Cover Image for James Went To Benalmádena (on the Costa Del Sol)

James Went To Benalmádena (on the Costa Del Sol)

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It feels like ages ago, though was only towards the end of October, in the week before the clocks went back, that I went to Benalmádena. Why Benalmádena? Well, I needed somewhere fairly cheap to stay as I was being evicted from my old place, and the flat I was buying in Croydon was still 2, 3, 4, 178, fuck knows weeks away from completion. An Airbnb in London was like £100 a night, an Airbnb on the Costa Del Sol was £40 a night. I expected to be 3-4 weeks in Spain at a minimum, so I needed somewhere … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Gandia

James Went To Gandia

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There’s going to be a few of these. James went to Gandia. James went to Valencia. James went to Benalmádena. James went to Malaga. Who knows, I might even get some more places ticked off by time my solicitors and the management company decide that I can buy the flat that I put an offer in for 7 MONTHS AGO. Firstly, don’t go to Gandia. The city, that is. I had a wander through Google Street View before we went on holiday, and crowned Gandia as the “Slough of Spain”. And then I found out a TV programme that was … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Paris (Again)

James Went To Paris (Again)

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Third time’s a charm, right? I think this was my third trip to Paris anyway, though possibly fourth if I’ve forgotten one. And it was kind of special to be going there with my sister after the challenges of this year – if you know, you know. Eurostar was the choice – I had 23 year’s worth of Nectar points that I could use, so that covered most of the ticket price. Our hotel was a CitizenM – a compact room but with air conditioning that you control, lighting, a really comfortable bed, a powerful shower – and was designed … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Malta

James Went To Malta

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Winter seems like it is going on forever – though by time I’ve finished writing this blog post about going to Malta, it will probably be September. Why Malta? I had two criteria for my holiday. I did at first consider going to the Caribbean or Mauritius, but decided spending that much money was daft when I am saving to buy a house. I also considered Dubai to visit a good friend of mine – but decided going when Ramadan was on wouldn’t be so conducive to fun. Which also then ruled out North Africa and the rest of the … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Skopje

James Went To Skopje

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I was at Luton Airport wondering why on earth I was catching the 9:40pm flight to Skopje. I needed a break from work, but why was I going to Skopje? Why didn’t I just stay in London and chill? Well, I wanted some warm sunshine, and Skopje I knew would be cheap – despite the collapsing pound. Plus I wanted to go to a new country – and I’d never been to North Macedonia (or maybe call it Macedonia…depending on who you want to upset). One of my goals for 2022 was to visit three new countries – and this … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Copenhagen

James Went To Copenhagen

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Copenhagen. Or Copenhahahagen as I was soon to rename it. For some reason I’ve wanted to go to Copenhagen for a little while, but I couldn’t quite remember why. Maybe it was the pretty houses? Originally the plan I had in my head was to go to Copenhagen for a couple of days, then get the train to Sweden for a couple of days – maybe go to Gothenburg. But as time went on, it was proving difficult to find an Airbnb in either Copenhagen or Gothenburg – or any other Swedish city closer to Denmark. In fact, we couldn’t … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Zadar

James Went To Zadar

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My sister recently announced that she had 3 holiday days left to take at work and wanted to go somewhere – I said I’m up for a holiday and we ended up booking a trip to Zadar. We had quite tight time schedules so wherever we were going to go was going to be a flying visit – after some research I had a shortlist of Naples, Bilbao and Zadar – all places we could fly to on the Tuesday after work and return on the Friday. But Zadar was the clear winner – who can resist £68 return flights, … Continued

Las Vegas was over, and it was time to get in the car and drive to San Diego. Why San Diego? Well, again, my sister had suggested it as she had already been to San Francisco – I might have chosen the latter. But as soon as I did the briefest amount of research on San Diego (basically finding out that it was the craft beer capital of USA plus lots of Latinos), I thought that it might really, really be my kind of place. And we did very limited research beforehand, as we both thought there was no point … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Las Vegas

James Went To Las Vegas

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I’ve never really been that bothered about going to Las Vegas. Well, maybe when I used to play a lot of online poker, say 15 years ago, but that was more the dream of qualifying for a major poker tournament in Las Vegas, than actually going to the place. I always had it in my mind as a bit pretentious, a bit fake-glam – and that isn’t me. If I’m going out to a bar, then I’ll always choose a graffitied shithole, over an Instagrammy glam bar. And the same applies to my holidays – they are booked in places … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To The Lake District

James Went To The Lake District

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It looked like I would have to eschew foreign holidays again this year, so myself and two of my closest advisors decided a couple of months back to book a staycation, and the Lake District was a fairly clear choice of preference. We booked a cottage on Airbnb that was pretty much in the sticks, near the west of the Lake District. I didn’t need to look at any other properties as soon as I was sent the link, my response being, “BOOK IT NOW” – 3 double bedrooms, a very large kitchen, a large living room, a huge garden … Continued

I don’t count my blessings every day, but I do count them at times. One such blessing could be that Covid-19 hasn’t affected my health or the health of those close to me. It has, however, affected my social life, my roast dinners, my holidays – in May I was due to visit Japan and were life normal I’m sure I would have had a weekend away in some random European country that only Eurovision Song Contest viewers have heard of. I was also due to go watch the cricket last weekend, England vs Pakistan at Lords. And actually had … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Ksamil, Albania

James Went To Ksamil, Albania

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Why Albania? Good question. I wanted some sunshine and I wanted to be near the coast. It had to be a country that I had never visited before and also had to be fairly affordable – I had not long since started at M&S so though it didn’t need to be mega-cheap, there certainly were some constraints – Caribbean destinations definitely weren’t on the cards. Also I was going by myself. Which makes hotels and stuff much less affordable, given that I couldn’t share the cost. And I wanted something nice. I considered Malta and Montenegro, before almost accidentally discovering … Continued

I’ve always lumped Corfu in with the likes of Magaluf and Faliraki. It is an island that I would likely never have visited were it not for the requirement to get the ferry to my end destination, Ksamil in Albania, from Corfu. Whilst I could have arrived early and gone straight to the ferry to go to Albania, I decided to be a bit more leisurely and have an evening in Corfu Town itself. My Airbnb was top notch, in terms of affordability, location and charm. I could quite happily have stayed there longer, and even more important, it was … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Budapest…Last Year

James Went To Budapest…Last Year

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So this is the last of the blog posts that have been long-outstanding on my to-do list to write. Well, except for a review of 2018 and my goals for 2019…I think I might just skip them now! Budapest had been on my radar for a little while, and it seemed that rarely a month went by without my Facebook feed having photographs from a friend or some random that I met once, visiting the capital of Hungary. After enlisting two of my closest advisors, we set upon finding some gloriously cheap flights with Wizzair that weren’t really that cheap … Continued

James Went To Croatia – Last Year

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All this extra time I have thanks to my new job and getting home at the more human hour of around 6pm (or so) has led me to think that maybe I should try to catch up with things on my to-do list.Some things have been on there for nearly a year, such as writing a blog post about my holiday to Croatia last year. I’m not sure that I would have been able to remember much in the way of details had I written the blog when I got back home, let alone nearly a year later.  It was … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Belgrade

James Went To Belgrade

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Why did I decide to go to Belgrade? Because it was cheap. Why was the flight so cheap? Because it was at 5:55am in the morning. Who’s fucking idea was that? It wasn’t actually that bad though, just needed to set my alarm for 1:30am (thankfully I had a stonking hangover the day before so going to bed early was easy), get a taxi to Wembley Park station, then get the night tube to West Hampstead, then get the Thameslink train to Luton Airport parkway, then get the bus to Luton Airport. Simples. Originally it was just me and my … Continued

Cover Image for James Went To Exeter

James Went To Exeter

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Two of my dearest advisors had concocted a birthday surprise for me at the end of February – a mystery tour of a mystery place. All that I knew was that I needed my passport. Exciting! We drove past enticing places such as Basingstoke, Bracknell and Salisbury, then past Stonehenge until it became clear that I was either being taken to Exeter or Newquay. What is in Exeter I wonder? What government enterprise might be of interest to me that is located there? After a spot of lunch and a chance to listen to 6 women loudly cackling next to … Continued

James Went To Vienna

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Before going on holiday one should always ensure that the next holiday is booked. But also before going on holiday, one should ensure that the previous one has been blogged about.  Though I still didn’t manage to click ‘post’ before I went to Croatia. It seems ages ago, but back in May, myself and my most excellent friend, Martin, sat down on a Friday evening and decided to try to find somewhere to go away for a weekend of beer and culture. I had some budget restrictions – shock horror.  We also wanted to go to a country that we’ve … Continued

James Went To Madrid

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Gosh was it really 2 weeks ago?  Erm…gosh was it really 4 weeks ago?  That is assuming I actually finish this post tonight.  5 weeks…OK 6 weeks ago.  Definitely finishing it this time. Can I actually remember any of Madrid?  Oh yeah, I went with my family. The Why My father suggested a family holiday a while back, in celebration of his retirement.  I think I was probably 16, maybe 17 when I last went on holiday with my family, and I stated that I would never again go on holiday with my family. Well, I’ve gone back on quite … Continued

James Went To Sevilla

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Back in September, I decided that I’d like another holiday before the end of the year – I wanted to sit and drink beer in the sunshine one final time before winter arrived.  So I stopped drinking for a few weeks (minus one or two very minor aberrations). I didn’t know where to go, or who to go with.  I did suggest to a couple of friends about the idea of going away, but none seemed even remotely keen but I’d also been thinking about going away by myself.  I was going to do the Swiss Alps trip by myself … Continued

A couple of years ago, I decided to go on holiday wherever the random country generator told me to go. It chose Somalia.  I decided to over-rule it given the high chance of kidnapping and/or death.  It then chose Switzerland.  A much lower chance of death. Then I had the question of what to actually do.  Where in Switzerland to go.  I could just have taken cheap Ryanair flights to say, Bern.  Or perhaps a city break to Geneva or Zurich.  Or go see the large hadron collider.  Nowhere grabbed me and said ‘get your cheapo ass here’. Then I … Continued

James Went To Bratislava

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Gosh was it two weeks ago already? It was probably the holiday I was least ever looking forward to.  Prior to going away, I was tired, not always my usual joyful self, feeling unhealthy and particularly worried about money. Typically, I booked the trip away and then lost my job a week later.  But the show must go on – no point in wasting booked flights and I certainly do not let people down.  I really wasn’t up for it – until the Friday afternoon when I started investigating and making a plan. One obligatory airport beer and super-expensive sausage … Continued

Ibiza 2016 – My 13th Visit

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Gosh is it really a week since I arrived back from the White Isle?  Or probably two weeks before I have finished writing this. Myself and my very good friend, Martin, decided a few months back to go especially for Cocoon on 19th September with the massively exciting line-up of Guy Gerber, Dana Ruh, Sonja Moonear, Nina Kraviz, and Sven himself. The preceding month was crazy.  A house and city move, with a new job and career, and something really serious going on that most of you don’t know about (some really shit news, but all is kind of ok … Continued

James Went To Bucharest

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Early last year, myself and my most important advisor (family excepted) decided that we would have a party weekend away somewhere. Ideally I wanted to go to a country I’d never visited, and again ideally somewhere inexpensive. We batted a few ideas around but given that we intended it on being a clubbing weekend, and most of my favourite DJs nowadays are from Romania, it made sense to visit the new centre of minimal techno – like visiting Berlin would have in 2004 when the last wave of minimal was really starting to make waves. For a variety of reasons … Continued

James Went To Lisbon

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Me and my sister decided that we wanted to replicate the success of previous weekend breaks to Bologna, Stuttgart and Brussels but this time go somewhere that would still hopefully be warm and sunny – Lisbon. I’d actually done some research before we went this time, so we had an itinerary (what an oddly spelt word) and a plan of action. When we arrived, it appeared that we had got onto the wrong plane and had ended up in East Midlands airport. The first thing that we learnt about Lisbon was that it had lots of hills.  Lisbon likes a … Continued

I’m writing this review of my 12th trip to Ibiza two weeks after getting back.  Is it really two weeks already? There were 12 of us going to the villa, all couples, except for me and JP.  Yes JP was sharing a room with me.  He must have been crazy to agree that.  And various others on the island that we met up with.  I knew about half of the gang prior to going. OK I’m now writing it four weeks after getting back.  I should forget about writing but it seems traditional to write about my trips abroad, particularly … Continued

There Are No Snowmen In Poland

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I had never been to Poland before, nor to a ski resort (unless you count Burnley) so I jumped at the opportunity of a cheap weekend away – just £15 a night B&B and the return flights were £70. I didn’t know what to expect except alcohol, cold and snow.  However my first taste of snow appeared as we turned onto the M11 towards Stansted – the rain and sleet earlier in the journey had turned to a covering of snow and the traffic slowed, and as the snow got thicker towards Stansted, just one mile out the traffic came … Continued

14 Things I Learnt In Dublin

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I’ve decided to mix it up a bit and not do a straight up review of my trip (partly because a fair amount of it should not be listed publicly), but instead a list of what I have learnt: 1. It is particularly difficult to find an off license in Dublin. 2. Dublin looks similar to Coventry.  Or any average UK town. 3. Most guys have very unadventurous hairstyles.  Yes, my mullet received a fair amount of attention. 4. All pubs are rammed, a lot of the time. 5. Caviar is nice.  Lentils are not. 6. The Magician does not … Continued

James Went To Brussels

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There tend to be disturbances prior to my visits to foreign lands – riots in Paris many years ago, a bomb threat evacuated Ibiza airport the morning of one trip, the army were sent to protect London airports just before another trip abroad…this, my first trip to look at foreigners this year, was no different: I can only assume my precence has a calming, reassuring effect when I arrive. I hadn’t been on holiday yet in 2014, however I thought I should take one final opportunity to use the Euro before it collapses.  The arrival of an e-mail offering return … Continued

James Went to Sonning. And Got In.

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The highlight of my weekend just gone is difficult to choose – DJing to 3 people, a gift of a tea, publishing my autumn weather forecast, a visit from my Parisian delight, an evening at the Oakford and some amazing semi-drunken southern fried chicken – Chicken Cottage is the chicken you need by the way.  Not to mention it was a 3-day weekend, I had a pie and booked Eurostar tickets to Brussels to I can go admire the European Union buildings. But for novelty and the fact that it suits my new boring lifestyle, Sunday in Sonning was just … Continued

James Went To Manchester

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So for the first part of proving I am still young enough to handle crazy weekends was a trip to Manchester for the Rugby League World Cup Final. I was first taken to The Boulevard in Hull (sounds nicer than it was but rugby league is not supposed to be gltiz and glamour…well except for the cheerleading girls) around the age of 7/8 to watch Hull FC.  This was my upbringing in terms of rugby league. I used to go every week, me and my Dad were season ticket holders at one point.  It being a game mostly played in … Continued

Ahh Ryanair.  It is amazing how many morons are on the Ryanair flight to Ibiza.  Can anyone answer if other destinations have such a high proportion of nobheads on their respective budget flights? I decided that it would be more fun to fly with Ryanair from East Midlands…first going south to Basingstoke, then west to Bridgend before ending up near Derby…as you do. Ryanair don’t make things easy so why should I?! Anyway, I wasn’t planning on going to Ibiza this year due to finances but there was an excellent offer available that I just could not resist, a few … Continued

The Delicious Delights of Derby

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My employers sent me on a mission to Derby this week.  I doubt you have any interest on credit control processes (unless my manager is reading) so I will enlighten you on my personal mission, which was to discover the culinary delights of Derby. The office I visited was in a modern commercial area, near the football stadium, and had much to offer: Greggs – but you might need a little imagination. With all this choice it was a difficult decision but I plumped for the chicken maestro, and wow what a good choice I made as look closely at … Continued

Ibiza 2012 – My 10th Visit

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Before I went to Ibiza for the 10th time this year, I decided that it would be my last trip for a couple of years. However, upon arrival back upon the magical island that I like to call home, I immediately began to dream of ways that I could move to Ibiza to live there forever.  Or at least a whole summer. I flew with Monarch from Gatwick as usual, an even more rowdy and party-like flight than previous years, full of young people and far more young ladies than men on board, oh how terrible.  Given the e-mailed warnings … Continued

James Went To Berlin

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Anyone who knows me, knows I love Germany, and especially Berlin as I had the most amazing time there back in 2006 for the now-defunct Love Parade. So when two of my closest friends, Matt and Sam, booked flights to Berlin and asked if I wanted to join them – there was no way I could refuse.  3 days and nights in Berlin, with lots of amazing clubs and bars to visit – I got proper excited…on the day before anyway. I seem to have developed this inability to hold my excitement back for my adventures recently, especially this year … Continued

James Went To Withernsea

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Some say it is grim up north.  I am here to try to prove otherwise. On my recent Easter break in the city of Hull, myself and my sister decided to go to the seaside – it was a very warm 18’C in Hull so we needed to cool down.  Thankfully, Withernsea offered a pleasant sea-breeze from the North Sea, and temperatures of 12’C. This is the beach. Then there is the entertainment area, with a variety of amusement arcades.  I spent 44p playing the slots. We had a walk along the high street too, which was bustling with activity. … Continued

James Went To Watford

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Dear readers – please do not accuse me of not being adventurous.  How many of you have ever been to Watford?  Well I have.  And so did my little sister. Watford is not a town known for its architecture.  Which suits the folk of Hull who have travelled for the football. I think the highlight was the below town centre pond, with its green water. We managed to find a reasonably-priced pub, at least for food with a bacon sandwich at just £1.75 – bargain. Sadly, you were only allowed to do drugs in the toilet facilities if you were … Continued

My Trip To Stuttgart

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So finally I have had a holiday this year – unless you count trips to Manchester, Leeds, Hull or Canary Wharf – all of which were very good but not exactly counted as a holiday. And it was to a country that I have taken an increasing liking to over the years – which considering the amount of hatred I had for the Germans during my formative years growing up in Hull, I feel is a good achievement.  If only the rest of the country would forgive them for the war – after all we beat them 5-1 a few years back.  And … Continued