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Tag Archives: Holidays

Grey Xmas

I’m already resigned to it being a rainy Xmas this year rather than a snowy one, though brief bursts of hail have whitened to hill tops of Cumbria. With enough warm and waterproof clothing, none of this is a problem at all.

Whilst some people might enjoy activity filled holidays, I prefer to wind things back a notch and slow down when taking a break. Laying in bed each morning is allowed, breakfasts last longer and lunches take place whenever they can be comfortably slotted in. Rushing is never allowed and everywhere is explored at a steady pace. Plans for the week are loose, with only a big Xmas grocery shop being the immovable object in the calendar.

It seems that every time I pay for something in a shop the person at the checkout asks me if I’m ready for Xmas yet. I think I’ve been ready for it for some time – I have no worries about last minute travel plans and frantic trolley dashes round the stores. So I’ll be ambling around the Lakes, taking the occasional photo and making sure I meet my daily quota of mince pies.

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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Clothes, Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Shopping, Travel, Xmas

 

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Holiday Time

With Xmas just around the corner, the Sock Mistress and I have decided to be our usual antisocial selves and go hide in the Lake District for a week. We’ll be shacked up in a little cottage, with the heating turned up high and the fridge groaning at the seams from all the food we’ll be stockpiling.

The journey across the country has been a pleasant one – first class rail as usual. Totally worth the extra money for the extra leg room and unlimited tea/biscuits. Plus, since it’s still an ordinary working day, the trains aren’t busy. The weather may be its usual fickle self, but it’s December – it’s not as if it was going to be hot and sunny.

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Travel, Xmas

 

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On The Rails

Once again myself and the Sock Mistress are heading up North for a Scottish holiday. It’s a lovely train ride and though I travel fairly often as part of my job, it hasn’t taken the sheen off a nice long rail journey.

Normally I prefer a city break to the wild countryside, I like my modern conveniences too much. However, departing from the script this time, I won’t have WiFi and perhaps not even a strong 3G connection! Cripes, if this doesn’t get me away from a screen and face-to-face with nature, nothing will.

The first 9 hours or so of today will be spent travelling, which is impressive, especially since I’ll still be on the same island. However, the weather is looking promising for October and the week ahead should be thoroughly enjoyable.

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2013 in Holidays, Travel

 

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Going Up North


Airports are strange, unnatural places – which makes sense, because there is very little less natural than being strapped down in a metal tube and allowing yourself to be exploded across the sky. However, if you want to travel internationally, they’re something of a practical necessity. Not for the first time, I’m going to be taking my Spring vacation in Helsinki. Over the years it’s become a second home to me, so rather than risk trying somewhere new, I’m taking comfort in familiar Finland.

I’ve never managed to master the language and the exchange rate between the Pound and the Euro isn’t particularly favourable. Nonetheless, I love the design consciousness that pervades everything in Helsinki, I love the markets and the closeness to the sea… I even like the food… so really, there was no other choice.

Before I head off up North, I’ve got an overnight stay in Manchester. Luckily that means I can begin my holiday gorging/feasting a day early!!! I hope this won’t effect the flight-worthiness of my plane tomorrow, I’d like to think that even I can’t eat and drink so much that I can stop a plane from being able to lift off.

 
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Posted by on May 26, 2013 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors

 

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Downtime

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Today I was lucky enough to have achieved that fabled, fabulous and rare thing – booked a day off from work. In reality I get as many holiday days allocated to me as the next wage slave. However, as I needed to have 3 different kinds of eye test performed on me (long story) I thought that I may as well take the whole day off from work and spend some time doing… um…

Well, that’s the question isn’t it? What to do when my time is my own? As much fun as sprawling on the sofa/in bed can be, the inactivity makes me restless. Window shopping is fun, but I buy most things online these days (Windows shopping?) but it makes a change to flick through a rack of albums or Blu Rays. Lunch with the Sock Mistress is a bonus and so much nicer than a Tupperware lunchbox of sandwiches at my office desk.

The best thing about my day off though is just taking a break from the usual routine. Being able to take a coffee break when I want to take a coffee break. Not having to see the same faces on the train, answer the same kind of questions on the phone and not having to rush through the day bound by somebody else’s ticking clock. Today I haven’t even worn a watch and there’s something slightly liberating about that.

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2013 in Food, Health, Holidays, Shopping, Travel

 

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Let The Festivities Begin!

With Christmas just around the corner, the Sock Mistress and I have escaped from our usual habitat to a cottage in the Lake District for the week. I’ve been looking forward to this tremendously over the last month or so and now it’s finally arrived I’ve got that ‘big kid’ feeling that only Christmas can really bring.

During the past week at work there’s been the usual round-the-watercooler type of conversations with colleagues about everyone’s plans for the festive season and (rather pleasingly) I’ve been able to trump them all every time. Most people were bracing themselves for marathon drinking sessions, marathon child-wrestling bouts or just wanted a few days relief from the office. Telling them I’ll be in a small cottage by a lake beneath snow capped hillsides just caused people to turn glassy eyed as they drifted away with the thought of it.

Even in the most remote corners of England, you’re never too far from a decent WiFi signal or a Co Op with reasonable opening times. As such I don’t feel as though civilisation has been abandoned, it’s just been put to one side for now. I have a fridge filled with full-fat milk, local eggs and butter. I have underfloor heating and a bathtub I can stretch out in. I have a Christmas tree in the corner of the room and no particular plans to stick to. That all feels very civilised indeed if you ask me.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2012 in Food, Holidays, Outdoors, Travel, Xmas

 

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Out and About

Despite a heavy downpour of rain in the early hours of the morning, today quickly became bright and pleasant. Wandering around a foreign city with no plans and no agenda is always a liberating and enjoyable experience. This is true even though I have next to no mastery of the Finnish language and an innate inability to remember to look the OTHER way when crossing the road. A breezy ‘Hello’ instead of a ‘Hei’ at the checkout seems to be enough for your typically tri-lingual Finn to recognise that you’re not from round here. As for crossing the road… I’ll keep working on that.

Having a quick scoot around the markets in Helsinki is always great fun. The smell of fresh fruit and bread will literally stop you in your tracks. The other thing that stopped me in my tracks was the stall selling anatomically correct male and female genitalia made from chocolate. €30 for a double pack, which seemed a little pricey, even for Finland. I went for a bar of Fazer instead…

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Holidays, Shopping

 

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