The joy of discovering new hobbies in your thirties

Leopard print shirt dress: Asos (similar)
Brown and gold sliders (similar)

I have been talking for years about taking the time to learn a new skill but I have never gotten round to it. It's the same old story. I'm just always too busy doing other things and never have the time. As we get older we sometimes stop learning and using our brain as much. We become comfortable and stuck in the same routine. It almost becomes like ground hog day.

Since we went into Lockdown I have realised just how important having a hobby is. It's incredible how much it can enrich your life and bring you joy. I realised I just never made the time. My priorities were different. Well that all changed when I was furloughed and suddenly had all the time in the world.

The running joke is that I am trying my hardest to love the good life. I have started growing my own vegetables, constantly baking cakes, taken up cycling and am utterly obsessed with making fresh sourdough at least twice a week. Thank God flour is becoming a bit easier to find. These are things I have been meaning to attempt for a while but always made out I didn't have the time. I can't tell you how much joy they are all bringing me.

Cycling is giving me a much needed dose of fresh air and I'm discovering places nearby which I had no idea existed. I love those afternoon cycles along our local river. Baking is giving me the chance to flex my creativity which I usually get at work. I'm loving testing myself in the kitchen and attempting things for the first time. They don't always come out exactly how I envisioned but it just means I give it another go. I joined The Puff Bakery pastry school which has been fantastic. Pastry was always something I couldn't quite grasp but now I'm making delicious bakes! I feel so proud of myself! Growing vegetables is giving me such a sense of accomplishment. Who knew growing a pea could bring you so much joy? I have realised that I really do enjoy being out in the fresh air and maybe I'm not as much of a city girl as I say I am. The slower pace of life and the chance to enjoy new things is bringing me so much joy right now. The fresh air really does sooth my soul and I have such a longing to be outside. I find myself craving it.

Have you discovered any new hobbies during lockdown?


Exploring Europe: Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Since the pandemic happened I realised just how much I missed writing about travel so I'm bringing it back. It might help you get some ideas for when it is fully safe to leave the country again and explore cultures different to our own, I'm not ready to leave the UK just yet (even if we could) but I am excited to see the world again soon.

Five years ago I was too hungover to make it to the Sagrada Familia so this time I made sure it was top of my list when I visited Barcelona back in February. The queues to buy tickets are insane so I fully recommend being organised and buying tickets online before hand. It costs around £17 for a fast-track ticket with a timed entry. I follow recommend paying a bit more and buying the audio guide as the information offered is invaluable. It can get confusing as to what section they're talking about so pay close attention.

Gaudi's Sagrada Familia is famous for being unfinished, by the time all construction has been completed in 2026, it will have taken 146 years to build. It will be completed on the centenary of his death. At the time of Gaudi's death less than a quarter of the cathedral was finished. As you stand outside in awe, you can clearly see exactly why it has taken this long. The detailing is absolutely insane and I find it so hard to comprehend how an idea as intricate as this has come from someone's head. One side of the cathedral is based on the Nativity section of the bible which is the New Testament and the other side is the Passion, the Old Testament of the bible.

It's not very often that I feel blown away by a building as I've been lucky enough to see some pretty spectacular architecture. But the Sagrada Familia really is on a whole other level. The amount of dealing really does blow your mind away. Oh to have that amount of creativity! If you only see one sight in Barcelona then this is the only place to buy tickets for. You'll be thinking about the cathedral long after you have left. It stays with you forever!


5 things I'm looking forward to when this is over

Red leopard print midi dress: Zara (similar)
Brown and gold sliders: Matalan (similar)

I've mentioned in my previous post that I have been finding things pretty tough this month. It feels like we have been in this situation forever and I'm struggling to remember what life was like pre-Covid-19. So I've been thinking a lot about what I'm looking forward to doing once we get back to life before. It may never be like life before, and let's be honest some things shouldn't go back to how they were before, but here are the somewhat mundane things I can't wait to do. Without a shadow of a doubt hugging family and friends is top of the list.

1. Popping over to our best friends house
Our best friends live at the end of our road and we're often popping in and out randomly. In fact during the summer months we just let ourselves in the back gate without knocking! Although we have been meeting up in the garden for a socially distanced beer in the evening, it doesn't quite feel the same. When it gets too cold or starts to rain we have to wander home. It'll be so nice to move into the living room without a second thought and carry on with the conversation.

2. Sitting in the cinema to watch a film on the big screen
We both have Cineworld unlimited cards so are fairly regular cinema goers. I have really missed the whole experience, It's just not the same on your sofa watching Netflix. It's so easy to be looking at your phone and be easily distracted whilst at home. I just love everything about going to the cinema. I love the snacks, the massive chairs and the loud noises making you jump when something scary is about to happen!

3. Going to a spin class
Last year I joined the gym and got really into my spin classes. I mean I absolutely hate it during the lesson but it makes me feel so good once it is all over. I really enjoyed it becoming part of my routine and looked forward to it every Monday. I didn't think it would be something I would miss but stranger things have happened!

4. Being able to aimlessly walk around a food store
I may be in the minority in this but I absolutely love food shopping. I often joke it's the highlight of my week. Food shopping has been pretty militant since lockdown as it isn't the time to aimlessly wander. I try to be in and out as quickly as possible. With queues whatever time of day and the social distancing required, food shopping hasn't been the most enjoyable experience. I really miss popping in random food stores and taking a browse. If you look in my cupboards you'll find a whole array of different spices and tins from all over the world. I love picking up new-to-me ingredients and researching how to use them.

5. Hanging out in an airport
I'm one of those odd people who really loves the ritual of going to the airport before a holiday. I feel quite relaxed in an airport. I even love getting up at the crack of dawn to make the journey to the airport. It excites me because I know I'll be jetting off to somewhere new. We are that couple who always gets to the airport a good few hours before our flight - never one to race through praying to make it. We're lucky we only live 20 minutes from Stansted so it's no bother to there early. We have a little mooch around duty free before heading somewhere for a leisurely breakfast to help us get in the mood for our holiday.

What are you most looking forward to doing?

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