Camping

A few weeks ago for boyfriend’s birthday, we upped suburbia and drove north to a beautiful forest somewhere near Leighton Buzzard for a wonderful weekend of camping with some dear friends.  Snaps and stories:

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The forest was part owned by a few families, with one of the families being family friends of our buddies.  It was beautiful, very quiet and set back from the main road, with handmade clearings for us to pitch up.  Here’s our fire, before the rains came …

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Fortunately, when the rains did arrive, our friends were clever enough to bring a giant sheet of tarpaulin accompanied by bungee hooks, meaning we could make and sit under our own little den when the heavens opened.  We had rugs, candles, incense, lanterns – we felt like pixies of the wood!

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This beaut of a camping cooker came out of its box for the first time, specifically for this trip, and worked wonders for us!  Here’s one of our bog standard meals we whipped up – can’t go wrong with sausages and beans, especially when its chilly.  Other culinary wonders included bacon, eggs and burgers.  Oh, and soya milk, I’m now addicted to soya milk!

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Having a digital detox means you have to find other ways to entertain yourself, one of those ways being games!  Here’s our scrabble board and Haribo inspired Texas Hold’em, completed with Blondie’s Greatest Hits blaring from our speakers – the dream!

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Another highlight was a woodland walk we went on, well, through farmers lands and a golf course, but near woodland!  We found hay bales, rabbit holes, contemplated making nettle tea and hid from tractors.  So beautiful to be at one with nature.

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So there you have it, our beautiful weekend camping.  I’d really encourage you to give it a go, leave behind life for a few days and go and sit in a forest with some good friends, a wine box and a campfire.  Let the good times flow.

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200

Welcome to the 200th post of Bella’s Bits!  I quite like milestones like this, little as they may be.  It gives one a chance to quietly reflect on achievements.  For this, I’ll do as I did for 100 posts in the making and share with you some of my favourite pieces of writing and posts from the last couple of years.

Way back when in 2012, I wrote a couple of letters to my camera, which got an amazing response (view by clicking here).  One reader even told me I made them cry!  This was a piece of writing that was very much just me sitting down by myself and pouring out all my thoughts and emotions, albeit about a camera!  Fortunately, I found said camera a few days later and welcomed it back into my life with open arms here.

These last 100 posts have also seen my documents of various travels, along with #OOTDs to match.  You can read about Thailand, Australia, Cyprus and Paris by clicking.

Another post which had a good response was this one titled X Factor Humble Pie.  It involved my tipsy twitter ramblings whilst watching The X Factor a couple of years back, followed by sober reflections.  It speaks for itself really.

A couple of posts that I feel really showcase my style of writing include Social Media Madness and Bella Evening, the latter of which I almost titled ‘The Importance of Being Alone’.  I love this style of post, but I have to be in a certain kind of mood to write like this.  These just go to show how much life influences writing, and vice versa almost and how living and loving your life is the most important thing of all, and if that inspires writing, well it’s just a bonus really.

And finally, a post I’m most proud of is rather personal to me, 2013 an amazing year.  This was a rundown of all the accomplishments I’d achieved that year and even reading it now makes me swell with pride and emotion.  I believe that reflection is such a key part to progression and moving forward.  Sometimes, when you’re stuck in a rut or unsure of where life is headed, looking back can provide you with the motivation you need.  Being proud and happy of what you’ve achieved in the past can refocus your direction in life and remind yourself that you can do anything.  And that’s what this post did for me.

So a very happy 200 posts to Bella’s Bits, here’s to the next 200!

 

John O’Groats

I love trains.  I really really do.  So, whilst I’m in my final ‘summer’ so to speak (although still working full time, as and when) I felt it was only necessary to take the train to John O’Groats.  As you do.  Snaps and stories.

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We took the sleeper train from London Euston up to Inverness.  This was my beaut of a berth.  If you haven’t been on a sleeper train, I’d really recommend it.  It’s so much fun toddling down to the dining carriage bar for a drink and to mingle with the other passengers.  (Note my left over gin and lemonade glass.)  It can be a bit hit and miss as to how well you actually sleep, but I find the swaying and to and froing really rather comforting.  Then waking up and finding out you’re in the middle of Scotland and that the London lights are 300 miles behind you, pretty breathtaking.

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We wandered around Inverness for a bit before catching our next train, from Inverness to Wick.  This was a 4 hour pretty bumpy ride through the Highlands but was absolutely beautiful.  I saw puffins, deer, even majestic stags and of course, lots and lots of sheep.  It was gorgeous.

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From Wick, we took another very bumpy bus up to John O’Groats (the most northern part of the UK) itself.  It was crazy, literally nothing there.  I felt extremely overwhelmed about how far north we were (which is weird, cause I’ve been to Australia heaps of times LITERALLY the other side of the world) but is was beautiful and desolate at the same time.  Excuse the pretty casual get up here.  (I’d spent upwards of 12 hours on trains).  But FYI my tee is ASOS, jeans are trusty BDG at Urban Outfitters favourites, socks are Topshop and sneakers are Vans.

After a twenty minute stroll around John O’Groats we got the same very bumpy bus back to our hotel in central Wick (located on the shortest street in the world, don’t you know).  After relaxing over a bottle of cava we headed down to a gorgeous dinner and some drinks in the bar, before collapsing into bed.

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After an early start, we got the same (bumpy) train from Wick down to Inverness where we spent the day strolling the Ness and the Isles of Ness, shopping and gorging on Pizza Express.  At 8pm we boarded the sleeper train to head back to London Euston where we arrived 12 hours later.

So that was it!  It was a beautiful trip and exactly the break I needed.  The Highlands were just gorgeous and I can now say I’ve been to the most northerly point in the UK!  Next, Landsend.

 

June Verbs

Can you believe we’re in the second half of the year?  As I mentioned in ‘Summer So Sneaky’, it only feels like a few weeks ago I was snuggled in my onesie with candles and a cuppa.  But no, 6 whole months have flown by in the blink of an eye.  My ‘Verbs’ feature has actually really help me keep a track of what I’ve been up to!  Here’s June:

Watching: Gossip Girl

I’m guilty.  I craved.  I’m watching Gossip Girl for the THIRD time.  I just can’t get enough.  Every time I think I remember the storyline or what’s going to happen, there’s a twist, a new character, a new plot, or just something I didn’t see the first time around.  It’s addictive.

These Guys

These Guys

Reading: Blogs

Just cause I’ve been away from the blogging scene, doesn’t mean I haven’t been checking up on it.  I use a website called BlogLovin to keep up to date with all my favourite bloggers and writers who post about all sorts of topics, from all over the world.  I’d encourage you to sign up to not only keep up to date with my blog, but to see who I follow and discover some new and exciting authors.

A seriously good idea.

A seriously good idea.

Listening To: Ella Henderson – Ghost

I seriously can’t get enough of this song.  I was a huge fan of Ella during her time on the X Factor and her debut single is an absolute winner in my eyes.  For those of you who don’t know, I love to sing, so I’ve made a cheeky cover of this track.  Whilst I am by no means confident enough to share it with you, my style is quite similar to Ella (if I do say so myself!).  Have a listen and I guarantee it’ll be in your head before you know it!

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Wearing on my body: Nine West Sandals

These beaut Nine West Sandals cost me around £60 three summers ago.  So the way I see it, that’s £20 per summer.  Not bad.  I can be seen wearing these in a few of my summery #OOTD posts, including my Cyprus series from last summer.  Comfy, cool and colourful.

Such a beaut brand.

Such a beaut brand.

Wearing on my face: Nothing

This June, I’ve ditched the foundation and been baring all.  There’s nothing worse than achieving a gorgeous summer glow and then not having correct make-up colouring to compliment it.  To stay on the safe side, I’ve barely been wearing any make-up thus far.  I’m allowing my skin to breathe and becoming naturally bronzed in the process!

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Eating: Tesco Feta Dip and Bruschetta Snacks

Everyone knows I’m a bit of a cheese fanatic so when these beaut snacks of feta cheese joy landed in my local Tesco … I bought the lot.  I think I’m over my addiction now, but it certainly wouldn’t stop me buying them in the future.  Sweet, salty, tangy and bursting with flavour.  Go on, buy!

Seriously good!

Seriously good!

Drinking: Water

Lately, I’ve been getting quite bad headaches when I’ve been dehydrated.  So, I’ve been making sure I’m always carrying around chilled water reading to sip, glug or chug whenever necessary.  My skins clearer and my headaches have practically disappeared.

What did you get up to this June?

 

 

 

Explanation Part 6

Who would have thought there would have been 6 occasions where I have a wee apology to you lovely readers for not posting?  Well, I certainly thought it might be the case.  For me, blogging is a hobby, its something I love doing; writing and creating (hopefully) exciting and intriguing posts for you all to read … but its certainly not my life.  Its not my life, its not my job, its just something I do.  Life is far bigger than this blog.

The first thing that happened is I went to Scotland.  Ohh yes, I popped on up to John O’Groates and it was wonderful.  And then when I got home full of inspiration and ideas, my internet decided to stop working .. for 12 days.  Terrific timing.  Anyway, since the internet has been back up and running I’ve just been so busy.  I’ve had a few London days out, headed to Royal Ascot, been to a Boat Party, had my bi-annual Dance Show … life has been pretty hectic.  Hopefully I can fill you all in on it over the coming weeks.

For now … fall in love with life, I dare you.

Fall in love.

Fall in love.

What I Wore in Paris

I’m really bad at this #OOTD thing.  Well at least this time I got a pretty awesome backdrop (FYI – The Louvre).  I wore some beaut outfits in Paris, and the only full-length one I’ve really captured is … well let’s call it ‘Skater Girl Chic’.

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This was very much a travel comfort based outfit option, and the clothes aren’t really from anywhere exciting.  Ah well, here you go anyway!

Sunglasses – Espirit at TK Maxx

Shirt – Lowes (Australia)

Black Vest – Primark

Geometric Necklace – Topshop

Jeans – BDG at Urban Outfitters

Trainers – Vans

So there you have it!  What I wore in Paris.  Aurevoir!

Paris

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These are pretty standard Paris photos.  The standard tourist shots.  But to me, they’re beautiful moments of a whirlwind week-before booked long weekend in the City of Love with the boyfriend.  And we certainly had a beautiful time.

We roamed the streets breaking in my new Vans, stopping for cheese and macaroons, paying 10 euros for a pint (sinful), climbing spiral staircases galore (don’t), got angry at Ipad tourists, drank cheap wine by the litre, read books by the river and even got a little sunburnt.  It was a beautiful weekend, it really was.  I’m thinking of doing a couple of niche posts about a market we visited and an incredible restaurant experience we had – interested?

Fall in love with life.