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Blog advice

    15 rainy day ideas when you’re in a strange city

    It’s happened to all of us. After months dreaming of sunlit idylls, the weather gods let you down and allow a storm to bucket down torrents of icy rain. You have no car to hand or destination in mind (having planned a city-centre stay close to where all the tours leave from) and can’t bear the thought of being hemmed in at a vaguely interesting museum amongst frazzled kids.

    15 things to do a strange city when it rains Adventures of a London Kiwi

    15 things to do a strange city when it rains Adventures of a London Kiwi

    This happened to us the day before New Years Eve. Ironically we had
    planned a ferry trip across Auckland harbour and hike to a volcano crater (the most organised
    physical, outdoors activity we fancied on our trip) and the heavens opened. Perusing the cinema listings, we didn’t really fancy watching any thing there, so thought up a few amusing alternatives.

    1) Nap after taking a leisurely bath with a glass of wine in one hand.
    2) Write that novel you have always wanted to.
    3) Mooch in electronics stores searching for camera straps, unicorn tears and
    chickens teeth. Bonus points for 3 or more selfies on sample iphones in a row.
    4) Google “What to do in xxx when it rains”. Get bored and begin to draft random blog posts.
    5) Gnash your teeth, wail like a grief stricken football fan and cry
    Hollywood-style. (Or just sigh a little less dramatically.)

    What to do when it rains on your holiday Adventures of a London Kiwi

    6) Hunt out the nearest well rated afternoon tea, and spend the afternoon making up stories about your fellow pinky raisers.
    7) Lurk in burger joints checking the local TV schedules. Desperately attempt
    to download movies & watch them through the USB cord you accidentally
    brought from the other side of the world.
    8) Threaten to buy board games. Revive the smartphone scrabble game you last
    played 6 months ago. Cackle maniacally when you win.
    9) Hope there is a gig on, only to realise they were all last week.
    10) Google search for local cat cafes & smooch a few furry animals.

    What to do when it rains on your holiday Adventures of a London Kiwi

    11) Brunch ridiculously leisurely – bonus points for watching sous chefs and narrating their every chop of the knife. Every. Chop. Of. The. Knife.
    12) Nap again to ensure an even spread of pillow marks on your cheek.
    13) Research next day activities once the rain clouds clear & get really adventurous (try to book a flight to a nearby island.)
    14) Finish that book series you’ve been meaning to complete for an age. Try not to drop your Kindle on your face.
    15) Or you could pop out to the nearest coffee shop & bakery and simply enjoy the leisurely holiday afternoon you hanker for but don’t normally have the time to indulge in.

    What to do when it rains on your holiday Adventures of a London Kiwi

    * Of course you could always have a chat with the hotel concierge or web
    search local free museums and art galleries, but that’s not as fun,

    What to do when it rains on your holiday Adventures of a London Kiwi

    What do you like to do?


    My New Years Resolutions

    This blog has always been, and will forever more be a record of my personal
    adventures. It is a journal of the chaos, delight, opportunities and
    travails that we encounter all rolled in with an obsession for photography (as far as my skillz extend) and a dash of humour (well, I try anyway).

    There seems to be a lot of the usual goal setting in the blogosphere that a new year usually entails, with a strong dash of ‘re-injecting the personality’ for many bloggers who have been lured over to the shiny lights of corporate opportunities which makes me a little sad. What are blogs if not a record of your personal journey – whatever that may entail and without too many filters.

    New Years Resolutions Adventures of a London Kiwi

    I guess over the years, this corner of the Internet has settled into a bit of a travel/food/laughter groove – reflecting my favourite passions in life – and this comes out in the goals that I usually set. This year is different. I don’t normally set New Years resolutions – the idea of them sends a shiver down my ever failing spine, so I’ve decided to call them commandments. Moses style.

    1. Thou shall be brave and complete goals 
    I just need to challenge myself and keep forging ahead with my 101 in 1001 goal list. Simple, right?

    2. Thou shalt not use the laundry hamper lid as a shelf
    This one has to be the most intensive of my new resolutions self set commandments.

    Best thing about being an Aunt, you can snuggle & play with the kids then give them back…

    3. Thou shall not covet
    Not skills, not flat-lay perfections, not amazing holidays,

    4. Thou shall save money.
    Well, a reasonable amount anyway.

    5. Thou shall learn to say no without FOMO rearing it’s ugly head.
    This will be hard. Why am I doing this again?

    6. Thou shall relax a little more.
    This will be really tough. I can’t ever sit still, need to leave Twitter alone a little more and just switch off the little voice inside my head

    New Years Resolutions Adventures of a London Kiwi

    An Oryx, the unicorn of the Middle Eastern Desert. Symbol of my hope for leaving Twitter alone…

    7. Thou shall unsubscribe from SPAM email newsletters.
    This one I’m already working on – I simply can not believe how much rubbish makes it into my email inbox on a daily basis.

    8. Thou shall get fitter & healthier.
    I have work to do.

    9. Thou shall adventure.

    Always. In my own backyard, abroad and from my PC. Everything is possible.

    10. Worry less, tidy more & be satisfied.
    Ok, number 10 might just push it a little…

    In order to have a fighting chance of keeping this decisions, I’m even going to make a pretty printout that lives on the wall to keep me inspired.

    Have you set youself any goals/commandments/resolutions this year? Got any tips for keeping them?


    The best way to beat Monday blues.

    Monday is derived from an Old English word Mōnandæg literally translating as ‘day of the moon,’ our favourite glorious celestial body. When the name was originally nominated as a day of the week I’m sure that the image of modern day desk workers trudging towards their desk with a cup of joe (or a round of Tea if you work in England) wasn’t quite what they had in mind, so a bevy of lovely bloggers and I are here to the rescue.

    Sometimes we all need a touch of travel inspiration, so as such we’ve scoured the internets for a few of our favourite travel quotes and photos that made our hearts happy. Take for instance this incredible Icelandic Horse’s expression courtesy of Dannielle from Chicedeedee;

     How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

    Gorgeous reassurance of the importance dreaming from Rebecca of Runaway Kiwi;

    How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

    Amanda at Rhyme & Ribbons shared a beautiful, intriguing literary thought or two;

    How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

    A few musings on the wonder that is London from Maaike of Travellous World;

    How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

     Words of wisdom from fellow expat Kelly from Flat Eleven

    How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

    An incredible touch of inspiration from the wanderlusting Lauren from Lifestyle Diaries

    How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

    And last, but possibly the best quote in all the world from Angie from SilversSpoon London

    How to beat Monday blues - travel inspiration and quotes

    So the next time you need a little brightening pick-me-up, just pop along to their blogs. Easy squeezy!


    Quotes, mottos, mantras and inspiration

    A couple of weeks ago, a friend turned to me and asked “What is your life motto?”. Rather astounded (it was only 10.15am on a Tuesday) I gulped goldfish-like a couple of times, and short of shouting out ‘look, it’s a bird’ as a distraction or Googling furiously, it got me thinking.

    What is my motto? Do I need a motto? How do pick just one? Should I get a tattoo in case I then forget the said motto? In any case, last year a few lovelies and I pulled out our quotes textbooks, and drafted a few inspiring words overlaying our favourite places. So, in the interest of answering the motto enigma, I’ve drafted a few ladies in again – the delicious Jaime@Angloyankophile, Dannielle@Chicadeedee, Kelly@Flat Eleven, Lauren@Lifestyle Diaries, Rebecca@Runaway Kiwi, Amanda@Rhyme & Ribbons, Maaike@Travellous World and Angie@Silverspoon London.

    They say that ‘Traveling is a fool’s paradise. Our first journeys discover to us
    the indifference of places” but…

    He then goes on to say …”I pack my trunk,
    embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples,
    and there beside me is the stern fact, the sad self, unrelenting,
    identical, that I fled from.”

    Can’t argue with the immortal Mr Twain. Just can’t.

    My photos are from all over – squirrels in Regents Park, sunshine in
    Chrystal Palace, musings from a summer Christmas in New Zealand, wanders
    through the English countryside and faux paint splatters.

    But, have I found one overarching motto yet? Well, I’m not sure.

    Make sure to head for more inspiration from the delicious Jaime@Angloyankophile, Dannielle@Chicadeedee, Kelly@Flat Eleven, Lauren@Lifestyle Diaries, Rebecca@Runaway Kiwi, Amanda@Rhyme & Ribbons, Maaike@Travellous World and Angie@Silverspoon London.

    I’m gonna spam y’all again over the weekend with my favourite photos of theirs – be warned. *No responsibility can be taken by this blog for any weekend hours lost due to a rise in Pinterest activity as a result of this post*

    What is your favourite inspiring soundbite or motto?


    Blogging inspiration and what the heck to write about?

    A friend of mine was asking me the other day just how I managed to blog 6 days a week for 3 years, work fulltime, spend quality time with my other half AND motor around London like my pants were on fire. Honestly I don’t know… I guess really it came down to two things: sheer bl**dy determination and settling into a blogging habit that suited me (and occasionally inviting Mr Kiwi out to blogging dinners – heh, two birds with one stone and all that).

    I’ve learnt that creativity comes easiest to my weird brain in the later evening; it helps to have a soundtrack of pop music (Delta brainwaves help generate creativity with a good bass line apparently) and no distractions ie. turning off Twitter. I know it is hard, but you can do it if I can (for at least 10 minutes anyway). I absolutely wouldn’t have been able to do it without publicly setting myself a target of blogging, and seizing that tricky muse went it hits – some days I could draft 4 posts in a sitting, some weeks I could draft 2 over all 7 days.

    I also find that I have to have photos to write. Strange I know, but once there are a few pretties lined up in the draft box, the words seem to come a little bit easier.

    PIN ME – You know you want to…

    We’ve all been there. Blogging as a creative outlet can sometimes be awful. Staring at that blank screen, your mouse cursor blinking angrily and a self inflicted deadline of writing a post before bedtime (before bedtime stretches to 2am and you’re tossing and turning with dissatisfaction because there is still nothing). We all feel guilty, which is utterly crazy, but we do.

    Come closer grasshopper, I’ve leant a few tricks over the years…

    • Jot down ideas at random times – I’ll email myself the random wisps of inspiration I get (…whilst talking with people, showering, falling asleep, standing at the bus stop…) or start a draft post with the idea as a subject that you can return to.
    • Write a totally silly post. Like Toast? Write an ode to it…
    • Always wanted to do something? Do it, and use the blog as a pretext (you know you want to…)
    • Take inspiration from your fellow bloggers – if you see a cool idea
      for a topic check that they’re happy for you to do your own take on it,
      and always, always share the love by linking back to their post as inspiration.
    • Do a roundup of a few posts that you’ve written as a series (with the bonus that the Google gods like a strong blog with internal links to old posts.)
    • Rant. Go on, let it all out.
    • Join a club – Foodie Penpals, set up a local Clandestine Cake Club or an instagram brunch and write about your experience!
    • Journal a day in your life – what do you get up to normally?
    •  Participate in a linkup – the fabulous weekly Travel Tuesday, our monthly Travel Linkup with topics (announced over Twitter, email and from many London rooftops – ps. apologies for the shameless self promotion) or perhaps try out a new recipe for a Foodie linkup.
    • Ask a friend for a writing challenge or topic. Such as live blogging a Football Game.
    • Reminisce over old memories.
    • Re-write an old post you were never quite happy with.
    • Snacks. Brains need fuel.
    • Take a break.
    • Tell us about your life lately – round up those instagram feeds, random Twitter conversations and your latest thoughts.
    • Comb through your old photos.
    • Write an anagram post (spell a word with the start letters of a set of sentences).
    • Draft a post with 6 words, or in the style of a fairy tale. Make it a fun challenge.
    • Take a macro photo, but with words. Explore something simple such as the sensation of biting into a donut.
    • Write a ‘what if’ or ‘how to’ post. What if you won the lotto, were offered a dream day in London, or do you have a uncelebrated skill that you want to share with the world?

    At the end of the day my best advice would be WRITE FOR YOURSELF. Forget readers, forget other bloggers, just write something that makes you smile, like you’re having a conversation with a friend. Dorky jokes and all.

    It’s all yours baby.