Skies of Blue

Conwy Mountain isn’t really a mountain; it’s more of a hill. But, for one reason or another, the giant mound behind Conwy Marina is known locally as Conwy Mountain. Growing up, I spent lots of summers (and many more weekends) in North Wales, visiting seaside towns such as Caernarfon and Beaumaris, collecting shells and sea glass at the beaches and taking in the splendour of Snowdonia National Park. From Chester, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump down the A55, and I was only too happy to spend a weekend there with my parents over the summer.

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Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake | Gâteau aux Pépites de Chocolat

[veuillez défiler vers le bas pour la version française] A few weeks ago, I had a weekend that was filled with baking, for a number of reasons. One was simply that I fancied making shortbread. (Success! Now to experiment with a few other flavours . . .) Another was because my contestant in the office sweepstake crashed out of the Great British Bake Off in the second week, meaning I had to bake for the office. (At least he went out while I still had access to a multitude of kitchen utensils.) And finally, I had a few eggs that needed using up and we all know that cake is the way to go when faced with that situation. I didn’t want to overcomplicate things, so opted for a plain loaf cake with chocolate chips: perfect for my packed lunch, and also a treat that travelled well when I went down to visit my grandma that week.

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Percy and Pals at the Kent County Show

Established in 1923, the Kent County Show has been giving visitors a taste of life in the Garden of England for the best part of a century. Featuring over four hundred exhibitors and a (mind-boggling) choice of three hundred-odd activities, there’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do here. Spread over three days in early July, this year’s show conveniently coincided with our short stay at my Grandma’s, so Grandma, Mum and I decided to venture over and make a day of it.

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My Bookshelf #3 | September 2017

Since the last instalment in this series, I’ve lapsed a little on the reading front as life inevitably got in the way. I moved back to Chester, then down to London and finally up to Cambridge, all within the space of a couple of months. It was beginning to feel a little like a live version of Location, Location, Location, to tell you the truth – but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve landed a job I enjoy, where I’m paid to do one of the things I love most: surround myself with books. Over the past few months, I’ve read books for all sorts of reasons: some simply because they were sat on the bookshelf; others because I really wanted to see what all the hype was about. Some I really loved; others fell flat. I’m sorry to say it, but The Girl on the Train just didn’t do it for me. (Maybe the film is better. Any opinions?) A Nurse in Time had potential, but fell short of the mark. Fortunately, after a few duds (the biggest by far being The Lie), things picked up and I read book after book that I absolutely loved.

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A Little More London

Just a couple of days after flying back to the UK after a year of ups and downs in Lyon, I headed down to London to meet up with Laurence for the day. I caught an early train in an attempt to keep costs down and all was going smoothly until I arrived in Crewe, where things instantaneously went to pot. Virgin Trains were experiencing delays across the whole West Coast Mainline, but to their credit they announced that passengers could hop on any train they liked, so I did that and luckily arrived into London not much later than scheduled.

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Mountains and Monuments

Overlooking Geneva is the majestic Mont Salève. It’s not actually in Switzerland at all; it’s firmly in France, just across the Franco-Swiss border. Its limestone cliffs are the backdrop to an already picture-perfect Swiss city, and the views from the top are breath-taking. I’d seen them before, but was only too happy to see them again.

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Swiss Bliss

Hugging the southern shoreline of Lac Léman (more commonly referred to as Lake Geneva), Switzerland’s second most populous city is a melting pot of cultures, global organisations and languages. Cosmopolitan Geneva is the perfect size for a weekend break – or in our case, a mid-week break – and despite Switzerland’s reputation for being an expensive place to visit, there are plenty of low-cost attractions for those travelling on a shoestring.

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