Posts Tagged ‘Days Out’

A Bank Holiday Visit to Cambridge

Cambridge Colleges

I live exactly 37.3 miles from Cambridge, the world-famous university city, but until recently, had never visited. That changed on a whim on Easter Monday, when my friend Hannah suggested a day trip.

The best places to visit, according to Hannah (the driver), are the ones with park and ride systems, because she says that parking is the worst part of driving anywhere! So she researched Cambridge’s Park and Ride, and off we went.

Cambridge Graffiti

Cambridge doors

The weather more or less played ball; it started off fairly cloudy, but the sun was soon shining, and though it wasn’t the warmest day ever, we avoided any traditional British bank holiday rain. I didn’t really know what to expect from the city, aside from the fact that it is, of course, famous for its colleges. The city centre itself seems quite small, and easily navigable on foot.

I was on a Blue Plaque quest; in case you aren’t aware, one of my 35 Before 35 goals is to photograph 50 blue plaques. There will be a whole blog post about this at some point, but suffice to say that I found around fifteen, and searching them out really gave us a good excuse to explore places we might not otherwise have found.Punting in Cambridge

We didn’t go for a punt on the river; the weather was probably a little on the cool side for that, and in all honesty, I was offended by how much pressure the tour guides were comfortable exerting to get us to sign up. It’s a nice idea, and must be a great way to see the colleges, but not on this occasion. And not with those particular tour guides!

The colleges themselves were, of course, beautiful, and the city has managed to merge old and new in a really organic way; of course there are the high street shops that you can’t avoid in city centres, but they don’t detract from the beauty of the centuries-old buildings that have educated some of the most incredible minds of all time.

King's College Cambridge

Cambridge Blossom

King's College, Cambridge

I had a really lovely time in Cambridge, and I’m hoping to go back at some point this year to pay a visit to my online friend Charlotte – as a local I’m hoping she’ll show me some of the less-touristy areas!

Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge

Cambridge Colleges

Day trip to Cambridge

Bank Holiday Cambridge

Looking Back ~ April 2016

What happened in April? It all seems like a long time ago (not least because it was), but it was a good month!

Most importantly, I became a great-aunt! I’ve mentioned this time and time again, but April 2016 will always be special to me for this reason, and I’m pleased to report that Peggie Jane (middle name for me) is beautiful!

In other news, right at the start of the month, I visited Glasgow for the first time. It was a work trip, so no real time to see the city, but we were staying by the river, and the views were nice! We also got to head into town for some food and had some lovely vegetarian/vegan Indian food at a place called Usha’s.

River Clyde Glasgow

Elsewhere, outside of work, I headed into London for Mark Kermode Live in 3D again. I decided to take the whole day off and do a little exploring this time; nothing too off the beaten track, as I stayed largely on the Southbank. I popped into Tate Modern, somewhere I like to go very sparingly, as I am not a huge fan of modern art. But I do love Mondrian, and I was excited when I chanced upon a couple of his paintings in one of the exhibitions.

Mondrian Tate Modern

The Mark Kermode event was as wonderful as ever – it’s a monthly event but each one is distinct; they follow a similar structure but he covers all sorts of films, and it’s honestly just an honour to get to hear him talk so passionately about films. I also toddled along to Norwich at the end of the month, again to see Dr K (I know), this time presenting Silent Running.

I also ticked off a 34 Before 34 item (Go to IKEA – blog post to follow), went on a course in London, and very much appreciated the first warm days of spring. I am now able to go for a walk in the evenings, because the sun is invariably shining and it stays light for longer, so I load up a podcast, and walk away!

Earls Colne

May has already been pretty exciting, so I’m looking forward to next month’s roundup.

Looking back ~ March 2016

It’s probably time to stop apologising for how late these posts are coming in the month. I just have to accept that I am not organised enough to get them done in a timely fashion, though I promise that I will try!

So March was a very busy month, not least because I moved house! From where Hannah and I were renting previously, we moved about ten minutes down the road, still in Essex (though getting closer to Suffolk), and into a little house with a lovely view of the river that runs by the house.

New Home

It really is a beautiful place to live, and although we are still not properly sorted (still have no furniture in the living room, and I have a few more bits to get for my bedroom), I do love it here.

Work has been very busy, because all of March was spent building up to an event in Glasgow at the very beginning of April (the main reason why this post is so delayed!). Things have only calmed down temporarily, because we are now going to spend the next month building up to an event in Manchester in May!

There was, of course, some fun to be had in amongst the moving and the working. I went for afternoon tea with my sisters and my niece, which I will blog about separately, because it ticks off a 34 Before 34 item. I went, once again, to the BFI Southbank to see Mark Kermode: Live in 3D – I’m hoping to go every month this year so you should expect to see me mention this again and again! I was lucky enough on this occasion to hear Mark chat with Ben Wheatley, who was busy that week promoting High Rise, as he took to the stage to defend Zardoz. I was also thrilled to meet up with three lovely ladies that I have got to know on Twitter through our mutual love of Wittertainment! I am already friends with Chloe, having been with her to a few different Kermode/Mayo/Wittertainment events, but I was also able to meet up with Liz and Goldy, and we have plans for more Girl Gang-related shenanigans in the future!

Ben Wheatley BFI

I did some laughter yoga at work, which was an experience, and I had a lovely Good Friday with my friends in the park. Hannah also celebrated her birthday in March, so we spent a day in London seeing a film at the BFI and then had dinner at Zizzi’s, so Hannah could try the new vegan cheese pizza (verdict – tasty!).

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I’ve also been wearing my dungarees, a lot! They are my new favourite outfit, paired with almost anything (though not a checked shirt, for fear of veering into lumberjack territory), and I have to resist the urge to wear them every other day!

Clark's Shoes

And I bought some new shoes, which are also my new favourite thing, and I can obviously get away with wearing these every day if I want to! I had wanted them for a while, and then I managed to get them from the Clarks concession in Sainsbury’s when they had a 25% clothing promotion. We’re very happy together.

So that was my March, and now we’re already a third of the way through April!

Looking back ~ February 2016

My blog has become a place where I do a monthly round up of some sort and then go quiet for three weeks! I wish that I could dig myself out of this rut that I find myself in, but I’m struggling. Hopefully my forthcoming move (more on that shortly) will provide the fresh start I need.

How was your February? Mine was fine, if largely uneventful. I went to see Singalonga Grease, my first time seeing that particular film in that particular format, but by no means my first time at a Singalonga (nor my first time watching Grease, of course). I went back to the BFI to see Mark Kermode: Live in 3D, which was the second date of that monthly event. I am already booked up for March’s date, and I’m hoping to make it to all 12.

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I’ve been knitting feverishly, trying to get a blanket finished in time for a non-baby shower next weekend. I have had to restart it over and over again, because I’m a bit rubbish, but it’s finally taking shape and I’m hoping it will be done in time. I will share it here once it’s all ready and with the mum-to-be.

As I mentioned, I’m moving house! We were asked to move out with a fairly flexible deadline of the end of February, and though I wondered how it was going to happen, it almost has! We found a little cottage/flat/bungalow type abode very near to work, and everything has worked out pretty perfectly, and we move next week. Packing is obviously the most hideous thing that has ever been invented, but needs must. If I’m a proper blogger at any point in the future, I may share photos of the new place, particularly if we can get it looking nice!

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In other happenings, I got a second tattoo (to be blogged about); I got a dot-to-dot book; I went back to Jump Street and regretted it, as my back still hurts three weeks later. Plenty of reading, and books, as ever, as well as watching The Detectorists in its entirety – having watched the second series on iPlayer, I had to go and buy the DVD to watch the first series. I can’t recommend it enough, frankly, so if you haven’t seen it, give it a go. It’s Toby Jones at his absolute best. I’ve also started on The X-Files; I watched the odd episode as a teenager, but I’ve gone back to the start and immersed myself in it. Mulder 4 Scully 4evs.

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Oh and Dennis came into work and was adorable. As ever.

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Looking Back–January 2016

In an attempt to make my blog a little more like a place where I actually write things, I thought I’d start looking back on each month as we get to the end of it. This may work a little better if and when I actually start blogging during the month, but mostly I just want it to be a way to appreciate all the fun things I do!

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January has been a good month, all told. Most excitingly, I left the country for the first time in over six years! I am yet to blog about my trip to Iceland, but I am planning to, so for now I’ll just say that it’s an amazing place, and I had a brilliant time. Two days was not nearly long enough to spend there, so I hope to go back one day.

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I also went to see The Corrs at the O2 last weekend, with my besties. Not the best photo of the lot of us (front-facing camera, be damned), but I didn’t really take any of the gig, because I’m long since past the point where I want to sit with my phone out recording/photographing the whole thing. The Corrs were as amazing as they ever were; we were all fans of them when we were at school (with the exception of Hannah, who didn’t go to school with us), so we were thrilled to learn that they were going on tour again, and snapped up tickets. I really like some of stuff on their new album, but there’s nothing like the old classics. We had a great time!

I also went to see Mark Kermode, in the first of his Mark Kermode: Live in 3D events at the BFI (something I actually posted about), and I’m already eagerly anticipating the February date, and I’m ready to book tickets for March. I know, I know… I’ve also just become a member of the BFI; for £40 a year it’s a bit of a steal, particularly as I’m planning on seeing a lot more things there over the course of the year.

Elsewhere, I’ve picked up my knitting once more; spurred into action by a kit my sister bought me for Christmas (of which I’ve knitted just one glove!), I decided to make a start on a baby blanket for a forthcoming new arrival in the family. My renewed love has inspired two of my lovely work colleagues to learn, and I’ve done my best to teach them the basics. My blanket is coming on a treat, and I’m only lamenting that I don’t have more time to devote to it (all afternoon ideally, after spending my lunch break knitting).

I went out for a friend’s birthday on Friday night, to a place called Jump Street in Colchester. It’s basically just a massive warehouse full of trampolines, and it was such good fun! We had an hour, and we spent almost the entire time bouncing and throwing ourselves around, though I have to say that I tried over and over again to do a somersault into a big inflatable pit, only to fail at the last each and every time. I half-joked that it was a metaphor for my life; trying and failing to do something brave and exciting but wimping out at the last minute, but Hannah told me she was proud of me for trying over and over again, which is something, I suppose! I ached like nothing else afterwards – late on Friday night it was actually hard to breathe because of my aching back/neck/stomach/legs/chest/every single part of my body. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

January is, of course, always a bit of a funny month, coming on the heels of December and all its festivities. It usually feels a bit grey; whilst I don’t want to trivialise actual depression by referring to the January Blues, I think we all feel a little deflated after Christmas and everything that comes with it. But I’ve had a good month. Work feels manageable for the first time in a while, and I’ve done some lovely things with lovely people.

Each month will bring with it this update, as well as a films and books recap, and at least two other month-end posts. Possibly too many, but it’s probably the best way for me to start posting regularly again, so I’m going to go with it until it doesn’t feel right!

How was your start to 2016?

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