Hello! I hope you all had lovely weekends and are enjoying good weeks so far. This fortnight’s positivity diary is a little later than usual as I’ve been away, but here’s my round-up of positives from the last couple of weeks…
1. Friends reunited and a vegan diner experience
I mentioned in a previous diary post that a friend who’d been living in Abu Dhabi for the last few years has finally come home to the UK and it was so lovely to see her and catch up in Manchester. She became a vegan while she was away and was keen to try out a diner in the Norther Quarter where you can get vegan burgers, hot dogs, mac & cheese etc! I’m always a little dubious that meat and dairy substitutes won’t taste as good as the real thing (perhaps just an ignorant omnivore!) but the food was really good, and the company even lovelier.
2. Finding a local yoga class
At my old job I started going to a lunchtime yoga class and really enjoyed it. Since then I’ve just done the odd YouTube session but I’ve recently found one locally and it makes for the best hour of stretching and relaxation. I feel like I could fall asleep by the end!
3. The unexpected pleasures of dog walks
We’ve recently been dog sitting whilst Aaron’s parents have been away and that’s meant lots of walks. Whilst picking up poo isn’t exactly my favourite past-time, it’s been really nice to be forced to be more active and get so much fresh air. What’s more, some of the countryside around us is gorgeous and has made for some stunning views, particularly at sunset.
4. Pizza al fresco
One of my favourite things about the summer heat has to be the eating outside, which has been DREAMY. I met up with my old housemate the week before last for a little bit of Pizza Express goodness and it was so good to sit out eating pizza and catching up on all her adventures.
5. Getting geeky about my family tree
This is a bit of a random one, but recently I’ve been really enjoying the BBC programme “Who do you think you are?” I signed up to a free trial on ancestry.co.uk and have been fascinated as I’ve pieced together my family tree and found various documents and nuggets of info, particularly on my mum’s side as I’ve never known much about them. It’s turned into a little bit of a new side-hobby and hopefully I’ll keep finding out more – if only I could go on the programme and get jetted around the world!
6. A weekend with parents
Last weekend Aaron and I went down to see my parents in Southampton and we had a brilliant time. It was so good to be with them and be back by the sea, having coffee next to boats bobbing in the harbour, as well as showing them all the family tree stuff I’d uncovered and getting to eat my mum’s cooking again!
7. Winchester catch-ups
Whilst we were down in Hampshire we also popped over to Winchester and visited a lovely lady I used to volunteer with at a charity shop before meeting one of my school friends for brunch, neither of whom Aaron had met before. It felt a bit surreal being back where I used to go to college, which to be honest was a pretty unhappy time in my life, but you can’t not love a city as pretty as Winchester and it was wonderful catching up with people I’d not seen in ages.
8. An Italian feast
After what felt like way too long I caught up with one of my best Leeds friends last week, who cooked me the most gorgeous food which we devoured on her flat’s balcony along with some icy cold Italian wine. We had spaghetti with pancetta, goats cheese, squash and a rocket & almond pesto, and good grief if you haven’t tried this combo before YOU NEED TO.
9. A new podcast
For some reason I’d got out of the habit of listening to podcasts recently (I think because my favourite one is on a hiatus!) but I’ve recently started listening to Kayte Ferris’ Grow With Soul and it’s completely wonderful. It’s all about slow marketing and slow living, creative business and growing sustainably. Whether you have your own business or not it’s really inspiring stuff.
10. Hot tub weekend
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen on my stories that I spent the weekend in a cabin in the forest. Every year, a group of us who used to work together go away; it’s a different place each time, the main criteria are just that there’s a hot tub and prosecco involved, and the rest follows. As always we had so much fun! Amongst other things we did face masks, played games, went to the seaside, did massages, ate a lot of food and sank a fair bit of fizz and gin. It brought home to me again how incredible a thing female friendship is – whatever life brings, some things don’t change.
That’s my belated round-up for the fortnight! What have you been up to? I’d love to hear your highlights.