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We’ll always have Paris… two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie

7 Oct

Paris 9 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie

On July 28 2013, 9.49 pm and 32 sec.
A blue fly of the Calliphorides species, 
Whose wings can flutter 14670 times per minute 
lands in Saint-Vincent Street, Montmartre.

At the exact same time, near the Eiffel Tower, 
a girl from Scotland stands amid a crowd of tourists, 
with the biggest grin, perhaps ever, on her face.

Paris 2013 112 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie

Approximately 9 hours and 49 minutes and 32 seconds earlier...
She'd been drinking tea in her London flat, listening to the radio
And pondering what to do with today and two days off work...

"What about Paris?" This was her other half, making coffee,
And peering at his ipad with a slight smile on his lips...

Zoë raised an eyebrow, was he being serious? 
That small smile turned into a big grin...
Did she want to go? Mais bien sûr!

30 mins of frantic packing, random clothes chosen, 
A hotel booked in the 19th arrondissement...
A dash to the train station, for once on time...
The Underground behaving itself (it must have known)
And before you knew it, departure lounge.

		
		Paris 20 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	
Zoë likes: impromptu visits to Paris... 
Going to the supermarche to buy French crisps... 
Saying merde just for the fun of it... 
And pretending to be Amelie for a day or two.

		
		Paris 12 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	
Zoë does not like: windy days when wearing a flippy skirt. 
(This has now happened in Tokyo and San Francisco too. 
You think she would learn but no!)
Paris 18 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
Her other half likes: buying a baguette to munch on throughout the day.
And picking up delicious baked goods, with comedy names.
"We got a divorce in Paris... and it was damn good".

Paris 2013 132 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
He does not like: that he slips into Spanish when ordering in French.
Je voudrais deux divorce por favor...

 
		
		Paris 26 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	
Zoë likes finding street art in unexpected places. 
She especially likes this beautiful ones by Alexis Diaz 
(He did a very cool Elephant Octopus in London which she loves.)


		
		Paris 2013 129 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	
She also likes Rue Dénoyez – a much graffitied street in Belleville
Riots of colours, with layers and layers of art painted over art...
And at one end, Aux Folies... the perfect spot for a café au lait.
 
		
		Paris 55 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	
And spotting space invaders by Invader...
High up on walls, perched on street signs, 
Some tiny, down by your feet...

		
		Paris 34 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	

Some larger than life... just like Paris itself.
(Can you tell he lives in the City of Light?)
Paris 2013 44 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
In 2001, Zoë first saw a film about a French girl called Amelie, 
Who worked in a cafe called Cafe des deux Moulins...
 
		
		Paris 2013 25 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	
In 2013, Zoë first steps foot into that very cafe. 
There are no mad eccentric French characters, but... 
She does instantly fall in love with the tiled floor.
 
		
		Paris 2013 56 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	

She also likes: the Metro station that's in the film.
(But not so much the tourists crowded round about it.)

		
		Paris 2013 10 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	

And the Sacré-Coeur ... where Amelie leaves a treasure hunt 
Of sorts for the equally quirky lost boy she's in love with. 
(But not so much the tourists that are crowded round about it.)
 
		
		Paris 4 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	

And likes the view... with all of Paris laid out before you.
(But not so much the tourists that are crowded round about it.)
Paris 2013 130 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
To escape the crowds,Zoë likes to visit the Louvre... 
(Only kidding. She came here to see the crowds.) 
That Mona Lisa lady sure gets everyone excited!
Paris 2013 135 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie

So many people, more impatient than you'll find waiting 
On a train at the Metro station...
So there's fun to be had in standing still,
Just watching them all, hurrying, scowling, 
Underwhelmed by the art all around them.
Paris 45 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie

Some people are more easily entertained than others though...
Especially when they find a Marilyn Monroe vent in a museum.

		
		Paris 43 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	

But even people pretending to be Amelie have their limits.
(This smile says I want to go home now. I have been defeated by The Louvre.)
Paris 40 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
But this smile... is the pure joy of spotting gold dinosaurs
On the Champ Elysees. (Who are, ahem, better than the Mona Lisa.)

		
		Paris 2013 59 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
			
			
		
	

Zoë likes: returning to their weird but rather wonderful hotel 
Which has Batman masks (and other characters) over the lamps... 
Life is full of surprises is it not?
Paris 2013 58 Well always have Paris... two days of street art and pretending to be Amelie
"Luc, je suis ton pere."
Bet you didn't guess this post would end up with a Darth Vader mask!

*****
Today's October 7th, it's 9 o'clock in the evening
At the Trône Fair the marshmallow-mixing machine mixes marshmallow.
At the same moment, at the La Villette garden Félix L'Herbier discovers .
that the number of possible connections in a human brain 
is superior to the number of atoms in the universe. Meanwhile, 
at the foot of the Sacré-Coeur, the Benedictines work on their backhand.

At that exact moment, Zoë publishes this blog post and stops referring 
To herself in the third person, makes a cup of tea, switches on the radio 
And starts pondering what to do with her next days off work.

Idle of Wight… three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

31 Aug

photo 45 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Almost a month ago, we went on a trip back to the Isle of Wight… to be the Idle of Wight.

In my head, it was an Enid Blyton little adventure for two… camping, exploring, stopping for lemonade!

photo 46 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

We hadn’t been back to the island since our mini moon… originally we said we’d go back on our first wedding anniversary, so we were at least a year overdue on our visit!

photo 38 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Home for the 3 nights was a Vintage Vacations airstream again… definitely one of my ‘happy places’ in this world.

Give me a big tin can to stay in, a bbq, a deck chair and some retro Italian tunes (the only CD we played when there!) and I’m in heaven.

Oh yes, and a spot of sunshine doesn’t hurt either it has to be said…

photo 27 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Of course, going back here has reignited my craving for a caravan…

photo 17 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

This little guy with his cat ear lights and jaunty name was possibly my favourite… though I’ve recently spotted a version of him outside someone’s house on my way to work! So apparently parking a caravan outside your abode is more do-able in London!

photo 36 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Or even one of these… any will do if I’m being honest!

photo 16 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

(Evidence of happy place-ness: twirling until you get dizzy. I promise I am older than 5!)

photo 410 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Here I also discovered my other new love… tiny blackcurrant Fabs, which are fab indeed. They came in a box of 12. I may have eaten more than my fair share!

photo 111 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And then on to our Enid Blyton-style adventures… first to a Lavender Farm for lavender scones, cream, jam and tea, where I saw more bumblebees in about 5 minutes than I’ve seen all year long.

photo 211 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

I also discovered that taking pictures of bees isn’t the easiest thing… I have so many blurry shots of them bumbling about, and I kept having to move so I didn’t get stung (didn’t want to have a bumblebee’s death on my conscience!).

photo 210 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Oh and some butterflies too… who were just happily fluttering around. Less stingy those!

photo 29 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And then onto our next destination… believe it or not, this field is at a Garlic Farm!  (Yes, we were hitting all the farms that day!)

photo 48 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Having a bit of a Sound of Music moment here… I may have sang. (But I did wait until there were less people around!)

garlic farm convo pieces Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And even the garlic ice cream was rather nice too. (Garlicy in the way that salted caramel ice cream is salty if that helps explain it.)

photo 3 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

The next day we went to Ventnor… complete with deck chairs and authentic British pensioners…

photo 28 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And pretty beach huts, angel wing shells, lots of dried seaweed…

photo 212 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And of course dinosaur sand ‘castles’! (Accidental dinosaur hunting might still be a thing!)

photo 25 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Then it was off to this tiny little place… which actually is a tiny little place!

Yes, we went to my first ever miniature village, which was very Hot Fuzz (without Timothy Dalton being speared by a small church spire of course).

photo 43 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Knocking at a tiny door… and trying to spy if there was any furniture inside!

photo 13 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Having a Godzilla moment and threatening to destroy the mini village… everyone does this right?

photo 34 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And a train full of dinosaurs! I swear this was like this when I found it…

photo 24 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

This, on the other hand, was not like this when I found it…

photo 21 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

On the last day, we went to Seaview (it does what it says on the tin!) to swim in the sea… and idly talk about having a boat.

photo 31 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

Of course, I don’t really like boats but a girl can let the sea air go to her head!

photo 11 Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

And before we got the ferry home, the trip ended as all mini trips should end… with a scone that’s almost bigger than your head.

happy biscuit convo pieces Idle of Wight... three days of caravans, kitsch and prehistoric creatures

(And a happy biscuit just for good luck…)

A Jurassic lark… or dinosaur hunting in London

14 Jul

Dino Days 2 7 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

“Any day with a dinosaur in it is a good day.”  me, circa June 2013

Our first sunny Wednesday evening in London, we decided to go dinosaur hunting…

photo 1 3 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

Not to the Natural History Museum – despite the highly possible inception by this print (and our gold dinos) – but to Crystal Palace Park.

13 5 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

Where these misshapen beauties live. They were the first dinosaur sculptures in the world, meaning they look a bit like a 5 year old child’s drawing of a prehistoric creature, cast in stone. In the best way of course.

13 3 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

They are wonky and wonderful… and can’t fail to make you smile.

photo 2 3 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

I mean really, these guys? He based these on frogs right?

13 7 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

And I’ve been ‘forced’ to buy a tea towel with them on it… attacking joggers in the park of course.

13 4 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

But not all of them are so “ferocious” looking… this one has been turned into a nest by a duck!13 1 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

And then we returned home… no more dinosaurs to hunt out.

Until we went to the Heron Tower for a drink and spotted, from up high, some familiar looking creatures at the bottom of the Gherkin.

image A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

(He’s behind you… those stegosaurus types are always sneaking up on people!)

photo 3 1 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

Yes, there’s a T-Rex just hanging out there… doing his thing.

photo 4 1 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

And isn’t he possibly the happiest looking dino you’ve ever seen?

Dino Days 2 1 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

Days later, I spotted this guy in Shoreditch… but surely this was the last of our ‘dinosaur hunting’ luck though?

4E0C4847 1E95 48A7 9962 0A84C5879017 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

Then one night after work, we stopped for a coffee…

The first table we sat at was a bit grubby. Not majorly so, just someone else’s coffee cup, someone else’s crumbs… so we decided to move tables.

Crumb-free, cup-free… but with a tiny origami dinosaur on it.

CD4BC287 66D9 4900 9ECF 3EE3D758ABB0 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

So we took him home… via the Tube…

Dino days 7 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

We named him Herbert. Because it just seemed like a suitable name.

IMG 3196 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

We took him on a couple of weekend journeys…

Dino days 11 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

Where he really liked looking out of the window…

image 2 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

And romping in the long grass…

image 3 A Jurassic lark... or dinosaur hunting in London

And, erm, terrifying the locals. (Yeah, not so much!)

Since then, I’ve spotted no more dinos…

But seeing as I have a portable one now every day can be a good day as there’s a dino in it. 

***********************************

P.S. Any other London dinosaur spots/suggestions welcome!

P.P.S. Back in the ‘summer’ of 2012, I went to see a comedian called Bec Hill, who finished up her show with a piece on dinosaurs taking over London…

Maybe this is where my dino obsession started, or maybe it was because of this photo shoot, but either way it’s quite definitely a thing now!

 

London is the place for us… the blog post with its own theme tune

3 Jun

photo 2 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

Last Sunday, we were listening to 6 Music and having a discussion about living in London…

Mainly we were talking about that only one of us was living here full-time (me) and one of us was having to spend half the week in Edinburgh still (him).

It’s not exactly been ideal but we knew it wouldn’t be forever. It’s one of those topics that swings from excited to stressy and back again.

Then this song came on the radio – London is the place for me.

photo 1 2 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

And we both agreed it should be our theme tune for the next while.

(Does anyone else ascribe themselves theme tunes?!)

It’s such a cheerful little ditty, that we’ve been playing it non-stop all week.

So here’s the lyrics plus some random snaps that almost, sort of fit with them in a not really kind of way!

photo 1 1 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

London Is The Place For Me

London this lovely city
You can go to France or America, India, Asia or Australia
But you must come back to London City

photo 2 11 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

Well, believe me, I am speaking broad-mindedly
I am glad to know my mother country
I’ve been to traveling to countries years ago
But this the place I wanted to know

photo 2 4 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

London That’s The Place For Me

To live in London you really comfortable
Because the English people are very much sociable
They take you here and they take you there
And they make you feel like a millionaire
So London that’s the place for me

photo 41 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

At night when you have nothing to do
You can take a walk down Chapri Avenue
There you will love and talk and enjoy the bridge
And admire the beautiful sceneries
Of London, that’s the place for me

photo 2 2 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

London That’s The Place For Me

Yes, I can not complain of the time I have spend
I mean, my life in London is really magnificent
I have every comfort and every sport
And my residence is that Hampton Court
So London, that’s the place for me

photo 2 5 London is the place for us... the blog post with its own theme tune

And the happy ending to this post… yes, the other half got offered a new job (in London) so London really is the place for us!

 

1. Snapped in Drink, Shop & Do 2. Skyline from the National Theatre’s pop-up bar 3. Pocket Pops London guide and gold dinosaur 4. Foxes and cherries in Brixton 5. Tiny London skyline street art spotted in Shoreditch 6. Dapper gable end in Deptford 7. Pocket Pops London guide 8. Possibly my favourite street art ever, snapped in Shoreditch (but gone now!) 

Gonna write another travelling song… 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

12 May

london to the highlands.jpg Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

 6 weeks ago, I moved to London. It seems like no time at all and like forever all at once.

To put it all in perspective (for my own sanity really), here’s the last 42 days in numbers…

  • 400 miles driven to London, with 30 boxes, 2 sideboards, 2 Parker Knoll chairs, 3 suitcases of vintage china.
  • 2 cats transported; number of times they yowled/objected, only 2.
  • 1 flat, left behind, all empty, ready for someone else. 1 flat found, so very different, but falling in love with it anyway.
  • 13,226 miles travelled back to Edinburgh, to Aviemore, to Dublin and, eh, San Francisco. (Yeah, spot the odd one out there.)
  • 55 Underground journeys, 84 Overground journeys, 36 normal trains, 1 boat ride down the Thames and 1 bus journey.
  • 2 weddings attended, 
  • 3 books read on my morning commute, only 1 one of which made me tearful in front of a carriage of people. (Note to self, sad books are not for reading in public.)
  • 28 days without a bed, 42 days without a wardrobe, 41 days without a mirror in the flat, 41 days where I’ve had potentially crazy hair or wonky eyeliner. 
  • 28 days without wifi, spotify, netflix. 42 days without blogging, the longest break I’ve had in 4 years. 
  • 1 day wearing a fake fur coat; 3 days wearing sunglasses and sunscreen; 38 days wearing summer clothes with black tights and winter boots.
  • 1283 photos snapped, 96 of street art, 9 of random neighbourhood cats, 6 of our local fox.
  • 36 hours spent catching up with old friends, 149 hours meeting fantastic new people.
  • Number of times it’s felt odd living in London: 0. 

And for those who prefer pictures to numbers (that’ll be me then), here’s some random snaps of the last 6 weeks.

adventure guide Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Adventure Guide…

  neon legs Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

My neon legs at the Meridian Line…

san fran up and down convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

 San Francisco… and my shockingly long hair

shard shadow convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

The shadow of The Shard on a sunny morning…

mindthegap convopieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

I read a story about the widow of the actor who was the voice of the ‘Mind The Gap’ announcement… one of those beautiful, bittersweet ‘Up’ style stories that makes you smile and sad at the same time.

dear face – convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

 San Fran street art… and the Google bike (which I fell in love with)

photo 5 Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

InstaMax photos of a epically beautiful wedding

london eye convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

The London Eye snapped from the middle of the Thames (I was on a boat!)

blossom blue sky convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Blossom and blue skies in San Fran

aviemore convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Mountains and blue skies in the Highlands

in love with a lamb convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Falling in love with a lamb at the Southbank, London

travelling cats convo pieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Two cats leaving Edinburgh…

mydreamhadyellowinit convopieces1 Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Snapping street art in San Fran…

tube... conversation pieces blog Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Waiting in the Tube…

wishyoumissedme convopieces Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Bittersweet street art…

courage... conversation pieces blog Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Positive advertising…

london sun set convo pieces1 Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

The sun setting on a glorious London day…

new home card convo pieces1 Gonna write another travelling song... 6 weeks of London, Edinburgh, Aviemore, Dublin and San Francisco

Our first new home card…

P.S. If you’ve been so lovely as to send me a message about meeting for tea/vintage shopping/general hello-ness, I’ll be replying soon!

P.P.S. Extra points if you recognised the title of this blog post was inspired by Bright Eyes’ Another Travelin’ Song. It’s been stuck in my head now for 3 days straight!

P.P.P.S. Photos of me in San Fran by Miss_Glassy.

London’s calling… 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

25 Mar

adore.. conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

So, yes. We’re moving. To London. On Friday. This Friday. In three days and four sleeps. Eeeeek!

packing... conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

The last while has mainly consisted of this…

1. Sorting out 6.5 years of interior design magazines. Why? Why did I have so many? I think my local dentist and doctor are fed up of me turning up to donate magazines now.

2. Packing really sensible, totally essential things like my vintage tin globes.

3. More packing… The rule is anything we ‘quite like’ isn’t coming. We have to love it. Again this explains why I’ve mainly packed prints, globes and books so far!

4. Doing so much clearing out, dropping off at charity shops, gifting things to friends. And regretting having a top floor flat with every box we carry down!

cat in a box... conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

Some members of our flat have really enjoyed the packing process… mainly the Velveteen Cat. As seen here with her favourite cook books.

likes boxes doesnt like boxes conversation pieces blog1 Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

The Fox-Owl-Cat has been less of a fan. (She has a crippling fear of boxes. Like my fear of clowns but box-shaped.)

foxowlcat vs bubble wrap conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

She’s also not a fan of the copious amounts of bubble wrap that have appeared around our flat lately. This roll did not pass the examination process.

do i... conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

Me… I’m looking forward to being moved and having a kitchen again, instead of things waiting to be packed.

And while I’ll miss our home here (we’re renting it out rather than selling it), I’m super excited about getting to make a new place home. I’m weird like that I guess!

gold... conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

And the good news is… that we have found ourselves a flat down there. For us and our two furry companions.

We found it on Saturday which was cutting it a bit close but hey we like to keep things exciting!

(I must admit finding a flat was a whole lot more difficult than I’d imagined it would be. Even with my little sis doing viewings for us, which was extremely helpful… as trying to pick a flat to rent in London, while you live in Edinburgh and have cats, was a bit tricky!)

belle adventure... conversation pieces blog Londons calling... 4 sleeps, 40 boxes and so, so, so much sorting to go

So… in 4 days, we start our new adventure. I’m excited, impatient and sort of nervous, in that weird can’t sit still way. (You think this would help with the packing of boxes but no!)

The drive to London with two cats is going to be ‘interesting’ I’m sure, but it’ll make for a funny story hopefully later on.

Then in 5/6 days, if any lovely Londoners fancy a cuppa, well, that will be infinitely more do-able!

Roar… my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

6 Mar

photo 3 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

Up until the end of February, there was a deer doormat outside our door. More specifically, a reindeer doormat.

Now I knew we needed a new doormat. Knew it but still couldn’t bring myself to actually buy one.

Then I had an idea. I would make myself a doormat instead.

So far, so vaguely rational…

And it would say ‘ROAR’ on it.

Rationale: it’s an acronym for Right of Admission Reserved.

Real reason: I just like saying ‘roar’.

It’s become of those words I use which basically means being brave or forcing yourself to be brave.

I blame ‘cats let nothing darken their roar‘ for this.

photo 1 2 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

So task one, I got myself a plain doormat from B&Q. (Which cost around 5 quid I think.) Crazy socks were optional.

photo 2 2 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

Then some acrylic paint, which you can get from most art supply stores. Again, crazy socks optional.

photo 3 1 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

Macarons. Broken. Yes, totally optional. But they helped greatly when faced with the next bit of the DIY task…

image7 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

The printer. Oh my, how I loathe our printer. It’s a mechanical piece of evil. The Fox-Owl-Cat’s haunted expression only confirms this theory…

Anyhow, I printed out my letters, using this font – one on each A4 sheet. I won’t tell you how long it took our printer to print 4 sheets of paper. Bad words were said.

photo 1 3 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

Then placed the printed sheets on the mat to see how it would look… not too bad I thought!

photo 2 3 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

I’d originally planned to make the templates in cardboard but instead I just cut out the letters and taped round them. Not entirely sure if that is easier but it felt so at the time!

image5 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

Then it was a case of holding down the template and dabbing (not brushing) the paint onto the mat. Once the letters were on, I went over them twice just to give them some more staying power.

After leaving the mat to dry for a bit, it was time for the great unveiling… or placing… or something like that.

photo 1 1 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

On the way, I passed the tiger print in our hall… the one we see every day when we come through the door and suddenly wondered if that’s really where the idea for a ‘roar’ doormat came from. Hmmm…

photo 2 1 Roar... my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat DIY

And here he is… my super neon, super silly, darn cool doormat outside our very yellow door.

Rather cheerful huh? I’m betting even the postman can’t help but smile when he sees this… or at least wonder how crazy the people are who live at our address!

Answer being very of course. Roar!

 

Adventure is out there… a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

10 Feb

image4 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Sometimes you need to get away from it all… to switch off the world for a while, and go exploring.

image36 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Two weekends ago, we did just that. We drove off into the middle of nowhere* and went somewhere with no wifi, almost no phone reception and no TV. A very modern adventure indeed!

image33 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

We showed up in the middle of a mini blizzard and woke up to a fresh blanket of white, crisp stuff.

(Edinburgh had been sorely lacking in snow so to say that I was delighted would be a complete understatement.)

And amazing skies… with wisps of clouds almost painted onto them.

image30 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Ok, so ‘nowhere’ is actually a beautiful little wooden bothy in the middle of field, near Dumfries.

But it felt like an expedition into the unknown. (Certainly the first weekend I have been without my mobile phone in maybe forever.)

image44 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

We woke up to a different world of blue skies and all this untouched snow… and so much silence.

Gorgeous, perfect, beautiful silence. The kind where you can actually hear yourself think.

image2 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

So there was only one thing to do… make like Shackleton and get trekking.

He wore the exact same wellies, you know.**

image46 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

So off we went through scenery that we later wrote poems and songs about their epic beauty.**

image45 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Then we happened on these strange tracks… who or what could have made these?

image34 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

And spotted some very unusual creatures, not native to our shores.

(By that, I mean the shores of Leith.)

image8 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

And then over the hill… we reached the summit.

I think we both just stood stock still and stared.

Silently appreciating this beautiful view…

Well, as silently as you can while taking photos!

image10 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

After which, we had to perfect our National Geographic cover shots.

For when they come a-calling.

image38 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

I’m not entirely sure my explorer shot is as convincing… explorers do wear pink pom pom hats right?

image11 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

And like all good explorers before us, we brought a sledge. A red plastic sledge.

Exactly the same sledge as Scott of the Antarctic had.**

image43 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Turns out sledging isn’t quite as easy as we’d remembered it being…

image12 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

And my ‘landings’ need a lot of work. Yes, tipping yourself off the sledge at the bottom of the hill is not the most graceful of finishes.

image9 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

After the big success of my sledging, I did an installation piece in the snow…

Turns out falling backwards into snow and waving your arms about is an utterly ridiculous way to spend 5 minutes of your life. Utterly ridiculous and brilliant.

image37 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

And star jumps… it’s a little known fact that all explorers do this.**

(Yeah, ok, I’m beginning to see why the sheep are terrified of us!)

image15 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Then we headed back to base camp…

image16 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

De-wellied. (That’s a word right?)

image19 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

Made some tea. Had some biscuits. It’s what Ranulph Fiennes would do.

image6 Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)

24 hours later, we returned to the real world…

… and reluctantly switched everything back on.

Since that weekend, I’ve decided to try and give myself an internet/phone break every now and then.

Simple things like putting my phone in the other room when we’re watching a movie, not checking my emails immediately on waking (or before going to bed!), not instantly taking my phone out when someone else does…

Doing a bit more of concentrating on being here in the now.

And remembering that adventure is out there

It’s what would every polar explorer would  do.***

 

**Historically accurate fact. (Maybe.)

*** Along with wearing a pink pom pom hat.

pixel Adventure is out there... a weekend away from the world (well, from wifi, phone reception and tv)
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