New clinic set to make IVF easier for mamas-to-be in south Essex

Bourn Hall, Wickford, Essex, #whatkatydidUK

Opening soon: Bourn Hall’s new purpose-built IVF clinic in Wickford

Sonny Jim was conceived thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) at Barts Hospital, in London.

We were living in Leigh-on-Sea (in Essex) while undergoing the process. And while I think I would have travelled to Scotland three times a week, if it meant the treatment would be a success, there is no doubt the commute to the clinic did take a bit of a toll.

Juggling a job on a regional newspaper, with the newsroom based in Basildon, but travelling into London to undergo internal scans (always a joy!) and blood tests and egg collection and embryo implantation was not exactly easy. A lot of the appointments were mere minutes long… but the round trip meant it was at least a 3-hour plus process. Which was not simple to slip in before work. It meant I had to tell my boss I was having IVF – and while he was very understanding and good about helping me work shifts around it, I would still have rather not have had to tell him. Continue reading

Travel feature – No Spain no gain

Katy Pearson stays at Barceló La Bobadilla

Around 12 million people from the UK holiday in Spain every year. And this long-standing love affair is one that shows no sign of abating. Indeed, a record number of British holidaymakers flocked there last year – attracted by the promise of sunshine, sea and sangria.

The last time I ventured to Spain I was a teenager holidaying with my first boyfriend, and I was distinctly underwhelmed by the experience. With the whole world to explore, quite frankly I saw no need to head back there.

Fifteen years on, how things have changed. Although in fairness I didn’t exactly stay at your average Spanish resort. My husband and I booked a fiveday break at Barceló La Bobadilla. This five-star hotel is located in Loja, Granada, and from the moment our taxi pulled off the main road and on to the winding lane leading to the hotel’s expansive courtyard, we were basically in heaven. Continue reading