Sunday, 28 May 2017

May in moments


I'm keeping this very visual as I'm not in a mood to write. Bad PMS. I've been moodswingy and tearful all week but the ups have been the blazing sunshine, the birdsong, Stu, bright flowers, great food and tiny bugs glowing golden in the light.


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Lizard Horse - The joy of being in a band and playing a first gig



This really isn't something I ever thought I'd do. As much as I love music, it was unimaginable to me that I could ever actually be part of a band.



Sunday, 14 May 2017

A sunny day in Brighton - Stu's birthday surprise


Another post featuring Stu...but in Brighton and it was his birthday and it was so much fun! Stu and I don't always buy each other birthday gifts but we do spend the day together. I knew exactly what I wanted to do on my birthday and planned it out. He wasn't very excited about this birthday (he didn't want to turn 31) and didn't know what he wanted to do so I said I'd surprise him! 



Sunday, 7 May 2017

SBC guitars - apple trees and creative business confidence


 Stu loves wood and music and using his hands. So of course he designs and builds his own guitars. And I think they're beautiful. Little, handcrafted and full appreciation of natural wood. (He doesn't like to hide the grain).



Sunday, 30 April 2017

April in moments


Bam! April was less about good habits and more about good friends and good times. I've barely been to the gym but I've had a lot of fun.



Sunday, 23 April 2017

Hosting a Beauty & the Beast afternoon tea



I love a theme. I love cake. I love Beauty & the Beast. I love to plan, execute and host. I didn't need a reason to host a Beauty & the Beast afternoon tea, I wasn't even sure we'd bother to go see the new film! (We did though and I'm glad as it was great).

My Wiltshire friends had been talking excitedly on facebook about the Tale as old as time afternoon tea at the Kensington. Which looks beautiful and much fancier than mine! Mine wasn't £35 per person though. I resent how expensive afternoon teas can be, especially when they have no adjustments for vegetarians or dairy intolerences. Anyway, the proper fancy one is booked up for months so I decided to host my own version.


Sunday, 16 April 2017

a date in Palmers Green


We used to live in Palmers Green and I like it a lot although I prefer visiting to living there. It's a bit of a commute if you need to work in zone 1 every day but for a lazy weekend date, it's great.


Sunday, 9 April 2017

IKEA toy joy fun


I live near an IKEA and I love it. Stu says IKEA is where relationships go to die but he's definitely 80% joking!



Friday, 31 March 2017

March in moments


I'm so energised this month! It feels like I've been doing everything (exploring, creating, eating and laughing) and it feels good.

Starting with my silliest joy, I found an ENORMOUS onion in a corner shop! It was nearly as big as my face! The smaller onion is an ordinary onion. I wish I'd got a shallot and done an onion family photo. And it tasted fine. I used it as 6 onions in a recipe :D


Sunday, 26 March 2017

Tottenham Marshes - blossoms and bird poo


Tottenham Marshes isn't stunningly beautiful. At a casual glance it looks ordinary, maybe even ugly. A wide, scruffy expanse. Some trees at the edge, mostly open grass, all framed by electricity pylons. It's in the details though. It's so full of life! Which is amazing (apart from the time an enormous cloud of tiny bugs was there and they tried to fly in my mouth and I headed straight home again). And SPRING is here, so blossoms are arriving...and you know what, I take it back. The Marshes can be stunningly beautiful if you look again.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Cutting out the stars


 "I hate stars. How dare you wake me to look at them!"

I finally completed the inky papercut of the most intensely starry sky I have ever seen (mentioned in this post about Morocco) and I'm actually pleased with the result.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

A birthday in moments


Well, I'm another year older and I'm happy.

The day began with coffee and an orchid from Stu. (Sidenote, did you know that orchid means testicle?) And we finished watching season 4 of Gilmore Girls.


Sunday, 5 March 2017

Walk with me in the Yorkshire Dales


It was only the beginning of February that we took off for two nights at The Traddock but it feels SO long ago. It was really a very short trip with only one full day and 4 hours driving to get there and back from London.

Obviously, we spent our one full day walking. Because my life is pretty much about food, walking and Stu. (It was a very good day.)



Saturday, 25 February 2017

February in moments


 I know February is short but I seriously can't believe it's pretty much over already. 


Sunday, 19 February 2017

the art of Kiyoshi Nakashima and the sadness of fleeting beauty



I have loved the work of Kiyoshi Nakashima for a long time. And have been aware of him for a long time as he is from the Saga prefecture of Japan, as are my family. However I know very little about him. I have one book about him but it's in Japanese and I can't read it! So last weekend, I asked my mum to help me read it (very grateful for her time).

I have struggled to find any English information online so I'd like to provide the little I can. I only found one, very angry article about him online which upset me and I will discuss it a little further down.

I want to start with the feelings I have long held. That his pictures capture the fleeting nature of nature itself. The ever changing beauty of the seasons, the countryside, the sky. And the fleeting nature of childhood.


Sunday, 12 February 2017

The Traddock in the Yorkshire Dales



I booked a couple of nights at The Traddock (a very nice hotel) in the Yorkshire Dales because they had a cheap deal for February midweek bookings and I wanted to get away. Later I was happy to realise, the dates fell across our 12 years together anniversary! An auspicious start to our trip.



Sunday, 5 February 2017

Excellent chain restaurants for vegetarians and omnivores in the UK


Central London is pretty pricey. I often go out after work to either gigs or museums and need a bite to eat that I can afford that isn't a sandwich (I get hangry). There is so much choice and much of it is more than I want to spend or isn't very good and sometimes I don't have time to research and don't always want to chance it. Or there are places that are too cool and you can't book them and you have to queue for about an hour. Or sometimes I don't want the standard veggie option of mushroom risotto, halloumi burger or goats cheese tart and I don't want to drag my omnivorous friends to a vegetarian restaurant.

People can look down on chain restaurants, bunch them all together as cheap, poor quality, unhealthy, unimaginative, childish, mainstream, corporate. It does irritate me that there are about five Prets in the vicinity of my office and I've seen so many independent places close (though I do quite like an occasional Pret). And I hate that chains can afford to proliferate and push out small businesses who can't afford skyrocketing rents and it all becomes a circle of going to chains because that is all there is. 

That said, often businesses have expanded into chains because they are great. Affordable, delicious and consistent. They have a brand that you like and you trust that you'll get the same good food, no matter where you are. They are convenient when you just need dinner and you need it now and you don't want to research, you just want to know what you're getting.

I have three favourite chains that I can count on when I'm in that kind of mood. These are all places that serve meat but have excellent vegetarian options.



Sunday, 29 January 2017

January in moments


Neither of us felt well on new years eve so we decided to stay in, the two of us. At midnight we sat in bed with the lights off and the blind up and watched the neighbourhoods fireworks through the window. It was both celebratory and peaceful. Muffled sounds of joy, bangs, coloured sparks lighting the sky, all from the comfort of bed.


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Thinking about the zoo - a day at Whipsnade


 On the one hand, zoos do valuable research/conservation work and educate us. On the other hand, the animals are enclosed in a small unnatural environment and lack stimulation. 

I think it's a bit of a grey area. One of my happiest childhood memories is the day my mum had a job for the day in Bristol, near the zoo. My dad dropped her off at work and then we went to the zoo ALL DAY. We were the first people in and the last people out. And my dad bought me a badge with a tiger on it. 


Sunday, 15 January 2017

Finding nature in North London


There are reasons to leave London (mainly the expense of living here) but despite growing up in a small town, I adore living here. I love the variety of city life, the sheer amount of possibilities, the number of people and the constant excitement of it. Nature is still essential to me though. Nature is actual life and wonder. For me it brings the peace and slowed down sense of joy that can easily be missed when you're constantly busy and flitting from work, to responsibilities, to socialising, to restaurants, bars, galleries, gigs, the gym, shops, and everything else. My 'daily' walks have brought me joy mainly by forcing me outside and putting me in amongst the changing seasons, the growth of plants, birdsong, and the delicate play of light and shadow ever creating beautiful changes in the same places.

I think most people are aware that London is pretty green and know of the Royal Parks etc and I do love those spaces but my 5 favourite spaces are a bit less manicured, a bit less crowded and a bit more natural.



Sunday, 8 January 2017

4 beautiful photographers to discover on Instagram



I love feasting on the visual and I love Instagram. I only found out how great Instagram is last year and now I'm a bit obsessed with it. SO MUCH pretty to look at! It's very inspiring. Daily doses of art and food and nature and books and other peoples lives.  That's what I use it for anyway and I thought I'd share some of my favourite photographer/artists that I follow.