A Weekend Away… to the Lake District

After a severe case of writer’s block last week (sorry about that!) I have decided to start a new series on my blog called ‘A Weekend Away…’. The idea came to me when I was away over Easter in the Lake District for a couple of days and I was thinking about the impending summer placement doom where I am traveling across many cities across the UK and S. Ireland for a couple of weeks at a time.

So, the first destination on my weekend away series is the Lake District. Specifically Grassmere. The inspiration for visiting the Lake District came from the book ‘A Shepherd’s Life’ by James Rebanks (which I’m pretty sure I have mentioned in a pervious blog post). It is a beautifully written book, giving an insight into the experiences of farmers who call the Lake District home.

There are no words to describe the beauty of the Lake District. From the moment I arrived I just felt so calm, surrounded by huge fells with hand built stone walls compartmentalising the fields. The lakes were so pure and still, reflecting the surrounding fells on the water’s surface. Easter was the most perfect time to come as there were lambs everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Even before we had arrived in Grassmere I was stopping the car to look and take photos of the beautiful fluffy lambs.

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I chose Grassmere to stay in because rumour had it (i.e. my mum told me) that it is much less touristy than Windermere. This advice was very true as I visited Windermere on the second day and I wasn’t too taken by it. Don’t get me wrong the surrounding scenery was lovely however, the town was just so busy with tourists that it took away from the beauty and quaintness of the town. We did one of the National Trust walks at Windermere which was lovely and much better than being in the town centre.

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Anyway, back to Grassmere. Definitely my favourite area that we visited. The town was fairly busy with tourists the first day however, by around 4pm most of them had gone and for the remainder of our stay it wasn’t particularly busy. We stayed at The Wordsworth Hotel and Spa, the reason we chose here over the other hotels in that area was simply they had a couple of very good deals on. We went for the Gourmet break which included an 8-course dinner on the first night in their Signature restaurant and then a 2-course dinner on the second night in their Dove Bistro. Both meals were amazing, the first came with a different wine for each course. The room we stayed in was perfect, it overlooked the village which was brilliant for people watching! The bed was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in and it was MASSIVE. We arranged for a spa treatment each on the second day, and mine was incredible. I left the room felling so zen that I fell asleep for about an hour on a sun longer in the swimming pool area.

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We were incredibly lucky with the weather, it was slightly drizzly in the mornings but by the afternoon the sun was out and the ground had dried so the walks weren’t particularly muddy (which was good because we both forgot walking shoes!).

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My absolute favourite thing to do whilst we were there was the long walks followed by the big meals. Special mention to The Drunken Duck Inn which had the most incredible twist on pub food. On the last day, when we were halfway up the mountain an airshow started. There was loads of old military planes and helicopters which were flying super low through the valleys, it was amazing.

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On thing I did learn from this holiday whilst we were walking was that I am terrible at directions, I just get so disorientated so easily! But luckily the paths were easy to follow and even if you strayed from the path you could find another one not far away!

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Im already dreaming of going back here at some point because it was exactly the holiday that I needed. Quiet, peaceful, surrounded by nature with a home-away-from-home to come back to at the end of the day. Total bliss.

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Desk Tour

Because exam time is looming for many, I thought I would do a brief desk tour to show you how I like to decorate my desk to make it perfect for studying.

My desk space is small, and not ideally I don’t have a separate room for studying, however I still make it work. It was difficult to find a desk to fit into such a compact space but luckily IKEA saved the day. Whilst I was in IKEA I also found the perfect desk chair. It cost me £10 plus £3 for a seat cushion and I love it. It is the perfect height for the desk preventing a sore neck. I bought a circular rug for the chair to sit on because I wanted to add come colour.

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My desk is usually very cluttered because I am messy but I did tidy for the photos. The things which constantly sit on my desk are plants, because I need some greenery around me and plants are calming and make the space feel more open. I have been having some trouble with my plants recently, and they seemed to be dying however they are *fingers crossed* beginning to look alive again.

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The next thing I have is a pin board. Here I keep a print of New York back in the old days which I actually bought whilst I was there in 2014 in the Chelsea market. I really like this print and it makes we want to return to New York every time I look at it. I also keep photographs and postcards that I have received from friends. I have a moneybox which I use to save up my petty cash for travelling, although now with the new pound coins being distributed I will need to smash it *cry* before October to change my old pound coins. The blue spray bottle in the picture above is to water my plants with (yet again from trusty IKEA).

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I have an organiser at one side of the desk to keep spare pens, staplers, notebooks etc which just helps reduce the usual clutter. I have constructed two photo hangers, one on each side of the desk, from string which I have attached lots of photos from in a bid to keep myself sane and to remember that there is a life past revision.

I think I am unusual in the way that I need lots on my desk to keep me motivated. My attention span is poor but I find when I am surrounded by things I am more likely to sit at my desk and just continue plodding through revision materials. In the future I want to buy a lemon tree to sit beside my desk because I do feel like I want more plants and be surrounded by more greenery.

 

Spring Baking

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**WARNING HIGH SUGAR CONTENT BELOW**

Ahhh baking, is there anything better than cooking up something sweet to snack on? I am a chronic snacker and probably am addicted to sugar, but oh well there are worse things. Last week I was craving ‘fifteens’ and usually I only ever seen them when I go over to Northern Ireland to visit relatives so I thought I would whip up some of my own.

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Ingredients 

20 digestive biscuits (I used gluten free only because I have two coeliacs in my family)

15 marshmallows

20 cherries

1 small tin of condensed milk

A hearty sprinkling of desiccated coconut

 

Method 

  1. Break up and crush the digestive biscuits until they are like a powder. If you are lazy like me, then a food processor makes everything quicker and easier.
  2. Chop up the marshmallows and cherries into smaller pieces.
  3. Add the crushed biscuits and the marshmallows and cherries together in a bowl.
  4. Add the condensed milk and mix together until it forms a sort of dough.
  5. Sprinkle a good amount of desiccated coconut on a sheet of tinfoil and place the mixture on the tinfoil.
  6. Now, roll the mixture into a log shape and sprinkle desiccated coconut over the top.
  7. wrap the mixture up with the tinfoil and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  8. Grab a nice hot cup of tea and chop yourself off a fifteen or two.

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They may not look that appetising, probably due to my shoddy photography skills, but they are delicious. Definitely worth a try if you are craving something sweet.