A Weekend Away… in Manchester 

Manchester is easily one of my favourite cities in the U.K. And I was lucky enough to end up here for a week on placement this summer. 

The weather was incredible the entire time I was there so it allowed me to do a lot of activities. Here are the creme de la creme of things I got up to.  

1. Junkyard golf. Great fun, and they do a 50% discount for students on a Monday and Tuesday.

2. Black Milk. I mean if you like chocolate the is a must go destination. I got a bowel of chocolate cereal with chunks of kinder bueno and toblerone served in a bowl made only of chocolate with marshmallows on top. 

3. Matt and Phreds. This is a bar not far from Black Milk. There is live jazz music which is great and to top it all off if you buy two drinks you get a free pizza. You can’t get better than that. 

4. Not technically in Manchester but fairly close…the Chester racecourse. We decided to book tickets for the horse racing and it was wonderful. The atmosphere was great plus I won a little bit of cash which I’m not complaining about. 


5. K2 Karaoke bar in Chinatown. £20 per person for you own booth plus £16 of your original payment to spend on booze. And boy was it a good night. 

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers

If you are stuck for meal ideas, and you fancy something hearty then look no further.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Sweet Peppers
  • 350g Quorn mince
  • 1 onion
  • 500g rice
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • Handful of grated cheddar cheese

Method:

1. Boil the rice until it’s ready. Then preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. 

2. Combine the onion, chilli and quorn mince and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add the rice and chilli powder to the mixture and mix well.

4. Cut sweet peppers in half and remove the seeds, then lay in a baking tray.

5. Fill the peppers with the mixture then place in the oven for 15 minutes. 

6. Take the peppers out the oven and  sprinkle the cheese on top. Put peppers back in the oven until the cheese has melted.

7. Serve. I had excess rice so just served it on the side with some salsa.

10 things that have made me happy this week

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  1. After a night of heavy rainfall, I went for a walk and the scents of the woods had been unlocked. Strong scents of wild garlic, wood and fresh grass.
  2. EUROVISION came back onto the television.
  3. Having one full day at home before setting off again for another week of placement. That one full day made all the difference – less rush, more time.
  4. A thorough tidy of my flat. Bye bye dust and dirt.
  5. Spotting a hungry heron in the river. I managed to get very close to it to take a couple of picks and it wasn’t bothered one bit.
  6. A gift of a buddha statue for my desk.
  7. Reaching my step goal of 12,000 everyday on my Fitbit.
  8. Treating myself on Friday with a glass of red wine and a Krispy Kreme donut.
  9. The view out of my accommodation window whilst I eat my breakfast in the morning of dogs being walked before their owners headed off to work.
  10. Lazy Sundays, reading the newspaper and drinking tea.

A Weekend Away… to Galway

Galway in Southern Ireland is a very bohemian city, very relaxed and laid back. I think it is the perfect place to come with friends for a city break full of good music, good pubs and good company. The people of Galway are like a different breed of human to that I’ve seen anywhere else. The kindness and politeness of the people is something which I have never experienced before and was taken aback by and definitely deserves a mention.

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Almost all of the buildings around Galway are painted bright colours and flags line the main streets. If you walk along Shop Street (see above), you will find loads of street performers, all of which are brilliant. I was explaining this to someone and they told me that people who want to busk have to actually audition. I spent a lot of money giving coins to buskers and a lot of time watching them.

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The shops in Galway are quaint with my favourite being ‘Auntie Nellies Sweet Shop’ (had to restraint myself from buying the entire store) and ‘Charlie Byrne’s bookshop’. Another great place to go when the weather is glorious is ‘Murphy’s ice cream shop’. They let you taste as many flavours as you want before you choose your flavour. I opted for brown bread favour which sounds weird but it was incredible.

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The pier in Galway is beautiful, it overlooks more colourful houses and the museum. From ‘Nimmo’s Pier’ you can walk right the way along the coast to a region called ‘Salthill’ which has beautiful beaches and at the end of this path there is a wall which is supposed to bring you good luck if you kick it. On a clear sunny day you can see over to the Aran Islands.

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I was incredibly lucky with the weather the entire two weeks I was here. After work I enjoyed walking along the canal where the wind was minimal and there were benches and grassy areas to sit and watch the world go by.

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A good way to see everything at once and get your bearings around the city is the open top bus tour. They take you all round the town and give you a bit of history. My tour guide was absolutely hilarious and had me laughing the entire journey. Another way to get your history fix whilst in Galway is the museum. It is small but very informative with three floors explaining everything from Galway’s beginning to the Irish independence movement. It is just beside the Spanish arch at the pier.

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All in all, Galway is a great place to visit. I think that if the weather was rotten there might not be a great deal to do unless you don’t mind getting wet. My days consisted of walking around the town and then grabbing an ice cream and heading to the park to read my books. I definitely hope to return one day.

April Favourites

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So before we get underway with the favourites, look at how beautiful the sky is in the photo above! Days like that make me feel like summer is on the way *touch wood*.

Favourite podcast: Serial. If you liked Making a Murderer on Netflix, you will love this. There are two series, each as good as each other. It’s fabulously gripping.

Favourite series: Call the Midwife. This series follows the work of a group of midwives in London’s West End in the late 1950s/early 1960s. You also get to know each of the characters through their joys and their sorrows. The Christmas specials are also on Netflix and are just brilliant.

Favourite singer: Leonard Cohen. An oldie but a goodie.

Favourite Youtuber: Lucy Moon. She talks about real life issues in a very educational and clever way. Lucy is not afraid of the truth and being blunt.

Favourite beauty product: Model Co. lipstick in Kitty. A really nice shade of lipstick, very reasonably priced and a lovely consistency. Only negative is that it doesn’t last as long as I would like.

Favourite book: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. This book is actually so interesting. It follows the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation and her escape from this plantation using the underground railroad. It really does represent the horror and hardships that these slaves encountered.

Favourite clothing brand: Ganni. I LOVE their slogan t-shirts. It is very pricey but a girl can dream…

Favourite app: Fitbit. Obviously you need a fitbit for this app but it’s just amazing. You get so much information about sleep, how active you are and your fitness levels for your age. You can also log your weight loss goals (if you have any) and your water and food intake.

Hope everyone had a great bank holiday weekend!