Thursday, 28 August 2014

August Empties

Into the bin these go! It makes me realise that it was actually sunny this summer given that I used up the Hawaiian Tropic Suncream - perfect for the city as its not white or sticky but I'd always go with a higher SPF for the beach. The mini Avene moisturiser lasted through a few weekends away and the L'Oreal mascara definitely lived up to its waterproof claims (tears, swimming, thunderstorms, all night parties) but was quite hard to remove (even less fun after said all night parties). The Seventeen mascara was a great budget buy and Majorca Majolica Lash King is an Asian make-up favourite for a good reason (hoping I can re-stock in Shanghai soon). Nail polish remover and shower gel are pretty self explanatory. The Freederm helps show my skin that it's not fourteen any more, even when it tries to be (although be warned, it is very drying).

What have you used up this month?

Monday, 25 August 2014

August Bank Holiday Weekend In The City

It's the last Bank Holiday before Christmas (sob) so obviously the weather forecast was so-so.

Having neglected London a little this summer it was nice to have a weekend of solo wanderings - headphones in, trainers on and coffee in hand - just me and the city. As an obsessive planner (please give at least 3 weeks' notice for weekend plans) and a constant talker an unplanned weekend where "tall iced soya latte please thank you" was possibly my longest sentence was just what I needed!

Early morning Saturday run in the sunshine - I'm doing a half marathon in November which now seems quite close!
Beautiful display of poppies at the Tower of London. Perfect to see them in the sunshine while no one else was around.
Perfume and accessories. I got sent this little bottle of Angel as part of their #AngelCandy campaign and its the perfect summer scent. The sweet pretzel ring is from Hyper Japan.
Lunch on Brick Lane. Still not bored of falafal and halloumi! Making the most of al fresco eating while I still can.
Got my haircut - after a summer of festivals it was a bit of a mess. Amazing what different a quick trim makes and had an espresso martini while it was being cut at Taylor Taylor. Definitely going back next time!
Bank holiday mani. Super easy glitter French tips.
Sunday lift selfie. I still don't have a full length mirror in my flat (it's only been 4 months)! Vintage top, Topshop scarf and Forever 21 skirt.
I took the Thames Clipper to Greenwich - definitely the nicest form of public transport and you see things you wouldn't otherwise - this is the Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London.
Tower Bridge, not London Bridge. Had fun standing on the back deck of the boat, pretending to be a tourist and snapping away with my camera.
Nautical but nice.
Back on the Books About Town trail in Greenwich. Wandered all through the town and around the park. This is The Canterbury Tales.
The Railway Children.
Samuel Pepys' Diary.
Adrian Mole.
Dr Johnson's Dictionary.
Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.
The Origin of the Species.
We're Going On A Bear Hunt.
The Time Machine.
The view from the Observatory is one of my favourites in London, it's worth the steep climb through the park for this. I had a good wander through the park feeling like I had gone to the countryside for the day - there's just so much space!
The Jungle Book.
Elmer The Elephant.
Captain Scott's Autobiography.
Driving the boat back to central London.
I'm now feeling slightly old watching Enter Shikari at Reading Festival on iPlayer, making birthday plans for my 27th (had to double-check that the other day but, yes, I am soon to be that old) and in a slight excited panic about my up-coming trip to China in September (mostly about what I'm going to eat there) - ready for thing to get hectic again? I think so! 
How was your Bank Holiday?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Summer Theatre Season 2014

It's been a great summer for culture vultures like myself (ahem). I never thought I'd be a theatre goer, the idea of sitting through a Shakespeare play sounded terribly boooooring in my younger days and the few musicals I saw only served the purpose of putting me off even more (there's something about actor's singing lines of dialogue that makes me cringe, still).

This summer has been a pretty good one for theatre, if not for my's not the cheapest hobby but nothing compares to live acting and there are deals out there. The Globe does standing tickets for only £5, The National Theatre has a great scheme for under 25s and Time Out Offers regularly have ticket offers. For the very brave, there's also the option of queuing for day tickets but that inevitably involves getting up at an ungodly hour! Going to plays mid-week or at the end of their run when there are more tickets available usually works out cheaper, too.

I saw three plays at The Globe - Titus Andronicus, Anthony and Cleopatra and Julius Caeser - and it didn't rain for any of them! I opted for the £15 seats which are not the most comfortable but well worth the extra £10 given how long the plays are (hire a cushion for £1 - you won't regret it!). The theatre itself is amazing with the full Shakespearean experience re-created with insense being burnt on the stage before the show and "interesting" interval entertainment. Titus was my favourite of the three - it was so gory, people in the audience were fainting! I love a bit of gore and it's amazing how a play written so long ago can still shock in an age when we've become pretty de-sensitised to gore and horror. Whatever the play, the mood is definitely lightened by the cast's song and dance at the end. Clapping along, you almost feel like you are back in Shakespearean times.

The Roof at the National Theatre's Doon Street car park was one of the strangest theatre experiences I've had. I saw it on an amazingly sunny evening which added to the surreal aspect of it, watching the sun go down over a set which resembled a post-apocalpytic 1980s computer game. We all wore silent disco style headphones through which the soundtrack is played. A short but sweet hour of strangeness which made me feel nostalgic about the early 1990s computer games I played as a child.

One of the most star-studded plays of the summer, I had high hopes for this as I love Carey Mulligan as a film actress. I'm not sure if it was the very dialogue heavy script but I didn't think her talents filtered through to the stage particularly well. Bill Nighy stole the show as a midlife-crisis suffering businessman and the set (the inside of an ex-local authority flat) and and thoughts of Mulligan's character did strike a chord as a fellow 20-something living the London "dream".

My unexpected favourite of the summer - Medea. I wasn't sure whether I would enjoy this when a friend offered me a spare ticket but on finding out that it starred Helen McCrory and a soundtrack by Goldfrappp I was intrigued. The play is based on a Greek tragedy and is, in a way, the ultimate story of a broken-hearted woman's revenge. While the subject matter is grim (Medea kills her children in revenge for her husband's betrayal), the play dealt with it in a sensitive manner. And this quote though...

" .... we women are the most unfortunate.
First, we need a husband, someone we get
for an excessive pric
e. He then becomes
the ruler of our bodies. And this misfortune
adds still more troubles to the grief we have.
Then comes the crucial struggle: this husband
we've selected, is he good or bad?
For a divorce loses women all respect,
yet we can't refuse to take a husband.
Then, when she is taken away from her family into her husband's home,
with its new rules and different customs,
she needs a prophet's skill to sort out the man
whose bed she shares. She can't learn that at home.
Once we've worked hard at this, and with success,
our husband accepts the marriage yoke
and lives in peace—an enviable life.
But if the marriage doesn't work, then death
is much to be preferred. When the man tires
of the company he keeps at home, he leaves,
seeking relief for his distress elsewhere,
outside the home. He gets his satisfaction
with some male friend or someone his own age.
We women have to look at just one man.
Men tell us we live safe and secure at home,
while they must go to battle with their spears.
How stupid they are! I'd rather stand there
three times in battle holding up my shield
than give birth once."

Next up: The Crucible at The Old Vic (my favourite theatre) and, although not until 2015, Benedict Cumberbatch playing Hamlet. Twice!

What have you seen at the theatre this summer?

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A Weekend In Another City - Glasgow

Last weekend involved another early start, another EasyJet flight and another place to explore. Michelle and I headed up to Glasgow for Glasgow Summer Sessions. Ten minutes before our plane landed the skies turned from clear and sunny to grey and cloudy. Stepping out of the plane felt like stepping into another season. It. Was. Cold.

Luckily the weather improved throughout the day and by the time David Guetta played his headline set it was slightly warmer - a caprinaha might have helped, as did seeing my picture on the big screen as part of the Bose #ListenForYourself campaign. On Sunday we explored the city, trying to stay indoors as much as possible! Michelle, Tommy and I explored the modern art gallery which with free entry and four different exhibitions was the perfect cultural antidote to the festival the day before.

Despite the weather I had a super time - it always feels like a much longer weekend doing something completely different and this was only my second trip to Scotland. The people were warm enough to make up for the awful weather - strangers helped us find our way around when we were looking a little lost and a Scottish couple at the gig taught me that "aye" means "yes"! I didn't fancy any haggis at the hotel breakfast buffet but it was good to have another taste of Scotland - I'll bring an extra jumper next time!

Scottish vending machine! Irn Bru is everywhere - I would have tried some if it wasn't so cold but the bright orange colour does scare me a little (southern wimp, I know).
A hotel room bigger than my flat (not difficult). We stayed at the Thistle which was perfectly located i.e. practically next door to the M&S food hall.
Saturday mirror selfie with Mish hanging out in the background! Thank goodness for M&S kids' section for my waterproof!

Windswept selfie!

Windswept Selfie take 2.
David Guetta on the stage.
Sunday mirror selfie - Oasis dress, New Look leggings, Primark socks.

The city was still decorated for the Commonwealth Games - loved these signs,


GoMA was the perfect indoor destination for Sunday morning.

Couldn't resist.

Such a beautiful use of an old building.
We were mesmirised by this piece of art - a cardboard city comprised only of churches. The artist spend eight hours a day for five months to make this. That's dedication.
Warming up with a macha bubble tea.

Good-bye, Glasgow!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Jersey Eats

The food in Jersey was one of the highlights - nothing better than al fresco eating with friends. Jersey is famous for seafood and we definitely took advantage of this - Saturday lunchtime at Faulkner Fisheries was such a simple but amazing meal, barbequed sea food with baguette and salad overlooking the sea.

On Sunday we visited Crab Shack for (duh) crab - crab bruscetta and crab bisque with a side of truffle chips. Sunday afternoon was spent over afternoon tea at the Radisson Blu overlooking Elizabeth Harbour. For £12.95 we got a tower of tea each - the giant scone was my favourite.

For a small island Jersey has so many great restaurants and food to try - definitely a reason to book another visit? 

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