Here’s something everyone should do: book a week off work, take holiday and y’know, don’t actually go abroad. Have a holiday at home.
Just go about your normal weekend life on actual weekdays like a mentalist and make it sexier and crammed with all your favourite little activities.
Get take out coffee, go for brunch, long drives, afternoon teas, trips to almost-near cities, visit IKEA, sleep in late, stay up watching Netflix in bed without fear of tiredness, go to the cinema, go for a swim.
Be you, but be the best version of you.
That’s what we’ve spent this last week doing, pretty much.
Chris had annual leave that needed using up, and as much as I was pestering that OMG WOULDN’T BERLIN BE DIVINE AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, our bank balances were not being so chirpy about the idea. I reasoned that we could go for two nights and solely live off McDonald’s, but for some reason that didn’t sway Chris’s mind, so we stayed at home instead.
I didn’t really have time spare to step away fromwork. With that two weeks of full-time work in London on the horizon, I could have used this week to schedule blog posts, film a few post-Vlogtober videos and get my office in order (there are piles of post and returns and cardboard and broken memory cards littering the floor at my feet – soz bout it), but you know what’s nice? Realising that nothing, NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING in this world is as important as spending time with the people you love.
And so I forced a few pockets of blogging hours in here and there, and I replied to the most urgent of emails, but mostly, mostly I stepped back and enjoyed some time away.
AND BOY, IT FELT HELLA GOOD.
I mean, it mostly felt hella good. Cept the waking up at 4am every day for a week part because codeine’s run out and man my mouth ain’t in a good way. And y’know, the whole having to sit in a dentist’s chair thing cos ain’t nobody got time for that, but generally? Generally is was an absolutely babin’ ball.
We started last Saturday with brunch at Suffolk Food Hall. It’s a place we go to regularly for birthday and Christmas presents and for popcorn, because omg, the maple syrup and bacon popcorn they sell in there may be £2.95 a bag, but it is all my snack fantasies come true and more.
And although it’s a great spot for popcorn, cheese scones and cute foodie gifts, we’ve never actually ventured to the restaurant before, so we pootled on down for an Instagram-worthy start to the day.
THEY SERVE AVOCADO ON TOAST.
THEY DO THEY DO THEY DO.
It’s the first (and possibly only) place in Ipswich that I’ve found it (and it comes with fried eggs and cooked tomatoes on the vine – hello you saucy little sexpot, you), and I will be back probably 754856 times before the year is up. It also has some serious views over the Suffolk countryside and Orwell River thanks to its floor to ceiling windows.
We went to a friend’s for Halloween night and then woke up early on Sunday for the drive to Orford to visit the Pump Street Bakery, which looks exactly like any Instagram-friendly food spot in the middle of nowhere should look, and ate cinnamon buns and takeaway cappuccinos whilst parked up on the river, watching the sea mist swirl around boats and completely mix up the view with all its sassy, enchanting mystery.
We spent the rest of the day food shopping and slumped across the sofa with duvets and cats and Netflix. Exactly how any Sunday should be spent tbh.
Monday saw us both do a little work before an afternoon tea at Applaud Coffee – which is the only coffee shop worth visiting in Ipswich. It has fresh flowers, floorboards and bacon sandwiches in doorstop bread. THE. DREAM.
Tuesday saw me tackle THREE AND A HALF HOUR’S WORTH OF IRONING (I feel like a champion rn), and a couple of blog posts.
Skip forward to Wednesday and we made the hour-long drive to Norwich for shopping and lunch and life. You know where you like mentally prepare your bank balance to take a battering. You’re like I’M GOING TO BUY EVERYTHING I LIKE WITHIN REASON BECAUSE I HAVEN’T DONE THIS IN MONTHS OR MAYBE YEARS AND I DESERVE THIS. And then you come home with a £12 scarf.
I mean sure, I exaggerate. I also bought a MAC lippy and a perfume and then freaked out and made an ASOS order.
We lunched at Wagamamas (honestly, we legit do not have one in Ipperz) and I went for a Pad Thai and then felt sad that I actually prefer my homemade peanut butter noodles. Lol. Aha.
We finished off the day with THE best macarons from Macarons & More and a swift look round the new IKEA store. And when I say swift, I mean like two and a half minutes.
Chris had told me that it was ‘smaller than a normal store’ and I kinda pictured it to be like a Tesco store rather than a Tesco Extra, and in reality it was like a Tesco Express.
I made many a sulky moan about how we should have just driven to Lakeside instead. Lol to being a girl.
The new concept store is basically just a click and collect store. You can’t reaaaaaally buy anything in there. There was two types of glasses and like three different cushions and some vanilla candles AND THAT WAS IT.
I was well up for getting a new rug. Essentially you can pay a tenner to have your IKEA delivery delivered there instead of your house and you can pick it up at a desirable time. Doesn’t make sense to me tbh.
Anyway, we went home and whilst Chris was in the shower I panic ordered a curry to take the edge off.
(Just an FYI, I came out of the week three pounds heavier – so here’s to walking that off in London next week, waheeeeey).
We spent Thursday visiting Bury St Edmonds, trialling the new Byron (that macaroni cheese was sculpted by the gods, I’m telling ya) and watching Jame Bond Spectre which was a bit of all right.
Then we came home, I panicked that I didn’t look like the actress in James Bond and went for a 17 minute run before collapsing in a wheezy pile on the sofa and drinking camomile tea.
THEN we spent an hour colouring in whilst listening to Classic FM with our phones turned off for some mindfulness because we’re sassy and chill af like that.
And then today, the day I’m writing this.
I mean yeah sure, I had an 8-hour shift from home for Now Mag, but Chris bought me a coffee and cheese scone to my desk for breakfast after his gym and haircut sesh, and we’ve just made the dreamiest of vegetarian fajitas for dinner (erm what hello I like meat where has Hannah gone, hello) and are about to settle down to finish off season 4 of Dexter.
This post has felt a LOT like writing my year 8 diary. Except well, there’s a boy involved rather than friends I don’t really like and boys that well, don’t really like me.
I just wanted to write about it because it’s felt like such a perfect week and yet we’ve done nothing outrageous or glamorous or exotic. We’ve just been ourselves and explored everything our county has to offer.
We’ve eaten in a mixture of favourite independent restaurants and cafes and all-time classic chains. We haven’t spent a hideous amount of money and nowhere near what we’d have spent if we’d have done a Hannah and jetted off to Berlin.
I think we sometimes forget that actually we’re very lucky, we have so much going on around us that we take for granted – so many secret food spots and scenic views and cities that we normally don’t have time or can’t be bothered to venture to.
I always thought of a staycation as like a holiday where you go away somewhere else in the UK, but you know what? Staying at home has been the most stress-free and sweetest holiday I could have hoped for.
So next time you’re feeling broke and blah because WHY IS EVERYONE ON INSTAGRAM IN NEW YORK, just remember that there’s a bloomin’ lot outside your door waiting to be explored.
K, bye. I’m off to colour in and think about cinnamon buns some more.