Tuesday, 16 September 2014

London: My 5 favourite things to do for under £5.

Beth has been on her honeymoon for the last couple of weeks (lucky thing!) so she asked me (and some other lovely ladies) to do a guest post.

Here's (the beginning of) mine:

London: My 5 favourite things to do for under £5

Beth loves a bargain...ask her about the 5p battered sausage (she'll be so happy that I told you about that). As a tribute to this extreme dedication to thriftiness, I'm going to share my five favourite things to do in London for less that a fiver. 

The South Bank
The South Bank is one of my favourite places to hang out...

Read more here...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Sexy Selfies.


My new phone has one of those front-facing cameras. I know that everyone else has had this on their phone for years, but I'm still in a 'OMG THIS IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN MY BLACKBERRY' happiness haze. Anyway, the main by-product of my new phone ownership (apart from my instagram obsession) has been selfies. A whole lot of selfies.


I love this lady (to be fair, she ain't no lady). Shameful secret: I kinda loved Beth's Disney Princess theme.

This isn't a flattering photo of any of us, but it was the first time in years that all of us uni lot had been in the same place for years...so I love it.

My Mummy and me in Greenwich.

No words can do this photo justice.

I think you're probably sick of my face by now, but I think you'll all agree it is pretty darn sexy.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Plan, Cardiff.

About a year ago I tried to start a Cake and Tea themed blog. I posted twice but then quickly realised that I didn't have the time, energy or motivation to keep it up! I'm going to delete the other blog, so before that happens I'll be transferring over the posts that I actually did manage to write. 

Do you ever go somewhere that you really want to love? The Plan definitely fell into this category for me. Independent cafe, quirky design, situated in my favourite shopping arcade... In theory, it has it all.

Despite living in Cardiff for five years, and being a frequent visitor these days, I'd never been in The Plan until I popped in after the Cardiff Blogger Meet last April. I was drawn in by the quirky building and I really liked the decor inside...

I ordered a cream tea (obviously) and sat back with my textbooks... There was a choice of tea, and I loved the Earl Grey that I had. The scone itself was, annoyingly, a little disappointing, as was the cream which wasn't clotted. Boo. On the positive side, the staff were lovely and didn't seem to mind me loitering once I'd finished my tea. To be fair, I do generally finish my tea pretty quickly.

I didn't get to try any of the food, but the menu did look good. The prices were pretty reasonable for city centre, too.

Scores on the doors:

Tea: 9/10 (Decent choice.)
Cake: 5/10 (Tasted OK, but the cream and jam were disappointing.)
Service/Facilities: 9/10 (Friendly staff and quick service.)
Value for money: 7/10
Setting: 8/10 
Uniqueness: 8/10

I wanted to love it... But life is too short for slightly disappointing scones.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Norway 2014: Return of the Liz.

In 2009 I lived and worked in Norway as part of a European Voluntary Service project. I've been wanting to go back for ages (I even put it on my 30 Before 30) but it just didn't happen. Earlier this year I spontaneously booked some flights, and in May I flew back for a short visit...

I stayed with my friend in the tiny town of Malm, which was beautiful. 
I loved catching up with her, and spending time with her daughter who I hadn't seen for two years.

The building where I used to live and work in Steinkjer.

I was a bit worried that it would be weird going back; I was particularly nervous about meeting up with people who I used to work with. There were a few people that I hadn't spoken to properly for years, but it wasn't weird at all. I think I'd forgotten how well I'd known those people when I was there, and it felt like things just fell back into place and 'clicked'. I'm so happy that I went back. Yay for spontaneity! 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Arctic Monkeys and Arcade Fire.

Over the last couple of years I've been making a real effort to go to more gigs. It's something I loved doing when I was at uni, and then I kind of stopped going for a couple of years. I'm so happy I've been going to lots more gigs. Well, my brain is happy, my bank balance is not. You win some, you lose some.

Normally the photos I take at gigs are rubbish, but I managed (OK, Pete managed) to get a few decent pictures recently so I thought I'd share.

Arctic Monkeys at Finsbury Park:

Arcade Fire at Earls Court:

The gig had a dress code; either fancy dress or formal attire. I decided to use it as an opportunity to put on a fancy(ish) frock. Dressing up definitely gave the whole thing a real sense of occasion and amped up my excitement (and I was pretty excited already). 

Crap photos, but I think they capture my unadulterated happiness!

I really cannot overstate how good Arcade Fire were. Obviously at the time I was in a total state of manic enthusiasm, but even in the cold light of day, I stand by the statement that it definitely made it into my top three gigs of all time. My brother said the same, and he's a fellow gig addict. Seriously, it was incredible. There are not enough superlatives in the world.

I've got quite a few more gigs lined up; The Libertines (!!!), The Horrors, Johnny Marr, The Black Keys, Josh Record, Band of Skulls... My poor bank balance. Ah well, when it comes to spending money, I'd much rather be a 'do-er' than a 'have-er'. Totally made that up, sounds alright though, right?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Cream tea at Studland Bay.

About a year ago I tried to start a Cake and Tea themed blog. I posted twice but then quickly realised that I didn't have the time, energy or motivation to keep it up! Let's be fair, I only manage to update this one infrequently. I'm going to delete the other blog, so before that happens I'll be transferring over the posts that I actually did manage to write. 

What do you get if you mix naked middle aged men, a ferry on chains, and more beaches that you can shake a piece of driftwood at? Why, Studland Bay in Dorset, of course.

On Saturday we got the ferry (which runs on chains, no less) from Sandbanks (near Poole harbour) across to Shell Bay. After just over an hour of walking along the (in parts, nudist) beach, we made it to the National Trust tea room on Studland bay

I guess it's possible that walking past naked middle-aged men might put you off your tea, but nothing gets in between me and my cream tea, even the sight of slightly-sunburned nudey bits. As you can see from the picture, the cafe is practically on the (clothed part of) the beach. If you like cream teas and beaches (and who doesn't?) then location-wise it probably doesn't get much better than this.

Now, for most people, the location would probably be the best thing about this cafe. I, however, am not most people. My inner child was just a little bit (ahem) over-excited about these special light-up buzzer thingys. Yes, that is the technical term. Basically, you put it on your table, and it lights up and buzzes when your order is ready. Look, I'm easily-entertained, ok?

Our cream tea. It was pretty much standard National Trust fayre. For the uninitiated, that means it's reliably good, if a little on the expensive side. Not the best cream tea you'll ever have, but far from the worst. 

We weren't given a choice of tea, but the English Breakfast we had was nice and strong, and there was definitely enough of it. The scones were tasty, although very average in size (and suddenly my mind is filled with images from the nudist beach...). Personally I could have done with a little more cream, but I am a bit of a pig. 

Scores on the doors:

Tea: 6.5/10 (Good English Breakfast and lots of it.)
Cake: 6/10 (Decent scones, nothing extra special though.)
Service/Facilities: 6/10 (Friendly staff, might be a bit pokey sitting inside in winter.)
Value for money: 5/10
Setting: 9/10 
Uniqueness: 6/10 (5 for the location, 5 for the buzzer, -4 for being part of a chain.)

Definitely worth a visit if the sun's out and you're easily entertained by things that light up and buzz... Just me?