Sunday, 17 August 2014

July in England - Lattitude festival with the best of the best (becasue I'm getting married)

Having celebrated Cam's Hen (that's bachelorette this side of the pond) a couple of weeks ago it was my turn. Agreeing to have it under canvas at a music festival in a park in Suffolk might have gone terribly terribly wrong -  But the weather was perfect, Camilla had managed to get us upgraded to some pretty swanky pink moon glamping courtesy of Mumsnet (think a teepee, proper loos, hair dryers, mirrors and no need to pack sleeping bags. perfect. thanks mumsnet!) and my Bridesmaids were (surprisingly well) prepared for every eventuality.

Friday, 15 August 2014

July in England - Brighton Pier, pebbled beaches and far too many oysters.

Sometimes, when you haven't seen a good friend for a really really long time supper isn't enough. Steph and I have been friends since she rescued me from social outcast-ery (word?) aged 13 at school in England. I arrived thinking I was pretty fashion forward in frayed patchwork jeans and Steph took it upon herself to set me straight. I've been in her debt ever since.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

July in England - London I love you: reunited with some of my favourite people for the first Hen party of the year.

Since I landed on this side of the Atlantic just over two weeks ago I've been to and from Amsterdam, catching up with local friends in Surrey and communing with our family dog. I'd been for a couple of fun lunches and suppers but definitely hadn't immersed myself fully back in the capital until this weekend for the Hen party of the decade.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Proper Texas Hold 'em. With Guns. Austin indoor ranges (In which it transpires I am much less badass than I thought...)

Hand guns basically horrify me (I'm a teacher. There have been 74 school shootings here in America since the Sandy Hook horror in 2012. This is a healthy fear) but I've always been a little bit fascinated - as one tends to be by things that scare you. Having grown up mostly in England, where the only guns you can legally own are sports rifles for game shooting, I'd never even seen a pistol in real life until we arrived in Texas - and I rapidly learned that holsters are an actual thing outside of spaghetti westerns and fancy dress parties. Who knew..! 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Bandera Texas: Cowboy Capital (where you won't get a DUI on your horse as long as you're not touching the reins)

Austin, although a generally pretty brilliant place to live, is a bit of a disappointment if you're expecting a stereotypical Texan holiday. I've spotted a guy on a horse going through the burger drive-thru once but other than that - no lonely cacti, deserts, bolo ties or genuine cowboys hats. I've been gagging to get out of town and see proper cowboy country ever since we arrived and we've been waiting for Horse-friendly visitors to go with. Luke and Marina were perfect: like Jon and I - she's a horse-loving, mud wallowing, stable stomping rider and he is completely nonplussed by them. 

Bandera likes to market it self as the 'cowboy capital', and 'red neck riviera'. While much of the rest of the states has seen a gradual disappearance of genuine cowboys, the Rodeo lifestyle is going strong in central Texas - so we piled in to a car and made the three hour drive to Twin Elms Guest Ranch for three days of Roping, Rodeo and Riding.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Paddle Boarding Austin: A Stand up Safari

I've only started paddle boarding regularly this month but it's definitely my current favourite way to spend the early evening. Town lake is rarely particularly windy and has reliably calm water so balancing is easy for beginners like me and you can get up some speed pretty quickly - so whenever I have a quiet afternoon I can nip down to the Texas Rowing Center on Town Lake and borrow a SUP board for an hour or two.