About hannahcity

Professional juggler - of working lawyer life, my family, baking, travel, the theatre and all things political. All views expressed are personal.

Harry Potter adventures

We all need a bit of escapism in our lives, right now more than ever. For some it’s their art or their writing. For others it’s a great book or sitting in front of Netflix.

For my children it’s been anything and everything related to Harry Potter. My elder two (6 and 8) can’t get enough of the books and we are now three quarters of the way through reading the fourth book together. When we’re not reading we’re talking about the books – fantasising about making up spells, debating which character is the most interesting, predicting plot lines. Obviously they’re not the first children to become obsessed with these brilliant stories, or any books, but it’s the first time that my children have become this absorbed in a book series and it’s a wonder to see.

The #amazingMrR and I also need some escapism. Which is hard to do when the children somehow often aren’t asleep these days until 9.30pm. By then I am at the point of collapse, totally exhausted. I can’t remember another period of my life which has been so relentlessly draining, with no respite. Even with each of my newborns there were moments “off”, e.g. grandparents to hold them and cook for us. Going to work was oddly always a “break” too. When I started a new job after my second maternity leave, people were surprised when I said that it was easier working as a lawyer four days a week than the juggling involved when I got home. That’s not to say that I don’t love aspects of this special time with the children. But being honest it’s also incredibly challenging at times and non-stop.

So I decided the children needed a party – but perhaps we needed it more than them. Something new to think about and a change to our usual home-schooling and working routine. If we can’t escape our lives then even shaking it all up for one morning and doing something entirely different for a bit would help.

We talked excitedly about party games. The children were also adamant that there should be party bags. That night I managed to rustle some up. I found some old unused party bags and added some sweet delights, stickers, an unused scratch art, and a pretty, unused rubber – which I raided from their pencil drawer!

I also suddenly decided that a “Harry Potter” party would be so much more fun than something more traditional. Yet if I kept it simple it would be easy enough to do. Unlike real parties I’d done for the children previously, this one was extremely last minute and reliant only on whatever supplies we already had at home.

I found these invitations online and printed them:

I figured that if we played some sort of Quidditch, made some potions and visited Honeyduke’s that would be plenty and might make their day.

The next morning the children received their invitations and were literally on countdown until the 11am party.

The #amazingMrR and I transformed into Mad-Eyed Moody and Professor McGonagall. Our personal escapism had begun. We then enjoyed calling the children “muggles” who got to “visit” Hogwarts. We sorted the children into “houses” and had fun face painting those that wanted it – one with the Griffindor house emblem and one transformed into a butterfly.

We played Quidditch and found 10 snitches (albeit silver – ping pong balls covered with foil!) in the garden. Our version of Quidditch involved one child trying to get a ball into a hoop and the others throwing (soft!) balls in his/her direction to distract them. The competitive hunt for the snitches, which had to be added to each of their Halloween pots, proved to be a real highlight which we ended up repeating that afternoon too.

After that it was straight into “Potions class”. First I told the children that Neville Longbottom had messed up and made some stinky spells which they had to guess. For this we used the stinkiest kitchen ingredients I could find: sourdough starter, grated garlic and chopped onion. Great fun!

Then we made some potions using some “blood” (water with food dye), “dragon’s dandruff” (bicarbonate of soda), washing up liquid and vinegar. They each had a try and loved it. We’d made volcanoes before now but theming the experiment made it so much more fun!

Then for the grand finale, a visit to Honeyduke’s. Only we told the children some “dark arts” had been at work and messed everything up so they’d have to hunt for their sweet treats. To do this we did some apple bobbing followed by hunting in a bowl of flour for some chocballs and jumping snakes (leftover normal sweets from Halloween and past cake decorating but renamed!). I went first so they would all be willing participants, which they thought hysterical and brilliant. My youngest (4) wasn’t willing to get herself mucky, perhaps sensibly given that my hair had globs of flour in it for the rest of the day. But everyone else joined in and couldn’t stop laughing. I remember doing these activities at Brownies over 30 years ago but hadn’t recalled how mucky and tricky yet good fun they were! Will definitely repeat this game in the future.

We ended the party as all the best parties should finish. With great food (presented with some leftover fish and chips containers I had from a previous party!) and party bags. We all felt so happy and refreshed and we’ve promised the children another party very soon. But how we beat this one I don’t know!

It also reminded me that simple parties can be the best. This party cost me nothing (except for using up some vinegar and much cherished flour!). It was amazing to see how quickly we could put together a brilliant party using only what we had available in the house.

When the party ended we were five laughing, happy people, sufficiently distracted from our everyday, lockdowned lives. We had remembered all the things we love about life and each other and felt both delighted and refreshed. I was euphorically happy at how well it had gone and how thrilled the children had been. The clear-up mission wasn’t so bad either!

Luscious lockdown pancakes!

Like many of you with young children and/or caring responsibilities, I’m finding myself becoming more of a professional juggler than ever before. I’m working yet home-schooling three young children – whilst managing my rehab and physio following my syndesmosis (ankle) reconstruction surgery in late February.

But in other ways, life is much quieter than it once was. I’m no longer commuting from North West to East London, or racing two children to their school and the other one to her nursery. I’ve stopped being chief chauffeur, no longer ferrying our fabulous three respective playdates, swimming lessons, football, after school clubs, ballet lesson, etc. There are no theatre trips, dinners or socials with friends and family. Other than a daily bike ride or walk I’m not going anywhere – and neither is anyone else. This is of course immensely sad but gives the amazing Mr R and I an incredible opportunity to have a lot of amazing and meaningful family time, playing and making things together each day in ways we otherwise would not have had the time for.

Then there’s of course the cooking and baking. We’re eating pretty healthily each week. I’m enjoying finding ways of using up leftovers, and having the time at weekends to try new dishes and the odd treat. I have some rye flakes coming in my online shop in a couple of weeks, which I’m going to attempt to grind into flour so I can make a sourdough starter (I’ve heard it works much better with rye flour so am holding out then before making it – watch this space!).

Juggling cooking and baking with everything else can be hard sometimes. On a bad day there’s very little cooking and a “picnic” of finger sandwiches and raw veg in the garden. This works well when we have glorious weather, but the fabulous three become less fabulous and rather unimpressed when it’s freezing cold outside – my attempts to keep the food mess outside for a few extra minutes don’t always work!

But on a good day my fabulous three love “home economics” with Mummy and we make something in the afternoon together as one of their school “lessons”. I like to think it combines their and my favourite core subjects – maths (weighing), science (mixing different substances, heating etc), English (reading and following a recipe), art (our creations often look pretty!), law (we have to follow the recipe’s “rules”!) and socialising (it’s great fun!).

As you might have seen from my Instagram posts some family favourites we have made include:

  1. 1. lemon curd (a huge success gastronomically speaking, but no one liked it as much as I’d hoped. I need to convert our huge quantity of lemon curd into iced lemon biscuits etc at some point!); 
  2. 2. lemonade (yes, I over-stocked on lemons one week!); 
  3. 3. banana cake (a regular addition, whenever I have overstocked on bananas and have many over-ripe and otherwise inedible bananas to use up)
  4. 4. fish curry;
  5. 5. tuna patties;
  6. 6. homemade pizza (we make the dough together and once risen the children like to each decorate their own pizza);
  7. 7. strawberry milkshakes;
  8. 8. Yorkshire puddings;
  9. 9. Challah (we try and make this delicious bread every week when we can);
  10. 0. Crepes; and
  11. 1. American-style pancakes.

As a treat, my children love American-style pancakes at the weekend. I use a Nigella Lawson recipe which makes up a dry pancake mix, that way we always have plenty in the cupboard to whizz up for another day:

For the pancake mix

  • 600g flour
  • 3 x15ml tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 40g vanilla or caster sugar (I make my own vanilla sugar – just leave a vanilla pod in a sealed jar or Tupperware with sugar. You can make cinnamon sugar by doing similar with a cinnamon stick and sugar. The result is delicious!). Mix the ingredients together and store in a jar.

When you’re in the mood for pancakes, you then just measure out 150g of the above pancake mix (shake it first), adding and whisking together 1 egg, 250ml semi-skimmed or full-fat milk and 1 x 15ml tbsp of melted butter.

I use a crepe pan to cook the pancakes, but a griddle or frying pan would also work well. I rub the pan with some butter or oil first, but you don’t have to. You then drop small circles (1.5-2 tbsp)of the batter into the pan. I can manage 4-5 at once in my pan, but doing 2-3 at a time is also fine. When bubbles start appearing on the surface you simply flip the pancakes over so that they’re golden brown on both sides. The trick is to have the pan on a medium heat – if it’s too hot then the pancakes will burn a bit and dry up. I keep the made ones on a plate under a tea towel until the whole batch is ready: that way they stay the right temperature!

The children eat the pancakes with vast quantities of fresh fruit and some maple syrup or honey. I like to convince myself that the fruit makes up for the unhealthier side of having pancakes for breakfast! Plus, our 6 year old will “only” (really!) eat eggs when they’re within crepes, American pancakes, cakes and biscuits, so what else am I to do?!

So there you have it. Delectable, American-style pancakes. Super quick and easy to make yet they are exciting,  impressive and taste utterly delicious. It’s a wonderful start to a lazy Sunday morning in lockdown. Plus they look so good you can “pretend” you’re having brunch at a fabulous café somewhere – Café Hannahcity in our case!

Covid-19 I: Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution WILL BRING US VICTORY – #stayathome


We’ve unfortunately always had so many wars and revolutions, each with their own propaganda machine to engage our support.

The Great War, World War II, the Vietnam War (did you know Vietnamese people call this the American War?), the War on Terror, etc. Each with a big and powerful title, which aimed to inspire us to passionately believe that a fight and its sacrifices were worthwhile.

War of some sorts has always been part of our lives. I grew up in the 1980s, taught that the next war would be nuclear or perhaps chemical in nature, with whole communities, countries or even continents destroyed. I remember my grandparents talking about air raid shelters, evacuation and relying on the London Underground network for protection against bombs in the 1940s. I recall the fear which ensued following the IRA bombs in the 1980s and 1990s.  Then the horrific 9/11 attacks (during which I was in Washington DC) and the July 2005 bombings (which took place two days before I left London to go backpacking for six months). My children have rehearsed terrorist/knife/gun attacks at school, being told they have to hide from “a big dog” that has escaped in the grounds – with no mention to them of course of why they are practising this surreal and disturbing scenario.

But now we have a new war to fight. This time not between different countries or areas but right across the globe. Our civilians are being “targeted” by a common enemy, a coronavirus, and our doctors and essential workers have become our “soldiers”. No country or person is immune. Instead of arms we rely on ventilators and grocery delivery vans for survival.

“Coronovirus” pervades every news headline, along with Government slogans to motivate us to “#stayathome”, “#beahero” and “#protectthenhs”. There is no other news. Right now nothing else matters – politically, socially, economically – it is as if there is no other fight or thought right now.

Perhaps we should therefore call this the War on Coronavirus? Or the Corona War? Or Covid-19 I (allowing for Covid-19 II, III etc for further waves?!)?

This also gets me thinking about some powerful 1939 World War II posters I like:

Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution WILL BRING US VICTORY

and (which you’ll know well I’m sure!):




These slogans are extremely powerful and motivating, but isn’t it also deeply disturbing that words from 81 years ago carry such resonance today? A different context yet still so relevant. Perhaps we should adapt these posters,  adding the words “Stay at Home” at the end of each one, and pin them up on our windows?




We’re in “designated survivor” territory. What next?

Have you ever watched any of the films or series which deal with designated survivor territory in some form or another? From Dave to Designated Survivor there are plenty of examples in fiction of this happening. They always filled me with intrigue but seemed sufficiently far from reality to not require me to delve too far into “what this would mean” in the UK context.

But now it’s official, we’re now in “designated survivor” territory. Boris Johnson, our Prime Minister, is in hospital in intensive care and Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, is “deputising” for him.

The UK’s constitution does not really cover what should happen in this kind of situation. Our political system is not a presidential one, the Prime Minister is simply the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons. The Conservative Party currently has a large majority and so forms the government, which the Conservative Party’s leader then heads as Prime Minister. There is no formal deputy within our constitution to take over should Boris or become incapacitated. There is also no guidance in the Cabinet Manual covering this point, and little precedent.

In some ways it was perhaps easier for the Labour Party in the early 2000s. When Tony Blair had treatment for a heart condition, John Prescott stepped in for a few days. But he had been elected by the Labour Party to be its deputy Prime Minister, and voters broadly understood what this meant when they cast their ballots for Labour. This isn’t the same as having a formal constitutional role, but it perhaps helped justify Prescott deputising for a short period.

There’s no useful other historic precedent either. In June 1953 Churchill’s stroke was kept out of the newspapers and our public knowledge. The political practicalities and requirements were dealt with behind closed doors.

Poor Boris. The first Prime Minister we’ve only ever called by his first name and who, like him or loathe him, now feels like part of the UK’s furniture.

Of course I very much hope Boris recovers in the next few days. But if he doesn’t, what then?

Dominic Raab is – putting aside his Brexiteer tendencies – a competent politician who will undoubtedly have no difficulty in stepping into Boris’s shoes. He will have countless civil servants and advisors supporting him and no harm to the country will be done by not having Boris at the helm. Yet yesterday he confirmed that he does not have “prime ministerial responsibility” and decisions will currently need to be made collectively by the Cabinet. This has raised concerns about a “political vacuum”, e.g. in relation to issues of national security.

But if Boris does not recover, even with a large majority and a pandemic to be dealt with, some in the Conservative Party may have their knives ready to get out over the next few weeks. They may demand that a “new leader” be chosen from their ranks. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this happens: there are too many senior Tory politicians with a deep thirst for power for it not to. But this would be catastrophic for the country right now, politically and economically but also for the public psyche. Amidst a Coronavirus pandemic we need confidence that our leaders are 100% focused on fighting the virus, not each other.

Let’s all hope Boris makes a full and swift recovery, so the wranglings of ambitious Tory MPs and the 1922 Committee (the Tory committee which elects its leaders) can remain silent.

But once Boris recovers and the country has also, we need to have a full and frank discussion about what this has all meant for our parliamentary democracy and our constitution. Unthinkable as the current situation was, it did happen. Which means we ought to plan for the future make sure as a country we are better equipped to deal with crisis situations. This includes thinking about whether our laws ought to include provisions for what happens if the Prime Minister is unable to act.

If we do deal with this point, then perhaps the very nature of what the Prime Minister’s role is has to change. We need to acknowledge and accept that the role has evolved considerably over the past 100 years. The Prime Minister has immense power, yet is not a formal constitutional role with the checks and balances of a presidential system. In order to protect our political and economic system, we need as a country to consider whether this is right. Maybe it would be more appropriate to include provisions in our laws for what a Prime Minister is and how someone takes over if he/she is ill or incapacitated – and who that someone should be.

In the meantime, recover soon Boris. For yourself, your family, the UK and ultimately for the stability of our political system.

This article was written morning of on 7 April but was updated to refer to statements made that evening and now links to a news story from 8 April on this same topic.

Give me liberty or give me death!

“Give me liberty or give me death!” John Wilkes wrote and cried out in the late 1790s (complaining about the state of the English voting system, but hang in there!).

It’s now 2020 and quite the opposite is true. If our governments allow us our liberty then this will cause more people to die. Our democracy cannot protect us by setting us free. Instead it must do the reverse, forcing us into a strange and surreal existence where we must remain trapped in our homes, only “allowed” out to buy essentials or for a short walk or run each day. Even then human contact with non-immediate family/housemates is forbidden.

This was all ironically much easier in China: it’s much easier to control a pandemic if you can can lock people in their homes or use force to make them to go to hospital. In a democracy you’re much more reliant on people to choose to comply with the rules, which makes it much harder to successfully lockdown the population – and so more likely that this pandemic will continue for much longer in Europe and the USA than it has in China.

More from me on the wider political and socio-economic implications another day I hope – when I don’t have three (wonderful but intense) children climbing on me as I write!

When staying in is the forced new normal

There is so much to write about the global situation right now, but it also makes me wonder on a micro level how this world crisis is affecting my own family.

Just over two weeks ago I had suspected Covid-19 and we didn’t leave our house for fourteen days. The strangest part of this for me was how normal our new reality quickly became for my children (aged 4, 6 and 8), and how quickly they adjusted to their new and more limited lives.

Staying in become the forced new normal and before long some of our children likely won’t remember our pre-lockdown lives. Within just a couple of days my older two children stopped asking when they’d next see their friends, go to a restaurant, a museum or on holiday. My youngest still regularly chats about all the places we are going to visit “soon”, but seventeen days in even she has stopped asking when she can have a play date with her best friend. I wonder how long it will be before she completely forgets her nursery, our usual life outside our house and our proper non-virtual time with her extended family and friends? The thought that this is very possible makes me cry whenever I think of it.

I also think a great deal about my children losing so many months of their childhood. Being unable to see their grandparents, their cousins, all our beloved family and friends for so long really hurts. Also, whilst I appreciate that they will no doubt have wonderful times at home with us and each other during this lockdown, what we do at home does not replace the rich lives they usually lead at their fabulous school and nursery.

Four to six months at home is a very long time. My daughter will likely never return to her pre-school (before starting school) and my boys will miss so many special school memories (sports day, school fete, school plays etc). I’ve lost precious 1:1 time with my youngest before she starts school – our Fridays (my usual non-working day) together were magical and we both so miss that special time together. The cancelled family holidays too: Eurodisney, which we’d been counting down to for months, Center Parcs etc. Who knows when we will be able to re-book these for. Then there’s the simple everyday stuff – the walks to school, the lazy weekend brunches, supermarket visits, Cubs, piano lessons, Monkey music classes, swimming classes etc. Of course all of this will still be here when the lockdown ends but my children will all be that bit older, as will I, and I doubt life will ever be quite the same again when this ends. This is time we will never get back and I feel a real sense of loss about it.

But I have to push on through this sadness and focus on what I have right now and how brilliant it is. I’m extremely fortunate. I think of those without what I have, eg families struggling in tiny flats without a garden, toys, school resources or even essential food supplies; people who’ve lost their jobs. I’m stuck here at home but I’m with the four people I love the most in the world and we have so much to say to each other and to do together during this time. My husband and I have our jobs and interesting challenges there to work through. And we have the (virtual) support of our amazing family, friends and colleagues, which is a massive comfort during such times.

How are you and your children coping with the lockdown? I hope you’re all adjusting well. Do comment below and let me know, I’d love to hear your experiences!

* the picture is my 8 year old’s representation of the Coronavirus in Aquabeads.


Hannahcity now means staying home!


The last time I wrote on these pages it was about the prospect of far-flung adventures. Of golden soft sands and azure seas. Of long-haul excitement with my amazing Mr R and our fabulous three. I’m sorry I then didn’t write for so long people: I injured my ankle whilst in Mexico last summer and all my plans to blog fell by the wayside.

Today I am on day 11 of self-isolation, in what often feels like a parallel universe. The prospect of going abroad again anytime soon is remote.

I always said Hannahcity was going to be about the art or state of being Hannah. Well, what that means now has to change and I’ll adapt accordingly.

Watch this space for some new articles soon on parenting on one leg for the last 4 weeks (no, really!) and what it then means to do so whilst self-isolated for 7 days away from my family. I’ll then go on to write some pieces on what’s happening in the wider world, and what we’re doing at home to keep busy.

Looking forward to sharing my thoughts, dreams and new home-bound adventures with you all!

Duvet pathetic and the #amazingMrR

When we were growing up, my best friend V used to joke that I was “duvet pathetic” before 11am but also after 10.30/11pm. This equated to being utterly useless in every respect, a sleepyhead whose only interest was focused on snuggling under a duvet, groaning slightly at any interruption.

As a young adult this obsession with my duvet progressed slightly, into a willingness on mornings to curl up with the Guardian on the sofa and quietly sip a latte. V would always joke about it, but I’m sure my nocturnal habits were rather annoying. Then onto Cambridge, where missing lectures due to oversleeping never seemed to be other people’s norm (the place was absolutely right for me in every other respect, but I do remember thinking that frequenting a different university where oversleeping was more normal would have fitted in better with my sleep needs!).

In my defence, this is not to say that I’m utterly useless outside my core hours. Somehow or other I’ve always managed to function – perhaps though only when it’s been absolutely necessary to do so. I exclusively breastfed 2/3 of my babies until 14 months – with no expressing or bottles I (sleepily) embraced this sleep deprived aspect of motherhood, feeding my darlings on demand as much as they needed whilst Mr R slept. My daughter L thankfully turned out to be just like me: she has always slept for at least 12 hours each night, starting to sleep for 9 hours at 9 weeks old and progressing quickly from then onwards. Since then like me she’s always been extremely precious about her sleep.

I also am now in my office by 8am, so that I can finish work earlier and spend more time with my children. This means leaving the house and being alert before 7am, something I never thought possible even a few years ago!

In 2007 I met Mr R. He continues to astound me in so many ways. Perhaps the most impressive one for me has always been how surprisingly well he deals with small amounts of sleep. He has therefore also always coped spectacularly with my duvet pathetic state (along with my many other ridiculousnesses), only groaning about it occasionally.

Prior to our having kids this meant Mr R would often be awake long before me, sorting our laundry and our plans. I have hazy memories of us taking it in turns to make each other breakfast when we were first together. My efforts were either less elaborate or much more brunch-timed affairs.

Post-kids, everyone knows that sleep is one of those things you inevitably lose a significant amount of. Not just when they are newborns but for years and years afterwards. And then some more years after that. Friends insist that their children sleep in or are at least pretty self-sufficient first thing. But at least two of my children are built more like their Dad and are awake (and so rather demanding) from 6am. This of course does not sit well with my need for duvet patheticness and has meant that, other than the rare occasions Mr R has been away, he is their primary caregiver 6am-8am. Or earlier if needed.

Occasionally – not often enough Mr R would say – I feel more guilty about this than usual and insist he lie in, and I will give the kids breakfast etc. But whenever I do so, afterwards Mr R complains how awful he feels having had “too much sleep” (how is that even possible?!), that it gives him a headache. He then begrudgingly acknowledges our different sleep demands and his inevitable early morning role in our frantic but wonderful lives.

Why am I writing about his now? Well here we are on a 9 hour 45 minute day flight to Mexico. I’m sitting next to the youngest two of our fabulous three. And what do I do? I try and force myself not to but I can feel my eyes start closing. Before I know it the eye mask and neck pillow have come out and within seconds I’m fast asleep. For two hours. My poor, amazing Mr R doesn’t complain but just gets on with the multiple requests and toilet demands which looking after our three children long haul inevitably entails. He’s used to my sleepy state after 12 years together but this is surely beyond what he’s willing to put up with. Apparently not. Mr R kindly lets me sleep, helping the children as needed and generally being a martyr to my duvet pathetic cause.

A bizarre occurrence you might think given that I’ve said this was a day flight. But I’m a great traveller and must have already adjusted my body clock – after all, it was 5am Mexican time when we left the UK!

Thank you my amazing Mr R, sleep provider to your duvet pathetic wife!

Round the world we go again!!

At Gatwick sitting in Pret with my fabulous three and Mr R eating this insane breakfast combination! Obviously the children changed their mind a zillion times whilst I was getting this, and also snuck in a number of extras when I wasn’t looking (1 porridge really would have been enough!). But we are here, through security and all ready for our 10.5 hour flying adventure. The build up this time around – whole weekend of packing plus an airport hotel stay, rather than our usual bundling-kids-into-car-to-the-airport-on-the-last-day-of-school – has been immense. More updates to follow soon. I’ll let you know how the time in the air goes later, wish me luck!

Same backpack, different Mexican adventure?

So, we’re off to Mexico very soon!

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Flashforward 14 years. I was last there in 2005, backpacking around Yucatan for a couple of weeks. In 2005 it was an adventurous, incredible trip. We did so much in only a couple of weeks. Discovered cement beach huts in Tulum were too mosquito-infested (broken nets) and hot for this backpacker. Stayed in hotels with no water or electricity at times but absolutely loved them. Became addicted to quesadillas and nachos. Snorkelled with whale sharks 3 hours off the coast from Holbox Island. Visited tourist-infested Playa del Carmen and bartered for sombreros. Explored Chit Chin Itza and other mayan ruins. Undertook boat rides across crocodile-infested Mangroves and flamingo watched at  Rio Lagartos. Snorkelled in ice cold water cenotes deep in the ground, including through tunnels where in certain places there was no space to come up for air.

The same backpack will join me, still held together at the top by dental floss (sewn as an emergency fix in Guatemala n 2005 but incredibly strong, don’t knock this until you’ve tried it yourself!). The same beautiful Yucatan, only undoubtedly much more developed (and more dangerous so says the Gov.uk website, but don’t worry we’ll be extremely careful :)). But this time accompanied by a cluster of wheely suitcases, Mr R and our fabulous three and to a luxury resort.

We’re in much need of a relaxing “do nothing” vacation, full of swimming and snorkelling, but we’re also hoping to try and cram in some similar adventures to my 2005 experiences. Watch this space for an update!

Has anyone else returned years later to a favourite backpacker destination, but in extremely changed circumstances? Had your destination changed significantly? Did you explore the same places as before or visit new ones? Please post your comments, I’d love to hear about your experiences also.