Two Lazy Girls' Weekend in Suffolk

Two Girls. One Car. One Dog. One Beach. One Weekend.

Eat. Sleep. Sunbathe. Repeat. 

That's the name of the game when you head off to Suffolk to stay at your friend's parents' house. What's becoming an annual trip (if two years can be deemed long enough to set a precedence?!) gives my friend Lizzie and I the chance to get ridiculously excited, make all kinds of plans and then inevitably fall into a food-induced coma for the entire weekend and behave distinctly un-instagramable. 

We drove with the windows down and Kisstory blasting all the way to the seaside and a little place called Walberswick. After sunbathing (or burning as the evidence suggests), taking Molly the sprocker (springer cross cocker spaniel) for a swim and trying to avoid her spraying a bride and groom who came to the water's edge for a few gorgeous pictures. The "Molly! No!" screams were heard far and wide. Next stop...seaside town of Southwold. 

Come Saturday my hair was a frizzy untameable mane, the heat melted my full face of makeup to the point I resembled Meryl Streep or Goldie Hawn at the end of Death Becomes Her and I endured a sun-tan-lotion-meets-sand full body exfoliation. Yes ladies and gentleman, there are no filters to cover this stuff up!

Here are a host of beautiful pics (not of me) from our Saturday in the sunshine...

99p whippy anyone?
Meet Molly...Mischievious Molly as she should be known!
This was a new Mr & Mrs A to Beach
Le Roc Restaurant, Southwold
Le Roc restaurant with alfresco dining. Perfect for a cold beverage in this heat. 
Cutest cottage territory here
The friendly folk of Suffolk!
Southwold Sailor's Reading Room
Prime spot to sit back and watch the waves
The Southwold Railyway Shop
Mark's Fish & Chip Shop - it's legendary and worth the queue!
I have never seen such a long queue but whilst the bar was set high it was worth it...nom nom nom
Fish & Chip Supper
The Green, Southwold
The Green aka our dining room to devour the renowned fish & chips. The whole reason we had been planning this trip for over a year.
Sun setting on Southwold
Sun setting on Southwold. Until next time...

A Twitter love story.

Be Still My Tweeting Heart. A Twitter Love Story.
The Age of Digital Love: Today's dating scene is at your fingertips, not on the tip of your tongue.
Have you heard the adorable story of Victoria Carlin and Jonathan O’Brien who's relationship grew out of a Twitter crush, a dare and 3 years later a wedding? Loving the girl power that Victoria showed by blindly tweeting the man behind Waterstones Oxford Street (hilarious) Twitter feed a declaration of love.  

I know all too well the power of social media in relationships these days - the good, the bad, the ugly. For me, the 'good' is that I have Facebook and Twitter to thank for reconnecting with my now husband after losing contact twice. Let's breeze over the 'bad' and the 'ugly' which involved a deleted friend request and closing down a Facebook profile - digital love stories aren't without their drama, you know!

It got me to thinking how the dating scene has evolved. I'm the ear at the end of the moaning of my single friends as the dating scene has regressed into 2D. When did the techy geniuses out there decide that human interaction wasn't necessary for meeting your mate? Now the dating pool may be at the end of your fingertips but it’s not without hours invested in dating apps and fending off the foot fetishists. 

As I enter into ‘that age bracket’ where my Facebook news feed is all weddings and babies, I’m seeing the rise of the iPad-wielding-toddler who can code before they can count. Who knows what kind of social dysfunction it will cause when we have a generation of teenagers who have little experience of face-to-face dealings and a conversation is going to be more rare than Niall from One Direction tweeting you back. Whilst their knowledge of social media is scary (or rather scarily good), their social life is governed by 'Facebook stalking’, using the coolest hashtags and instagram’ing their pocket money purchases – cue pout! Life online is not the real world and surely the bubble has to pop at some point?

If you were in Jane Austen’s era, your future husband was presumed to be in a reasonably imminent geographical radius unless you caught the eye of the wealthy traveling gentry or visiting naval forces ‘on leave’ who attended the local dance. But even then, it was often down to your parents to find a suitor and you just hoped your happiness was considered over and above financial benefit – less like a daughter-for-sale business transaction. For my parents time - that’d be the 70s/80s - there were socials, gigs and house parties to lock eyes. And if what followed brought butterflies then there would be the exchange of your home telephone number (which just typically your Dad would answer first time he called). My mum's friend told me a story of her dating woes when she had been exchanging letters with a "nice boy" for quite some time who had suggested they meet in London. Only he stood her up. A no show. No mobile phones, pigeon carriers or magical owls available to warn of any delays in his arrival. Instead she sat it out ... for hours…before admitting defeat. If only Twitter had been there: ‘@girlontheplatformwaiting Got stuck at the office and now the central line is suspended #verybritishproblems Be there soon!’

Yet today's story is a positive one. What's to say your Twitter crush couldn't turn into more? It’s far too easy to talk yourself out of making the first move, but behind your screen (literally…and probably in your pyjamas with a face mask on) what have you got to lose? Be brave, be safe and always keep your friends in the loop – in this case, Victoria friends who dared her to ask Jonathan out on a date, were flown over from Canada to see their good work. Do you have a social-media-(ro)mance?

One Week into Married Life

Just Married
The confetti has settled, the hangovers have subsided and all that remains is the leftover wedding cake in the fridge. After 15 months of planning, how does it feel to be a married woman? Bloody awesome is the answer, especially when you have a husband like mine. But I'm obviously biased and in rom-com-land kind of love *cue the sick bucket*.  

For now, here are my first observations as a new wife and officially Mrs A.   
Raise your glasses to the happy couple
Everyone's feeling the love (and full of food)
We spent the initial day after the wedding hosting a BBQ at our house which we had pretty much invited the entire wedding guest-list to. It was great to keep the party going, enjoy some of the leftover booze and soak up a bit more sun that July had to offer than on the 1st. Plus, an opportunity for Ryan and I to hear about our wedding day from our nearest and dearest's perspective. Having spent so long worrying about our guests being entertained and having a good time, it’s quite a different experience being the Bride or Groom at your own wedding, so it was lovely to hear how blown away everyone was by the magician and the (well-used) fancy dress photo-booth. Plus, opportunity to eat a burger so I was one happy lady (bye bye salad leaves!). 
Hello Mini-moon. Bowness-on-Windermere.
Time for Two. Hello Mini-Moon.
Escaping from London early on Sunday morning was the best idea as by that time we were craving a bit of 'alone time' and a well-earned rest. Sounds a bit silly I suppose but despite being side by side most of the wedding day, we didn't feel like we had seen each other between the smiling for pictures, saying hello to guests and shutting up only to eat the delicious wedding breakfast. Ryan just had to endure a 5 hour drive up to the Lake District which I sang (and slept) my way to! 
Mr & Mrs A to B
The New Name - Did I want to be feminist and stick with Letley? Nah! Did I want to spend extra time form-filling with a double-barrelled surname? Hell no! Despite having known for quite some time I would be taking Ryan's surnameI now require a significant pause when asked for my name – be it on the phone to a spa in the Lake District or when arriving into a restaurant and confirming our reservation. But as my mother says, plenty of time to get used to it! Best get practicing my new signature too!
His & Her. Mr & Mrs. I Give This Ring...
The Bling Ring - Having concerned myself with the bling debate the entire run-up to our wedding day, mainly dress related, as I have a tendency to be drawn to all things sparkly whereas Ryan is far more keen on 'less is more'. I threw caution to the wind and had extra bling embellished on the shoulders of my dress anyway but luckily he approved on the day (as least, I thought they were tears of joy when he saw me walking up the aisle but I maybe I was wrong??!! Was he blinded by the light??) Anyhoo, now the only bling that I care to wear is that on my finger. I <3 my new wedding band!! And it's not just mine that I can't keep looking it, it's also Ryan's – he looks so hot brandished 'taken'! 
Nailing the wedding ring look!
Talking of hands - They're getting a lot of attention so thank goodness my shellac manicure from two days before the wedding is still going strong!! Great tip to all future brides out there – you'll need staying power to battle the elements!  

Next stop, brace yourselves, it's the return to the office! 

One day I'll fly away...

Looking out at the sunny adventures ahead

Hello fellow explorers, travel-lovers, desk-bound day-dreamers, blog addicts, and Mum,

You’re joining me on a bit of a life adventure, not to sound too dramatic but let me explain why…adventure in the physical sense that I am soon to be packing a 70 litre backpack brimming with my worldly possessions for multiple continents and climates - and adventure in the metaphorical sense that I'm embarking on a journey into matrimony which started a few weeks ago with the big white wedding and has brought us here – the world’s most extravagant honeymoon covering 2 continents, 11 countries and 134 days.

When I started this blog I was ‘Mrs A-to-be’ planning our dream wedding in West London. We figured that our evenings weren’t dominated enough with spreadsheets, budget calculations and hand-making invitations that we decided to make the picture a little more hectic. Cue the fundamental life-changing decision that a 2-week honeymoon to the Maldives - whilst still in poll position on the holiday hit-list - wouldn’t quite scratch the itch niggling away at us so we decided to blow our future house deposit on a trip of a lifetime (and the ultimate test of a marriage).

Now here I am writing officially as a 'Mrs’ and writing literally as I'm travelling from A to B. Hello to the next 5 months covering ground in North, South and Central America. Here’s to experiencing climates, altitudes and experiences way beyond my comfort zone, ticking items off the bucket list and hoping that two independently-prided people who generally like to spend a lot of time together, can laugh through this utterly epic adventure whatever comes our way.

PLEASE NOTE: Reading this blog will not require vaccinations, SPF protection or wearing your underwear for multiple days on the trot. Nor will it increase your C02 footprint or require blank pages in your passport.

WARNING: May cause intense jealousy, heightened sense of wanderlust and a green hue of envy. If you experience any of these side effects, I recommend visiting your nearest STA travel centre for a consultation. Symptoms should be relieved upon payment of your flights outta-here! #starttheadventure

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