WELL, WHERE DO YOU?

WHERE DO YOU SIT.png

It's an important question. 

I don't think anyone realised just how important until Easyjet introduced the whole sit-where-you like policy, which meant you had to elbow your way around the departure gate eyeing up the competition for the window seats, or deciding it was too much hassle and regretting it later when you were housed between two oversized travellers complete with their own carry on sandwiches and soup. 

Thank goodness they've changed their mind on that one. 

But it's an important question nonetheless. I've become quite particular - and maybe peculiar - in my seating arrangements when flying. Front of the plane for short haul, aisle seat (for a quick escape), aisle seats for outbound transaltantics (so you can get up and wander around easily), front-window seat for return (so you can sleep with less hassle). And if you're flying business, ALWAYS go upstairs if you can. 

But it seems I'm not the only one that is this pedantic - I read an article in the Daily Mail recently which detailed the best and worst places to sit on a plane as found by the travel company, Kayak. Interestingly the number one most irritating thing about fellow passengers was when they don't ask permission before reclining. Have you ever done that? No. Me neither. 

KAYAK INFOGRAPH

And over on Man Repeller, the girls have given a pretty much perfect run down of traveller types. I just can't work out which one I am, can you?

 

Posted on November 26, 2014 .

BRIGHTON ROCKS

BRIGHTON ROCKS

I'll be honest, it's been a bit of a struggle to go away as much as I would have liked this year. The ambition was to squeeze in as many short-haul trips as possible, with the odd epic travel adventure thrown in for good measure. But work got in the way, and I spent most of the summer tied to my desk writing powerpoints and sneaking out for the odd beer when the sun was shining late enough. 

So this post is a bit of a cheat because the trip didn't involve any airmiles. I didn't even leave the country. And it's from a while back. But I thought it was worth popping up - because everyone loves Brighton. 

It's only about an hour's train ride away from where I live in London, so we piled on and headed down to the pier for some fish & chips, as you do. We happened upon a Mods & Rockers meet up which threw us back in time - it was like wandering into the middle of a 60s film set with hundreds of Lambretta's lined up along the seafront and guys in their Parka's slugging away on lager and cigarettes. 

Heading to the lanes for some shopping, we managed to pick up some Montezuma's and avoided spanking a fortune on art from No Walls, and instead opted to grab some wine for the train ride home! 

Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier
Brighton Beach
Brighton Mods
Brighton Mod Jacket Parka
Brighton Mods Jacket
Brighton Mods and Rockers
Brighton Market
Cockles Brighton


Posted on November 25, 2014 .

A WEEKEND IN SCOTLAND

CAIRNGORMS INSH MARSHES

I love living in London, but it's nice to be able to completely escape the mayhem of the city every now and then. And the best place to do that, is at home.

There's not much to share from my weekend's at home, as I usually just lounge around drinking tea, going for walks in the woods and catching up with my parents - but these are a few snaps from a chilly weekend in the Cairngorms. Windy weather and all! 

Horse in Scotland
Horses Scotland
HORSES SCOTLAND
ME AND MUM
IMG_2418.JPG
Posted on November 23, 2014 .

MY HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS

HOLIDAY ESSENTIALS

I've spent a fair amount of time getting on and off planes in the last few years, but I've never managed to crack the art of packing. It feels like the more I travel, the worse I become and I've been known to pack about an hour before leaving for the airport, chucking in the contents of my wardrobe only to get to the other side with a collection of jumpers for a beach holiday, or ten pairs of pants and no trousers. 

But I'm trying to get better, and have started a list of holiday essentials that pretty much go wherever I go. None of these are clothes related - you can always buy a dress to chuck on if you need to - these are my must have holiday items to keep the sunburn away, the mosquito's at bay, and the umm... can't think of rhyme... the other stuff. 

THE CAMERA

I usually take a DSLR on holiday - and carry a Nikon D3200, with both a50mm and a 18-200mm lens. I debated getting the D5200 but felt like I probably didn't need the extra's at the moment whilst I'm still getting the hang of things (there's a handy comparison review here if you're trying to make the same decision). 

That said, sometimes I can't be bothered to carry it around and find that I get some good snaps on my iPhone if I spend enough time thinking about the composition. There are also some great apps that help to correct colour and sharpen phone images up, my personal favourite is Afterlight. I use it for almost everything!

THE SUNCREAM 

Right, I'm going to be controversial. I was going to say that P20 is the best suncream out there, because astronauts use it when they fly to the sun*, but the fact that it stains your clothes is so frustrating and it's quickly fallen from grace. I've ruined some perfectly good bikini's and beach dresses because of P20 - and although it gives you a nice glow and you only have to put it on first thing in the morning - it's not enough.

So instead I buy Coppertone Sport. It's a dry spray which doesn't need rubbing in, doesn't clog your pores and gives really even coverage (if you spray it properly). I swear by it. Every time I go to the US, I spend about $60 in CVS stocking up on the stuff for future holidays. 

THE MOSQUITO REPELLANT

I have tasty blood. There's no other explanation for it, mosquito's love me. When we went travelling around Vietnam, at one point I had 68 bites on my legs alone and could barely move without another one setting upon me. But a lovely lady in Hoi An let me know that Tiger Balm would keep them at bay - and not only that - it's really cooling for any bites and acts as a barrier to any possible infection. I always make sure I have it in my handbag. I know it smells strong - but it works. 

THE LIBRARY 

I'm a Kindle convert. At home I'll happily settle down with a good book and fold over the corners when I need to make a cup of tea, but on holiday I want a library to choose from but with none of the weight. I actually have an old-school Kindle Paperwhite because it's the most book-like one in my opinion. The Fire is too much like an iPad (and I have an iPad). 

THE CHARGER

If you're like me, you'll forget to take an adaptor each time you go on holiday and end up with a box full of them at home. But the one thing I do always remember is the 10-in-1 USB charger - which saves so much space for those clothes that I'm shoving in last minute. 

And that's it. Camera, Kindle, Suncream and some kind of mosquito soother are my holiday essentials. For everything else, there's a credit card and an emergency dash to the shops! 

*this isn't true, obviously. Despite what they'd have you believe! 

Posted on June 2, 2014 .

GALLE FORT

GALLE FORT SRI LANKA

An old Dutch outpost, Galle Fort wasn't at all what I was expecting, despite what I'd read in Lonely Planet. I was prepared for the lighthouse, and I'd read all about it's shipping history - built by the Portuguese and then later fortified by the Dutch, so I knew it would look a little different. But I didn't expect to love it. 

And love it I did.

We went back three days in a row. The benefit of staying in Thalpe is that it was only a ten minute tuk-tuk ride into the Ramparts, the walls of Galle Fort that edge onto the ocean. Lanes of beautiful colonial architecture, complete with vintage motors parked outside, made you feel like you'd stepped back in time and I half expected to see the man from Del Monte and strolling the streets in his linen suit and Panama. 

We basically ate our way around, from the ice cream at Pedlars to the amazing Sri Lankan curries at Mama's - we just rolled around stuffing our faces. Oh, and the place has some gems if you're looking for jewellery too - I *may* have spent three days eyeing up a diamond and amethyst rose gold ring which we made a last-minute dash to buy on the morning we left, because I decided I had to have it! I don't think I've taken it off since. 

STICK NO BILLS SRI LANKA
STICK NO BILLS POSTCARDS
VINTAGE SRI LANKA
SRI LANKA VINTAGE CAR
NO HORNS SRI LANKA
Thalpe (1 of 1)-13.JPG
HAMMOCKS SRI LANKA
Thalpe (1 of 1)-31.JPG
GALLE FORT LIGHTHOUSE
HERITAGE CAFE GALLE
RAMPARTS GALLE FORT
FISHING GALLE FORT
FAMILY GALLE FORT
SUNSETS GALLE FORT RAMPARTS
SUNSET GALLE FORT

TAKE ME TO THE ROTI SHOP

We’d been in Sri Lanka nearly a whole week and we still hadn’t had a proper Roti, so we hopped in a tuk tuk and headed a few kilometers along the coast to the Roti Shop in Unawatuna. 

This place is apparently the place to go for Roti. A hole in the wall with a few pull up chairs looked about right, and we opted for a mix of savoury and sweet. After all, every lunch needs some kind of dessert right? 

Roti is sort of like a pancake. Given that Sri Lanka was a colonial outpost for the Dutch back in the day, it’s doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out where the roti might have taken it’s inspiration from. It’s like a thin crepe, a really elasticated batter cooked off, wrapped around a selection of fillings and then fried to crispen up. And it’s pretty delicious.  

Posted on May 28, 2014 .