Four falls walk in the Brecon Beacons

stuff

Despite living in Bristol for the last 13 years, I have hardly visited the Brecon Beacons. In fact, I think before Saturday, I had only been there once when friends and I climbed the Cat’s back mountain earlier this year. Climbing the Cat’s back was brilliant, apart from the fact my Morrisons own brand thermos did not come through and when I reached the top, unscrewed the bottle and poured a cup of tea that I had looked forward to for the past 2 hours of climbing snowy ridges I found it was ice cold. This weekend, Zoe and I (following a recommendation from a friend) decided to head over the Severn bridge and complete the four falls walk. Following aforementioned tea incident it also gave me the chance to try out my PROPER thermos which I got for my Birthday, believe it or not I’m actually 31 and not 75. As the name suggests, the route takes you to see 4 waterfalls – Sgwd Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn, Sgwd y Pannwr and Sgwd-yr-Eira and it was so much fun that I wanted to write a blog post about it.

We parked at Gwaun Hepste carpark (CF44 9JF) after heading to the Cwn Porth carpark and finding it full (same postcode and very close by). We arrived at 11am and the warden said in that in half an hour that carpark would be full too so leave early to avoid disappointment. Parking cost £4. There were v.helpful people there in hi-vis who could talk you through the route, toilets aaaand a little campervan serving hot drinks and cakes.



The route is well marked with red arrows to follow. There are green arrows too but the nice man in high-vis said this was a more direct waterfall to waterfall route but was treacherous, rocky and slippy. We stuck to the red arrows but still managed to get a bit lost. We were told to head to the first waterfall, then go to the third and fourth and then see the second one on our loop back to the car. We ended up ignoring him and instead did them in the order we found them in. Warning: each waterfall requires climbing down to the river and then slogging it back up to the main path again. Also it is fairly rocky in places (despite us being good gals and following the red arrows) so good shoes are a must.

Sgwd Clun-Gwyn

The walk to the first waterfall is absolutely beautiful and you get some amazing views out across the Beacons. The descent to Sgwd Clun-Gwyn is steep, but short. The first waterfall is the easiest to access as it is the closest to the main trail. My photo is from right at the top of this fall and doesn’t do it justice, the water cascades down to a deep and beautiful pool at the bottom and it started to make me feel hungry for a wild swim (more on that later). I found that each waterfall got better and better as we found them but this first find still took my breath away and I happily could have sat next to it for hours and watched the water falling over the rocks. But, I had three more waterfalls to find and a finite amount of energy so on we went.

Sgwd-yr-Eira

This was the waterfall we were meant to see last but ended up seeing second. It had the steepest and most strenuous climb down and back up so before we headed to see it, we stopped for some lunch at the picnic benches we passed on our way. We later found loads more idyllic picnic spots right next to the water so there are plenty of places to rest as and when you need to and prettier places to eat your sandwiches. When you reach the bottom of a set of deep steps you are greeted by the large flowing river. However, this time, the river side is very narrow and there are rocks you need to climb over. We saw someone having a photo taken and falling in, in their jeans. Schadenfreude. This is the largest of the falls and you can even walk directly behind it and pretend your Peter Andre in the Mysterious girl video.

Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn

After climbing back up the many many steps we realised we had gone the wrong way but a friendly passerby set us back on course to find the 3rd and 4th falls. The descent to the river is long and steep and is made via sharp flights of steps and a muddy path. There is a large space of flat rocks at the bottom right next to the river which would be a great place to stop. We decided to spend some time paddling our feet in the water and climbing around the rocks. We also stopped to watch a group of people canyon-ing who were jumping off the top of the waterfall which was incredible!

Sgwd y Pannwr

The final waterfall was tricky to find as it wasn’t well signposted. It is really close to the Sgwd Isaf Clun-Gwyn but you have to climb up the bank of twisted tree roots and rocks to find it. Basically, follow the sound of the roaring water – it’s worth it. This waterfall was a fantastic finale and as you climb down from the top you can walk alongside the water’s path as it gathers in parts creating large pools. It was at this point that Zoe dared me to go for a swim. So I whipped off my leggings and got in, in my vest top and pants. This happened to co-inside with the group of canyoners arriving in their full wetsuits, trainers and helmets. They definitely thought I was mad. The water was freezing but beautiful to swim in. I lasted less than 2 minutes before jumping out and desperately tried not to flash any onlookers whilst navigating an inside out jumper with hands that had gone numb. I imagine a swim here in the Summer would be heavenly but no doubt the trail gets jam-packed with people so it would therefore lose a bit of it’s charm.



Clothes back on and feeling returned to my body, we started the journey back to the car with the thought of my thermos full of hot tea and a milky bar encouraging each (uphill) step. The walk took us 4 hours to complete at a leisurely place including a stop of lunch and impromptu dip. After downing my tea and munching through our chocolate I promptly fell asleep the whole way back to Bristol. What a fantastic day.

If you like to be extra organised, you can find a proper map of the route here. The trail is described as an intermediate walk and includes muddy paths, steep descents and strenuous ascents. 


What 2021 taught me

stuff

2021 was a funny old year wasn’t? I started it allowing myself to feel a tiny bit hopeful that we would see the end of Covid’s impact on our day to day lives. In reality, it has been so confusing and tiring that I now see 2021 and 2020 as one big blur in my head. I let that tiny bit of hope on the 31st December 2020 encourage me to throw some ideas out into the Universe just incase something sticks. I didn’t end up consistently using Duolingo but I did use Olio a lot more. I gave up on 1 second every day (because I missed a day or two and then the perfectionist in me told me I might as well stop all together) but I did buy a house. So I’m taking that as a win. Even though the past year has been an absolute clusterfuck, it has taught me a lot and I wanted to take a bit of time to appreciate those lessons.

January
January taught me that I could get through hard things. We went into our 3rd lockdown in our one bed flat and we did all we could to keep our spirits up (strictly no Zoom quizzes). I fell off my bike and then made myself ride it home again because I knew if I didn’t, I’d have the wobblies forever. I went for walks and runs with friends, even in the snow. It was a slow start to the year but I leaned into it.

March
March taught me that sometimes smaller Birthdays are better. It was my 30th this month and I always thought that my 30th would be when I would go all out. I am usually pretty extra when it comes to my Birthdays and stretch out the attention as long as I can with numerous different plans with different friendship groups and family members. It’s fun until it isn’t and I end up exhausted and inevitably have a break down. Instead of launching into a week long festival style celebration of another year of me I spent the day with Zoe in our flat. She gave me a spa day, made an amazing charcuterie board lunch, organised an online horror escape room with my best friends and made it v.v.special. I loved every minute of it and it’s encouraged me to keep my Birthday small going forward – it’s much nicer.



June
June taught me that I am a real grown up when Zoe and I got the keys for our new house. The process of buying a house was eXtremely stressful and I could have just summed up January – May by saying ‘These months taught me that buying a house is hard’. It was so worth it in the end. We found our dream house that we could make our own, it has 2 bedrooms, a dining room, a kitchen, a living room, a dining room and a garden! It’s in a lovely pocket of Bristol and I now say every day, without fail ‘I love this house’. It’s the best thing I have ever done, with the best person I have ever met.



July

July taught me that I should take myself on dates often. Growing up, I haaaated spending time by myself and regularly spent the Summer holidays counting down until the start of school but as I have grown up I love being on my own. I love being selfish with my time and doing exactly what I want to do. It fills up my self love cup and makes me a nicer person to be around once I am done being by myself. This month I took myself on solo lunch dates and solo cinema trips to see musicals that no-one else wants to see. I sand along, ate popcorn and cried. It’s better than therapy (not really – *see November).

August

August taught me that holidaying in the UK can be wonderful. We went on a mini road-trip of Cornwall for a week and spent our days swimming in the sea, walking, reading, eating and being together. I highly recommend it. August also taught me that I really wanted guinea pigs for pets (who I am kidding) I’ve known since I was 14 and my last of 4 guinea pigs passed away – RIP Snowy, Sooty, Patch and Fudge, that as soon as I had a house of my own, I wanted piggies back in my life. After some excellent persuading/begging on my part – Zoe agreed and after our holiday, I picked up Rhubarb and Custard who quickly changed my life forever. I completely fell in love with them, my mental health improved and I honestly felt like the luckiest girl in the world to call them mine.

September

September taught me that I didn’t want to drink anymore. There was no final blow out or bad drunken decision which lead to this but more a quiet bubbling under the surface which finally came to a solid plan this month. Zoe sent me this article last week and it absolutely sums up how I feel about alcohol. Because I am rubbish with rules and any thing I commit to I immediately want to rebel against I am not saying I am sober and never drinking again. If I want to drink, I will but so far I haven’t wanted to and I am thoroughly enjoying the benefits of that.

October
October taught me that grieving for a pet is necessary and the pain of this loss is very real. A tragedy meant that Rhubarb and Custard were taken from us far too soon. It is no exaggeration to say that my heart shattered. Just before this loss I was signed off work for 1 month due to declining mental health and the loss of the girls came at the worst possible time. However, October also taught me that processing difficult things has to happen for you to be able to move forward. I spent this month doing a lot of crying but I also spent this month leaning on loved ones and letting myself be held. It was very tough but very necessary.

November

November taught me that I deserve good things. I was able to adopt 2 senior guinea pigs from a local rescue and although they won’t ever replace Rhubarb and Custard, they helped my heart to heal. They are called Cookie and Snoop and I am obsessed with them. I returned to work and felt calmer, more present and confident. However, October and November also taught me that I needed some more therapy. However much I begrudged the cost, the results have been worth it sevenfold. I felt safe to share things I have never shared before and I put in the work. I found someone who helped change my relationship with my body and food forever.



December

December taught me about rest which is a lesson I need often. An ongoing issue with my knees saw me finally visiting a physio who has signed me off running for around 3 months and given me daily exercises to do. I am hopeful that I will be back racing soon but for now I am taking things slowly and enjoying swimming, walking and stretching. I also followed a busy Christmas with a lovely few days of resting (my final day before the return going to work being tomorrow) and I feel really refreshed for it. Endless cups of tea, cross stitch and reading have made me very happy – as well as regular guinea pig cuddles.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the year ahead will teach me. 2022, I’m ready for you.

IN REVIEW: 10 BOOKS THAT YOU NEED ON YOUR BOOKSHELF (PT.5)

books


Once again, it has been a while since I have posted. I have been v.busy but lucky for you, I’ve also been reading. Here is a round up of the latest books I recommend getting on your bookshelf. Stat.

Find my other book review posts here, here, here and here.

Under the Udala trees by Chinelo Okparanta
I picked up this book from the Gay’s the word bookshop which is an absolute treasure trove of queer literature. The story follows Ijeoma who grows up in Nigeria (at the time of the Nigerian war) whilst dealing with being gay. At times, this book is painful to read because of the harrowing realisation that Ijeoma’s experiences are true of many real women living in Nigeria and other non-progressive countries. In Nigeria, homosexuality was made illegal in 2014, punishable by stoning. Despite the tragedy the novel manages to be beautiful and also, hopeful. Trigger warnings – Intense homophobia, religious trauma, and marital rape.

Coasting by Elise Downing

This book was such a joy to read and the author is instantly likeable. I love reading books about people who do things they never thought possible and Elise did exactly that when she ran the entire coast of Britain. Some reviewers have said that the book is repetitive but I didn’t find it to be. It’s almost like a teenage version of The Salt Path. For anyone who dreams of a big adventure, I think you’ll really enjoy Coasting. I am going to a book event where Elise will be speaking at the end of November and I’m really looking forward to it.

How to kill your family by Bella Mackie

This was a great book, packed to bursting with seriously dark humour. The story follows Grace who spends the book killing her family. It shouldn’t be a fun book to read, but it is (and particularly fun to read when in close proximity to your own family). I thought the writing was witty and kept me gripped throughout. I listened to some of this one on Audible and the narration was excellent too. For a first fiction novel, Mackie is really impressive. If you like Killing Eve, you’ll like this book.

Magpie by Elizabeth Day

I loooooved this book and mostly because I didn’t expect the twist (which I won’t spoil but it’s a good one). It is so cleverly written as you’re left sitting on the edge of your seat wondering who’s telling the truth. There is heaps of tension and threat and an overarching sense that something is not quite right – these kind of books are my favourite. The author has previously honestly reflected on her fertility journey. Her personal experiences are clearly infused within this story, so reading about the whole subject felt real and heart breaking.

Fault lines by Emily Itami

Emily Itami’s Fault Lines does not disappoint, it is a beautiful book. The lead character, Mizuki offers a witty introspective which is what makes this novel so wonderfully engaging. I loved the sense of place in the novel and it has made me even more pining for a trip to Tokyo. It is a wonderfully written book that explores what it is to find exactly what you want in life and to sacrifice it. This is the debut novel by Itami and I will now happily read anything she writes, including her shopping list.

500 miles from you by Jenny Colgan

It wouldn’t be a book round up of mine without some much needed fluff. Once again, Jenny Colgan delivers. I picked up this book from the library and read it in a couple of days. Two medical professionals from two very different worlds switch jobs and become pen pals. Colgan writes her characters so well and is a master and interweaving multiple story lines whilst slowly bringing them together towards the conclusion. Whilst her stories will never be anything too thought provoking they are like a warm hug and sometimes that is exactly what you need. A perfect holiday book.

How the one armed sister sweeps the house by Cherie Jones
This is a heart breaking story about the death of a child, domestic abuse, colonisation, and the interconnected experiences of a grandmother, mother, and child, both as individuals and their role in their family. The sense of place and character were created perfectly by the author and I really enjoyed the multiple narratives – each person has an important story to tell. There are a lot of trigger warnings for this book – incest, rape, physical abuse, infanticide, murder. The content is fast paced and can leave you feeling breathless. It is hard to read but also hard to stop reading.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings

This is a powerful book in every way. I was recommended it by my Mum and girlfriend and I couldn’t put it down. I would go as far as to say it is now firmly one of my favourite books. People often ask why immigrants cross the United States border illegally and Cummins attempts to answer why. Once I started the book, I was pulled right into the story, and had to read to find out what happens to Lydia Perez and her son Luca. The novel really got me thinking and if I had to recommend one of the books from this list it would be American Dirt.



Me and White Supremacy

books, stuff

Laylaa F Saad began an Instagram challenge called #MeAndWhiteSupremacy where she encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviours, big and small. Thousands of people participated and from this project the Me and White Supremacy book was born; with added historical and cultural contexts, stories, anecdotes, definitions, examples and further resources. The book leads readers through a journey of understanding white privilege and their participation in white supremacy so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage of black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) and in turn, help other white people do better too. It is clear from the onset that this work will be uncomfortable, painful and necessary. Even if you already have an understanding of white fragility, cultural appropriation, and tokenism, methodically working through and examining your own complicity in them is another thing entirely. This is essential work for all white people.

White privilege – inherent advantages possessed by a white person on the basis of their race in a society characterized by racial inequality and injustice
White supremacy – the belief that white people constitute a superior race and should therefore dominate society, typically to the exclusion or detriment of other racial and ethnic groups, in particular black or Jewish people
White fragility – discomfort and defensiveness on the part of a white person when confronted by information about racial inequality and injustice
Cultural appropriation – the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc. of one people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society
Tokenism – the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing, especially by recruiting a small number of people from under-represented groups in order to give the appearance of sexual or racial equality within a workforce

In light of the BLM protests, a friend of mine set up a book club for us to explore this book. As a group, we decided to meet weekly and share our journaling responses to the chapters. Saad sets out the most effective way this can be done as a group to ensure that it is a safe space for sharing. Before starting work, I genuinely thought that racism was negative words and actions said and done towards black and people of colour. I believed that I hadn’t ever been racist because I had never acted in this way. I didn’t think I really had any work to do around racism because I was a good person who believed everyone should be treated equally. Working through this book taught me just how wrong I was. I had limiting beliefs, I had unknowingly benefited from my white privilege, I had tone policed people of colour and I had been a performative ally. Responding to the questions posed by Saad made me go deep into my childhood – growing up in a Cornish town where there was one person of colour in my whole secondary school, challenge my behaviour when dating black men in the past and acknowledge where I have disregarded the experience of black, indigenous and people of colour.

Something that becomes very apparent through the book is the need to call out/in friends, family, colleagues, random strangers when you witness behaviour that needs to be challenged. This is something that I never thought I’d be able to do. I’ve heard problematic comments and I have been silent. Doing this work in a group setting gave us the chance to talk through real life experiences and workshop the best ways to respond whilst also exploring how they may respond to your actions (white centering/fragility). Putting this into practise is hard but isn’t comparable to the hard shit that BIPOC have to go through as a result of my and other white people’s actions. I finally feel like if I lose people as a result of calling them in/out then c’est la vie.

I’ll be honest – the work was hard and at times I wanted to give up. I felt apathetic & then there was a chapter about white apathy. Saad totally hits the nail on the head when she says that it is absolute white privilege that we get to opt out of this work when we want to and disengaging cannot be an option. I felt proud when we completed the 28 days but knew that this wasn’t where the work finished, it is where it begins. We were asked to list our actions that we would be taking forward over the next 2 weeks and beyond and committed to holding each other accountable. There is so much that we can do with our money and time to support BIPOC and we have to do that over and over again. It is baffling how many people/companies shared social media posts in solidarity during the BLM protests and have since been silent. It is not up to BIPOC people to tell you what you can do or how you can help. This shit is on you.

Recommendations:


– Read Me and White Supremacy
– Read Why I’m no longer talking to White people about race
– Financially support charities/projects ran by BIPOC for BIPOC
– Ask charities/projects how you can best support them
– Get involved in local protests
– Listen to the About Race podcast
– Listen to the Woke Up podcast
– Diversify the media you consume and those you follow on social media
– Challenge spaces that aren’t diverse or are tokenistic
– Have conversations about racism with your friends/family
– Take ownership of where you have done wrong in the past and apologize
Think about where you hold influence and how you can use this to be a force for good

In review: 10 books that you need on your bookshelf (pt.3)

books

Before I share the books I have been enjoying lately, I wanted to first tell you about 2 amazing resources that I have fallen in love with this week.

I recently found out that Goodreads is owned by Amazon and I was really gutted. I hate Amazon but I love Goodreads so I was v.conflicted about what to do. Then yesterday, a friend told me about StoryGraph which is like Goodreads but a whole lot better. It’s a black owned business, it’s extremely aesthetically pleasing and it can import all of your data from Goodreads onto your shiny new StoryGraph profile. I also like that you can attach trigger warnings to books, that it gives you spot on recommendations based on the books you like to read and you can access loads of data that dissects the kind of things you read the most. It is like Goodreads in the 21st century and a whole lot cooler. If you fancy following me, my account name is runwildalice (quelle surpise, yup still learning French too). The website only launched this months so I expect that lots more functionality will be coming soon.

Another bookish recommendation I want to share is Bookswap. Now that the libraries are closed, this is really scratching the itch of wanting new books without spending lots of dollar. The premise is simple: for every book you offer you can claim a book. When you claim a book, you just pay for postage and packaging. When you offer a book, once it is claimed, you get emailed a pre-paid postage label and drop it off at your nearest Parcel stop (usually in corner shops) to be sent. I thought it would be full of loads of old books but there is all the new stuff on there too! You can set up a wishlist so every time that a book that you want becomes offered, you can claim it. You have to have send a book to get one back and I really like that. I have already sent off 2 books and claimed 2 back which I have been waiting ages to read. I bloody love it. Full disclosure: If you use this link, you get a free book without offering one and I get one too.

Here are the books I have been reading and loving lately:

The Mothers & The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
I read The Mothers after reading The Vanishing Half but The Mothers came first and is all the more astonishing for a debut novel. In lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever. The Vanishing Half is about 2 twins who decided to live very different lives – one as white and one as black. The effects of this choice is huge and the novel explores how this will effect future generations of the two families. Both of these novels were exemplary and deserving of all of their many accolades.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

This was the first time I have read a novel in prose and it was really effective in the delivery of the story. Clap when you land is a dual narrative book from the viewpoint of 2 sisters. The girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. When it seems like they’ve lost everything they learn of each other. The book brims with grief, love, loss and the difficulty of forgiveness.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

It has been a long while since I have been really impressed with a crime thriller and Lucy Foley definitely delivers with The Guest List. Set at a wedding on a remote Irish island, all of the characters seem to have motive and the conclusion had me completely shook! This is exactly what I want from a book of this genre, if I’ve worked out whodunnit by chapter 3 I’m not happy. Hats off to the author, this is really clever writing.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Oh my goodness, have I been hiding under a rock? How has it taken me so long to read this book? I’m annoyed with myself. It’s the kind of novel that makes you wonder how one author can dream up the characters and story line. It’s almost too good and has fast become one of the best books I’ve read. Ever. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a chronicle of three decades of Afghan history and a deeply moving account of family and friendship. You have to read this!

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

Set in 1980’s Atlanta, this novel revolves around James Witherspoon’s two families—the public one and the secret one. It is sort of similar to Clap when you land but at the same time, totally different. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. I didn’t love this book quite as much as An American Marriage (also by Tayari Jones) but I think that is because it lacked conclusion. I guess bigamy is quite a hard thing to resolve..

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud

This story is written in vibrant Trinidadian prose and questions who and how we love, the obligations of family, and the consequences of choices made in desperation. I didn’t know much of this book before I read it and I absolutely loved it. I was totally invested in the 3 central characters and audibly gasped at certain moments. A totally immersive book and worthy of your bookshelf.

The Girl With The Louding voice by Abi Daré

Another ridiculously impressive debut novel. This book is told in the unforgettable voice of Adunni who is trapped in her life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future. It’s both a heart breaking and hopeful story. I was rooting for Adunni every step of the way and her character will stay with me for a long time. This book deserves awards!

The Confession by Jessie Burton

I wasn’t too sure on The Miniaturist but I am glad I gave Jessie Burton another chance as this book was much more up my street! This is a powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how we lose and find ourselves. I loved how the 2 storylines and timeframes interlinked to reach a satisfying conclusion. I like a story where the reader knows more than the character and you watch them edging ever closer to the truth.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

This was another hotly anticipated novel and I through Alderton created something really clever with her first work of fiction. The novel is funny, tender and painfully relatable and I thought the portrayal of Dementia was done sensitively and to great effect. I did find that I kept imagining Dolly as the central character, perhaps that is due to reading (and equally loving). Everything I Know About Love, also written by Alderton. This is quite a fluffy read but with important themes. It’s a goodun.

If you have enjoyed this post, check out my other recommended reads here and here.



Stuff everyone has enjoyed for ages but I have only just got really into

food, stuff

Now that I have taken a social media sabbatical, I know I’m a modern day martyr, I have loads more time to do stuff. Who would have thought? With this new found time and brain space I have started discovering loads of fun things I like doing, reading, listening to. Being offline also means I can’t publicize my blog posts or connect with you so that makes me a really shit blogger. Oops.

EDIT: I have just managed to add a lil contact box on the homepage so feel free to send your fan mail there.

Duo lingo: I’m learning French! Oui it is true. My Mum speaks fluent French and when I was little her and my Dad would switch to speaking in français to stop me understanding. I thought I’d learn the language just in case they start doing it again when I go and visit this weekend. French is a sexy language and apparently 34 hours spent on the app is the equivalent of a term of seminars at University. The app is free and soon I will be well on my way to being able to order a sandwich in Paris.

Refinery 29’s money diaries: I am absolutely obsessed with this feature on Refinery 29 where a modern day woman tracks her spending for the week and posts it for everyone to judge. I am pretty meticulous when it comes to managing my money and have a master spreadsheet of spendings and savings (I am a very fun person). I equally love finding out how other people spend their cash. The diaries are posted once or twice a week and are the perfect lunch break treat.

Spotify: I KNOW, HAVE I BEEN LIVING UNDER A ROCK? I have had Spotify for a while but haven’t ever utilized it properly. I now have a playlist for all occasions and keep adding to them. Now that I have my own office at work I have been listening to Radio 1 pretty much all day and finally have some modern music on my phone. My previous music collection consisted of 90’s bangers, club classics and musicals. Someone asking me to put some music on caused serious anxiety sweats because what if no-one else was interested in the Hamilton soundtrack? I’ve recently changed my account to a duo account with my gf which means a few extra quid saved a month and a free Google nest. Ours hasn’t arrived yet so I’m still not 100% sure that it isn’t a scam. C’est la vie.

Pick my postcode lottery: Talking of scams, this could also be a scam but if it’s not then you and I might win some money. Apparently there is only 2 people with my postcode registered and it hasn’t yet been picked so I live in hope. I expect a cut if you win big.

Sending emails: I have become e-pen pals with some long distance friends and it has been great being able to have real conversations with them and keeping each other posted on our news in a personal way rather than a Facebook status update. I absolutely love snail mail and this is a lush way of sending letters in a more accessible way. I tend to email them once every week or so and there is always so much to say and it is therapeutic too.

Trashy shows on Netflix: I highly recommend you watching the following shows immediately: Selling sunset, Below deck, Love at first sight and Too hot to handle. I’ve never been that into reality TV or soaps. Admittedly, I used to watch Eastenders but stopped after the dramatic Who shot Phil Mitchell saga. Sure I love a gritty crime thriller on BBC or a classic ITV 3 part drama but I would much rather watch rich people sell even richer people houses and outrageous people agreeing to marry each other without ever meeting until they’re engaged.

Podcasts: My current faves are – Shagged, married, annoyed, Off menu and Desert Island Discs. I listen whilst I cycle, walk, work, wash-up. I go through phases with podcasts but these 3 have stayed on my regular listens for a long time now.

Baking bread: Bread flour is back on the shelves people! I never want to try and make sourdough ever again after only 1 success and approx 186 failures during lock down and then our starter died. RIP. But no-one ever told me that making non-millennial bread can be fun and has a much higher success rate. We used this recipe and made bagels. Look here is a photo of Zoe taking a photo to prove it.