Cycling around Skye

I’ve just moved into a brand new flat and to offset a weight I felt was anchoring me in one place I decided to abandon Pinterest, furniture buying and home nesting and got some panniers and a train ticket to Scotland. I’ve wanted to cycle the Isle of Sky for some time and over some Thursday evening beers my friend Gareth and I decided to just bloody do it the following weekend. Very sadly since I got back my bike has been stolen. Sad times.

And so Scotland begins.
I’ve never been on a cycle holiday that involves carrying all your belongings with you before so I had a few days to find a pannier rack I could attach to my road bike. Luckily my local bike shop Hub Velo were very accommodating and helped me get ready for the adventure. After packing frantically after work on Friday evening, we set off to Euston via M&S for supplies for our 12-hour train journey.

Waking up in Scotland
After a short changeover at Edinburgh we managed another 4 hours of sleep before we woke up to sunshine, mountains and lochs. I was already sure me and Scotland were going to get on just fine. Especially when the rainbow appeared, I hadn’t even seen the rain.

Glenfinnan Viaduct // The Hogwarts Express bridge
Once we arrived in Fort William the sun was out and we knew we had a 70km ride to our Bed and Breakfast in Mallaig. After a coffee in the train station cafe we set off. Excitingly it was warm and within 20 minutes we were stopping to de layer, I was ins Scotland and I already had my legs out. Result. The first point of interest we knew of (I mean there was one every 10 minutes if I am honest) was Glenfinnan and its stunning Viaduct, probably now most famous for transporting Harry Potter to Hogwarts.

And then there was the coast
As we neared Mallaig I had to pull over to snap some pictures of the gorgeous white sandy beaches. I wasn’t expecting to see this in Scotland.

Leg one done. Hey Mallaig
After 70km and pretty minimal sleep we got to Mallaig happy and tired. We dropped off our bags and cycled into the town centre for some much deserved local beers, kippers and I met a giant dog called Blue.

Ferry to the Island of Skye
Sunday morning we woke up and got the first ferry over to Skye. We knew there was going to be some rain today so we were dressed and prepared for some showers. We were heading up to Portree which is the biggest town in Skye.

The Isle of Skye > Portree here we go
We were planning to have a coffee break at Broadford which was about 30K in but we were feeling good and decided to push on up to Slingchan. There were some nice climbs as we approached Ana Mull and despite the gentle but persistent rain the mountains were a great distraction. As we reached the top we had about 10KM before we got to a great pub in Slingchan and the rain clouds opened. By this time we were pretty wet through but lucky for us there was a fire, fresh coffee and lots of space to dry off for an hour as the rain subsided.

Once the rain had let off we set off on our final stretch of the ride and got into Portree as the rain eased off. We were wet and cold and after finding a B&B overlooking the harbour and a long hot shower we wanted some beer, whiskey and freshly caught seafood. Delicious.

Kilt Rock
Today was the biggest and ride I was the most excited about. We were going from Portree all the ay to the top of the island and round. It was bright sunshine with some serious headwind which meant it was a pretty hard work at times, especially at the top of the coast. This route would take us past, Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and Trotternish.

Cycling the top of Skye
Once at the top of Skye the headwind was relentless, it was perhaps some of the most stunning cycling of the trip but also the hardest. We had to swerve lambs in the road and a dog attack as well as the constant wind. But the winding roads and bright blue sky made it all ok.

Views from our hostel
After a well deserved lunch spot back in Portree we set back off for Slignchan, this put our ride at 100k , there were some serious climbs and killer headwind but the sun was shining and I could see the first faint lines of cycle shorts tan. We were staying in a hostel for the night and were absolutely exhausted. After a snack, some reading and a nightcap we were in bed and fast asleep before 10pm.

Annie's in Broadford
Final day and I was sad for it to be nearly over but also excited about having something other than lycra to wear. We were going back over the same roads so knew we would have ample time to get to our ferry ahead of hopefully the threatening downpour. We blitzed the first 30K and stopped for a coffee in Broadmarch where we Met Annie.

Cycling the Highlands fueled by Pip and Nut
And as we approached the ferry port we took our last pictures of the trip featuring the one and only Pip and Nut nut butter which fuelled our entire trip.

Haggis for my final meal
I ended the trip with some Haggis and a whiskey as the rain pounded around us, pretty thankful we had managed to miss this on our rides. We got the train from Fort William that evening and I woke up in London that next day and headed to work. Getting around that island with just my bike and legs was so liberating and I cannot wait to plan my next adventure (once I have replaced my bike).


05 2015

Recently randomly

Spring is coming. London Fields.

Bluebird snowboarding. Tignes.

Wedding days.

Waking up in Manchester. Takk

My new favourite pool. Crystal Palace

Real life Bring it on scenes. Crystal Palace.

Brighton day trips. Brighton beach.

Flying airplanes. Bethnal Green

Seaside walks. Hastings

Information Age. The Science Museum

Things you see when running. The Finsbury Park Spriggan

Julo Le Parc. Serpentine Gallery


03 2015

Recently reading

The problem with ‘conversation’ marketing // “And now your brand purpose is more closely aligned to Buddhism than it is to chocolate.”

Listen to the words. I love this album concept // “If you just came out and said the core of the song in a sentence, people would be like, “Oh, you’re an asshole!” But if you get production, and you get a good beat behind it and a slick melody, people are like, “Oh, I love this song!” and never think what it’s about. And it’s subconsciously affecting us. I think people don’t really listen to lyrics. Some people do, and bless them, but they’re rare. I feel like the process of this album really taught me to listen.”

Be careful what you tweet // “Social media is so perfectly designed to manipulate our desire for approval, and that is what led to her undoing. Her tormentors were instantly congratulated as they took Sacco down, bit by bit, and so they continued to do so. Their motivation was much the same as Sacco’s own — a bid for the attention of strangers — as she milled about Heathrow, hoping to amuse people she couldn’t see.”

You need more than just data // “there is a big difference between using data in combination with intuition and relying entirely on an algorithm”

What does the BBC stands for today // The internet is not keeping everyone informed, nor will it: it is, in fact, magnifying problems of information inequality, misinformation, polarisation and disengagement,” the report says. “Our job is keeping everyone informed. To do this, BBC News is going to have to start thinking how it is going to deliver on its mission to inform in an age beyond broadcasting.”

Working on the road // “But it started to wear us out. The default — and seemingly only acceptable response — to the question “How are you?” was “busy”.”


03 2015


Hello Hastings.

Hastings Fisherman Museum.

Trying the local delicacy.

The Girl Annual

The Jerwood Gallery.

Gambling responsibly.

Fat Tuesday.

Train picnics

Back for Bingo


02 2015

Recently reading

It’s been a while since I collated my favourite links but these are January’s favourites: Bike data // Theres a tear in my beer // Plastic People // Please listen to this playlist on shuffle //

Where have you cried in San Francisco // “An open-sourced collection of stories of places where people have publicly cried in SF/the Bay Area for The Bold Italic.”

You get what you pay for // “The tragedy is that, until this latest round of supermarket wars, many British consumers had begun to accept that if we want decent food, produced in ways we could feel confident about, then we would have to pay a fair price. Now, in the rush for bargain basement food, there’s a danger of going back to square one. But consumers shouldn’t kid themselves: if the shopping experience feels a bit cheap and nasty, ultimately, when the promotions have worn off and the customer loyalty has been won, the product may well be too”

American Psycho // “There is no suggestion that either love or faith can save the day. All that remains is the impression that we have created a world devoid of compassion and empathy, a fertile breeding ground for monsters to thrive while hiding in plain sight.”

My baby don’t understand me // “Over time, the fracture starts to splinter, and that same person you once knew grows suddenly unrecognizable”

Robot reviews // “instead of an overarticulate critic rambling about praxis, you get a review that gets down to the nitty-gritty about what exactly you see in front of you.”

The love algorithm // “…the secretary problem and its variations still do not provide a practical solution in a world where individual preference, goals, and societal context create a highly complex space of values that factor into decision making. In light of these complexities, we offer a general process that can determine the value of romantic options in a highly personal context. This algorithm is currently being developed into a service that will be available in 2015 for the general public”


02 2015

Frank and Tina’s: Tutto con moderazione

Ever since I moved away from home nearly ten years ago I realised my Italian heritage was less and less visible to new people I met and places I visited. I also spent a lot of time phoning my grandparents and mum to find out the tips and tricks for some of our family recipes. As I cooked and served these dishes for friends I would begin to tell them snippets of my family history, the regions in Italy my grandparents came from and how they met. It was then that the seed of an idea was planted in my head.

I was determined that one day I would turn these recipes and our story into a family cookbook and it has taken a while for me to have the confidence to crack on with writing this – I’m not a writer or photographer or chef. I just wanted to to share our story. But once I had enlisted a photographer and the cooking started I started jotting down the recipes and then piecing together a concise but hopefully interesting family story.

I very rarely got told exact measurements, I would be told key ingredients the secret tips and then practice my way though dishes for 2 – 15 people, mentally taking notes as I went. I have tried to make this apparent in the book because although we have specific ways of doing things the joy of cooking is understanding the basics and then figuring it out yourself with your senses. You need to taste it and know it needs more salt or less time in the oven, if you can cook this way instead you begin to find that cooking isn’t work—it’s play.

We know that every region in Italy has its own way of cooking key dishes just as every family has their own version of Sugo or Ragu or Lasagna. And this is true for all families and all cultures. Everyone thinks their version is the best and I love learning about everyone else’s little nuances.

Through the really quite excellent self publishing platform Blurb, some great photography and friends to sub my work I was able to create my family’s cookbook. I hope it will take anyone else who reads it on a short journey into the joy of cooking for family, friends and anyone else who sits down at the table.


01 2015


January was all about my love for knitting. I finished a scarf for me and one gift. Making something with my hands instead of looking at screens was incredibly satisfactory. I visited the seaside and kickstarted marathon training.

February was all about change as I decided it was time to take the plunge and leave my wonderful job at the Science Museum. There were early mornings, views from the clouds, lots of running and beautiful skies as well as a new job to start in April.

March was my last month at the Museum, mini heatwaves long ass training miles birthday fun times and a snowboarding trip to Andorra with seven #lads where I had some of the best snow conditions ever.

April was achieving my 3.30 marathon target, leaving party madness, Barceona fun times and being the new girl.

May was getting back out on my bike post marathon, moving house, dancing with friends and running PB’s.

June was cycling to Glastonbury, cycling to Brighton and running a half marathon in a heatwave. It was busy, reckless and set summer off on the right tracks.

July was weekends away in the sun, new friends, outside drinking and summer running.

August was our German family holiday, the best hen do/birth of Crack Squad, long runs whilst training for Amsterdam and being chased by cows.

September was weddings in the Cotswolds with the best people, jumping up in the air, seeing Grayson Perry speak again and running, always running.

October was fleeting visits to Bruges with friends who now live far away. More wonderful weddings with best friends. And half marathons after all nighters at Amsterdam Dance Festival.

November was all about exploring London with new people, book making and finding replacements for running as my injury post Amsterdam got worse and many hen do’s with old friends.

December was the most perfect wedding for lifelong friends, finishing the book. Partying with friends and dog walking.


12 2014

Lets get ready to Rumble


12 2014

Recently reading

Susie Orbach //On the one hand it says that our bodies are the most important thing about us, that they’re signs to the world about who we are, what our expectations, our longings and our capacities are – and that because of this we have to decorate, train and shape them. And then there’s another kind of ideological message.

Getting older // I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up!” My mom is a painter, and she writes and she reads and loves history and travels all the time. She has so many passions; she can be anything she wants. And my dad would be a radio DJ in another lifetime. He loves music so much. He collects vinyl and listens to music all the time. My parents can be whatever they want to be, and they still don’t know what that is. I love that. It’s one of those things where you can have as many lives as you want in one life.

The web is the real world // People still talk about the web like it isn’t the real world. But this is the real world in 2014: The press of a button on a smartphone can summon a ride home in minutes. Self-tracking devices turn footsteps on the sidewalk into data points. The Internet is art on the wall. Runners use GPS-based apps to draw pictures with the strides they take. Astronauts 3D-printed a socket wrench in outer space this year. Uber made skywriting as easy as sending a text message.

Looking back // Time degrades. Chances are anything that’s great now won’t be quite so much once time has got a hold of it.

Being an individual on the internet // our modern age is becoming an increasingly level playing field with such a vast number of people able to access an unrestricted pool of information at the touch of a key.

How to east toast // Understandably, given how great it can be, there is a tendency to try and insert toast into situations where, frankly, it does not work.

CTRL ALT DEL // nowadays internet users have almost absolute control over the videos they watch,” says Texier of the inspiration for her video. “But the users don’t yet have power over the action itself: they cannot modify what’s happening in front of their eyes. In my mind that would definitely represent the next step in video evolution: image and narrative control.

Rookie. Editors letter // How does it feel to exist in a moment, connected to another human being and to the world, without thinking about what it signifies, what it’ll look like in memory? That cohesion frames the moment and turns it into a scene from a movie. I don’t quite know how to let experiences just unfold and be surprised by how they affect me; “We don’t like to admit it,” said Julian, “but the idea of losing control is one that fascinates controlled people such as ourselves more than almost anything. […] And what could be more terrifying and beautiful, to souls like the Greeks or our own, than to lose control completely? […] To be absolutely free! […] To sing, to scream, to dance barefoot in the woods in the dead of night, with no more awareness of mortality than an animal! […] let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones. Then spit us out reborn.”


12 2014

Here and there

London letting off steam // Granary Square

Naughty whippets // Hathern

Women fashion power // Design museum

On top of London // Crystal Palace

OK Tracy // The White Cube

Regents lapping // London

Basically Might Ducks // Somerset House

Constructing worlds // Barbican

Babbmas 2014 // Dalston


12 2014