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

Turning 27…

Listening to: Night Swim, Josef Salvat

On Friday, I turned 27.

I’ve had the usual ‘Join the club!’ and ‘How do you feel…?’. So far, I haven’t been able to come up with a response more creative or meaningful than ‘Erm…. OK’. I don’t feel any different. I don’t look any different. If anything, the only thing I feel is more aware of potential preconceptions other people might have of me if they knew my ‘number’.

Especially since this week, not one, but two of our friends quietly shared some very exciting, but very ‘adult’ news with us. The Boy loves to wind me up that my body clock is ticking (Yes, you would be right in thinking that he can be annoyingly misogynistic sometimes). I used to think that big life decisions would suddenly become clear and obvious one day, like clouds parting in the sky to reveal the sun. But it feels more like some decisions creep up on you. Like slowly becoming aware that you are not alone in a room. But few decisions in life are straightforward or easy, are they? Especially for someone who is so indecisive she struggles to choose between breakfast cereals.

We had a long weekend in the Peak District as a birthday treat, with a visit to Alton Towers thrown in and a gorgeous meal at the local pub (The George, Alstonefield. I want to go back NOW). Over peach bellinis, real ale and a bottle of white wine (we may be getting older, but we haven’t learnt not to mix our drinks), the boy and I had a good catch up. When you live with someone it’s very easy to just co-exist and not think to check if you are on the same ‘page’ in life. Or it is if you are extremely low-key on the relationship front like us.

My birthday is also linked to our anniversary. More specifically, it’s the day when Boy first asked me out. Our first date, and the date we consider our anniversary (despite never really bothering to celebrate it…) is tomorrow, July 4th. We’ve been together 6 years, since my 21st birthday. As wonderful as that is… 6 years of my life! I won’t pretend that part of me wonders what would have happened if we hadn’t met when we did.

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Nothing has changed; but at the same time, everything is changing. Lives don’t stay still. I guess I feel like I’m just getting really happy and settled into this ‘age’. But at any moment you can be on the brink of another stage of life.

H x