Birthday by the sea

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I’ve just got back from a lovely long weekend in Port Isaac for my Birthday. We took the pups packed the car up and headed down after work on Thursday. The traffic was a bit of a nightmare as a lorry had been on fire on the M4 so sat nav took us the A303 way which seemed to take FOREVER.

I was feeling a bit anxious and Guy was a bit stressed because of the detour which I think Piglet must have sensed as she panted for the entire 4 hour drive.  All was forgotten when we arrived at our little cottage unpacked and sat curled up on the sofa in front of the fire.

Friday morning we woke to the sound of the seagulls chatting excitedly to each other at sunrise which I love. The sun streamed through the blinds and the pups came up on the bed for a cuddle, when I remembered it was my birthday.  It was a perfect morning Guy cooked breakfast as I opened my lovely cards and presents.

Low tide was at 10 so we put our wellingtons and coats on and walked down to the beach. I still can’t believe we own a house right by the sea, it’s been a dream for so long.  The pups LOVE the beach so much it’s definitely their happy place. Port Isaac beach is in a sweet little cove which normally has a few fishing boats but this time of year they shelter in Padstow’s harbour.

I’m a big beach comber I could spend hours scanning the beach for shells, sea glass, pottery and driftwood.  Port Isaac has lots of rockpools which is perfect for the pups to have a paddle in.  Spending time on the beach on my birthday was definitely a high light.

We decided to go to Falmouth for lunch and shopping it takes about 50 mins to get there. When we arrived the sun was shinning and it almost felt like a summers day.

Falmouth has some great little shops and an abundance of great places to eat. My favourite shop is Cream Cornwall it has lovely home accessories, fabrics etc. We have some of their nautical themed cushions and prints for the house.  After a walk on the pier I was craving a crab sandwich so we went to a Caribbean restaurant. I had a crab sandwich which was lovely with a glass of rose and Guy had coconut prawns with fries.

We had a little time left on our car park ticket so we had a quick look around the maritime museum. They do a ticket that you can use for 12 months so we can go back for a proper look later on.

When we got back the sun was still shining so we spent some time sitting in the garden something we’ve not been able to do since we bought the house. The views of the sea and rolling cliffs is so beautiful,  the sound of the sea makes me feel so calm.

For dinner we headed to Nathan Outlaws fish kitchen which is situated at the bottom of the hill right opposite the beach in one of the oldest houses in Port Isaac. Nathan is one of the top chefs in the country and has two restaurants in Port Isaac both have Michelin stars.

The fish kitchen is a great concept in that it’s all small dishes that you can order in any order and have as many times as you like. It’s fun to try all the dishes and share them with your partner. With Nathan it’s all about the flavour and where he sources his ingredients if the fish hasn’t been caught that day it’s not on the menu. It is one of my very favourite places to eat the food is simply divine and the atmosphere is cosy.

We ended the evening by having a drink in another one of the oldest buildings in Port Isaac the Golden Lion. It’s a lovely old pub right on the sea edge where you can feel the history all around you. They do great pub food and they allow dogs which is always a bonus.

It was a lovely Birthday and just what I needed.

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Morning cuddles

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A walk on port Isaac beach

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Sunshine

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Pups on the beach

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Falmouth seagull

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Birthday cake

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Fish kitchen

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A little piece of heaven

p1040203Last year was a bit of a whirlwind I had been suffering from stress and anxiety with the realization that I was the only one that could do something about it.  Looking back over the years I suddenly had light bulb moments where I could actually see the anxieties building up in me. I would always put it down to something else and as such last year they all built up into a massive smack in the face.  After another trip to my doctors when Guy made me go after a nasty panic attack brought on by a horrible migraine at 3am in the morning, where he had to witness me throwing up, crying, shaking and looking like a crazy adrenaline pumped freak.

The doctors were very understanding and unsurprisingly told me that it was all too common in this day age to have people suffering from stress and anxiety.  That we never switch off, the constant access to the internet, emails, text messages means we are never just at peace with ourselves. That is only too true for me a confessed control freak workaholic that never switches off which only makes the fact that Guy and I also work together even worse. My doctor said he could look at drugs to help me but that I should give stress management ago first and I had to agree I needed to make a change in my life and pills were not the answer.

I started to look at mindfulness and various other self help books, I even looked into classes. I found some very useful meditation videos on YouTube from a man called Michael Sealey which upon listening to them for the first time made me cry. I had an overwhelming feeling of release and calm. Learning breathing exercises and what could calmed me down and stop my migraines was amazing (although it doesn’t work every time). What was truly eye opening to me was that I had the power over my brain and that I could start the anxiety but I could also stop it.

It’s been a long journey and I am by far cured, I have recently started to use the app headspace to learn meditation and the interesting concept of observing our thoughts and feelings, not to fixate on them and try and stop them but to observe and just let them be. One of my main issues has been trying to fight the tension in my neck, the throb in the side of my head, the tight knot in my stomach, my racing heart and mind. Even telling myself off “stop being an idiot” “why are you worrying about it, it doesn’t matter” “why can’t I just be normal” the more I keep berating myself the worse I feel.  Learning to just let these feelings wash over me to tell myself it’s ok to feel tense is alien but it does seem to be working little by little.

One of the little changes I have been trying to make is the switching off and towards the end of last year Guy and I decided to bite the bullet and buy a holiday cottage in Port Isaac North Cornwall. We had talked dreamily about it for years forever looking on right move at our dream cottages about how we would renovate them and spend summer days on the beach with the pups.  We had a little of bit of money put aside and talked of having a new kitchen and various other treats for ourselves when I said to Guy what are we waiting for? We don’t have any children, we don’t need to move house and we have everything we really need how many more bikes and handbags could we buy?!

It took a bit of convincing with Guy but I knew we had to do it this was going to be our little bit of heaven our escapism from the rat race. So on the 2nd of December we drove down to Port Isaac in a little van full of furniture with the pups and got the keys to our little 1850’s old coastguard station cottage and we couldn’t have been happier.  We spent the entire Christmas and New year decorating and it was such fun and bliss sat in front of our little log burner with two very happy little dogs curled in front of it.

I am going to post the renovations we have done to the cottage and the places we love to go in Cornwall etc. The photograph is the back of the cottage in the garden.

Also I would love to hear from anyone who suffers from anxiety and how you deal with it as I really feel talking about it helps.

 

 

 

 

The Travel Bug

Happy New Year 2016

I don’t know about you but I tend to find January quite dreary and depressing. Once the Christmas decorations have gone away and the realisation of how much food and drink has been consumed I feel slightly deflated.

I think that is why January always seems to be the month for planning holidays we all need to something to look forward to.  We have already booked to go away at Easter to New York which is very exciting.  Our trip is for a week which is a real luxury for us, last time we visited it was only for 5 days so we are hoping to take a more leisurely pace.

The hotel we have booked is called The Viceroy which is located on w 57th street not far from central park. We wanted somewhere central that we can walk to different areas from. The rooftop bar looks fun and the 1920’s décor is right up my street. I am looking forward to researching places to visit, my husband doesn’t like reading guide books or doing research so its left to me otherwise it will be like when we went to Paris and we didn’t have a clue where to go!

A few things on my list are:

  1. Walk along the High Line ( we did this last time but it was so cold we didn’t really get to enjoy it)
  2. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge
  3. Go up the empire state building
  4. Ride bikes around Central park
  5. Go shopping in Bergdorf Goodman

 

I would love to hear from anyone that has any good recommendations or has stayed at the Viceroy.

In the summer we normally go to the South of France my Husbands parents own a lovely house in Vaison La Romaine which is located in the Cote de Rhône. It’s so beautiful, going to the food and antique markets, wine tasting and sitting in the sun is so relaxing.

 

 

The other place we go to yearly is Port Isaac in Cornwall it’s our home away from home. It really is such a beautiful picturesque relaxing place, the dogs love it. Watching them playing on the beach makes me so happy and it’s also a special place as it is also where we got engaged.

 

I’m starting  to feel better already thinking about planning our holidays