Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

South West Coast Path: Falmouth

On a hot summer day, you just want to have your swimming gear with you for a cheeky one, just in case ;-)

Friday, 22 October 2010

Disappointed? Me? Not with a book in sight

I hate it when my plans don't come together. I wanted to go on a pub walk today and take some pictures of course, but alas, I was attacked by a serious case of stomach cramps, of the...eerm...women's problems variety. So I had to stay at home.

Finding myself almost bedridden for a day I decided to continue reading the book I'd started last night. This is not a book related to travel in anyway, bar the fact that you might be interested in the country in question as I am but I highly recommend it. Frankly, I'm not even keen on politics, but I like reading books like these.

Putin And The Rise Of Russia

And then of course there is a book that I really can't recommend enough.

Bangkok Days
I read it three months ago. It's hilarious, raunchy, sad, romantic. It's all there. You'll be captivated by the stories of shameless expats yet still be impressed by the chaotic beauty that is Bangkok. Osborne is an impeccable writer.

Here is a great and insightful interview with him.

What are you currently reading?

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


I went to London town with a friend today. We had coffee at Greenwich Pier, hovered around Greenwich Park and Blackheath and then drove back. Sadly - maybe not?, I was too much in the moment to take any pictures! :-)


I was given a comprehensive history of the Cutty Sark - and watched a bit of the restoration process. Glorious day all around, with plenty of sunshine if I might add!

Here is something that'll make for great reading on Blackheath.

*photo courtesy of everything kitties!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Getting lost and loving it: The tale of the 504 coach

I wasn't planning to get lost - not that most people do - and I certainly didn't have the time or energy to derail in the slightest bit on my trip home from North Cyprus. Yet I did, loved it and would repeat the experience.

Here's what happened

There I was having landed at Stansted Airport, exhausted, famished (honestly the food they serve in KTHY) and mildly pissed off - you see this beautiful Cypriot baby that I spent the entire flight smiling and making faces at threw a massive tantrum towards the end of the journey and in the process made his mother pour the entire contents of his feeding bottle on me. Poor woman, she apologised profusely, she even followed me up to the customs queue, to tell me how sorry she was. I just nodded gingerly and gave a weak smile and told her it was fine. Of course it wasn't, my clothes were ruined, although admittedly it wasn't her or baby that I was angry at, it was my mum who up to that moment had not picked her phone.

So, feeling the way I did, I decided that I needed to get home ASAP. There was not point in resting at the airport or even getting something to eat, I could do that at a service stop, and finally at home. With my mum not picking her phone, I went to one of those flashy-and-inviting-but-really-expensive airport internet places and fished a £1 coin ready to go online with the intention of booking a last minute coach ticket. Destination: Penryn. Nationa Express coach route: London - Penzance. I had taken this route numerous times before, I could do it in my sleep...Number 500, book ticket, confirm, print...Go! What I did not do on this particular day was check. Properly. Being so knackered I just saw London - Penzance, number 50..., and click! I booked and paid for it. Checked to receive a mobile confirmation and off I went outside the airport to wait for the coach while trying to call my mother, again unsuccessfully.

I didn't bother with the confirmation text. I just saw that it was from national express and blissfully ignored the rest. My ticket was here, that was the confirmation that I had paid for it and that was that. When the coach arrived, I nonchalantly scrolled the message for the driver to read and my journey began. It was all smooth sailing until we got to Plymouth and I woke up from a deep slumber to catch the last words of the driver instructing those passengers going to Truro to get off the bus and get on the one next to us. I thought...Truro, hmm, that's my usual route. After Truro, it would be Penryn and I'd be home, but why would they want to get off? Surely this goes there too? Being in an overall lethargic mood, I decided to ignore it. It must pass through Penryn, it's the 500, I assured myself.

How wrong was I.

I woke up when the coach was making a stop at St Columb Major and came to the startling realisation that the coach was going nowhere near Penryn and it certainly wasn't the 500. I sat up and panicked a little. I could get off if I wanted and take the train home but it was starting to get dark and I didn't know the area well at all. I could also stay the night in a cheap B and B if I wanted, but I didn't - neither did I have the money - I had travelled with my credit card, which was by now blocked because my bank thought someone was using it fraudulently in Cyprus, hence the frantic calls to my mum. So there I was, it was growing dark outside and I was far from home as could be, and about to be even far from home if the coach left.

What to do? What to do? Nothing. I decided. I was going to go all the way to Penzance and decided from there. I had been to Penzance before, but not in the town centre and certainly not where the coaches stopped. In short, I didn't know Penzance very well too, but I ignored this fact. I decided I wanted to get lost. I wanted to be stranded. I wanted to look like an awkward tourist lugging her bags with her.

I fell back on my seat and off the coach went. At least I would enjoy the scenic North Coast.

Next: Getting lost and loving it: Penzance by night, The clubbers and The British Transport Police

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Unexpected finds

I realise I was just about to slag off Redhill here - and why not? :-P But, really it has it's hidden beauty. I woke up in it today, looked out the window and saw what a lovely day it was so I decided to go for a walk.

And look what I found...

Friday, 15 October 2010

Autumn days out: Falmouth Harbour views, good eats

Falmouth Harbour, the third largest natural deep water harbour in the world, offers some very beautiful views. A good enough reason for you to stay at the range of accommodation near it. I usually take a walk here almost every other weekend, can't get enough of it!
And if you are visiting Falmouth this autumn, you should check out my favourite thing to do at this time of the year: attending the annual Oyster Festival in October. Delicious and quality Cornish seafood galore!

And my favourite colour :-)

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Autumn days out: Leith Hill, Dorking

Leith Hill is the highest point in south-east England, although frankly it didn't feel like much of an effort climbing all the way up to the top where there is an impressive Gothic tower - but then again, most of Surrey is relatively flat. The view across the English channel is breathtaking, however on a foggy day it can be a bit difficult to see. Still, if you enjoy walking in rugged woodland, and across beautiful countrysides, you are going to love making your way there.

Here is a guide on how to get there and walk all the way up.

*photo courtesy of Jono!!

Monday, 11 October 2010

In praise of...National Express Coaches

My bum hurts. National Express...Never again!’

That was the status update that stared at me on my now defunct facebook homepage. A friend and I had both arrived home from a glorious weekend away. Whilst I was revelling in my post national express coach trip afterglow, she was more keen to express her sentiments on that particular mode of transport to her online audience.

I love the national express coach experience. I’m known to refuse to take the train even when my time keeping reputation is at stake just to ride the coach. I like that feeling of being taken care of. I turn up at the pick up station, usually accompanied by heavy and awkward shaped luggage and wait for the coach to turn up. The lovely drivers then proceed to check my ticket cheerfully and help me fit my luggage and off I go. Into the glorious beauty where a comfortable seat awaits. On it, I can have unlimited daydreams, chortle from reading strange tales in a book, or simply just take in the view as the couch snakes away through the beautiful countryside (journeys I prefer the most.) I find this is the part where some people hate most, sitting there for long periods of time, on their ‘bums’, but really all national express coaches have plenty of space to allow for the stretching of legs, numerous shift positions, the little walk to and fro here and there, so there is no excuse for you to sit stiff torturing yourself throughout the journey.

And the best part? Service stops. Yes, I know technically these are not part of the service offered by the national express but it is part of the experience of the journey by the national express coaches. Service stops, especially give me the chance to get off the coach, refresh then walk again towards the coach whilst admiring its physical beauty. Again, perhaps it’s the sort of person I am. Very long journeys are perfectly OK with me. It’s akin to deliberately getting lost. And what’s not to love about their funfares and endless summer deals? For someone who seems perpetually broke, it’s a great, fun and convenient way to travel.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Virtual platform

I've never understood what the deal is with trainspotting. Why would anyone want to spot trains? Note down train sightings, railway equipment and then what? Do trains stir an a strange but wonderful feeling in the their groins? Is it the same feeling like the one I have when I watch cute kitty videos on YouTube? Or when I see a lonesome cat when walking in the street and get that weird feeling of wanting to stroke it, pet it or even steal and make it mine? Is that it? I've never known why, maybe an avid trainspotter would care to let me know because just the other day, I came across something that left me even more puzzled.

A website dedicated to the train geeks out there. It has a live web cam so you can watch the trains naked if you want, with a live chat room to engage with fellow trainspotters. The web cam features the West Coast Mainline Railway Line in Euxton, Lancashire and it is, apparently, one of the few live streaming railway web cameras in the world and the only one of it's kind in the UK. I found the idea quite amusing although it seems only natural what with technology creeping up in everything we do these days. .

Do you happen to be a trainspotter? Love the idea or do you prefer the 'real' thing?

*photo courtesy of ukrailwaypics

Sunday, 3 October 2010

One for those lazy summer days

Autumn is here and Tesco already has a Christmas ad out, but for me summer this year was glorious. A compensation from the awful snow we had last winter? Probably. Sometime in August a friend of mine invited me for a drink on a very lovely summer afternoon. We were in Redhill, Surrey and he mentioned a pub he loved.

The Inn on the Pond.

I thought, what a nice little name for a pub. And in Redhill? Not that Redhill is an unpleasant place mind, it's just a tad bland. Since I had nothing to do I agreed to the drinks. There was a surprise waiting for me. The Inn on the Pond, just like the name conjures, is a beautiful little country pub. A typical Surrey pub with a large bar serving a range of drinks including some great local ales, a spacious dining area and a fantastic view over Nutfield Marshes. On this particular day - because we had a lot of time on our hands - we ordered a bottle of white wine and headed outside to while the afternoon away. We sat on a bench right next to the pond. A few feet from us a white horse was idly grazing away, while behind him a beautiful country house stood there as if beckoning a photographer to capture it's elegance. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me but I never stop thinking about that dreamy image.

The pub has a log burner and an open fireplace, which I'm sure comes in very handy during the dreary winter to keep you warm and cosy, if not eeerm, a bit drunk like I was afterwards!

*photo taken from the pub's facebook page

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bar Number 20

This is the coolest hang out in Penryn. And as you guessed from the title, it's located at 20 Lower Market Street. Open from 3pm you can enjoy free internet access and a good cup of coffee in the afternoon while you catch up with friends or just have some time to yourself. This is somewhere you definitely want to find yourself on a Tuesday night because it’s Cocktail Night, two cocktails for five pounds. And it’s not just cocktails, it’s the good stuff! Wednesday night is Quiz Night, with loads of prizes up for grabs and the perfect opportunity to make friends. If you enjoy live sessions then there is a fine selection of local artists and DJs the rest of the nights playing everything from acoustic soul to funky jazz.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Style in Falmouth, Cornwall

Events Square, Falmouth. Five minutes walk from the High Street

I thought I'd mention two of my favourite 'not-your-usual' clothing stores in Falmouth.

Secrets Boutique
This is an impressive little boutique on Church Street. Inside, amazing beauty awaits. Stocked with colourful little dresses, skirts, scarves, hats and other eclectic accessories, you’ll soon find that you are spoiled for choice. A bit pricey if I might add, but this is not New Look. This is authentic material, carefully selected to suit a daring and experimental taste. Oh, and you can not find this online. I asked one of the lovely ladies why this was so, and she told me what I already suspected: They like to remain exclusive. Now there is a perfect reason to visit Falmouth.

You can call them on 01326 313003 for any enquiries beforehand.

Kit Boutique
This is another quirky and chic little boutique shop on the Falmouth high street. Head here for a selection of gorgeous ladies shoes, a collection of cute little dresses and other vintage treats. Kit Boutique, luckily enough is available online.

For phone enquiries call 01326 218778