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24 hours offline (at Glamping the Wight Way)

Living life online is overwhelming, stressful and all-consuming.

Writing a blog, replying to emails, maintaining a beautiful Instagram grid, continuously posting stories, interacting with others on Twitter – arrrghhhhhh! Even writing it all down makes me feel tired. It is HARD WORK. Especially when you’re told that to ‘grow’, you need to (constantly) ‘sell yourself’.

You know you need to take some time offline when you’ve been scrolling through your camera roll for 1hr 45mins desperately looking for a picture to instagram. And that’s exactly what I decided to do. I was sat on my bed, in a moment of complete digital dismay, when I realised I needed to stop. I frantically started googling ‘where in the world has the least phone signal’ and then ‘how to get to the Isle of Wight’ and then ‘Glamping on the Isle of Wight’ and I found Glamping the Wight Way!

The tagline on their website was ‘Bubbles, Blankets & Birdsong. Connect with the Natural World for a while’. I nearly hopped on the boat straight away.

So off I went to Glamping the Wight Way, ready for a digital detox and a weekend away immersing myself in nature. It is the PERFECT place to chill out and forget about your Twitter notifications. Right by the River Yar near Yarmouth, it is completely rural. You drive down a little farm track lined with cowslip and pull over to find 4 beautiful safari tents at the top of a slope with beautiful views across the fields. It’s almost completely off-grid, you have to heat the tent and the water with a little log burner and there’s the odd solar lamp but no street lights! It’s all about toasting marshmallows on a fire pit, boiling a kettle on a gas stove, and playing cards while wrapped in a blanket.

At 4 o’clock I turned my phone off (timed so that my boyfriend could watch Man U kick off at 4pm the next day *eye roll emoji*) and let out a huge sigh of relief.

This is what I learnt:

I don’t NEED my phone on me 24/7

It’s surprising how much you don’t NEED your phone in a day. Really the only desperate NEED for it is in an emergency. I don’t NEED to post on my instagram story or check my Facebook messages, but we think we do, cause we’ve all acquired such bad habits! No messages or calls came through in the 24 hours that I NEEDED to read… so maybe I don’t need my phone as much as I think I do?

My ‘checking my emails obsession’ is ridiculous 

No one, NO ONE is going to email you an amazing opportunity at the weekend. Anyone worthy of an ‘exciting email’ is going to be living their life at the weekend and not sat their worrying about whether you’ll take up their offer of a free phone case for 6 instagram posts.

I spend more time talking and not sat in silence 

Normally when my boyfriend and I go to bed, we spend around half an hour to an hour sitting on our phones, looking at nothing, sat in silence. Am I going to remember this moment when I die? No. Am I going to remember a meaningful conversation about his favourite cheese? Yes.

I didn’t miss out on much 

‘OMG but what if a MAJOR news story breaks?!’ – then you’ll find out tomorrow. ‘But what if @instagramuser does an AMAZING instagram?!’ – you’ll see it tomorrow. ‘YEAH but what if ALIENS invade the planet and EAT my cat’ – bit weird, but you’ll find out tomorrow.

All that happened was Caroline Flack got engaged and a linen jacket I wanted from Mango came back in stock.

I even texted my mum at 3.59 on Saturday saying ‘HI MUM, just a reminder that I’m going offline for 24 hours! Don’t miss me too much, love you!’ and she DIDN’T EVEN REPLY.

I felt less stressed and much more relaxed 

It was so nice not worrying about other people having ‘more fun’ than me. I just tried to focus on having fun myself and not taking a ‘boomerang cheers’ for everyone else to see on the ‘gram. (‘LOOK GUYS, I’M HAVING FUN’). In the constant chaos that is life, it became one thing less to worry about.

The whole experience was a real weight off my shoulders for 24 hours and I actually loved it. That’s not to say I’m going to be offline 24/7 – how can we be in this day and age? But I’m certainly going to make a concerted effort to put my phone down, observe the world around me, listen to peoples’ conversations and just have a nice life – instead of worrying about how to portray my ‘nice life’.*

*The irony is… here is now a portrayal of my ‘nice life’ at Glamping the Wight Way haaaa. Obvs these photos were taken while we were there, but all the editing, uploading and writing of this blog was done after my time offline!

 

Outfit details

Mango crochet top £19.99

Mango knitted skirt £35.99

Birkenstock Arizona sandals £59.99

 

 

 

 

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A weekend in Dorset

Walking along jagged cliffs, breathing in sea air, and drinking lots of wine in cosy pubs with open fires. Have I just described your perfect weekend? Because I have definitely just described mine.

There are so many beautiful places in the UK to explore, and Dorset is one I’ve barely touched (despite living just down the road… #embarrassing) I spent last weekend with my boyfriend’s family in West Bay, which I was very excited to find out, was where they filmed Broadchurch!

We went on the most beautiful walk along the cliffs on Sunday morning (photos below) and I wore my fave new FILA colour-block sleeve jumper, which you can buy here. I hope you like my photo diary below!

Emma x

Outfit details

ASOS Fila Sweatshirt with colour block sleeves £55

Patagonia Grey Recycled wool hat £25

Accessorize Sterling Silver earrings £10

 

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Exercise and Mental Health

I’m not a big exercise person. I don’t LOVE the gym, I don’t get a rush from doing a HIIT workout and the last thing I want to do is sign up to a bloomin’ marathon.

Having said that, I’d rather be doing a Pilates class, or spend 10 mins in a steam room than sitting at home in a mess of misery and Kit Kat wrappers, watching reruns of The Apprentice.

We all have the odd down day, some of us more than others, and it’s so easy to slump into that all-familiar downward spiral of doom and gloom. When you’re knackered and can’t be bothered with life, the last thing you want to do is put lycra leggings on and go to a circuits class. BELIEVE ME, I know.

But sometimes I ask myself, what is sitting around feeling miserable going to achieve? Is it going to make me happier? No. Is it going to make me feel better about my life? No.

So I FORCE myself (with a bit of added motivation from my mum and boyfriend) to get off my bum, throw on an old t-shirt and do some exercise! Whether it’s a 10 minute walk round the block to get some fresh air, or a proper sesh in the gym (I use the term ‘sesh’ lightly…), I will now nearly always try and do at least 10 mins of exercise when I’m feeling rubbish.

So why exercise? Why not shopping or reading or eating?

One word: ENDORPHINS. I bloody love endorphins, I don’t really know what they are but I know they exist and I know that they’re GOOD. Maybe it’s psychological, maybe it’s not, but I know that I feel better when I’ve got out the house and moved around a bit.

It’s such an easy and simple thing to do, plus you’ll feel like you’ve achieved something that day – something more than reminding yourself of who was ‘fired’ in Series 9, episode 6 (it was Rebecca, in case you were wondering).

In the words of Elle Woods (lol I am always quoting Legally Blonde):

 

‘Exercise gives you endorphins.

Endorphins make you happy.

Happy people just don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t. ’

 

Damn right they don’t, Elle.

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A date at Skate – ice-skating at Skate Southampton

Are you even celebrating Christmas if you haven’t been ice-skating yet?

Skate Southampton and Mogul’s Alpine Bar is based in the new development of West Quay. The ice rink itself is perfectly sized to not be intimidating for first-time skaters, but not so small that you’re forever colliding into strangers (I was kindly reminded of the time I pulled a 12 year old boy to the floor by grabbing his hood because it was the nearest thing to hold onto… reflexes are funny things).

You buy your tickets from the ‘cable car’ where I was relieved to see gloves on sale (I stupidly forgot mine) in case of falling on your hands and knees. Then, it’s all about 3 pairs of thick knitted socks and getting those skates on.

I cling onto the edge desperately, as 4 year olds whizz past me at speeds of 40mph. My boyfriend is too busy skating backwards and doing twirls across the rink (despite never skating before, typical) to notice my inherent fear of falling on my bum like a poor little beetle on his back, legs waggling frantically in the air.

But 20 mins later, I’m hurtling round the rink on my own with the confidence of Lewis Hamilton at the F1 Grand Prix.

Such is the emotional roller-coaster that is ice-skating.

Mogul’s Alpine bar is the best place to cosy up in afterwards! I felt like I’d just come off the slopes and found shelter in the nearest log cabin. Twinkling lights, wooden stools, fur throws and of course, the heavy aroma of mulled wine makes for the perfect festive hideaway.

Skate Southampton is the best day out: hours of fun on the ice, mulled wine in the snug alpine bar and why not treat yourself to a meal at WestQuay afterwards too!

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Gucci earrings at Goldsmiths

From cabinets of Gucci earrings, to displays of Hugo Boss watches, as you walk into Goldsmiths Southampton, it’s impossible not to be tempted. The shop has an air of sophistication and you know you won’t be leaving without buying a really special piece that you’ll forever remember where it’s from. You don’t go to Goldsmiths to get cheap jewellery you wear once because it’s ‘in fashion’ – do ya know what I mean?

The new look Southampton store has doubled in size since its recent reopening, meaning more space to look around and ponder the beautiful jewellery from counter to counter. (And to have a glass of champagne while you look, of course!) There’s such an array of classic jewellery, it’s impossible to know where to start. But once you’ve overcome the sheer joy of being in a room so full of diamonds, you can start to appreciate the individual pieces and the detail.

Having tried on a couple of Hugo Boss watches that didn’t fit, (I don’t own a watch so thought this would be a brilliant idea, but then remembered that my wrists are outrageously small so watches never fit #SmallWristProblems) I thought I might as well try on the Gucci range, *sigh*. It was displayed so beautifully on studded, burgundy, velvet cushions. There were classic Gucci charm bracelets, ornate pendants, and watches with constellation backgrounds (which I LOVED). I also tried on an incredibly delicate gold bangle that bent onto your wrist in the most malleable way, but never lost its shape (amazing?!).

After much deliberation, I opted for a pair of simple Gucci symbol earrings – timeless, elegant and classic.  Obviously you can’t try them on for hygiene reasons, but you’re given a special earring stick (technical term ofc.) to hold them up so you can see what they look like.  Andy, the Store Manager, went out of his way to help me make my decision, and was so informative about all the jewellery in the Goldsmiths shop. I even saw an identical pendant necklace that Kate Mids wore on her wedding day #fangirl.

I actually felt like a Made In Chelsea star throughout the whole experience – obviously I mean that in the BEST way. The service in Goldsmiths was outstanding, the jewellery is absolutely divine, the packaging is exquisite and my Gucci earrings are legit my new favourite thing and I haven’t taken them off since. If you’re considering buying that certain someone that certain something, pop into Goldsmiths, even if just for a look but it’ll be hard to prise yourself away when those diamonds start twinkling.

 

 

 

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Pork Crackling and Apple Sauce at The Pig, Brockenhurst

It’s hard not to feel autumnal as you walk up the gravel track among the firs and the conifers, pine cones scattered over the dewy lawn. Despite me getting overexcited at a sign for the ‘Kitchen Garden’, it is FREEZING, and the smell of a woodburning fire entices us indoors, enveloping us in warmth.

The Pig in Brockenhurst is a small hotel with a focus on food. Nearly everything on the menu is grown on site or foraged-for nearby, so whether it comes from the forest or the coast, you know it’s as fresh as possible.

The interior is traditional with an informal twist. Boars’ heads frame the walls and colourful crystal glasses are lined up on antique dressers, but the menus tied up in garden string and napkin rings made from newspaper make for a ‘homemade’ feel. The sun-filled conservatory with bright, mis-matching floor tiles covered in potted plants is reminiscent of my Grandpa’s potting shed, though probably a bit more elegant.

But the real reason behind The Pig’s popularity, is the food. Their 25 mile menu (the idea being that most of the produce comes from within a 25 mile radius) boasts lamb and pork from Romsey, fresh Lymington crab and tomatoes from the Isle of Wight. All the herbs and most of the veg come straight from the Kitchen Garden, hence one section of the menu being called ‘Mostly Picked This Morning’. Try the curried cauliflower and Brocks Eggs – you won’t be disappointed – and whatever you do, don’t leave The Pig without trying some pork, or at least some crackling and apple sauce! The ‘Tomahawk’ pork chop is so flavoursome and you can mop up the sauce with a chunk of warm bread and Garden Herb-Infused Oil.

The Pig manages to combine simple, natural ingredients with an elegant, quirky touch that leaves your tastebuds tingling for hours. If, like me, you dream of roasting parsnips and boiling beetroot fresh from your vegetable patch, head to The Pig for inspiration. And while you’re at it, grab an armchair in front of the fire, and order yourself some ‘Piggy Bits’ (how do you expect me to dream about my Kitchen Garden, when I haven’t even tried  the pea and ham hummus yet?!).

 

 

 

Outfit details:

ZARA checked dress – £29.99

ACCESSORIZE black wool beret – £12

PRIMARK black wooden heel boots – £20 (similar ones from Office if you click this link!) 

 

 

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Stepping into the Wilderness

Streakers during fantasy cricket matches, Ottolenghi long-table banquets, and mass yoga classes at sunset, Wilderness is as much about the festival experience as it is about the music. In my attempt to visit some of the smaller festivals I finally made it to ‘the poshest festival in the UK’ based in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire. 

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