September SUP Fun

Have you ever taken up a new hobby and wondered why you hadn’t done it sooner? Stand up paddleboarding is that hobby for me. In February I took a couple of private lessons (in the cold and wind) and since then I’ve enjoyed getting out in the warmer weather to enjoy the river in Cambridge. It’s been a really sociable sport for me, and something which has pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped my mental health too.

One of the places to SUP in Cambridge is Milton Country Park located to the north of the city. Even though they run a SUP course, I hadn’t ever ventured to the lake to paddle before. I sometimes take lunchtime walks in the park as it is near my office and often see people enjoying open water swimming, fishing and SUP.

I met up with a few local blogger friends to have a quick start session as none of the girls had tried SUP before. The weather was a little windy and chilly, but we popped on our layers and headed to the lakeside. I always say Cambridge is a small city and as soon as I saw the instructor was an old colleague of mine, I knew we would be in great hands!

I paddled off ahead to get a feel for the lake and board, whilst the girls got to grips with paddling on their knees and then confidently standing up in no time at all.  We played games of world domination (a tag based game), learned some turning techniques and even tried a few yoga poses on our boards.

It was awesome to see how quickly everyone picked it up and how the smiles came out in an instant. Seeing others enjoy SUP never fails to make me happy because it has been such a revelation for me too. I took my waterproof phone case and managed to get lots of snaps of the fun.

Lauren / Rachael

Jen / Kelly / Jess

Towards the end of the session, I encouraged the girls to lay back on their boards and take a minute. I had been experiencing anxiety all week and being there with them in that moment just made me feel so content and calm I wanted to share it with them!

I was really psyched to be able to try out some different boards during the session too, firstly a Jobe…..

… then a Red which I loved! Hopefully at some point I’ll have my own board and paddle and will be able to get out in my own time.

Our Cambridge blogger scene is so encouraging and supportive, it felt like such a positive morning and a great activity to do together!

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I’m a bit sad the warm weather SUP season is coming to an end, but maybe I’ll get out with a wet suit and tackle the autumn winds soon!

Life Lately #18: Autumn Days

As I write this post, the sun is shining in Cambridge and it’s currently 25 degrees – in October! To say we’ve had a good start to Autumn is an understatement. There have been beautiful long days, pink and purple sunrises and colourful leaves everywhere.

Today I thought I’d share a little of what I have been up to as the season begins. I love this time of year just before the clocks change and when the light is somehow a little magical.

River-Cam-Autumn-CambridgeSadly I was poorly for most of September with labrynthitis and a virus, so I was too dizzy to get out on my bike. Luckily it has eased these last couple of weeks so I have been cycling along the river and dodging cows.Cambridge-Cows The city has been looking as pretty as ever in the Autumn sunshine.
Cambridge-UniversityPerfect weather to take myself on a solo trip to the market for Halloumi fries!Halloumi-Fries-Cambridge-Market

I sat in a tourist hot spot at Kings College, but sometimes it’s the best place to just watch the world go by and to take a minute.
Kings-College-CambridgeI also got to spend lots of time with my pal Jo this month and meet her new camper van Buddy! He’s the perfect shade of sunshine yellow.
Hello-Sunshine-Buddy-The-CampervanWe also spent the day with Zabby when we visited the Zoology museum, ate burgers and mac n cheese, and had hot chocolates at Jack’s Gelato. Days like those are good for the soul!
Jo&Zabby-Jacks-Gelato The museum collection has really grown since I last visited. It was a super rainy day so perfect for a mooch around pointing at all the weird and wonderful creatures. Museum-of-Zoology-CambridgeI had a lovely Sunday last week exploring the village of Bourn before heading to the Afternoon Tease Brunch Club event with Jo. Just look at this amazing thatched cottage!
Thatched-Cottage-Bourn-CambridgeshireThe Brunch Club was held at Manor Farm Barns – such a dreamy venue! We ate the most wonderful 3 course brunch, drank prosecco, listened to live music and chatted to lots of familiar faces. Manor-Farm-Bourn-Brunch-ClubThere was also an Autumn Wreath making workshop which made me feel very festive and warm!Autumn-ForagingAll the items we used were foraged from around the barns – it was such a beautiful setting to create something seasonal.
Autumn-Wreath-Cambridge-SatchelThe final part of the day was filled with cake. I left feeling full, relaxed and very happy!
Afternoon-Tease-Brunch-ClubI hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my Autumn days and a little of what I’ve been up to.
Bicycles-and-Autumn-Leaves

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Caboodle Magazine Cambridge Guide

After a quiet summer for business stuff, I’m getting back into the swing of things and today I want to share one of the projects I worked on.

You guys know how much I love Cambridge so I was thrilled to see my piece printed in Caboodle Magazine this month! I wrote a Cambridge Guide sharing all my favourite places to explore. You can read it and see all my photos in the AW18 issue which is available to buy on the website hereCaboodle Mag Cover How cool is that cover?! I loved collecting all my photographs together for this piece, it reminds me that I really have appreciated being here over the last 12 years! And the eagle eyed amongst you might spot the illustrated map Jo created for our Cambridge Creatives Photowalk was included too.Caboodle Mag Cambridge Guide

Time for a cuppa and to read the rest of the magazine now! It’s a great title packed with creative projects, handmade finds, fashion, recipes and lots more.
CaboodleHave you read Caboodle? I’d love to know what you think!

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Tourist In Cambridge #10 – Wisteria Hysteria

It’s time for another post in the long running series – Tourist in Cambridge. This week the weather has been glorious in between storms, so I got out on my bicycle Florence to get in on the wisteria hysteria!

It’s a picture heavy post today, but I couldn’t help myself. Cambridge in the sunshine is just too good.Wisteria-Covered-Houses Cambridge-Wisteria-Spotting Cambridge-Houses-With-Wisteria I think due to the long winter we had, the wisteria season has been much shorter and also less ‘full’. I tend to visit the same spots each year and there definitely wasn’t as much in bloom. Sidney-Sussex-College-Cambridge Christs-College-Cambridge Cottages-and-Bicycles-Cambridge Wisteria-Doorways-Cambridge I couldn’t help doing a little bike spotting too – especially as this one was wisteria coloured!Lilac-Bike-Spotting-Cambridge We visited this wisteria covered cottage for the Cambridge Creatives Photowalk last April and it looked so different! It’s much greener this year and definitely has less flowers. Bicycles-and-Wisteria-Cambridge Florence-Bicycle Spring-Time-In-Cambridge The meadows are also looking super pretty with lots of buttercups among the cows. The long evenings have been so nice, perfect weather for riverside walks and hanging out in the hammock.Buttercup-Meadows-Cambridge Bicycles-and-Meadows-CambridgeThis summer I’m planning to use this book to explore more of the city and to see if I can find some more gems I haven’t discovered yet! Even after 12 years here, I love playing tourist. Especially when it involves ice cream 🙂

Jacks-Gelato-Gin-Sorbet

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Cambridge Creatives Photowalk Spring

Back in April (how is it June already?!), Jo and I were wishing for sunshine for the second Cambridge Creatives Photowalk. The first walk took place in September 2016, when 15 of us splashed through puddles to explore the city a little more.

We created our Facebook event for the Spring walk, packed our goody bags and to our surprise around 80 people turned up from all over the country. There was even someone from Denmark! I was pretty overwhelmed to see all the colourful folk congregating on Parkers Piece at the beginning. Before organising these walks, I had always just mooched around the city on my bike taking photos of my own (see them in my Tourist in Cambridge blog series).

Cambridge Creatives Spring Photowalk The BacksJo created another amazing map for the day, which many people have since asked her for as a print following the event!

Cambridge Creatives Spring Photowalk Map

I do have a slight confession to make. I knew that the wisteria on the edge of Orchard Street would be in bloom and of course be the spectacle most would want to photograph. So, on the morning of the walk, I cycled there alone and took a moment to literally stop and smell the flowers and to talk to a passer by about how awesome Cambridge is in the Spring.

Wisteria&Bikes Wisteria-Hysteria Photowalk-Friends The next stop was to meet Jo and Kate to pick up some lovely bags from The Cambridge Satchel Company who have kindly supported each photowalk. Cambridge-Satchel-Company-ShopThe summer collections had just launched so we had neon bags aplenty to choose from. So much colour! Picking out the bags was not an easy task!Cambridge-Satchel-Company-Summer-Collection Claireabellemakes-SunshineJo

Photo by hahonlineCambridge-Creatives-Photowalk-Spring

We had colourful balloons for everyone to carry which was a great thing for keeping up with the group. With 80 people walking around the city it was quite hard to see the front and the back of the group at times. People chatted, made friends and some met in real life for the first time after being Instagram friends for a while. Bikes-and-wisteria-CambridgeObviously did some bike spotting. It’s only right! And we stopped in the market square to enjoy ice cream from the new Jack’s Gelato shop.Bikes-Spotting-CambridgeI was so grateful to be hanging out with so many wonderful creatives and to show my home city to people who hasn’t visited before. PhotowalkersWe ended the day with a picnic to chat and get to know everyone a bit more. There were some serious bakers in the group (brownie and tiffin!) and lots of pin swaps and chats taking place. Balloons-and-PhotowalksWisteria-and-doors-CambridgeOne of the best things for me aside from hanging out with so many cool people, was organising the event with my besties. Jo and Kate make my creative life in Cambridge so worthwhile and I honestly feel like I am better person for knowing them.
Yellow-Cambridge-SatchelI’m not going to lie though, it was a pretty exhausting day! I think I flopped on the sofa for at least 3 hours afterwards. The next day, Jo and I met up with Rosie and Anna from Independent Oxford for a chinwag and lunch. It’s always so great to chat with people that get what you do and understand a creative life. Go check out their website to learn about their new book which has just launched.Claireabellemakes-Cambridge-Photowalk

Photo by Wendy

We had an amazing time and it’s been busy ever since! Hence why it’s taken so long to write this post. You can check out all the images shared on the day by looking at #CambridgeCreativesPhotowalk on Instagram. Almost 500 of them and so many good ones! This group one is a brilliant moment in the day too!

And if you fancy coming along to one of our photowalks yourself, we have already released the date for the Autumn one here!

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*Some pages on this site may contain links to outside sites, including paid affiliates. Read more about my disclosure policy here.