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Hit the road, Jack

Bonus fact: I used to play bass in various jazz bands. Jamie Cullum is more jazz-pop, but at the end of this clip is the sweetest duo, Jamie and Tim Minchin doing a quick cover of Hit The Road, Jack. It gives me happy shivers.

So there are two reasons for the name of this post. I obviously love the song, but I have also been uncharacteristically busy during July. Over the last 3 weekends we have been to Truck festival, then on a family holiday to Lyme Regis, before flying out to Oslo for a long weekend to see friends and celebrate Tom’s 30th birthday.

Truck festival was a bit of a disappointment this year, and I know we aren’t the only ones who felt that the team running it could have done better. I won’t go into an unnecessary amount of detail about it, but in a nutshell it has lost the family friendly vibe and seems to be aimed at teenage festival goers. It’s a shame because the last time we went for a stag and hen do (admittedly it was 3 years ago) I quickly decided it was my favourite festival experience.

Saying that, we had a great time. The weather was crap and the mud underfoot meant walking anywhere was a chore but we were well prepared. I saw pretty much everyone I wanted to see; The Mariachis, Idris Elba, Sundara Karma, Nothing But Thieves and the Libertines. I was poorly on the Sunday but really enjoyed All Them Witches (one of Tom’s favourite bands) and listened to the Vaccines from my sleeping bag whilst waiting for the paracetamol to start working.

The weekend after we took a trip to Lyme Regis with Tom’s family for 4 days. We stayed in a glorious house right on the seafront and the view took all of about 4 minutes to get used to; the sound of the waves, watching swimmers racing the surf and boats lazing about the horizon. The weather was pretty wet again, but it didn’t stop us exploring… J and I even got down to the beach to build a sandcastle.

Lyme Regis is the perfect sleepy seaside town. We visited the Dinosaur museum (complete with taxidermy room) and I did a lot of poking about in odd little shops looking at shelves of fossils and semi-precious stones. We had a lot of fun sampling the local pubs and trying interesting fudge flavours. J devoured coconut and raspberry sorbet.

The last weekend of our travels saw us exploring the beautiful Oslo. We met our friends there as an almost halfway point between Southampton and Helsinki. Tom and I have been talking about visiting Norway since we met. Even though it’s now been a week since we went, I still can’t believe I’ve actually been.

We arrived a little after midday on Thursday and after wandering directionless around the centre we settled down into Crowbar & Bryggeri. Beer in Oslo is very expensive but good for craft beer enthusiasts (like my friends). I pretty much always opt for IPA or cider, but they were much more adventurous in their drink choices and tried a variety of interesting new brews including creme brulee stout and Omnipollo.

Just to mention a couple of things we did during our stay (other than drink beer):

A five minute ferry ride from Oslo there is a lovely island called Hovedøya. We sat on the beach and walked around the island, generally soaking up beautiful surroundings and the occasional rain shower.

Vigeland Sculpture Park is wonderful. We visited on Tom’s 30th birthday and sat drinking champagne next to a waterfall in the park before we walked through the gardens to the main attraction. The sculptures themselves are magnificent, even if you’re not usually interested in that sort of thing.

The Viking Boat Museum. I quite like museums in general, but I can’t remember the last time I was so enthralled by the displays that I read every single plaque. It was truly fascinating. I loved seeing the weaving tools and fragments of cloth. Everything was so well preserved and displayed.

It’s pretty odd for us to have so much time away all at once, if at all. A huge thank you to both Tom’s family and our friends for helping us to sort accommodation for both Lyme Regis and Oslo. We simply would not have been able to afford this time away on our own and are forever thankful for your generosity.

My mindset has been transformed over the last few weeks. I can get quite anxious about leaving home and I generally can’t sleep when I’m away. It used to upset me (this is the girl who used to nap under tables between college classes) but now I plan for it instead of being frustrated about it. Taking a few extra creature comforts where possible really helped and my approach to each day is to accept and understand that having a rough nights sleep doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy myself.

While I wouldn’t *suggest* anyone with notable anxiety plans 3 mini holidays over 3 consecutive weekends we really had the best time. I’m also proud of the soul work I did last year which has enabled me to start enjoying life experiences again. There was a time when these trips would have been nothing but stressful, but thankfully I hugely enjoyed myself and I’m already planning our next adventure!

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