On a scale of 1 to easily impressed, I am definitely towards the latter end. Give me some food, a nice building to gawp at and a warm bed at the end of the day, and I am yours. So when I first visited Antwerp a good 4 years ago and wasn’t too impressed, I pretty much wrote it off in my mind. Indeed, if asked to describe Antwerp in a couple of words a few weeks ago, I would’ve had to say cold, cold and, er, cold.

Since moving to Amsterdam, however, people have been singing their praises of Antwerp to me at every given chance. Complaining about the shopping in Amsterdam? Go to Antwerp, it’s much better. Bored of the Netherlands but not got the budget for the Maldives? Nip to Antwerp, it’s only an hour away. Looking for good food and good prices? Try Antwerp. After nearly two years of this, I began to suspect that maybe I had written Antwerp off too soon, that maybe there was a charm about the city that I had missed, all those years ago.

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September is to me what January is to most people. A new start, a fresh page in the diary and a new set of resolutions for the year ahead. Maybe it’s because I’m still in the school/university mindset, where the last few days of August are frantically spent sharpening pencils and trying out new hairstyles to make the boys go ‘ooh.’ Or maybe because September marks the changing of the seasons, the switch from shorts to knitwear and the beginning of my very favourite time of the year. Or maybe it’s just because Strictly is back on telly. Whatever the reason, September is one of my favourite months of the year, and this year was no exception.

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Okay so I’m just going to preface this with the straight-up confession that I bloody love Edinburgh. The architecture, the accents, the mix of old and new… There’s just something about Edinburgh that totally gets me. I’ve been 4 or 5 times before – mostly for the annual Fringe festival (it’s not actually about hair) – and every time I’ve left with an almost tangible feeling of frustration that I can’t just stay there forever. Over the past few years I’ve spent a lot of time shortlisting places that I would like to live in next (because I’m not one of those people who can just live in the moment) and Edinburgh is probably destination número uno.

One of our university friends is currently living and working in Edinburgh (lucky bugger), giving us the perfect excuse to run away for B’s first taste of Scotland. In fact, I was not-so-secretly hoping that he would be just as hopelessly enamoured with the city as I am. Safe to say mission accomplished; he was Googling jobs in Edinburgh before we’d even left the place!

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I am on a mission to make up for being a lazy blogger. One who thinks ‘life is for living!’ whilst taking 103853865 photos that nobody will ever see and eating food that will soon be forgotten with my next glass of wine. This year has given me the fantastic opportunity to go on many trips, trips that have sat in my ‘draft’ folder since the start of the year and trips that I have largely forgotten. I’m thinking that maybe, just maybe, these trips and adventures and memories should be documented, lest they be forgotten and I sink into my usual bad habits of thinking I do nothing of interest, ever.

In February B and I hopped along to Granada – partly due to my recent funemployment, and partly due to sheer opportunity. Indeed, B’s parents had embarked on a little tour of Andalusia for a bit of winter sun, so we hopped along to join them on the Granada leg of their adventure.  Although maybe not somewhere that was top of my list (hello, Slovenia and Dubrovnik), Granada is a lovely city that boasts fair prices, breath-taking views and lots and lots of hills (perfect for justifying 7 churros in a single sitting).

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Hello little blog, how are you doing? It’s been quiet round these parts recently – partly because I’ve been busy getting on what that grand old game we call life, and partly because I haven’t really felt like sharing. Things have been good; I’ve been on trips, worked late nights, spent time with friends and eaten a lot of delicious food. Oh, and I joined a gym. Yep, that pretty much covers it.

The thing is, is that I’ve realised how much I like having my blog as my own personal diary. I love being able to go and read about I felt last June, my words bringing back all the joy and the frustration, the highs and the accompanying lows. It’s nice to have a little something keeping you company all the while, partly to relish in the now and partly to savour it in months to come. So, let’s do this.

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Here’s a tip to all the budding CEO’s out there: there is no better way to completely destroy productivity and focus for the day than giving your employees a surprise day off. Indeed, I would estimate that it took no more than 3.5 minutes from the email being sent out for the entire office to abandon work in favour of furiously searching Skyscanner for the weekend’s best deals. After 5 minutes we all mentally had cocktails in our hand and our Out of Office on. With Thursday a bank holiday in the Netherlands, the surprise addition of a work-free Friday (+ a weekend heatwave on the forecast) meant that we had 4 days to go at. “I’m going to go to Portugal and get a tan!” squealed one girl to no one in particular, her mouse poised on the BOOK NOW button, whilst across the desk another worker rang her mum to announce her surprise return home that weekend. Safe to say we didn’t get much else done that day.

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Straight after the indulgence of Christmas comes the self-loathing of January. Suddenly eating 13 mince pies in a single sitting – which seemed nothing short of genius at the time – is an obscene idea. The Christmas tree looks slightly menacing and grotesque, and those cosy nights in front of Westworld have been replaced by evenings in front of the 30 day shred.

All this being said, I love new year. I love the fresh start that it brings, the self-reflection and the feeling of opportunity – maybe this will be the year I finally learn how to style my hair in a style that isn’t just ‘up’; maybe this is the year where I realise I quite like salad; maybe this will be the year that I start running for pleasure and not just for the bus. With a new year always comes a new set of resolutions, and whilst I know that they are more than likely going to be forgotten by the second week of January, I just can’t help myself.

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