Street in Havana, Cuba

The Know-Before-You-Go Guide to Cuba

When I was planning my trip to Cuba, I found that there was an infuriating lack of information available online. While I’m used to being able to find basic information about transport, visas and things to do on official websites, Cuba is annoyingly lacking in these and I ended up piecing together most of what I wanted to know from various blogs that often contradicted each other or were quite obviously out of date.

So I’ve put together my own ‘know before you go’ guide to let you know what I learned while planning my trip, and while living it! Cuba is chaotic and unpredictable and full of surprises, but we found that it was quite easy to get by once you’ve picked up a few key facts. Here are the important things you need to know…

Continue reading

View from hilltop, El Nicho Waterfalls, Cuba

Where Have I Been?

I’ve been a little absent from my blog recently, and I thought it was time for a catch up. I’ve been tweeting and Instagramming, checking my notifications, occasionally scribbling in one of my notebooks, but every time I go to click that big blue ‘Write’ button on my blog dashboard I shrink away from the command and turn to something less daunting. This post is more personal than I would usually get on my blog, but it’s been brewing in my head for weeks and maybe it’s the thing I need to write to get my mojo back…so here goes.

Continue reading

Leeds Diary Dates: May 2017

After a busy and, to be honest, pretty rough time in April, I am so ready to say hello to a new month. There was so much going on in Leeds but due to spending the middle two weeks on holiday in Cuba, all the excitement of Leeds International Festival and the Digital Festival pretty much passed me by. Not that I’m complaining – two weeks offline in Cuba was just what I needed and I came back just in time to go to my first Live at Leeds with my best friend by my side.

May will see me heading to Tenerife for a 3-night hen party (and I assume far more drinking than I’m now used to), and spending the rest of the month doing post-holiday catch up with friends and checking out some Leeds Indie Food events. Let’s see what’s on the agenda in May…

Continue reading

Leeds Diary Dates: April 2017

Spring is finally here, and even though we lost an hour of sleep I’m so glad to finally see the daylight sticking around until after 7pm. I’ve been looking forward to April for a long time, because on the 9th I’m jetting off to Cuba for 2 weeks! Cuba has been on my bucket list for a few years now, and I can’t wait to put my out of office on, grab my backpack and enjoy a couple of weeks exploring with one of my best friends.

Of course this means I’m not going to be in Leeds a lot, but luckily for me a lot of the best upcoming stuff isn’t happening until the end of the month. Take a look at my event picks for April.

Continue reading

Book Reviews | March 2017

After last year’s failed attempt at reading 52 books in a year, I’ve scaled 2017’s challenge back to 40; a more manageable target that so far I am still managing to lag behind on. I have a preference for pretty, lyrical prose that demands I take time to appreciate, which usually means I take longer than average to finish a really good book. The usual distractions of social media, Netflix and blog browsing also take their toll, but reading has such a calming influence on my mind that I am trying to cut down on my screen time and reach for books instead. Here are the books I’ve enjoyed most in the first few months of 2017. Continue reading

Certificate from Barista Class at 200 Degrees North

4 Fun Classes to Take in Leeds

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

Endings & Beginnings

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