Blog posts with the tag: "weekend"

Aug
28

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This past weekend was a Bank Holiday in England, so my husband and I decided to go away for a few days. Although I love going abroad, I absolutely love visiting places in the UK, especially if there is a cosy cottage/apartment to stay in, countryside, history and gastro pubs. With this in mind, we chose to stay in a converted chapel near Bath. Bath is one of my favourite cities due to its  beautiful architecture, charming shops/restaurants and literary history.

 

We have been before, going to the Roman baths and the Thermae spa, and unfortunately this time the heavens decided to open and torrential rain prevented a leisurely stroll through the streets. Instead, we ducked in to my obligatory stop, Jo Malone (because I can never have too many scented candles), a chocolaterie (ditto salted caramels) and a candlelit pub for a glass of warming red wine, before heading off for a hearty meal at the Acorn vegetarian restaurant.

 

That’s pretty much all I did all weekend. I had grand plans of caving at Cheddar Gorge and checking out the mystical highlights of Glastonbury, but the prevailing rain, coupled with fatigue meant I mainly slept, ate and read. No change there then. Ah, I live a rock n roll life. Oh, and I rediscovered the deliciously unhealthy jammie-goodness of Pop Tarts. I ate all of them. I must not be allowed anywhere near those evil frosted breakfast pastries ever again!

 

Earlier last week we did Dino Snores, an event where you get to spend the night over at The Natural History Museum. We bought some dinosaur onesies especially and after eating in the restaurant, went to a lecture on insect sex. Yes, I did just say that. It mainly consisted of an enthusiastic lady showing projections of insects doing it.

 

Next up was a dino art class, where I was dismayed to learn that the T-Rex basically looked little like the typical view we have of them, and that they were feathered and didn’t stand tall like we do. Their posture more resembled someone with a bad back.

 

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Feathered T-Rex. Pah!

 

My favourite part of the evening was by far the ghost stories segment, reserved for the wee hours of the morning, when most people had retired to their sleeping bags and were indeed snoring away in the grand entrance hall, as a fellow dino onesie-wearing harpist played an enchanting array of movie scores and classical pieces.

 

I love a good ghost story. I love a good ‘fictional’ ghost story, and although I’m a skeptic – despite experiencing weird phenomena myself – I really love a good ‘true’ ghost story. Apparently the museum is haunted by a stag and some children, but the higher powers of the museum are part of some conspiracy to cover it up – taking video and photographic evidence and generally keeping schtum about it. Which made these revelations all the weirder to me. Oh well. Later that night I lay, cocooned in my sleeping bag, kind of hoping the stag ghost would make an appearance – after all, an animal apparition seems less scary than seeing a person, and definitely preferable to the scary shenanigans of Poltergeist and Paranormal Activity. BTW, I have been using the word shenanigans a lot recently, simply because it is a marvellous word.

 

 

 

 

 

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For me, weekends are all about relaxing and re-energising, but often by the time it is Sunday evening I look back and feel like I have wasted my weekend by basically napping loads and gorging on the bad, sugary foods that during the week I manage to resist.

 

Here are some ideas to get you making the most of your weekend:

 

Friday night routine

 

There is no better feeling than starting the weekend knowing that your to-do list is empty (if that’s possible) and that you made progress with your goals. Look back over what you completed and achieved and congratulate yourself. If there are tasks you failed at then decide what you can do differently next week. For example, if your daily word count was woefully under target, figure out why and how you can make it more manageable. Perhaps your targets are unrealistic and need to re-evaluated.

 

Exercise

 

Here’s a mistake that I often make; from Friday to Sunday I avoid exercise like its the plague and just laze around and wonder why I end up sleeping so much and feeling sluggish. Try and have a workout on Friday or get out during the weekend, even if you are only going for a brisk walk – then you don’t need to feel so guilty if you accidentally indulge. Also, exercise can be fun; do something different, such as ice skating or salsa dancing.

 

Quiet nights in don’t have to be dull

 

Confession; I’m a homebody. I love nothing more than chilling out at home in my onesie and knowing I don’t have to worry about what to wear, my high heels pinching my feet or getting a taxi home. Sure I love a night out, but nights in can be just as fun. Movie nights are always great, especially if you get microwave popcorn and hot chocolate (or something stronger – yes, I’m thinking Baileys). If I don’t have a movie to watch then a box set will do nicely. I’m also a complete geek in that I can happily sing a long to karaoke songs on the wii or play board games with family. Sometimes I’ll just be content knowing that I have a glass of wine and a fantastic book to devour.

 

Don’t sleep in too late

 

I am not a morning person – I love my bed too much. And when it’s bed or getting up when it’s dark and cold there is no contest, however I try not to stay in bed too late because I feel like I’m wasting precious time otherwise. I like getting up and cooking breakfast or going out and eating something yummy. I like how quieter it is on weekend mornings and its lovely to have breakfast and coffee brought to you and then following it up with a stroll home (perhaps accidentally going in a few bookshops on the way). I also love making a big thing of breakfast by serving it up in my favourite plates and cups. I even have a posh French tea reserved only for weekends as a real treat. Put a vase of flowers on the table and some chilled out music on.

 

Explore

 

I live in London but I find that I stick to the same areas and am not particularly adventurous, but those times when I do make the effort to go to a great market or exhibition I get a thrill and new found appreciation for the place where I live. Find out what is on in your area; farmers’ markets, exhibits, street fairs or even visiting a historical building, museum or park can be fun. Recently I went to a local park and took my camera along and just enjoyed the different shades of leaves falling from the trees and the animals I saw.

 

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Like this little guy

 

 

Make or bake

 

Get creative. I sometimes forget how rewarding it is to make something, whether its drawing a picture, making xmas decorations or baking an apple and blackberry crumble that makes the home smell incredible.

 

Read something different

 

Don’t get me wrong, I love reading the weird and wonderful books I have piled up to read, but sometimes it’s great to read something a bit different, especially as I read books similar in genre to the stories I write. Stepping outside of the box can give you new ideas for your writing project too. Read poetry, cook books, biographies, self-help – anything that you wouldn’t normally reach for. If you don’t want to buy a new book then get down to your local library; they are wonderfully inspiring places to go and enjoy some quiet time. Or perhaps listen to an audio book – I’ve heard that the Stephen Fry Harry Potter ones are sublime.

 

Other ideas:

 

Have an indoor picnic

Make a new music playlist

Revisit your bucket list and see if there is anything to cross out/add

Build a fort and read in that

Nourish your inner child and reread favourite books from your childhood or rewatch cherished films and tv. A She-Ra marathon? Why yes please.

 

 

Hello!
Heather Blanchard

Welcome. Are you a writer, a bookworm, a daydreamer? Are you still clinging on to that magic that pervaded childhood? Pull up an armchair and get cosy. This blog is my dreamscape through an enchanted forest to a world of stories and the little things that make me happy; a chance to add a dash of sparkle to the daily grind. Here you will find the whimsical, the coveted, the Gothic and the romantic. Happy exploring!

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