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Posts from the ‘Travel’ Category

Doggy holiday review: Achiltibuie in the Scottish Highlands

Doggy holiday review: Achiltibuie in the Scottish Highlands

New blog post over at Living with Rory about taking a holiday in Achiltibuie in the Highlands with a dog (specifically mine).


Hazy canal dog days: top ten before you book

I have blogged on my Living With Rory blog about my experience of taking the dog on a canal boat holiday. You can see it here!


New love of my life: Moleskine Passions

It’s well documented that I’m a stationery addict. My recent obsession, however, came as a shock even to me. I’ve never been a Moleskine person. Oh, I’ve bought them on and off, and they languish on shelves. I have a watercolour one, a medium-sized lined notebook and a screenwriter’s one, but the practicality of them has just never done it for me. I think, basically, that I found them dull.

I know, I know, they have special editions and some even come in colours, but I’m a fussy customer and it takes more than that to float my boat. Then enters my new favourite thing, Moleskine Passions. They come in twelve different varieties – baby, book, cat, dog, film, gardening, music, recipe, style, travel, wellness and wine.

I bought a Moleskine Passions Wellbeing Journal a whole year ago. I looked at it briefly, didn’t write in it after the first day and then totally forgot about it…. until two weeks ago, when everything changed. I’m on a health kick (aka ‘OMG I’ve put on how much? WHAT! NO! I will not tolerate this. I will get a plan!’) and I suddenly remembered my Wellbeing Journal existed. And, get this, I have used it every day.

It has areas for your weekly goals, to record what you eat, any exciting competitions you might take part in, to log your daily exercise and to stick your inspirations (Misha Barton in case you were wondering – obviously not the actual person. I thought pictures would do.) Then there are customisable tabs, where you can add your own or use one of the many stickers provided. My extra tabs are recipes, routes, books, health food and I still have space for two more! The outer is a traditional Moleskine hardback but with added embossed exercise images. The design of each journals cover reflects what you are passionate about! I love it. The only criticism I have is that it’s a bit big to be lugging with you everywhere unless you have a huge bag. It sits on my desk in the office and comes home with me at night – trust me, it’s much harder to log everything you eat and drink than you would think, it requires instant writing down. However, if I go out for the day it stays at home, my bag is heavy enough! One person in the office has purchased one for themselves and another has said she is seriously considering one. I think that says it all.

After my recent success with the Wellbeing Journal, I decided to make another purchase. This time I bought the Moleskine Passions Travel Journal. I am going to Italy in a few weeks and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am. And, in a surprise turn up for the books – I don’t go on holiday that much – I have also been to Spain and Dorset this year, and I’m planning a weekend trip to France. You can see how this might be useful for me, can’t you? I kept journals for years, I stopped only a couple of years ago, so this seems the ideal alternative. It’s like blogging your holiday, only in a nifty notebook you get to fill in.

I’m sold. I’d go as far as to say it’s the most useful thing I’ve bought all year. It has the usual pointless pages for your personal details. I don’t think anyone is stupid enough to put their name, address, passport number, credit card number and expiry date in are they? (I feel like this about the info pages in Filofax inserts, too.) But the useful outweighs the benefits for those intending to commit identity fraud. You can note down what vaccinations you have had and when they are due, when your travel insurance and health insurance lasts until, emergency contacts and loyalty cards for hotels, car rental and airlines. There is space for a standard checklist in the front, as well as more space in the trip tabs for a more trip specific checklist.

The whole journal is split into predefined and customisable tabs, like all the other journals in this series. There is space for a wishlist of where you would like to travel to, planning including budgets, weekend trips, short trips and long trips. Each of the trip tabs has space for planning, checklists, memorable moments and photos or clippings. I’ve customised the latter tabs into websites, guides, curiosities, recommended and scrapbook, using the stickers provided. There is not a huge amount of space for photographs, so it’s more for a taster. I have ordered a whole selection of stickers of my time in Spain so I can fit more images on the designated photo pages. I think for really special trips I’m going to appropriate two long-trip sections so I can fit more writing and more images. We will see.

So what’s next? I think the Moleskine Passions Style Journal is next. I really do need to sort out my wardrobe. And then the Dog Journal I think. How about you?

And in case you are like me and like videos.

Here is the Wellbeing one:

And here is the Travel one:

You can find more here.

Snorkeling (61)



Image from Jurvetson’s photostream

I had my first real experience of snorkeling when I was on holiday. It was amazing. I can’t explain how it feels to be swimming among wild fish, of all different shapes, sizes and colours. They were everywhere, all around me. I loved it. But I’m not going to lie, it was tough originally. The whole not breathing through your nose thing, that was particularly difficult. And sea water tastes nasty. Oh and walking in flippers is hard. But it all fades when I remember what it was like when I first swam over some coral reef and there were hundreds of fish. It is something I will always remember.

You should all try it if you haven’t. Although not if you don’t like fish, or water, or can’t swim…

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