greeneyed

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Since I moved to Birmingham, everyone has raved about the German market that takes over the city centre for December. I was skeptical.

“It’s not a real German market, is it?”, I said. “Yes, they said. Real German people come over from Germany. Frankfurt in fact. And that’s in Germany. And that makes it German.”

So, I thought i’d put it to the test – put the German market in Birmingham up against the German market, in erm, Germany.

First up, Die Weihnachtsmarkt in Hamburg.

sign

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The last few weeks in my day job have been a bit hectic, and a bit bizarre. All through work, I have found myself having tea with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Birmingham; in an audience listening to the inspirational Taliban survivor Malala Yousefzai; i’ve been to the top of ‘The Cheesegrater’ known officially as the Leadenhall Building which yes, is still under construction, and yes, the only way up is in the construction lift; I’ve been to a Q&A with Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg; shown an MP round the centre where I work; welcomed the Princess Royal to an exhibition stand, as well as Skills Minister Matthew Hancock; seen Joe Suggs change a tyre (off of YouTube fame – if you are 15 and female, you’ll know who he is); reviewed smart watches with fashion students for the Gadget Show; shaken hands with 90’s reggae star Apache Indian (think Book Shak-a-lak); and seen the sun set over London from the Shard.

All a bit random, I know.

Except for this. I also had the incredibly nerve-wrecking opportunity to meet The Duke of Cambridge.

Well, maybe meeting him is a bit of a stretch. But I was in the same room as him, working alongside his press officer when he visited my work place. And it was fabulous!

I even managed to photo bomb him.

Princewilliam

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Once upon a time there was a little girl that dreamed of finding a lonely little kitten on her doorstep that needed rescuing. In her dreams, she would scoop that little kitten up in her arms and tell it that everything would be OK. Sadly for the little girl, that dream never came true.

Cat-in-box

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There comes a time in a girl’s life when spending a few hours in the company of one of your most favourite friends doesn’t always mean shopping, getting drunk and chasing boys. And a couple of weekends ago, Lynsey and I decided to meet somewhere in between Cardiff and Brum, and do something really lovely.

We went for a stroll in the Autumn paradise of the Westonbirt, the National Arboretum.

P1100914

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P1100858

I’d always thought making pizza dough was difficult, involved yeast, kneading, rising…..but no. You can make it in just a few minutes and it’s easy and it’s fun. This is a perfect for a date or a small interactive dinner party. Just make the dough up in advance and get all your toppings ready, and your friends can have fun topping their own pizzas up.

P1100859

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I’ve had a couple of weeks when i’ve had one illness followed by another, then a super busy time at work. But thank god for the weekend coming just when it did, as it wasn’t a minute too soon. I have had a wonderful, relaxed time just taking it easy and seeing family and friends. And having lazy mornings, and breakfast in bed.

Freshly juiced oranges, carrots and apples, a pot of English breakfast tea, a pain au chocolat and a poached egg (I collected it from the chickens in the garden only moments before it was plunged into hot water) with smoked salmon, hot buttered ciabatta and capers. Delicious.

brekkieresized1

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This weekend I headed to my favourite place, where I call home – Cardiff. Although I was originally planning to go to a friends engagement party, I got my days mixed up and ended up missing it, but I made the most of being able to catch up with great friends who I simply don’t see enough of, and gossip, gossip, gossip.

P1100769

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On Monday, after a horrible day at work I called my Grandma for a moan, and she gave me a good bit of advice (she usually does). She said: “Go brush your hair, put something nice on and go out for dinner.”

So I did. Mr B and I took a stroll into Moseley Village to the well known and much raved about Italian, Ponti di Legno.

It’s a BYO, so we stopped off for a bottle of red at the off licence on the way, then followed the delicious garlicky smells to the front door. For a Monday night, the place was full to the brim, but we got a little table by the window and stuck our noses in the menu.

Enticed by the garlic smells, we went for this to start us off.

Ponti-Di-Legno

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For our last day in Barcelona, we wanted to take it easy, enjoy the sun and soak up some of the Barcelona sights before we headed back to rainy UK.

We started off with a bit of breakfast in El Born, and then went for a peek inside the The Santa María del Mar Church which we had walked passed many times during our visit. If we thought the outside was intriguing, we had a treat in store.

As you walk in you are hit by the light streaming in from up high, bouncing off the columns.

church-roof

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