“Good Afternoon” from a stranger

Today on my break I went for a walk around some residential streets near I work, as you do when it mild and not raining. I walked past two builders who were working on one of the houses.

As I passed they both stopped and one loudly said “Good Afternoon” in my direction. I don’t tend to talk to strangers in the street, everything about being safe as as woman has told me not to react.

As I carried on walking, neither smiling nor speaking he bellowed after me “She must be deaf or something! Rude cow!”


Charming eh?!

I and friends of mine have talked about the fact that we have been dealing with unwelcome comments in the street since we were barely teenagers. What do these men expect the outcome to be? Should I holla “Good Afternoon” back, be chuffed that he said that rather than the regular torrent of “Give us a smile” “Cheer up love” and the list goes on.

I wish I could quiz them on why, or educate them on how intimidating it can be. I’ll not feel guilty about posting about it. We should be able to walk on our lunch breaks, on our way to and from work, and heck even home after a night out without having someone force themselves into our day.

I hope you are all having a good Tuesday!

Being used a Catfishing bait

So weird one I thought I would share with you. A guy got in touch with me to let me know someone has been using my publicly available images to Catfish people, including him.

What the heck is Catfishing?

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So I prefer the first definition, but the one about luring people into a relationship by creating a fictional online character seems to be what’s gone on.

Now then. My initial reaction was “I don’t believe you” so I asked for links and how long it had been going on. He said it’s all been taken down and it had been going on for quite a while. So I am now left a little perplexed.

Was someone using my photos? Do I need to do anything about it now? I don’t know. I enjoy using instagram, not only for browsing and seeing what other people have been up to, but also to share and that includes my own face. I feel bad if anyone has been hurt, but it wasn’t my actions or choices that caused that hurt.

So for now I am going to carry on sharing as I share, and just politely ask: please don’t use my face. It’s mine, I grew it myself (with the genetic help of my parents), and I don’t like to think that it is being used in a dishonest way, because I am not dishonest.

Stay safe out there, on and off line.

New Job

I am starting a new role at a new company next week and I am really looking forward to it.

I’d hoped to stay at my most recent role for a good long while but realised it wasn’t a good fit. Sad to leave, as the team there are great, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Or I’ve got to, in this case.

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It’s in a different field of ‘creative’ than I have worked in before, but still admin/support based. I’m really looking forward to learning more about the industry and being part of my new team. Wish me luck!

Little Book Review: Blue by Danielle Steel

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So. I’ve never read a Danielle Steel book before. I know! How is that even possible! She has written so so many.

This book, Blue, was given to me in my stocking and I’ve just finished it. I thought I’d write up a little review of how I found it.

I got through it very quickly, it was definitely a story that I got into, and cared about the two main characters, Blue and Ginny. It wasn’t what I would class as chic lit, these two characters find each other and overcome challenges from their past.

Was there anything I didn’t like about it? Yes. I felt like the history of each of the characters was repeated again and again and again. It made me feel like the storyteller is assuming I am a bit dim and have forgotten this.

Would I read another of Danielle Steel’s novels? Yes. There is no question that overall I enjoyed this. It was quite an easy read, so I will probably pick up another of her books later in the year.

In terms of books, I am trying to up my reading this year and have recently bought:

  • The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo
  • Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

So there will be little reviews of each of those coming as and when I work my way through them.

If you have any recommendations for me, please let me know. I’ll always game to try a new author, or genre.

2017

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Yes, I’m one for New Year’s resolutions. I rarely manage to keep to them through the year but I love setting out with good intentions and don’t worry too much that they don’t stick the whole twelve months.

This year I hope to:

Get involved

  • See more of my friends and say yes more
  • Get involved with the Brighton Belles WI
  • Get crafty

Read

  • Put together a reading list of 12 books I want to read this year and manage one a month

Be healthy

  • Exercise
  • Pack lunches
  • Be mindful of my choices

Mind the pennies

  • Think about my priorities before spending
    • Savings
    • Travel
    • Paying off our car etc.

This year is just another year, but a new year is as good an excuse as any to set yourself new goals and challenges. What are your resolutions?

 

A little bit of winter magic

Earlier this month we headed up to outer London in search of some winter magic. I have wanted to visit the Warner Brothers Studio Tour for ages and ages. Having set my heart on visit which it’s decked out for Christmas I finally remembered to book tickets back in August.

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I had read of some reviews that it can be busier in the afternoon, so booked a morning tour. The wait was still fairly long, around 40 minutes. Deceptively, it was split into waiting outside, waiting inside and then waiting in some sort of strange viewing/holding room.

The great hall set up was amazing, with the tables laden with food and the Christmas trees decorated for each school house.

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The great hall was all decked out for Christmas, with little witch toppers to the trees which flew around the tree tops.
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No explanation needed right?!

 

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Gryffindor common room
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Pretty amazing to think they actually made a real moving swivelling staircase for the films.
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Potions.
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The Burrow set. You could make the washing up move!

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I posted the photo above on my Instagram account and got mixed reactions because ‘we didn’t enjoy butter beer’. I wanted to like it. I tried, ok? It wasn’t for me. It doesn’t mean you won’t like it.

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The masks were amazing! It was incredible to see items like these up close.
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Oh Dobby!

 

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There is a corridor full of work from conceptual artists. I thoroughly recommend pausing here to take a good look.
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EEeee!

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I loved it all. Can you tell? I am a pretty big HP fan, I can’t help it, I grew up with it, read and re read all the books, loved the films. Not necessarily cool for a 29 year old but you gotta do you.

Not long until Christmas now! Are you ready? 

Home is where my heart is

It’s no secret that I am a homebody. I love being in my own space and I spend a reasonable amount of time thinking about how I can make our flat more homely.

There are a few spots and things around our home that I am a bit in love with at the moment and I thought I’d share them, if only to serve as a reminder for myself the next time I wonder about updating things.

Our Drinks trolley

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This trolley was in my parents home; my mum found it in a second hand store back in the 80s. It’s been in their dining room as a side board, and in their hall as a table and now it’s joined us. We use it to store our wine glasses and spirits. On top there is a lamp that I’ve ‘borrowed’ from my mum and some famed bits, including a family portrait of my great grandparents and my grandfather as a little boy.

Eames Style Chairs

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The collection is growing a little; it started with a white DSW from Jack, and was more recently added to with this White DAW and a Padded RAR Rocker. I think, if you are curious, they are all from Lakeland Furniture.

Our Dining Table

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When we moved in together a few years ago, it was around my birthday and my mum asked me what I would like. I said some money towards a table and chairs. Instead she took my to Home from Home store in Haywards Heath and let me choose a set. I love the kind of country kitchen chairs and tables, that you can probably find in so many people’s home.

My Dressing Table

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It is my favourite of my gumtree finds, and maybe the most expensive (I think it was around £90) and I am very grateful to Jack for going to collect this, and all the other bits I’ve spotted on gumtree over the last two years. The Eames style chair was a birthday present from Jack last year.

Our BedroomBedroom

After some headboard switches (via gumtree, yes I know! Again!) I’ve finally found one that I am happy with. Our divan bed was a wedding present from Jack’s parents, and we couldn’t bring ourselves to add a headboard to the cost at the time. Beds are pricey!

My favourite winter linen is woodland creatures in white and grey from Primark, and our waffle throw from John Lewis. Yes, that hot water bottle is useless, it’s so small! If only *someone* would get a me a grownup sized one for Christmas…

I cannot wait to get out all the Christmas decorations next weekend. I’ve just about managed to hold off on decorating too early. I know some people go full on in November, but I think Jack would disown me.

Do you have your decorations up yet? Or are you waiting for December patiently too?

Little Book Review: One Moment, One Morning

I must have been given this book at Christmas at least two years ago, and it has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting for it’s moment. And a last week that moment finally arrived.

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One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner is a sad and moving story which follows three women over the course of a week. I really don’t want to spoil it for you, but thoroughly recommend it is added to your reading list. It’s a wonderful reflection of life and the struggles people face.

Now what to read next? I’m always looking for new recommendations, so if you have any please pop them in a comment for me!

Copenhagen

So if you know me personally or follow me on Instagram you will have seen that Jack and I recently visited Copenhagen for a couple of days. It’s a city that has been on my visit list for a couple of years and in the summer we both decide 2016 was the year for it, so we booked a stay for Autumn half-term.

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Where we stayed

When we were looking for places to stay, as usual we took a look at TripAdvisor, because all the blog posts in the world aren’t going to help me see reviews, ranking and a price comparison between over 100 hotels.

We settled on Hotel Alexandra, and stayed in their standard double room which was around £90 per night. We booked through booking.com via the Avios website, because we are busy collecting points these days in the hope to aid our future travels.

The room was a great base, not massive but comfy and a good nights sleep. The hotel hallways and lounge were beautifully put together and if you like mid century design, you’d enjoy a stay here.

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The hotel has a environmental policy, and to encourage  guests to participate they reward you with a DKK100 voucher towards the honest bar or restaurant, instead of having you room totally cleaned each day of your stay. We took advantage of that, see wine above.

Where did we eat

Day 1

We arrived around lunch so headed into the city centre to hunt some food. We did have a snoop again on Trip Advisor, as we’ve been known to eat in some dud restaurants on our travels, and we found ourselves outside Café Norden.

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O my goodness! This place was so lovely, the food was delicious. It wasn’t super obvious if you could just grab a table, so initally we hovered downstairs, so if you go, head upstairs – it’s massive – and grab a table and then order at the bar. They have english menus behind the bar so ask if you want one, it made ordering much much easier!

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The vegetarian triple burger and the Smørrebrød

People did warn us: Copehagen is expensive to eat out. To give you an idea, my triple veggie burger and Jack’s open sandwich platter (Smørrebrød) were just over £20 each. So be prepared before you go!

For dinner I had booked an early table (6:30pm) at Almanak, as I had read some good reviews before we’d set off on our trip. It is a beautiful setting and just around the corner from the gorgeous Nyhavn canel, so I would recommend a lunchtime visit so you can visit both.

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Day 2

We didn’t choose to have breakfast included at the hotel, so that we would be forced to get out and explore. Thankfully there a lot of bakeries in Copehagen and a short walk from our hotel we found Lagkagehuset, which is a prolific chain which you can find throughout the city.

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Mid morning we had been walking for two hours or so and got pretty peckish so snuck into the Lounge area of Hotel Guldsmeden Babette, for a cup of tea and half a panini each. It was a really lovely space, sofa, rugs, books, candles.

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Hotel Guldsmeden Babette

Lunch was our most low key of the trip, at Friends & Brgrs, which was actually way better than I thought it would be from street level. I have no idea when or how the deal works but when we were there on the Thursday it was 2 for 1, so best value meal of the three days. Also Chipotle Mayo…

Dinner that evening was pizza at a restaurant recommended by our hotel, which was just a street away: The Italian. It was a good pizza for each of us, if you are after an easy meal this was it. Walking distance back to our hotel won, after a day of lots and lots of walking.

Day 3

O my goodness the rain on our third day in Copenhagen was epic. We scurried to the 2nd best bakery in the city: Andersen Bakery. No, I’ve no idea what the pastries I had were, but they were delicious.

Something to note is that you need to get a table before you can order in. So if you want to sit in, go grab a seat and then go up to order.

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Lunch was in a museum, yes you read that right. As I said, it was raining a lot on the Friday so we hid in the National Gallery of Denmark for most of our final afternoon. The café there is at the back in a massive modern extension, which had a gorgeous view out over the surroundings.

National Gallery of Denmark
Snap taken the day before, in the winter sunshine.

We had left our bags at the hotel, as checkout was at 11am, so on our wander back, once the rain had slowed we walked the long way back a snuck in one last pastry. One of my recommendations for anyone visiting the city would be to visit Torvehallerne, which is an awesome indoor market. One half is more of a food shopping market with delicatessens and butchers etc. and the other is brimming with lovely cafe’s a tiny eateries.

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Torvehallerne

Inside we stopped at Laura’s Bakery. 1. because my name’s Laura so… and 2. see the photo below.screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-20-30-58

Seriously good pastries!

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This was our last morsel before heading to the airport in plenty of time. Yes, we did have dinner at the airport and yes it was good, but I draw the line a meal photography, and that didn’t pass.

Now. You could mistakenly assume that we just sat around in various restaurants and cafés and saw very little of the city. But you would be wrong. We walked around the city a lot. On our sunny Thursday we clocked up 16miles of walking.

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Amalienborg

I recommend packing your comfiest sneakers and going for a walk. So many of the streets are cobbled, or paved that sensible shoes are a must.

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Storkespringvandet with Café Norden behind

 

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Inderhavnbroen with a view over to Almanak

We had an awesome couple of days, I do wish I has packed a bigger brolly (which I lost whilst there) and I am glad I took full winter garb, mitten and all. We didn’t hit up Tivoli Gardens whilst we were there, Jack doesn’t like theme parks and I don’t like going on rides alone, but it look amazing, so if you are keen definitely give it a go!

We’re off to Bruges in Belgium next, for a little Christmas market/8 year anniversary weekend before Christmas, so if you have any recommendations for us I am all ears!

Kew Gardens

Autumn. I bloomin’ love it. I know I’ve mentioned that before.

I love the changing leaves. Apparently I love travelling into central London to see some changing of the leaves. Because last Monday that’s what we did, and it was such a lovely afternoon, wandering around Kew gardens.

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Green house goals! The Palm House was amazing! You can climb up to a raised level to look over the palms. I married a scaredy-cat so we stayed on the ground.
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Obligatory selfie
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Geese
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Awesome autumn colours
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These giant lily pads were beautiful. Felt a bit sorry for some of them! People had been throwing coins in, and some of them had tears in them. People are weird.
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No but seriously look at those colours
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Persistent drake
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The Hive

The Hive was pretty cool. I imagine it is at it’s best when the meadow flowers are in bloom.

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Inside the Hive.

Some things to note:

Take the free map, you will need it, it’s a big old space, with lots of different areas to explore.

The amazing Evolution House is currently closed for a massive restoration project and will remain closed until 2018. It is the largest surviving victorian glasshouse and the restoration project (if completed on time) will take five years in total.  It was a shame not be able to look around this awesome building but I guess we will just have to go back.

You can picnic here. You do not need to buy lunch on site. We didn’t plan ahead and spent over £20 on some sandwich and drinks. Learn from my mistake folks.

I’d love to visit again in spring to see the blooms start. If you get the chance I’d totally recommend a wander around, there are loads of details about how, when, where and how much on the Kew website.

Do you have any recommendation for UK spots I should check out? Are you a garden wanderer or a national trust fan?