At the end of August, I took a week off. I had no exciting travel plans. No big events scheduled. Just a little staycation to give me time to relax and unwind. Maybe that doesn’t sound hugely exciting, but it was one my favourite weeks ever!
Between my Canon 70D and my phone, I always had a way to capture what I was doing. These are my favourite pictures from the week:
(Be warned, you may need snacks. This isn’t a short post and it contains a lot of brunch and ice-cream.)
Day one: Saturday
Day two: Sunday
Once I’d finished stuffing my face, I walked up Boscombe’s cliff front to meet my friend Rich. Every so often we plan photography fun days and, with my new camera in tow, I was super excited to start snapping. This was the weekend of the Air Show, so we avoided the crazy-busy Bournemouth and drove to Old Harry Rocks on the Isle of Purbeck. We took a walk around the cliffs and looped back to The Bankes Arms for a drink. As luck would have it, we didn’t even miss the Air Show – the planes flew overhead while we sat sipping our beverages in the beer garden!
Day three: Monday
Turns out the only thing better than a Sunday brunch is a Monday brunch!
I started the day in Westbourne, one of my favourite spots. Ma, Kate and I had breakfast at Circo Lounge, before taking a quick browse of the local shops. I’m a huge fan of the gorgeous-looking Westbourne Bookshop, where I picked up a quirky notebook (instead of ruled lines, it had lines of literature. In this case, it was Alice in Wonderland).
And then it was time for my hair cut! After getting a few inches chopped off and having my blonde balayage updated, I felt super fresh and summery!
On my way home, I treated myself to a bath bomb, a Primark trip and a Mr Whippy. Start the week as you mean to go on, right?
Day four: Tuesday
I had a day trip planned with Ma on Tuesday. We’d decided to visit the quaint seaside town of Weymouth. She sprung a little surprise on me, though: I had to drive! I’m still a learner, and I’ve never driven anywhere close to the 60+ miles I did that day, so I’m sure it was pretty good practice. But I won’t lie, I totally had white knuckles from gripping the steering wheel.
Our first stop was a little outdoor cafe for a refreshing drink and an ice-cream. We browsed the shops, I picked up a few bargains (maybe more about that another time), we sprawled on the sand to enjoy the late-August sunshine and then grabbed a fabulous lunch in Prezzo. After that, we spent the afternoon walking along the promenade. Weymouth is picture-postcard perfect; a still from a seaside poster you might have seen decades ago, just with the saturation and vibrancy turned up.
Day five: Wednesday
It was forecast to be sunny, so we decided to hit the beach. The little yellow icon on my phone hadn’t prepared me for quite how hot it would be! Naturally – despite the SPF30 – I got slightly sunburnt, but it was nice to lie in the sand and relax for a few hours.
After getting suitably frazzled, we decided to paddle (cautiously) in the sea. One of us was wary of the unseasonably chilly water, the other was terrified of accidentally stepping on a weaverfish/jelly fish/crab/great white shark. I’ll let you work out who’s who.
We were having a beautiful time until a rogue wave snuck up while I was trying to take a selfie and drenched us.
Our sandy, damp selves then fancied an ice-cream, but we couldn’t find a kiosk that’d accept cards on the promenade (an eternal struggle of the beach-dweller). I’m sure you’ll agree, we had no other choice than to drive over to Sprinkles and treat ourselves to mountainous sundaes! It did a fabulous job of cooling me down after three hours of sunning myself!
Once I arrived home, my sister Kate practised her latest make-up artistry techniques on me and turned me into a mermaid. Getting covered in make-up scales and glitter is a fun way to spend the afternoon.
And finally, as all Union Jack-toting Brits know, Wednesday means… Great British Bake Off! So Kate and I baked cupcakes in preparation for the first episode. Kate’s rosebud decorations were pretty sweet:
Day 6: Thursday
Thursday started with another breakfast out (wow, exactly how many of those have I had now?).
This time, Dad and I went to Jenkins & Sons, which is one of my favourite places for crispy bacon and perfectly poached eggs.
After eating, I went straight to my friend Lizzy’s house and spent the day with her and her baby, Mila. Just in case that makes me sound too grown-up, I’ll let you in on a secret: we danced to Rizzle Kicks (Mila’s idea, honestly), played with Snapchat filters and watched Grease: Live. Well, I sort of insisted on the latter. But obviously, I was enjoying it ironically.
Day 7: Friday
How cute is this little denim dress? I do love clothes shopping for tiny friend.
Here’s the thing about Riggers: you’re served delicious food, and you get a pretty good feeling after paying the bill – that’s a first. Every £1 you spend there goes to helping the RNLI’s amazing volunteers save lives at sea. You don’t get that at many restaurants, huh?
Saturday was Mila’s birthday party, so I walked over to wish her a happy first birthday! I feel it’s important to mention the bouncy castle and emphasise how grown-up parties really lack inflatable fun things.
After the party started to wind down, Lizzie and Jonny (he’s on the bouncy castle!) asked me to be Mila’s godmother. I’m 99% sure that, for a brief moment, my face morphed into the heart eyes emoji. I was, and still am, totally over the moon.
And it’s weird – I’m not really into babies or children. Puppies? Cute! Kittens? The best. Babies? Meh. But Mila, my favourite tiny person on the planet, is an absolute exception. I’m so incredibly honoured to be a part of her life.
Day 9: Sunday
Yep, I’m there from late November into December, so I get to experience Christmas in the Big Apple. I’ve already booked tickets to see The Rockettes at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular – and my head is swimming with giant Christmas trees, ice-skating rinks, tankards of hot chocolate, festive department store windows, frosty Central Park views and big wooly hats…
I’ll stop now.
Day 10: Monday
I managed to be pretty productive, quickly cramming several years’ worth of laundry, meal planning for the week and cooking into the day. The latter are new additions to my life. I’m trying to be a) more organised, and b) healthier. That means finding creative ways to feed my fussy self vegetables, and actually cooking myself delicious little lunches rather than gorging on Asda sandwiches and junk food during the week. Wish me luck. I think I’ll need it.
I’ll leave you with this picture of Jude, who appeared on Sunday night for a cuddle before bedtime!
Huge thank you to all my friends and family who took time out to see me during my week off. And for putting up with my incessant picture-taking. Writing this made me realise how bloomin’ lucky I am to have such brilliant people around me.
Stick around to find out what I’ve been up to since! And while you’re waiting, may I suggest following my Twitter and Instagram accounts? It’s mostly my cats and food. And very occasionally I’m funny.