Why ‘Ghosting’ is not cool!

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I thought about writing this blog exactly a year ago… totally because of the Halloween timing, but because I knew it would be hard to write, I put it off.

So, if you don’t know what Ghosting is, let me explain.

You usually hear about Ghosting in the dating game… if you thought being dumped by text was rude, this just got to a whole new level!  Maybe you’ve been seeing someone for a little while and all of a sudden, they’ve blocked your number, removed you from social media – they’ve vanished. You have no idea what you have done, no explanation… do you make an effort to contact them or not?  Maybe they’ve been run over by a bus!  But there you are, they’ve disappeared and you just got Ghosted!

I’ve also heard the term Ghosting being used when a friendship breaks down, or when you’re ‘phased out’.  I’m not just talking about an acquaintance here, or someone I would say hello to in the street… this is ‘Sister from another Mister’, oldest school friend since the age eight kind of friendship, and given that I’ve now passed the big 40… that’s a whole lot of friendship right there!

I’ve tried so many times to pinpoint when this all happened.  When did I start to be ‘phased out’.  I can’t.  There was no row, no bad words.  I just remember that there was a  point where I was always the one making the effort. Friendship is a two way street, however this road was only going one way.

Things hadn’t always been this way.  Not so long before the ‘phase out’ began, the friendship was very much a two way thing, maybe even swinging the other way. We would spend well over an hour on the phone of an evening when we’d be seeing each other the next day which my hubby would always find hilarious. We’d hang out as couples, going out for drinks and meals, spend time at our house, and she was a big part of our kids’ lives.. they adored ‘her’.

What I do know now, is that when things were very much about her ie; big birthday bash, getting married, I would be very much a part of her life. All the planning – yep, happy for me to be a big part of it!

So what changed? Maybe real life… and realisation of what is to come… or not to come.

There was one big difference between myself and ‘Ghosty’.  We’d had children (her godchildren), however the likelihood of this happening for her was slim.  Not in a mother nature’s decision kind of way – it was very much a choice thing.  And although I’ve never been told, because I wasn’t deemed worthy of a conversation, I’m sure this is the catalyst that drove the wedge between us.

So what happens when you get phased out?

For a while, you continue as you always did, texting funny stuff, trying to arrange to meet for a coffee, but those texts stop getting answered and there is always an excuse not to catch up.

After a while you start playing the game ‘lets see how long it takes before she makes contact’.  You leave it for weeks, months and then cave!  Then there would be more excuses not to catch up. It would leave any further meetings more awkward with this big fat elephant in the room.

Things that you traditionally do in the year don’t happen. Christmas presents get dropped in by others, birthday cards delivered when you’re on school run and the message is clearly given that you’re not worthy of their time.

It’s not you, it’s them…

The one thing I took from the whole situation was that it wasn’t just me.  My other friends from our friendship group were being treated similarly, I just seemed to be taking it the worst.   I also found out that I was being blamed for the breakdown of the friendship group as a whole.  Nothing to do with the fact that ‘ghosty’ was being a shit friend to all of us! I found that pretty tough to take.

What is so difficult about the whole Ghosting situation is that you don’t get closure.  You don’t get to say your bit. You don’t get to ask why.  What would I say if I had the chance? I must have gone through a conversation in my head 1000 times.  But I was never given the opportunity to say it.

So how does it feel to be Ghosted?

It’s a complete head fuck to be frank! You get to wonder what the hell you did wrong.  You get to analyse every text message you ever sent to see if it was something you might have said.  You feel hurt when they ignore you, pretending not to see you as they walk past you in the street.  You feel heartbroken.

Don’t just take my word for it…

This is Why Ghosting Hurts So Much

I know what it’s like to go through grief when someone dies, and whilst this will never touch that experience, losing your oldest friend of 30 years and not being told why is a pretty significant second place.

We shared so many memories, from dancing in my bedroom to Wham, to school discos and college parties to pop concerts and hen weekends.  You go through a grieving process of not sharing those memories with that person anymore.  You think about all the things you did for them in the past and feel bitter for how you’ve been treated.

I totally get the fact that people move on in different directions during their lives, and I’m cool with that.  What I have found difficult is not being given the courtesy of a conversation and to get closure on the whole situation.

Time to move on…

I can’t lie, it has taken me a good two years (probably more) to come to terms with it and it’s not just affected me but my family too. Thankfully, I have bloody amazing friends. I make sure I surround myself with positive, supportive people that light up the room… not turn all the lights off!  I don’t have time for negativity, stubbornness and constant critique of every situation – so maybe I actually got the good end of the deal!

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My advice though, if you find that you’re in a similar situation with a friend, a true friend, do the decent thing and have a conversation about it. Don’t be a dick and ‘Ghost’ them!

 

Until next time…

Love & hugs,

TOMD xxx

 

 

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Find Your Tribe… Love Them Hard!

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Ever since I started my social media course last September, I have had many experiences of  ‘women tribes’.  They have come in many forms… course cohorts, networking groups, and workshops.

What I’m talking about here isn’t my usual group of friends… not my ‘girls’ that have known me forever, who have seen me at my best and my worst (which was probably face down pissed up on a pavement in Newquay!).  These are women I have never met before, who sometimes live in different parts of the country, come from different walks of life but all thrown together for the same cause.

As you may have read in previous blogs, I have recently started a course involving mindset and how you can up-level your business by getting over your fears and negative thoughts.  Last week our cohort of nine, plus our mentor Andrea, had our first Zoom meeting – posh term for ‘a meeting over the internet’!

The conversation involved how we got on with writing ‘Our Story’ (see previous blog)  and what our ‘Wins & Stretches’ have been this week.  What was so refreshing was to see how everyone was completely honest about how they were feeling. No pretence, no making out everything was great.  There were tears and fears laid out for all to see, and whilst there were apologies at first (we are British after all!) this vulnerability was so refreshing and gave us all permission to bear our feelings.  This is how you build trust within your ‘Tribe’.

I came to do this course following a workshop I did a couple of months ago.  Again, this involved women who, once they all got in a room together, realised they’re not alone in feeling inadequate, not good enough, that they can’t reach their potential and that they’re too fearful to push out of their comfort zone for fear of failure.  (Read ‘Yesterday, Three Women Changed My Life’ for more details).

During my six month course with Digital Mums, I was put together with six other women who were taking the journey with me.  We would meet over the internet every Thursday evening and talk daily on WhatsApp.  The fact that these other women didn’t know me from Adam nor I them, almost gives you permission to be your most honest… almost like a counsellor does.

During the six months of the course, we all went through the ups and downs and we were all there for each other on a daily basis… not only to get through the work that we needed to do to pass, but life in general.

Six months after qualifying, I still talk with my ‘Frida K’ girls daily and we managed to meet up in real life just after we graduated in May.  Another meet up is due soon… it’s just a logistical nightmare trying to get seven women free at the same time!

Something really incredible happens when you get a room full of women together… and I don’t mean on a Hen Night! 

On Saturday I went to a ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ workshop to support a wonderful lady I have recently met whilst networking.  I took a friend along with me and I had met a few of the  other ladies there before, but only really as much as ‘what do you do for a living?’.   However, once we all got chatting about how we felt about ourselves, there was a shift.  There was this ‘green light’ where it was perfectly OK to share our vulnerability.

With all these experiences I have come to realise, that it really doesn’t matter who you are or what your standing is in the community… we are all women going through similar things in our lives and we are best when we support each other, not tear each other down.

So, don’t be afraid to do something outside your comfort zone. Go and meet new people – whether it be at an exercise class, running club, mother and baby group, further education or workshops.

You never know where you might find another ‘Tribe’.

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs… TOMD xx

Be still my beating ovaries!

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So, how did I come to the decision to have my ovaries removed?

Yes, you heard that right. At 37, I made the decision to have my ovaries removed… I went into hospital and had the old egg factory shut down for good!  It wasn’t quite as straight forward as that, so let me explain what happened.

I remember back in 2012 there being a lot on the news about the cancer gene BRCA1 and BRCA2 which are the genes that are recognised as the breast cancer gene. For a while there had been a lot of talk about how you could get tested if your family had a history of breast cancer and when I thought about it, this meant me!

My mum, whilst in her 40’s, had pre-cancer cells identified after a breast reduction operation – they were found in what the consultant took away (more details in my boobs blog).  My Nan had breast cancer, as did her sister.  There was only one other sister (my great Aunt) that had so far escaped.

For those carrying the gene, there was a very difficult decision to make considering whether they had surgery, or whether to have more regular check ups dependant on their chance of the gene turning into cancer

For me there was another reason why I wanted to look into this.  Mum was fighting ovarian cancer and there is a clear link between breast and ovarian cancer.  There was no way I would want to put myself at risk, especially with ovarian cancer being called ‘the silent killer’ due to its lack of symptoms in the early stages.

So, having made the decision to get our family history checked out, I went along to the GP who made a referral to the Genetics Department at the hospital.  What followed as a consultation to talk over my family history and an explanation of how our genetics work, what the process was, time frame etc. Then, with my mum’s agreement, they would need a blood sample from her to determine if she had the gene.

I then went onto see a consultant to discuss more about potential results and procedures. We discussed my family situation, my desires for any more children (NO WAY!) and what I would like to do if the result came back positive and negative.

It was explained to me that if the result came back positive, I would know for definite and could make a concrete decision on how far I would want to protect myself against cancer in the future.  If the result came back negative, it would mean that Mum didn’t carry any of the BRCA genes, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t carry another gene out there… they just haven’t found it yet!

Basically, I would be making a decision on either a definitely, or a maybe.  After several months of waiting for the results to come back, the latter was the reality I dealt with.

I was given an option to leave things be, but as there were no routine checks for ovarian cancer like there are for changes in the breast, this could be leaving things to an element of chance.  I was offered the option to have my ovaries removed on the basis that there might be another gene out there that my Mum could be carrying, therefore giving me a  50% chance of carrying it too!

After a lot of consideration, I decided to go ahead and have my ovaries removed.  My whole family were behind this decision especially my husband (nothing to do with the fact that he dodged the vasectomy bullet, or should I say scalpel!).  Whilst it seemed a drastic move, the consultant was happy to do it and happy to put me on HRT so I didn’t plummet into menopause at 37.  I’d had all the children I wanted (two’s enough for me!) and there seemed no good reason to keep them.. the ovaries – not the children!  I also wanted to give my mum (and my family) some peace of mind that I wasn’t going to have the battle she had… at least not in this part of my body.

So, by the summer of the following year (2013), I went into hospital to have my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed by keyhole surgery.  It wasn’t a decision I made lightly, but it was the best one for me and I never had any doubts about what I was about to do.  Oh, apart from when they started wheeling me along on the bed down to the Ear, Nose and Throat Theatre.  My husband asked them a little concerned ” You do realise she’s having her ovaries out don’t you?”.

I was fortunate that the surgery went well, and apart from a small infection in one of the incision sites afterwards (and I couldn’t drink for a week!!) I made a quick recovery.  The HRT I’d been prescribed seemed to hit the spot and gave me no problems whatsoever.  But not everyone is the same, so this is something that needs to be considered very carefully and monitored.

I’ve never looked back since having it done. I must admit, it’s strange not to have any kind of cycle – and I still don’t know if I have one on an emotional level (my husband would say ‘YES’) but I certainly don’t miss them.  When I’m 51, I will slowly come off of the HRT and allow myself to go into the menopause gently… like walking down a hill, instead of jumping off a cliff at age 37.

What sits well with me, without sounding morbid, is that Mum left this world knowing that I wouldn’t be going through the same battle that she unfortunately lost.

To find out more on ovarian cancer visit the NHS website;

https://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/symptoms/ovarian-cancer

Symptoms to look out are;

  • feeling full quickly or loss of appetite.
  • pelvic or stomach pain.
  • needing to pee urgently or more frequently than normal.
  • changes in bowel habit.
  • extreme fatigue (feeling very tired)
  • unexplained weight loss.

 

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx

 

Writing ‘My Story’! Intro week of ‘Get Excited About Your Life’

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This week I started my Introduction or ‘On Boarding’ for my new course ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  This is a course which will help me to look at key points of my life and help me to move my mindset to a positive place which will inevitably help my business.

We’ve had a few actions to take on for this introduction week – one being to do a Facebook Live to our group.  Now, for me it was fine as I’m a complete show off, but for some of the ladies in my group it was a real baptism of fire… and they all nailed it!

The other big task for the week was to write ‘My Story’.  No rules, no template to follow… just write my story as I ‘feel it’.  This will be used as the basis of my 1:1 sessions with my mentor Andrea.

Jeeez! Where to start with that! How long should I make it?  How much detail is required?

I decided that I would tackle this after a meeting on Thursday.  I stayed on at the venue and made the most of the unlimited coffee and continental breakfast bar!   I powered up the laptop and started to type away.

Two hours later and I’d covered a lot of ground, revisiting lots of events in my life that I hadn’t thought about for a while, stuff to be proud about, stuff that I learned from and other situations in my life that still affect how I deal with situations today.

There was a point that I found incredibly hard to type about.  The experience losing Mum.  It’s amazing how my brain has managed to cope these last two and half years and almost put a lot of the feelings into a little filing cabinet so that I am able to function on a daily basis. Now and again though, the filing cabinet is opened and the documents come falling out… or the tears come falling down.

Being sat in the middle of a Brewsters crying at a laptop is not a good look so I made a hasty exit.

When I got home I managed to finish my story, warts and all and submitted it to Andrea.

After putting it all out there I thought I would feel like a weight had been lifted, but for a little while, the opposite happened.  I felt heavy and filled with anxiety! The following day I couldn’t catch my breath and just felt generally shitty!  Was this meant to happen after baring all in a word document?

That night I was due to go out with hubby for the night, and whilst I really just wanted to join my son and put my pj’s on at 6pm, but instead I got dolled up and went out.  I’m so glad I did.  Spending some much overdue time with my man was just the tonic (with Gin) that I needed!

Since then I have felt much better and I’m really looking forward to working through all the aspects that make me who I am and turning it into positive mindset.

The course is all about putting yourself out there, having belief in what you’re doing and owning it. I have no doubt that by the end of the 13 weeks we will all be nailing it and completely owning it!

I hope you will follow along with me on the journey!

Until next time,

 

Love and hugs,

TOMD xxx

 

 

My Mental Health Story – Part 1

Awareness of mental health in the current day is more prevalent than ever. We have so much discussion around it now with World Mental Health Day, Mental Health Awareness Week, Self Care Sunday and people in the public eye speaking openly about their struggles.

My mental health story starts way back in 1995 when I was 19 years old (totally given my age away now!).  This was long before the days when everyone had a mobile phone (unless you were a ‘yuppy’ from the city), let alone all the social media apps and the stress they bring, but at 19 years old, I suffered with anxiety and depression.

I remember at the time, people made comments on why I could possibly have anxiety and depression.  At 19, what on earth would I have to be depressed about?  No mortgage, no money worries, happy family life, but here I was.

There was one specific night where it all came crashing down.  I remember it so vividly.  It was August and I was at a house party with my school friends – the ‘Butch Girls’ (if you’ve read an earlier blog you’ll know who they are).  You remember those parties… parents are away, house full of friends, bowl of disgusting concoction of alcohol and playing daft games and talking shit!

As I sat there within a circle with a post-it note on my head I felt a strange sensation… like I wasn’t really there.  I felt like I was actually above, looking down over us all.  As my heart started to quicken, I felt more and more panicked. I got myself outside for some air… I just had to get myself out of that room.

The next thing I remember is that I was driving home crying my eyes out.  When I got home I sat with mum and dad for a couple of hours and just balled.  I couldn’t say why I was feeling like this, but I just couldn’t stop the crying.

Unbelievably, the next day I managed to get in to see my own doctor (it was 1995 don’t forget!).  I wrote down how I was feeling… the tightness in my chest, unable to catch my breath, this dark cloud that quickly descended over me.  I was so glad I’d written it down as when I got in there I just couldn’t get the words out.

Rightly or wrongly, my GP prescribed me Prozac.  Now, I’m not about to start a whole medication vs natural remedies/talking therapies debate – but in my case, that’s what happened.  I do believe, however, that if you need a little help down the medication route then why not?  If my leg was broken I’d be given crutches and in this case my mental health was broken and I need some help to fix it.

I was immediately signed off work for two weeks.  I remember my head being a complete blur, the ability to think clearly was so difficult.  Just counting money was a struggle and I remember taking my brother to the local shop if I fancied bar of chocolate as I just couldn’t do it.   That was, of course, when I felt like eating! I found the whole process of eating meals too much bother… which for me was unheard of!   I used to constantly think about food in my teens!

Two weeks off work turned into four weeks and during that time, I was happiest driving around town in my little car on my own. Nobody to make conversation with – just to drive and listen to my music. I also remember sitting in my room watching old videos of myself, trying to recall how I used to be.

Friends used to call up (on the landline!) to speak to me and I would tell Mum to say I wasn’t home or couldn’t talk right now. It felt too difficult.

After the four weeks, I went back to work… very unsuccessfully.  I remember walking into the office which I shared with three other girls. My line manager walked in with me and nobody said a word… nothing.  As I sat at my desk I could see that my audio machine was unplugged.  It sent my heart panicking, racing, thumping in my chest. My brain couldn’t work out how to plug the bloody thing in.  Still nobody in the office said anything.  I was suddenly engulfed with feelings of not being able to cope – all because my equipment to do my job wasn’t plugged in!

I ran into another office and called my line manager.  I needed to go home. I couldn’t do it.

Another three weeks off and I was given a gradual return back to work, first doing a couple of half days increasing slowly to full time. This was much better this time as I was able to ease myself back.  My colleagues however couldn’t understand why I was depressed with one quoting “you’re 19, what have you got to be depressed about?”.

By the Christmas I was starting to feel much more like myself.  I’d lost some weight (every cloud eh!) and was feeling a lot better about myself.  Over the festive season I forgot many times to take my tablets and by the January I’d stopped.  What I wasn’t expecting was to be feeling the same again by June.  I had to go back on the tablets as the anxiety was returning.

I hadn’t addressed the issues that had got me feeling like this in the first place.

The previous eighteen months had been quite a traumatic one when I looked back.  My mum had been in hospital in Bristol for five weeks following three lots of surgery and the complications of a blood clot.  All of this was going on as I was completing my exams at college and subsequently starting as a trainee medical secretary at the local hospital covering summer annual leave!

Then six months into my employment I got a permanent job with a consultant… who I didn’t gel with. That affected me more than I realised.  During these months I thought I was ok and carried on.   However, lots of little anxieties had piled up and up until one day, one tiny thing sent my world crashing down.  That was the night at the house party.

I did get better though.  I had some counselling through work and gave myself longer on the tablets and came off them slower than I had before. I did get back to my old self and felt the stronger for it.

Over the years, as with everyone, life throws you some curve balls… and I’ve had a couple of massive ones. But this experience of having depression at at a young age has helped me to look for the signs that things are right and make sure I take on board some self care and not bottle things up.

I’m thankful for the doctor for giving me those tablets. The crutch I needed to help get me back on track.  There are lots of therapies out there, and if you’re feeling like you need some help, you need to pick the one that is best for you… with no judgements.

It’s ok to talk about mental health. The stigma each year diminishes a little more. Don’t bottle feelings up, talk to someone, because small feelings can soon turn into big black feelings, until they pile up and topple you over.

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx

It’s time to get excited about my life!

As I write this post, I’m not exactly in the most excited mood.  I’ve been suffering literally all day with a hangover from hell which I can only put down to the fact that I’ve had two unscathed weekends away and my night out last night with hubby was my major payback.  Better to have happened here at home rather than at Center Parcs or beautiful Barcelona!

So why am I getting excited about my life?

Well, if you’ve been following my blogs, you would have read about how three women changed my life at a workshop I attended in Bristol.  One of those women was a lady called Andrea Callanan.  She made such huge impression on me (read the blog Yesterday Three Women Change My Life) and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of a free webinar she was offering a couple of weeks ago.

So, I attended the webinar with a group of around 20 women, listening to Andrea talk through my laptop screen.  She spoke about all the of kinds of insecurities and fears we face as women in business (saying that out loud is still weird for me!) and life in general.  Talking about why we put things off, why we doubt ourselves and how it stops us moving forward.

At the end of the webinar, Andrea explained that she was about to run a new 12 week programme called ‘Get Excited About Your Life’.  It covers;

Week 1 – Get Present  Week 2 – Own Your Story  Week 3 – Healing Week 4 – Acceptance Week 5 – Self Worth   Week 6 – Self Care  Week 7 – Kick Ass Mindset  Week 8 – Desire  Week 9 – Intention  Week 10 – Vision  Week 11 – Planning  Week 12 – Execute, Achieve, Celebrate.

Whilst this looks like it will be quite intensive and Andrea has already warned us that it will take a places emotionally that we probably won’t want to go (I’m sure the loss of Mum will come up more than once) I am genuinely excited about changing my current mindset.

I literally find myself constantly swinging from a kick-ass attitude of ‘I can do this’ to self doubting thoughts of ‘I’m gonna fuck this up’! I’m forever playing the following questions over in my mind;

Can I really make a go of this blogging and working with companies in the well woman arena?

Will they want to work with me?

Can I work with companies and help them with their Social Media?

Do I know enough?

It’s true,  I didn’t jump in straight away. Why?  The fear. That bloody fear and self doubt of course.  Will I have the time?  Can I afford it?  After having a night to sleep on it, I decided that it was well worth investing in myself and took the plunge and signed up!

Over these next 12 weeks this course will help me get over these insecurities which in turn will help me to plan and building my brand ‘Tales of a Mother’s Daughter’ and also my social media training business ‘Social in Somerset’.

I really look forward in sharing this journey with you and passing on the things that I have learnt… and it all starts tomorrow!

Until next time,

Love and hugs from TOMD xxx

Barcelona with ‘The Butch Girls’!

I know, you’re thinking who on earth are the ‘Butch Girls’? It sounds like it could be some female wrestling tag-team (might have to Google that!).

Let me explain. ‘The Butch Girls’ are my wonderful group of school friends that still keep in touch and do stuff together 31 years after first meeting at secondary school.

I’ve come to learn that this is actually quite unusual, to still be in touch with girls from secondary school. And whilst it’s true that we have been in and out of each other’s lives, especially during our 20s, these girls will undoubtedly always be in my life.

So, why are we called ‘The Butch Girls’?  We can’t really remember where it came from. None of us are particularly masculine or as the name may suggest, that we might bat for the other side (or is that the same side?!).  I remember the reference ‘Butch Girl’ first came up at my 18th birthday party… a long, long time ago!  It seemed to stick and we’ve been ‘The Butch Girls’, ever since!  I suppose if you happen to see us strut our stuff to Tina Turner’s ‘Nutbush’ it might explain it! It really is something to behold!

Anyway, this weekend was time for our annual getaway.  I worked out that it’s our eighth year now of doing something together.  It started when three of us went to visit one of the ‘Butches’ who now lives in Germany back in 2011 and it carried on from there. We still make Germany a bi-annual thing and visit somewhere different in between – this year it was Barcelona.

Now, I’m not going to give you a blow by blow account of what we got up to in Barcelona – most of it is the classic ‘you had to be there moments’ and we certainly had plenty of those; I’m certainly not going to try and recreate them on a blog.  However, I did want to share with you my thoughts on this Spanish city.

We stayed in the Gothic quarter of the city in an apartment which was a stone’s throw away from Dr Stravinsky’s Cocktail bar  (just for reference), which actually took us three nights to find as it was so well hidden!  It was a perfect location and I recommend staying in this part of the city if you can.  Lovely bars and restaurants are close by along with the wonders of the food market and great shopping.

What can I say about Barcelona. It’s so colourful and beautiful… and crazy-full of little streets that you can get lost in.  It’s literally like something out of Harry Potter – you get easily get lost in these interconnecting alleys within the Gothic quarter and with my hideous sense of direction, I was just glad there were five others with me who knew their way better than I did!

If you go to Barcelona, I totally recommend grabbing a bike from one of the many hire shops as a way to see the city.  We took ourselves down to the beach and cycled along the promenade stopping at a couple of bars for food and drinks, and then more drinks.  The sense of freedom felt amazing and so much fun… once you get out of the crazy streets and are able to use the cycle lanes without the fear of crashing into someone!

We learnt during the weekend, whilst sitting with a man in a cafe (we don’t normally sit with men in cafes, but there was only one table left and we kind of gatecrashed it!) that the beach in Barcelona was man made before the Olympics in 1992 to make the city more interesting.  They certainly succeeded – it doesn’t feel like you’re in a major European city when you can you cycle to sea and sand just 10 minutes from the city centre. So, if you like sea, sand and sun with your city break, this ticks all the boxes!

You can’t go to Barcelona without visiting the famous Gaudi Cathedral.  I have to admit, I’d never heard of it before (architecture isn’t exactly my forte) but this ‘wonder’ of a cathedral is mind blowing! You could literally look at it all day and still find new things. There are mixtures of so many different styles, some beautiful, others odd and some bordering on ‘Vegas’!  It has never been finished, but when it is (somewhere around 2026), it will be the tallest of its kind.

Barcelona shopping certainly has something for everyone.  If you’re after department stores, you can find them down on the rowdier Las Ramblas, or you can take in the beautiful boutiques which are found in abundance in the Gothic quarter.

On Las Ramblas you will find plenty of tat and weird stuff if that’s what takes your fancy. My particular favourite was packets of plants and flowers that will grow to look like genitalia! Nice!  Whereas if you fancy a little accessory treat, like a new bag or scarf (like I did!) then you won’t go far wrong with the little shops that can be found in many of the winding alleys through the city centre. I’m actually a really lazy shopper but even I managed to pick up a couple of pretty little things over the weekend.

With restaurants and bars a plenty, along with shopping, beaches, culture and plenty of red wine and Sangria, I’m pretty sure I will see you again soon Barcelona!

Until next time,

Love & hugs from TOMD xx