The Christmas countdown in a year like no other

Christmas is an interesting time of year, and discussing the countdown to Christmas is a sure fire way to get some discussion going. Usually I start thinking about Christmas, like where I might be spending it and what gifts I’m going to get for people, once bonfire night is out of the way. Christmas activities such as decorating and listening to festive songs are only acceptable once I’ve turned the calendar over to December. I know I’m not alone in this thinking, and I know there are also many people who spend an awful lot longer getting excited about this festive holiday. However, this year things seem to be very different.

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Lockdown 2.0: my thoughts on a second national lockdown

To say it was disappointing and inconvenient that the second English national lockdown started on the day that my marriage had been rearranged to is a bit of an understatement. Initially, this fact had an awful lot to do with how I was feeling about another lockdown. Why now? Why couldn’t they have waited another day? Why did weddings have to stop again? However, whilst it felt very unfair at the time it was being announced, there’s not much we can do but keep calm and carry on. And had I not been due to be married, I’d have welcomed the lockdown for all the reasons it needs to happen. But this lockdown is going to feel very different to last time.

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Gift Giving: The Lost Art of Giving Great Presents

As the end of the year seems to be coming up fast, for those of us who celebrate it it’s natural to start thinking about Christmas and gift giving. Over the years I’ve gained a surprising number of thoughts and feelings on gift giving and have been intending to write a post on the subject for a while. In fact, I’ve been writing this for some time and seem to just keep on adding to it. A little disclaimer – I am very guilty of a lot of the things I’m about to mention and I really don’t want to seem ungrateful either. Any gift given should be special and cherished but there will always be some gifts which stick in your mind for a long time.

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20 reasons why I’ll be embracing Autumn this year

Autumn is a funny season. If I look at my Instagram feed it’s all cosy orange hues, indulgent hot chocolates and pumpkins. If I look out of the window more often than not it’s raining or dark and rather than being a range of pretty colours the leaves on the trees just look dead. I never really used to notice the autumn. It just used to be the gap between the August bank holiday and the countdown to Christmas which seemed to disappear quickly. However, as I tend to lose August and September in a blur of work I now take a bit more notice and I’m trying to be more positive about the season.

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My Travel Diaries: Travel Chapters so far…

Recently I’ve started listening The Travel Diaries podcast by Holly Rubenstein and I’ve really been enjoying it. Each episode is an interview with a different person and follows the same format, going through the different chapters of the ‘travel diaries’ of their lives so far. As well as providing tips and an interesting insight into lots of new places, I find it fascinating how differently people approach travel but also how many similarities there are. I think almost every episode I’ve listened to has recommended India and the vibrancy that the country has. There’s also been a fair share of people embarrassed about one of the places they’ve mentioned because it feels too ‘mainstream’ or won’t be a good enough answer. But even with a whole world to explore it’s natural that we’ll take some comfort in familiarity.

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