Buy experiences, not things: my New Year’s resolution

Before I get started, I just wanted to wish everybody a happy 2018!

This year I’ve decided to do something I’ve never done before: make a new year’s resolution. The reason why? Well, I’ve been thinking. Modern day culture has enabled us to do so much: to go to the supermarket (which is usually close by) and pick up anything from a Camu Camu berry to Matcha tea (OK, you probably won’t find a Camu Camu berry, but that’s fine because they’re pretty disgusting anyway); to hop on a plane to Australia; to get from a to b without breaking a sweat; to buy ready-made food from Pizza Hut; to go shopping whenever we want; to have knowledge at our very fingertips, thanks to the internet… you get the picture.   Continue…

3 leftover turkey sandwiches to make for a delicious post-Christmas picnic.

It’s that time of year again. When Christmas is over, and one by one each branch of the family braves the boxing day traffic and heads back to their own homes and lives. You go back inside after waving off the final few family members, sit down at the kitchen table with a cup of tea, and breathe out a long, weary sigh. You’re a little sad that Christmas is over, but also, it has to be said, a little relieved, too. You take a sip of that tea and start to feel a warming relaxation come over you. And then you see it.  Continue…

Mince pies and mulled wine – all you need for a festive picnic

As you probably know, I love creating some pretty flamboyant picnics. But that doesn’t mean that the simpler picnics are any less enjoyable. Mince pies and mulled wine really are all you need for a delicious, satisfying picnic – alongside, of course, the beautiful view across the canal at Snape Maltings, candlelight and Christmas paraphanalia, and, all importantly, the company of a very good friend. Continue…

A perfect mulled wine for your thermos

I long for that time of year again where I can breathe in the delicate aromas of mulled wine wafting through the house. But don’t be fooled: it’s not just an indoors drink, and there is something so utterly luxurious about warming your hands around a glass of mulled wine, wrapping yourself up in a blanket, and sitting in a beautiful scenic spot of the countryside.  Continue…

Winter picnic: roasted pumpkin soup.

Initially revered for its impressive colour, size, and roundness by its misshapen brother and sister Squashes, the fate of the Pumpkin is a tragic one. Its “big moment” consists of being disembowelled, barbarically disfigured by parents lacking artistic skill, paraded to insensitive children from the end of the drive, and chucked away or forgotten about from the 1st November onward.  Continue…

Winter walks and picnics: welcome to Slow Living.

If there was a competition for how full you can keep your regular mug of coffee (without a lid) whilst driving, I would be the winner. Through a skillful act of counterbalancing, I can attune the coffee in my cup to the sways of my car, and regularly arrive at work after a fifteen minute journey relatively unscathed by coffee stains. I do have a reusable takeaway cup, though – but I rarely have the spare time in the morning to a) locate it, and b) wash it up (it is currently encrusted with mould from the last time I was feeling practical – a long time ago). By now you can probably guess that I’m the “just-in-time” – veering towards the “tad-late” – type.  Continue…

One great (and surprising) way to enjoy the outdoors this Winter.

Come rain or shine (or snow, sleet, and gale force winds), my mother would shut all of us children outside for half an hour every day. A monstrous heap of multiple coats, scarves and hats, I would stand by the door window and concentrate all the miserable expression I could muster into the 3 or so visible inches of my face. With two imploring eyes and a thoroughly pink nose, I hoped to extract some kind of sympathy from my mother’s adamantly turned back.  Continue…