Summer’s over, hello autumn. September is a glorious month with nature turning slowly into golden chestnut and mellow amber. Every acorn and conker bring a sense of childhood delight and the promise of dark twinkling skies, cosy casserole suppers, and earthy red wines.
That sense of the seasons turning is so evocative. In autumn it’s the ‘back to school’ feeling of anticipation and excitement that we enjoy. It’s a part of our DNA. We are intimately connected to nature and at a primal level the sensuous changes that each season brings makes us feel alive.
Continue reading “This week… balloons, bobbins and The Blitz”
In an attempt to focus on the positive and ‘forget about the worries and the strife’ of the world-at-large (apologies for paraphrasing Baloo, but you get the idea), I find there’s a lot to be grateful for. Okay, so there’s a lot of rubbish going on too but, hey, I’m trying here.
The bright summer days are metamorphosing into autumnal mellowness. The light is softening and early mornings have a slight chill in the air, with dramatic sunsets taking place and noticeably earlier each day. There is the unmistakable, tell-tale earthy smell in the air and on woodland walks the grounds are strewn with acorns and drying leaves. The simple bare necessities.
Continue reading “This week… books and Breakfast at Tiffany’s”
For the past two years, I’ve been optimising my diet. No faddy dieting, but rather good solid nutrition. Like most of us, I’m concerned that the quality of food available generally has deteriorated over the years. Finding an egg or a carrot, for instance, that actually has any flavour is a challenge. I had been cruising along, a happy vegetarian for over 40 years, and feeling pretty smug in all honesty that I had it right. But our bodies and our nutritional needs change throughout our lives. For one thing, we need more (class A) protein as we (ahem) mature. There are only so many times you can eat eggs, cheese or meat in a day, and I’ve been searching for a tasty ready mix to supplement my protein intake.
BOXD ‘natural wellness’ shakes are formulated to specifically meet the nutritional needs of women. I’ve been blending like crazy recently to put these to the test. Read more to find out how I got on in the kitchen.
Continue reading “Product review: BOXD nutritional powders”
You would think that finding wonderful gifts for family and friends would be an easy ask in the virtual ‘shopping mall’ online. The Christmas marketing season is upon us but with so much choice it can actually make choosing the right present more challenging, with hours spent peering at your mobile screen trying to find the best deals.
I’ve gone back over the past year to find the best books I’ve read, foods I couldn’t get enough of and delicious wines you might not have heard of. Here’s the Hashtagtravelling.uk guide to thoughtful and sustainable Christmas gifts in Santa’s virtual grotto.
Continue reading “Christmas gift guide 2021”
Another odd week in an age of odd times. In addition to the gods’ conspiracy to thwart travel writers with lockdowns, complicated travel guidelines and such-like, now there’s the fuel delivery shortage. After trying around eight stations (I lost count, and almost the will to live, after four) I queued for an hour to fill up. Having expected a wait of a couple of hours I thought that was reasonable (how mad can things get?).
Continue reading “This week… bread and circus”
Every September heritage houses, museums and other buildings throw open their doors to the public. Entry and tours are free despite the work of many of these organisations being independently funded, so a donation is welcome. The nationwide Heritage Open Days festival closes today and I took the opportunity take a peek behind the scenes over the nine-day event in Winchester. Here’s what I discovered.
Continue reading “This week… chimney tops, ration books and guardian angels”
If you have never read Wilkie Collins’s novel Woman in White written in1859, I urge you to remedy the situation before you visit a new exhibition opening in February. (So, no excuses, you have plenty of long winter nights to catch up). It is a wonderful Victorian tale of intrigue surrounding a mysterious woman lost in London and dressed entirely in white. A new exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts also aims to ‘cherchez la femme’, in this case the flame-headed Joanna Hiffernan, through the work of American painter and printmaker, James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903).
Continue reading “Whistler’s Woman in White: Joanna Hiffernan”
So, in the UK someone appears to have switched off summer, and in the cold rain temperatures have dropped dramatically. Of course, being British we staunchly hold on to the hope that the sun will come out again before autumn sets in but the mood as I write feels like the dog days of summer. I’m craving a bowl of warming homemade soup (broccoli, pea and pesto, thanks for asking) so there’s definitely a slight shift to the earth’s axis. Ahem.
Continue reading “This week… pottery, postcards and rats”
I continue to enjoy the delights of regional locations with historic sites and glorious English gardens in all their summer finery, right on my doorstep. I’ve had a few wobbles, days when the news was sad, scary or downright frustrating, but on balance I’m still here, scribbling in my online journal with one eye on that light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you for joining me again this week, and I hope you enjoy my latest ramblings and photographs.
Continue reading “This week… Mr MacGregor’s potting shed and rabbits”
I’m invited to experience forest bathing, explore some atmospheric castle ruins and tuck into a delicious lunch at a luxury country hotel. Things are looking up!
Continue reading “This week… escape to the forest, architectural details and space travel”
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