It has been a busy couple of weeks, hence the lack of blogging! But alas, I am back with a not so hectic schedule consisting of deadlines, politics exams and general day-to-day living.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been so excited waiting for the day where I packed my bags and headed back down south – to the area which is home for me. I was off to Gravesend in Kent to see a very special somebody who came to visit me on my birthday weekend – my ‘Birthday Celebrations’ post.

Heavy bags check, parka check, tickets check – I was ready to start my adventure.

Waiting at Nottingham Train Station.

My first train was to London St Pancreas, a station I have never been too. It was beautiful, architectural wise and even with the hustle and bustle of Londoners running to catch the roar of the trains as they arrive and depart to their destinations.

When I got on my next train, which took me directly to Gravesend, I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get there. When I arrived I was greeted by Mark [a face I had waited weeks to see again] and stepped outside into the busy town of Gravesend. With the sun just about to set we made our way to his home that he shares with his family.

I think I probably speak for many people when you meet the parents – the thoughts that rush through your head thinking that they’re going to be like the parents from ‘Meet the Fockers’ or that they are going to question you to death about what your interests are in their son/daughter. I was a little bit nervous but as soon as I got into the house I was at ease, with a warm welcoming from both Marks Mum and sister who were lovely and were genuinely interested in what I studied and what I liked/disliked.

After having pizza with the family, Mark drove me to The Lion Hotel in Farningham. We went for a drink in the bar which was so cosy and warm with exposed beams on one side of the room and high ceilings with glass and mirror on the other.

The Lion Hotel, Farningham.

We woke up super early on Friday morning to head down to Brighton for the day – a small trip that Mark had planned for me. It was freezing outside so we wrapped up warm and started the journey, chatting and singing all the way.

Brighton here we come.

When we arrived in Brighton we headed straight for a Starbucks – something to warm our cockles up. We had our usual salted caramel mocha and gingerbread latte plus a cheeky piece of shortbread each.

Warming up in Starbucks.

I had never been to Brighton, so there was lots for me to see and for us to experience together. We walked around the shopping center and ventured down the small lanes just off the seafront where the shops were so quirky and unusual. The ranged from the famous Choccywoccydoodah cake shop [which I had watched on TV] to designer shops like All Saints.

Choccywoccydoodah; The Chocolaterie.

Vintage Sewing Machines in All Saints.

After looking around the shops we headed to the world-famous Brighton Pier, I was amazed by how many arcades and games there were – I think people could literally spend a whole day in their playing games and reliving their youthful days.

Brighton Pier.

It was such a nice feeling being near the sea, it was somewhere I always loved to be when I was little – my Mum used to take me and my brother down to Bournemouth. Even though Brighton beach wasn’t a sand beach, I still felt the urge to go on it and go right down to where the sea washes over the pebbles and get chased by the waves.

We nearly got wet feet.

Mark is an amazing photographer and couldn’t help but snap a couple of beautiful shots of the seafront and quirky things we saw just as we came off the beach – I would be lying if I said that I took them.

Herbie, The Beetle.

An Overcast Seafront.

Having been worn out from all the walking around Brighton, finding some quirky places and inhaling a lot of fresh sea air, we drove back to Gravesend.

Mark had planned a lovely dinner for us at The Bullfinch in Sevenoaks, that evening – it was a very stylish pub/restaurant with a roaring open fire, exposed beams and a welcoming atmosphere. As it was a special occasion, I even had a cheeky glass of the fizzy stuff.

Lovely night with lovely company.

The food was delicious and was served efficiently, Mark had a seasoned butterfly chicken with homemade chips and I had a lasagna with a salad. Both of us nursing ‘food babies’ there was defiantly not any room for pudding, even though they sounded amazing on the menu.

We had an amazing day in Brighton exploring places we have both never been too like walking down the cobbled streets, and eating at The Bullfinch – we decided to head home ready for another day full of adventures.

Saturday was the last day I had with Mark, as I was to catch my train back up to Nottingham due to having work and uni the following days. We ventured to Bluewater to do a spot of window shopping – I had been to Bluewater before when I was younger, but didn’t remember it being quite so big! It was home to everything an expert shopper may want – designer labels, food joints, coffee houses, high-street labels; you name it, it was there! With Christmas round the corner, thousands of shoppers descended on the center so Mark decided to show me around the outskirts of London – the parts which I’ve never seen before, oh and we went for a good old Nando’s to ease our rumbling bellies.

We stopped off at Starbucks (again), just to have one last one before he drove me to the train station – the part which I was not looking forward to at all.

This is the life.

The time had come for me to catch my train, saying bye to his family was a little bit emotional as I had got on with them so well – but I knew I would see them again in a couple of weeks, so I felt a bit silly for choking up a little bit. Nonetheless they made me feel at home and I was thankful to them for that.

Mark dropped me off at the station where I would start my 3 hour journey back to Nottingham. It wasn’t easy saying ‘bye’ to someone who means the world to you. I just had to remember what my Mum always told me to think of whenever she would drop me back at uni; ‘It is never a goodbye, it is only a see you later.’

My adventure down in Gravesend was amazing, it felt so much like home. My sad mood was lifted a tiny bit when I arrived at London St Pancreas to catch my final train that would take me back to Nottingham where I saw something magical in a place that you wouldn’t expect to see something so nice; I couldn’t help myself, I had to take a photo.

London St Pancreas; magical.

And so this adventure ends, it is now time to start another adventure and to welcome those adventure to have in the future.

Peace out.

Autumn x