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#BEDM – Off Topic

By 23 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle, Travel, United Kingdom
Tree stump. I'm off to the New Forest for the weekend!

Today’s prompt is ‘Date Night’ but I’m going off topic. Tomorrow I’m going to the New Forest for the weekend. My grandparents are renting a cottage with my auntie and cousin, and they invited us to go down.

Hubby’s working tomorrow so I’m going by myself. My sister’s going for the whole week, and my parents are coming over from France Sunday to Wednesday so it’s going to be proper little family reunion! I’ve not seen my parents since Christmas so I’m really looking forward to it, even if the weather’s going to be rubbish.

This evening I’ve had to pack and get ready for the weekend, which’ll start at 5am tomorrow because I have to get up for the 6am train! Because I can only go for the long weekend, I want to make the most of it. That train will get me to the New Forest at 9.30am, giving me the whole day with my family.

I don’t know what we’re going to be doing. I’ve packed for all eventualities. All in my 35l rucksack. I really don’t know how people take that size of rucksack backpacking long-term. Although, my walking boots do take up nearly half the pack and I wouldn’t take those backpacking.

My only trouble is I don’t know if I’m going to be able to take my laptop. So I’m going to have to try blogging from my phone. So apologies now if you don’t hear from me for a while!

Hope you all have a lovely bank holiday weekend. What are you up to?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Workspace

By 21 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle
My desk

This is my desk at work! It’s the only place I’m tidy. I like to keep my workspace as free from clutter as possible as I read that it serves as a distraction.

It’s actually tidier now than in this photo because we had a move around at work this week so I’m now on a different desk, but the moving process has seen the folder going in my drawers with the bits and pieces on the artificial grass sample.

Do you like my mug? I’ve been a Hello Kitty lover for about 15 years. It’s frustrating that it has now become so mainstream. When my two year old cousin has a Hello Kitty tracksuit I look a bit daft with my ‘matching’ umbrella!

 

The Chinese cat went in the bin! It’s never worked so it’s been a little bit depressing to look at. The cuddly Android is still there!

At home, my workspace is the sofa! I’m lounging here right now writing this post. The picture below is from a portable office blog post I did to enter a Curry’s competition.

My portable office - I work on my laptop on my lap #portableoffice RachelBirchley.com

One day I hope to have a home office. I’ve been thinking about renovating a vintage caravan to use for holidays but hubby refuses to be one of those people towing at 40mph that you have to follow down the road getting increasingly frustrated. So my idea now is to convert a caravan into my own girly haven that I can use as an office. To get this, we’d have to have somewhere to keep it so this dream won’t become reality until we have our own house. But for now I have Pinterest!

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Being Adventurous

By 20 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle, Outdoors
My tent - ready for adventure

This year I’m planning on doing lots of adventurous things. I love a challenge and testing myself.

Last year I took part in the National Lottery Anniversary Run, which gave me the unique opportunity of running on the track inside the Olympic stadium, and then I completed a 5k run around Howletts Zoo.  I didn’t ‘run’ either of them properly because I’m not fit enough! I managed to jog/walk my way round. This year I’m forgetting about the running and embracing my walking boots!

Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge

Coast to coast path near Keld, Yorkshire Dales National Park

This is my first adventure of the year and it’s part of my company’s efforts to raise £10,000 for the charity Combat Stress. Combat Stress provides free medical and rehabilitation services to British forces veterans suffering with mental illnesses such as PTSD, and anxiety. I’ve taken on the responsibility of organising the trip and 11 of us are travelling up to the Yorkshire Dales after work on a Friday at the end of July ready to start walking early Saturday morning. It’s a 25 mile walk that takes in the three peaks of the National Park: Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent. The aim is to complete the trek within 12 hours. We’re getting some practice in beforehand. A couple of weeks ago we completed a 9 mile walk in the local area, which was pretty knackering! I’ve never walked 25 miles before, it’s going to be tough. But then, that is the idea! If you feel inclined, you can sponsor me on my Just Giving page 🙂

Camping holiday in the Lake District

This year’s holiday is taking us to the Lake District for a week, followed by a week in the Scottish Highlands. We’re camping, not in the wilds but at a Haven park! We’ll be sleeping under canvas in our own tent, which is quite an adventure for hubby as he’s not as keen on camping as me. Last time we went camping the tent fell down in the middle of the night! It wasn’t the tent’s fault; the soil was very sandy and it was too windy. The pegs that come with tents are not designed for these conditions! This year I’ll be investing in some decent V shaped pegs that are more secure.

Neither of us have been to the Lake District before so we’ll be doing lots of exploring. I definitely want to visit Windermere, and perhaps Beatrix Potter’s house. We also might hire mountain bikes in Grizedale Forest.

The Cairngorms National Park

To make up for the week camping, we’re spending the next week in a cosy cottage in the Cairngorms. The only way I could get hubby in the tent was to promise him a hot tub for the following week! The cottage is in the middle of nowhere and looks so cute. I’m so looking forward to it. While up in Scotland we’ll be doing lots of walking, maybe visiting a herd of reindeer and tasting some whisky!

 

What are you doing that’s adventurous this year?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – What is the Best Thing About Being an Adult?

By 19 May 2014 Life, Lifestyle
Rachel and Marc Birchley wedding photo on the beach

Today’s Blog Every Day in May topic is a pretty tough question pretending to be easy! I started thinking about what I think is great about being a grown up and the first thing I thought of was being able to do what I want!

But actually, this quickly spirals into a complex philosophical argument that my sister could talk for hours on. (She’s studying philosophy at university.) As children, we long to grow up so that we can do what we want, without our parents  ‘controlling’ our lives. As it turns out, you can’t do what you want because society doesn’t work like that.

There are rules to abide by both in term of legislation and the norms of society. I’d love to wake up in the morning and say, do you know what, I don’t fancy going into work today. I think I’ll just stay at home and watch daytime telly. Unfortunately, I can’t do that; I don’t think my boss would be too pleased. I could choose never to go to work but how would I pay the bills? How would we keep the roof over our heads?

We do have, at least, some element of control over our lives. I can decide what I wear without Mum buying all my clothes. I spent most of the 90s in patterned leggings and matching t shirts. I can assure you it was very fetching!

If I wanted to, I could stay up all night. I could go to a nightclub, get outrageously drunk and stagger home at 5am. Neither of these things are particularly likely since I’m 28 years old and if I try and stay up after about 2am I start craving my lovely bed! I’ve started to find myself falling asleep on the sofa. Last Friday, I fell asleep during Alan Carr Chatty Man!

I think the best thing about being an adult is that I get to live with my husband. We get to have lovely weekends together going to places such as Leeds Castle, and we go on holidays in our tent. Another great thing about being a grown up is that I get to have this blog!

Being a grown up…

Cooling off with my feet in the paddling pool.

I bought a kids’ paddling pool specifically to dip my feet into to cool off while sitting in the garden with a book.

Bristol Aquarium seahorses

I crawled into here to get a 360 degree view of the seahorse tank from the  inside. I had to leave because a 3 year old wanted a turn.

On the zip line

Who said play areas are for kids? This is Aquarev in Loudeac, near my parents’ house.

What’s your favourite thing about being an adult?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – Leeds Castle Supercar Siege

By 18 May 2014 Kent, Life, Lifestyle, Travel
Leeds Castle Supercar Siege - Caterhams with the castle in the background

We’ve been meaning to go to Leeds Castle for about a year now. Last year it just never happened. Then, on our drive back from Bristol, we passed the castle. I turned to hubby and said, “We really must go to Leeds Castle at some point.” To which he responded, “How do you know I’m not already planning a day out?”

Well, a week later I was invited to look at the printer, and sitting there were two tickets to Leeds Castle! Hubby chose to coincide our visit with the Supercar Siege, basically a car show. What’s cool is that today also coincides with the ‘museum’ prompt for #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May) so I can tell you about our day out without veering away from the today’s topic.

Of course, the day we booked to go is the hottest day of the year so far! The queue into the car park started about a mile away.

The castle is set in such beautiful grounds; it was lovely to walk around in the sunshine. Leeds Castle has undergone much transformation in it’s 1000 year history. The first stone castle was built in the 12th century on the site of a Saxon manor. Throughout the ages, Leeds Castle has been home to Normans, Tudor kings and queens, and private owners. The most recent resident, Lady Baillie, died in 1974, leaving the castle to be managed by the Leeds Castle Foundation as a tourist attraction.

Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, Kent

After a scrummy picnic on the grass we gawped at all the cars! Hubby’s a big car fan and I can appreciate the good looks.

Supercars at Leeds Castle

We had a brilliant day, even though we got lost in the maze for about half an hour and got sunburnt because we forgot to put sun cream on!

How was your weekend?

Rachel x

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