Lately

Emma's Picture Postcards

Hi! I fell off the radar for a little while there, for a combination of reasons. Mainly, I quit my job, a decision that took up most of my thoughts and emotions for a couple of weeks. I’d never imagined leaving a job without a new one to go to, but bizarrely it was actually the most sensible option! So I’m currently unemployed, but hopefully it will just be short-term.

Secondly, I almost don’t want to mention it since it’s been so over-discussed, but Brexit really hit me hard. I was absolutely astonished by the referendum result, and the fact that it happened on the very same day I quit my job didn’t exactly help me process it! What did help, though, was reading posts from British bloggers who managed to sum up their thoughts (and my feelings) very eloquently: Katy, Morag, Freya, Shannon, Amber and especially Alex.

Third is a nicer reason, which is that I’ve had an unusually full social calendar lately! I had a wonderful catch-up with two of my oldest and favourite friends, one of whom I hadn’t seen for a year as she had been away travelling the world, and the other of whom had just gotten engaged. We had so much to talk about, and washed it down with far too much prosecco and enough home-cooked pasta and bruscetta to feed about 10.

York - Emma's Picture Postcards

I also got to spend time with some new friends, with a couple of visits to Sarah and her daughter Matilda, which were fun, interesting and relaxing all at once, and a weekend trip to York to hang out with James’s best uni friends. York is one of James’s favourite cities, and I quickly saw why, as it’s very charming, and full of quiet little pubs (the main attraction for him, as he’s been an old man since his teens 😀 ). I already knew one of his friends as he’d been up to visit us in Aberdeen, but I hadn’t met the others and was a little bit nervous to impose myself on an established group. I needn’t have worried though as they were lovely and I quickly settled in to a great weekend of eating, drinking, chatting and playing board and card games. The weather was glorious (I even wore shorts!), except on the first night, when James got so thoroughly drenched on the way to dinner that every time the waiter passed him, he punched his shoulder and laughed, “Ha ha! Wet boy.”

Anyway, I’ve missed sharing on this little space, and hope I’m back into the swing of it now. I have had a few drafts on the go, but every time I’ve started writing, my neighbours have started yelling at each other and I’ve lost my train of thought! Let me know in the comments what you’ve been up to lately and check back soon for some book reviews 🙂

A Weekend Video and Mum’s Pavlova Recipe

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Sarah and Louise recently started a new link-up called This Little Big Life, celebrating the weekend. I decided to join in with a video capturing some of last weekend’s little moments. It was a fairly standard weekend for me – I also went to the gym twice as usual, but no-one needs to see that 😉

Featured:

  1. a quick and breezy walk by the beach
  2. playing hide-and-seek with Lucy
  3. attempting to give Lucy a treat and somehow managing to bounce it under the bathroom door
  4. mmm bacon
  5. Lucy being offended by a fly
  6. Formula 1
  7. pavlova prep
  8. my favourite dinner (James’s lime and coriander chicken)
  9. snoozy cuddles
  10. failing to cut up a mango
  11. pavlova end result
  12. sparrow feeding frenzy
  13. the largest carrot in the land
  14. and more cuddles (and yes those are Christmas pyjamas, what of it 😛 )

This month’s theme for the Bumpkin Betty Baking Club was “free from”, so I decided it was finally time to take up my mum’s mantle and have a go at making her famous (and gluten-free) pavlova. This is such a family favourite that I think if Mum turned up to a family party without it, she’d probably not be invited in 😉 The recipe is as follows:

Ingredients: 3 egg whites, 175g caster sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1/2 teaspoon vinegar, 1 level teaspoon corn flour, plus cream and fruit to go on top.

Method:

– Preheat your oven to 150C.

– Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff and form small peaks. You should pretty much be able to turn the bowl upside down without them falling out! I really recommend getting yourself a hand-held electric whisk – we have one similar to this which doubles as a blender and it saves so much time and effort!

– Gradually whisk in the sugar.

– Whisk in the rest of the ingredients.

– Draw a circle on a sheet of greaseproof paper (draw around a dinner plate). Place the paper on a baking tray and scoop your mixture out of the bowl and onto the circle. It should be a little bit thicker round the edge.

– Bake for 1 hour. Keep an eye on it, especially if you have a fan oven – if it starts to brown, you may want to pop some foil over the top.

– Turn the oven off and leave the pavlova inside to cool [I’m not sure if Mum actually does this – I’m sure she’ll tell us in the comments – but as I was about to remove it, I suddenly thought “wait!” and googled].

– Top with whipped cream and fruit of your choice. I went for mango and kiwi this time for a summery tropical topping, but strawberries and/or raspberries are a more traditional choice – whatever takes your fancy!

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By the Book

Emma's Picture Postcards

Is there a book on your nightstand right now?

Er Ist Wieder Da by Timur Vermes. This is a… comedy / satire / drama / sci fi???… imagining what would happen if Hitler found himself in Berlin in 2011, and became a TV star. I was given the German version as a gift (the English translation is called Look Who’s Back) and have been making my way through it slowly, mainly because it’s quite tricky to find a good time to read it. I normally read when I have moments of free time when I’m out and about (e.g. in queues, on public transport, and waiting for clients at the airport, so you can see why that’s a bit awkward when trying to read a book with Hitler’s face on the front!) or in bed at night, when I’m sleepy and can’t muster the concentration to read in German. I’ve read 100 pages, about a quarter of the book, and so far it’s really funny, in a “I feel guilty for laughing but can’t help it” kind of way. Netflix did a film version though, which I watched when I was visiting friends in London recently, and although it was quite different to the novel, the ending was quite bleak and has slightly put me off reading further. I will though, it’s a very interesting concept.

What was the last truly great book you read?

I’ve read six books so far this year and did really enjoy a couple of them, but I think the last truly great one I read was probably The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne.

If you could meet a writer, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you want to know?

Most of all I’d like to lock George R. R. Martin in a room and not let him out until he’s finished the A Song of Ice and Fire series 😉

Joe Abercrombie though. I think I’d like him. He did a great “ask me anything” session on Reddit, and is of the same opinion as me that authors shouldn’t over-explain things, and should leave the reader to decide for themselves if something’s a little ambiguous. So I don’t think there would be much I’d want to quiz him on.

What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

I guess that depends on who you are… If you’d just met me, you might be surprised by some of the darker books, by the likes of Stephen King, Tom Rob Smith, Stieg Larsson etc – purely if you’re judging a book by its cover, because I’m small and blonde and baby-faced and cheery. If you didn’t know I’m a linguist you’d be surprised by the foreign language books. I’m personally not surprised by anything that’s there 😛

How do you organise your personal library?

I started writing this post a few weeks ago after reading Mimmi’s, and just the sight of this question made me immediately stand up and organise my bookshelf by colour. I’d been thinking about doing so for ages, and now every time I see it I feel weirdly satisfied. I feel I should point out that the picture above is only a small section of our collection – it’s three of seven shelves of the bedroom bookcase, we have another in the living room, we still have lots at our parents’ houses, and we have even more e- and audiobooks!

Is there a book you have always meant to read but haven’t got around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed not to have read?

I’m on a vague and relaxed mission to read various classics, but there’s nothing I’m embarrassed not to have read. I feel like I probably should have read Emma by now though, since it’s my name and all.

Disappointing, overrated, just not good; name a book you feel you were supposed to have liked but just didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo is the last one I put down, because there’s just so much endless detail about the priest at the beginning. I pick it up from time to time and skim through a few more pages, and then wonder why I’m bothering when I know the story anyway.

What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you steer clear of?

A lot of my favourites are in the young adult, fantasy and/or adventure genres, and are usually trilogies or series – His Dark Materials, The First Law, A Song of Ice and Fire, Noughts and Crosses, The Hunger Games, etc. From time to time I also like to pick up one of those house-with-a-mysterious-past novels e.g. Kate Morton’s, and I also (so far) like anything by Stephen King. I do occasionally read but tend to steer clear of crime novels, especially those in long series, because I find them quite formulaic, and the same goes for chick lit. I’m not a big fan of non-fiction or poetry, but as well as novels I do really like short stories – Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges and Night Shift by Stephen King are a good place to start.

If you could choose a book the President (/Prime Minister) had to read, which would it be?

If Obama, The Amber Spyglass.

If Cameron, Les Mis.

What do you plan to read next?

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is the next classic on my list, but oops I seem to have started the audiobook of Half a King by Joe Abercrombie instead 😉 My mum has also loaned me a few books I should get started on, and I want to re-read the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman as well – they’re probably my all time favourite books and I think enough time has passed that I’ve forgotten enough, so I can really enjoy immersing myself in them again.

As I mentioned above, I came across this tag when Mimmi took part on her blog Muted Mornings, but it started out as a Youtube tag inspired by questions in a New York Times book. I’m going to tag Jo of Drifting Pages, Jenny of Sunny Sweet PeaSarah Rooftops, Alice of Wooden Window Sills, and YOU if you’re reading and fancy joining in 🙂

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June 2016 Playlist

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I last did a music post! I’m taking part in Race for Life on Sunday (please sponsor me here if you can spare a small donation for a big cause!) and added a few upbeat songs to my running playlist to help with the training:

I adore London Grammar and their songs are beautiful in their original, ballad-y form. But this remix is a match made in heaven.

This is one of my favourite new tracks from the past year, it’s so much fun and I can’t help but grin when I hear it. Extra points for the cheeky cow bell 😀

From the very first time I heard Four Tet’s remix of Opus, it’s been right up there as one of my favourite pieces of music of all time. It’s so good I have to stop what I’m doing, close my eyes and just enjoy – unless I’m running, conveniently 🙂

I’m not usually a drum & bass kinda girl but I’m happy to make an exception for this track. A great driving rhythm, perfect for motivation!

Although running more often has made me an even bigger dance music fan than usual, a couple of other tracks have grabbed my attention:

I like this song; I like the story. But I absolutely LOVE the part towards the end where it drops down quiet and builds up into that glorious guitar solo.

My favourite sentimental song of the past year, perfectly encapsulating the feeling of admitting defeat on a relationship.

Since mentioning Take Me to Church in a previous post, I’ve become quite a Hozier fan, buying his self-titled album and enjoying many a Youtube video of his live performances. From Eden is my favourite of his songs, and I also like this Live Lounge cover of Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down.

And to finish up, a lovely song about friendship. This one really makes me smile 🙂

Giraffe restaurant review

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

bowl for the soul

Recently Giraffe invited a few Aberdeen bloggers along to sample their new menu. I had only been to Giraffe once before, with my dad in London, but I loved it then and was keen to try out their Aberdeen branch, located in Union Square shopping centre.

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

Giraffe’s ethos is to be a friendly place that showcases food and music from around the world. The restaurant is really nicely decorated, with lots of wood and cozy lighting (including fairy lights!), painted brickwork, and a choice of tables or raised booths, with a few of the tables looking out onto the shopping centre. Their dishes tend to include a lot of fresh vegetables and a tasty mixture of flavours, and their smoothie and cocktail menus are not to be missed!

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

I went for a mango mule cocktail, Goan prawn curry and passion fruit cheesecake, and they were all delicious. The curry was just the right level of spicy for me (and gorgeous to look at!) and the cheesecake ticked all the boxes on my extensive cheesecake checklist: not too sweet, neither too creamy nor too dense, enough biscuit base but not too much, etc 😉

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

Goan king prawn curry

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

passion fruit cheesecake

Some of the other dishes around the table looked great too, including the “bowl for the soul” (pictured at the top of this post), the harissa chicken burger (below) and the churros, which didn’t last long enough for me to catch a photo! Churros aren’t really my cup of tea but were a very popular choice, and looked very cinnamonny (that’s a word).

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

harissa chicken burger

The blogger meet was such a fun evening and I really enjoyed chatting with Karen, Hannah, Sarah, Laura, Laura and Eni (Amey, Anastasia, Denise, Jo, Katherine, Lauren, Mairi and Sarah were also there but at the other end of the table!) We were well looked after and were each given a goodie bag, which included a £5 discount voucher for another meal. So James and I decided to treat ourselves to a meal out the following week.

Giraffe, Aberdeen - Emma's Picture Postcards

mango mama and espresso martini

This time I tried the espresso martini and tuk-tuk duck stir fry. I enjoyed the martini, and the stir fry was SO GOOD. I must have said so about 10 times while eating it. Tender duck, crunchy veg, doughy noodles and yummy chilli jam. SO GOOD.

*First meal provided by Giraffe in exchange for an honest review. Second meal paid for ourselves minus a £5 voucher. Opinions, text and photos are my own.

OOTD: Striped Midi Skirt

New Look midi skirt - Emma's Picture Postcards

I really liked the 50s-style midi skirts that were in all the shops last summer, and had a few attempts at finding The One. My favourite was a thick, almost quilted one in New Look, which I loved in white but knew would get dirty as soon as I left the house in it. Plain black felt a bit boring, and I wasn’t really feeling any of the other options I saw. I hummed and hawed for long enough that they all went on sale, and finally I tried on a bunch and settled on this lovely striped number. And I’m so glad I did, because it instantly became a staple.

I love that it’s comfy enough for sitting at my desk all day, smart and practical enough for work without being too dressy, and that it goes equally well with heels and flats – essential for when I have to dash out for a last-minute driving job.

PS I’ve just looked at New Look’s website to get the links, and they now have the one I originally loved in a few beautiful pastel colours – mint, blue and pink *heart eye emoji* – I think I may be going shopping…

New Look midi skirt - Emma's Picture Postcards

Please excuse my weird face in this one, I decided it’s worth keeping for the fabulous skirt swish 😉

Topshop lace up shoes - Emma's Picture Postcards

The shoes are from Topshop, and again are a trend that was love at first sight for me, but that took me ages to find the right ones. These are just what I wanted and I do love them, but I wore them to the party I went to in London a few weeks ago, and they ripped my feet to shreds, so I’d recommend having some plasters on standby and/or wearing those little socklets that cover your toes and heels for the first few times to break them in!

Rimmel London Sweetie Heart Love Bug nail polish - Emma's Picture Postcards

I love the colour of this Rimmel nail varnish but it’s an absolute nightmare to apply. You have to be really patient and apply a bit at a time and keep filling in the gaps once it dries, because if you paint some on and then touch it again with the brush, even immediately, it just wipes off.

New Look midi skirt - Emma's Picture Postcards

H&M topNew Look skirt – Topshop shoes (similar) – Accessorize sunglassesOrtak ring – Rimmel nail polish

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Isle of Skye, March 2016 – Day 3: Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

After our hike up Storr on day 2, I was relieved that the other place I’d hoped to visit, the fairy pools, was a much easier walk!

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

The Fairy Pools are a succession of small pools and waterfalls, created by a stream coming down off the Cuillin mountains. The water is bright blue and beautifully clear, and it’s easy to see where the name comes from as the place feels very magical.

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Although the walk is a lot less steep than the one at Old Man of Storr, you still have to be nimble enough to navigate the stepping stones above. We saw a lovely little Westie carefully hopping his way across, with lots of encouragement from his owners 🙂

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

When we arrived back at the car, we discovered that it had made a friend…

Emma's Picture Postcards

We spotted this gorgeous little chaffinch from about 10 metres away and inched slowly closer, but he was completely relaxed and only flew away when he was finished admiring his reflection 🙂

Emma's Picture Postcards

On the way back to Kyleakin we stopped in at Cafe Sia in Broadford. They take pride in using local ingredients, hand-roast their own coffee beans and grind them to order, and have a traditional wood-fired pizza oven. I tried out the Traditional Italian pizza (mozzarella, basil oil and tomato) and a flat white, and both were delicious. With his pizza, James tried another tasty local ale (from Plockton Brewery), which was served in a frozen glass! Yum. Despite grinding the coffee beans to order meaning it took a while to prepare each one, the cafe was doing a roaring trade in take-away orders as well as people having a relaxed sit-down lunch, so I think that speaks for the quality!

Cafe Sia, Broadford, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Full up on our pizzas, we relaxed at the hotel for a while, before realising it was 7.30pm, on a Sunday, in the Highlands, in the winter season. Good luck finding somewhere open for dinner! Google informed us that the fish and chip shop in Kyle of Lochalsh was open until 8pm, so we jumped in the car and zoomed across, realising when we reached the village that we’d forgotten to take a note of where exactly the chippy was. We ended up driving past the Kyle Chinese Takeaway (on Main Street) and decided that would do nicely! Our meals were decent but apparently forgettable – I think we had chilli chicken – but the highlight was the ribs, which were fantastic.

Fairy Pools, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

And that was our weekend complete! We had such a lovely stay – Skye is a very peaceful and refreshing place. I’d recommend everywhere we visited, but most especially our accommodation, walks and lunch spots. Here are the links to Day 1 and Day 2 in case you missed them 🙂

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Isle of Skye, March 2016 – Day 2: Old Man of Storr

Isle of Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

After a tasty breakfast of poached egg, bacon and – er – vegetarian sausage, because that’s how I roll, we set off up the island to tackle the walk up to the Old Man of Storr.

Storr, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

The Storr hill is part of the Trotternish ridge, and includes a rocky cliff-face looking out across the water to nearby islands Rona and Raasay, as well as a tall rock formation that stands slightly apart and is visible from afar, known as the Old Man.

Old Man of Storr, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

The route is well-marked, with a gravel track winding its way up the hill, giving way to a smaller dirt path near the top, with some large rocks acting as steps in places. A word of warning though, it’s very steep! Even with a few stops to drink some water, I got pretty out of breath, and I’m fitter than James, who managed to puff “I lead a sedentary life!” before returning his concentration to putting one foot in front of the other 😀 The tides turned on the way back down though and he got to be the patient one, as I took tiny steps and clung on to him to avoid sliding on the gravel. It was all worth it though, as the sea breeze certainly blew away the cobwebs, and we had a clear day granting us a stunning view.

Storr, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Storr, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Storr, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Storr, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

After tumbling our way back to the car park, we drove into Portree for a well-deserved late lunch at Cafe Arriba. This lovely, cheerful little place changes its menu regularly, with specials from around the world. It was American Diner day when we were there, so James had a burger while I went for the mac ‘n’ cheese, both with bacon on top! The portions were generous and everything was delicious. James also sampled another Isle of Skye Brewing Co. ale – he made his way through their range during our stay (all in the name of research, of course) and declared them all worthy of praise 😉

Cafe Arriba, Portree, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Cafe Arriba, Portree, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Cafe Arriba, Portree, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

After a wee wander around Portree, we headed back to the hotel to rest our weary legs, then went for dinner at Taste of India. Because the standard is so high at our regular Indian restaurant (Jewel in the Crown in Aberdeen), we keep our expectations low when eating elsewhere, especially in the countryside where there might be less competition, but we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food at Taste of India. The main criticism on Tripadvisor seems to be that the service isn’t the best, and I can understand that complaint although we weren’t hugely fazed ourselves. There were only two staff members in the customer area of the restaurant, covering the tables, bar and take-away orders, with occasional help serving from a member of the kitchen team. They were very efficient and the waitress was pleasant, but the waiter seemed to be one of those people who needs to be in a mood to get stuff done. He stomped about and was quite abrupt, and spent a few minutes scowling in our direction while correcting our bill, which was a little uncomfortable! (We had ordered a naan, which never arrived, but we didn’t chase it up because we had plenty to eat with just our curries and rice, especially after our earlier feast at Cafe Arriba, so when we asked for our bill we just asked for it to be taken off, and assured them it wasn’t a problem.) I understand that it was busy and that they were presumably understaffed, but I have enough customer service experience to know that taking it out on the customers doesn’t help anyone!

Portree, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Hope you have a great start to the week! I’ll be back on Friday with part 3 (and part 1 is here if you missed it).

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Isle of Skye, March 2016 – Day 1: Eilean Donan Castle

Last month James and I had our five year anniversary! Whaaat! We decided to celebrate with a little weekend away to the Isle of Skye.

Eilean Donan Castle - Emma's Picture Postcards

We set off from Aberdeen around 9am, with a little pit stop in Keith (“The Friendly Town”) for petrol and snacks, and made it to Eilean Donan Castle around 2pm. Eilean Donan was built in the 13th century, in a key location to defend the Highlands and Western Isles against Vikings and the English. It was restored in the 20th century and is now one of Scotland’s most beautiful and well-recognised landmarks.

Eilean Donan Castle - Emma's Picture Postcards

Eilean Donan Castle - Emma's Picture Postcards

Eilean Donan Castle - Emma's Picture Postcards

Eilean Donan Castle - Emma's Picture Postcards

Eilean Donan Castle - Emma's Picture Postcards

Look at that sunshine and stunning blue sky! What a great start to our trip…

…and then we went over the hill and into the cloud. Ha.

Kyleakin, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

Kyleakin, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

At least it was nice and atmospheric 🙂 We stayed at the White Heather Hotel in Kyleakin, which is a real home away from home. The rooms are comfortable and clean, and the pictures above show the view from our bedroom! The owners are very friendly and helpful, and along with a good breakfast and in-room wifi, guests also have access to two living rooms and a little study complete with a computer, DVDs, books and board games.

White Heather Hotel, Kyleakin, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

White Heather Hotel, Kyleakin, Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards

For dinner we popped along the road to the King Haakon Bar, which was… fine. It’s a pub, with standard pub meals, and a nice view out across Kyleakin’s village square and over the water to the bridge. The bar is on the back of the Castle Moil restaurant, which we didn’t see open – I presume it was still closed for the winter.

Pop back on Monday for Day 2 🙂

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Happiness Link Up

Daffodils - Emma's Picture Postcards

I’ve been feeling unusually frazzled lately, and have been dealing with some of my migraine symptoms. I get a variety of them: flashing vision / blind spots; sensitivity to light, noise, smell and/or touch; headaches, neck pain and general achyness; fluctuating body temperature; nausea and sickness… you get the picture. Thankfully (and weirdly) I’ve only been experiencing one symptom at a time, but unfortunately each one has lasted for a few days, including two days of blindness, which got pretty boring!

Anyway, that was a bit of a bleak intro, but my point is that as a result of feeling a bit off, my productivity is a bit low and although I have a few blog posts started, I can’t seem to get them finished. However I’ve just read Jasmin Charlotte’s Happiness Link Up post and thought I’d jump on the bandwagon to perk myself up a bit!

  1. Quality time with friends and family. James and I are off to my cousin’s tomorrow for a family bbq, and I popped to London (or at least that was the plan – see #2!) to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday last week. I got to have a great catch-up with the birthday boy and his wife, who I haven’t seen since they came to visit last year, another few friends from the same group who I haven’t seen for a few years, and I also invited along my school friend who lives in London and I last saw in Edinburgh last year.
    Emma's Picture Postcards
  2. Sweet surprises. I had a classic Emma disastrous journey on the way back from London. I have the worst travel luck of anyone I’ve met – I might do a post at some point listing all my misadventures! Anyway it happens so regularly that after the initial upset I quickly get over it and get on with getting myself to my destination. However the friends I went to visit aren’t so accustomed to it, and I opened the door a couple of days later to a beautiful basket of flowers from them! It was such a lovely surprise and brought a wee tear to my eye!
    Dr Knox's Enigma - Emma's Picture Postcards
  3. Escape-the-room adventure. The Scotland-based contingent of my school friends met up in Edinburgh last month and had a go at Dr Knox’s Enigma. Escape games are popping up in most cities now and I really recommend you give one a try! It was so much fun and really got the adrenaline flowing, I honestly started to think towards the end that I might have a heart attack (drama queen), but we were a good team and worked out the clues, escaping the room with three minutes to spare!
  4. Avenue Q. I went to see Avenue Q and laughed SO much. Highly recommended.
    Emma's Picture Postcards
  5. Decorating! As I mentioned in my 2016 bucket list, my mum kindly agreed to come up to Aberdeen and help me do some decorating. We had a nice sunny week for it so we opened the windows, stuck the radio on and cracked on. We got two rooms done – the second bedroom / my study (above), which was previously peach with one blue wall, with a bare patch where there had been a naff vanity mirror, and James’s study, which had been the previous owners’ baby’s room, complete with bright yellow walls and an animal frieze! It’s now grey to suit his grim Northern Irish demeanour 😉 This week I used the last of the grey paint to put a couple of coats on the end wall of our bedroom, covering up the Polyfilla patches you can see in this photo – the previous owners had wave-shaped mirrors up there, which they took with them, leaving some nice holes for us to fill in! [On a tangent, I have to double-check every time I use the word Polyfilla, because I confuse it with Poligrip, haha!]
    Isle of Skye - Emma's Picture Postcards
  6. Celebrations with James. It was our 5-year anniversary last month, and we celebrated with a little trip to Skye (full post coming soon). This month it was his birthday, so we went for a meal at our favourite, Jewel in the Crown, and then he submitted his PhD thesis and booked our summer holiday – we’re off to Italy and I can. not. wait.
    Emma's Picture Postcards
  7. Spring! April has been a little bit of a let-down this year – it’s snowed and/or hailed pretty much every day in Aberdeen! But between the cold showers it has been nice and sunny, and the long hours of daylight and all the flowers make me happy 🙂
  8. I wasn’t sure how much travel I’d manage this year after my trip to the USA last year, and with trying to keep my spending low since I’m job hunting! However I’m actually getting in a fair amount of jet-setting – Skye, London (twice), Italy and finally Germany in October, for a dear friend’s wedding. We started out as penpals and did an exchange when we were 15, and have stayed in touch and visited each other every couple of years since. She’s like an extra sister now, and I’m so excited to be there for her wedding. Plus it’ll add another culture to the list of weddings I’ve attended – so far I’ve experienced Scottish, English, New Zealand (with a Bollywood dance for fun), US, Romanian and Finnish!

Make sure to take a look at Jasmin Charlotte’s post, and the widget at the bottom linking to a few other people’s cheery posts – sure to boost your mood ready for the weekend 🙂

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