Photo Sunday: a windy walk on the Saxon Shore Way

It’s been a few weeks since I blogged here (although there’s still plenty going on over at The Blog of Theatre Things if you fancy a visit!) but I thought I’d pop in to share a few photos from a couple of weeks ago, when a friend and I spontaneously decided to join a local walking group for a Sunday hike.

We started at Newington, a village in Swale, Kent, then headed across to Upchurch and along the Saxon Shore Way to Lower Halstow. After a very welcome pub stop for lunch (it was a freezing cold day and we’d been completely blown to bits walking along the estuary), we made our way back to Newington to head home.

It was great to meet some new people and be out in the fresh air – even if was a bit too fresh at times – after a busy week. And I couldn’t resist taking a few photos, particularly along the estuary, where the skies seemed to change by the second. I do love a dramatic cloud ūüėČ

I hope everyone’s having a great International Day of Happiness, by the way! What made you happy today?

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Happy Sunday: weird noises, rapping bridesmaids… and a kitten called Bum

Greetings from a wet and windy Kent! I’m very happy to be at home, in the warm, while outside it’s blowing a gale and pouring with rain. I hope, wherever you’re reading this, that you’re warm and dry too.

Anyway, here are a few of the things that made me smile over the past couple of weeks. Ironically, I started¬†writing this post whilst watching War and Peace, which¬†made¬†me cry like a baby… but¬†it’s over now¬†so back to the good stuff ūüôā

This week:

  • After waiting (im)patiently for a few weeks, I finally got my copy of the February issue of Dartford Living, which¬†this month, for the first time, includes¬†my local theatre round-up. (No, I haven’t stopped being excited about that¬†yet.)

Dartford Living

  • A bus driver in Nottingham took a detour from his route to take home an elderly lady with dementia. Mark Feurtado, whose mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2007,¬†was concerned when the lady didn’t get¬†off his bus at the end of the line,¬†and made a special trip to make sure she got home safely.
  • I finally discovered the source of the¬†strange noise in my building – a sort of scraping, banging noise that’s very hard to describe, and which I’d heard a few times over the past few weeks. It turns out it isn’t, in fact, the building falling down, or – as some of my Twitter friends suggested – a serial killer roaming the halls (thanks for that, guys). It’s just the door of the meter cupboard on the outside¬†wall blowing about in the wind, which is a lot less interesting, but also less terrifying, so I’m taking that as a win.
  • In Alberta, Canada,¬†Maggie the dog escaped from her kennel at Barkers Dog Motel in the middle of the night, to cuddle with¬†two rescue puppies who’d just arrived.
  • My friend, who’s getting married in May, posted this video on Facebook earlier today with the suggestion that her sister and I should do something similar at her wedding. Funnily enough, I don’t see that happening… It’s a great video though ūüôā
  • A mother and daughter from New York have been reunited after 82 years: Lena Pierce was only thirteen when she had her baby, who was adopted at six months. Betty Morrell’s¬†been searching for her mother for 20 years and the two finally had an emotional reunion¬†last month.
  • Last weekend I finally had time for a bit of a clear-out at home; I hate actually doing the clearing, but love it when it’s done and I can see my floor again. And I even got around to buying a box for all my theatre programmes, which is, er, already full…

Theatre box

  • This kitten called Bum is so cute I want to cry.
  • I completed my Welsh challenge – after only a few hours spent on it last weekend… (Now I just need some Welsh people to talk to – any volunteers?!) Next I’m learning¬†Scottish Gaelic, because why not? Feasgar math!

How was your week?

The Love/Hate Tag

Thank you to the lovely Sarah at Things Sarah Loves for nominating me in the Love/Hate Tag! Now technically, writing about things I hate goes against all the rules of this blog… but I feel it’s about time I actually completed something I’ve been tagged in. So here goes:

10 things I love

(A lot of these won’t be a surprise…)

Sunsets. Obviously.

A nice cup of tea. There’s nothing that a cup of tea can’t fix. Well, maybe a few things. But not many.

nice cup of tea solves everything

My bed. In fact I might love it¬†a bit too much… (Big surprise, I’m still no good at mornings.)

The theatre. People keep asking me if I’m sick of it yet, now that I go to the theatre on average 2 or 3 times a week. Nope. I still love it.

A great book that I can’t put down. You know the kind that you think about all day and can’t wait to get back to – or have to stay up all night finishing. That kind.

Pandas. I’ve recently realised that I love pandas; there’s something irresistible about their faces. I think it’s because they always look slightly confused. They’ll never beat tigers, but they’re still pretty awesome.

Giant panda at Edinburgh Zoo

Christmas. And my birthday. Because I’m basically a child.

Pimm’s. I think my love for Pimm’s may only be increasing as the years¬†go by. It’s just not summer without it.

Tennis.¬†Especially the Davis Cup. You can’t beat that atmosphere.

Davis Cup

Laughing at something really stupid. Until you can’t breathe and your ribs hurt, and you don’t even remember what you’re laughing about, but you just know that it was really, really funny.

10 things I hate

The Piccadilly Line. I find it hard to explain how much I hate travelling on the Piccadilly Line, which is hot, sweaty and always rammed. It even makes the District Line seem comfortable.

Mind the Gap

Chewing gum. I’ve never quite been able to see the point of it, and I can’t stand listening to other people chew it.¬†

Bugs. Of all kinds, but especially spiders and wasps. Moths are fine.

Anything to do with eyes. I mean like eye injuries, that kind of thing. Watching Game of Thrones is basically hell for me. (I really don’t know why I do it.)

Eyeball cake

Smoking. Because bleurgh.

Beer.¬†I’ve never been particularly keen, but one night a few years ago decided in my wisdom to mix beer and sambuca, and ended up with my first (and hopefully last) alcohol-related injury. No more beer for me.

Crowds. Not in a claustrophobic way, but because I can’t stand that shuffling walk you have to do to get anywhere.

People who talk in the theatre. No. Just no. You’re not in your living room. Sssh.

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, London

Extreme temperatures. I hate being too hot or too cold. And I’m not a fan of average temperatures, because I never know what to wear. So basically, I’m British. (I’m not keen on rain, either.)

Being wrong. Even though I assume most of the time that I am wrong, I hate it when I’m proved right. About being wrong. If that makes sense.

And now I nominate Lexie, Dani, Safia,¬†Ioana¬†and Rachel; let’s hear your 10 loves and hates! (Sorry if any of you have already done it…)

Photo Sunday: In the City

Considering how much time I spend in London during the week, I actually get to see very little of it (the inside of the District Line doesn’t count). The area where I work is very green and quiet, and quite far away from the centre – to be honest it doesn’t really feel like being in London at all.

This means¬†I only really get to see the City – where all the big business happens – from the train on my way in and out every day. Which is a shame, as that’s where all the interesting buildings are, like the Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie. So when a couple of friends who work over that way suggested we take a photo walk on Wednesday evening, I jumped at the chance.

Naturally,¬†Wednesday would turn out to be the hottest day of the year, with temperatures hitting 36 degrees in some areas, so we quickly settled on¬†a plan B, to go up to the Sky Garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street) and drink Pimm’s.

Sadly, that didn’t work out either, because they were having a private event – so we decided to¬†brave¬†the sweltering streets and revert to plan A, take a few photos and then, when it all got too much, go and get tapas.

Our route: from the Walkie Talkie, we passed through Leadenhall Market (where bits of Harry Potter were filmed, apparently) then past Lloyd’s and up to the Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe). From there we headed down¬†past Fenchurch Street station to Clothworkers’ Hall, before stopping for a lovely dinner (which included sangria, naturally) at Camino in Mincing Lane. After dinner, we took a little detour to the beautiful St Dunstan in the East, which was closed – but we were still able to look¬†in through the fence and take a few photos, before heading back to Tower Hill and home.

Anyway, here are a few of the resulting pics from the evening. Enjoy ūüôā

Photo Sunday: By the sea

Isn’t it funny how you can live close to somewhere lovely for most of your life, and never know about it?

Last weekend, my sisters and I drove down to the Thanet coast, with a friend who was visiting from Canada. For anyone not familiar with the layout of Kent, Thanet is the north eastern corner, home to Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. It’s not exactly on my doorstep – probably about an hour and a half in total – but hardly an epic drive.

We’d done our research and checked the weather forecast in advance, choosing Sunday because it looked like it was going to be sunny¬†– so you can imagine our disappointment when we woke up to a grey, miserable and very windy day. Still, undeterred, we donned several layers and set off, stopping in Whitstable first for fish and chips (indoors; we drew the line at eating chips on the beach in a howling gale) then continuing on to Botany Bay. From there, we walked along the beach to Kingsgate Bay and finally arrived at Joss Bay as the heavens opened, before sprinting back to the car in the pouring rain.

My sister Caz had spent a lot of time in the area over the winter working on a photography project, so she knew the best places to go (and the best time to go there – there’s a real danger of getting cut off by high tide if you choose the wrong time of day). I’d love to head back there some time when it’s sunny – but even with overcast skies it’s a pretty stunning place, and¬†the four of us spent a happy hour snapping photos and trying not to fall off the rocks (note to self: wear more suitable shoes next time) before the weather put an end to our fun.

Have you ever discovered a hidden gem close to where you live?