Winter Escapes

The British have something of a reputation for being obsessed with the weather. I don’t see this as a bad thing. I might be more of a weather watcher than some (I have two weather apps on my phone) but I’m not too bad. I have been known to have a weather-related moan from time to time….

I’m not a summer gal at heart, you see? I don’t like to be hot, I like floppy jumpers, crisp autumn leaves, fresh spring breezes and a proper winter.

A proper winter seems to be escaping us up in North Yorkshire once more (although it might be too soon to tell for this year). Last year was ridiculously mild and I think we had no more than one decent frost all year. If we aren’t going to have a decent winter with frosts and snowmen and such-like I’m going to opt out next year!

Now, I might not be a hot weather gal but I’ve been told by them in the know that when you go abroad, and to the right places, that the heat is a different type of heat. If it means escaping drizzle and out of whack seasons I’m going to have to risk it!

Now I’m not your clubbing on holiday, Ibiza type gal either. I’d be looking for something warm, not blisteringly hot and something interesting. I want culture, art, architecture and decent authentic food. What’s more I want all of this as part of a family holiday full of winter sun and fun so that we can all enjoy these experiences together.

So…

  • A beach
  • Nice accommodation
  • Nothing *too* touristy
  • History, culture, awesome buildings by the bucket-load
  • Food, wonderful tasting food.

Short of attempting to find my own personal Narnia, what can I do? Is there a family friendly location that will offer me all of this without having to sell one of Roy’s kidneys (I’m quite attached to my own)? I quite like the idea of Morocco – have any of my readers been? It’s too late to book for this year but I’m really coming around to the idea of a winter sun vacation next year, especially if we have another wet and miserable winter this year.

Where would your ideal spot be?

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The Lifeblood of a Freelancer

Do you know what keeps the majority of freelancers / self-employed people going? Is it a pretty office, a popular brand diary/planner or a fancy app? No, the lifeblood of a freelancer is coffee.

If you’ve worked for yourself and are reading this now (whether you are a coffee fan or not) you’ll most likely be nodding your head. There are certainly pros and cons to being self-employed, for example:

The Good Stuff

  • You choose who you work for
  • You choose where you work
  • You choose when you work – You have a certain amount of flexibility (important when you’re juggling the work/home/family combo)

The Not-So Good Stuff

  • Invoice chasing (believe it or not, not everyone has the same ethical standards as you when it comes to paying people what they are owed)
  • Flexible working – If you need to move your hours around to suit children or other obligations, being self-employed can see you working at 11pm at night or 4am in the morning. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword this one!
  • Staying motivated – You’ve no boss breathing down your neck, why not take a well-deserved hour out to watch your latest Netflix fave? Of course three episodes in you realise you probably should have just kept working…

To be honest, if I was to write a full list of the ups and downs of being a freelancer, for me, freelancing comes top every time over being employed.

The Freelancer’s Coffee

Log onto Instagram and you’ll see a variety of coffee mug and desk shots from people working from home. Is coffee magical? Does it mysteriously manage to push deadlines back a few hour, days or weeks? No of course not (although if you think you have a magic brew that does do that, please get in touch).

After collaborating with the lovelies at Gourmesso.co.uk (we’ve had a good natter about all things coffee-related and how we feel the world couldn’t possibly keep rotating with it) I wanted to write a little more about my love for coffee.

Freelancer’s Coffee is not a brew designed to give you a caffeine hit that will have you typing like the wind. It isn’t something that magically keeps you going either. Yes, caffeine is a stimulant but let’s face it, you’d need a fair bit of caffeine to keep us all going like we do. For me, Freelancer’s Coffee is me taking time out of a busy day to not work, not answer emails, not rush around; to just relax.

A decent cup of coffee can be incredibly tasty and this enjoyment is one of the many little enjoyments and distractions I, and many freelancers enjoy as part of the daily grind that is our work. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do but it is work at the end of the day (I don’t sit and grin at a laptop all day). I get tired, cranky, pee’d off sometimes and I need a break.

A Freelancer’s Coffee is also quite sociable. Many, indeed most freelancers work alone, often in an office at home or similar. I don’t see anyone from the minute I start to the minute I finish. It’s nice therefore to grab a brew and “talk” to friends and other freelancers online (there are even chatrooms and similar for freelancers). This is a break, it’s refreshing and it breaks up the day. I might have a brew and have a text conversation or similar before getting back to work. Coffee is important people!

To be fair I’m as much of a tea tart as I am a coffee tart and so when coffee isn’t exactly what I need I switch over to something fresh, citrus, minty or herbal. Never let it be said that I’m stuck in my ways!

Do you work for yourself? Would your day be less bright without your favourite tea or coffee? Mine certainly would be. Coupled with my favourite mug it gets me going and keeps me going all day.

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