Southern Yacht

My little take on plus size fashion, life, travel and smurfs

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

You lucky thing...working from home

Hey everyone,

This a slightly different post. Not much to do with clothes or travel, more of a bit of thinking out loud.

First off I'm very lucky person. I work from home.

Ohh, say most people when they hear this. How marvellous. Then there's a few seconds thinking followed by some (or if I'm really lucky) all of the following:
  • Must get ever so lonely.
  • What do you actually do all day?
  • Ah you 'work from home' (insert jokey speech marks made with fingers).
  • Must be nice to have all that time off.
To list just a few.

I fully admit, I would probably have thought the same a few years back when I was working in the Civil Service. And I would have been envious.

And yes, I'll fully admit to having a fair few days like this:


But you know what? I love it. I love being able to go and do boring admin stuff like the Post Office and bank runs early in the weekday morning when everyone else is at work. I'm especially grateful for the flexibility it gives me to deal with hospital appointments and how I can take time out to be with friends and family when they need me.

Countryside walks

I love how I can go for a walk in the fresh air when I'm struggling for inspiration. My weekend can be in the middle of the week and as so many of my friends work shifts, I get to see more of them. Yes, sometimes I'll still be working 'till 2/3 in the morning. But it's my choice to do so. Bank Holiday weekends when everywhere is crowded will see me tucked away working.

I love how I don't have to do mid-year reviews and be answerable to middle management. I don't miss the mindless gossip, the back-biting or the constant struggle for a slice of the budget or having to justify my job/existence to every new manager that passes through.

But - don't think it's all sunshine and roses. I don't love the worrying gaps in between work. I particularly hate the middle of the night wake-ups where you suddenly imagine no work ever coming in again - ever!!! Trying to explain what you do to insurance companies and banks is a constant joy (not!). Tax returns are also an annual joyful occasion and I spend a silly amount of time chasing payments. As for spending money - I'm suddenly so aware of accounting for every penny - no frivolous spending here! (well, not too much...).

Piggy bank


But would I change anything??? No way!!

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx



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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

48 hours in Brussels - something a bit different

What can you do in 48 hours in Brussels?

(Ok - to be exact we actually had 2 and a half days but you get the general idea).

Grand Place, Brussels

Brussels is a city we've visited many times before, so we felt a bit like we'd done all the obvious bits already. This time around we wanted something a bit out of the ordinary, so we planned to visit The Smurf Experience at the Brussels Expo on one day and The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History on the other.

We started off by checking into a hotel which was the most centrally located we'd ever had in Brussels. We wanted the advantage of seeing the city at night while being able to walk back to the hotel (note to future self - cobblestones are a nightmare to walk on, wear sensible shoes). The Ibis off Grand Place fitted the bill perfectly, it really was just a few minutes walk to the Grand Place itself where the evenings were spent people watching, eating ice cream, drinking beer and trying to take half decent photos.

Ibis hotel, Brussels

Grand Place, Brussels

Grand Place, Brussels

It's no secret I LOVE smurfs so of course we had to do a bit smurf spotting around the city. This year is the 60th anniversary of the smurfs so there's just a little bit extra to keep an eye out for. This mural by Brussels Central Station was unveiled in June and if you don't mind hopping out of the way of busy commuters it's fun to spot the Belgium/Brussels themed smurfs.
Smurfs in Brussels

Smurf mural, Brussels

Smurf mural, Brussels

Smurf mural, Brussels

First full day - The Smurf Experience. Now I know this isn't everyone's idea of a good day out, but stick with me. If you remember watching the smurfs on tv or enjoyed the latest movies then you'll love this. I dragged the other half along and at the end he grudgingly had to admit it was better than he thought it would be! It's on until January 2019 and tickets start at 11 euros so if you want something different to keep the little people in your life happy then this is just the thing.

The Smurf Experience, Brussels

The Smurf Experience, Brussels

The Smurf Experience, Brussels

The Smurf Experience, Brussels

The Smurf Experience, Brussels

The next day was The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History. We've been wanting to visit this for years, but always seemed to be in town on a Monday (when quite a few things are closed). This time though, we scheduled in a whole day. Even then, we missed quite a lot - you seriously need 2 days to see everything here.

The building the museum is housed in was built for the 1880 National Exhibition to celebrate 50 years of Belgium independence. It's quite obvious in places that it needs a bit of care and attention but when you have collections ranging from tanks, aircraft, weapons and uniforms, it somehow just adds a bit of character!

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

If you're not military minded, some of the things that might appeal include a stunning roof top view over the city, a sweet little cafe serving the best cooked lunches and the Parc du Cinquantenaire which the museum is situated in. And at only 5 euros each, it's ideal if you're on a budget or it's a rainy day.

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History

That was our 2 and a bit days in Brussels. I'll skip over the bit where we drove through Belgian rush hour traffic (scary) and the joy we felt when the sat nav lost signal (many swear words used). We do love Belgium though and everytime we visit we find something new.

Thanks for reading

Cathy
xx



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