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Ten happy things – Dec 19

Domino Park Williamsburg

I can’t believe it’s been over a year now of doing my ‘ten happy things’ monthly posts! I really enjoy writing these as it makes me reflect over the month that’s past and to think of what brought me joy. I think it’s a great exercise to do. Will you start one in 2020?

Here are my ‘ten happy things’ for December.

Chaired a wellbeing seminar

You might remember that back in September I launched A Wellbeing Guide for Comms Professionals with CharityComms. In early December I had the honour of chairing a CharityComms seminar with the focus of wellbeing in the sector. We had some amazing speakers covering topics such as looking after your own mental health and wellbeing to a 3 minute mindfulness practice and how to build a supportive and open team culture. It was great!

An evening with Mainbrace Rum (invite)

I was invited along to a press event to taste a new rum on the block – Mainbrace Rum. It’s a ‘splice’, meaning that it’s a blend of rum from Guyana, near the banks of the Demerara River, and a French Agricole from Martinique.

It’s the only rum in the world to blend the two styles, giving it a unique taste. To me, neat, it tasted a lot like whiskey! I’m not much of a spirit person so couldn’t drink this on its own, however in a cocktail it’s delicious! I tried the ‘Always Sunny’, which had 50ml of Mainbrace Rum, 25ml orange juice and 200ml of Ginger Beer and served with ice and a garnish of orange. It was so refreshing and tasted like Summer in a glass!

Mainbrace rum press event

Also at the event was Binny of Binny’s Food and Travel Diaries, Kerry of Kerry’s Life and Loves and Felicia of Dancing in High Heels. It was so lovely to see them all and catch up over some delicious cocktails and nibbles!

Always Sunny cocktail with Mainbrace Rum

Spending time with Tanya

I was so excited when my friend Tanya said she was coming over to London for a few days as I’ve not seen her in ages! We met at high school and were close at school but then lost touch after. Thankfully we reconnected a few years ago and I’m so happy because she is truly a special person. Seeing her always makes my heart sing.

We met up at Bicester Village, had a lovely lunch and a catch up (we had so much to catch up on) and of course we did some shopping too!

Meeting Tanya in Bicester Village

A weekend trip to Edinburgh

My dad lives in Edinburgh so we went up to see him before Christmas. Edinburgh is such a gorgeous city and I love our visits. Unfortunately our flight got cancelled so we had to get the next one, meaning we only landed at 10pm! Sadly my cousin died unexpectedly so Saturday morning was spent at his funeral and wake. It was a lovely send off though and I’m glad I got to say goodbye.

In the afternoon we headed off to lunch – more on that below – and we spent time with my dad, looking through old photo albums and reminiscing.

An old childhood photo

The best fish and chips ever!

We tried a new restaurant in Edinburgh for lunch – Ondine. It’s at the top of Victoria street (an iconic street which is rumoured to have inspired Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter books). I honestly had the best fish and chips of my life there! We’d definitely return the next time we’re in town.

Fish and chips at Ondine in Edinburgh

Lunch with Jenny in Richmond

We had tried to make a plan to meet up before Christmas and didn’t think we would but then fate intervened and Jenny and I were able to meet for lunch in Richmond and exchange Christmas gifts. We had lunch at Australian restaurant, Antipodia, and I was impressed with the food. My prawn toast was so good, I’m still thinking about it!

Lunch at Ontipodia in Richmond

Christmas Eve lunch at Hide

For a few years now we’ve had a tradition of going to lunch on Christmas Eve at l’atelier de Joel Robuchon. Sadly the one we always went to closed down so we opted for Hide in Green Park after seeing it on Masterchef the Professionals.

The food is really good but it’s very pricey…. the wine especially!

Lunch at Hide

Lunch at Hampton Court Palace

My friend Shelley works at Hampton Court Palace so I met up with her just before Christmas so we could have lunch and a catch up and also exchange Christmas presents. I’d forgotten that there was an ice-rink there at Christmas time and it was so tempting to go for a skate! Instead I enjoyed a yummy cauliflower cheese and a chat with Shelley and then we had a quick look at a new exhibit before I got the train home.

Hampton Court Palace

Spending time with my husband over Christmas

One of my favourite things about Christmas is getting to spend quality time with my husband and cooking together on Christmas day.

Christmas dinner

Ringing out 2019 in New York

This year we waved goodbye to 2019 and rang in 2020 in New York – one of our favourite cities. This was our 5th visit to the Big Apple but we’ve not been in three years. As usual, we walked about half a marathon every day until our toes ached! We did quite a few new things this time round, like eating in a diner, checking out the Ghostbusters firestation, the flat in Friends, visiting The Vessel, exploring more of Brooklyn, eating BBQ and checking out Domino Park in Williamsburg, which has amazing views over Manhattan. We loved it!

Street art in Bushwick Brooklyn
Domino Park in Williamsburg

So those are my ten happy things for December. I hope you had a great month too.

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Lauretta

    I love your 10 happy things post Kirsty – and if it brings you joy – even better! Every month I do a ‘blogging month’ and a ‘favourite things’ but for 2020 I’m going to merge them and talk about what I’ve been up to, what I liked/experienced and things I’ve bought. Love the fact you got to spend some quality time with your dad (I’ve always wanted to do Edinburgh – who knows…maybe in 2020!). Sorry to hear about your cousin but like you say, it’s great you got to say goodbye…. ANd I’m ‘well jel’ you have just got back from New York – what a city!! I’m sure you made the most of it! xx

    • Kirsty Marrins

      Thanks Lauretta! I do enjoy your ‘blogging month’ posts so will be great to see the two merged! Edinburgh is a fabulous city and so easy to get to via train or air. I hope you get to see it in 2020 x

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