Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

oxfordlunch

The amazing lunch I had at The Nosebag cafe in Oxford. This is vegetable quiche, waldorf salad, noodles and cucumber. I am a really big salad lover so appreciate anywhere that has numerous salads as side options. Highly recommended for vegetarians and vegans – there are even vegan puddings.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lunchtime

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Adventures in making money travel blogging (sarcasm)

How travel blogging enriched our lives and bank balances…

When writing a travel blog everything must always be amazing and life changing. You do not want your readers to think that anything ever goes wrong on the marvelous journey you are taking. Visit as many countries as possible, remember it is all about quantity – being able to say I have visited 5,4543 countries by the age of 25 automtically means you will be better than those who haven’t. Here is my list on how to have a sucessful, money-making travel blog:

1. Comment on every post by every travel blogger with lots of followers.
2. As soon as possible get loads of adverts on your site.
3. Write a re-hashed version of the same post that appears on hundreds of other blogs – best beaches in Thailand is always a great one!
4. Tweet every five seconds, everyone in the entire world must know you have written a new post so you can have thousands of followers.
5. Huge amounts of followers means you are likely to get given free trips by companies! With these free trips you write sponsored posts saying how wonderful a hotel/trip is (even if it wasn’t).
6. Do not forget the importance of an e-book – perhaps one on house sitting despite you doing all of one houses sit (the readers do not have to know).
7. Act like you are a expert on everything travel.

The above is of course sarcasm. I have nothing against people trying to make money from their blogs but so often I’ve come across ones who are at best fake and worst plain nasty. I desperately need to find myself more travel blogs written by the sort of people I wouldn’t want to throw a drink over. Recommendations please.

Disclaimer – No travel bloggers were harmed in the making of this post.

 

Adventures in being internetless

For the last few days I have been severely limiting my time on the internet, hence why I have not posted anything new on the blog since last Friday. The reason for this is that Zack and I are off to Wales for four days tomorrow. We are going to stay in a converted railway cabin in the middle of the Brecon Beacons, the cabin is essentially off-grid as it has no electricity or mobile reception. It will be a bit like when we travel in the camper van but more luxurious and has the wonderful additional benefit of a shower. My limited internet experiment has actually been rather interesting… Continue reading

Adventures in getting married: less than two months to go!

We’re getting married on April 25th! It will be in Edinburgh – pretty much the opposite end of the country to where we live as Southerners. Neither Zack or I have actually ever been to Edinburgh, so why are we going you ask? Because if we go to Edinburgh we:
1. Get to get married in a far nicer registry office
2. can incorporate the wedding with a nice holiday
3. get to have a really small wedding i.e. parents and their significant others only.
Continue reading

Adventures in misadventures

Yesterday was one of those days where nothing seems to go right. Zack, the eternal optimist says we should be glad our lives are never dull. My idea of an exciting life is not one that involves having your van stuck in reverse gear on the driveway of the people you are house sitting for!

Continue reading

Adventures in house sitting: Oxfordshire

For anyone who does not know, Zack and I travel a lot through house sitting. We have been lucky enough to be selected for almost all of the assignments we apply for, in the last eight months we have been to Wiltshire twice, Brighton, Oxfordshire, Bath, Brittany (France), Somerset and currently Oxfordshire for a second time. It has been an amazing way to see parts of England  we would not usually due to accommodation costs. We also get to look after many lovely animals; we would love pets but the travel list we have makes it unfair to.I plan on writing a longer post on house sitting soon as I am sure a lot of people would find it a great way of cutting their travel costs. So as I mentioned this week we are back in Oxfordshire and the weather is a little different from our last visit in September. Continue reading

Adventures in Valentine’s Day

Or more accurately lack of. Zack and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day. I have never actually celebrated it with any of my partners though this is the first time one has actually agreed with me rather than just go-along to make life easier. Perhaps it comes from the fact as a teenager through to a couple of years ago I had a weekend job in a card shop. Once you have spent hours arranging cards and gifts you get pretty sick of any holiday! Valentines always seemed the worst though due to the number of customers who decided to tell me about their partners – I am just not interested sorry! Sometimes I even wondered if these partners really existed. The card shop was in an area of Bournemouth most people like to pretend does not exist – drugs, violence, chavs galore. Due to the rather dodgy area we had a lot of even dodgier customers come in – I often wonder how many Valentines Day cards and teddies I sold to people who were criminals.

Today we have been for a walk round for the village we are staying in and will have a perfectly normal dinner. So Happy Valentines Day to anyone that celebrates it, I hope you have a lovely day. For me it is simply the fourteenth of February.  I will however include a photo of the cutest couple I have ever known: Misty and Tinker.

Obligatory cute photo

Obligatory cute photo

Off to Oxfordshire we go

This morning I woke at home with a killer headache. This morning is when we are due travel almost three hours to housesit in Oxfordshire – nooo! Last night I cleverly decided to leave cleaning the kitchen, finishing packing and hair washing for the morning. I was already feeling sorry for myself when Zack announced he was exhausted due to me waking him up with my tossing and turning. Zack is the worlds lightest sleeper – once I moved my head slightly and the result was ‘what are you doing, why all the moving?!’ I managed to clean the kitchen with Zack’s help and do an immense amount of packing; when we loaded the van it looked like we were moving out instead of going away for one week! I did not wash my hair and decided to try to cover this up with a load of talc, when this did not work I plonked a hat on to hide the worst. Continue reading

Today, I miss my cat

Today I miss one of my old cats. Writing this has made me remember all the good times with him, so whilst it is a sad post it is also one with lovely pictures and memories of a much-loved feline.

Recently organising some photos on my flickr page I came across the pets album. Sadly most of the animals in it are no longer here. Even though I have had many Guinea Pigs over the years it’s still hard when they go, even worse in the case of Tufti who we had not had long when a fox got her. With cats it is worse again, the cats interact with us more whether on laps, sleeping on the bed or playtime. There have been a few cats we rescued knowing they did not have long left, this made it easier when the time came as we were prepared. When our beautiful Misty died however it was a big shock. Continue reading

Adventures in blogging

When I tell most people I have started a blog their reaction is ‘good luck’, I am left thinking why do I need luck it’s not a new career venture… Oh I see.

Last week my one week old blog had 15 followers, a few comments and a lot of likes on the pictures. I was elated, I never set this blog up to get huge followers, earn money and sell related ebooks but I cannot lie – seeing a new follower does give you a boost. I love to write and to share my experiences so a blog seemed a good idea. I did not realise I had unwittingly entered such a scary world by blogging about our travels.

Recently a well established travel blog contacted me and asked if I would like to write a section for their new e-book. According to them doing this would get my blog so much exposure with their fans, yep they do not have followers but fans apparently! I said no politely; it just did not sit right with me for various reasons. I had a rather rude response back saying lots of others would jump at the chance and I would not be successful. Well naughty me for not following the rules. Obviously it does not occur to them that not everyone sees their blog as a popularity contest.

I would like to take the opportunity to say that whilst I write about travel I do not see myself as a travel blogger. My main job is helping Zack with the admin side of the website design business, thus, blogging is a hobby just as photography, reading and walking are. I could never travel constantly for six months let alone years! I love my family, friends and house too much to not see them for so long – Skype is great but nowhere near a substitute, I cannot hug my mum or stroke one of the cats on it. I neither could do things purely to write about on the blog, sometimes I love a few days of reading and not going anywhere. Some would say I could write a post about relaxing on holiday, I say this makes the blog too much like a job. SEO, retweeting articles insanely, buying followers?! Not for me. No offence to anyone that does have a blog to earn a living, it just does not appeal to me.

To the followers I have, hello. I hope you enjoy what I post and if it’s ever useful all the better. I cannot promise posting schedules, giveaways or inspirational stories (I hate that phrase for some reason), but I can say that I will always reply to genuine comments, will never have sponsored posts and adverts and most certainly will not be releasing an e-book.