Sunday, 25 October 2015

Swansea - My day out on National Cycle Route 4

I don't get out on my bike often enough. I reserve my days off for catching up on sleep, baking and being lazy. I'm also not terribly confident on my bike, especially when I'm surrounded by cars and people getting annoyed with how slowly I'm cycling. I've got no excuse not to explore more of Wales on my bike because we have some of the best cycling routes in the world with amazing views. Some of the routes are a tad challenging for someone with my level of fitness and a basic bike but there are still plenty of routes for a novice like myself to enjoy. 

A few days ago I headed out to a lovely coastal route with Martyn from Swansea Marina to Mumbles - 10 miles there and back - on a quiet, flat and car-free path. The perfect route for me. We started in the Maritime Quarter, then head south to the beach, past the civic centre to pick up the seafront path. 

There was plenty to see on the way including views over Swansea bay, Mumbles Pier, Oystermouth Castle and secluded bays and a lighthouse. The view of Swansea Bay almost certainly influenced Dylan Thomas and his early poems like 'The Hill of Sea and Sky is Carried'

*Train Fact* Some of the route I cycled along followed the route of the Swansea and Mumbles Railway. The Swansea and Mumbles Railway was the world's first passenger railway service, located in Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom. Originally built under an Act of Parliament of 1804 to move limestone from the quarries of Mumbles to Swansea and to the markets beyond, it carried the world's first fare-paying railway passengers on 25 March 1807.  At the time of the railway's closure, it had been the world's longest serving railway and it still holds the record for the highest number of forms of traction of any railway in the world - horse-drawn, sail power, steam power, electric power, petrol and diesel.

I really want to head back to this route again and carry on a little further along the coast and spend some time at the National Waterfront Museum on the way back or enjoy an ice cream at Joe's in Mumbles.

If you want to visit Swansea Bay head to this site for lots of information about things to see and do.

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Monday, 19 October 2015

A walk in the park with Pink Clove

bute park

Dress: c/o Pink Clove - Shoes: Spartoo - Belt: Dorothy Perkins - Bag: Vivienne Westwood

patent shoes


Vivienne Westwood bag

Everyone needs a little black dress, right? The Little Black Dress has a lot of history but its impact really began to spread in 1926 after Coco Chanel published her little black dress design in American Vogue, effectively making it an iconic and versatile addition to every woman’s wardrobe. I've already got a few LBDs in my wardrobe but this one has a bardot neckline and I didn't have one of those... You can never have too many in my opinion. 

I've definitely got a lot of wear out of this dress, wearing it for work, shopping trips and a night at the theatre. I know I'm late to the whole bardot neckline trend that happened last year but I'm glad I caught on in the end. I'm even eyeing up this red dress from Pink Clove with the same neckline for Christmas parties which I've seen Rosie look amazing in over on her blog.

These photos were taken in the former grounds of Cardiff Castle, Bute Park. It is a grade-1 listed historic landscape and in 1947, the fifth Marquess of Bute gifted the park to the people of Cardiff, and it is now managed on behalf of the people by the Council. The park contains some rare and ornamental trees including some “Champion Trees” known to be the biggest examples of their species anywhere in the UK.

It was lovely to enjoy a afternoon out with a stroll in the park and a spot of tea and cake. I've been doing some extra shifts in work during the Rugby World Cup and I'll be glad when it is all over. Weather permitting I will be enjoying a rest day in Swansea as this post goes live and cycling to Mumbles.

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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Planning the perfect weekend at home

There's nothing like the cold and grey days of November to make me want to stay indoors and get cosy. Whilst it might be approaching party season, it's important to save a little cash and gather your energy for the Christmas festivities. 

With that in mind, I've been busy planning my next weekend at home where I can make sure my batteries are recharged and my mind is kept stimulated with an array of home-based tasks and entertainment. 

Getting ready for Xmas

Already the shopping arcades are getting horrendously busy with people rushing to do their Christmas shopping. Rather than facing the crowds, I prefer to laze on my sofa and do a little window shopping. I love using sites such as Pinterest to get a little inspiration, and once I've decided on what presents I want to get my loved ones, I like to use Google's Honey add-on to see what voucher codes can save me some money.

Getting the home in shape for the festive season is something of a task too. But like many things, if you use your imagination and make it fun, then it can be good way to pass a couple of hours. Although I'm no craft master, I do enjoy the challenge of making some of these homemade Christmas craft items – so much more fun than fighting the crowds in the city centre!

Hi-tech home entertainment 

One of the best things about modern technology is the way in which it means we can now watch or listen to anything wherever we are. Rather than visiting expensive cinemas, you can now watch lots of movies and TV series on sites like Netflix and Amazon Prime. I love indulging in some of the great American TV series that are often more immersive than the usual Hollywood movies. 

 Similarly, whilst video games once used to mean simplistic games of Mario Brothers, now there are sites like Betway that feature entertaining games like online roulette that are great fun for adding a little casino atmosphere to your otherwise relaxing weekend at home. But even if you're looking for a way to game in retro-style, then you can play lots of old Sega games like Sonic the Hedgehog online for free via your web browser that'll reacquaint you with the joys of gaming like yesteryear!

Food and Drink

Staying at home also has the great prospect of filling up the fridge full of goodies to keep you fuelled over the lazy weekend. Whilst it can be tempting to indulge in endless amounts of sweets and crisps, I've been trying to create a few healthy and nutritious snacks such as some yummy blueberry and banana muffins that are perfect for making that long and cosy afternoon all the more delicious! 

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