just, well, making a bit of a fuss about the fact they lost this razor-thin vote that may indelibly affect their lives, and they should just essentially shut up and ‘accept’ it. Given the magnitude of what has happened and is continuing to happen, as the two main British political parties are essentially eating themselves right now, I think it is more than justified to be angry.

Even moreso as clips emerge of voters who voted ‘as a protest’ and ‘didn’t think their vote would count’ and ‘would vote remain’ if they could do it again.

Even moreso as evidence of racist behaviour across the UK is surfacing in the aftermath.

Even moreso as those of us who were forced to watch the Leave team conduct a horrifying campaign based on absolute lies, that preyed on xenophobia, and had no genuine ideas for what would happen if we left, now have to watch them turncoat hours after they win and refute that BS ‘£350 million a week to the NHS’ claim, refute the idea that we could possibly go forward without free movement of labour.

Even moreso, when you hear that many leave voters were upset with issues that had absolutely nothing to do with the EU, and also which leaving might make worse. By the way, if article 50 is actually invoked, let’s all enjoy continuing to pay the membership fee you all hated in order to be able to trade with the EU and yet have sweet FA say in the laws they will enact, or enjoy the realisation that we will be unable to stop free movement of people. By the end of it all – if article 50 is invoked – we will literally have done the exact opposite of ‘taking back our country’, whatever that meant in the first place.

When you think about it, if the 48% of the 72.2% who voted and lost weren’t angry, then there’d be something massively wrong with our society in general.

But no, it’s definitely sour grapes, because look at that petition they set up to try and force a 2nd referendum! Pfft. Can’t they just get over the fact they lost?

I’m not personally for a second referendum, but does it change your mind about the derided petition to know that it was set up by a Leave voter a month or so ago, because he thought they were going to lose? Or that Farage said back in May that he would fight for a second referendum because a 52-48 referendum win for the Remain camp would be ‘unfinished business by a long way’? (But now that he’s won, “it isn’t a best of three scenario”?)

But isn’t the worst of it the fact that those people who directed their anger at a lack of jobs, opportunity and perceived failings within the country’s social security safety nets, are now going to get a government that couldn’t give less of a crap about them or their feelings on these subjects? We’ll soon wake up to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cabinet, with our only hope being that Nicola Sturgeon can somehow outmanoeuvre the Brexit. Or perhaps, as the media seem to feel Boris Johnson didn’t actually want a Leave win anyway, it could be the out he (or whoever ends up in that chair) needs in order to not have to invoke Article 50 and come away with some semblance of ‘dignity’ in tact.

Friday’s news has sent me, and most of those in my immediate circle, spinning through several stages of grief. Instantly I wanted to, online, push the space out around me to protect those stages of sadness and anger and denial in the direct aftermath of the news. If you’re keeping a more level head about it, then good for you. We’ll need that in the coming months. But in the immediate fallout of the vote, after a campaign that was so devoid of facts that the Pro-Brexit camp stated that they’d “had enough of experts” (and people actually went with them on that), I am holding square on mine (and other people’s) need to let it all out. There are many various forms of unfollowing and off switches you could push if you don’t want to hear it; it is that simple.

So here I am saying I’m sad for the state of our country right now; I’m sad for the racism that’s coming to the fore, I’m sad that we have no effective leadership in either main party, I’m sad that the drop in the pound makes my life that bit more difficult, I’m sad that people are googling ‘what is the EU?’ too late, I’m sad that the media bile is more readily accessed than informed and reasoned websites like, I’m sad for the people who thought they were voting for something completely different than they have woken up to.

I wish I knew what I could do to help.

But until then, we watch and wait, and eat peanut butter squares and get a sugar rush and blog about it. And hope that if it does all implode, something better can rise from the ashes.


Bank holiday saturday

May 28, 2016

relaxing in bed with pinterest and a coffee

It’s raining on and off, but the husband made pancakes and there’s coffee and  Pinterest and things slowly happening on this Bank Holiday weekend. Hope yours is relaxing!

Sri Lanka: rewind to Sigiriya

May 16, 2016

Sri Lankan train

Let’s rewind these Sri Lanka posts back to the beginning…well, not the very beginning. That was Heathrow, and an old guy who proceeded to jab his finger into the little tv screen in the back of my chair for the entire flight to Doha. And it’s not the ‘beginning’ after that, our first hotel in Sri Lanka, where we sat at the bar on the shoreline and revelled in the colonial splendour of the hotel with a Lion beer (Sean) and a cocktail that wasn’t anything like it sounded in the menu (me), with its rapidly melting ice cubes and a perfectly sherbet sunset.

continue reading

#bucketlistsummer2016: strawberry coconut popsicles

May 8, 2016

coconut strawberry popsicles recipe

London has decreed it is officially summer… the sun is sunning, hayfever is hayfevering, and iced tea becomes the drink of choice. Also, I want to eat allll the ice cream. ALlll of it.

These lollipops (or popsicles if you are American/spend too much time on Pinterest) are a cinch to make and take about 15 minutes max to throw together. Also the first time I’ve used coconut milk in anything rather than dairy. It’s SO GOOD OMG.

coconut strawberry popsicles recipe

I used Sugar & Cloth’s recipe, but omitted the balsamic vinegar, and eyeballed the sugar because I haven’t tried the whole strawberry-balsamic thing and yeah it sounds nice, but I like my ice cream to be sweeeet… but maybe I’ll branch out soon >.<
coconut strawberry popsicles recipeIt’s time for a second one right? Ice cream for breakfast? All right then…


April 11, 2016

swimming pool |


^ a project to keep me spending time doing more and shopping less, appreciating more and coveting less, creating more and consuming less. Most of my list involves food, because I basically think about it all the time. It also helps me make the most of a season that isn’t my favourite, because my natural state is several layers of wool and jumpers and a yearning for rainy day.

So who fancies joining me?! Make your own summer bucket list (as big or small as you like!) and hashtag #bucketlistsummer2016 ️


  • make ice lollies
  • have a picnic (with some frisbee action)
  • BBQ outdoors
  • go camping
  • new country walks
  • make some good iced tea/iced coffee
  • hire bikes
  • find a summer soundtrack
  • have a bonfire? (bit difficult when you live in London, but a girl can dream)
  • have a water balloon fight
  • perfect a new up-do
  • make something lemonadey
  • make something smoresy (maybe these? Or no-bake frozen smores)
  • pick your own berries (and make strawberry cheesecake…or jam)
  • check out a new GF bakery
  • visit the lavender fields
  • day trip to a national trust property
  • make ice cream
  • play tennis
  • fly a kite
  • go to a fair

What do you think – have I missed off something that just screams ‘summer!!’ to you? Let me in on your summer bucket list in the comments :)