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Ten happy things – July 21

Hand holding a wine glass with a sunset in the background

Every month I like to look back on what made me happy and brought me joy. July was a fantastic month with so many things to be thankful for. Here’s my ‘ten happy things’ for July!

A long weekend in Norwich

We were meant to be going to Malta but our flights were cancelled, so we opted for a staycation instead. I’d been impressed by what I’d seen of Norwich, thanks to Where Charlie Wanders who lives in Norwich, so we packed our bags and hopped on a train!

Norwich is a beautiful city, steeped in history. It’s not huge but there’s plenty to do for a few days. We enjoyed walking along the river, visiting the stunning cathedral and checking out some antiques. Here’s the best things to do in Norwich – I’d highly recommend putting it on your travel list!

Norwich riverside

Dinner with Mitzie

I hadn’t seen Mitzie since before the pandemic hit so it was so lovely to see her! We met at the Barbican where she had got us tickets to the Conservatory. The tickets are free, it’s just that you need to book because of capacity due to Covid. I have been only once to the Conservatory for an event (which I by mistake gate-crashed!) but didn’t get to walk around it all so it was wonderful to be able to walk around and look at all the amazing plants.

Plants in the Barbican observatory

I love going out with Mitzie as she is a REAL foodie. She suggested Oklava (which I’d never heard of even though it opened in 2016) and I’m so glad she did because it was incredible! They serve Turkish Cypriot food and all of their wine is from either Turkey or Armenia. We chose an Armenian white and it was gorgeous. All in all a fab meal with great company!

Monkfish with Cyprus chips with a herb mayo

Birthday lunch with Fee

Fee has featured many times in ‘ten happy things’ and this month it was for her birthday celebratory lunch at Gaucho in Richmond! The weather was absolutely fantastic so we had a prime table outside, overlooking the river. The bubbles were flowing and we had a brilliant, fun afternoon. Fee also brought me some awesome Aperol sunglasses she got on her holiday the week before. Lucky me!

Drinking Aperol Spritz and wearing orange Aperol sunglasses

Fabulous weather in London

We had such glorious weather in London for a week or so – although it was very hot in our flat… It meant that we could enjoy some al fresco lunches, which is always a treat. London (well, everywhere really) always looks so much better with blue skies and sunshine, don’t you think?

Kirsty is wearing a bright yellow dress and looking over the canal in Paddington

Italy won the Euros!

Sorry if you’re an England supporter…. but as my husband is Italian – and we got married in Italy and visit every year – I was definitely supporting Italy in the Euros. After their first match, I even bet on them to win (which worked out pretty well for me – ha!). The final was an absolute nail-biter though and I barely slept that night from all the adrenaline… Forza Azzuri!

Lunch with Dawn in Hampstead

I had a lovely outside pub lunch in Hampstead Heath with my friend Dawn, where we both ordered the fish and chips (yum!). We then walked up to Hampstead for gelato from Oddono’s as the weather was so fab. We then went for a walk on the Heath and stopped into a pub afterwards for a drink. It was a great afternoon and so nice to catch up.

Two plates with fish and chips and mushy peas

A week in Malta

Third time lucky as they say…. This was the third time we tried to go to Malta and we actually made it! I was quite nervous about flying – well, more track and trace and something stopping us from being able to go but I’m happy to report it was all fine! And I was very impressed with both Heathrow and Malta airport as the arrivals and departures were very smooth and hassle-free.

Malta is a stunning country and we had amazing weather every single day! There are so many beautiful swimming spots, especially the Blue Lagoon in Comino. It’s a very old country too with gorgeous old buildings and lots of interesting history. We had a wonderful, relaxing time!

St Julian's Bay in Malta

First swim in the sea this year!

This should be covered under ‘a week in Malta’ but considering I only had my first swim in the sea at the end of July, it deserves its own section! Malta has some lovely swimming spots but surely nothing as amazing as the Blue Lagoon in Comino?

Stunning clear water at the Blue Lagoon in Malta

We’ve swum in some amazing places, like Cala Rossa in Favignana and Cala Brandinchi in Olbia and I have to say the Blue Lagoon might even be the best…

Ran my longest run to date!

I am super proud of myself as I ran my longest ever run in July – 6k! It was actually my longest run time-wise too as I ran it on a treadmill and I’m slower on a treadmill than when I run outdoors. Let’s see if I can attempt 7k in August. Watch this space!

Exhibition with Fede

My friend Fede is a member of the British Museum and she invited me to see the Thomas Beckett exhibition one Friday. It was absolutely fascinating! I hadn’t been to the British Museum in around 20 years (I know, right?!) so it was wonderful to be back.

Inside the British Museum

Afterwards we walked to Covent Garden for a milkshake at Badiani Gelato (delicious!) and also a wander around Stanfords book shop, which specialises in travel books and was established in 1853! It was such a lovely way to spend a Friday afternoon.

Small hot air balloons and travel maps at Stanfords book shop

So that’s what made me happy and brought me joy in July! How did your month go? Let me know in the comments!

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • The Frugal Foodies

    I love that you’ve taken the time to reflect on your peaks of the month! Congrats on the 6k run, and cheers to a month ahead of more happy things!

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