Monday, 11 December 2017

My *mostly* Sober October.

This year my month of September ended, and my October began, in Berlin. As we travelled back from the airport together, my gorgeous friend Maddie (who put me up and took care of me for the duration of my stay yet again but this time for 5 days, what a babe) and I talked about anything and everything – what my stay was going to be like, if there was anything in particular I wanted to do while I was there, the latest goss reported from our ex-workplace... Oh, and how did I feel about red wine, as there was some in the flat they weren’t going to have if I was interested?

This led to chat about drinking plans while I was there. I admitted that I can feel slightly self-conscious when visiting Germany as I am not a big fan of craft beer – or any kind of beer, really. My usual poisons are whisky, gin and the occasional red wine. I did go through a fruity cider phase at uni, but that ended after a few too many windy hangovers and a little too much bloat in the belly and chub in the face, to be honest. And anyway, my drinking preferences wouldn’t matter after a few days of this trip, because I’d decided to do the Sober October thing…


(I just love how ominous this image is?!!)

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Grace's Great Voyage Down Under, Week 3: mostly chilling, and some city time.

In case you missed my first post in this little series - and the second one - I'll reiterate the key point made in it: I am not a travel blogger. 

However, I really want to share some things about my recent travels. 
I’ve decided to write posts in the future about my trips to various Other Places – but not necessarily the way a seasoned traveller and blogger might. I’m just going to write about specific things, moments, and some will exist in a big compilation post while others may stand alone. For instance, if I had an especially magical dinner date, or discovered a secret spot nobody had told me about, or even just had a conversation with a native (of which I have already had many, in Australia!), then that might exist in its own post.

Right, now we're all caught up I'd say it's time to get into my third week out here, half a world away.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Freaking talented arty people I love very much.

There are very few things I'll splash out on, online. I can honestly say I've never gone on an ASOS shopping spree; I don't habitually splurge in the LUSH Christmas sales after the 25th, nor do I fill up a digital basket with Shop Dixi jewellery...I mean, not that much...

However, I must admit nothing has me reaching for my card as quickly or as often as a gorgeous Etsy art page. 

I am fortunate enough to have found and followed some truly excellent artists on Instagram and Twitter. I've even befriended some of them, and they're all so angelic I could not be happier to have their work adorning my bedroom walls.  

This post is just going to be a shout-out to some of my favourites - and a feast for your eyes, no doubt! And of course if any of you readers want to recommend any artists you follow and love, please do comment or tweet me!
So here they are - in no particular order...


(Photo: my bedroom wall, taken by little sis Floop, on my request from the other side of the world.)

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Grace's Great Voyage Down Under, Week 2: coffee, cancellations, bubbles and Broadchurch.

In case you missed my first post in this little series, I'll reiterate the key point made in it: I am not a travel blogger. 

However, I really want to share some things about my recent travels. 
I’ve decided to write posts in the future about my trips to various Other Places – but not necessarily the way a seasoned traveller and blogger might. I’m just going to write about specific things, moments, and some will exist in a big compilation post while others may stand alone. For instance, if I had an especially magical dinner date, or discovered a secret spot nobody had told me about, or even just had a conversation with a native (of which I have already had many, in Australia!), then that might exist in its own post.

Right, now we're all caught up, let's look back at my second week...in my second home. 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Sharenting...?

I have been bingeing on podcasts recently, especially those produced and hosted by badass and cool women. 

One of my recent favourites was 'Get It Off Your Breasts'; a 'female-led roundtable discussion with a difference', hosted by Emma Gannon and Lliana Bird. Guests literally are invited on to talk about pet hates and specific stresses they are baffled by and/or truly sick of. 

My favourite episodes of this series include those featuring Sara Pascoe, Dawn O'Porter and Konnie Huq. I'd often find myself nodding vigorously as I listened while walking into town with headphones in, or in my bedroom getting dressed and slapping on some extra face. 

But the 3rd episode, in which the angelic Emma and brilliant Lliana chatted with their excellent guest Shappi Khorsandi, was one that really got me thinking. 

The 3 ladies talked about the stigma of being single - and how Shappi is personally done with dating and is ready for a life very much by herself (with her kids). I found that pretty inspiring, as a twenty-something singleton who is often baffling others when she says 'I'm perfectly happy on my own, tbh'...

Then the discussion moved on to how affected we, the public, are and aren't when we hear about celebrity couples breaking up. They agreed (as did I) that while celebrity splits don't bother me, celeb deaths can really hurt. 

And then they touched on another hot topic that I have had a lot of feelings about recently: "sharenting"



Wednesday, 22 November 2017

It's a holiday, not a project.

*Below: the conversation I’ve been having for the past few months, awkwardly paraphrased*

   ‘So, what are your plans for Christmas this year?’
   ‘Oh, I’m actually spending it in Australia, with my family out there.  I’ll be flying out in November and coming back in January!’
   ‘Whoa, that’s a long time! What are your plans while you’re there?!’
   ‘Ermmm…’


I am completely aware of just how privileged I am to have the opportunity to travel out to the other side of the world. Not only do I have the financial means to do it, I also get a slight advantage as I am technically a citizen of Australia – *proudly brandishes navy blue passport* – and this means I can stay in the country indefinitely, and there’s no need to apply for a VISA!

Yes, I am very, very lucky. The thing is, with this luck comes pressure.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Grace's Great Voyage Down Under, Week 1: A mess of moments.

G’day. Please excuse the horrendously OTT title I conjured up for this…series? Yes, I am dubbing it a ‘series’, albeit very cautiously and optimistically.


I’m not a travel blogger. You guys know that. I have serious respect and adoration for those humans – the ones who brave the endless expenses and annoyances of journeying around the world and in doing so try new things, push their limits and explore new territories they may never have considered visiting before…and take plenty of photos and notes throughout these mad ventures, to then pour into their online platform for all to read. As if the act of travelling wasn’t busy and baffling enough, these guys actually write reviews, compile lists and recommend countries/cities/towns/hotels/restaurants and much more, all for their readers. So much love and respect for that, y’know?

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Recent Reads #7: the strongest voices.

Whoa, another Recent Reads within a month? Madness. As I said in the last post, I'm on a roll with reading at present, and coincidentally a lot of excellent books have been coming my way lately.

The books mentioned in this post are just a few of the ones I had sent to me recently, and I ran them through my usual 'test' of sorts (read the first couple dozen pages, wait to be hooked in by the story or the characters, or hopefully both), and while loads have been good, these few stories were told through the best voices. 


(Photo taken outside Camilla's Books, Eastbourne, by a very handsome bookworm.)

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