Hello Tuesday, you’re a funny Sunday… No, I’m not off work (unfortunately!), but I am posting my weekly blog today so it kind of feels a bit Sunday-like.
How has your week been? Have you been busy? Eaten well? Slept well? Got One Hour Outside every day? How’s your mental health at the moment? Struggling with the continued coronavirus issues and politics and everything else? Yea, me too.
October has always been my month for weekend trips. For some reason this month of the year is always full in my diary, maybe it’s the feeling of impending winter that makes me want to get out and about every weekend to make the most of things before the light fades and the temperature drops. Or maybe October is just a good month for short breaks. This particular weekend, my husband and I were in Monmouthshire for a two-night break, which felt like a week – more on that below.
Support Local: Buy Doughnuts
Working from home, as many people are at the moment, means that real life catch-ups with my colleagues are few and far between – for obvious reasons. But it is still an important part of working well together, and so it was good to get away from my home office desk and spend an hour on a working lunch meeting in a local café last week.
And of course, working lunch meetings mean supporting local cafés… If you’re local to Cheltenham and haven’t had brunch or lunch at Baker and Graze yet, I’d highly recommend it. This time around I had a rather fabulous fish finger sandwich, possibly the fanciest fish finger sandwich I’ve ever had – made with monk fish!
And of course, you can’t visit a bakery for lunch and not buy something sweet… and Baker and Graze make some amazing filled fried doughnuts. Yes you can get jam, but this time around I went for the passion fruit meringue, which was filled with a passion fruit curd, with a meringue on top. So good. I really should buy local more often!
Have you got a favourite local spot for working lunches? Do I need to try their doughnuts?!
A Weekend in Wales
I spent the weekend just over the bridge in Wales on a hosted trip. As this was a blogging trip, there will be a couple of ‘proper’ blog posts on the weekend in the next few weeks, but I thought I should mention it here because it’s the reason this week’s weekly blog is a couple of days late!
We were based at The Angel Hotel for a couple of nights; no damp and cold tent for us this weekend! Honoured with the “Hotel of the Year, Wales” title for 2020, which they’d pretty much plastered everywhere (and why not – be proud!), it was a very luxurious and appreciated alternative to our usual choice of cheap and cheerful accommodation.
In 48-hours we had fun on a couple of short hikes, messed about on a lake doing three different water sports, learnt a bit more Welsh history at two castle ruins, and ate our body weight in good local food. And I mean good local food – lots of it – who knew Abergavenny had such great food options?! I have been very hungry today, that’s for sure!
Monmouthshire is such a nice part of the country and, at just over an hour away from where I live, it was a very easy and convenient place for a weekend away. I realise much of Wales is on lock down at the moment, and we’re looking at more restrictions in some areas at the moment, but it was so good to get away, to explore (safely and being mindful of others, of course), and to find out more about what this part of Wales has to offer.
As I say, more on this soon, and hopefully I can encourage you to book a trip just over the bridge to Wales (when times allow it), very soon.
In the Mail
Colourful Salomon Trail Shoes
My friends at Cotswold Outdoor have been kind enough to kit me out with a super colourful pair of Salomon trail shoes for my weekend lunchtime walks this Autumn and Winter. I mean, I can’t keep wearing my Haglofs, can I?!
I’ve got the Women’s XA Pro 3D V8 GTX Shoe (affiliate link). I honestly don’t know why they can’t give shoes normal names such as Bob or Sarah, but there we are. And yes, they are colourful, but thankfully they also have decent outdoors credentials, as you would expect from a Salomon product. They are lightweight, waterproof (they’re Goretex), grippy, and comfortable. I wore them for the first time this weekend, they’re the shoe I’m wearing in my weekly blog header image this week, and I’m sold; these are going to do very nicely over the coming months.
Cute Pyjama Bottoms
I recently won an Amazon voucher in a competition (I completed a survey and there was a giveaway attached), and I decided that as we’re now well into Autumn, I would use it to treat myself to some new pyjamas.
I chose these bear and moose printed bottoms (affiliate link) by Canadian company Little Blue House, which are 100% cotton (a must for nightwear in my opinion). I don’t know that I’ve ever bought clothing from a new-to-me brand on Amazon before, but I checked their own website too, and the reviews seemed good.
I’m glad I did. They’re honestly so comfy, the material is lovely and soft, and the pattern is as cute as I’d hoped. I’d definitely get another pair from this same company when I next need some. I decided to go for the medium, no-one wants tight pyjama bottoms, which turned out to be the right choice – they’re a little bit long for my short legs but I honestly don’t care about that, it’s not like I’m ever going to go out in them.
I’m now looking for some plain cotton tees to wear with my pyjama new bottoms, and while I would love to splurge on Organic Basics, I shouldn’t… I’m hoping you might have some cheaper but equally sustainable and ethical suggestions. Comment below or give me a shout on twitter.
Defying Gravity: The Untold Story of Women’s Gymnastics
Gymnasts are hard core. They are fit, strong, graceful, and simply awesome. I loved gymnastics as a kid, I got a few of those massive circular patches thanks to gymnastics club at School in Devonport, and always enjoy watching the elite athletes perform when it’s on the tellybox.
This series came up recommended in my YouTube feed, and because of my childhood interest I gave it a go. It’s very interesting indeed, a fascinating and moreish insight into the world of elite gymnastics. The series not only talks about the development of female gymnastics over the years, including equipment and style, and the dreams and legacies of female gymnasts, but also considers some of the issues such as weight, eating disorders, pressure and mental wellbeing.
I’ve just finished watching episode five, which tackles the disturbing and uncomfortable issue of sexual abuse in women’s gymnastics. A difficult watch, certainly, but something that included a hugely important message, and I felt proud of those ladies who spoke on that episode about what happened to them as children.
Each episode is released on YouTube (for free with ads) a week after they are released on YouTube Premium.
That’s it. I hope you enjoyed this short weekly blog and a little insight into my normal life.
I’d love to know about your week. Please go ahead and comment below to let me know what your favourite thing about this week has been…
If you enjoyed reading this episode of my weekly blog, and if you think my weekly blog series is a fun thing to read regularly, and especially if you got to the end of this one(!), I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Come on by next Sunday evening for the next in the series.