Thursday, 26 September 2013

In pictures: Lake Garda

Four days in Lake Garda and Verona. Gorgeous food, long, wine-filled meals, a little bit of relaxation and quite a lot of lycra-clad cycling around the Italian countryside. There is an excellent reason why there are no photos of me in my cyling ensemble....

Thursday, 19 September 2013

24 hours in Prague

Or, more accurately, nine hours in Prague, 12 hours in a field an hour outside Prague, and three hours at the airport.

I flew out for a speedy work trip earlier this week- although my actual Prague-time only involved a very late night dinner and some sleep (not enough - by yesterday I was zombie-lady).

Main things to note: the Czech Republic in September is COLD. It's also very beautiful. And my attempt to ward off the cold mainly involved eating eight meals a day and experimenting with the cappucino machine.

My return journey left me with an enduring hatred of Gatwick - the queues at immigration were ridiculous, and I ended up missing my last train home. Good thing I have to be back there for another stupid o'clock flight in two days' time....

Oh yeah, did I mention I'm off to Italy on Saturday? I didn't? Oops. Well, I am. The prospect of almost three weeks off work is making me a very happy lady right now!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Autumn days

When September rolls around, and you're plunged from 30 degree heatwave to drizzle and darkness and damp in the space of 24 hours, you have two options.

1. Hibernation

I've thought seriously about this - I could happily just retreat to bed until April. But then I'd miss Halloween. And Bonfire Night. And Christmas. Also, I'm not sure how thrilled my work would be about an impromptu six-month sabbatical.

Which brings us to:

2. Embrace autumn

The miserable weather and the early nights I'm not such a fan of. But I can totally get down with the seasonal ingredients and the cosy jumpers.

Yesterday I had a day off, spurred myself into tackling a huge list of chores that had been steadily mounting, and then invited my friend B over for dinner.

Three-bean chilli, plum and apple upside-down cake and some malbec. Could be worse, I guess. If I really concentrate on toffee apples and mulled wine, woolly scarves, casseroles and log fires, winter seems marginally (very marginally) more like a bearable proposition.

Just in case you felt the need for one, here's a weather-appropriate croon-fest that's helping me get on board with the end of summer.