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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.

Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage… a look book & magazine photo shoot

20 Sep

Main Shot zoë house 15 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

Some Sundays, you have pancakes for breakfast. Maybe go car booting. Maybe go on a day trip. You know the usual…

Then some Sundays, you find yourself being snapped by the lovely Lauren McGlynn for a lookbook and a magazine.

And what a wonderful Sunday it was too.

If you’ve not come across Lauren before, she’s an American wedding photographer in Scotland, soon to be based in Edinburgh. She’s also all kinds of wonderful. Super talented. And damn good fun to boot.

zoë house 65 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

Now, anyone who’s known me/this blog for a while will know that I’ve said I’m not a huge fan of getting my picture taken. Heck, I think I’d even told Lauren that on several occasions. (So I think she was somewhat surprised when I first mentioned the shoot!)

But I’ve learned to let go a bit lately. I just decided to stop being so hard on myself. It’s strange but that’s all it took. Who knew?!

Anyhoo… so Lauren came round to shoot a lookbook for Hannah Zakari. (Possibly one of the sweetest shops in the entire world). I had a stegosaurus print from Hannah Zakari – by the super Robbie Porter – so I’d spray-painted some toy dinosaurs gold to go with it…

zoë house 6 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

… and then Rachael from Hannah Zakari also gave me this ace brainbow camera necklace to model.

(You can actually look through it which is pretty cute!!)

zoë house 19 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

And at the same time, it so happened that I was writing an article about car boot sales for the ever so pretty 91 Magazine – so I needed a pic or two for that as well. You can read my car booting tales/tips in Issue 4, page 70 onwards – inbetween Anna Weinreich‘s beautiful home and The Seventy Tree‘s Kerry’s super illustrations.

zoë house 47 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

So Lauren took shots for both… including in my never seen before on the blog (I think?) spare room. Yes that room that you normally pile all your random stuff in and just close the door when guests come round… yip, that room. That’s my recovered 60s daybed I’m sitting on… one of my prized (furniture) possessions!

zoë house 34 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

We even took off a cupboard door in the kitchen… just so you can see what’s inside my kitchen cupboards.

Surprise, surprise, it’s more vintage china!

2012 09 17 002 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

And Lauren was polite enough to tolerate me doing lots of silly things like juggling the dinosaurs… and pretending to do the congo with them. (The things you do when you’re nervous!)

 zoë house 56 Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot
Oh yes and we took some shots of me with my cameras… It has to be said, I’m giggling in a lot of these. This was my only straight faced one. And why was I giggling so much? Well, because I was taking pictures of Lauren.

Lauren Polaroids Dinosaurs, cameras and vintage... a look book & magazine photo shoot

Um yeah… there’s a reason Lauren’s the photographer and not me!

Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

1 Sep

Mollie Makes Japan – Convo Pieces 4 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

So I’m guessing by now most of you know I have a thing for Japan?

Well before we went earlier this year, the lovely Mollie Makes commissioned me to a do piece on crafty, cool and fun places in Tokyo and Kyoto.

As you can imagine I was over the moon… until I realised I was about to do only my second ever photography/write-up piece in one of the most amazing places on Earth. How on earth could I do it justice? (Yes, cue massive stress on my part!)

Mollie Makes Japan – Convo Pieces 12 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

But I have to say I’m really proud of how the feature has turned out… thank you Mollie Makes for giving me the chance to do this!

As well as my ramblings, you can also read about Ebony from Hello Sandwich who’s photo collage workshop I went to… she’s uber nice, one of those people who instantly makes you feel comfortable, and super crafty in a way I can only admire!

Mollie Makes Japan – Convo Pieces 3 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

Anyway, the magazine was out yesterday so if you pick it up, let me know what you think! (In a ‘I hope you all really like it’ kind of way!)

Now, if you follow me on Twitter, you might (most likely not really!) remember me saying I took a ridiculous amount of photos in Japan… thousands in fact! Yes, it’s probably my most documented trip EVER. So I wanted to share with you a few things that I didn’t get round to blogging and didn’t end up in the feature… outtakes if you will!

And when I say outtakes, what I really mean is… pictures from the Cat Cafe we went to!

Shimokitazana Cat Cafe 3 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

In Shimokitazana (probably my favourite area in Tokyo we went to) as soon as we left the train station, we spotted this sign… cat cafe!

Now I can’t remember if we knew about cat cafes on our first trip but it was on our ‘to do/only in Japan’ list so we decided that now was the time.

So we went up the stairs, opened the door and well, there was a man with a desk who politely told us that you pay by the hour and you pay when you leave (in case you love the cats so much you want to stay longer). Kind of like karaoke but with cats instead! He took our drinks order and then directed us to the cat room…

Shimokitazana Cat Cafe 5 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

Now… anyone who has cats knows they quite clearly have a mind of their own, and the cats at the cat cafe were no different. First up, was this guy – ignoring all the comfy bedding put out for him and sleeping in a plastic bowl.

Shimokitazana Cat Cafe 4 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

Then there was this noisy powder puff of a cat… yes also ignoring the beds/bedding and napping in a box.

One of the Japanese customers was intent on getting this cat to like him… putting a cosy blanket on his knee, rattling cat toys, making kissy sounds… the cat was having none of it! I wanted to explain to the poor Japanese man that this is the real cat experience… they do what they please!

Shimokitazana Cat Cafe 7 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

My husband made friends with this stripey purr machine and was quite chuffed that he’d won over at least one of the cats!

And me… well, I happened upon a cat who looks like an even more freaked out version of the Fox Owl Cat!

Shimokitazana Cat Cafe 10 Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

Oh gosh, look at that expression! I felt rather bad for giggling every time it looked at me!

Japan Cat Fox Owl Cat Convo Pieces Mollie Makes, Japan and me (and tales of a cat cafe!)

And here they are for comparison… though now I put the pictures together, I think the Fox Owl Cat might be the weirder of the two! (In a nice way!)

I guess the strange but maybe not too surprising thing about the cat cafe was that it just made us miss our own fluff balls. The Japan cats were cute but not a patch on the Velveteen Cat and the FOC!

Anyway, that’s it… that’s me done with Japan posts!

(Well, until my next trip of course!)

Gratuitous cat post… oh yes!

9 May

foxowlposing 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes!

Last night, I sat down to put together a post on my Japan trip…
and realised I have approximately 3000 photos.

Um…

So I started trying to sort them out
and hours later, still no post
but a whole lot of reminiscing.
(Is it too early to reminisce yet?)

So in place of that post, I thought I’d treat
you all to a ‘gratuituous cat post’.
(Don’t say I’m not good to you!)

*******

So… cats. I have two.
Though sometimes two feels like three.

twotails 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes!

We got them a few years apart.
It was not exactly love at first sight.
But they seem to have reached some sort
of spacial agreement on how they hang out…

kitties 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! They’re both shelter cats. Which means along
with having their very own distinct personalities,
they also have their own distinct issues!

Our grey cat came first.
She’s half-pedigree, half-feral.
(The pedigree part is Russian Blue.
The feral is Berwick-upon-Tweed tabby.)

babygreypics 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! She was 6 weeks old when we got her and
so tiny you could pick her up with one hand.
(That blue bed lasted all of a day before
she puked and pooped on it. Lovely.)

greyexpressions 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! She likes: fake chocolate ice cream sweets,
scratching our neighbours’ doormats,
her faithful friend (and toy) Mr Mouse,
snuggling, cuddling and Quorn ham.

She loathes:
other people, being picked
up unexpectedly, the hairdryer,
and when the fox-owl-cat steals
her stuff (see depression expression).

******

The fow-owl-cat we got a few years later…

foxowlbabypics 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! She was found in a barn as a kitten,
duly rounded up and put in a box…
(We always imagine this to be like the start
of ET when he’s being chased through the woods.)

As a result, she has a pathological fear of boxes,
loud noises, strangers, people she’s met but
has forgotten she’s met and me wearing hats.
(Honestly, the fear in her eyes when she sees
something on my head is unreal!)

foxowlexpressions 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! She likes: her food, watching TV
(polar bears are her favourite),
being brushed, the grey cat’s stuff,
snoozing, and hunting spiders.

foxowlcatandtv 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! (The fox-owl-cat watching TV!)

She loathes:
boxes (a lot),
the doorbell, loud sneezes,
sudden movements,
and being cold (she likes to sit
on the radiators when it’s cold).

caterday 700x700 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! For more cat-ness, feel free to follow me
on instagram (I’m convo_pieces).
Yes, I do post other pics there
but a whole lot of them are cat-related
just like the one above!

And if you’re ever debating getting a shelter cat,
I’d highly recommend it… yes, our cats are
a little (ok, a lot) weird but that’s
what makes them great.

catcuddles 700x355 Gratuitous cat post... oh yes! Plus you get amazing cat cuddles
if you ever go away to Japan
for a couple of weeks!

I left my heart in Tokyo…

20 Mar

parade4 copy I left my heart in Tokyo...

November 2008.
I’m standing in Tokyo
as a huge parade comes up
a street in Asakusa.

I can barely breathe with excitement.
(I am in Japan! I am in Japan!)

I stand at the back of a crowd and try to peer
over people’s heads to see the parade…

Someone glances round, smiles at me,
says something I don’t understand,
then gestures for me to move forward,
then another person does the same,
and another, and another…

Until I’m right at the front,
with people smiling at me,
nodding, being so lovely
that it almost distracts me
from taking pictures.

******

It’s now 2012. And I can barely breathe with
excitement… because we’re going back to
the land that invented washi tape!
And I can’t wait! Here’s why:

tokyooh I left my heart in Tokyo...

If you’ve ever seen Lost in Translation,
you’ll have an idea just how magical,
mysterious, zany, crazy and cute Tokyo is.
Except in real life, it’s even better.
It’s overwhelming but in a brilliant way.

colour 700x700 I left my heart in Tokyo... There’s just so much colour everywhere in Japan…
from old shrine gates in Kyoto to paper
cranes in Hiroshima to this little girl in Tokyo.

signs23 I left my heart in Tokyo... Even the signs are cute…
yes, those are helpful raccoons
telling you not to get your hand stuck!

japanstuff 700x700 I left my heart in Tokyo... And the randomness… a calendar based on brushing your teeth?
Well, of course! Diet tights? Yup, you can get those too.
And an arcade game based on zombies… and eh typing?

kyotolove I left my heart in Tokyo...
As well as Tokyo, we spent time into Kyoto…
with its cute trains, Golden Pavilion, and the Geishas.
Wherever we went in Kyoto, I seemed to attract lots
of school children who wanted to take my picture…
We suspected this was because of my 2008
inclination to dress like a children’s TV presenter!
shoesfoxesh I left my heart in Tokyo... I have never been so excited to go back somewhere…
Honestly I’ve been causing myself near heart failure
while trying to plan this next trip.

My number 1 tip for Japan is to wear slip on shoes,
not Converses. I swear I spent 1/3 of our last trip,
lacing and unlacing my trainers.

Oh and this time, if I can, I’m drawing a fox wishing plaque
at Fushimi Inari (possibly the most magical place ever)
and buying a giga pudding. (It has the craziest video ever
and was everywhere we went in 2008!)

*******

Maybe once I’m back from the trip
I might do a proper guide?
If anyone has any recommendations
of places to go, I’d love them!
Or if you share my love of Japan,
do let me know! *Super excited!*

*******

{P.S.} Ok, not so much of a P.S.
as an extra bit of this blog post…

[...]

Guess who’s in Mollie Makes?

15 Mar

molliemakes 578x700 Guess whos in Mollie Makes? Yup, it’s me. How fricking cool is that?

When Mollie Makes asked if I’d like to do
a feature for them, I was like ‘hells’ and ‘yeah’…

Well, I actually said something way more polite
but that’s what I thinking in my head.

So it was set – I was doing a tour of my Edinburgh,
my favourite places and must go-tos.

Now some of you may already know that
I work as writer (a copywriter and freelance writer)
but this one was a biggie… as I love Mollie Makes
AND I’d be taking the pictures for it too.

Eeeek. (But in a good way.)

molliemakescrop 700x458 Guess whos in Mollie Makes? So me and my trusty SLR hit the streets,
invaded some shops and tried very hard
not to just buy things while I was at it!

zcp nyc Snapseed Guess whos in Mollie Makes?

(This is not actually me in Edinburgh.
This is me in New York, snapping in the Met
but it’s the only Zoë as photographer shot I have.
So imagine this but colder and with less hat!)

molliemakescrop2 644x700 Guess whos in Mollie Makes? Check it out if you can, let me know
what you think… or if you ever need
any Edinburgh tips, well, I’m your gal!

*off to do a happy little dance now*

Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011

22 Dec

bc31c6862c7e11e19896123138142014 7 Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011 Eeeek! Only 3 more sleeps to go!
How on earth did that happen?
(I still have about 10 days to open
on my Grinch advent calendar!)
cardtree convopieces Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011 The last wee while has just been work, work, work.
Some of it good, exciting stuff but still work.
So my feeling festive has kind of slipped away.
But last night I put up some of our cards
in a little tree shape… Which strangely
cheered me up no end!
1 Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011 And drank some mulled wine,
while playing some cool yule tunes…
thanks to some lovely twitter people.
(I’d already played She & Him to death!)

Here’s their wonderful suggestions:
Christmas with the Beach Boys (a favourite of Seeds & Stitches)
This Noel playlist by isabelleoc
An alternative Xmas mix by Last Year’s Girl
For Folk’s Sake, It’s Christmas 2011
A Charlie Brown Christmas,
Muppets Christmas Carol soundtrack,
This cool playlist by naurnie,
Sufjan Stevens, Low
and R2D2 We Wish You A Merry Christmas!!

And for the Christmas holidays…
Here’s what I have planned:
christmas convopieces Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011 That’s yummy food, presents,
taking pics with my car boot Polaroid,
roasting chestnuts on our fire
(never done this before ever!),
watching Christmas movies
and getting my skates on…

Oh yes and some sitting on the couch
doing absolutely nothing too!

(Weird fact: the penguin with the bauble?
That’s how he came out of the Christmas box,
holding that bauble… it seemed mean to take it off him!)

il fullxfull 283791610 Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011
So I’ll see you all in 2012.
Thanks so much for dropping by this year,
leaving comments, emailing me,
even saying hi sometimes.
You guys rock, you really do.

I hope you all have some lovely, relaxing, fun plans?
But whatever you do, remember the following:
prosecco convopieces Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011 You do indeed!

Merry Christmas.
Hope you all have an amazing time.
And get super, super spoiled!
xxxxx

Image 3: Lillian & Leonard (at our wedding)
Image 5: merriweathercouncil

pixel Hello Christmas, Goodbye 2011
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