Friday, 17 February 2017

Older Doesn't Always Mean Easier

I really wish I didn't have to write this post, but I feel I would be doing myself a disservice by not writing up the last couple of weeks. After my last few posts being really positive, upbeat and mainly about me excited for the future, happy with life and travelling, this is going to be much more sombre and for me, heart-breaking.
Life has a way of punching you in the face when everything is going well.

I'm struggling to even to write this.

Things were going well last weekend, I was having an amazing time in Vienna, as you will see from my Vienna post, but then I got that phone call that pulled my feet out from under me. You know the feeling when the whole world seems to swallow you whole. I was standing in the middle of the street in Vienna when my mum called to say that my 92-year old grandfather, otherwise known as 'Pappy' was back in hospital, and this time it was it. He had been in and out of hospital since September last year, and for a man of his age it wasn't surprising. Yet, when you are thousands of miles away and not coming home for two days, what do you do? I was on standby, ready to rush to the airport to come home early, but luckily that wasn't needed. As soon as I landed on Monday I drove straight from Egham to Bath hospital, pretending to myself that I wasn't going to say goodbye, although I knew that deep down that's what I was heading for.

I like to think that, having seen all of my cousins, he was waiting for me. I know he was in pain, and it wouldn't be fair to him to have wanted him to be around for as long as possible, but the selfish part of me wanted just that. Yet after spending all day sat at his bedside on Tuesday and then heading back home late that night, I woke up early on Wednesday morning to the news that he had slipped away in the night.

Once again, I'm stuck in that feeling of things being not quite real, there's all the talk of funerals and estates etc. and what will happen to my grandma now and it's all so overwhelming. Getting to 92 is an achievement in itself, and Pappy could not have had a better life, a happy 62-year marriage, three children, 9 grandchildren, a wonderful home, and even being in the navy in WWII. But still, at the end of the day, it is sad. It saddens me because, after such an amazing life, he had to end it in pain, but also, selfishly I know, it makes me think about my own mortality and that fucking scares me too. I know it has to happen to all of us, but that doesn't mean I'm not terrified.

I know this is going to happen more and more as I get older now, the goodbyes are going to become more common, but this doesn't mean that they are going to get any easier.
So all I wanted to really say way, I'll see you later Pappy, I love you, we all miss you so much and I know I'll see you soon.

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Lots of Love, Desmond Rae Harris 5 December 1924 - 8 February 2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017


Oh Vienna, your beauty astounds me.

So this week's focus is on the wonderful city of Vienna in Austria where I was lucky enough to spend a weekend at the beginning of February. Today's show, although being a bit late, was all about what to do if you find yourself heading to the wonderful city. Vienna is also known as 'little Italy' so be prepared to find Italian restaurants everywhere and some of the best Italian food outside of Italy.

  • STA Tour: 48 hours in Vienna: includes a half day city tour including museums, wine bars and the opera and one night in a hostel
TOP TIP: Vienna is small so a long weekend in more than enough. Don't buy an underground ticket, everything is within walking distance. If you do, get a 24/48/72 hour pass for between £10-£15 from the ticket machines, although there are no ticket barriers or guards so if you are feeling less than honest...

Easiest way to get there:

  • Fly Direct from Gatwick or Heathrow with British Airways or Austrian Airways, both at a similar price of £100 per person
  • Or make it part of your inter-railing journey (for which there will be a special show at some point in the future)

Vienna from above
Where to stay:
  • Wombat's City Hostel: £17 per night for a dorm room which includes free Wifi
  • Das Capri Hotel: includes breakfast for £80 per night for a double room (but features in a very good BA deal at 
Spanish Riding School

What to do:
  • Museums: There are many many impressive museums in Vienna that can be quite pricey, but they are all free on the first Sunday of each month if you can time your trip to fit in with this. Otherwise, it might be worth purchasing the Vienna card that can bring you discounts, free tickets and travel, and is also available from all hotels/hostels and online in advance
  • Walk the Ringstrasse: Give yourself a guided tour of Vienna's historic highlights or hop on the tourist Ringstrasse Tram for approx. £5
  • Spanish Riding School: This famous riding school is a must when in Vienna. Head over to the Winter Arena in the Hofburg Imperial Palace and get to watch the morning practice to music, every morning Tuesday-Saturday 10-12 for £10 with a student card. Tickets cannot be bought in advance so make sure to get there around 9:30 am to be guaranteed entry and get yourself a seat!
  • Danube Tower: Take a trip to the tower on the outside of the city where 171m up, you can have lunch in the revolving restaurant with a view. Take a look at picture-perfect mountains that surround Vienna.  
  • Praeter: Head to Praeter for the old time fairground rides and what Vienna claims to be one of the oldest Ferris Wheels in the world, and certainly one of the most romantic places - combine your ticket with the Danube tower for £14.50

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

Working Girl

Now I've got your attention, I'm sorry to say this post is not revealing that I have suddenly decided to become an escort, let's be honest, I'd be out of your price range anyhow.

No, unfortunately, I've just been working a hell of a lot, as every third-year university student around this time of year. If it hasn't already been handed in, the dreaded dissertation has started to rear its ugly head and needs as much attention as it can be given while trying to juggle every other essay, all of which seem to have the same deadline, along with impending exams appearing over the horizon of Easter break. All this madness, combined with the fact that nearly everyone I know has some form of part-time job along with sports or society commitments, it is official, in third year there is no time anymore.

I find myself thinking in weeks ahead rather than days anymore and having to schedule meetings with friends either at the last second or weeks in advance, just to make sure our plans actually happen.

In all of this, I think we need to make sure we set aside some time for ourselves, just to breathe. I know saying that is fairly hypocritical coming from me as I never let myself stop, partly because I don't want to, but also because I get really bored doing nothing and need something productive to do. That was really part of the point of this blog in the beginning.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that its okay to be busy, but make sure you are busy with what is making you happy and enjoy the feeling of being busy, but do let yourself stop once in a while and take stock of everything and be proud of what you've managed to achieve. But don't forget your friends and family on the way around, they'll need to be scheduled into your busy life too!

Have a busy, productive and amazing week my lovelies,

Have a good week my loves!

Lots of Love, Kate xxx

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