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Ten happy things – November 2022

Buffalo crossing in the African bush

Each month I reflect on the month past and write about ten things that made me happy and brought me joy. Here’s my ‘ten happy things’ for November.

An incredible safari holiday

We started the month of November in South Africa on an incredible safari. We were meant to have gone in 2020 but had to postpone due to Covid. It was so worth the two year wait! The lodge that we stayed at was so stylish and we could even spot wildlife from our room.

Kirsty using binoculars to look for wildlife

We saw all the big five and were super lucky with some of our spottings. For example, we saw 26 hippo and were surrounded by 1,000 buffalo! We’ve got the safari bug now and definitely want to go again.

The cutest airport

I’ve been to so many airports around the world but never have I been to one quite like Skukuza – the gateway to Kruger National Park. It’s beautiful and feels quite luxurious even though baggage claim is essentially a round hut! This is the departure lounge… isn’t it gorgeous? Also, as soon as you leave the airport you’re already in the wild and will spot animals on the way to your accommodation!

Departure lounge at Skukuza Airport

Adventures in Cape Town

After our incredible safari we headed to Cape Town – a city we love. As we’ve visited many times there wasn’t the pressure to pack in loads of sightseeing. We went to some of our favourite places, like Camps Bay, climbed up Table Mountain, shopped the V&A Waterfront and visited the penguins and hiked at the Cape of Good Hope. We also enjoyed some fantastic meals. We tried lots of new restaurants (new to us) and here’s the best restaurants in Cape Town that we had the pleasure of eating at.

People walking along the sand at Camps Bay beach. The Twelve Apostles mountains are in the background.

A weekend with my besties

My best friends, Tanya and Candice, flew down from Durban to spend the weekend with us in Cape Town. We’ve been friends for almost 30 years and it was so wonderful to see them both together and spend quality time with them. Tanya comes over to the UK at least once a year (apart from Covid times…) so I at least get to see her in London but I hadn’t seen Candice in five years! We had the most glorious weekend catching up, chilling out and eating delicious food.

Friends on a rooftop holding drinks with Table Mountain in the background

Climbed Table Mountain

When in Cape Town, a trip to the top of Table Mountain is a given. As we’d walked up Table Mountain once before, we thought we’d give it another go. At least this time it wasn’t as hot and we had enough water! Whilst at the time it feels a bit like torture, when you get to the top you feel a huge sense of achievement. I’d really recommend walking up (or down) Table Mountain if you visit Cape Town.

Posing with arms outstretched on Table Mountain

Lunch with Natalie

I was invited to review TDQ Steaks in Vauxhall and invited my friend Natalie to be my guest. I had the added bonus of meeting her gorgeous three-month-old baby boy, who is just the cutest. We had a great time catching up and enjoyed our meal, although we both agreed the side dishes needed a bit more sparkle. The Prosecco had plenty of sparkle though!

Two glasses of Prosecco and a wine bucket with a bottle

Tried Reformer Pilates

I’ve joined a new gym that offers Reformer Pilates classes and I went along to a taster class to see what it’s all about and how it works. The machine looks a bit like a means of torture but I loved it! It definitely offers you the ability to be more flexible and it’s a really good workout. Now I just have to master the booking system so I can actually get a place in a class before it’s fully booked!

Lunch at Bocca di Lupo

We’d been trying for a while to get a reservation at Bocca di Lupo for lunch and I finally managed to get one! It’s a great little restaurant in Soho that has counter seating so you can watch the chefs at work. We had a lovely lunch, although I’m regretting not ordering the Pappardelle with venison ragú…. next time! If you’re looking for a delicious Italian meal in London, head here!

Pasta dish from Bocca di Lupo

Booked our New Year trip

We finally decided where to go for New Year and have booked our trip. We wanted to wait for the Black Friday deals, which was worth it as we managed to get 50% off our hotel! We’ll be jetting off to Washington DC.

Christmas is coming

It’s taken me longer to feel in the festive spirit this year but I finally felt more Chrismassy on the last Saturday of the month when we had a walk around Regent Street to Waterloo and spotted lots of Christmas decorations, trees and lights. How stunning is this tree by the St James’s hotel?

Christmas tree with gold and brown baubles and gold twinkling lights

So that’s what made me happy and brought me moments of joy this month. How was your month? Let me know in the comments.

Kirsty Marrins

Reader, writer, occasional runner, travel lover.




  • Neha

    I love this round up on November. Some fab memories for sure

  • John Lepp

    Wow! Sounds like a fantastic November Kirsty! Cape Town looks beautiful and I hope to visit one day as well. My November wasn’t quite as thrilling…. Lol… got home from San Antonio in time to head all the way down the road to Toronto, presented with my sweetheart at congress (my son even came and watched me for a bit – that was nerve wracking!), sold a bunch of books – mine and a number of my self published friends at our own book nook booth, we spent a few days pampering ourselves with massages, movies and naps… like you – desperately seeking a bit of Christmas cheer after a very hard 3 years and it’s coming but got our tree and lights up, spent time bowling with my daughter and hanging out with both of the kids, making some nice meals and sipping some delightful wines… not thrilling but I’ll take it. Thanks, as always, for sharing your adventures!

    • Kirsty Marrins

      That sounds like an amazing November John! Congrats on presenting and on selling a bunch of your books – brilliant stuff. The massages, movies and naps sound blissful! Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

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