A few highlights from Summer 2021

Happy 1 September! Call it a hangover from my days at school, or thanks to the fact that I still work in an education environment, but this time of year always makes me think of fresh beginnings. In some ways it feels more like a time for new year, new starts than the beginning of January and I think that’s partly helped by the fact it’s not dark by mid-afternoon. However, it’s also sad to be waving goodbye to the summer months and knowing that before too long it will be cold and dark again. The summer always goes by in a bit of a blur; partly because it’s the time of year when I can be most busy at work, but also because there tend to be a lot of plans. One minute it’s May and then the next it’s September. It doesn’t help that the seasons tend to… View Post

Freedom is on the horizon: a few thoughts on the end of lockdown

What does ‘freedom’ look like to you? At some point, possibly in May, I optimistically told myself that I wouldn’t be writing about lockdowns and coronavirus anymore. I would actually be able to get back to blogging about day trips and possibly even travel (she whispers cautiously). Yet here we are with ‘Freedom Day’ almost upon us and I couldn’t be less excited. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the taste of freedom that I’ve had so far. Getting to go on holiday for a week in Scotland was wonderful. Being able to see family and have friends to stay have brought moments full of joy. But there’s something about the rising case numbers and the thought of all restrictions disappearing that makes me feel tense. Let’s face it, I wouldn’t be heading off to a nightclub any time soon anyway, but the thought of anything going and it being… View Post

A Weekend in Cologne

Cologne was a city I never imagined returning to. I first went for a short city break to the Cologne Christmas marketsĀ one December which I really enjoyed, but thought I’d seen the city. More recently, I’ve been on a summer city break to Cologne and had a completely different, but just as enjoyable experience. There are certain sites which will be enjoyable regardless of the time of year, but this guide will also focus on the two different seasons as they have a completely different atmosphere. View Post

Upfest

I’ve never really been a big fan of graffiti. Admittedly, most of the graffiti I’ve seen hasn’t been particularly artistic, more like profanities scrawled across the side of buildings or railway tracks. However, due to this fact I never really ‘got’ the concept of street art. Surely the phrase was just trying to make graffiti acceptable? However that was all before I first visited Bristol. As the home of Banksy, Bristol prides itself on its street art, and not just the work that Banksy has produced. It was for this very reason that I found myself going along to Upfest earlier this summer. View Post

Bristol Harbour Festival

If you are going to come to Bristol, then it appears that the summer is the time to do it. There appears to be a different festival every weekend, celebrating everything from barbecues to street art. Which ones are most worth going to seems to vary depending on who you ask, but the two biggest seem to be the Balloon Fiesta and Bristol Harbour Festival. I’ve been to the Balloon Fiesta a couple of times before (and intend to go again this year) but I had never been to the Harbour Festival before. Although the forecast looked terrible, we decided to brave the weather and I’m really glad we did. View Post