I’m writing this post from my bed. It’s not yet 8am and I’m sat cross-legged in my dressing gown with wet hair twisted into a hair turban and a mug of the weakest coffee known to man perched on my chest of drawers.
I’m so behind with everything.
I fear no-one enters our spare room because it just has piles and piles of rubbish chilling in every corner. Every single drawer in the house seems to be overflowing too, unable to shut, because lol, more rubbish. And get this, get THIS, I haven’t even seen the latest episode of Teen Mom 2 which aired last frickin’ Wednesday, a WEEK ago, because busy.
Am I even Hannah Gale anymore?
Anyway this post is less about being a busy hot mess and more about downtime, chilling, appreciating the things and the people and the places closest to you.
This post is about one of the best weekends I’ve had in ages.
Y’know, like the whole weekend, from the minute 5pm on Friday came around to the moment I closed my eyes in bed on Sunday evening.
Because we, my internet pals, had a staycation.
I guess a staycation could mean a number of things: it could mean a holiday in the UK, I mean OK that’s probably definitely what it means, but I’ve also used it to mean a week off work at home in the past. But in this circumstance I mean a little mini-break basically on our back door.
I picked up Chris’s best friend’s girlfriend at 4.30pm with a car full of clothes, shoes, prosecco and games and we moseyed on to collect the boys from work before driving 45 minutes into the depths of rural Suffolk countryside.
We stayed in a cute two-bed cottage (booked via English Country Cottages) nestled on the edge of a farm with no phone signal and a horse field just feet away in a teeny tiny village called Sudbourne, not far from Orford.
We spent the two days exploring places we’d visited once or twice before on days out, places that were just that little bit too far out to include regularly in our weekend routines. Our favourite cafes and seaside spots and idyllic villages.
We hit Pump Street Bakery for eggs, sourdough and cinnamon buns. Explored Aldeburgh sea front before succumbing to the smell of fish and chips and toasting cans of ice-cold Lilt. And walked around Orford village pointing out all the houses we wanted to one day live in (there’s a £1.75million house on the market that absolutely has my name on if I sell my soul to the devil).
And then, when we weren’t out and about being Instagram shot hunter-outers, we watched football (I can probably even name like four England footballers right now, I’ll probably be asked to come in and give my views on the next match tbh), played card games in the garden and worked our way through one too many bottles of wine.
Oh and we threw the sexiest barbecue ever. I even made a watermelon and feta salad so I could be cool and hip and happening and effortlessly chic like the women I see all over the internet who also holiday in Italy with their toddlers that have sassier wardrobes than me. Sob.
And we had halloumi and asparagus wrapped in bacon and all was right with the world.
But the thing that made the weekend so pretty damn perfect – aside from the copious amounts of food – was the ease of it. The stress-free travel. The tiny journey time. The laid-back location, away from the chores and distractions of every day life. The fact we KNEW all the good places to visit nearby. We knew the way of life, the area and the Suffolk vibes.
We hadn’t had to stress our way to an airport, get flustered getting through security and hunting out our gate before a long flight and then an onward journey in an unknown country. Everything was so easy.
And so, now I’m lying in bed, listening to my belly plead for something other than hideous coffee, re-thinking how I’d like to welcome in 27 in a few months time.
I thought I wanted to gallivant off to some romantic European city with Chris. I thought we’d welcome in my late twenties (it was like taking a sword to my heart just typing that) with overpriced red wine, overlooking the glittering lights of maybe Paris or Venice. But maybe I don’t want that at all. Maybe I want somewhere with all my favourite people. Somewhere we can play Cards Against Humanity and eat Pringles and drink homemade cocktails and sit about in our pyjamas whilst we laugh until we start crying.
I’m all for adventure and exploring the world, but sometimes the very sweetest of memories are made closer to home.
Sometimes it doesn’t take forking out hundreds of pounds to sit in a lavish hotel to feel happy and relaxed and world’s away from every day you, sometimes it just takes a handful of friends and a trip to the countryside.
OK, I sound too twee now, I’m going to lower the tone and restore balance by putting Teen Mom 2 on in the background whilst I do my make-up. See ya!
P.S. the striped dress from this post is from La Redoute and is now down to £21 in the sale…