Life || Highlights and Lowlights Of The Month

life as unusuals highlights and lowlights of the month june

I haven’t put a highlights and lowlights post together in a long time, so I thought I’d share some of my highlights and lowlights from June. I think I’ll do it again next month too, once a month seems good to me, instead of every other week, then never and then back to every other week. It gives me more time to write about other things that way.

June was a good month and I’m not just saying that because I can’t remember what we did – I knew I should have started this post two weeks ago when I thought about it. Next time. I’ll do that next time.

So, from what I can remember:

Highlights of the month

  • Many things about PinkPop festival – getting a spot in the quiet camping and actually being able to sleep, the sunshine, the tent holding its own through the storm, seeing Robbie Williams perform, discovering a new band to enjoy; Kensington, remembering why I love Placebo and buying their tee, getting home in time to snuggle Pork Chop before he went to sleep for the day.
  • Trying out an offline blog editor for blogging and feeling extra productive and less distracted. At least for a while. Although, I’m not convinced MarsEdit is worth it’s money – I’m currently trying the free trial – and might have to look into another one.
  • Pork Chop. He’s always a highlight.
  • Getting a bunch of cheap audiobooks in the Audible Birthday Sale, including a couple on my wish list.
  • The possibility of a new job! Eeek. I have a meeting on Friday to discuss the position, which I’m very excited about.
  • Saving ourselves some money by choosing to eat vegetarian completely instead of most of the time.
  • Giving the house a good clean, well at least the kitchen and the bathroom. It’s a start.
  • Running a whole half an hour!
  • Ice cream on a boat.
  • Discovering the town of Diest and exploring some more of Ghent.
  • Planning our trip to Warsaw in September.

Lowlights of the month

  • My phone battery dying. It was a sad time, I had to use a phone with a rubbish camera! Think of the Instagram photo quality!
  • Fruit flies. Oh the many many fruit flies. But, I have a pretty nifty way of trapping them and removing them from the house.
  • Waking up on Saturday to find I’d been bitten 10 times in the night by mosquitoes.
  • Spending the month having a bit of a blog crisis, if that wasn’t evident by my need to preface every post lately with blog talk. But that’s over now.
  • The news. Just in general. Damn that’s been a giant bag of laughs of late. Not.

Turns out I can’t remember anything else for the lowlights. I don’t even think we broke anything this month, we didn’t get lost or do anything stupid, which makes a change.

Also, since my phone has been on the fritz all month, I have hardly any photos and so I dug a few out from other months, let’s just pretend we haven’t seen them before!

What’s been a highlight and lowlight of your June?


Saturday Spotlight || Underland To Wonderland

It’s been an age and a half since I have done a spotlight post! April was the last time I put one of these together. May just kind of ran away with itself and now it’s the end of June so it’s high time I got cracking on another one and, hopefully get myself back into the rhythm of putting these together regularly again.

Today, I’ve got a corker of a lady to share with you today! So, with no more babbling from me…

Let me introduce you to…

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Today’s spotlight goes to Danielle!

The Introductions

I don’t even know where to start. I like to think that Danielle and I would make great friends in real life, not only because I think I make a great friend, but because she’s one of the kindest, most generous and caring people who I’ve met in a while. Maybe kindness and caring are one and the same, but Danielle has enough to justify using both words. She’s also a dab hand at capturing animals in their element, has this unwavering love of Disney– granted, I don’t quite understand that, but there’s something about people being passionate about things that just makes me like that thing a little more – and she, well, she’s just quite alright.

Danielle’s blog is one of those smaller ones, the kind of blog that’s makes a reader feel at home. Blogging from the North of England, Danielle shares her life with her partner in crime, Baker, as they go on adventures together around the local area or heading up to Scotland for more exotic adventures. Or maybe she’s sharing her in-depth knowledge about Disneyland Paris, or maybe it’s DIYs, or maybe it’s just a simple tag post. Whatever it is, you can guarantee there will be some pretty awesome photography along side it!

If you’re looking for another lifestyle blog to read, I’d give this one a chance. Maybe you don’t like Disney, don’t worry there’s plenty else to enjoy. Maybe you don’t like DIYs, don’t worry there’s plenty else to enjoy. Maybe you don’t like great photos of animals, alright maybe this blog isn’t for you then. You win some, you lose some. But what have you got to lose, get over there, have a poke around – mention that I sent you – and make yourself a new friend.

Something to see

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All taken from Danielle’s blog

Something to read

Just one more thing

Not only does Danielle have a blog, but she’s also recently opened up an Etsy shop selling some of her photos as cards, for snail mail and greetings cards! The cards are sold in sets of four but there’s also the opportunity to mix and match from any number of Danielle’s gorgeous photographs. In addition, although not listed on Etsy, you can also request photographic and poster prints up to A3 in size.

Speaking off all this greatness, Danielle sent me a few of her cards in the post a couple of weeks back. Not in exchange for this spotlight I might add, I’m doing this as a surprise for her but I wanted to share the cards that I got and what I thought about them.

I got a selection of four cards. Easily my favourites were the sheep one and the riverside walk one. I totally admit, my least favourite was the Disneyland themed one, but that’s because I’m not a big Disneyland fan not because it’s a rubbish print. I secretly like the print.

On the shop, a collection of four cards would cost €7.25 (or about £5) that’s €1.80 a card which is a pretty good value to me. They are not thick like a card you get from a stationary store, it’s more heavy-duty photo paper, but they stand up, they shine and the quality of the print is great, in terms of the detail in the image and the colours. I definitely prefer the three without the white border, but that’s just my personal preference. They are a great weight for people who like to hang their cards up on the wall using string – you know, those people who get loads of cards and like to show you they do.

And I’ll definitely be posting these back to the UK around Christmas time to use as Christmas cards so that’s saved me the effort of going to town to buy cards, which I inevitably forget to do. Maybe I can pass one off as Kris’s birthday card too, since I don’t think he’s looked too closely at them to remember which ones I was sent!

If you are genuinely interested in these, please do let Danielle know! Although there’s not too much on her Etsy Store at the moment, she’s just starting out and I think a spark of interest is just what someone needs when they are just starting with a new venture like this! Maybe some British Wildlife tickles your fancy?

The all important links

// The BLOG




Happy Saturday!


Belgium || The Fortress Town Of Diest

life as unusuals the fortress town diest belgium

Everyone travels in their own way – despite what travel blogs would have you believe sometimes – and everyone has different things they like to see. For me, that’s nature. Every time we travel somewhere, we are always looking for a bit of nature.

I like to spend my travel time exploring parks, gardens or just simply that hill over there that looks like it might have a nice view from the top. I will plan trips around seeing nature, I will specifically research things like botanical gardens, natural history museums, lakes, viewpoints and anything else that might be coloured green on Google maps.

This is what we did for our trip to Diest, since the internet tried to claim there was nothing to see or do. When in fact, there was plenty to check out – nature-wise at least. We simply pulled up the map on Google and planned a day of exploring that took us from one nature area to another, walking through the town to get to the different parts, so we got to see a little of everything.

The tiny Belgian town of Diest is a nice little place to get your fill of small town charm. Check out my previous post about Diest for all those details. Wink wink.

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We started our nature adventure by following the old city walls for a while, then cutting through the town to finish at the Citadel.

The first part we came to was the Saspoort, where the river Demer reaches the town – and that’s all I know. Call me an informative travel blogger if you will.

It was a good spot to stop for a rest and a snack though. So there’s something.

Diest is such a small place, that there’s hardly any information around. From what I understand, from 1499-1794 it used to be the home of the Ornage-Nassau Princes, which are now the Dutch ruling family – and that’s about it.

The city walls, or city belt as it seems to be called, was built sometime after 1830 following the Belgian independence turning the town of Diest into a fortress city. Nowadays, much of the city’s fortress structures have been demolished with the exception of a few areas that are now part of the many cycling and walking routes.

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Not to sound all hipster – ok, just to sound a bit hipster – but I really enjoy watching nature reclaim man-made structures. There’s something magical about watching the greenery grow out of the cracks in the stone and seeing something become hidden among the grass and bushes.

Undisturbed nature is better, but this kind of scene also has its charm.

From the Saspoort we walked down to the Schaffensepoort, which is a gate. I know, the information in this post is pretty overwhelming.

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Old, crooked and broken, and just a tiny bit eerie with the wooden doors leading into dark open areas in the brickwork. Worst description ever…

Imagine a garage, with a wooden door and no light in the back. Less worse description? Basically, it was some creepy shit and gave me the eeby jeebies. But I let that slide since it was all hipster and abandoned and cool. It really was interesting to see how nature had grown around everything.

This is where we decided to head into the town and see what the citadel was all about. Not before Kris fell over in the mud though.

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The Citadel was my favourite part of the day. It was such a peaceful walk with hardly anyone around – minus the three dudes trying to secretly get stoned in the woods and the teenagers in love making out behind the wall – and you were free to wander through the woods and fields as you pleased. Well, there were no signs saying we couldn’t, so we understood that to mean “do as you please”.

The Citadel was part of the city fortress, it’s located on top of a hill, although not quite high enough to get some views over the town, and is almost completely conserved, albeit now covered in nature.

From what I can gather, it seems to be the last surviving citadel in Flanders, although that might end, since there looks to be plans to build Diest’s hospital in the area. But I can’t say that for sure, since I’m taking the information from the Google translation of the Dutch Wiki page…

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All in all, it was just a really nice area to go for a walk. And it goes to show, that just because the internet said there was nothing to do, doesn’t mean there is nothing to do.

Sometimes, I feel like I should apologise for the lack of hardcore travel information in my travel posts. But really, I’ve never been interested in reading informative travel posts, so I have no interest in writing them. I just like to share some stories, show you where we’ve been and what’s out there for you to see should you want to come to Belgium or anywhere else.

What’s your opinion on my travel posts? Genuinely. Are you here just for the photos? Do I write too much? Am I boring as shit? Any opinion would be very appreciated!