Sunrise slowly shimmered through the dawn fog and the soft twitter of birdsong spread across the valley. We were snugly nestled under our duvet, enjoying our weekend staycation at Tewkesbury Park Hotel, with a glorious view unfolding right at the foot of our bed. Disclaimer: We were invited to spend a weekend at Tewkesbury Park but all thoughts, images and curtain twitchings are very much my own.
I always love staycationing (or taking a ‘minigap’ which seems to be the newest phrase) and exploring new corners of England that I haven’t yet traipsed to.
This date will be scarred into the New Zealand psyche forever.
My heart shattered to hear how many families have been forever affected by the horrific actions in Christchurch. My home is grieving for its countrymen, and I don’t think I’ll ever quite have the words to express how I feel. I am also so proud of how my country has reacted in terms of compassion, changing laws and gathering together.
Sadly, it has happened before in different places around the world and will happen again. In a million different ways, and so many different levels, in many different countries and to too many families around the globe.
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Following the terror attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday that left at least 49 people dead, NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern held a press conference where she condemned the attack, saying that the country rejects violent extremism. “We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who needs it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack,” she said, “You may have chosen us, but we utterly reject and condemn you.” (📹: AP, Reuters) – #jacindaardern #primeminister #politician #christchurchshooting #shooting #massshooting #gunman #gun #guns #terrorism #terrorist #violence #attack #mosque #mosques #islam #religion #muslim #muslims #jummah #jummahprayer #islamophobia #islamophobic #victim #victims #rip #christchurch #newzealand #nz #aotearoa
As a rule, I don’t get political on my little blog. It has always been intended as a religion and political neutral zone that I can share what makes my soul happy. A little travel here, touching on a bit of history and a few tasty dishes there – some of the lighter things in life as a refuge for when the times get tough, hoping to make someone smile.
This little corner of the internet is also my journal in many ways, a place of hope, a place of peace.
Some of the moments that spark joy when travelling are hard earned and some are just ripe for the taking. Our long weekend in Valencia was as easy as twisting a ripe orange from a laden bough.
It began on a cold winter evening, perusing a list of winter sun destinations and within 15 minutes of finding a date both Binny and I could do, we booked the flights and started flicking through the lists of hotels and apartments.
“For me, the food I like to make is the food I can enjoy all the time anytime. It’s not too calculated or technical.” Daniel Boulud. But, what this quote doesn’t mention is the clever skill – and at Bar Boulud in the Mandarin Oriental hotel demonstrates just that. Disclaimer: We were invited for lunch at Bar Boulud – not long after enjoying lunch there as paying guests (read that review here.)
We met for lunch on a snow-filled day, one of those winter ones where your cheeks are rosy and you nestle as far into your scarf as you can.
Next to catching up with friends and family, the best thing about having visitors to London is using their visit as a gold plated excuse to delight in doing a few touristy things. Over the years we’ve ticked 99.9% of London’s attractions off the list, but we hadn’t quite managed to make it to one of the Cereal Killer Cafes. Yet.
Well, that was until our lovely friend from Texas came, giving me the perfect excuse to accompany her to this retro kitsch heaven.