A few thoughts on life in lock-down

I’ve been mentally writing this post for four weeks now, for about as long as I’ve been working from home. If I had sat down and started writing it at any point before now, it probably would have been very different on each one of those days in that four weeks. As it is, this post won’t be as coherent or logically structured as some of my usual posts but will be a little more personal, focusing more on some of my thoughts and feelings. Believe me, there have been a lot of those over the last month.

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An Autumn Weekend in Bakewell, The Peak District

Take 12 friends, who all have different jobs, different leave entitlements, who all live in different parts of England (and one currently in France), and try to organise a weekend together. It’s a little bit of a challenge. However, with a bit of discussion it was decided that autumn would be the best time to go. A weekend in October was selected, and then the next challenge was picking a location. It needed to be somewhere that wasn’t too far to drive from Cumbria, the North East, Bristol or London. It needed to have access to a train station, and possibly be near an airport. However we also wanted somewhere reasonably rural so that we could go out for walks in the countryside. Eventually it seemed like the Peak District was the place to go, and Bakewell offered us the opportunity to stay in the beautiful Haddon Villa.

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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 markets 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.

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Bradford on Avon

Sometimes there is somewhere you either hear about or pass through and you know that you have to go back. I went through Bradford on Avon on the train and was blown away by how picturesque it was on an otherwise rather boring journey. As we had a free weekend ahead of us I persuaded James that we should go on a day trip and whilst initially he couldn’t really see the point of going to a small town that he knew nothing about, but I think he quite liked it once we got there.

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One night in Oxford 

Oxford is another UK city that until recently I had heard a lot about but hadn’t really ever seen. My only previous visit to Oxford had been for a university open day, so whilst I saw the historic colleges and a lot of the university buildings, I didn’t really see much else and couldn’t enjoy it at my own pace (having a mad schedule of talks and tours to get to). Fortunately the opportunity to visit came up again recently as Oxford became a useful halfway point to visit a friend.

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