Sunday, 1 May 2016

London Love, Barcelona, and Jon Snow

I have been in a long relationship with London and lived here on and off since 1995.
And like one does in a long relationship, it has been tenuous and we have had our ups and downs.
But I am falling in love with this place all over again which is a change as I have turned very local and can be a right whinger ( just to my family and close friends).
The Thames isn't just for show you know.
It works and maintains its place otherwise it might be filled up with dirt and over priced luxury flats might be built on it.
I was wondering what the first Queen Elizabeth would have thought of this new view of the Tower of London?

But of course I have just shown you the grander bits of London.

Check out this house built between the space between two homes?
That is the reality that tourists don't see.
But it breeds a tough lot.
I would be lying if the average Londoner would listen to the problems of a California native who might complain about valet parking and finding a pool cleaner.
I reckon this is how people north of Moscow must look at Londoners.

I have said it before and I will say it again but the park is at its peak in the spring.

I have always loved this chocolate box cottage which is for staff who work at the royal parks of London.

RIP Prince.
It seems I wasn't the only one who thinks of him when I see purple.
I over heard some others mentioning Prince at this patch in the park.

There is a horsetrail around the park but rarely do you see a group of ladies chatting away while riding.

Such a nice alternative to the morning coffee.

Meanwhile, I joined the gym.
It's been nearly 5 years since I left.
So much has changed.
You have to enter your pin number and only one door opens at a time.
So robotic.

I love Game of Thrones likes every other person and I have populist tastes in men.
Who doesn't fancy Jon Snow?

I chose this play solely on the fact I adore Marlowe did 
no one say who booked tickets to watch this.
As I was taking a picture of the set before the play started, I heard a lot of whispering and  cameras out which I thought was odd because normally people aren't interested in the sets like I am.
The play was horrid.
Not even Jon Snow prancing around in underwear saved it.
PS my friend was really analyzing his hair style being very Jon Snow - what does this mean??

I love how these two nudge each other to stay on my lap - their presence is completely therapeutic and restorative. 
They are actually babysitting me.

I put this picture on instagram and our WellFedFred added a very interesting tidbit about this brooch.
Karl wasn't challenging the hoi polloi but it is his interpretation of the brooch which stems from a type of love token on this link here which she kindly provided.

I went and replanted so many plants.
I need bins but thought the brass tub looked better as a planter.

I bet the inventor of Scotchguard was inspired by plants after the rain.

There was a flash sale at Robert Kime at his boutique in Kensington but I didn't find any inspiration and I left not even wanting to have bought something.
This was the best bit of his store but of course I know his talents are not as a shopkeeper but the lesson of the day was that you can be too discreet goshdarnit.

I went to Barcelona and their rooftop bars were one of the two best bits of the city.

It has a few nice buildings that Gaudi didn't do.
Did you know espadrilles were originally what Catalan peasants wore?
So it is odd how they tend to be an expensive type of footwear but as this was the home of the shoe, I got a few bargains that were locally made.
This square though touristy was where I had a daily coffee to pass the time.

Otherwise I was hanging about my new obsession that is Gaudi.
Like Spanish food, he doesn't really travel well and like incomprehensible family folklore and inside jokes, 
you just have had to be there.

You can see the Sagrada Cathedral on the right of the balcony and it is expected to be done in 10 years.
Slow architecture.
I was blown away of how it felt to be in his buildings.
They even had an original baby chair and kitchen sink of his time.

While I would love to live in one of his flats, 

the amount of tourists would drive you mad.

But imagine walking through these doors every day?

I have a gypsy soul so while I love being at home, 

I am always so sad to fly back but for the first time I couldn't wait to get back to London.
I really did try and love Barcelona but we just didn't have chemistry.
But I intend on going back when the Sagrada is done!
Happy May Day and month xx


  1. What a visual treat this post is. You really do get to go on some amazing trips. Love the purple tulips. Poor Prince! Poor us! I will always love him. That pearl brooch is amazing. xx

    1. Isn't the brooch intriguing? I kept thinking about it days after. The gardens are just glorious as is the botanic gardens near you Jill xx

  2. 1. I watched the first fifteen minutes of GoT when it premiered and was absolutely disgusted and revolted and have not had a drop of interest since.
    2. I don't find Jon Snow attractive. Aren't I just a snowflake of individuality?
    I was going to do a #3 and say I don't like those doors either but that would just be too many complaints formally outlined for a light sunny May Day.
    The horses are so gorgeous. Ive been having dreams about horses and horse breeders (and the fab plantation houses around them) so I've been thinking about them a lot lately.
    How nice that you loved coming home. I'm always desperate to get home when I travel except for when I've been in South Carolina. Wouldn't mind staying there. Or so I think.

    1. I love an "au contraire" moment do please feel free for future reference. I grew up in a family that couldn't agree on anything and voted 4 different ways. I'm used to it.
      I was a bit out of it but will treat her first episode but even if I'm revolted I've invested too much. I have watched all episodes of girls even though it infuriates me.

      You are the one who doesn't fancy him? I thought that was urban myth someone didn't love him. He did flex a lot while speaking like a man from the 1500's.

    2. Will rewatch not treat the episode- I watched the play day before I watched it do I kept comparing screen vs real life

  3. Everyone Raves about Barthalona but it's NOT on my list‼️Must go make a dinner and remove CAT from lap don't want to do either‼️

  4. Love an espadrille, and have heard they are extremely cheap there. My sister bought a few pairs for 12 Euro, then found out they didn't fit her, so she gave them to me! Of course we won't mention the pair of Chloe heels I loved that were too big and that I tried valiantly to wear before conceding defeat and giving them to her. So she is still up on the shoe stakes.
    Disappointing re the theatre - was his acting any good or was the play itself just a dead duck? I haven't got into GoT, but Mr AV is obsessed.
    Love that the Sagrada has taken so long to build - that is what Cathedrals used to take back in the day. We're just so used to poorly made buildings that go up 100 floors in a year that it seems unusual now. xx

    1. They range from 13 to 60 euros but only in those small family run shops and not the chains. Mine were about 18 but the lady did warn me that they are really for one summer maximum two summers. It was nice though that the espadrille market is still in Spain and not in Brazil like the rest of the shoemakers. I would have bought more but I only did hand luggage.
      His acting is just the same as he did Jon Snow. But it could have been the hair - I went with an actor friend and even from a technical view he wasn't that great either - plus he did all that dramatic arm gestures which only was there we conclude so he could flex his chest more. It took me years to start GoT and now I am a total fan like the rest of them. I will go back to see the finished Sagrada and I remember 15 years ago when I stood out front I could hardly see it bc of the scaffolding so this was a nicer view of it too xx

  5. Which Marlowe play was it? Remember when one of my friends played Helen of
    Troy (if I remember correctly it was a walk-on role - no dialogue to learn) in Dr Faustus. Years ago. It was a great university production.
    Slightly obsessed with GOT - ever since FF told me I HAD to watch. Even G is. Admit to being John Snow fan (not sure how he'd be on stage though, you obviously weren't impressed) - but my fave is the dwarf! I love him!
    Have just spent a hideous birthday - our immediate family with solicitors as G and I sort out our new wills and little family trusts. You know if A predeceases B then C might do this. So complicated. If X 's marriage shouldn't work out etc... You know it's all contingent on your being dead. All because we're off overseas soon to areas of previous terrorist attacks.
    The big consolation was coming back and finding lovely birthday messages on FB and emails! Knowing this was to be the fare of the day we'd already celebrated with champers on Saturday. Pammie xx

    1. It was Dr Faustus which to be fair as a theme hasn't aged and having a star as the lead was good to point out the themes but I'll stick to GoT.?i love them all except that sadist who keeps torturing that boy. Sport names are fuzzy!

      I think you should have left no sane business till after your special day no?!?! At least it's done!! Have fun tomorrow then xx

  6. You've had a fantastically busy spring. That's too bad about Faustus. I love the idea of a ladies' riding group. How civilized!

    1. Coffee mornings while nice just aren't healthy! Faustus was probably the worst play I've seen! X

  7. Hello CSW, I got so busy reading up on those eye miniatures that I forgot to come back here to comment! They are very cool, but I imagine difficult to collect. I noticed a few books on the subject; perhaps those will come my way.

    About living in a sculpture/building like those by Gaudi, aside from the constant tourists, I wonder if the strong design wouldn't begin to cloy or pall after a while.

    1. What's interesting is that once you learn about something it keeps appearing in other places and I've seen some for auction at Sotheby's in the US. But Karl might have made the latest collectors piece.

      I did think that about Gaudi. But I'd love to find out myself but the opening hours are until 9 pm. Those crowds would drive me nuts eventually Jim!

  8. Love the garden shots & Spain. I guess we all know why Kit Harrington kept his hair long...

  9. I must say I do love London but that might be because I only have to visit once a month, maybe I'd feel differently if I had to live there. I do love Barcelona too; the last time I went it was just a day trip on a cruise excursion in peak school holidays (gaaahhhh!) so I need to get back there to enjoy it more xx

  10. Hi, Naomi, belated thank you for the mention! I'm now seeing "eye" jewelry everywhere! My latest belated interest is so-called "suffragette" jewelry - ah, marketing.

  11. You have a gorgeous collection of espadrilles, my wobbly old feet can't keep them on with the ribbons on but they remain my faves!


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