Plan . Dream . Discover

It’s cold , damp and dark outside . We’ve been told to expect Thundersnow. I’m not exactly sure what that is but it sounds fun and very dramatic!

I’m sat drinking copious amounts of coffee while dreaming of far off shores. Imaging the sun beating down on my back (of course I’d be wearing spf 50) of lounging around pools and exploring new playgrounds.

I’ve been really lucky that within my 46 years I have visited some beautiful places. Its well documented that at 17 years old I spent 6 glorious weeks island hopping around Greece with my best friend. If you don’t know… where have you been?!

Just Karen and I with a back pack each . Not a hair dryer in sight. We sailed, worked, partied, slept rough and even met Judith Chalmers who was filming ‘Wish you were here’ It was maybe the most fun 6 weeks of my life.

Greece aside I thought I’d share with you my 3 favourite places that  I have had the pleasure to visit to date followed by my  dream destinations. We should all have a dream, something to aspire too …and what better way to while away a moody grim January afternoon ?

Lets escape if only in my memories for a little while… Continue reading

Day 3 – Valencia

So despite getting in at daft o clock, spending far too long giggling and not sleeping regarding the lift sagar, I was up too early again the next morning. I think I was running on fresh air and excitement! I actually blame the bloody church bells. They started at 7am and rang every half an hour until about 10. At 9 I think the bell ringers decided to have a laugh at our expense; I swear they rang the dam things non-stop for a full half an hour.

Not for the first time this weekend we thought the King had died. He hadn’t. How the rest of the ‘house’ slept through them I’ll never know.

I decided I’d make breakfast. Hey don’t get giddy; by make I mean fetch.

I like pastry first thing in the morning. Well basically I just like cakes and pastry at any time of the day. When people started to emerge I ran down the full 5 flights of stairs (I wasn’t getting in that lift) and raided the coffee house which was ideally situated bang opposite our apartments.

After buying all the Croissants, Pan au Chocolate’s and other fancies available, we were sorted. I ran back up to the apartment ,almost collapsing at the top (note to self – get fit) lit some candles – what can I say I was feeling romantic!


Washed down with a strong coffee.

Jobs a good un… Or rather oh la la !

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Valencia – Day 2 at the Beach

So after a few hours sleep I awoke, far too early, bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Well I say that .. I woke up excited at the prospect of yet more sunshine and a day chilling at the beach. My head may have been throbbing slightly, but nothing a coffee couldn’t fix. I grabbed myself a strong black and a cheeky piece of chocolate and made myself comfy on a lounger admiring the skyline of Valencia.
Bloody Glorious…
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I had an hour or so  by myself before the others gradually started emerging  in various states of array (and bed-head)
 We sat and giggled about the previous nights antics and sent desperate tweets to anybody and everybody regarding Jo’s missing mobile #help #valencia #reward #return_the_catmobile. A long shot … but we all know the power of the tweet. Unfortunately we heard nothing.

After brunch we set about finding Playa La Malvarrosa.

Having been before we were at an advantage and had an idea of where to head. The easiest way to get there is to jump into a taxi and leave it to the driver .From the apartment  it takes about 5 – 10 minutes and will cost about 8 euros. There are buses, and I suppose you could walk but it would take you quite a while. If the driver drops you at the taxi rank next to the America’s Cup Building then you are on the right track. The beach should be in front of you.

It’s a beauty. chilled out, colourful and stretching for miles.



beach 5





Just as we were settling into our sun-loungers we were acousted by a tiny Thai lady in a dodgey hat, offering 10 euro massages.

Much to our amusement, Rach was laid face down on the sand, with her top whipped off, being pummelled within minutes…I think it was easier than trying to refuse.

Out of nowhere came a second lady and the same thing happened to Lisa. It’s as though they were taking us down one at a time.They could smell our hangovers. We were easy meat!



I didn’t escape either…

After she had finished with Rach she moved onto me, tempting me with a sneaky taster of what she could do …on my feet. If theres one thing I cannot resist, it’s a foot massage. If you want to win my heart, start with my feet. It was absolute bliss and at times complete torture. Despite telling her to watch my suspected broken toe, she got great pleasure in tugging away at it. If it wasn’t broken before hand I can assure you it was after – Ouch!


Yes, thats me under the hat!

I spent the majority of the afternoon people watching and dozing…



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It wasn’t long before we started to get hungry.Well it had been atleast 3 hours since we had last eaten!

We made our way towards  the row of beach bars and restaurants. There were loads to choose from. We plonked ourselves down in the loudest , fullest one as we figured this must mean it was good, right?


It was o.k but nothing to write home about. The waitresses albeit very beautiful had faces like wet weekends. The service was poor and our food was brought out at different intervals. Some of us had finished our meals before the others had even started there’s. Don’t you just hate that?

A firm word of complaint by Miss Leigh to ‘Chief Wet Weekend’ and we each got a free glass of paint stripper , sorry wine for the inconvenience. Silver lining of sorts …

beach 4

beach 3

beach 2

photo 3-16 - CopyFed and watered we made our way back to the apartment to commence the ritual ‘chilling , snacking , drinking , preparing for a night out’ session. This is the thing I love about us all sharing an apartment, there’s always somebody to talk too… or in my case pester.

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Four of the nine … the dirty stop outs … found ourselves drinking at the bars situated in the Americas Cup Building or the ‘Veles e Vent’ as it is known locally.

It’s a fairly new complex which has won various design awards. It’s very modern and a total contrast  to where we had been drinking the night before around the cathedral.

Leigh fell down  and got picked up by a rather handsome Spanish guy.  I nearly fell down laughing at Leigh falling down. (I’m awful)

We had a sing song ,downed free shots and put the world to rights .

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Normal ladies night out stuff.

It was on the way back upto the apartment that the funniest yet scariest thing happened.


I still giggle thinking about it now…

The 4 of us crammed in a tiny lift, discussing :

Lack of air.

A recent horror I had watched were a group of people got stuck in a lift; everytime the lights came back on one of them had been brutally murdered. I am like Job’s comforter!

Lastly (and one which will aways raise a smile) …whose handbag was most suitable to empty and have a wee in. All while Leigh hammered the alarm with one hand and virtually pulled the lift door off with the other!

I bloody love my friends.

More ‘shaninghans’ tomorrow,
Tracey xx










Viva La Valencia Photo Diary Day 1 – A Sheffield Girls Guide

Last week I spent a greatly anticipated long weekend in Valencia. 

I joined 8 of my best friends –  who all travelled from Sheffield to met up with Leigh and Nicola, who are also from England but now reside in Spain.

I’ve been to Valencia once before, its a bloody fabulous place. It’s the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona and it’s situated on the banks of the Turia. It’s also the place were the traditonal dish paella was concocted. You may thank me when that comes up in the local pub quiz!

Old meets new with beautiful architecture on every corner. It has a romantic feel to it. Little alleyways leading to hidden squares and more churches than you could throw your stick at.

It’s where I would choose to live if fate hadn’t plonked me in my beloved Sheffield. Valencia or St Tropez, I’m not fussy.

It’s the only holiday I was getting this year, so I intended to make the most of it. After-all 3 days is better than nothing.

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