First impressions of the USA

It’s hard to write first impressions of a country that’s so large and varied; I imagine the different states can feel like completely different countries at times. On my recent trip to the USA, I literally scratched the surface. I visited three cities across two different states and know I cannot claim to have ‘seen’ or ‘done’ America now. However, as it was my first trip to the USA I came home with a few reflections and observations that I’d like to share. On of the best parts of travelling is seeing the differences in a new place to what you are used to. Sometimes you come home questioning what you need to or could change as a result of your experience, and other times you come back and are happy to return to your version of normality.

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Happy 4th Birthday

I’ve been writing my blog now for four years exactly, and it has slowly become more a part of me at each step of the way. Rather like a journal, it allows me to look back over some of my favourite places and memories from that time, and know that they are stored somewhere I can return to. It has allowed me to keep friends and family up to date with what I’ve been doing if I’ve been away travelling, or just because we don’t see each other as much. It has prompted opportunities for discussion and helped me find a space to continue writing and improving my photography.

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Completing my first 10K

I’ve never been a runner. I remember dreading cross-country at school, or in fact anything longer than a hundred metre sprint, and not understanding why anyone would choose to do it for fun. I’ve kept and nurtured that misunderstanding of running over the years, unable to understand why a housemate took up running while going through a stressful period, or why another friend had decided to start running marathons. I didn’t like it, I couldn’t do it, and yet somehow I managed to complete the Great Bristol 10K at the start of the month. How did I get there and will I do it again?

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Giving up TV for Lent

What did you give up for Lent this year? I’ve never really been one for giving things up at Lent, but this year James was keen to stop watching TV and it seemed like an interesting challenge. It reminded me of a primary school assembly from years ago when it was suggested we might like to give up something we did a lot of, and replace it with something we didn’t do much of. I think the idea was that we’d spend less time playing video games, and more time outdoors for example. However, annoying child that I was, I quickly informed the teacher that would mean I spent less time reading and more time watching television… Needless to say it wasn’t suggested to me again.

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A Few Thoughts on Baking

I aspire to be the sort of person who produces freshly baked good each week. Whether it’s tasty cakes or traybakes to offer to guests or colleagues, or fresh bread to enjoy in the morning, I’d love to be making new things and impressing people with my baking skill. Sadly, like many people, when there’s a list of other things to be done baking falls to the bottom of my to-do list and I rarely actually get round to it. However, a day off recently provided me with the perfect opportunity to get stuck in. I planned to spend the day baking in advance, so I wouldn’t feel guilty about doing so, and to make sure I had all the right ingredients (although typically I still ended up doing a mad dash to the shop after running out of something halfway through weighing it), and I’d forgotten how much joy…

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