Adventures in Coffee… Southsea Coffee

While in Portsmouth for my swim I explored the local area and with a search found an independent coffee shop in Southsea, who use Hasbean Coffee.


It was a busy Sunday morning but worth the wait for a flat white and a cinnamon bun in the sunshine. I didn’t realise they did brunch, otherwise I would have planned btter, but the coffee and cake were fabulous.

It got busier as time passed so I didn’t feel I could linger with my journal. I would love to go back during a quieter risk to really soak in the atmosphere and try a few more of their options.


I would recommend heading out of the main town area to find this coffee shop. I know I’ll be going back next time I’m in the area.

Swimming across the Solent

My Solent Swim recap and 1000th post!

It’s taken me a while to sit down and write this. I think I’ve been so glad it finally done that it’s taken me a time to want to sit down and relive it.

I swam it in 1 hour and 19 minutes and covered a distance across the Solent Channel of 2.25 miles. It was both quicker and shorter than I thought and trained for, but it was still hard work. I think this was mentally more than physically.

The day started at 5am leaving the hotel in the dark to get to Haslar Marina to catch the boats out to the starting point.


At the starting point the swimmers had to transfer to the shore in the kayaks. This was a chilly bit as we had to leave our dry stuff in the boat for the other side. My parents were in the support boats so I got some good photos of the swim.


Everyone was waiting on the shore for the go ahead from the ahrbour master and coast guard.DSC02505

I was feeling nervous and just wanting to start at this point. I met my kayaker and we sorted out how we would position it so I could just follow her navigation. She was so lovely and I feel so awful that I have totally forgotten her name – it’s a complete blank! I do know she was the wife of Jonathan the organiser – thank you both so much!


The sun was trying to come out as we were waiting to start and the water all the way across was calm and flat. When we got the go ahead we started in three groups. The slower ones going first and so on. I was in the last group – I hate being a good swimmer sometimes!


This was my group ready to go. I’ve got the orange tow float attached to me as I wanted to stand out to my parents.


My mum was in the speed boat and got some good swimming actions photos in the middle of the swim. In the background is one of the old forts out past Portsmouth.


Once I was in swimming I just decided to keep going. My kayaker indicated to me when we were half way, but otherwise I just kept swimming. I noticed overtaking one kayak and one swimmers, but otherwise didn’t see anything going on around me. It was both weird and good at the same time. I was worried I would freak out if I looked up and saw a boat or realised how far we still had to go. 




My dad was on the bigger cruiser boat so wasn’t able to get as close up, but he did get some good shots of the boats around us at the time of swimming – I’ve very glad I didn’t notice the ferries!

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I landed on the other shore 6th out of the group of 12, which means I overtook 4/5 people as there was one from my group already there as well. I was so happy to get to the other side and be finished and be able to put on my dryrobe.


We had a group photo and then single ones on the other side.


Once we finished we had to transfer back to the boats by kayak and then sped back on the speedboats to the marina where hot showers awaited us. Most of the group then went out for lunch and got our hoodies (purple yay!). I then spent the day with my parents exploring Portsmouth.


I feel great about doing this and smashed my fundraising target by raising £965 for Aspire!

Recent Reads

I seem to be rubbish at book posts recently, but then again I seem to be rubbish at reading much as well! I thought rather than try to do a whole post on each book I’ll do a brief summary on the last few I’ve read to keep you up to date on my Goodreads challenge (which I am way behind on!).


I just finished the 5th book in the Tory Brennen series. I admit I struggled through this one. I kept putting it down for too long and then losing interest and having to recap to start reading again. I love the Kathy Reich style of writing, but found the story is just getting a bit too out there for me. I’m also not sure where this is heading as the ending has been left open for another story, but I’m not convinced it needs it. I definitely rushed reading this in order to get it back in time to avoid overdue fees at the library and that could have influenced my enjoyment.

The Trust about the Harry Quebert Affair

harry quebert

This was the last bookclub book I read and I really enjoyed it. I got really engrossed and found it easy to read, while thrilling at the same time. I didn’t guess the ending, which I tend to do with crime books most of the time. My bookclub had mixed reactions, but I like it and would recommend it as an easy, but longish read.

The Blood of Olympusblood of olympus This was the 5th book in the Heroes of Olympus series. I struggled through this one as well – what is it with me and the 5th books of series? I do love the Percy Jackson universe, but found that as there were many more characters in the series it was not as readable as the previous ones. I am also not a fan of chapters dedicated to specific characters, but I also wouldn’t know a better way to do it. I just don’t like having to wait to find out what happens to different people and the constantly changing narrator interrupts the flow for me. I did enjoy the series and the overarching storyline though so overall it was a good read.

Adventures in Coffee… Rave Recap

Fudge Blend

This is my new favourite coffee. It is strong, but smooth. It works well in both espresso and filter form and I enjoyed the whole bag so much that within the same month I bought another, bigger bag and am enjoying that too.

Brazil Fazenda Irmas Pereira Single Orgin  

This was an interesting one. I wanted to try a different nuts blend, but they didn’t have it available so went for this one instead on the recommendation of the staff. It was nutty, but I also found it has an acidic after taste, especially in the espresso form. Pour-over was better as I also added milk to those drinks and that mellowed it out quite a bit.

Mocha Java Blend

On my second trip of the month to Rave  along with the large bag of Fudge Blend I decided to try the Mocha Java Blend as it was on offer the weekend I visited.  This is nice, a little bitterer than the Fudge, but a nice strong blend. Leaving my espresso to cool slightly before drinking makes it smoother I have found, but could just be me.

I have found out Rave do some coffee workshops and I intend to book on the next time they become available. I really want to learn about the proportions of water to coffee and how to make café coffee at home. I will be so excited when I get booked on so I hope it’s not too long to wait.

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