As much as I love coming home after a trip away, like many others I’m always prone to a stroke of the holiday blues. It’s always a little bit sad to get back to the everyday comings and goings of normal life. But alas holidays can’t last forever!

Spending a week choosing and sharing photos on Instagram always helps me keep those memories fresh and alive, inspiring me to keep writing and remembering all the wonderful things we did. I’m really enjoying getting to grips with the photo sharing app actually and as I’m working on improving my photography it’s helping me focus on fine-tuning those skills. So IF for some crazy reason you are not following me on Instagram and missed all the photo fun, heres a round-up of some of my favourite snaps:

 

 

These are just a few of the many thousand, so I’m sure I’ll be posting the odd extra pic here and there when I find some hidden gems. So if you fancy following along you can find me on here – @jet.set.chick – or if you have any tips or know of any good blogs on photography do share, I’m always wanting to learn more!

Hope you’re having a good weekend, I’m back off to spend the day at the Saatchi Gallery in London, taking a break from looking behind the lens and instead enjoying my first love before the days of digital, the beautiful world of fine art.

Have a good Sunday!

 

 

Are you on instagram? Share your links! I need more accounts to explore 🙂

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Last week we had a situation which meant me swapping my party-in-a-car-commute for public transport and a countryside brisk walk to get into work for a few days. The first day, in true Manchester style it absolutely chucked it down. I was soaked, but not deterred. As the days went on the weather got better and by Friday it was absolutely glorious! I watched the sun rise from the comfort of my train window seat and literally skipped all the way to work once I hit Cheshire. Walking along the grass overgrown embankment, not a sound or person in sight. The sun was peeping out the air was chilled but fresh – perfect for walking. I felt completely uplifted. Liberated even, I was in the BEST mood.

It reminded me how much I adore being outdoors. A lot of my most recent posts have been about local experiences and North West adventures rather than far away distant travel, but that’s because we actually have quite a lot going on for ourselves here in the UK.

Back in 2007, my dad dragged a couple of friends and me out for a very chilly February walk in the Yorkshire Dales. Our first rambling adventure, the first of many. I had never done anything like it in the past, had no idea what to expect but it started a trend that has carried on up until this day. We climbed Pen y ghent that day. We got lost, some of us fell over, waded through mud, made new wildlife friends and generally had a wonderfully memorable day.

 

 

Ever since then, whenever dad and I have needed a bonding session, to the hills we go! My dad, ever the acronym creator started labelling the trip as FD day (father + daughter) a trip that has grown into FDsquared (father + 2xdaughters), FDS (father + daughter + son-in-law) and so on…

No two walks are ever the same, and each one comes with its own challenges and misfortunes – both of which make great stories. Couple of years ago we attempted Ben Nevis, but alas the weather conditions weren’t great so dad didn’t make it up with the rest of us (it still kills him now that he didn’t do it, sorry dad!). The tough conditions also put me and Mo off wanting to go on a walk for some time.

 

 

However earlier this summer I felt that it had been far too long since dad and I had ventured out into the great British countryside and we scheduled in a fairly easy walk to get us back into it. Mam Tor was to be the next FDS day out.

Not quite the easy walk we had planned, as per usual we managed to a) get ourselves lost and b) in the process found ourselves scaling some tricky route with no clue whatsoever what we were aiming for, or what Mam Tor even looked like!?!?!

Trekking Britain states the following route for reaching the top:

  1. Take the route out of the back of the car park up the steep and rather large steps. The path turns right and ascends towards Mam Tor.
  2. After around two hundred metres of ascent the path reaches the minor road that passes over the col between Rushup Edge and Mam Tor.
  3. As the path meets the road you will see a gate on the right hand (eastern) side of the road, walk through the gate and ascend the steps of the well laid path that takes you to the summit of Mam Tor.

Sounds simple right?

Well we didn’t do that. We started at another car park, climbed some crazy mini hill, which nearly gave us all heart palpitations because we underestimated its steepness.

 

 

We then struggled to agree on what path to take as none of the ones we saw corresponded with our map and no-one wanted to take responsibility for getting it wrong. And basically, instead of gradually ascending the well laid path to the summit, well we decided to climb up the ditch on the other side.

 

 

All in all it turned out how every FDS day should, we had hours of laughter, lots of bi-polar Mo behaviour (he can never decide whether he loves or hates walking), plenty of confusion and the most important part of all… quality time with my old man.

Every single walk we have taken together has been momentous. Everyone we have taken with us, even with the ups and downs, they’ve always enjoyed it enough to want to join in on the next.

Being outdoors is a special kind of feeling. I know like many of us these days, I can easily get carried away with the digital world, so when I do get the opportunity to venture out into the open air, it really helps me focus.

If you’ve not given rambling a go, well I urge you to try it at least once. Get out, take the right kit and enjoy! you won’t regret it!

oh but if you do regret it, feel free to blame my dad 🙂

Maybe not today though – Happy Birthday dad! thank you for being my number one fan and always forcing me to take time out LOL x

 

Have you spent a day out in the Great British countryside? Is rambling your thing? What’s been your favourite walk? 

 

 

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Todays post is a little okay a lot different to ones I normally write about. That’s because yesterday was a very special day. Six years ago on the 18th of January, I met my best friend.

Not only do we now share a life together, we also share the same interests and passions. I brought wildlife and conservation to the table and Mo brought his passion for perfume.

One of the first things he taught me was that the sense of smell is so powerful, it can take you back to a moment in time. A place, a memory.

We’ve been together for a while now and over the years I have been gifted with many a special fragrance that invokes memories, usually of travels, that I can cherish. We have both expanded our knowledge on the history, creation and power of perfume and we constantly yearn to know more. Together.

We have wandered through the streets of Marrakech, searching for boutique perfumers. Visited specialist houses such as Guerlain in Paris. We have even visited the perfume capital of the world, Grasse.

Every trip we have been on has led us to discovering artisans, specialists, usually locals. Mo has made sure there is a way for us to remember each adventure by, using the most powerful sense of all.

So yesterday, on the anniversary of the day we first met, I was gifted a very special addition to my ever-growing collection. I received ‘Danger’ by Roja Dove.

For those of you who don’t know who he is then I am going to let you into a little secret so you too can experience the power of scent.

Knightsbridge is home to one of the most famous department stores in the world. Harrods. A towering palatial style block, with six floors of everything you can think of. The home of luxury; people travel from all over the globe to shop and even just be seen here.

But I don’t need to tell you about Harrods, it’s nothing new and definitely no secret (and to be perfectly honest, if you’ve been once, it’s not the kind of place you need to look round over and over again). What a lot of people don’t seem to know is that tucked away on the sixth floor is the Salon de Parfums. Not accessible by the central Egyptian staircases, the final escalator is hidden amongst the ladies shoe collection on the fifth floor.

The original Haute Perfumerie was even harder to find, a subtle door at the end of the Bistro Bar. Every visit felt like we were fleeting down the rabbit hole, escaping the real world for one filled with large glass vials of perfume oil and diamond encrusted baccarat crystal bottles. Now, a little less subtle, as you reach the top of the escalators, you’re faced with the sleek sweet smelling luxury of the Salon de Parfums. Away from the mad chaotic crowds, the Salon de Parfums is an area of tranquillity, featuring eleven boutiques and of course our room of choice belongs to Mo’s perfume hero, Roja Dove.

A complete contrast to the original, what was once a dark and intimate space is now a palette of creams, soft leathers and just the right amount of crystals reflecting light through the displays right down to the gleaming white floors. Not a bank balance friendly place – the prices start at the £70 mark but go up into tens of thousands, if not more!

But for perfume enthusiasts and connoisseurs, it’s not all about the buying. It’s a place to come in contact with some of the finest fragrances that aren’t available on the high street. Harrods even created a fragrance gallery, where world exclusives were amongst some of the fragrances on show.

Last year, for our wedding anniversary, I surprised Mo with tickets to one of Roja’s lectures, after hours at the Victoria & Albert Museum. We sat on the second row amongst a crowd of perfume critics, writers and experts, whilst Roja educated and entertained us, even allowing the whole audience to smell some of the rarest scents.

This lecture meant the world to Mo, but it also meant something to me. It was the point where I realised how much I too, appreciated the world of perfumery and how something that seems so insignificant is in fact the opposite. Now that I share Mo’s passion and interest in the world of scent, being gifted ‘Danger’ by Roja Dove is an honour.

We all encounter different smells throughout our lives. It’s like a personal souvenir. One that as I mentioned earlier, conjures up memories good and bad and has the potential to take you back to travel destinations.

Even without realising it… we are all experiencing the power of scent every single day.

 

Still not convinced? Click here to read Mo’s thoughts on Roja Dove in his note of thanks – The Maestro

 

Are there any ‘scents’ that invoke your travel memories?

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Last year, my dad nagged me for weeks to pick a date for all the family to travel to Scotland, so he and I could finally take on Ben Nevis.

Way back in 2008, my dad and I went on our first country walk together to Pen Y Ghent (Yorkshire). It was the first time I had properly ventured into the Great British outdoors and I absolutely LOVED it. Since then, anytime we wanted quality time together, a walk was always our meeting place.

So, for my 30th birthday, choosing the highest peak in the United Kingdom seemed the obvious choice. View Post

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My favourite souvenir? this month? this year?

Considering I have never not brought back a souvenir, this question poses all kinds of difficulties for me. I have many, many OCD tendencies: I don’t approve of clutter, I organise every part of our home, I love clean open spaces, but when it comes to souvenirs…. I am a person who needs to be grouped in the category labelled ‘hoarder’. From the tacky tat to the expensive handmade pieces, I absolutely adore bringing back momentos from places I visit.

Yes, I am one of those who has had to buy an extra holdall in Marrakech just to carry a ginormous hand embroidered blanket we bought in a market.

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