Phew. What a month so far! I feel like today is the first day I’ve stopped to take a breath (and a large Americano with a side of fruit scone.) The last month has seen me jet off to Corsica, win new business (for my day job) in Manchester, drive down to Cornwall for the first time, a film and photoshoot for Marks & Spencer … and move house! The balls of my feet have blisters on them the size of Africa and I’m pretty sure I haven’t brushed my hair for the last fortnight … but I made it!
I’ll write individually about everything I’ve been up to, but the first thing I want to write about is when I visited The Eden Project. A massive hat-tip to Catherine from Not Dressed As Lamb, who kindly put me forward for this project, as I think I’m probably the oldest blogger she knows so it was highly likely I’d be the only person who remembers who Spandau Ballet are. She was right of course, and I was a huge fan when I was a teen, so when she asked if I’d like to work with Asus and watch Spandau play at The Eden Sessions, I bit her hand off!
I’ve never been to Cornwall – never even ventured anywhere near the south-west, so thought this opportunity would kill two birds with one stone. (No birds were harmed in this blog post.) It wasn’t really the type of thing I wanted to take Dexter to so he stayed at home, and I was only going to be away for one night so there wasn’t too much moaning. From him I mean, I’d have gladly stayed for a fortnight. Anyway, I decided to drive down myself which meant a rather leisurely six-hour drive. It is a LONG way from Kent, but the new (second-hand) car did me proud and after a few obligatory wee pit-stops (it’s an age thing #TMI), I made it down there by 4pm. And what a beautiful day it was!
First things first, and I partook in a cold beer outside the Snoozebox I would be staying in for the night. You can read more about what a Snoozebox is like over at my other blog, We Blog Travel (blog post to come shortly). That beer had never tasted sweeter, trust me. I am quite happy in my own company but you go a little stir crazy stuck in the car on your own for that long, trust me. I found the Eden Project quite easily, but the directions to the Youth Hostel’s Snoozeboxes are a little iffy, but don’t be afraid to ask the guys in fluorescent jackets for directions – I found everyone super friendly and helpful.
It’s a 10-15 minute walk from the hostel to the Eden Project down the road, but there are plenty of park-and-ride buses that will take you down there. I chose to walk because it was a lovely day and I’d been cooped up in the car – plus I got a great view of the domes from above. (So to speak.)
If you’ve never been to the Eden Project before, it’s an educational charity in Cornwall which is nestled in a huge crater. Massive Biomes house the largest rainforest in captivity, which provides the perfect backdrop for stunning plants and gardens, allowing for a year-round family events programme, including exhibitions and summer concerts. Hope that sets the scene!
I wandered down, taking lots of lovely photos on the way, and met the Asus UK team. I knew I was going to be filmed chatting about the new Asus Transformer Book Chi T100 – I was lucky enough to have been given one before I arrived to test out, but what I didn’t realise was that I’d be the only blogger who would be filmed in the rainforest Biome. Talk about ALL the sweat! (Sorry.) I should have lost 2 stones filming that, but (un)fortunately put it all back on when we ate the most delicious meal in the Mediterranean Biome afterwards! But suffice to say, I was a hot, sweaty mess … and lucky for you, you get to see that for yourself because the video is now live!
But joking aside, it was great fun and the team were very kind to me so it’s all good. The Affogato afterwards more than made up for it.
Talking of the Transformer Book Chi T100, I’d like to give it a mention. I would imagine most of you already have a tablet of some sort that you use for work or pleasure but I’ve never had one before. I work on a laptop as I do a lot of typing for work and thought that maybe a tablet for pleasure was a luxury I just couldn’t quite justify. But the great thing about the Chi is that it’s a good sized 10.1″ tablet that comes with a sturdy keyboard attached. So it’s the best of both worlds. Yes, the keys are a lot closer together so I probably wouldn’t use it for typing up long documents, but hauling the laptop out to cafes all the time is a bit of a pain because it’s quite big and heavy so the Chi is a happy medium for me. Oh, I should point out that Dexter has worked out how to detach the tablet from the keyboard (it’s just a strong magnetic un-click) so actually, he’s making use of the tablet too. Which is rather irritating – I wanted it all for myself.
Anyway, back to the evening. After dinner, I got chatting with the other two bloggers that came too and headed down to the concert with one of the couples. Chris blogs at Shiny Shiny, and his wife very kindly took pity on me being there on my own so we watched Martin Kemp, I mean Spandau Ballet, together.
They sounded exactly like they did 30 years ago. I mean exactly. Blimey, 30 years ago. I remember singing along to Instinction and Chant No. 1 (my favourite Spandau tracks) all those years ago and as I look across to the other concert goers you could see that everyone was my age or older. We still remembered all the words too! It was such a fantastic evening – the weather was beautiful, the backdrop couldn’t have been more impressive and I’m pretty sure that Martin Kemp waved to me on several occasions. Not even the woman in front of me waving her hands maniacally to everything Tony Hadley sang managed to annoy me. (That’s a lie of course, it really annoyed me.)
Cornwall was stunning. The wifi wasn’t. But actually, it was really refreshing stepping back in time a little, not being able to get online and getting back to nature.
The M25 greeted me warmly on my way home – really warmly, the traffic was horrendous, but it was all totally worth it. It made me want to book a cottage in Cornwall as soon as I got back, which hopefully I’ll get round to doing now this month has quietened down a little.
A massive thanks to the Asus team for inviting me – I had an amazing time!