Say hello // Alphabeth

October 31, 2014

Today I welcome the lovely Alphabeth to the blog. Ever since starting to read Beth’s blog I’ve been listening to the lovely music she recommends and lengthening my TBR list significantly. She is also having a giveaway to celebrate reaching 300 followers. Book themed of course. But I’ll hand over to Beth to tell you a little more about herself and introduce her blog.


I started my blog in its earliest form a couple of days after I got home from working as an au pair for a Spanish family in July 2013. My time in Spain was spent almost exclusively at the family’s holiday home, which was on the top of a mountain in a small coastal town and unfortunately it didn’t have any WiFi. I didn’t really mind at first, it was actually quite nice to take a little break from the internet for once, but after I while I found myself spending a lot of time thinking of all the things I would do once I got back to civilisation. Starting my own blog ended up at the top of my list since I was heading off to uni soon and thought it would be a good way to document my experiences there, though I didn’t really start blogging properly until April this year. Continue Reading…

about her

Life lately

October 29, 2014


My life currently revolves around notebooks and pens. Luckily I received enough of both for my birthday that I could open my own stationery shop. Back in August I signed up with the Open University to do a course in creative writing and it’s by far the best decision I have ever made.

I am loving it. And that’s not something I have been able to say about any other academic course I have taken in my life. I am working slightly less hours at work, allowing me to have Fridays off to focus on my studies. But as with any higher education course, there is way more reading to do than hours in the day. I am spending most my evenings scribbling away in my notebook, absorbing every word in my textbook and, luckily for me, making time to read books. But this time, really read them. Imagining the techniques the author has used to develop their story, their characters and the setting. It’s like I’ve been told all the secrets about their craft and I can now imagine how they’ve transformed all those wonderful ideas and embryonic thoughts into written words.

So things are a little quieter around here. My first assignment is due tomorrow and many a hobby has been put on the back burner, including this little space of mine. As I’m not posting as regularly, although still aiming for three times a week, I’ve dropped my sponsorship prices slightly. However, the packages are staying the same, so you’ll still get all the benefits you did previously.

So think of me this evening, frantically trying to finish my first official piece of creative writing. It involves recollections of my swimming days, raw jelly and ‘poo evacuations’. Perhaps I’ll let you read it one day, then again the word poo may have put you right off.

Norfolk, Norwich

Rediscovering a city

October 27, 2014

Elm Hill Norwich

Elm Hill

I’m actually pretty darn good at exploring. But it was a real pleasure to show Alice around Norwich last weekend. Taking her to my very favourite spots and little shops. When I live so far away from my family and old friends it’s really important for me to remember why it is I live here.


In the toilets at the Cafe Britannia
I moved to Norwich in 2008, after living my entire life in a small market town called Carmarthen in South Wales. It’s no secret, I moved to be with Benjamin. It was a case of whoever got a job first the other would move to join them. I’d just qualified as a teacher so moved and immediately got work as a supply teacher. The whole teaching thing is another story. But moving to Norwich is actually one of the reasons I started blogging. To document my journey discovering a new city.


I remember being in complete awe as I wondered down Elm Hill. I’d never experienced a city like it. Remember I’d never really left Wales before. I thought it was beautiful, like something out of a fairy tale. Little did I know that parts of Stardust had been filmed there.

I always take visitors down Elm Hill. It’s never very busy, like the locals keep its location a secret. Full of independent little shops you can easily spend a couple of hours wandering along the cobbled streets and admiring the Tudor buildings.


Alice and I went for tea at the Tea House, followed by a nosy in the amazing antique shop opposite. I can’t believe I had never been in before. It was a curiosity lovers dream (a.k.a. me!) Full of taxidermy, insects, skeletons and other weird and wonderful collectables. I was in my element. Alice less so. As we looked around I heard a faint ringing of bells behind me. Much to our surprise the owner was feeding his European eagle owl. I actually went back to visit this weekend and this time his cat was there too. Perfect.


As well as a number of antique shops and cafes, there is also a rather famous teddy bear shop and a gorgeous little book shop, aptly named the Doormouse Book Shop. Here I found a book that took me back to my childhood and the missing books from my 1970’s Narnia collection.

Norwich Cathedral

No trip to Norwich is complete without visiting Tombland and the cathedral. The cathedral is always free to get in and well worth a visit. Alice and I were rather perplexed by the appearance of what looked like spray painted walls. Very 21st century!

Norwich Cathedral

Obviously it was very cleverly painted glass, created by UEA students. The effect really was quite enchanting.

book shop tombland

Tombland is another part of the city full of antique shops, second hand book shops in Tudor buildings and jewellery shops. I sent Ben a photograph of a £30,000 engagement ring. You know, for future reference.


We also met up with my friend Sarah for waffles. Sarah then took us to parts of Norwich that I’d never been to. Down streets I’d never ventured down. Past delicatessens selling mini munchkins and very tempting sweet treats.

norwich graffiti

We were heading to see the notorious Norwich gravity that I’d clearly never managed to find. Sarah and Alice weren’t happy with this quote, pointing out that there are many great people who are remembered for exactly that, not doing something! I on the other hand quite liked it. It resonates with me right now.

robin williams graffiti norwich

I particularly liked this Robin Williams piece. A man who encapsulates my childhood.


Alice and I ended our weekend walking Pip at Blickling Hall. At one point I was walking bare armed in the sunshine, it could have been a summer’s day. I treated Alice to watching me play korfball in the afternoon too. I don’t think she minded. I’d warned her she may witness a thrashing (us not them) but actually we came back from the brink to take the win. She must be a lucky mascot.

So thank you Alice for being lucky, for letting me show off Norwich and for being a wonderful friend.


Postcards from // Alphabeth, Buttercup Belle and History Lover’s Guidebook

October 24, 2014

Where is this year going? Before we know it we will be in the throws of winter. But alas, it is nearing the end of the month so it is time for me to introduce the lovely blogging ladies gracing my sidebar in October.

alphabeth postcard


Sometimes bloggers come along that make me want to grab a cup of tea, snuggle up on the sofa under a blanket and read their entire back catalogue of posts. Beth is one of those bloggers. From the books she reads, to her taste in music, to the wonderful films she chooses to watch, I think she’s blumming marvellous and she should totally come hang out with me. She takes a damn good photograph too.

Favourite post of late: Things to do when you’re feeling blue – a candid post about depression and how to deal with it. Beth has a wise head on those young shoulders of hers.

Bloglovin’ | Instagram | Twitter

buttercup belle

Buttercup Belle

Up next is the beautiful Amber. Amber emailed me a couple of months ago about sponsorship and I’ve been following her blog ever since. Amber lives in my second home, Cardiff, and blogs about a whole host of brilliant topics. From theatre to finding happiness. From being single to the joys of Tinder. Amber’s blog reads like a letter from a great friend and I can highly recommend her posts on self esteem and happiness. Plus she has a Welsh Bucket List which I have only done a handful of! Only lived there for 22 years of my life, but whatever. Trip to Oakwood Amber? That I can recommend!

Favourite post of late: 15 reasons why I will always be on this side of the screen – just read it! This is the story of my life and no doubt yours too!!

Bloglovin’ | Facebook | Twitter


History Lover’s Guidebook

As ever, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Beth back this month. Beth is one of my favourite bloggers. She feeds my love of historical buildings, historical fiction and that inner teenager that wished she’d studied history beyond year 9, no matter how much her teacher sucked. Beth always manages to get the right balance of lifestyle thrown into any post she writes. So although her blog has a clear historical theme, I know you will love it. Her blog has had a rather lovely facelift this month too.

Favourite post of late: Mulberry Hall: the jewel of York – this looks like my kind of shop. Porecelien tea cups, floral delights, Christmas decorations and low hanging beams. I’m in York in a couple of weeks, perhaps I can sneak away from my conference for a nosy.

Bloglovin’ | Twitter

These postcards form part of my advertising packages. If you’d like to see your blog in my sidebar and featured in this post, then I offer a great variety of packages starting from around just £12 a month. A maximum of ten bloggers feature in my sidebar. That way, you’re rest assured that you’ll never be lost in the crowd.

Returning sponsors also get 15% off all future purchases. So once you make your first purchase at full price, you’ll have discount for life!

Christmas Card Swap

Christmas card swap 2014

October 23, 2014



After the success of this year’s postcard swap (thank you to those who have filled in the survey, it’s really helpful), I have decided to run a Christmas card swap.

It will work very much the same as the postcard swap. I will split you into groups of 5 – 6 people and you will send each person in your group a card.

If you would like to sign up please do so below. I will then send you a form to fill in. Please only sign up if you are fully intent on participating. It is very disappointing for those that do make the effort to participate, when others in the group do not.

The turn around will be pretty quick on this one, so the sign up form below will close at the end of October. All swap forms will need to be back with me by the 10th November 2014. I will then have the groups sorted by the end of that week.

Sign up for this year’s Christmas Card Swap

* indicates required

Norfolk, Norfolk Eating

Cafe Britannia | Norwich

October 21, 2014

cafe britannia

You never want to disappoint visitors when it comes to showing off the city you live in and that includes, and perhaps is the deciding factor on whether you’ll stay lifelong friends, the places you take them to eat. I already knew I was going to take Alice to the Waffle House, but I’d never managed to find the perfect breakfast establishment. Now Bill’s does a pretty good fry up, but I’m loathed to recommend a chain, so when I spotted Cafe Britannia on Tripadvisor and got generally over excited by the concept, I knew that I would be treating Alice to breakfast at the prison. Continue Reading…