A Week in Scotland: Loch Lomond & Loch Fyne

If you follow me on my Instagram, you might have seen that last month I went on my first holiday in a long time. We stayed in a lodge at Cameron House on Loch Lomond, Scotland (which made the news at the end of 2017 for a bad fire in the main house, which is still being rebuilt).


I can’t tell you how ready I was to spend some real time outside, surrounded by beautiful scenery. Having spent 3 years living in a city centre, I was definitely in the mood for some fresh, fresh air. And for that, where better to go than Scotland?


If you know me, you know that I have a particular love for trees, which made the scenes around Cameron House perfect for warming my heart. There’s just something about trees, and forests in particular, which have such magic imbibed into them. Why else would so much European folklore take place in forests? So, of course, my camera came everywhere.


Early on in the week, we went on the Loch Lomond ferry tour – an hour long trip around the lake, to admire its beauty from all angles. The weather happened to be really moody when we went, but stayed just clear enough that we had some really spectacular views of the lake and the surrounding hills – and I think I was just about able to capture some of it on camera. If you visit the loch, I’d recommend the ferry trip any day.


The next place I’d recommend? Loch Fyne. You might have heard of the restaurant chain – well, this is where it originates. We were fortunate enough to have an absolutely gorgeous day when we visited; the entire lake was crystal clear and, well, the photos speak for themselves. Quaint little boats, lots of seaweed as it’s a salt water lake, and absolutely stunning hills to boot.


In fact, the photos from this particular day have been keeping my Instagram going for a while. Each angle had something different to offer, and it was truly spectacular to have it all right in front of you. Behind us was the town of Inveraray, site of Inveraray Castle and Inverarary Jail. The castle has a history dating back to the 1400s, though the building itself is more recent, and has some beautifully maintained grounds. The jail, which housed adults and children alike, allows visitors to walk into the old cells, while the audio guide explains what barbaric punishments and terrible conditions prisoners had to endure when it was in use – it has been closed since 1889. It may sound bleak, but if you’re a history geek like I am, it’s definitely worth a visit.


The third and final place I’ll mention in this post is The Hill House. No, not related to the book, the films or the Netflix series about a haunted house. This is simply… a house on a hill. Except, it’s a bit more intriguing than that: the National Trust have taken care of this house because, built in the Victorian Era, it was created with an extremely out-of-the-norm art-deco style. Unfortunately, the man who had the house built didn’t quite take into account the amount of rain the house would have to endure, and so it’s always had a perennial damp problem. The solution? A really, really big box.


Under the great metal cage lies the house, turrets and pebble-dash and all, and the strange opportunity to walk not only through the house, but over it as well. The outside seemed to me to be rather unassuming, but the inside was unexpectedly light and airy, though unfortunately I didn’t take many photos so I can’t show you here. Take my word for it – it is like one ginormous art piece; from the walls to the doors to the furniture, everything is carefully selected and feels oddly ahead of its time. Me being me, of course, I managed to whack my head on one of the metal wall lights while admiring the piano. Tall and clumsy, anyone? No? Just me? Cool.

So, that pretty much concludes this long-overdue blog post. We weren’t too concerned with rushing here, there and everywhere on this holiday, so we had a couple of quiet days as well. I even got into a swimming pool for the first time in years – though in order for that to happen we did dedicate an entire day to finding me a bikini… But it isn’t the time or place for that story! Either way, I’ll always maintain the relief from finding yourself some quiet time outside, surrounded by nature, is never to be underestimated.

Where was the last place you went on holiday?


I Tried Meditation for a Month

Meditation, to me, has always been one of those things that sounds so… kooky. I’ve never found occasion to use that word before, but this felt like the time. And it’s true – sitting down with your eyes shut for extended periods of time? For what reason?

And yet, meditation is definitely having its vogue moment. Easily for a couple of years now, really. And I’ve dabbled before – I downloaded the Insight Timer app back in my first year of university and used it somewhat sporadically. My streaks never lasted more than a few days at a time, but I must have found some benefit in it if I kept going back.

Skipping ahead to last month, I downloaded Headspace. You can get the subscription for free when you have a student subscription to Spotify – something I did already know some time ago, but at the time I couldn’t figure out how to get the accounts to link (oops). But I figured it out this time and decided to give it a go.


I don’t know what I expected, going in. I didn’t immediately decide to try it out for a month, but after it gave me this cute little image for having done 3 days in a row, I checked out the little ‘goals’ part of the app, where it tracks you as you reach certain milestones. 1 day, 3 days, 10 days, 15 days, 30 days, 90 days, 180 days, and 365 days. I figured I’d start with 30.

Headspace has ‘packs’ of meditation sessions – there’s a few Basics packs, of which I completed one, then they have Creativity, Managing Anxiety, Happiness, Productivity and more. There are also ‘singles’, which are of varying lengths and are intended for while you’re walking, or times you feel overwhelmed, things like that. Finally they have ‘minis’, which are all three minutes or under and are great for that spare couple of minutes where you just need a breather.

You hear a lot about the supposed benefits of meditation – as a stress reliever, as something to help you learn about yourself… And I guess I did learn some things. I definitely learned that deep breathing makes me yawn, and that was one of the biggest obstacles for me. I tend to naturally breathe through my mouth rather than my nose (weird, I know… I’m one of those), so concentrating on changing that is a challenge. My lungs are a little big for my ribcage as it is – it’s hard for me to take full breaths, which I don’t often notice on a day to day basis, but the deep breathing you do in meditation definitely made me more aware of it. My mum used to have that too, until she had kids and her ribcage expanded a little because of pregnancy.


I know a lot of people meditate to become more in tune with their body, but what I realised as the month went on was that I’m already pretty in tune with mine. I have to be, to some extent, because of my hypermobility. I tend to know which parts of my body are more tense, or inflamed, or strained etc. fairly intuitively.

What did become clear is that sometimes, my brain is just super busy. It can be hard to slow it down and focus. What I did find quite amusing was that, for some reason, the number one thing my brain wants to do while I meditate is play catchy tunes in my head and dance around a little. I wonder what the psychoanalysis of that would be!

I also started off with the intention of doing a session every morning, but in reality I think I spent most of the days putting it off until the evening. I found it really difficult to bring myself to meditate when I get up in the mornings, but going forward I would like to make myself do it then. The days I did, I think it’s safe to say I felt the benefits more.


So what was my overall experience like? Well, I didn’t have any major revelations. I don’t feel like any entirely new person, as some people claim. But I did find it to be an oddly enjoyable pastime – considering how bustling life can be, and how many of us nowadays rarely have a moment of silence, what with life happening all around us and listening to music/podcasts/audiobooks while doing a whole host of things. It can be quite calming to have those few minutes of stillness.

I don’t know if I’ll continue to meditate every day… I might do – the app reminds you each day at a time you choose – but it seems like a nice thing to do when your brain feels a bit too busy, or you’re a bit too stressed.

Do you meditate? Would you like to start?

Sunshine Blogger Award


I’ve finally gotten around to writing my Sunshine Blogger Award post! I was nominated by Jenna from Northernbird84 and by Milli!

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award? Well…

The rules:

1.) Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog

2.) Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you

3.) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive this award, and write them 11 new questions

4.) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog

I was nominated by Jenna first, so I’ll answer her questions first and Milli’s afterwards!

Jenna’s Questions

1) Which blogger would you love to work with and why?

Does a vlogger/blogger count? I’d probably say Tanya Burr. She stands for a lot of the same things I do, I admire her work ethic, and she’s not afraid to dream big.

2) What one thing could you not live without?

There’s a lot of material things I could go for here, but I’m going to go ahead and say I couldn’t live without my creativity. I get bored really easily, so if I didn’t have that, I can’t fathom how dull life would be.

3) Do you have pets? If not would you like to?

I don’t, but I definitely would like a cat… or a tortoise… something that doesn’t need to be taken on walks! I’m too busy/lazy to deal with that.

4) What made you start blogging?

I was extremely stressed in sixth form and decided I was too out of the habit of writing, so thought that if I set up a blog and made myself stick to a schedule (even though that’s gone a bit out of the window recently – but I have reasons, I promise!), I’d get back into it. I really wanted to improve my writing skills, and just become comfortable reading my own writing, and this seemed like a fairly accessible way of working towards that.

5) Has your blog changed over time?

Definitely. Massively. Different layout, different categories, different content. I think the only thing that’s stayed the same is what I write about Travel – but I’ve been so swamped by university that even that’s feeling neglected right now! I recently cleared out my old blog posts to give myself a bit of a fresh start, took away a few categories, and added one called Advocacy. I’ve decided I’m going to write about the things that matter to me about the world, and that’s where it’s going to happen. The first few posts there are already up, if you want to check them out…

6) If you were offered an all expenses paid holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?

So many places! If I really have to choose just one, I’ll say Italy. I hear it’s expensive. I’m really interested in Roman history, and I’ve never really learned much about it, so I’d probably go to Rome.

7) What is your beauty must-have?

Probably a hair brush. It’s a bad day if I’ve forgotten to pack one of those – especially here in Liverpool, where the wind today as I’m writing this was simply mad. The six foot guys standing next to me at the lights were struggling to hold their ground.

8) Do you have a favourite blog post of yours?

I can’t think of one off the top of my head, so I’m going to say no. I don’t think I could choose.

9) Are there any brands/charities you’d want to work with?

I seriously want to work with the UN at some point in my life, particularly in the Global Goals sort of area. I’ve thought this for years. It’s so international, and I think it would be amazing to work with them.

10) What would be a perfect evening in for you?

A perfect evening in would definitely include good company, chocolate, a cosy film (let’s face it – a Harry Potter), blankets on a comfy sofa, and my laptop or a notebook so I could get some writing done. I realise that may sound like work, but I get restless and writing relaxes me.

11) If you could give your past self one piece of advice, what would it be?

This is actually a really hard question, because I feel like struggles you’ve had teach you something, and they make you who you are. But I think one thing would be to go to the doctors way earlier about acne, because I had that for a solid nine years and it was definitely a stress I could have done without. It took enough trips to the doctor to get a treatment that worked, but it would have been good if I’d done that about two years earlier!

Milli’s Questions

1) Do you wish you’d started blogging sooner?

Not really. I started around the time I turned eighteen, and moved platforms a couple of months afterwards, so I’ve been here for 2 years. I don’t think it would have been worth starting any earlier – I was writing online for a website for a while in my teens anyway, as well as a few things for my school’s newsletter, so I think adding a blog may have been too much.

2) Do you want to make your blog into a career or is it just a side hobby?

I don’t have specific plans to make my blog my career. I want to write, but I’d really like to be a novelist/screenwriter, so I guess I’d have to say side hobby!

3) Are you single or taken?

Sin-gle. As single as can be.

4) If you could only eat sweet or savoury for the rest of your life, which would you pick?

Savoury. As much as it pains me to say it, savoury. Savoury foods are just more filling, y’know?

5) What is your Myers Briggs type?

INFJ-A, so apparently one of the rarest? I did the test a couple of times, once a couple of years ago and once more recently, and the result didn’t change. I have friends with some of the same letters, but I’ve yet to find another INFJ. Either way, the result probably tells you more than enough about me!

6) What’s your biggest goal for 2018?

*Whispers* Get a book deal. Shhhh!

7) What is your job role and do you enjoy it?

I have a very flexible role as a brand manager on my uni campus, so if brands host events at my uni and need promoters, I can do the promotion. A lot of it so far has been online work, just promoting competitions and things on social media. It’s an alright position, nothing too stressful going on. It’s good I can work it around my studies and other commitments.

8) Did you enjoy school?

Complicated question. Yes and no. I’ve always enjoyed learning, I enjoyed seeing lots of people every day, and all that – but the education system in the UK infuriates me for reasons too long-winded to go into here!

9) What’s the last purchase you splurged on?

Like, really splurged? My camera. I got it last summer, and it’s probably the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought myself! The camera was on a deal on Amazon, and the deal was one of those lightning things that only lasts a certain amount of time, so I basically just went for it. I wouldn’t say I regret buying it – it’s really great quality, and it’s meant I’ve taken many more photos since I got it. I’m really trying to save money now, though.

10) Any exciting trips planned for this year?

No 😦 unfortunately not. Depending on when my one exam for this semester is, I may be going to the Lake District with my parents for a week in a couple of months, but if my exam is later than I hope, I’ll be staying at uni. Dying for a sunny holiday, but that’ll have to wait for now!

11) Favourite genre of music?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite genre. According to Spotify, I listen to pop the most – but I don’t pay attention to genres. I like a lot of different things – pop, indie, country, whatever… A bit of Evanescence. All that.

So there we have it! My 22 questions from 2 nominations. Now it’s my turn…

My eleven nominees:

1) Tarnya (@sweet_allure)

2) Highlands2hammocks (@highlands2hamm)

3) Dani (@daniwanderlust)

4) Jess (@FairytalesJessx)

5) Hels (@thehelsproject)

6) Elizabeth Walton (@Life_WithLizzie)

7) Farrah Aslam (@farrahaslamblog)

8) Emmax (@lifeofemmax)

9) Esther Wyse (@EstherRuthWyse)

10) Grace K. (@blogherosix)

11) Honey (@Honey_KJ)

My eleven questions:

1) What are three things you really want to do in your lifetime?

2) If you could help solve one world problem, which would it be?

3) What song’s been in your head recently?

4) Name one public figure, outside of the blogging industry, who inspires you and why.

5) Are you an earphones person or a headphones person?

6) Do you write anything outside of your blog?

7) Have you gone to/are you at/will you go to university?

8) What do you see yourself doing in two years’ time?

9) Are you a ‘foodie’?

10) Are you interested in world affairs?

11) What’s one thing you wished people knew about you?

I look forward to reading the responses!