This week… monastery, Mad Max and movies

January is always a quiet month in the travel industry and especially so right now. The new year is proving slow to ramp up as we face the challenges of living through a pandemic. So I’m pleased that this week, invitations have started to trickle into my inbox. In addition to grocery deliveries and Zoom coffee mornings, I begin adding conferences and virtual events to my diary, and suddenly 2021 offers possibilities to connect with the world at large over the coming weeks.

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This week… ode to autumn

Autumn is in the air. You can feel it first thing in the morning and late at night. There’s a particular earthy smell in the cool breeze. Leaves are beginning to turn here and there as the sap falls, and the trees prepare for hibernation once again. I’m hopeful that there will be one or two more days of sunshine but they will be fleeting dog days.

The seasons for me are marked in part by food, and at this time of year my taste buds change. Instead of eating unseasonal salads, this week I begin to make rich vegetable soups and spicy curries. I’m looking forward to English apples cooked with cider and cinammon, and fresh green walnuts.

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This week… bags, birds and The Beatles

I filed copy on two features this week, the first on wine and the second on coffee. Both were fun to do (sitting around tasting wine and coffee, what’s not to like!). Also, delving deep into a subject is right up my street. I like to tell myself it’s my natural journalistic skills but it’s probably more a case of being just plain nosey.

I’ve become fascinated by terroir, the magical combination of temperature, climate, soil composition and production methods, that impacts on wine, food and, yes, coffee. Fresh authentic seasonal food, produced sustainably and prepared simply.

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This week… recovery from lockdown

I’ve been battling with admin all week. A necessary but tedious round of paperwork, bills and similar chores has left me feeling caged up. I’m missing travelling. Much as I like my home, all I want to do is escape to somewhere warm, sunny and new. Finally, one morning I woke early and decided to play hooky (where do I get these Americanisms from!). I packed a breakfast picnic and headed for the beach. Walking for miles I made it out to the sandbanks, only revealed when the tide is out. The fresh sea breezes brought me literally back to my senses. A couple of hours later, like a child I returned home with sandy feet, windswept hair and soggy trousers from splashing through the pools of clear, warm water. Bliss.

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This week… escape from lockdown

So the UK is more or less out of lockdown. It feels weird. Or rather it’s a strange experience trying to revert back to life-as-usual. After over 100 days of lockdown the world has turned and it feels we’re like waking up in another dimension altogether. Stepping outside your front door and picking up where you left off simply isn’t an option. This week I visit the dentist for a check-up and the experience leaves me a little shaken, I have to admit.

Despite a careful process of masks, face shields, sanitiser and more, lying captive in the dentist’s chair with someone inches from my face, after weeks of isolaton, is a little scary. This is the new reality. We have reemerged from hibernation and the goal posts have moved. I wonder if Cinderella felt this way after 100 years of slumber?

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