ERM – are we really here already?!
November has been a complete blur of mince pie eating, turning into a beetroot in front of the log burner and trying to get all our Christmas family gathering requirements in before we leave next weekend for our honeymoon. WARNING: prepare for me to mention the honeymoon at least 27 times over the next six days because I can’t stop going on about it. If I’m honest it’s been a blur because I’ve been racing to the finish line. You know the feeling, when you’ve got something exciting on the horizon and you’re just going through the motions ticking off the days until you stick on an ‘Out Of Office’ reply that basically says ‘SEE YA! I’LL REPLY TO THIS EMAIL NEXT MONTH’. Having never been away for longer than 10 days, the idea of going away for almost a month is a pretty exciting prospect and so a lot of this month has been preparation for our trip, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t got up to non-NZ related activities too…
Weekend With Friends. Earlier in the month one our of favourite couples who live up Birmingham way came to stay with us for the weekend and we had a blast. The weather was pants so we couldn’t do our usual ‘Look, it’s always so sunny and lovely by the seaside!’ sell, so instead we settled for a bagel lunch followed by bowling and then off to Cin Cin in the evening, which Mark and I have decided is our number one restaurant in Brighton. The pasta is delicious, service on point and THE WINE. It’s worth booking because it’s busy and it’s tiny, but it’s well worth the faff. We’ve also been catching up with all our other mates, having dinner round theirs, round ours and just generally having a jolly ol’ time as Mark shows off his fire-starting skills in the woodturner and bakes us all.
Chill Weekends Too. We were mindful that there was going to be quite a lot of things that we needed to cram in before we leave, so we made sure we scheduled in a couple of free days at the weekend too; to complete some boring household errands that we’ve been meaning to do for yonks, have time to properly plan an itinerary for NZ and also some time to do completely nothing. We surprised ourselves finally pinning down our bathroom renovation plans which means that by the end of February we should have a brand-spanking new bathroom, toilet and the hallway, stairs and landing will have a new lick of paint on it too. FINALLY. It’s only taken us over two and half years to get to this point, but I can hand on my heart stay that nothing is as boring as shopping for bathroom suites. If I have to look at another tap again I may scream in the aisles of B&Q.
Seeing Lily & Rich’s New Home! That was such a fun day. I went up early to London one Wednesday morning so that I could spend a couple of hours with Lily in their new home to snoop around, catch-up and most importantly, flex my organisation muscle before I had meetings. I was with Lily on a flight when she found out that they had secured their new home and I’ve been eagerly waiting a visit ever since. They’re proper grown-ups now with a garden! And stairs! It’s such a beautiful space and I can’t see what they do with it. Also heads up anyone who needs to buy a moving-in gift anytime soon, we got them some bits and bobs from Workshop, my favourite homeware shop in Brighton, and I think they went down pretty well.
THE KOOKS. When I was 16 I remember listening to ‘Inside In, Inside Out’ whilst sitting on the top deck of the bus on my way to my Saturday job, and just thinking that life was pretty great. The Kooks are not only a Brighton band, but they are the one that I really loved through my defining teenage years. ‘Sofa Song’ was what we yelled out when we were drunk off of Bacardi Breezers on the beach on a Friday night. ROCK AND ROLL. I still listen to that album regularly and when I saw that they were playing at The Brighton Centre last weekend I got a little too excited, realised it was sold out, then spent a horrendous amount buying a pair of tickets on re-sale. I didn’t regret it though as Mark and I had a great time, got a bit boozed, had a burger before and it make me feel 16 again – aside from the fact that I was rather hungover the next day.
Planning Our Honeymoon. I have never done a road trip before, so the task of sorting out 11 different accommodation stops, travel in-between them all and then what we’re actually going to do in each place, was a rather daunting one. I’ll write about the process more when we get back, but we basically created a plan on a map of the stops we wanted to do thanks to everyone’s recommendations, sorted out accommodation for each (thank the lord for Airbnb, or else we may have had to remortgage to pay for it all!) and then this month we nailed down activities and some places to check out for food in each place. You know us, we love our food. It’s meant that I’ve made my own little TripAdvisor document, which hopefully means we won’t be frantically googling each time we head to a new town. The overall itinerary is very outdoorsy, so I’m looking forward to a digital detox and wearing no makeup and sportswear 95% of the time. I’m also very much looking forward to the day that Mark has booked himself in for a bike ride and I’m going for a facial. Balance, eh?
Photos by Lauren Shipley
*Sign up to my monthly newsletter ‘An Edited Life’ here*