Things I did turning 27….

28/10

I ate a hummus and aubergine wrap at the pop up food stalls in Reading that sell a whole range of food from different countries, a man gave me free Chai tea.

I went to Reading library to see my Dad’s pencil portrait of me on the wall with some other great works from his Art group.

I went to inside Reading Prison.

I went to Nibsy’s Cafe twice, I love the vibe and gluten and dairy free foods, while drawing in there I realised I’ve been pronouncing it wrong all year!

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I played peekaboo with my nephew, so cute.

I went to a Gurdwara for the first time properly! I listened to Simrin and joined in with some Kirtan singing.

Mr.C and me watched Erin Brockovich.

29/10

The morning of my birthday I ate a lot of breakfast – including banana pancakes with maple syrup while I listened to Kirtan singer Qi Rattan.

I was given a lime green woman’s torso for a present – fun art project!

We argued about the washing I didn’t do.

We visited Brighton and had a fabulous time read more here.

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30/10

We played Cluedo with my family, my dad won both times.

My mum made an epic pink three layer gluten and dairy free cake just for me!

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31/10

We carved a pumpkin each, no trick or treaters came so Mr.C ate all the chocolates.

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Happy Birthday in Brighton!

This year for my birthday – turning 27! We were planning on going to Glastonbury, as there are little interesting attractions, shops and cafes. As the 29th was getting closer and pay day came plans changed – we went to Brighton (again). We’ve visited so many times we even know where to park all day for a few pound.

The great things about Brighton are: It’s close enough to drive to in a day, there are always more things to do, each time is different! We first went when we were newly together and visited Preston Manor, another time we went to Sea life aquarium, to the annual Fiery foods chilli festival and a night out one Halloween.

This time we planned to visit Brighton museum and Art gallery and go on Brighton Ghost Walk. The exhibitions inside the gallery are small and there are a few art pieces. It’s something to do indoors to get inspiration from.

Afterwards we ate a great Thai meal at Street Thai and walked round the shops and lanes. I finally saw a Choccywoccydoodah shop in person – it’s incredible what they do with chocolate!

Here are some photos from the day:

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My first birthday cake! A super scrummy slice of three layer pumpkin cake from Scoop and Crumb
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His Halloween cookie with cream filling
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Sunset at Brighton Beach
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Walking and talking!
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We went on the Brighton Ghost Walk – fun use of time, going through the lanes and learning interesting facts!
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Brighton pier is so beautiful at night.
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We went on the rides on the pier! So much fun going on the mini rollercoasters and bumper cars.
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Late night chips back on the beach, so happy and grateful for a fabulous day!

Click here to see more of what I did when turning 27.

Norfolk: Inspiration and information

My interest in visiting Norfolk was to see some different beaches, we’ve visited Brighton and Bournemouth many times and this year I wanted something new.

That we did, you can read more and see pictures here. Wells next the sea is a brilliant long sandy beach. Being there started a ripple effect as laying in the sand with sunshine and cold evening breeze, led us to planning that the next time we’d be on a beach will be in a tropical climate!

North Norfolk is great for: A relaxing break away from everything, bird watching, dog owners, chilled out days and cosy nights in a cottage.

When visiting Norfolk: take lots of coin change, there are car parking rates all over, some places are hourly others are all days charges. Also bring plenty of money for trips out as they can be quiet pricey!

A few days in a quiet area is enough time to enjoy yourself, especially out of season as there isn’t much open, I saw this as an advantage using opportunities to write without distractions.

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Science and History Museum picks in photos

Here are some of my favourite things I captured on my camera at the Science and History Museums in London recently.

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Louisa Aldrich-Blake “When you start a thing you must finish it”
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True in Science, in life.
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The rounder and smoother the rock the more likely to have traveled, replace the word ‘rock’ with ‘person’ and it relates to life!
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This huge structure is, wait for it- a giant Sloth! Amazing!
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A Squid sculpture and us, tired feet!
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People stopped what they were doing to photograph the sunset- sweet! A stranger said to me ‘It’s beautiful’ and I agreed.
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Ate amazing tasty burger and hotdog at The Diner Covent Garden
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Walking through London all zones, China town is my favourite for always being so pretty. It’s also the Year of the Sheep.

Remarkable happenings & reaching Mount Snowdon

At the start of the year the Mr was telling me about mountain bothies, how there are remote buildings all around the country for which owners have no use for, so walkers make use of their shelter to get warm or as somewhere to sleep for a night.

I was intrigued about this possibility, especially as a few years back we wild camped and while I loved that experience I also really wanted more comfort and dryness to our experience this time round. I wrote ‘Be mountain bothies and climb Snowdon’ on my 100 things to do in 2016 in my Shining Year Workbook.

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Valentines was coming up and felt like doing something more memorable than giving each other a card and an overly priced last minute present. I mentioned to the Mr the possibility of going to Snowdon, I had a few days off coming up, we had money for petrol and wild camping was free. I arranged cat care for a few days and bought a bag of giant marshmallows.

In the days after the Mr kept messaging me updates of pictures of Snowdon on Twitter and Instagram and the temperatures. It was hard to believe there could be so much snow and freezing temperatures. Wild camping was off the cards.
Camping was to be our very last option, through an evening of researching campsites I came across Snowdon Inn bunkhouse for just £35 a night and booked it!

The quirky tiny house for two was perfect for our short stay; we roasted marshmallows on the fire, had cooking equipment, a table to eat at and a warm cosy bed. I am grateful for so much that was in such a small place, I’d advise booking two nights as somewhere to come back to after the trip.

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I realised while getting our kit together my walking boots where nowhere to be found, I’m a bigger size shoe than anyone in my family so I reached out to a friend who said she had a pair in her garage we could look through, I didn’t order any and took a chance on that. When the time came to looking for them, I prepared myself for a morning of clambering over items to get some old boots, when in fact they were right there at the front of the garage! They turned out to be the best boots I could have ever borrowed!

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Two days before our trip we kept seeing more and more pictures of snowy Snowdon and notes that crampons and ice axes were essential for our trip and paid for the last minute expensive items, even though it was supposed to be a low budget trip. As it turns out the £10 crampons were completely useless, holding clumps of snow to our boots and mine fell off while walking. Though if we hadn’t of got crampons we wouldn’t have bothered with £60 ice axes which, for this trip were ESSENTIAL, we used them throughout and we couldn’t of done the trek without them!

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We had planned to drive early morning Tuesday to get to Wales around midday and trek that same day, then check in afterwards having accomplished our goal of getting to Mount Snowdon. The morning we were due to leave the Mr decided to turn our plan on it’s head to arrive there and stay a night then do the trek the day after feeling fresh, technically both plans would work so we agreed and went with the new plan.

This way the drive happened to be the most scenic and at times scary because of the drop below but was beautiful in the daylight. Also the Mr had read that Tuesday would be freezing rain at the bottom and 60-80 mph wind at the top whereas Wednesday forecasted 20-30 mph wind and heavy snow. Taking a short walk down the Rhyd Ddu path from the carpark on Tuesday we experienced the heavy winds, being blown to one side. Whereas the following day nearing the top of the summit on the Wednesday I felt no wind, we trenched through thick snow, used our ice axes to climb to the top and slid down the snow some of the way down! It was a climb but it was FUN!

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The last stretch before the summit was the hardest, walking through thick snow across a narrow ridge, then upwards using my ice axe to grip and pull myself upwards and hearing a reservoir but not seeing it though poor visibility made the experience magical. It was on the trek up, feeling hot with my many layers, tired from climbing with the thought ‘keep going’ ‘keep at a good pace, no stopping’ going through my mind that the Mr said ‘It’s here! We’ve reached the top.’ Reaching the top is an incredible experience it is so quiet and still, also because of the season we went we were the only ones there.

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Tucking into my Trek bar at the top tasted amazing after such a long time walking with breaks for nuts and jelly babies. I stood in the cubby hole under the icicles while the Mr took photos, I opened up my new Rumi book Whispers of the beloved and read:

‘Deafened by the voice of desire
you are unaware the Beloved
lives in the core of your heart.
Stop the noise,
and you will hear His voice
in the silence.’ -Rumi