Do you ever miss your school days? No, me neither. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss learning, having all that dedicated time when you were not only encouraged but expected to be filling your brains with new skills and information. But learning doesn’t have to stop when you leave school – here are just a few of the ways you can pick up a new talent and have loads of fun along the way. Continue reading
As I write this I’m sat in a cafe, doing something I’ve never done before; taking two days off work just to do nothing. No holiday, no visits to friends, no plans at all except reading books, quietly working through some life admin and recovering from an intense week. A week of extremes, of mourning and celebration, of endings and beginnings.
During the week we said our goodbyes to my grandma, a warrior of a woman who was such a force of nature the universe saw fit to name a storm after her in the week that she died. In contrast, I then spent the weekend with the other side of my family watching my cousin get married and sharing in the start of a new phase of his life. Continue reading
March is here, and that means the start of spring is within reach – can you feel it coming? February has been a horrible month for me personally and I’ll be glad to see the back of it; the hard part is by no means over but I have some great things coming up that I can look forward to and I’m trying to add more to that list. When I’m going through a tough time my instinct is to shut everyone out, put my head down and crawl through it, but it’s time to pick myself up and start letting people back in. With that in mind, does anyone want to accompany me to some cool events in Leeds this month? Continue reading
At times like this, when life is hard and my reality feels a little too hard to face, escapism is key. Browsing flights, looking at job adverts in far-off cities and binge watching US teen dramas are all part of this coping mechanism, but nothing soothes me like curling up under a blanket with a book.
As an avid reader who always likes to have a book to hand and packs several books for every holiday, you’d expect me to have leapt on the Kindle bandwagon. But I’ve never been keen. Yes they’re super convenient and I’d save so much suitcase space, but for me nothing outweighs the comfort I feel when I open a paperback. I love the feel of the paper between my fingers, the musty smell of the pages, the beautiful cover designs. Continue reading
Ever since I started travelling I’ve loved to take photos, and the rise of Twitter and Instagram have done nothing to curb my addiction. Nowadays I spend most of my life in the same city, but luckily Leeds is incredibly photogenic and I’m never short of beautiful things to capture. Of course I’m one of the amateurs, and I love to stalk the feeds (just their feeds, before you call the police) of photographers around Leeds who really capture the feel of the city. Here are five of my favourite Leeds Instagram accounts you should be following. Continue reading
Is it really February already? January is my birthday month and for the first time in a long time I turned a year older on a Saturday and got a work-free day of presents, cakes and treats from all my loved ones. But to be honest I’m never that sad to say goodbye to January; it usually means saying goodbye to my post-Christmas slump, sale season and the worst of the winter weather. February, on the other hand, is looking like a good month… Continue reading
Ever arrived in a city and felt immediately at ease, confident that you’re absolutely in the right place? I hope you have. All famous cities are famous for a reason and have amazing things to do, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and everybody has their own places that they love the most, that fit them perfectly. I’m lucky enough to have found more than one of my ‘soulmate cites’; these are the weekend break destinations that are most special to me. Continue reading
I love having money. I love the feeling of security and independence is gives me, to look at my bank balance and know that I’m financially prepared for whatever life throws at me. I’m not the most organised or financially savvy person – I don’t have a budget and barely understand how my taxes are calculated – and yet most months I manage to put at least a small amount of my salary into my savings account, without giving up my travel addiction. Here are a few of the simple little things we can all do to make sure we keep building that savings fund. Continue reading
I’ve almost missed the window to write my ‘new year’ piece. It’s ok, I suspected I would. January usually starts slowly for me – while everyone else seems to be making lists of goals, planning new projects and generally carpe diem-ing their way into the new year, I emerge from my Christmas stupor dazed and lethargic, with only enough energy to drag myself through the days.
My birthday is 2 weeks into January, and this is when I tend to look round and take stock of my life’s progress; not as the calendar rolls into a new year but as I myself clock up another year on the planet (this year, that number is 26). As I look back on the year just gone and the one ahead, I’m taking the ‘word of the year’ approach, and searching for the words that I would like to define the first year of what some would call my late twenties. Continue reading
Everyone’s talking about resolutions, diet adverts are everywhere, and my Twitter timeline is full of #Goals posts- it can only be the start of a brand new year. For all the ‘new year, new start’ bravado, January always feels like a quiet month to me; as usual I’m recovering from a fun but busy Christmas period and trying to get back into the swing of the normal working week. I do celebrate my birthday halfway though the month – I firmly believe that January is the worst month of the year for a birthday, but it does stop me from really experiencing the January Blues that everyone else seems to feel.
So, what’s going on in Leeds? Not that much this month – like me, Leeds always feels to me like it’s recharging in January, taking a deep breath after all the Christmas craziness and gathering its thoughts for the coming year. But of course we’re never without things to do, and if nothing else there are some killer January dining offers going around at some of the city’s best restaurants. Ox Club, Shears Yard, Arts Cafe – I’m looking at all of you. Continue reading