Cocktails and an elephant lamp

Drink, Shop & Do's elephant light

The Other Half and I had amazing cocktails at Drink, Shop & Do a few weeks ago (I highly recommend the Naughty Earl Grey).

And look what I found there! The prettiest elephant lamp I have ever seen.

Elephants are everywhere…


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My word for 2015

Cocktail time at Drink Shop & Do


At the very beginning of the year, I sat down and made a wish list.

And that very act made me happy. I decided to ditch resolutions a few years back (I made recommendations last year). And when I wrote the words ‘wish list’ on paper, I knew I’d cracked it.

There are a fair few items on there.  I have grouped them into neat little packages: the blog, mindfulness, projects and wishes. They are things I want to do, experience and feel. They are things which will push me a little. Challenge me. Get me out of my comfort zone… but only as far as I’m prepared to go.

It all came together nicely, thanks to Susannah’s Find Your Word for 2015 e-course.

The plan now is simple. Take a couple of hours each quarter to look at the wish list and see what I’d like to do or focus on in the following quarter.

And I know, I know, that I can do this.

Strength. My word for 2015.

It is the perfect word. Strength. To go from one day to the next, and continue my healing process. To be motivated to work on my projects. To accept my limitations. To give myself the space I need.

And you know. It’s a wish list. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t? It’s not a big deal. There’s always next year.


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My world

66 countries, hey.

With four news ones in 2014: St Lucia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Two trips ahead of us this year. Both astounding trips… so here’s to many great adventures ahead.

As usual, I’d love to know what you’ve got planned. And if you fancy seeing what your world looks like, head over to World66 and create your own map.


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:: 2014 retrospective ::

December robin

2014 was a vast improvement on the previous year. Still very fragile at time, and the anniversary of the meltdown was a bit wobbly, but all in all, it has been a good year.

A very good year in fact. Here’s summary:

  • 15 flights
  • 12 weekends away
  • 9 countries of which four are new ones
  • My first AirBnB stay
  • Brushed up on my KGB history
  • One meal in the best restaurant in the world
  • One stay in the best hotel ever
  • Narwhals in the wild!
  • A few gigs, plays and exhibitions. The highlights being Agnes Obel, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Electra and Mira Schendel
  • 14 books (I have created a Pinterest board of the ones which stayed with me if you’re interested)

  • Three courses (only one had an exam, which I passed)
  • Home improvement projects which have seen us decluttering, cleaning, tidying and the house looks much much more homely as a result
  • A brand new shiny bathroom (yes, yes, it was probably worth all the stress and the mess)
  • A mini blog redesign (you noticed?)

I still need to take things slow. But I am ambitious about 2015 all the same.

Have you taken the time to reflect on the past twelve months?


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2 January 2015

Constantine Bay

We’re in Cornwall for a long weekend. Home away from home.

We spent the day at Constantine Bay. We’d planned to spend a couple of hours there. We spent five.

I pondered, pottered and played.

Big high loud deafening waves.

The waves crashed onto the beach, wiping the sand clean. The slate clean. Starting afresh and all that. A bit like a New Year.

Not me. I’m not starting afresh. I carry on where I left off. I made great progress these past twelve months, and I intend to continue this good work.

I cannot for the life of me remember the exact word I had for 2014, but I am grounded in the word(s) I have selected for 2015 (I’ll come back to that one soon).

In control.



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2015: Let’s go exploring!

Calvin and Hobbes: Let's Go Exploring
(Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson via The Curious Brain)

With my very best wishes to you all for the New Year.

Happy exploring.


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Random Stuff #29

Yeah. Random Stuff is back this week. It has been a while. I know.

Enjoy the links below.

> Summertime Sadness. Oh how I don’t want the summer to end

> Peace begins with falafel. London’s pop up restaurant serving food from a variety of regions affected by conflict. I first heard of Conflict Kitchen ages ago on MessyNessy. I presume the London pop up is from the same people behind the Pittsburgh Restaurant which ‘only serves food from countries that the US is in conflict with’

> The fabulous work of Elsa Prinsessa on Flickr

> Britain’s top ten beaches. Any of them would do right now. I’m not fussy

> What’s the date today? (found on this isn’t happiness)



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Slowly edging towards Autumn

Bathroom (September 2014)

Bathroom (September 2014)

Bathroom underfloor heating (September 2014)


The temperature’s dropping.

We always thought this would be case. That as soon as we were be back from our holidays, that would pretty much be the end of summer.

We came back expecting the bathroom to be finished. But the tilers were delayed by a previous job and weren’t able to make a start. Which is just as well. It turns out that we’d ordered the wrong wall tiles. Phew. And so this week saw us madly rushing to the suppliers to exchange the tiles. And we’ve just spent an hour choosing the grout colour for the floor tiles. An hour.

But it is taking shape.

We have a shower tray in place, a toilet, two new windows and the LED lighting and the underfloor heating are in place.

We have dust everywhere. Everything lays under a thick layer of dust. And the worse thing is the realisation that any attempts to clean and dust would be futile until the work is completed. To distract ourselves, we’re booking gigs and exhibitions for the Autumn.


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Elmer the Elephant, Books about Town – Greenwich, August 2014

Elmer the Elephant, Greenwich (Books about Town)

Elmer the Elephant (Books about Town)

The last of the Greenwich trail book benches is Elmer the Elephant.

David McKee’s beloved story of Elmer is about celebrating differences and diversity and accepting one’s true colours.

The bench has colour, patterns… and elephants. It was always going to have its own post, even if it’s not the only bench in Greenwich with elephants on it.

I discovered two elephants (a mother and baby I think) on the back of The Jungle Book bench!

Elephant, The Jungle Book (Books about Town)

Elephants are everywhere…


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Books about Town – Greenwich, August 2014

We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Greenwich (Books about Town)

We're Going on a Bear Hunt (Books about Town)

Dr Samuel Johnson's Dictionary (Books about Town)

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Books about Town)

The Canterbury Tales (Books about Town)

The Railway Children (Books about Town)

The Railway Children, Greenwich (Books about Town)

The Time Machine (Books about Town)

On the Origin of Species (Books about Town)

Samuel Pepys' Diary (Books about Town)

Samuel Pepys' Diary, Greenwich (Books about Town)

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Girl Engrossed) (Books about Town)

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Girl Engrossed), Greenwich (Books about Town)

The Jungle Book (Books about Town)

Captain Scott's Autobiography (Books about Town)

Captain Scott's Autobiography, Greenwich (Books about Town)

Books about Town.

50 unique benches –  designed by local artists and famous names to celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment – appeared in London early July.

They’re around until 15 September and at the end of the summer they will be auctioned to raise money for the National Literacy Trust‘s vital work to raise literacy levels in the UK.

Last weekend, we followed the Greenwich Trail… and this is what we found (shown here in no particular order):

  • We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (back and front)
  • Dr Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary (detail)
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (detail)
  • The Canterbury Tales (front)
  • The Railway Children (front and back)
  • The Time Machine (front)
  • On the Origin of Species (detail)
  • Samuel Pepys’ Diary (front and back)
  • The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (Girl Engrossed) (front and detail)
  • The Jungle Book (front)
  • Captain Scott’s Autobiography, Greenwich (front and detail)

Great fun!

There were a few other people following the trail. And all in all, I think I was quite lucky to get clear shots of the benches… it’s a busy place Greenwich at the weekend, especially on a warm afternoon.


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