Monday, 23 February 2015

Catch Up

It has been a pretty quiet week so far. After Paris, and Skiing and then Rome (and Dublin this weekend!) and some relaxation time was massively needed.

My weekend was spent getting up to date on Grey's Anatomy (heartbreaking), Walking Dead and marathons of Modern Family. I sorted stuff that needed to be sorted, hit the gym and rewarded myself with a lovely pub dinner on Sunday with the boyfriend.

Between weekends of no internet and going through a massively busy period at work, I had a looong list of posts on my bloglovin' feed to catch up on! Here are some of my favorite from the last (couple of) weeks.

Why Being 8 Was Great! - My childhood...and some adulthood
Voluminous Hair - Flat care, don't care (for it)
23 Photos All 20-Somethings Instagram - True dat
Pilates - I need to book that class
Be a Tourist in Your City - Yes. In London, Edinburgh and Newcastle
Life Changing Banana Bread - Because I always buy fruit and never eat it. I have four very ripe banana's sitting on my kitchen bench

Saturday, 21 February 2015


On Wednesday, my friend and I went to see Beautiful at Aldwych Theater. A musical about the life of singer songwriter Carole King.

I didn't realize how many great songs were hers! She has been responsible for over 100 hit singles. You've Got a Friend, One Fine Day, Up on the Roof, You've Lost That Loving Feeling. All Carole's. Very impressive.

Our seats were quiet high up. We had a great view but they are not got the faint hearted! We were in the middle of our row so had to squeeze past people to get to our seats and my heart was in my throat, one trip and I felt like I would tumble right onto the stage. Once I was sitting down though it as fine - pheww. I am not good with heights.

The show as great - the cast were all brilliant. I was so impressed by Joanna Woodward playing the lead. I was so surprise after the show when I found out that she was the understudy. And I have to say, my friend and I got very excited when we spotted Jay Perry from S Club Juniors in the Ensemble!

If you want a show to get you moving in your seats go see this ! You will be singing the soundtrack all week.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

When In Rome

I am becoming right the little jet setter. My lovely boyfriend rang me up Thursday night and told me to pack a suitcase. He was whisking me away to Rome for valentines weekend! Less than a week after we got back from Switzerland (thank goodness I had all my laundry done).

It was a bit of a mad dash to get to the airport in time after work on Friday. We literally made it by about a minute, I was majorly stressing. But we did make it, and I calmed down (with the help of some wine - thanks BA) and before I knew it we were in Rome! Somewhere I had really wanted to go for the longest time.

Our hotel was really central, though perhaps not in the best location. It was right by Termini train station and most train stations aren't in the best area. We went out to grab some midnight ice-cream (of course, I mean Italy), and spotted a few ladies of the night...

Anyways, like I said it was very central. We were about a fifteen minute walk from the Colosseum, our first stop on Saturday morning. It was really very cool. We stood in the arena and imagined that we were gladiators heading into our fight. My boyfriend reckoned he could take down a lion or two no problem. I wish we had paid for a tour of it, rather than just wondering around by ourselves though. We stopped and sneakily listened to a few guides and what they were saying was so interesting. The snippets I heard really gave more life to the building and helped with our imaging!


We then walked through the forum, and jumped on a bus to the Vatican. When we arrived, the big screens around St Peter's Square we all on as new Cardinals were being welcomed into the church by the Pope. After a little browse, we joined a big que that was snaking around the square. We weren't entirely sure what the que was for (I had a nights notice before the trip - no time to research), but it was long so it had to be good and decided to wait in it a little while. Turns out it was to enter the Basilica which was very impressive. Obviously, it didn't move for a little while as the service for the Cardinals was still in progress, but it meant that when we were allowed to enter it wasn't completely filled to the brim with tourists. Also, it was extra cool that the Pope had been there 20 minutes before us! Before you enter the Basilica you have to go through airport-esk security and there are a lot of signs telling you to be quiet and to be respectful as of course, it is a place of worship, and there are lots of fairly intimidating men in uniforms around to enforce this. Of course, my very accident prone boyfriend manage to fall up the stairs entering the church, causing a bit of a fuss and lots of glares and titters from said security. 

By this time, our stomachs were rumbling. And surely it is a crime to be hungry when you're in Italy, so we headed in the direction of our next destination, the Pantheon, and grabbed some lunch. We shared a pizza for a starter and had a pasta dish each for our mains. I went for spaghetti and meatballs, but was very jealous of my boyfriends amazing carbonara.

After the Pantheon, we went to the Trevi Fountain. This was my only disappointment of the trip. It was one of the things in Rome that I was really looking forward to seeing, but when we got there, it was all covered in scaffolding, with not a drop of water in sight. We discovered that it was closed for repairs for the year. Typical. Nevermind, I still threw a penny in! With ice-cream in hand to cheer us up, we took in more of the sites Rome has to offer.

One thing about Rome that I really wasn't expecting was the level of poverty. I don't know why, but in my head I never pictured Rome to seem... poor. But it did. Every step you take, there is a man or women trying to sell you a rose, or a bag, or a self-stick (yes, really. I have never seen so many self-sticks before in my life. No I did not buy one), it was really annoying, and I have to admit I did get a little frustrated. But then we went out for a nice dinner on the Saturday evening, and walking to the restaurant we passed a LOT of homeless people sleeping on the street, with just a bit of cardboard for shelter. The worst was on one corner, I saw a little make-shift tent made from some clear plastic sheet. Mum was sleeping by the tent, with dad and two little children inside. The sight of those two little pairs of shoes outside broke my heart. I wish I had bough a bloody self-stick or a rose or something.

It was a lovely valentines day surprise. We had such a fun time together and ate so much pizza and so much pasta and so much ice-cream. I came home feeling all the more cultured, with a massive craving to re-read some Dan Brown books.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Traveling alone

So, pre-skiing I had to go to Paris for a few days for work (not a fun trip, literally hotel, office, hotel,
office). I got back into London around 9pm on the Friday and my flight for Switzerland was like 7am the next day. Urgh.

I always get the Eurostar into Gare du Nord and from there get a taxi to the office. This time I had a bit of a disaster. Basically the taxi driver took me for a bit of a ride ! We were driving for ages and ages and I knew it should only take about 15 minutes. so I asked him how far away we were and that I thought we would have arrived by now. He replied saying 'oh yes, very close'. Then we went around a corner and the road was closed so he told me it would be quicker to walk, just go down that street. So I did and followed his directions but didn't recognise anywhere. I ended on some quiet backstreet and I had no clue where I was. After wandering for like 15 mins I gave someone the address of the office and asked where it was. They were like oh, it's the other side of Paris, you can't walk there. Great. So I had to track down another taxi which took ageeeees (I finally found a very nice security man outside a hotel to help me). Then I finally made it to the office. A journey which should have taken me about 15/20 minutes ending up taking about 2 hours. 

At no point did I feel particularly unsafe. Embarrassed, yes. Wet, yes (it was pouring). Annoyed, tired, frustrated, a bit panicked that I was now running so late. Yes. But it was the middle of the day and there were lots of people around so I was ok. 

But it made me think. The taxi driver saw a young, English girl who didn't speak a lot of the language and they took advantage. It could have been so much worse. That taxi driver could have taken me anywhere or done anything to me. 

For next time, what can I do differently? I can't change being a young women, or that I'm English, or that I don't speak the language of everywhere I travel to. What do you guys do when traveling alone to look after yourselves?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Skiing in Switzerland

Switzerland was so wonderful. It was a break that I massively needed. As I mentioned in the previous post, I am not the best skier in the world, but I just love the mountains. The views are incredible, and it is just so calm and relaxing. The air is just so fresh and makes my skin feel amazing. Plus, lots of cheese. And lots of Toblerone. 

What is not to love.