I always used to be quite blasé about travelling. When I was at school, and the time came to take a flight back home to Islay, the tutors would drop me off at the airport hours and hours ahead of time and leave me there (I usually insisted). 

I made a bit of a project of it. I'd sit for ages and watch people using airports – where they tripped up or did something they weren't supposed to, or got the procedures wrong – and eventually, probably aged 14, I was pretty sure I had airports down. Since then, I've consistently left everything to the last possible moment, booked the last remaining seat left on a crucial bus, ignored all paperwork and been confronted with a woefully unsuitable selection of clothes when I opened my suitcase.

Perhaps it's because I haven't left the country for three years, or perhaps it's the length of time I'm going away for this time, but for the last few weeks, I've been preparing like mad.


Unfortunately for my poor bank balance, this has usually involved acquiring things – but it's nice to think that being prepared doesn't just mean paperwork. One thing I'm so pleased to have in time for this trip is this Canon AE1 (top). Ben mentioned to his dad that I had been after one for a while, he happened to be going to an auction the day after and there it was. I'm looking forward to getting to know it a little better while I'm away. 

My other (possibly slightly optimistic) favourite thing I've acquired recently are the amazing Swedish Hasbeen-esque clogs (second picture), which I hope I get an opportunity to wear. These aren't Hasbeens though, they're from Lotta from Stockholm (so they're much cheaper).

I  have a new passport, travel insurance, guide books, other books, currency in advance and have even considered the possibility of a practice suitcase pack. I think my 14-year-old self would probably roll her eyes and disown me.



At the end of this seriously hectic week, I'm definitely in need of a cocktail this evening, and I've been thinking about this one ever since Ben and I made it as part of the cocktail masterclass we did in London while we were there. 

It's seriously tasty, kind of like apple pie in a glass (which doesn't sound that great, I suppose, but it really is lovely). I wrote down the recipe as we went as it's so easy – now it can fix Fridays for everyone.


Apple Pie Cocktail (not its official name)

1 shot gin
1 shot cinnamon syrup
1 shot lime juice
2 shots cloudy apple juice
slice of apple

Pour all the shots into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake away until the metal is cold, then strain into a cocktail glass. (To make the apple garnish, slice the apple thinly, then put a cocktail stick through the corner and fan out.)


Twee Forgive Me

This long weekend I was able to get up to London for the first time in an age (probably a year) and it was lovely – like someone else's life entirely, although one I'd be quite happy to take on. 

The main reason for our trip was to go and see the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy with Ben's parents and then to wander round the corner to have lunch right at the top of the National Portrait Gallery, with its incredible rooftop views across London.
It really was all quite spectacular, and I hope to write more on the exhibition, and exhibitions in general, another day (once I've sorted out my thoughts about them). 

The other reason for our trip was that Ben had been given an 'experience' as a Christmas gift, part of which involved a very indulgent afternoon tea featuring all of the terribly twee things (macaroons, teacups etc) that years ago I promised myself I would generally try to avoid featuring in blog posts. I suppose it had to happen sometime though, and it was Easter...

I'm actually not sure that I've ever had a real full afternoon tea before, and I'm equally unsure whether I would ever need to have one again, but it was all terribly photogenic, and actually I'm afraid I just couldn't help myself. 
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Blog Fog

Typically, I finally manage two posts in one week, and then get snowed under the next (not literally, thankfully) and manage none at all. One day I will be a regular two posts a week girl.


Nothing though, not even a pressing deadline (especially not a pressing deadline actually), gets me out of bed in the morning the way spying a foggy dawn through the curtains does. 

I've always been a bit fascinated by fog, since the days of waiting for the primary school bus and running from one patch of lawn to the other patch and feeling confused that the fog around me didn't look the same as it did when I saw it from a distance. 

I think I like weather that makes a place look like a different place: snow, huge heaving storms, summer downpours that turn streets into temporary rivers, and fog, which seems to make my little part of Bristol look like a little patch of Dickensian London, everywhere you turn.