Sunday, 18 May 2014

May 2014 Instagramy Post Part 1

Is it me or has it been crazy for everyone recently?
I blame it on the Grand Cardinal Cross malarky.

I am cheating a little but I am starting in late April just before 
I went to Korea.
A friend visited from Hong Kong and we decided to go to the Wolseley for breakfast.
She is French but she agrees that the Wolseley does 
THE best croque madame around.
Better than any cafe in Paris.
All 4 of us ordered it.


We had some good weather in April so 
I opened up my windows on my new terrace.
House still not done yet making do.
Millie likes it and doesn't seem too fussed that furniture placement is still very wonky.

I have sudden yet very few urges of craft and the like.
But I had so many tins of tester paint that I decided to make use of it on an old chest.


It was oval room blue.
I then painted an Ikea self assemble thingamajiggy green blue.
So important to try paint colors because en masse they look so different than the one stripe on the wall.

I then went to Korea at the tail end of all the spring flowers in bloom.
Seoul isn't known for its flora but it has patches of greenery and makes up for the lack of private gardens.
Azaleas seem to be a popular flower or perhaps native to the region.
I am not too sure but I remember it in so many different colors every since I can remember.

I don't normally get dazzled by azaleas but these rough patches of color were just like those of my childhood memories.

Like most cities, the capital has a river that divides Seoul into north and south.
It is called the Han River.
The river is much wider than the Thames and the river banks have now been developed into amusement parks and people even water ski in the river.
The first week I was in Seoul was a bit gloomy.
It reflected the national mood after the ferry boat disaster that killed a few hundred people.  
I went to City Hall where there was a special area where one could pay their respects.
People queued up to sign the condolence books, and offer a carnation to the deceased, and also tie a yellow ribbon.

On a lighter note, don't you think that the delight in traveling is in the details?
It isn't all about the historical monuments and museums.

My favorite high street coffee franchise is Coffee Bean of which there is plenty in Seoul but none in London.

Instead of waiting around and causing a bottleneck at the waiting area, in Seoul you get a buzzer.
That way you can go and get a magazine from their own library and patiently wait for your buzzer to go off.
As is custom worldwide, you go to the coffee paraphernalia counter and get your sugar, napkins, and ashtray if needed.
Sorry the ashtray would have thrown you especially where there was a no smoking sign.
The sign was to make sure that you don't smoke in the general area but to make sure you go to their special enclosed smoking area...

I felt like I was on the set of Mad Men or something!

Hope you are all safe and well x

37 comments:

  1. The Ferry disaster was so awful! It must have been very gloomy there for a while.
    I totally agree that it's the small details that make travelling so wonderful. I'm not much of a one for sightseeing - give me people watching and cafe-sitting any day.
    I like your green shades - it is very hard to judge a colour by a small swatch on a wall.

    This month is crazy! Good to see you back!

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    1. The terrible incident seemed to have been a wake up call about certain things about Korean society so it has been a very big wake up call to all...I wish I had more time for sitting around and just watching people as there were plenty of people to look at walk by. Sooo crowded...

      You will be doing lots of wall swatches soon - I can't wait! hehe

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  2. It is crazy right now, so busy and I could hardly tell you why!
    The ferry disaster was a heartbreak, how terrible. I'm very happy you're home safe and I always like these catch-up posts very much.
    Those shades of aqua are gorgeous.xo!

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    1. I know - there is something in the water Dani...

      I am sticking those bits into the "color" room...My CSW isn't impressed with the colors but oh well...xx

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  3. Millie is waiting patiently for her new dog bed.

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    1. I know!!!! But having said that she rules the roost in three houses!!

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  4. So sad about the ferry, you would think after the Italian cruise ship fiasco the captain would have displayed more sense.

    We have the coffee buzzers here in Adelaide!! So much better than having someone shout your name for all to hear. But the smoking thing is funny, def no smoking here (except outside and I wish they'd ban that - nothing worse than sitting with kids at a table, then someone takes the empty one next to you and starts chainning away).

    The outdoor deck is looking very promising - you'll love that on a Summers night. The pain will be worth it Naomi! xx

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    1. Honestly, what is going on with ships...Just as Mr CSW said flying wasn't safe now this.

      I love how Adelaide is with the program. To be honest I don't go to many cafes here but the rare times I do I just stand there like a lemming bc i give them a fake name so it takes time to register that it's me! I was sooooo shocked that there was a smoking area - also if they did that here so many people who quit smoking would start the habit again bc coffee and ciggies unfortunately go very well together...

      Even though the house isn't done - like you I might call it done! xx

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  5. I do hope you enjoyed your trip back to Korea. The pictures are amazing since I have/had no idea what it is like. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes Korea doesn't really have tourism PR and to be fair I have become a tourist in my hometown so it was nice to look at everything with a fresh eye!

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  6. I'm a little confused your apartment is being redone (with Millie waiting patiently) in London and are you living with your brother or did one of you just move out?
    I heard about the ferry disaster and unfortunately that type of thing is happening nearly every week somewhere and I'm sure when it hits close to home it's quite jarring. I hear a building collapsed over there somewhere causing a lot of havoc.

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    1. Poor Millie must be confused too...She is technically my brother's dog but he moved into a building that doesn't allow dogs so Millie has to be sneaked in a few days a week there but he has a busy job so then I look after her when I can. The house is where I live and is still not done although my builders came yesterday to do some snagging.

      But honestly, the news of late just hasn't been good at all has it? But preventable tragedies stemmed from deep rooted social and cultural conditions just cuts straight to the bone. ..

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    2. What is snagging?

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    3. Snagging is the last bits that the builders need to do such as cracks that need to be filled due to movement, fixing anything that arises from living in the house. But snagging is the hardest bit for the builders to get to do!!

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  7. I am so sorry about that ferry sinking. My condolences to everone involved.

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    1. Yes I thought I had to go and offer condolences while I was there.

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  8. what a lovely post (except for the ferry sinking-that part was awful). I like all your blue paint handiwork. xx

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    1. No close ups of the furniture though!! xx

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  9. I couldn't tear myself away from the reports of the ferry-inking. How utterly horrible, the poor parents who thought they were giving their children a treat, and the kids who thought they were getting good advice to stay put.
    I love azaleas too.

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    1. The extent of the tragedy was just heart breaking and the more one learned the worse it got to be honest. People just stopped watching it bc it was infuriating.

      Azaleas are the main reason the royal chelsea flower show started - it was trying to find out the best strands! It was very fashionable back then...

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  10. NO doubt about how good is the croque-madame in the Wolseley...missing it ! was too funny that the whole table got it :)
    I really loved your post about Seoul ...and think the yellow ribbon is very moving ( I saw it in your instagram recently)
    oh btw ! Mauro loves Coffee Bean ! :) xxxx

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    1. I forgot to mention we had 5 croque's for a table of four!

      I adore coffee bean and wish London had it as starbucks just doesn't cut if or me xxx

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  11. Hello Naomi,

    You have really made us rethink about Korea in general and Seoul in particular as we had very different mental images of them before your post. The Ferry disaster was terrible, so much senseless loss of life, but it surely does bring people to their senses of what is really important in life. The yellow ribbons are a most moving sight.

    The banks of Azaleas are incredibly effective. They remind us of Bodnant garden in North Wales which is a truly remarkable sight at this time of year with great swathes of these shrubs carpeting hillsides.

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    1. Yes I do think that Seoul should have a PR push as I think it is an incredible city but it doesn't try to be tourist friendly like Bangkok does for instance. Cherry blossoms, yellow forsythias, and azaleas make a huge statement in spring and greenery is treated so differently here due to space issues.
      I have never been to that garden but it does make me realize I should visit a few gardens this year especially when it is only a few hours away!

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  12. The banks of flowers are beautiful. I have been following a blog lately with lots of posts about the Korean War. It's very good/cheering to see your view of modern day Seoul. Very good to see Millie and your balcony as well.

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    1. A blog about the war? I must find out and have a look myself. It is a war that my elderly relatives still remember and talk about...Millie quite likes the terrace and keeps watch from there!

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    2. Your blog is probably not the place for a discussion on war, but it would be interesting to know what your elderly relatives remember about it. A lot of the 'stories' are fading fast. In NZ we have only 3000 World War 2 veterans left. Then it will be the Korean War veterans who start to leave us one by one.

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  13. Love the new terrace!

    I am an azalea fan, though oddly, I don't own any. Seoul looks amazing - but so industrial. Love seeing all the photos!

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    1. The weather is quite nice and there is a slight breeze so we are trying to make the most of it. Seoul is a mish mash of apartment blocks and mountains to be fair but I think it is a city that people should consider for travel.

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  14. Those azaleas are gorgeous .. beautiful array of color! What an adventure you had on your trip to Seoule. You've got some excellent pictures that really capture the essence of this interesting spot :)

    Glad you are getting some nice weather. It's always a treat to open the windows/doors after a long, dreary winter. I can relate to not having things the way you'd like them. We are still waiting for permit approval and then we will be living in a construction mess. I will pretend that I'm camping..

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  15. Absolutely concur that the delight of travelling is in the details. Museums and art galleries are wonderful, but what I honestly love best is just plonking down in a cafe or such like and just people watching. Could spend hours! Different clothes, different mannerisms, all so fascinating.

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  16. Hi Naomi, love your Instagramy posts. I agree, May has been a crazy month. The ferry disaster was so awful, I had to turn away and stop reading the news about it. It makes my heart break just to think about all those students and teachers. The blue/green colour you chose is absolutely beautiful. I'm really enjoying the peeks at Seoul. It reminds me a lot of my trips to Taipei. I didn't grow up there, but it is nice to be with my relatives, and for once in my life, feel like a part of the majority, not the minority.

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  17. Thank you for sharing the images of Korea. We really do not get much exposure to Korean culture in the NA media. I love those F&B blues. So soothing. Well done on the crafting front. I'm so inept in this area.

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  18. @Leslie - I am glad to share pics of Korea and maybe you can go sometime in the future during the blossom season. I wish you all the luck in the construction process and please let us posted!

    @GD - I wish I had more time to have just chilled and watched the world go by. But I always like seeing the daily differences in living like in the coffee shops.

    @Louise - I haven't been to Taiwan in ages and would love to visit. I love the food there and know they take it seriously. But Taipei reminds me of Seoul that they really dont try to impress tourists.

    @Jen Apart from Gangnam style Korea doesnt do press so it is nice to show pics of images other than what one expects. Painting stuff is as far as I go by the way!!

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  19. How have I missed so many of your posts - I'm losing track of my days; you're right it is a bit of a crazy time. Anyway your terrace is looking amazing. I love that you're sharing the stages of the process with us. The terraces are one of the best things I loved about my apartment. Make sure you share with us a piccie of your first meal or partaaay out on the terrace xx

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    1. It is a cra cra time lately!!! By the way I loved the video you put up on your latest post I need to figure out how to do that myself although I wouldn't know what to film...xx

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Thank you for dropping by!