18.8.18

Behind The Curtain

There is a stage. The lights shine bright onto it. The spotlights directed on them. 
The star of the show. 
The person of the moment. 

There is applause. Cheers. Praise.
For them.

She stands. Behind the curtain.
Proud of them.
Proud of their efforts. 
But with tears in her eyes.

What about her?
The support on the side.
The one they need. 
But the one who doesn't get mentioned.

Sometimes it's nice to be noticed too. 
To be shown off.
Instead of feeling like a secret. Instead of your achievements being hidden.
Behind the curtain. 

She stands. 
With those tears in her eyes.
Wondering why they won't acknowledge her.
What is it about her?

The way she looks? 
Her importance? 
Or her lack of importance?
Is she an embarrassment? 
Not worth being proud of?
Not worth bragging about. 

Lets keep her there. 
Let's praise her secretly. 
Let's not give her too much.
Keep her quiet.

Let her stand there.
Behind the curtain.
Where she belongs.


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17.8.18

Isle of Canna | Day Two [Part Two]

Canna Day One
Canna Day Two-Part One

Walking back from dinner we loved looking over the still water at the boats.
We stopped again at the Chapel. We'd already looked in here briefly before when we first arrived on the island. Despite being small it was so beautiful. I have a thing for stained glass windows and these were absolutely stunning.
We had a quick look at the nearby farm square area where we were advised the showers were. We had a quick look at that, and then carried on our walk to the Canna Campsite.
Rather than going to the tent to then have our shower, we instead decided to make the most of the light evening and nice weather and carried on our walk a little. My boyfriend had explored this area the night before when I had gone to bed early, and knowing that seeing a Highland Cow was on my Scotland Bucket List, he suggested we go for a walk so I can see them.

It was so worth it. Walking along the lane we saw sheep...which there was a lot of anyway...Highland Cows which were utterly beautiful, if a little intimidating. Walking along the beach and coast we again found bones and skulls, and as I walked along I was grateful for looking up at one point as I came across a dead dolphin. It wasn't disturbing or sad, and the dolphin was pretty much in one piece.
We also found some kind of rocket which I was not so excited about. My boyfriend of course was!

We walked back to the tent, grabbed our change of clothes and went for a shower. I have to say, I think we both felt like it was the best shower we'd ever had at that point.
For £1 you get 3 minutes of water which was more than enough. Afterwards we had a little walk to the shop again and then went back to the tent for our final night on the island.


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16.8.18

Canary Islands-Budget Family Holiday Destinations

When I was little I never really thought about the cost of holidays. We were lucky to go on a UK break to Somerset pretty much every year, and then when we were 7 we went on our first holiday abroad. 

With my parents and my nan, and of course my twin brother, we stayed at Playa Del Ingles in Gran Canaria.

It was an amazing first holiday abroad and I can't think of one bad thing about that holiday. I truly think that holidaying at Gran Canaria, and it being my first experience of a holiday abroad, started my love for the Canary Islands

Since going to Gran Canaria I've been to Tenerife three times, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Visiting the other islands is on my bucket list.

So whats to love about the Canary Islands?
What isn't there to love?!

For me, every island is different and every island has its quirks and its beauty spots.
Whether you like a volcanic landscape, greenery, open "barren" land or beaches (black sand or white sand). Water sports or a relaxing holiday, there is absolutely no way that you wouldn't be happy with at least one of the Canary Islands.

The islands are known for having hot weather throughout the year, making it a popular destination all year round. Due to this prices for holidays tend to be pretty reasonable and consistent, without price rises during particular months due to the weather making it even more popular. There are obviously some price differences but not as much as other destinations.

Depending on how you spend your time, and the types of holiday you go on, you should base your boarding carefully around this to keep your budget and spending down.
For example, if you are likely to be away from the hotel or accommodation all day then being All Inclusive might not be the best way to go, instead looking at either B&B, Half Board or Self Catering.
Food and restaurants in the Canaries are still reasonably priced, however I did notice in Fuerteventura that prices are rising but, if you do go for a self catering option, or wanting to eat out a lot, researching beforehand is a really useful thing to do.
Walking the area in the daytime in preparation for an evening meal, looking at the menus in the doorways and then checking reviews is another way of making sure not only are you going to be able to order some food you like, but it is in budget and of course, highly rated!

Similarly, checking out local markets to get food to cook back at your accommodation is also worth considering.
We did this at Fuerteventura and were able to pick up some beautiful vegetables and desserts, only missing out on a butchers for the meat which we just ended up buying in a local supermarket.

Of course if you are likely to spend most days by the pool at the hotel then staying All Inclusive is the way to go. Having all your meals, snacks and drinks included can save a lot of hassle when you just want to relax and leave someone else to it.

Have you been on holiday this year or booked your holiday abroad already for 2019? If not, definitely consider the Canary Islands. Holiday Gems have some fantastic deals for any board basis and accommodation suitable for you and your family.



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Isle of Canna | Day Two [Part One]

Day two at Canna was a bit of a funny one really. I'd found out that night that my one of my favourite bike racers, William Dunlop, had died.
The weather was a bit grey and drizzly and we ended up getting up late. It's funny because I don't really like sleeping in when I'm on holiday. Especially on a holiday like this where there is so much exploring to do but actually, it was nice just laying around, drifting in and out of these deep sleeps. It was around lunch time we decided to get up.
We walked down to the shops so we could get a coffee and so I could switch my phone on. I was amazed at how many messages I had about William Dunlop. I phoned the boys and also wrote a blog post whilst we had our drinks and then we decided to go for an explore.
We looked around the nearby church and then went down a long lane right next to the shops.

We had seen what looked like a castle just beyond the land although this was quite run down and a ruin so there wasn't too much to see. However, it was on a beautiful beach with really big chunky rocks. We decided to walk along the beach, clambering over the rocks and trying to not slip on the soft wet seaweed covering some of the ground.

As with most of our walks around the Lochs in Scotland, and our first day on Canna we found a lot of animal bones and skulls. I found this fascinating and where we could we were piecing together the bones to see what we could make.
The views across the water were amazing and made the walk well worth it. We walked as far round as we could. Maybe we could have got round further but as we had left it a little late to go out anyway I felt it was probably a good idea to not risk it just in case it got dark and we ended up stuck.

So we walked back round and decided to go for dinner at the restaurant/pub. As it is a little restaurant and the food is cooked fresh it is a little pricey so we went for the cheapest thing on the menu....fish and chips. Although even if it wasn't the cheapest I think we still would have gone for that. Oh it was amazing!

After eating the meal and finishing our drinks we decided to walk back to the tent, to carry on exploring and more importantly....have a shower!


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15.8.18

Hesitation

I'm fed up of looking at photos which have me in them and criticising it and dissecting it due to what others may think and will say:
* Yes I put on weight
* Yes I have darker hair and some prefer it blonde
* Yes my roots are awful and I have a lot of grey hair
* Yes I have tattoos which make me look "butch" And aren't feminine (ffs!!!!)
* And all the other things

It's horrible to love a photo of you with your children, to love the pretty background, to be happy at the memory and your achievement. But to be afraid to share it because of others sucks.
Big time.

Even photos of me with my boyfriend. I think about not sharing it because I don't want people to look and think "gosh she's a dog" or "he could do better".

The only people to take photos of you being your own children. Super blury, unflattering photos to which they shout "Oh my goodness. Mummy you look beautiful".

You notice overtime how people don't take photos of you. And it's obvious why.
When you look back on memories, holidays and you even doubt yourself "was I even there?!"
You get used to it, and keep your head down when you have to, you take that step back, or to the side, when you know you might be in someone else's shot.

You take a photo. You really like it.
You are too embarrassed to share it.
You are too afraid to share it.
Because despite what people may say to your face.
You know exactly what they will be thinking or saying behind your back.



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12.8.18

Isle of Canna | Day One

When we planned our roadtrip and camping holiday to Scotland we were at first looking at the mainland. And then my boyfriend mentioned the small isles and having an island hop style break, selecting two islands to stay at.
We had a good look into it, and to be honest it was a tough choice as they all look beautiful and inviting.
Looking at the ferry timetable we paired the islands up and not doing very well at making a decision ourselves we ended up flipping a coin.
It landed on Canna and Eigg. It felt like a bit of a jigsaw really to decide on when we would go to each of the islands and for how long and in the end we decided on Canna for 2 nights, and Eigg for 3.

Canna is the westernmost of the Small Isles, in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It is linked to the neighbouring island of Sanday by a road and sandbanks at low tide. The island is 4.3 miles long and 1 mile wide.

We got the ferry from Mallaig early on the Saturday morning and got to Canna at around 10am. Giving us pretty much a full day to get settled and set up and to do some exploring.
We had paid £10 a night to stay on the campsite, although I'm not sure we really needed to do that as with most islands in Scotland you can camp pretty much wherever you want.
However for that £10 we were met from the ferry and our luggage was taken to the campsite, and seeing as luggage isn't exactly light and we didn't want to spend a lot of the day walking with that to find a suitable location, it was worth the money.
We were the only people in tents at the campsite. There were 3 wooden pods which were booked but as the only campers this meant we weren't at all limited and pretty much had the whole area and hillside to ourselves...other than the grazing sheep. (Note: if you get up in the night needing the toilet, do not shine a torch at sheep. Their eyes are bright green and SUPER scary. I've never felt more intimidated whilst doing a wee)

Anyway, we set up and then decided to go for a walk. We headed over to Sanday to the Puffin Stack, in search of Puffins to tick off my bucket list...spoiler: we didn't see any. But we had a lovely long walk and were amazed at the beautiful views and landscape. Especially stunned by the white sanded beach that made you feel like you were on an exotic island!

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