How to Spend a Sunny Weekend in Exeter

Last weekend I had booked in a long-overdue catch up with two of my closest uni friends – time to motor down the M5 to Exeter, Devon for a chilled weekend involving sun, sea, sand and icecream!

Saturday started with a quick visit to  The Donkey Sanctury, Sidmouth. It’s great to read about (and support!) the rescue activities and see the donkeys in a happy environment. I’m particularly fond of the fluffy ones! Here’s a selection of my many donkey pictures….

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Next up was Seaton Bay, where we hired a couple of kayaks (from these guys) and braved the choppy waters for a mini sea adventure! I have to admit that we didn’t get very far (we spent too much time laughing and bumping into each other). I tried stand-up paddle (SUP) boarding recently as well – if only I lived nearer a lake or the sea…

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Back in Exeter, we headed to the quay for dinner. I love this area – the old industrial buildings give it lots of character and it’s especially popular on a sunny Saturday evening.Thanks to my friend J’s blagging skills we managed to get a table outside On the Waterfront – the perfect spot for cider and pizza in the evening sun! J and I went half and half with different toppings on one of their 16″ pizzas. So good, but finishing it was an Olympic effort – we saved a few cheeky slices for evening munchies!

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Next up was an open air cinema event, held in Exeter’s Northernhay Gardens. We watched The Martian (definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it!). We were armed with blankets and snacks but I still wasn’t really prepared for 2 and a half hours lying outside. It wasn’t the most comfortable of film experiences! Some couples in front of us had the right idea with a full pillows and duvet setup going on…

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Sunday was chill-time. We spent the day on the beach at Exmouth. I love a day on a good ol’ British beach, even if by the afternoon I had to take shelter under my beach towel to avoid getting sunburnt..

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Unfortunately, this weekend is not so sunny. I should be cycling…but it’s so wet and windy! Time for some DIY instead, while I dream of last weekend’s beach time…

H x

Hattie LOVES Sunshine

Have we moved to a different country?? I think April was a crazy month weather-wise for most people in the UK (we had hail and ice in Bristol last week) – now it seems we’re on fast-forward to summer.

A good hit of sunshine boosts my mood hugely. Waking up to a bright, cloudless sky in the morning makes me feel invincible. As a scientist I find the links between sunlight and  production of the hormone serotonin in the brain amazing, but I love the sun’s ability to give me a positive outlook on the day.

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After a LONG day at work today I headed straight into our garden to catch some rays. I have a new book to read for my book club (Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve) and new sunnies (an impulsive Topshop buy last weekend). Happy days!

H x

Thoughts: Am I a city girl now?

I couldn’t get home for Mother’s Day so I took a few days off at the end of this week to visit my parents in Wales. This is the lovely little village which I grew up in, tucked away in the gorgeous Brecon Beacons…

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It amazes me how accustomed I’ve become to living amongst the perpetual hum and buzz of a city. After three years in Bristol I’m fairly accustomed to sleeping through the glow of street lights, car alarms and sirens. I currently live in the city centre and have a stream of shrieking students wandering past my window on week nights (I am guilty of a sing-a-along on a walk home so I can’t complain!) but even that doesn’t really disturb me! I think it’s pretty amazing how we can adapt like that. When I woke up in the middle of the night at my parent’s house it was so dark and quiet that I panicked for a minute or two – it was like being shut up in a box!

I love the buzz and opportunities of city life and I’m  not ready to leave that behind yet, but I’m always amazed at how relaxed I feel when I get back home. I love getting my first glimpse of the mountains on the drive home.  Bristol has some great green spaces ( I go on a quick run around The Downs if I need some quiet time) and beautiful countryside is never more than a short drive away so I’m pretty lucky.

It was warm and sunny here yesterday so I was pretty happy. I went for a walk looking like a true city girl – I climbed a wall in my pink coat and chelsea boots just to take a photo – I must’ve looked a bit ridiculous! It’s great to be rid of this pollution now – it caused havoc with my asthma. Has it affected anyone else badly?

There were some adorable little lambs in the fields as well (I tried to get a picture but the zoom on my phone camera is useless 😦 )

I can’t wait for summer to arrive!

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