Checking In At: Singapore, Changi Airport…

 
Wow, these past few days have been manic. Whilst I thought that I was rather organised for my trip, turns out.. I WASN’T!!! I was running last minute errands right up til the last minute! … Meaning I didnt even have time to update on here how things were going.

You’ll be happy to hear (i hope) that I have reached the halfway point of my journey and am happily typing away in the comfort of Changi Airport, Singapore. The 12.50 hour flight went as smoothly as possible, the only downfall being my inability to sleep well sitting upright… I’m sure that will change by the end of my travels!!

I flew with Singapore Airlines, an incredibly accomodating company. Before we had even moved hot towels were passed out, although with the amount of bodies in such a small space I was happy for the towel to turn cold as quickly as possible. Food and drinks were constantly handed out. It was good to see trays of water and orange juice being passed around so often as well, especially on such a long trip.

Singapore airlines have set up a new transit programme just in time for my arrival which meant that I was handed on my arrival two complimentary $20 vouchers. One was for the cosmetics/alcohol counter and the other could be used in most stores and services in the airport. I treated myself to some new nailpolish and handcream with the first voucher and best of all 2 hours in a transit lounge with the 2nd voucher. Food and an amazing shower was perfect after a well needed nap.

Before I could nap I took advantage of Changi’s free bus tour of Singapore. It was great to be able to visit some of Singapore whilst I was there! The tour is about 2 hours long with 2 twenty minute stops to see the merlion statue and the king”s mansion. These were more than enough for me on this particular day as the heat was humid and uncomfortable when fighting against having had no sleep. I enjoyed watching the world go by, seeing everyday life from the road. These are a few photo”s from my phone…

I would love to tell you about my ride down the 12ft Slide they have at Terminal 3… and the rooftop pool they have on top of the Terminal… But unfortunately both were closed due to renovation work. I was really looking forward to both of these, but I suppose they will have to wait for another time!

I”ll be heading off for my 2nd leg of the journey soon! Only 9 more hours and i’ll be in Australia!

xoxo

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TTBT… A Weekend In Durham…

Travel #TBT 2

The day after my job finished I headed straight to Durham to visit family and see my (not so little) cousin head off to her prom! I didn’t get a chance to show off how beautiful she looked… So this weeks Travel TBT is in honour of her and my time in Durham.

The weekend was filled with popping into shops, eating cake, and drinking champagne whilst watching Emi-K get made up… It was simply lovely… but I was rather envious that I didn’t have a special event to get dressed up for as well.

It was so nice to be able to spend some time with my family in Durham before I leave. And I am thrilled that I got to be there as Emi-K went off to her prom!

xoxo

London In The Sun: Day Five and Six…

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It’s the final chapter of my trip to London. But don’t worry, there was still plenty to do in the last couple of days.

Up, Up and Away:

Friday started off with a little adrenaline rush as Lizzy, Tom and I headed off to conquer Up @ the O2! .. I figured I couldn’t possibly climb Sydney Harbour Bridge if I hadn’t climbed the O2!… And what a buzz you get from accomplishing it! Whilst not the most spectacular views of London when you reach the top viewing area.. unfortunately it isn’t in the best situation for that… the experience is still well worth doing purely for the climb. I mean, who doesn’t want to say that they’ve climbed over the Millennium Dome? Dressed up in the lovely provided jackets, donning the comfiest shoes i’ve worn in a while and weighed down by a harness that is attached to a cable throughout the climb meant that I was ready and raring. There is even a phone pocket built into the suits for photography purposes at the top! The floors were springy to give the effect of actually walking over the O2 roof, this also made the climb comfortable on the knees and easy to grip. If you get the chance to do this, do it! … Mind you, if you were going to do it for the view, do the London Eye instead!… Don’t forget O2 customers can get a discount code as well.. what more do you need!

Wining and Dining:

After the climb I met up with my lovely friend Holly, at Caffe Concerto in Green Park, for an evening of good food and great conversation…. In fact, yesterday was Holly’s and her BF Elliot’s third year anniversary.. So a huge congratulations to you both!… Caffe Concerto was a lovely restaurant complete with grand decor and chandeliers. However the price was much sweeter than you would have expected considering the service and food that was offered. The evening passed quickly as we brought each other up to date on our different adventures.

Catching Up:

I also managed to fit in a little catch up with two university friends, Will and Bruce, who have taken over the flat that I stayed in when I lived in London. I hope they are loving it as much as I did!!

Breakfast At T..rafalgar :

Saturday… the final day! Lizzy and I managed to fit in one last little treat before I had to catch the train back home. We popped by Trafalgar Square for breakfast in the sun and then into the National Portrait Gallery to see the Audrey Hepburn Exhibition. I think Audrey Hepburn is the pinnacle of sophisticated fashion. She just looked flawless no matter what she wore, however you can see that precision and decision went to every outfit. Simple and elegant. Mind you, I may even have a touch of sophistication if I had Givenchy filling my wardrobe… I loved living her life for a few moments as i wandered around the exhibition, devouring the stories that went with each of the incredible photographs of her.

And then it was time to go home… But not for long! I now have less than a week until I fly!!

xoxo

Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see.
We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waiting, round the bend
My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me”

Moon River, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

London In The Sun: Day Three and Four…

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A wonderful couple of days in London were quickly followed up by another couple of days!! (I was there for six, aren’t I lucky!!)

Tourist at Trafalgar:

I got to continue being a tourist on Wednesday whilst my friend Lizzy was at work. First stop was Tottenham Court Road for a cheeky look round Primark. I needed a dress to go under my belted shirt I was wearing as the one I had packed had SHRUNK IN THE WASH!! Ooopsie! I found a perfect simple black dress and a floppy hat that tied the outfit together perfectly!! I loved my outfit for the day, but somehow managed to not get a photo of it!! Ahh well, i’m sure I will get to share it with you in the near future.

The sun was glorious as I walked around the centre, so naturally I headed to Trafalgar Square to munch on my lunch (left over pizza thank you very much Domino’s). Being a weekday it wasn’t packed but it was still busy enough to pass the time sitting on the fountain edge and watching the world go by. I love seeing everyone pose for their photographs, don’t you? This was followed by a stroll around Covent Garden and St Paul’s Church garden which is currently decorated for a Shakespearean play being performed there.

The Breakfast Club:

I met a friend at The Breakfast Club for tea. It was YUMMY! … We both had an American breakfast which means pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage and potatoes. All with lashings of maple syrup. Whoever worked out that pancakes, bacon and eggs taste fantastic together with syrup is a genius. I can’t get enough of that concoction! More importantly than the food however was getting to catch up with Chris. A fellow ex-colleague who is about to start a Masters in Drama Therapy! I am so proud of what he is achieving and know that he is going to be incredible in his field of work. Luckily for me, he has also been on his travels to Australia so he can send me me lists of places to visit when he thinks of them!

Appi-Hour Anyone?:

My ultimate and all time favorite chain for cocktails in London is Be@One. After tea we headed to Greek Street’s Branch to meet some other friends from my work in London. I haven’t been back to London since February so it was wonderful to get to see everyone again and find out how they all were. So much changes in just a few months, I can’t imagine how much will differ next time i’m back in London. We spent the evening trying a few (a lot) of the hundreds of cocktails on offer to us, making good use of Be@Ones clever ‘appi-hour’ app once happy hour was over, and enjoying the show the bar staff put on when making each cocktail. They really do rock the “service with a smile”!

Muggles Everywhere As Per Usual!:

Thursday’s first stop was at Platform 9 3/4. I nearly swapped my plans and headed to Hogwarts instead of Australia, but alas, someone had been tampering with the barrier again so we couldn’t get through. A fellow wizard managed to capture me and Lizzy on a photograph as we tried to push the trolley through the barrier… proving Gryffindor and Slytherin can work together sometimes!

A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time:

Wow! If you are in London at any point… OR the tour is coming to a theatre near you… GO AND SEE THIS SHOW!!! It is STUNNING. The script, the acting, the set, the lighting, the projections, the costume, the perfectly timed work of the back stage crew. Everything is FLAWLESS. I was in awe throughout the whole performance and I don’t think it is a show like any other at the moment, especially on West End. Based on the book by Mark Haddon (which you should also read!) A Curious Incident is based on a tale by Christopher, a 15 year old boy. The story enables the audience to see into the mind of someone who may have Autism or Asperger Syndrome and delves into how they cope with the challenges that life brings. I would go and watch this play again tonight and tomorrow if it was possible! … Several £15 tickets are released for every performance, at 10am on the day, in the Gielgud Theatre box office. I bought one of these and had a slightly restricted view but felt I did not miss anything. …. FYI… don’t rush off at the end of the show.

xoxo

London In The Sun: Day One and Two…

London in the sun

The past few days have been a blur of activity in the city. I lived in London for almost five years before making the decision to pop home for a few months before heading out on my travels to Australia. I was lucky enough to spend six days last week revisiting some favourite spots, taking in some sights, shows and new experiences as well as seeing some of my favourite people that I haven’t been able to see in way too long!

Bend it like Beckham:

I got to spend Monday night seeing two friends who I went to University with as well as being travel companions on my trip to Uganda. We spent the evening catching up, eating typical English pub grub and going to see Bend It Like Beckham, The Musical at the Pheonix Theatre. Bend it like Beckham was one of the first VIDEO’s I bought for myself out of my saved up pocket money. It made me want to be a footballer for approximately two days until I was reminded just how quickly that football could fly at you! I was keen to see how they would make such a film into an on stage musical and it did not disappoint. An easy going show to watch, BILB’s score and script has hints of ‘Matilda’ meets ‘Billy Elliot’ with a clever fusion of traditional Indian music and original musical numbers. There is also an interesting generation blend shown by the parents and teenagers within the cast during the Bhangra numbers that could get almost anyone laughing and bobbing along. The coming of age struggle, alongside the debate of how to please a traditional family’s views whilst trying to follow your dreams, is shown in a delightful humorous way. And although a bit long, the evening passed quickly and we left the theatre smiling and daydreaming of sparkles and football.

My Village Cafe:

On Tuesday I discovered a cafe that I highly recommend everyone drops into when shopping at Camden. Called ‘My Village Cafe’ and based just past and opposite The Stables side entrance (before you reach Morrisions) this little cafe is a decorative delight. I stepped inside out of the rain for a cup of tea and was immediately made to feel incredibly welcome by the cafe’s hosts. Whilst browsing the fresh food I was handed a sample of a coconut milkshake they had just concocted and I knew I couldn’t have something as simple as an English tea here. Mind you I am fussy when it come’s to my tea, and I don’t like coffee, so a hot chocolate was the only way to go. I ordered and was given another drink sample… this time a chocolate, coffee and ginger blend which was delicious even to a non-coffee drinker like me. I would definitely recommend it to any coffee and hot chocolate lovers visiting. I settled down amongst the rustic furniture, next to the bared brick walls with scattered artifacts, and tucked into my hot chocolate and book whilst the bad weather passed. It was so pleasant I ended up staying for lunch. I wish I discovered this place when I lived in London. It would definitely have been a regular spot of mine.

See their website (under construction) for what it looks like inside. The dim lighting means my photographs do not reflect the place as they should… http://myvillagecafebar.co.uk/virtual-tour-to-my-village.h

Two for Tuesday:

The rest of Tuesday was spent with my housemate and best friend of five years in her new house catching up, watching films and, of course, eating Domino’s!! A perfect couple of days.

xoxo

Oh So Real…

Oh So Real

I have booked the first place that I am going to stay when I reach Brisbane! Now, when I head off on my own after living in the luxury of a house with my Aunt and Uncle I will be hitting all manners of hostels and unusual accommodation. Of that I am certain. However for my first couple of nights I figured i’m going to be a tad (a lot) jet-lagged! So I would like a good bed for a good sleep so I can make the most of seeing my friend Elise and exploring Brisbane in all its glory!

Where to look for a more persAirBnBonal stay in Brisbane that isn’t a hostel… AirBnB of course! My first ever request has just been accepted and I am so excited to be staying with Clare and her family, in what looks like an absolutely gorgeous place!

Photo’s and tales of my first AirBnB experience will be heading your way from the 31st of July!! Suddenly it feels Oh So REAL!!

I made my own AirBnB logo for my profile, I thought it was quite fitting don’t you agree?

xoxo

Mother & Daughter Road Trip… Oxford, Bicester & Milton Keynes…

Oxford

It’s one of those wet Sundays that makes you want to curl up on the sofa with films and copious amounts of tea. The type of Sunday that you look at that list of to do jobs and that room that is in major need of organisation and you just think, nope. Not happening!

So instead of being productive like I should be, i’m watching Harry Potter. Lovely!

Last weekend on the other hand, the sun was shining even more so than yesterday, and it couldn’t have been more perfect for a Mother and Daughter Road Trip!

Mum has a mile-stone birthday coming up in November and as I will be on my travels when that happens I decided we better have a little celebration before I head off! On Saturday morning we headed out in my little Kia Picanto (or Percy) for a weekend full of fun and frolics that my mum had no idea about!

First stop was Oxford. I think we were both relieved to arrive after a detour taking our journey – in the heat with no air con – to about 4 and a half hours long! I had booked a room for the night through the University and was placed in a little cottage-esque style halls of residence. What luxury those students live in! No different to a hotel, the room had a comfy double bed beautifully made, with a gorgeous ensuite shower room. I think I could handle living there for a year!

A short bus journey took us into central Oxford where the next part of the surprise was waiting. My friends Sophie and Lydia were there with their mum Heather – my mum’s friend. Neither mum’s knew so it was lovely to finally be able to break the secret!! … The rest of the day was spent strolling in the sun, exploring the various University buildings and the little streets and parks of Oxford. We even stumbled across a circus with wonderful old-fashioned carts and caravans. It looked so pretty in amongst the trees!

We finished the day having a delicious meal at Cote. Lemon sole for me, it’s my go-to fish when i’m feeling splurge worthy with my money! And Cote did not disappoint. Washed down with Pimms, wine and lots of giggles it really was a wonderful day!

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On Sunday morning I revealed Part Two to mum. We would be spending the night at Bicester Golf and Spa Hotel. I figured we would need a little down time after all the walking over the weekend!

We headed back into Oxford for the morning and devoured a hot chocolate and croissant from Pauls… a favourite treat from my time in London with the best hot chocolate in England. (Angelina’s in Paris does top it though, sorry Paul!) .. I also had to ask a girl where her gorgeous top was from which she revealed was Zara. Low and behold when we popped into the local Zara, there it was in my size AND in the sale! Bonus!! … We spent the rest of the morning exploring the shops and wandering along the river before heading our separate ways. The girls back to their homes and me and mum to Bicester where we spent the afternoon in the spa and eating steak in red wine sauce. Delicious.

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Monday morning meant the conclusion of our trip with one more surprise on the way home… A stop at Milton Keynes for a spot of Indoor Sky Diving!! … Whilst a tad on the expensive side considering you only get 2 minutes in the tunnel, I would highly recommend this experience! It doesn’t make me want to jump out of a plane at great heights anytime soon, but it does make me want to learn all the cool tricks the instructors can do! One did a little superhero show  – think iron man – flying around the tunnel! Wow! I was just about able to learn to hold myself still enough for the instructor to let go for a few seconds before the air blew me off-centre! … The best part was at the end when, if the instructor thought it was safe, they would hold on to you and spin you up to the top of tunnel and back down again. I did not stop grinning!

xoxo