In July, I decided to take a trip at the end of August down south, for a few days, to see my best friend. By mid August, I was so in need of a holiday that those few days turned into 8.
What’s the point of working for yourself if you can’t actually take a holiday? A question us self employed ask ourselves quite a bit. Lots of people presume that we doss about mostly but it’s that outlook that makes most of us more determined to work more, which means not a lot of holiday time!
So I took a trip to Bishops Stortford (where my bestie lives), London and Cambridge.
London always excites me, it’s the location of my book and it’s somewhere that fascinates me. It’s like its own little world and nowhere else exists when you’re there. I did the whole tourist thing and took my camera, only to find out that my battery had not been charged…. Luckily my best friend had his camera which he kindly let me use. (Although by the 100th picture I am pretty sure he regretted it!)
We visited the British Library (something very apt about two writers doing that) and my it was swish! My local library pales in comparison (I want white marble floors and glass book cases!)
Then we went on to visit St James Park, (didn’t get to see the pink flamingos) Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, China Town (where we ate at the same Chinese like we did in prior years – creature of habits!) the M&M’s shop and then over to South Bank.
This had to be one of my highlights not only because it had beautiful views of the Thames and Big Ben, but I was here to see House of Burlesque at Wonder Ground. If you know me well, you’ll know about my obsession with all things burlesque so I jumped at the chance of seeing them perform.
During our wait for the show to start, we sat in a cafe over looking the Thames watching the sun set. I know it sounds weird but, I pick up hugely on acoustics. I love the sounds of the city – the rushing of traffic, the whooshing of the trains, the hissing of the chatter and the click of the heels on the well worn streets.
There was a moment that gave me goose bumps. It was whilst watching the busker who was belting out ‘I’m a survivor’ under the inky black sky, as the lights lit up the background of the Thames, and the train that rattled over the bridge as it shuck it’s surroundings that really did it for me. You’d have to be there.
There’s some kind of Festival of Love going on in these parts so I think it was busier than usual. The show was fantastic and sadly I couldn’t take any pictures because no one was allowed but if you like circus type performances with raunchy routines – then it’s worth a visit!
With a quick dash to catch the last tube – we were home before I turned into a pumpkin.
C is for …
The next day, the weather was grand so we took a trip to Cambridge. As we walked in (yes walked, no tube) from the station, it wasn’t how I imagined it to look like. That was until we got more central and then the architecture reaffirmed it was indeed Cambridge and I was in awe.
It had a totally different vibe to London, with it’s cobbled streets, masses of bikes and a beautiful canal / river. It reminded me a lot like Oxford in way that it looked as though it had gone back to the 1950’s (with Top Shop.)
We took the opportunity to go punting. It was a history cruise which is not usually my sort of thing because I can’t stand history (sorry best friend don’t demote me..) But it was a great opportunity to take a load of pictures of the grand colleges etc and the river life. I learnt that there is more than one Cambridge college (don’t scoff…)
We stopped off at a sweet shop with every imaginable sweet, to buy some presents and then on to a delicatessen that I’d clocked earlier on.
You know me and cake right – I certainly didn’t miss these bad boys! They had every cake imaginable but I went for a strawberry Victoria gateaux with nuts. My stomach permitted me from taking pictures…
Back to Bishops we gorged, chilled and booked a random trip to Paris for January.
Home time kind of…
7 hours later, I was home and feeling very tired but no rest for the wicked as I went off to Birmingham to see more friends which was nice but not as eventful (thankfully) as South.
And then my last day of travelling consisted of going down to South Shropshire to visit a friend who lives in Bishops Castle. I needed some country living to help me adjust and get me back to my more relaxed lifestyle. And as you do, I spent most of the day making clocks! My friends over at Vinyl Clocks have the most amazing office – looking out over the rolling hills of Wales.
They do a service whereby you can request a vinyl of the song that was number 1 in the year that you were born. I’d like to say I got something really cool but It’s safe to say (despite much teasing) ‘Show me Heaven’ was quite OK with me.
Finishing off with a lovely walk with their office dog it was a great way to conclude my holiday and a reminder to bring wellies next time!
Have you been anywhere nice this year?