Saturday, 30 August 2014

London trip: Sherlock Holmes & Carnaby Street

Good Morning! Just thought I'd update you with a few things I've been up to these past few weeks.
As my dad works in London, I visited him for a week to 'help out'. Basically, I did pretty much no work and he took a few days off work for us to be proper tourists and visit some of the places in London that I have always wanted to go.

My first impulse being of course the Sherlock Holmes museum in 221B Baker Street! After queuing for almost 2 hours, we explored the several storey house that is basically a replica of a real Victorian place with features to please all Conan Doyle fans. The gift shop is also fantastic - I couldn't resist buying a few bits of merchandise :)

One of  many great tea/cake experiences.

This was my first ever visit to Carnaby Street and I thought it was great. Spent a while in Brandy Melville's lovely boutique, mostly just admiring the wonderful decor (and bought a few things for my holiday to Greece in September too!)

As a self-confessed tea lover, Camellia's Tea House, also in Carnaby, seemed right up my street. While I mostly prefer the normal 'English Breakfast' tea, the variety of teas was immense. If I was feeling risky, some of the options included Brain Tea, Sleep Well Tea, Happiness Tea and even the Bobby Marley blend. However, I fancied a cold drink for once so I opted for their Very Berry Iced Tea, and tried my best to resist their chocolate brownies on display (and failed, clearly). The ice tea was OK, but the brownie was absolutely gorgeous. I'll leave you on that note.

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Saturday, 9 August 2014

4 things to do when you have your braces removed

I have had braces for over 2 years now (they weren't meant to be on for this long!), so they are due to be removed very shortly. In my anticipation, I've been thinking about what I'd like to do when the time comes. Here are a few of them, illustrated by a handful of gifs that I really couldn't resist including.

1. Eat candyfloss (without feeling too guilty).
 Not that candyfloss is the most common of snacks, but whenever I see it I always think how much of a bad idea it would be to scoff the entirety of this sugar-rich treat with my #braceface situation. It's just nice to have the option! Actually, this applies with pretty much all food. 

Plus, no more days in agony after a 'tightening up' appointment, eating nothing but mashed potatoes. 

2. Take photos to compare with your 'before'/'during' photos (assuming you've taken some) to see how much your teeth have improved. Seeing the transformation before your eyes will prove that it was worth the tedious wait. Plus, laugh nostalgically and victoriously at the fact that you used to look like Jaws from James Bond, because that's quite an achievement.

3. Persevere with your retainer. This will make sure your fantastic new smile STAYS fantastic. Abandoning it before the recommended time period will just mean that those years you've spent with braces were more or less wasted. Don't lose all that hard work! 

When I first had my braces, I have to admit I struggled to figure out how to smile without drawing too much attention...

It didn't always go to plan...

However, whilst having braces you shouldn't be at all disheartened to grin as much as you feel like. But it's a massive relief and sense of freedom to know that you can show off your fabulous new smile to everyone once the process is completed.

Personally, I think I'll smile as often and as wide as I can  in order to ensure every one notices/compliments my new set of chompers. Even if I look on the edge of lunacy (I definitely will).

Thanks for reading.

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Monday, 4 August 2014

WWI Centenery: Two Perspectives

Seeing as today is the Centenery of the First World War, I thought I'd share one of my favourite WWI poems and a letter with you, which will hopefully illustrate the realities of both men and women during this dreadful time, through the perspectives of Madeline Ida Bedford and Wilfred Owen. 


This one, I believe, satirizes the so-called 'good life' in the munitions factories that women were suppose to have appreciated and enjoyed. In reality, while they weren't faced with the horrors of the trenches, and whilst in the long term their involvement proved their capabilities and potential thus contributing to the reasons behind them gaining suffrage in 1918, women's experiences, in most cases, involved hard labour, danger, grief, loss and loneliness. Those on the Home Front deserved a voice too.

 Letter from poet/soldier Wilfred Owen to his mother, Susan Owen. Click to listen to audio of letter.

Owen wrote over 500 letters to his mother through the years, until he sadly died one week before the Armistice in November 1918, aged just 25. My favourite poem of his is Anthem For Doomed Youth.

 Something that a presenter of a WWI remembrance programme said earlier caught my attention - 
"Out of a war with such brutality, that killed millions, came art, literature and music of enduring elegance " 

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

House/garden inspiration: My grandma's house

Seeing as my grandma and I are both pretty much deranged with idleness (her with sortof-semi-retirement and me with my summer-holiday-with-no-job blues), lately we have been spending many warm afternoons in each other's company. I took advantage of this opportunity to snap some sneaky photos of her fantastic garden and house, which gifted me and my sister many many adventurous days during our childhood. Forget The Secret Garden (although I adore that book), this garden is the absolute business.

Features (in order of appearance):
  • The garden shed
  • Her lovely conservatory (which we often pronounce as 'con-serve-ah-twar', i.e. the misuse of the word 'conservatoire', because we are Welsh/English folk and therefore use french ironically)
  • A tree bench (minus the tree)
  • Her new front loveseat area
  • Some flowers in full bloom
  • A pretentious Roman bust (are all busts Roman? are all busts pretentious? My grandmother is neither, btw)
  • An rusty old bicycle-turned-flowerpot
  • A handcrafted birdfeeder area (that's safe from cats etc, but allows the birds to come and go freely through the mesh)
  • A pond that homes dozens of fish (years ago there was a stepping stone going across this pond, much to the delight of my younger self)

Thanks for reading,
hope everyone's having a great August so far.

P.S. Why not check out some of my other summertime captures here

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(All photos in this post belong to Danielle at Cupofloveliness)