Feeling Coldy.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

I'm feeling a little bit under the weather at the moment, so I've stocked up on Manuka Honey, Lemons, Apple Cider Vinegar etc, it's also the reason why there's not too many posts at the moment (my apologies). Sooo instead of a lengthy post, I thought I'd just ask for your tips :) 
First of all: are there any great series on netflix that you'd recommend? (Unfortunately I've already watched all of 'Orange is the new Black', but that sort of programme would be great!). At the moment I'm watching that midwife programme on iPlayer, and I need to stop it, because I can't get teary over people I don't know having babies all day. Also: What do you do when you have a cold, do you have any great remedies? If you do, pleeeease share.

Merci ❤


Monday, 26 August 2013

Ireland was so so good, exactly what I needed. It's so strange, that even though I know that it's really good for me to not constantly be online, I'm online all the time, and end up wasting way too much time too. In Ireland, that's not an option (I'm not saying the Irish don't have Internet yet, but where we stay, there isn't any), you're lucky if your phone picks up signal to make a call, but in my books, that's a good thing most of the time. You know how I talked about trying to get less distracted (click), let me tell you something, it's a hell of a lot easier, when you just don't have as many distractions! Here's a little list of all the little things I loved about this holiday:

❤ Reading! I finally went back to just sitting there reading for a couple of hours (thank you for the book recommendation, Alice :) ). Who would have thought, I still have it in me to read a book in a day! I definitely need to make more time to read in everyday life.

❤ Walks on the beach! We stayed in Daniel's nan's house which is conveniently located right near the sea. The only thing that could have made this more perfect would have been to have my dogs there, especially the crazy three-legged one would have loved it, she jumps into every puddle she can find, so I'm sure the sea would have blown her mind. Ireland is so beautiful, and I loved going for long walks, watching the boys skip stones (is that how you call it), and contemplate, whether I'd be brave enough to jump in the water (probably not).

❤ Playing cards and monopoly! For once we actually used playing cards for playing and it was really good fun. We also ended up playing monopoly for four hours (well the boys did, I came third and had to finish after only three hours).

❤ Food! I ate so so much food over the last couple of days, and I tried to just not care about calories, or fat or my new favourite sugar, I can eat healthy all of this week right? Cooking for a group of 11 is always a bit of a challenge, but everyone was always fed, so it was all good! I especially loved saturday night, where we went to one of Daniel's uncles BBQ, where they had THE tastiest Halloumi in the world! They were so smart about it and had it tucked in between trays, so it couldn't fall out, and you could actually leave it on until it went all gooey, yum!

❤ Last night at the pub (there even was live music). Irish music sure takes some time to get used to, but it was so much fun in the end! We went to two different ones, and in the second one, we met half the family of one of Daniel's cousins (who was also with us), including his 84 year old granddad, how cool is that? I've never experienced this anywhere but there that you can 'go out' (going to a pub is plenty of going out for me thank you very much ;) ) and noone's judging who you're with, or what you're wearing, because everyone's just busy having a good time, amazing.
As I said, I had such a good time, I really wish we could have stayed at least another week or two, but maybe if I'm nice to Daniel, he'll take me there again soon. Fingers crossed. Have you ever been to Ireland? If you have, did you love it as much as I did? And where did you go? If not, you need to go!

I'm off to Ireland

Friday, 23 August 2013

I'm off to Ireland this weekend. So to keep this little blog of mine busy whilst I enjoy a couple of days away from the Internet, I thought I'd share my photos from Ireland last year with you :) It's such a beautiful country, I could literally not stop taking photos.

More Granola than Bars: My most recent attempt to come up with a great granola bar recipe

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

This my friends wasn't supposed to be Granola, it was supposed to be thick, chewy Granola bars à la smitten kitchen. Wasn't. And do you want to know why? Because I thought I could be clever, and cut the sugar content even further by using dates (that are very sticky and naturally sweet). But, as you can see, that didn't work. Don't get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious, but it falls apart very very easily (even though I like put my whole body weight onto it when I pressed it into the baking tin before baking!). This is my 4th attempt or so, I'm not sure I'll ever get the consistency right without upping the sugar content, but the taste was absolutely spot on, so there shall be many more experiments with the same ingredients (I used dates, pumpkin seeds, desiccated coconut and wholewheat flour for a bit of a change, along with oats, honey and coconut oil as before). If I ever get to an actual bar, I'll make sure I'll share the recipe with you. If you've got one that isn't full of sugar/sugar replacement, please share it with me, I really feel like I need a good Granola bar recipe in my life. I'm quite far away from being a grandma (so got a bit of time to figure it out), but I'd like something like homemade Granola bars to be my thing, the thing that my grandchildren will associate with me, but as I said, I think I've got a couple of years to experiment ;). 


Tasty Food, Great Company and a Blue Chicken.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Yesterday I went into London to see Alice and Rachel, which was lovely if you don't get me started on how tfl didn't work very well again yesterday.
Rachel and I were starving, so we started by having a hearty lunch at Carnaby Burger Co, which was surprisingly tasty. I always get weird looks when I eat at meaty kind of places (like this or Nandos...), because I don't eat meat, but it's just that some of them have managed to come up with some seriously delicious vegetarian options! Alice had a vegetable dog with lots and lots of caramelised onions (don't they look incredible?)
And I had a falafel burger with a cucumber raita, melted cheese and a sweet chilli sauce on the side.
And just to show you a non-vegetarian choice as well, Rachel had a bacon and avocado hot dog

As I already said, they were all very tasty, but if I could now direct your attention to the star of the meal: the posh chips! Many restaurants offer posh chips, it often refers to them being sprinkled with truffle oil, or rosemary or parmesan or a mix of those, which is nice enough, but has absolutely nothing on the posh chips at Carnaby Burger Co. Their posh chips are with a sweet chilli & ginger dressing and guacamole. This might sound weird at first (it did to us as well, which is why we ordered one regular portion of chips and one portion of these, which we soon regretted), it sounds a little like they'd just be soggy, when in fact it just turns these innocent chips into something out of the world tasty! Think about it, we (you brits had me convinced) put vinegar on chips anyway, so why not do it with a tasty vinaigrette type thing? You need to try these. 

After the meal we just chatted and took a little walk around London. It was great to see these two lovely ladies again, especially because I hadn't seen Rachel in months. But this time we've made arrangements to meet up again soon (which is necessary especially because Alice is leaving me too, and moving away from London. Traitor). Actually calling it arrangements is a bit far, we haven't set a date or anything, but we decided that we should do a spa day some time around my birthday next month, which I'm so on board with! 
Here are some more photos of my favourite city in the world :) I especially love the blue chicken at Trafalgar Square, what's that about? What have you been up to at the weekend?

Waffle House

Sunday, 18 August 2013

So yesterday, I had planned to go to Mad Hatters Tea at the Sanderson with Daniel (my gift for our 3 year anniversary), but thanks to tfl (which just seems to hate me and have works on every single time I want to go into London on the weekend) it didn't happen, all trains that could have gotten us there somewhat on time were cancelled and replaced by buses, which somehow meant we couldn't even park there to take one of the buses and had to go back. I was pretty upset, I was really looking forward to going. But luckily, Daniel at least stayed positive and decided we should do something else, and proposed going to the Waffle House in St. Albans (there's one in Norfolk too). Very good idea indeed, I love that place. I knew it was a good idea right away, but once I once again tasted their chocolate milkshake, my happiness was definitely restored.
For mains we both opted for a waffle with humous, rocket, avocado and olives. Pretty damn tasty. But then dessert, I can't even describe this to you, you'll have to taste it if you're ever in the area, it's just about the best thing ever, Daniel even decided that if he had to choose his last ever meal, that it'd be that waffle: the infamous Banoffee waffle with extra vanilla ice-cream and their homemade chocolate sauce. So unbelievably tasty!

I had an absolutely perfect day in the end, after we indulged waffles and came back fully satisfied and sleepy, we just quickly made a cup of tea and snuggled up in bed watching frozen planet. Ideal saturday in my opinion. What have you been up to?

This is Daniel's 'please stop taking photos now, I need to eat this'

Motherly Wisdom.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

I'm obviously not a mother myself yet, but I'd like to share some of my mum's many wisdoms. If you're feeling agitated/angry/anxios/uncalm/negative, go outside, go for a walk and take your camera along and take photos of the random things you come across. 
When mum first encouraged me to do this, I thought it was a stupid idea, I just wanted to stay inside and feel sorry for myself, but then I thought I'd just give it a go, you know what's the worst that can happen, right? But you know what? It really helped. Ever since then, I do it without my mum telling me too (although, she still tells me to sometimes). Sometimes you just need a little change of scenery, some fresh air and a change of focus (get it? Because you focus your camera on something). Looking out for cool and pretty things to take photos of, kind of helps you to shift your focus too, to see the beautiful around you again and to be more positive in general. It helps me anyway. So that's what I did yesterday, when I was in a slightly lousy mood, and guess what, it made me feel a lot better, so I thought I'd just quickly share my mother's big wisdom and some of my walk photos :)

What do you do when you're in this kind of mood?

On plastic bags.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Aren't our surroundings beautiful? Let's all make small changes to reduce how much we litter it!
Let's talk about plastic bags. I know it's a thrilling topic and who doesn't enjoy a little chat about them? Even if you don't, I feel like we need this little chat. I'm not initiating this chat to have a go at anyone, I'm writing about this, because I feel that if I can just get a couple more people to think about how many (unnecessary) plastic bags they use and get them to take their own bag more often, it'd be a good thing.

Let me start by telling you that I'm aware, there's many many things out there that you can and should do, and I'm only starting to try to learn more about this myself, I'm trying to educate myself and to implement at least some small changes. I'm not saying this is the single most important thing to think about, I'm just saying this is something that won't be intrusive to your daily life (not to say that we shouldn't make intrusive changes too), but that can actually make somewhat of a change. To be honest, I think it's frightening to consider the impact we're having on this planet, but baby steps people, baby steps.

Plastic bags are made from petroleum, you know that stuff we're all so concerned about because it's scarce? Yeah that. In Germany, every single year 5,000,000,000 plastic bags are used, which if they were stacked on top each other is apparently 30 times as high as the Mount Everest. In England it's over 6 billion, each of which is used for an average of only 20 minutes and the majority of which ends up in a landfill, where it supposedly takes over 1000 years to rot (click). And I'm sure you've all seen the images of how they end up in the sea and on beaches where they are dangerous for animals (click)

Anyway, I don't want to go on, I'm pretty sure everyone knows that plastic is pretty bad and I definitely don't know it all! What I do know is that it's pretty easy to cut back on how many you use, like SO easy:

♣ Don't get a bag when you're only buying one single item! This drives me absolutely mad! Why would you need a bag when it's only one or two items? You'll still need to carry the bag, so why not just carry that one greeting card/bottle of water you bought? And if there's anyone working at checkouts? I don't know if the supermarkets make you offer them to customers, but why not just stop offering if it looks like the customer could very easily carry the items they bought? They'd ask for one if they really needed one.

♣ Take big bags from home when you're doing a big shop (like Ikea bags, or the big Tesco ones). I see so many people who get 8-10 bags when they're doing their weekly shop and I think it's terrible. Not only is it obviously bad for the environment, but it's also a lot more hassle to carry them inside.

♣ Get an eco-friendly, foldable bag to always have in your purse. My nan sent me one of those a couple of months ago, and I don't think I got any plastic bags since. They're so tiny they'll fit into every handbag (don't kid yourself, if you have space for all the stuff you've got in there already, you'll have space for these, + they're super light). They're for the times, when you didn't plan a big shops and want to just quickly pop into Tesco to get some bread, and end up getting milk, cheese and some delicious cinnamon swirls as well. With these, you'll have your bag with you.

♣ If you have a compost, that's great. Did you know that there's compostable bin bags as well? Maybe use those :)

That's it, as far as what I can think of to reduce your usage of them. If you do these things, you'll use so many less, if not no more plastic bags, and I think that's a nice little contribution you can make to not litter our planet, without being too intrusive in your everyday life.

Going to Uni.

So, I'm actually pretty happy that I'm done with uni. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, I just felt very ready to leave after 4 years (3 in England, 1 in France), I'm feeling ready to start adult life, whatever that might mean. Because I'm now done with it, I thought I'd share my endless wisdom with you, which is a rude exaggeration. What I mean is little tips that I picked up along the way, that may not be innovative or anything, just things I wish I'd kind of thought about early on. If you haven't gotten your first choice, I'd recommend you read Alice's blogpost.

First of all, have fun! Uni is a pretty incredible experience, you're likely to be living away from home for the first time and looking after yourself, which doesn't only include going out until the lights come on, but also the duller things like washing (don't worry, it's ok to not wash until you're literally out of clothes to wear, we've all been there) and cooking for yourself (ok I don't find this aspect dull, I actually really enjoyed this bit). Enjoy living by yourself, and finding out what works and what doesn't! Enjoy all the freedom you suddenly have, and that you can plan your day exactly how you like it. Do you like to have a lie in, hang out with your friends in the day time and work late? Do it! Do you like working early in the morning, get your work done and be done with it? Do it!

♣ Find some nice people to make friends with. People always say that even though it's intimidating, you should just approach lots of people, which should be easy, you're all in the same boat. I have to say I disagree somewhat. This might just have been Loughborough (with its very lad-ish culture), but I really didn't find it easy to talk to everyone. Sure I got a shipload of numbers, all of course saved as Daenerys Uni/Freshers, Arya Uni/Freshers, Rob Uni/Freshers (just for the record, I was referring to the Uni/Freshers with the name, rather than giving them all GoT names, which would have been a bit far even for me, I just couldn't think of names, so I went with a theme), but because I'm probably slightly more introverted than the average person, I found it difficult to keep up with the very outgoing nature of everyone. I found a lot of people pretty harsh actually, but again, I'm not sure this is the same everywhere, Loughborough is quite strange. What I'm trying to say is, don't be intimidated by the douchebags, just try to find people you could see yourself making friends with, make an actual effort to be outgoing there!

♣ What also makes making friends easier is joining clubs and associations. Again, I found a lot of sports clubs quite harsh (but then again, a lot of people really really love them), but you're at uni, there's really some sort of club/association for everyone! Most of them you can just go around to have a look too, so you don't need to commit with a membership straight away. This is something I really wish I had done in first year (but didn't because I was feeling too intimidated, silly me). Also, societies/clubs are not just a great way to meet like-minded people, it's also a great way to boost your CV. Being a member is already good, but if you can secure yourself a committee position, employers will love you.

♣ Plan your food! Chances are, you're on a restricted budget, which going out restricts even further! If you don't want to live of tinned spaghetti hoops (which I know doesn't even sound that un-appealing to some), you should get planning! If you only shop every 5 days/once a week, you'll end up spending less. Plus if you plan ahead, you can plan how you'll use up the other half of packages of things you buy, so they don't end up in the back of the fridge/cupboard, i.e. wasted. I blogged about the food I made during uni here, most of it is pretty affordable, if you'd like to have a look :)

Now for some more academic tips:
♣ Keep up with notes! I mean it, it all becomes pretty overwhelming even by like week 3, and it's soooo much easier to just do your notes in the appropriate week (I'm guilty of never really doing this until my final ever semester, but trust me, I regretted it every single time when the exam period came close).

♣ Read efficiently. They literally throw reading at you, so it's important to learn how to read in the best way. For example with journals (oh how you'll learn to hate love them!), the key points of them are often in the introduction and the conclusion, so it's worth reading those for a lot of articles, and then if you find something interesting to dig deeper by reading more of the article. Textbooks on the other hand are great for getting a basic understanding for whatever it is you're currently being lectured about.

Textbooks deserve their own point really. They're expensive, they're really really expensive, and I spent way too much money on them over the three years at Lboro.

♣ First of all, uni book shops often have second hand copies, or students are selling theirs on campus, go for those, you don't need a shiny new copy.

♣ Secondly, if you maybe live with/close to someone on your course that you're friends with and who you trust somewhat, try to share books between you, also lowers the cost considerably.

♣ If this is not an option, there's usually copies available in the library. I know I know, it's annoying to have to go there and the copies you can take home with you are often out long before you even make it there. But, you could for example just spend say one day a week there, get a couple of day loan textbooks and do all your reading for the week! This way, you can also have a read in different ones, which usually impresses lecturers.

♣ My last tip concerning textbooks is to buy single chapters, if you don't mind reading on the screen. I didn't find out about this until my very last semester and really wish I'd known! Firstly, it works out cheaper, because I found I only ever needed about half a text book. Secondly again, you can switch things up with different textbooks and thirdly, contrary to hard copies, you can hit up cmd+F and search whatever you're looking for. (You can buy chapters from a lot of books here for example)

♣ Speaking of own points, journals deserve their point too. I already told you that you'll find most of the crucial information in intro and conclusion/discussion, but may I also urge you to: Start compiling a reference list/bibliography as soon as you start doing your reading for a piece of coursework. There's certain applications that help you do this, I particularly liked Mendeley. In this app, you can also highlight and make notes, which is great, and it puts together a reference for you, pretty handy! If you don't want to use a proper app in which you import articles, Neil's toolbox is pretty great too for putting references together (this is only if you're using the Harvard style though).

♣ For a great article on doing a literature review, have a look here. I'd generally (i.e. not just for literature reviews) recommend to write down the key points of an article, so it's easy to find it again later. You wouldn't believe how often I found myself remembering a point that would fit in great, but had a lot of trouble finding where I had actually read it!

♣ For some tips on budgeting, have a read on Oh that Kimberley!

♣ For tips on packing and freshers in general, Emily's post is great. I especially like the idea of a 'where the hell is it' box.

This turned out a lot longer than I had planned (my bad), turns out I'm literally full of wisdom after all.
P.S. I'm obviously not saying that this is what's good for everyone, I just thought I'd share what I found helpful.

On creativity, doing nothing and getting distracted.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

This one is going to be a slightly longer one, so go make yourself a cup of tea, maybe close your iMail, Outlook, whatever it is, because that's kind of what this post will be about. 

I really enjoyed Rosie's Monday Resolutions so far, I like the idea of setting yourself goals, because actively thinking about them, makes you both consciously and subconsciously put a focus on that goal. I've actually read a lot about the theory behind goal setting, because I had a module about this last year at uni (and it was probably the module that taught me the most in terms of things that would actually make me a better manager one day), and also in the book "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin, which I can highly recommend. Just for the record, it's not some sort of self help book, it's more like almost a diary of someone who tries to actively implement little changes for one year, focusing on a different area every month, in order to, you know, be happier, but, and this is what I found the most interesting about this book, not because the author was unhappy to begin with, just because she thought there's room for improvement for everyone, and I agree. 

For this course, we had to set ourselves three goals (that were based on having analysed ourselves through diary writing), and I chose creativity as one of mine. Whilst doing research on this, I came across the idea that one thing that inhibits creativity is that we hardly ever not really do anything anymore, and by this, I don't mean not being efficient and spending your time refreshing your Facebook/Twitter page. What I mean (and what was talked about in the book) was doing nothing and letting your thoughts wander. Like watching raindrops roll down on a window. I (and I’m sure a lot of other people) used to do this so much as a child, it’s strangely calming and also just kind of fascinating. Or, another thing I used to do lots when I was younger: listen to music. When did you last just listen to music? Without doing anything else, like studying/being online/talking to somebody else? I can’t even remember.

I only read about this by pure coincidence. I was actually pretty angry that day, because I confused dates in my head, which meant I went to London a day early for an interview (better early than late though, right?) and I felt like I had wasted time, because I was so stressed about uni anyway. But, in a desperate attempt to stay positive, I decided to work on this module, and went to the local library, where I then read about the power of doing nothing. So when I came back from the library, I decided to give it a go for 15 minutes or so. I’m sure it’s a lot more effective when done regularly, but not only did I really enjoy it, but I also came up with one of my favourite recipes so far (link)! I didn’t do the not-doing-anything for the purpose of anything in particular, I definitely didn’t think of food, yet I was actually a little bit more creative that day.

However, as happy as this made me, I haven’t actively tried to do it since. The only other times, where I did something similar was whilst being on a longer drive, when at some point, I just turned of the radio and enjoyed the kind of calmness, which in a way always helped me to put things into perspective and become more positive again.

So, my resolution for the time I have left between finishing uni and starting in the working world, is to find more time for doing nothing, to listen to the rain fall.

The other thing I would like to work on, is on not getting distracted so much; I want to focus more on whatever it is I’m doing in that very moment. I for one hit cmd+T way too often every single day, and often end up with over 20 tabs open. This doesn’t only make my macbook exhausted, but it also leads to me being distracted. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get things done, I do. If I need to, I can work on something for hours without looking at much else. What I mean is, when I do things that are supposed to be leisure and fun, I don’t indulge in them, because at the moment, I can’t even write a blogpost without interrupting it every single time I get an email, or the facebook tab shows that there’s a notification. I can’t read a book without refreshing my Twitter feed every couple of minutes, and I want to actively stop this! I want to go back to the days, where I wouldn’t even look up once an hour, because I’m so absorbed by a book, I want to start doing whatever I’m doing properly and concentrate on it. Taza wrote about how they don’t use their smartphones on Sunday, and I think it’s a great idea! I’ve decided that when I’m doing something like reading, I want to turn the don’t disturb thing on my iPhone on, because with this, saying I have to have my phone on me in case of that someone really needs to get through to me, can’t be an excuse. It can be set, so that if someone rings twice within 10 minutes, it does get through, which I think is a great feature. Otherwise, it can wait until I’m finished. I’ve also decided to unsubscribe from all these newsletters that I never ever read, but that give me a notification and thereby distract me for absolutely no reason! And sometimes, I might even go crazy and shut down my iMail completely when I’m doing something that doesn’t require emails.

I know this was a long blog post, and if you’ve made it to here, thank you so much for reading it, it shows that you get less distracted than I do, but as I said, I’m working on it.

Yoga, exercising etc.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

So last year at uni I took up Yoga, and have ever since really enjoyed it! I love how it really works out all my muscles (even the ones you never knew I had), how it makes me feel calmer and more balanced and how it helps me to eat healthily (it kind of helps me to crave the right foods). I haven't been doing any for over a month now, partly because I've been ill, but also because I don't have a clue where to go! Obviously there must be some good classes in London, so I thought I'd ask you lovely people if you can recommend any? Before I've done Ashtanga, but I'm open to most kinds I think.

I've also been considering taking up a martial art, I like how they are usually a great workout, it makes you super fit, without making you look like a body builder, but also that they probably teach you how you could defend yourself, should you ever find yourself in a position where you need to. Only problem is, I hate fighting/sparing/whatever you call it! I once did kickboxing, and I thought the like getting fit part of it was great, and working out together (but not in the gym), but I hated hated hated the fighting, it made me feel sick, and I just really don't enjoy it. Soooo, I'm kind of looking for one, where you don't have to do this part as much. Again, I was wondering, whether you could help me out? Do you do any martial art, and if so which one? Do you have to fight? I'd love recommendations? I really want to try out some new stuff, now that I'm finished with uni.

A lovely countryside break.

Monday, 12 August 2013

I've always loved the countryside, probably more so since I moved away from it. When I lived back home, I always took all the fields and forests where you could go on beautiful walks for granted, I thought there was always a nice spot to go for a walk at. I was sad to realise when I moved away that there isn't. Don't get me wrong, I love London, I really really do, but when I'm here, I miss the countryside! People always say you should walk at least 30 minutes a day, well apart from into town, I don't really know where, which makes me sad. I also sometimes lack the motivation to go for a walk, because there's no dogs here. I really really want a dog, life is just a little more complete when you share your home with a little exitable buddy! Anyway. 
So last week, I was speaking to my friend Alice and once again told her just how much I miss the countryside, sooooooo she very kindly offered me to come to Norfolk for the weekend to spend some time with her and her family (and her dogs). I accepted her lovely invitation and had an amazing little countryside break.
Norfolk is so pretty, it's like a completely different world. I drove there on Saturday afternoon, and I met Alice (+ family) at a castle, which was incredibly pretty, where we went for a long walk. Afterwards, we had the most incredible Norfolk icecream (I don't really know how the Norfolk in it makes it any different, but it was some of the tastiest icecream I've ever had!).

Then in the evening, we had a BBQ. I have to admit, I usually just opt for Linda McCartney Burgers, which is strange in a way, because I love cooking , but then on the other side, those burgers are just so tasty, and I think there's slightly less veggie bullying, when your food at least looks like what everyone else is eating haha. This boring, bought veggie food did not fly with Alice. She's a vegetarian too, and she thought me being there was the perfect opportunity to actually go all out there and make actual dishes. So we made super tasty chargrilled aubergine and sweet potatoes in a greek yoghurt-tahini sauce and marinated Halloumi and veg skewers. It was so worth the tiny bit of effort (it really wasn't much), because it tasted so so good! I will definitely make all of this again. Probably in about 5 minutes, because writing about the food makes me hungry again!

There was even BBQ dessert (a speciality of her family) - bbq-ed Bananas with brown sugar and cream/greek yoghurt, which too was surprisingly tasty (and too simple to not make again). But not just the food was great, I was in great company and we chatted away for hours.

Isn't this the cutest photo ever?
The next morning, we went on a boat tour to see seals! I didn't even know this was a thing. It was so so cool, I definitely didn't realise how many seals live on the coast of Norfolk! They're definitely living the life, just lying in the sun all day and going for a little refreshing splash in the water, whenever they feel like it. This was so much fun, and only like a tenner, which I thought was pretty good value (although Alice's mum treated me to this, I would have been very happy to spend my own money for this, such a cool experience).

As I said, I had a lovely time, it was nice to see Alice and her family again and also great to have a cuddle with her three (!) dogs. Does anyone know a nice country-side-y place to live that's not too far away from London? If you do, please tell me, I think I might have to move there right away.