Happy New Year 2016

Happy New Year to everyone reading this. I wish you the very best for 2016. It’s definitely going to be more awesome than 2015.

Source: Scott Johnson: My Extra Life
Source: Scott Johnson: My Extra Life

2015 – Year in Review

For a change at the start of 2015, I didn’t make any major resolutions, but instead decided to take the year as it came. What’s the point of resolutions when you don’t keep them, right?

On work…

2015 started out to be a year like any other year, busy and in fact ended as busy as it started. However, that being said a good portion of the year was definitely better with me stepping up my role and desperately fighting to maintain a work-life balance.

On life…

2015 was a great year on the life front.

We started off the year by moving into a new larger flat in the area. It was a long pending decision and we finally took the plunge trading our skyline views for the view of the water, boats, ducks and other birds.

Blackwall Basin

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Cornwall – Boscastle and Tintagel

Our last holiday was in February when Ashwina and I visited Dunwich Heath to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Since we haven’t taken a vacation since then, we planned a week in Cornwall in the first week of September. This was much needed for us to recharge our batteries. And as usual Ashwina made the necessary arrangements for our trip.

We booked a cab to Paddington station in London where we caught the Great Western train to Bodmin Parkway, which is the closest station to where we were staying in Boscastle.

The journey is nearly 4 hours with views of the countryside that would be be familiar to anyone who leaves the hustle and bustle of the city. The route passes through Plymouth and a few miles before reaching Plymouth you get a glimpse of the sea which is simply breathtaking. And,  this wouldn’t be the first time on this trip that I got the same feeling!

We alighted at Bodmin Parkway. Bodmin Parkway shares its name with Bodmin which is famous for the Bodmin and Wenford steam railway. However, Bodmin Parkway is a relatively smaller railway station and does serve as one of the stopping points for the Bodmin and Wenford railway.

We had booked a self catering cottage called The Lugger which was located in Boscastle Harbour. This was a scene of a terrible flash flood back in 2004 which pretty much washed the village away. The place has since been restored and there is little evidence of the destruction that was caused back then.

We hailed a local cab to take us to Boscastle, which is a good 45 minutes drive from Bodmin Parkway. And just before we descended into the village,  I had my breath taken away for the second time because the view was simply spectacular!

The Lugger turned out to be a cozy cottage with a separate entrance which was located in the first floor of the National Trust Visitor Centre. This would be our home for the week. We unpacked, had some tea and then took a walk around the village, which has a few pubs, a post office, a car park and a tiny Spar.

Dinner would be a quiet one in our cottage before we set out to explore the area the next day.

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Kew Gardens and Kew Palace

Kew Palace

The bank holiday weekends in May are always welcome since it means an extra Monday of holidays and a relatively shorter week, even for an investment banker! Ashwina and I decided to visit Kew Gardens and Kew Palace early May. This was one of the many places we had in mind given our Historic Royal Palaces membership. We were joined by Vincent and Indrita.

Kew Gardens is located about a short walk from Kew Gardens Underground station which is the second last station on the District Line and good hours journey from where I stay in London. There are four gates where you can enter from and the Victoria Gate is the closest to the station. However, given the size of the line, we decided to enter via the Lion Gate which is around 5 minutes away.

Kew Palace is located within the gardens. However, since the gardens and the palace are managed by different entities, our membership does not cover entry into the palace. However, it doesn’t cover the entry to Kew Gardens, which means that you still need to pay to enter. There are several attractions in Kew Gardens and we decided we would try to cover as many as possible.

Kew Gardens map
Kew Gardens map

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