Cornish delight

I was in the process of working on my Cote d’Azur getaway last weekend but this one takes precedence because the great memories are still so fresh in my head.

I returned today from a great weekend in Cornwall- my British seaside escape. The memories of the fun activities, great food, and pretty scenery have left me with fast-typing fingers flying across the keyboard in an attempt to capture and pen my memories before they escape me.

M’s aunt and uncle rented a beautiful house for the week, complete with 8 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, a billiards room, a bar (seriously, a real bar…like…our own pub. Although it turned out more to be a nerd room since that’s where everyone set their laptops up to do work) and a huge backyard fit for family games of rounders (a kiddy version of softball), bbqs fit for the royal family, and a hot tub fit for…me :)

Landaviddy Manor

We stayed in a quaint little town called Polperro, a 13th century fishing village which became famous for being a main hub to partake in smuggling activities back in the 18th century. Smuggling isn’t so common now and most of the inhabitants there are fisherman, which accounts for the awful fish stench that permeates throughout the harbour, especially when the tide goes out and all that’s left to see are fish remains that were dumped into the water.



Discarded fisheads at lowtide

The village is quite simply that. A village. There isn’t too much to see…it’s quaint and pretty with an abundance of little restaurants and pubs but don’t count on much else to do there. What you should focus on instead is getting down with your inner nature and explore the outdoor splendour of Polperro. There are so many walks to go on and the fresh air and beautiful scenery really does a good job at inviting you to gallivant their grounds… Which, unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do :(.

Ok when you see the pictures below all you see is just beautiful water right? Maybe thinking “Who needs to go to the Med when you’ve got the same thing in England?”

Eze, France
Cornwall, UK

Well, let me tell you something…IT’S NOT THE SAME THING!!! Granted the scenery was beyond spectacular but that’s where the similarity ends.





If you’ve ever been at all interested in what it would feel like to submerge yourself in a bath of freezing syringes then your next adventure should be taking a dip in the English Channel. Never in my life have I experienced such piercingly cold pain.




I went to the beach (Lactic Bay) with the mindset of doing the unthinkable. I thought of it as something to cross of my bucket list (i.e. engage in a near death experience). There were no ifs/ands/or buts. I knew the moment I stepped foot onto Cornish grounds that I was going to face the freezing deathtrap and face it I did! I’m very proud of the 20 seconds I lasted in the water. I’m not sure how I made it out of the water considering I lost all feeling in my body. Meanwhile, M’s cousin and nan went for a leisurely 15 minute swim with no problems. That side of the family must be half seal or something, with their insulated skin. Or perhaps I’m just a big wuss.

My English beach experience was unlike any other I’ve ever had. When the sun was out, it was PERFECT. Warm skin, blazing heat- exactly what one would normally expect from a typical beaching. But when the sun went…brrrrrrr, talk about a complete day-night change. I spent the latter part of the afternoon curled up on a fetal position, wearing a fleece jacket and covered myself up with a winter windbreaker. It was sooo cold. When I emerged from my self-made cocoon (I should’ve taken pictures) my skin was blue. I kid you not. Ok, I kid you a little. We even had a “wind breaker” set up to protect us from England’s force of nature and although it did some good, it just wasn’t good enough. I’m not sure if the wind breaker we had set up was a self-made contraption made up by M’s family or if it actually is legitimate beach gear. Basically it was a 6 meter barrier that was speared into the ground to block the wind from us. It also prevented people behind us from enjoying a nice ocean view but hey, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and where I come from it’s every man for himself.

Staying close to the wind barrier

So you know how English people love tea? Like…REALLY love their tea? M’s family happens to fall into the category of typical tea lovers and went as far as bringing a portable stove to the beach just so they could heat up water and have tea on the beach. Just in case you wanted to know, I haven’t really converted into being a tea drinker. I think it’s necessary to get in with the tea culture if you really want to fit in here but at the moment I only do it because the cool people do. I’m not a big fan of the taste and would still prefer a fresh filter coffee with soya milk and a shot of hazelnut from Starbucks any day.

It’s a shame we could only stay for 2 days but as we all know, all great things must come to an end. I’m happy I got to go at all but I’ll be honest here- right now I’d rather be there with a stomach full of roasted pork joint (that’s what was for dinner tonight), with a pint of cider in one hand and my resource cards for Settlers of Catan in the other…because that’s probably exactly what’s going on at the house right now!



I just got back from France last night and am supposed to be getting back into English routine. I’m supposed to be all travelled out until the next getaway…which happens to be in 3 weeks back to Sardinia.

M’s sitting behind me at the table doing work while I’m on the couch doing my thang…I thought I’d take the opportunity to do some quick flight searches because friends have invited us to their place in Frankfurt sometime in the autumn so imagine how flustered I was when all of a sudden I heard: “What are you doing? Are you on the EasyJet website?? Are you looking up flights again!?!”

Um…my name is Hazel and I have a travel addiction…

P.S. Don’t worry, fans. This is just a random ramble…you’ll hear about my French escapade in due time!!!

Until then…

xoxo HH

Airing my dirty secrets, including my 50 shades of rage

Alright I have some dirty secrets to air. Well, just two…but I think I’ll feel a lot better if I can just get these secrets off my chest and let the whole world know about them. Or at least the 5 people who read this blog.

Hmm…which one should I begin with…?

Ok, secret numero uno:

After all the hype I’ve been hearing about this phenomenal book that’s been breaking literary charts all over the world, I finally caved and joined the masses. Know which book I’m talking about? Ya…the saucy 50 Shades of Grey.  It was actually after I read an article about a boyfriend being so angry that his girlfriend was reading such a perverted book, that he assaulted her with brown sauce, that I decided to see if the book really was worth attacking someone over reading it. Apparently this dude purposely went over to his girlfriend’s house with a bottle of sauce with every intention of squirting her to “show her what saucy really meant”. Here’s the article if you want to read it…it’s pretty entertaining.

Boyfriend squirted partner with brown sauce when she refused to stop reading Fifty Shades of Grey

That’s when I made the decision to make my next Kindle download purchase (the first one since The Hunger Games trilogy). I bought it Tuesday night and the timing couldn’t have been any better. I had a business trip the next day to beautiful and trip-worthy Bolton (there may be a very slight bit of sarcasm oozing out here) and it was the novel that saved me from what could’ve been a potentially extremely boring 10 hrs of travelling…to meet up with my client for 45 minutes.

So what’s there to say about it? Well, I guess the content is a step-up from the Danielle Steele books I used to read. Umm…would I say it’s good quality writing? Not so much. I’m a person who likes to connect with the protagonist in the novel…I love getting wrapped up in a good read and being brought into their world. I love reads where I can’t tear myself away from the book, where I find myself holding my breath, eager to flip the next page and am severely disappointed when I reach that final last page of the book. Can’t say 50 Shades has done that for me. Once I got over the initial shock factor (yes, there were some jaw-dropping, eye-opening moments in the book) the rest of the novel just seemed to go on forever. I still have 10% more to read but I don’t know how much more “laters, baby”, “inner goddess” and “I love him…I can’t tell him…what do I do?…he’s so handsome…I love him…what’s wrong with me?” I can take. BLAH BLAH BLAH.

That being said, I do know there are two more books left and I wouldn’t be too surprised if I did read the rest of the trilogy. Doing anything otherwise would be like having unfinished business, like leaving food on a plate. And no matter how much I may not like the dish there’s no way I can’t eat it.

The book’s causing some outrage because, apparently, men (I think these are very conservative and traditional men) are furious that women feel comfortable reading the book out in public and equate it to guys reading porn, which I think is RIDICULOUS. They claim men are more visual (hence the graphic porn) and women are more mental (as in mind-stimulated, not crazy…), and therefore think that women are basically sexually gratifying themselves in public. Come on, are you serious?

The one thing I have enjoyed is that my vocab has been expanded:

  • Mollified– placate, pacify, appease, calm, soothe

“I’d never do anything I didn’t want to do, Christian”. And as I say the words, I don’t quite feel their conviction because at this moment in time I’d probably do anything for this man seated beside me. But this does the trick. He’s mollified.”

  • Debasement– humiliation, degradation, disgrace, shame, dishonour

“If there are only 2 choices I’ll take the debasement”

  • Predilection-fondness, liking, preference, penchant, taste, weakness

“Does your family know about your predilection?”

  • Priapic– of, relating to, or resembling a phallus. Of or relating to male sexuality and sexual activity

“I’m not a priapic monster”

  • Sagacity– level-headedness, rationality, shrewdness, wisdom, prudence, judiciousness

“Sagacity from one so young”

  • Concupiscent– a strong desire, especially sexual desire

“I thought I had a more concupiscent effect on you”

So that’s secret numero uno outed. Brace yourself for secret numero duo…

Today…I…ok, this is really hard. *Deep breath*. Today…I…(I’m deciding now whether I really want to tell you this or not). Ok. Today…I…went to a gym class…called…(imagine me saying the next word in the most feeble voice ever, like a dog with his tail between his legs) Cheerobics.

Are you done laughing? Thanks.

One of my friends asked me if I wanted to go and that it’d be a great workout. I thought about it and decided “sure, why not!?”. I love Zumba and thought Cheerobics might be along the same lines…a hardcore workout with a girly twist. How wrong was I…I went into the class and was then told to pick which pom poms I’d like to use. I had a choice of white, purple, or black. I chose black. We practiced a routine, which included a lot of grapevines, jumping, and smiling. I’m still trying to tune out the instructor’s high pitched scream “Bounce, girls!!! Bounce!!! Pom poms in the air…BOUNCE!!!”

I think I’m fine accepting the fact that I’ll never be a Sweet Valley High kinda girl. After all these years of living I’ve found my place in the world, and while I’m no Wednesday Addams/Bella Swan (I hope), I’m definitely not an Elle Woods girl either. There’s another Cheerobics session going on next week. Unfortunately, I’ll be in France so I won’t be able to attend…gosh darn it!!!! *BIG SMILE*


Happy 145th Birthday, Canada!!! You look great for your age

I’ve just returned and calmed down from a fantastic Canada Day celebration in London. It’s funny how patriotic one can feel when they’re displaced from their country, only to be gathered all together in one little square in a big city for one day to celebrate their home country’s birthday.

I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to sport a tacky and glittery headband, complete with 2 bobbing Canada Day flags sticking out like martian ears. I ate poutine like it was the best meal on earth…I guess it seemed so at the time, though reflecting back I can safely say there wasn’t nearly enough gravy as I would’ve preferred and the cheese bits intermingled with my fries were definitely NOT cheese curds. But that’s ok…I enjoyed my poutine nonetheless and even managed to finish the whole box (served in standard gigantic English sizes) even after I had eaten a pancake breakfast no less than 40 minutes before. Granted, the pancakes were about dollar-sized and the 40 minute wait to gobble it all down in 5 seconds  likely wasn’t worth it…but hey, the tent was sponsored by Alberta and there were Mounties in the pancake tent so…whatever!

One pancake maker for 4000 people...

We met up with other fellow Canadians and by noon I had my first Molson Canadian can in hand, my first of many that day. I originally thought I could only tolerate beer on Oktoberfest and St. Paddy’s Day but apparently my body also allows me to have it on Canada Day too! The concept of paying £4.70 (=$7.50) for a 330ml can was a little sickening but that depressing fact was soon numbed by the happy beer feeling that quickly settled in.

Celebrating everything Canada!! Yum beer and poutine

The Eurocup 2012 finals happened to coincide with my country’s 145th birthday and though it was hard to decide whether to watch Spain vs. Italy battle the soccer field (fine, fine…football field) or watch one of Canada’s amazing bands (I think Hedley was lined up to perform the same time the finals were to start) I decided to be nice and loyal to M and accompany him to the nearest pub. To cheer for Spain 😉 I’d prefer if you didn’t think of this as a relationship betrayal and perhaps just a way of keeping things playful and lively instead! Anyway, it’s pretty much the norm for me to win any kind of ‘battle’ we go through so it was no surprise that I (i.e. Spain) kicked his (i.e. Italy) ass 4-0. I hadn’t seen him so depressed since the day I left for Canada…

We made our way back to Trafalgar Square and my excitement levels continued to increase on top of the current elation of my Spanish win as I heard music of years past gradually fill my eardrums. Music stemming back to Grade 8 throughout highschool brought back great memories and quicker than you could say “poutine” I found myself rocking it out to Our Lady Peace, singing the lyrics to “Superman’s Dead”, “Innocent”, and “4AM” at the top of my lungs. Well, actually, I didn’t really know all the lyrics so it was just really me screaming at the top of my lungs doing some makeshift lip-syncing.

Our Lady Peace in action

After a long day in London we prepared prepared ourselves for the final leg of the day…a 2.5 hr trip back to Bath. I encountered my last mini-surprise of the day on the tube back to Paddington when a girl who noticed my amazing UW windbreaker asked if I went there. We soon discovered we were both from Waterloo and lived basically across the street from me. Well, she made it quite clear she was from Beechwood. Upper Beechwood. I haughtily told her that I was from the Westvale neighbourhood and we then proceeded to have a showcase showdown. OK, that didn’t happen in real life, but it happened in my head. I asked what highschool she had gone to and when she said “Waterloo Collegiate” I responded back saying I’d never heard of it and that I went to WCI. Only when the words came out did I realize how stupid I was and that there was no going back (for the non-Waterlooers reading this Waterloo Collegiate and WCI are one in the same). I’d like to say I pulled a “Marianne”. Maybe I was over-exhausted by the day’s activities but the rosiness of my cheeks tells me that it was more likely that the day’s alcohol consumption must’ve lowered my mental capacity somewhat.

I arrived back late and knackered but after spending 3 weeks in Canada, having Canada celebrations in London was a nice way to get back to the English life :)