Month: November 2015

Lago D’Iseo (Part II)

We ran for the boat, our summer sandals clip-clopping against the cobblestones,  hair unfurling behind us in the evening breeze, cameras banging against our hipbones as we sprinted through skinny alleyways to the town dock. The last boat out to Monte Isola of the evening was idling there already and we carried on running, along the jetty, across the rickety walkway onto the vessel before two-footing it up the stairs, until we stood with our eyes trained on the sky blooming purple, like a bruise. (photos) on digital | Lago D’Iseo, Italy | August 2015

Lago D’Iseo (Part I)

Looking back on it, this summer was one of significant travel (it always surprises me how much five weeks of annual leave can be stretched – thank goodness!) The summer travels began in Bavaria, moving on to Seattle and the pointed pines of the Pacific Northwest for a reunion with my sister and transatlantic best friends after eight months apart. Closer to home there were trips to Suffolk and Surrey, and anywhere outside (and within) London that felt like the countryside (cities in the heat are not my favourite.) The excursions culminated in a weekend in Italy to celebrate my parents’ 30th wedding anniversary. I rarely plan for myself holidays that revolve around relaxing, swimming, eating, drinking – I always think I like to be out and about experiencing culture, meeting people, taking trains cross-country – but no, since this Italian jaunt, I’m a card-carrying convert to ‘slow travel’ (codeword for: doing absolutely nothing while eating and swimming as much as is humanly possible.) We stayed in a beautiful hotel on the lakefront, filled with droopy peonies from a summer wedding; swam …

Cold-Busting Smoothie (Here’s Hoping)

As I write this it is Sunday morning, the sky grey as steel, and I’m five days into an objectionable and wholeheartedly malevolent cold complete with hacking cough (sorry neighbours!) and throbbing head. Thankfully this morning, the house to myself, my burning sinuses had subsided and I felt well enough to blend up a homemade smoothie in the hopes of curing myself in time for a family dinner party this evening (please, Mother Nature, just this one request?) I’ve been rather grumpy about my infirmity so far, given that it has forced me to forego birthday plans with the boy, firework-gazing on Primrose Hill (there’s always next year, I guess!), a festive trip to the theatre and a weekend trip to Wiltshire. Woe is me. Still, if there’s one thing that’ll cheer anyone cold-ridden and runny-nosed up, it’s this smoothie. It’s low in dairy (and can be dairy-free if you omit the yoghurt) and high in fruit/veg/iron/all the good things that’ll keep winter illnesses at bay (I hope) and that taste truly scrumptious when whizzed up together …

One Weekend In Suffolk

  On the first weekend in October we returned to the sea.  A congested rush-hour ride on the Northern Line followed by a wait in the smoggy confines of Liverpool Street made arriving in darkness, greeted by the brisk saline air and the stars sharpened by the cold, all the more thrilling. Ask me any day where I’d most like to be and my answer will likely be here: this quiet stretch of flat coastline in eastern England, pebbled beaches and dogged sea holly galore. I love it in any weather, any season. There’s something about the place – its remoteness, likely, and the cold true air – that instantly calms and satisfies me. Those places that make you feel more you? As though you’ve been walking two feet behind yourself all this time and have finally caught up with yourself again? That’s how Suffolk makes me feel. We spent the weekend in a terraced house, its front door bordered with lavender, two streets from the sea. The days were marked by the sort of contented moments that, if only I could, I …