A round-up of photos from Instagram. From travels to far flung places. And near flung places.
Trip to Manchester
My big goal for 2019 was to do new things and see new places. When it comes to the UK mainland, I tend to gravitate toward London. This time I made a concerted effort to get to Manchester and later Edinburgh with a little time in Sweden for good measure.
Bray and Co. Wicklow
I took the kids for a brief summer break to Bray. Went to revisit Glendalough and Powerscourt Estate. The last time I was at Powerscourt, the stately home was a complete shell having been gutted by fire in 1974. These days it has had a complete renovation and both the house and grounds are utterly stunning. A complete joy to spend a summer’s day there walking around.
Yoga retreat in Sweden
Random serendipity struck as a friend sent me details of a yoga retreat in Sweden in May 2019. I signed up on the basis that a yoga retreat was definitely a new thing for me. Visiting Sweden was a new thing. And the cooking would be entirely vegan which was something I was trying to improve on. And of course, the opportunity to meet a bunch of new people!
The retreat was at Skoven Kalder. We bussed out to the remote woodland setting to discover log cabins, far from civilisation. Despite it being early May, we woke up to smatterings of snow on the ground. Down a lane from the studio was a secluded lake, peaceful glassy water, and on the lakeside a sauna. We would spend afternoons alternating between the intense heat of the sauna and the icy lake. I’ve never felt so absolutely refreshed.
We would do roughly four hours of yoga a day. Two in the morning before breakfast and two in the afternoon. The rest of the time was spent in conversations, playing music and wandering the grounds. Although there was no rule against it, people tended to decouple from their digital distractions, which kept us rooted to the people and experiences in front of us.
One of the key themes of the retreat was sparking joy. For me, the combination of disconnection from the noise of everyday life, the regular yoga practise and the remote location added to an incredible reset. It might be cliche to say it was a transformative experience, but I know many of us returned from Sweden fully rejuvenated and in a better frame of mind than when we left.
A second visit to the mainland, this time a few days in Edinburgh. I spent much of my days wandering the Old Town, particularly the graveyards. St Cuthbert’s and Greyfriars were both filled with ornate and elaborate gravestones. Skulls everywhere. I loved it.
Beyond that, wanderings in the Scottish Parliament and through the National Museum made for an incredible visit. Walking the streets, wide-eyed at the art and sculpture everywhere and imagining living there, however briefly.
Day Trips around Northern Ireland
In April 2019, I took a friend for a walk along the top of Fair Head, just outside Ballycastle. It’s a place I return to fairly frequently for dramatic views over Rathlin Island and rugged coastline. The wind on this particular day was fierce and it was like being shoved around by invisible hands. I just loved this shot for its bleak colours and that impassive rock face staring eternally out to sea.
One of my favourite ways to fill a Sunday is to jump in the car, grab a coffee and hit the road. Here are some shots from day trips and nights out around the province.