Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Raining cats and dogs...

It's an age-old 'getting to know you' question; are you more of a cat person or a dog person?

I've always assumed I'm a dog person, but last week I went to a Cat Café and fell in love. For those of you are wondering what on earth I'm on about, it's quite literally a café with cats running around the place. I went to Pause Cat Café in Bournemouth with my boyfriend James, and my friends Russ and Abbie, and it's a really wonderful place. They take in and look after rescue cats, and the money raised goes on looking after them, such as vet bills and feeding them. Plus they get to be surrounded by people who just want to play with and love them, which is great for the cats. The café is built entirely with the cats in mind, with lots of places for them to play, such as bridges and raised beds and millions of cat toys.
 
(My latte had cat inspired art on it, which I'm eager to replicate)
 
I was a bit sceptical when I first heard about it, how can a place like that be hygienically serving food?? Well all of the food and drinks are prepared in areas where the cats aren't allowed, and then presented in sealed containers so that the cats cannot get to them.
 
So after a day being swayed over into the cat-person club, I ended up spending the following day at a dog show! I went to a fayre just outside of Portesham, Dorset, with my mum and our dog Nelson. We also met up with my best friend Lisa and her dog Nika. In true British style, it was tipping down with rain, but that didn't stop us. We decided to enter our dogs into a couple of categories just to see what would happen, and we both ended up leaving with rosettes. Lisa and her dog Nika won a prize in the 'most adorable eyes' category, and my dog Nelson won the 'best rescue dog' category, which qualified him into another dog show later this month. Even more surprisingly, Nelson had made it into the 'best in show' category. He didn't place, which was absolutely no shock to us, especially as he was rolling around and kicking up all the grass as the judges were coming around.
 
(My mum and Nelson and Lisa with Nika competing in the pouring rain)
 
        
(Our gorgeous dogs with their rosettes)
 
It was such a brilliant way to spend my weekend off, surrounded by animals and brilliant people. Both days were so much fun (even if the cat cafe was definitely the most dry - and seriously, what the hell has happened to our summer?!) Plus to top it all off, there was also a great night out with Lisa in the middle. So here's to more random weekend plans!
 
(Me and Lisa, ready to hit Weymouth town)
 
Much love
 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Catch-ups and Corfu...

So I've been a bit busy.
 
The last time I blogged, I was running around London in the pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee, and I haven't quite stopped running around since. I'm not one to go slowly about things, I tend to jam pack my weeks to the point where I feel a bit frazzled and need moments like right now, sitting in front of my laptop with a bar of chocolate, a cup of tea, and love island playing in the background. (I don't understand Love Island, but I'm fascinated as to how it's become such a cultural phenomenon; plus it makes me feel very relieved that I'm in a relationship and don't have to resort to such measures for love.)
 
One of the things I have been up to recently, is a long weekend away with my best friend Steph. I love any excuse to go on holiday, so when Steph approached me and asked if I fancied going away somewhere hot for a break, naturally I jumped at the chance. After spending a good afternoon trawling through the Internet for inspiration, it was decided that we were going to Corfu for a long weekend.
 
 
Now I'm usually the type to book everything separately but we booked an all-inclusive holiday. Everything was planned for, the food and the drinks were all taken care of, and all we had to do was turn up and crash by the pool. Our hotel even provided one nights dining at one of its exclusive restaurants, as well as a free 15 minute massage. Practically heaven. Considering how little time we really had there, and how hectic life has been recently, it was absolutely the mini-break that I needed. Steph and I even decided to part with some cash and have a longer massage, which was interesting. It was completely unlike any other massage I've ever had in my life, because for a good half of it, I felt like the masseuse was beating me up and trying to pull my limbs off. It was oddly satisfying the masseuse cracking every single vertebrae of my spine one by one. And then cracking my shoulders. And my elbows. And just about every single other joint in the top half of my body.
 
 
Despite our hotel having a bit of a weird James Bond theme (our room was in block Doctor No), the views were incredible. We were perched overlooking the sea, and it took us an embarrassingly long time to realise that the mountains we could see in the distance were actually in Albania, and not just 'around the bay' in Corfu. We also took the opportunity to go on a boat trip to Corfu Town on our last day, which included jumping off the back of the boat and swimming in one of the bays around the north of the island. This is a huge breakthrough for me, considering I have huge apprehensions about getting on boats and the unknown of the sea. It makes me feel anxious and sick, so I am ridiculously proud of myself for feeling brave enough to just get on the bloody boat, let alone jump off of it.
 
Then being the workaholic I am, I got back to Weymouth at 7am, napped, then went to work at 1pm. I was shattered yes, but it was totally worth it. There is much I would do in the pursuit of travel and adventure, and this is no exception.
 
 
I say this all the time, but I really do want to get back into writing blogs properly. It's quicker and easier to quickly tap out a Facebook post on the Wanderlust Hazel Facebook page, but committing to sitting down and writing about something has started to feel a bit daunting to me. I think I've just put too much pressure on myself to maintain this blog, and it's taken the opposite effect that actually, it's making me not write at all. I'm working on snapping myself out of this!
 
Until next time,
 
Much love

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Babyccino in the big city...

Last week I was very fortunate to have been sent up to London by work on a barista course. Basically, I got to spend an entire day indulging in two of my favourite things, London and coffee.
 
The whole point of the trip was to learn everything there is to know about coffee, after which I gained the fancy new title of 'Master Barista'. The course took place in the bustling Business Design Centre in Islington, about a 5 minute walk from the Angel tube station. It was run by the coffee giants Matthew Algie, and it was informative and brilliant. Making a great coffee, to me, is such a joy. You probably think I'm a bit weird by saying that, but I've never really been that artistic, so in a way coffee lets me be a bit creative.
 
 
You're probably thinking, "Hazel, it's just coffee, like, what is there to really know about it?!?!", and you'd be surprised. There is so much to know, and people (like myself) get very passionate about it. The coffee industry is exploding, and people are starting to realise there's a lot more to coffee than a Nescafe Instant. There's a whole load of coffee based drinks you could have, from a latte to a flat white, cappuccino to a macchiato; there is something for everyone. And it's not just about the milk techniques, there's the whole espresso process too, and honest to God it's so much more technical than you could ever possible imagine.  And then there's the latte art...
 
 
Anyway, I digress from my passionate coffee ranting...
 
Unless you were hiding under a rock last week (or in a different country - you lucky things!), you'll have also melted slowly in the heatwave that washed over the UK. Typical brits, never happy when it's hot, never happy when it's cold; but seriously, it was damn hot. Running around London in my work uniform when it was 33 degrees outside was not a highlight. Seriously. An all black uniform comprising of plastic feeling trousers and a polo top is not essential city heatwave attire. I had to make a pit stop to H&M on the way back to the tube to buy a vest top, because I physically couldn't bare to get on the tube whilst I was that hot.
 
But I'll tell you one thing I noticed; I think I cracked what the makeup adverts are trying to sell us when they hammer on about The London Look. It's a mix between extremely casual with messy hair, and lipstick. Always lipstick. Lipstick to London is what ties the whole combo together. It's the statement made by every woman in the city that yes, they have made an effort today despite their hair drying to a frizz and their makeup slowly melting off. Lipstick is essential London wear, so after I stripped off to my vest top and jeans (For Gods sake Hazel, you knew it would be this hot and you brought JEANS with you???), I slathered on a layer of lipstick and pulled my shades down. My transition into casual Londoner was complete. (Minus my giant floral backpack, otherwise I'm pretty sure I looked cool.)
 
 
I'll admit I miss living only an hour away from London, and being able to hop up there for gigs and whatnot. But all-in-all, I had a great time on the course, and now I even have a certificate. That's right, your gal is now officially a coffee expert. I got to spend the day surrounded by coffee, making coffee, drinking coffee, talking about coffee - it was basically a day inside my dream world.

(Also, shout out to my Boyfriend, James, for coming up with the title of this blog post when I couldn't think of an adequate coffee-based London pun)
 
Much love
 
 
 

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The future is ours...

Once again, shock horror, I've been terrible with blogging, but I have reason for this. I have been on holiday, bought a car, and progressed quite extensively somewhat with being a fully-fledged adult. But with being an adult, comes great responsibility.
 
 
It's hard to ignore that the world is in turmoil at the moment, it's a very scary place right now. With the recent attacks in both Manchester and London, it is now more than ever that we must join together and find strength in each other. Without sounding like a complete raging hippy, love really will help to ease the pain of the world. By showing compassion and empathy to all, we can stop the spread of hate and all the evil that comes with it. We are stronger together. And we must be heard.
 
Tomorrow (8th June), it is the day of the General Election in the UK.
 
I urge you all to go out and vote. Make your voice heard. Don't think that your vote won't make a difference, because it really can. Vote with both your hearts and your heads, and remember it is your future you are voting for. Vote for your freedom. Your rights. Vote for how you want the world to be. Vote for anyone you want to vote for, regardless of what anyone else thinks.
 
But please, just vote.
 
 
This is one of our greatest rights, historically people have actually died to preserve this right, and it would be an incredible shame if this generation decided that voting was of no importance.
 
I will be back to the usual blogs ASAP, filling you in with all the things going on in my life and all the adventures.
 
Much love

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Do you hear the people sing?

So it really feels like the world is going crazy at the moment, but everyone seems too afraid to talk about it.

The highs and the lows of the world seem to be pushing themselves further apart, and it feels like the world could implode at any given moment. The easy middle ground of contentment has vanished, as we drift in a sea of despair and disbelief. Whilst it seems easy to hide away with the curtains shut, there are too many unpredictable idiots in power (Trump, Putin, Kim Jong-un), who seem to view the world as if they are playing one big game of Risk, making the fate of the world as we know it look increasingly uncertain.
 
But what can we do about it?
 
 
Everyone has an opinion, and we should all be voicing them. Change doesn't stem from silence, and many of us refuse to stay mute. My twitter is constantly exploding with everyone getting involved and having their say on the world's events. Even the quietest voice from the furthest corner of the world can be heard through the power of the internet, so let it be heard. The sheer volume of hate in the world makes me want to scream for 24 hours a day at the top of my lungs, but there isn't much I alone can do about it all. All I can really do is keep screaming, and hoping that eventually, the people at the top of this political pyramid pay attention to the voices below.
 
Spread as much love, awareness, and unity as you can as you drift on through your life. Don't be one of those people who constantly complains about the state of the world and the despair of humanity, whilst you sit there and do nothing about it. Show compassion everywhere you go, and march and sing and scream until people pay attention to you.
 
We need to keep talking about everything that is going on in the world. Talk to your family, your friends, your colleagues. We can't let things pass us by, and we can't be silent when the rest of the world is screaming.
 
 
 

Sunday, 16 April 2017

I'm the same, I'm the same, I'm trying to change...

When I first started writing this blog, I had this grand vision of writing about all the wonderful places I would travel to, and all the new and exciting things I would be getting up to. However, being awful with money and tied to too many responsibilities (family, uni, jobs), my blog, and my life, didn't quite pan out that way. So in order to feed the need to keep writing, despite the fact I have barely left my hometown in the last few months, I have written about the one subject I know very well; myself. I'm currently in the process of trying to figure out what it is I want from life, a theme which pours out of me in my last few blog posts, but I get so fed up of being that person who doesn't seem to talk about anything else.
 
I try to blog about all manner of things, but often I end up writing about what's going on in my mind, which feels incredibly selfish in hindsight. It also makes me look incredibly silent on issues such as feminism, politics and just equality in every form. It's not that I'm not passionate about these topics, and trust me if you've ever crossed paths with me whilst I'm in one of my rants, you'll know; I'm just a bit useless at putting my opinions down on paper. Maybe it's because it reminds me a bit of writing academic essays, and I'm still recovering from uni, or maybe I just have a complete mental block when I go to write them up.
 
 
It is very easy to get caught up in all your own problems, and remain ignorant to the world outside. I am guilty of this through and through. I become ridiculously overdramatic about things which in the grand scheme of things, don't really matter at all. There are much bigger issues in the world than little me and my existential crisis.

So this is my promise. I'll try not to be so selfish in my blogs, constantly blogging about all the worries in every little corner of my mind. I'm going to try and broaden my writing to be more inclusive of what's going on in the world. So yes, brace yourself for more feminist rants. And brace yourself for the many anti-Trump posts. And maybe my blogs won't single-handedly change the world, but living in the world we're in at the moment; I have to do something.
 


 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Green light...

Today, I passed my driving test first time.
 
 
This has been one hell of an experience, one that has genuinely challenged me. I had high hopes that I'd effortlessly pick up learning to drive, but it's been a lot tougher than I thought. It turns out, you can't be naturally brilliant at everything; and more frustratingly so, to not be naturally brilliant at the one thing you want the most.  I've had a fair few tantrums behind the wheel, as well as a few tears. I've even had lessons that have gone so badly (such as catastrophically failing a mock test by pulling out at a crossroads in front of a load of traffic..), that I've had to spend the day horizontally on the sofa to mentally recover.
 
But nevertheless, I've somehow managed it. I had an absolutely brilliant driving instructor (if you're in Weymouth, you should definitely learn with Andy Woodgate!), and if anything he deserves a medal for putting up with me for so many hours.
 
I was weirdly calm all morning leading up to my test, and just before I got called forwards, Green Light by Lorde was playing on the radio. It's my absolute favourite song at the moment, so I feel like somehow, the universe was sending me positive vibes. If you've not heard it yet I thoroughly recommend, so much so that I've put it below so you too can have a little bop around your room.
 
 
Exactly a year ago today I handed in my dissertation. The 21st of March has somehow become a day to remember. For the last two years, it's been a day which symbolises that hard work pays off. I put far too much pressure on myself, especially if it's something I really want to excel in, and the rush you get when it all pays off, and pays off well, is exhilarating. I'm an overachiever junkie and proud. I'd rather work my arse off for everything I have and be able to look back and see all the things I've done.
 
 
So here's to the open road, let the adventures begin!  ♥