Fieldtrips: Cardiff, Wales

Cardiff City Hall

I don’t know about you but my experience of day trips to new cities has not always been the best.  Starting from wondering around aimlessly from shop to shop (the same ones you’ll find in any other city in the country), ending up getting hungry and cranky and therefore finding the first place to get some food (which more often than not has been McDonalds). And the day goes on following this pattern (clearly I can’t count on my luck for finding perfect spots).

BUT, I have learnt from my experiences and for this reason PLANNED a rough list of things to do on our day trip to Cardiff, Wales. Our day looked like this…

Peter-Blake-Dylan-Thomas'-Under-Milk-WoodImage by Peter Blake

Our main reason for going was to visit the National Museum of Wales. It was great to see some classics by the big shots like Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and Cezanne. But the highlight was a temporary exhibition of Peter Blake’s (Britain’s answer to Pop Art back in the day) illustrations to Dylan Thomas’ play Under Milk Wood. I was sold. He’s been working on this collection for 25 years; lots of collage, watercolour, woodcarvings and pencil drawings different scenes of the play. Well worth a visit if you happen to be around the area.

NYdeli(HighStArcade)For once we lucked out and found a great lunch spot.

From here, my plan took us to explore some of Cardiff’s shopping Arcades. There’s loads of them but according to my research (ahem) the best one’s to go to are: Castle, High St, Morgan and Royal Arcade. They didn’t disappoint. And for once we managed to stumble upon a great lunch place too: New York Deli. Two NY hoagies later we could barely breath but were in carb heaven.

Records and vintage

Cardiff’s subcultures seem to be still blooming with lots of vintage, skate, record and Second Hand bookshops. This made our afternoon. Also, the weather was on our side with blue skies but the joy of the roofed arcades is that you can enjoy them no matter what the weather.

Cardiff Arcades

This was just a little snapshot of Cardiff and we’ll definitely be back to explore more – the bay area will be next on the list. Cardiff was such a pleasant surprise of a city and our day definitely benefitted from a bit of advance planning (mental note)!

- Hanna  x

 

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Dress-up: Re-inventing my wardrobe

This is the kind of post that only comes about after having spent a fair few days at home just pottering about. It’s involved some fairly awkward posing and a realisation that I think I may have to start ironing my clothes (one outfit was disqualified from this post simply because it was so crinkly).

PinterestHannaElina

If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that we’re avid fans of Pinterest. I’ve been collecting inspiring outfit ideas for ages now, and one day opened this page full of ideas as well as my wardrobe and started to think how I could recreate what I see on screen in real life with things I ALREADY HAVE. No purchasing needed but a frugal exercise in money saving.

We all (I assume) have moments when we stand in front of a bulging wardrobe and think: I have nothing to wear. However it’s amazing what you can rustle up when you have something to be inspired by. Here’s a couple examples (enter cringey face for posing:/)

Loosetop

I bought these trousers couple years ago and just haven’t been able to make them work. However, I love them paired with this loose top (50p from a charity shop – love a bargain) and CONVERSE. I would have never thought about pairing them with trainers (they’re silky flimsy material). Anyway, a winner combo in my books and beyond comfortable.

trench

I found this trench from my parents house and love it, but would only wear it with workwear or for smarter occasions. Having seen it dressed down I needed to give it ago. This is where it’s useful to be married to an ex-hipster (stuck in the early 2000’s). One of his old band t-shirts paired with black skinny jeans (ps. the most useful thing to own) and the trench is ready for casual outing.

So if you find yourself at home with nothing to do I highly recommend raiding through your wardrobe and discovering what you already own. And when there’s a need for new – this quote is a good one to remember.

Vivienne Westwood quote

- Hanna x

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Dancing Words: The journey

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The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice-
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations, though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen branches and stones.
but little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do-
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Mary Oliver, Dream Work, Grove Atlantic Inc., 1986 & New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press, 1992.

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January 28, 2014 · 3:36 pm

Dancing words: ‘A good song reminds us what we are fighting for’

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Today the world said goodbye to one of our greatest folk musicians and activists, whose songs protested against some if our great injustices. Our song is so often individual & introspective, his passing reminds me again of the power of song to unite, inspire & provoke social change. What a well lived life, rest in peace Pete Seeger.

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Found: Bowerbirds

When the temperature drops, I throw on my long johns, knitwear, hat, scarf and mittens and look for some tunes to warm the cockles of my heart. Bowerbirds have been doing the trick these last few icy days. I can’t feel my nose but my ears are happy.

Nose-warmer

No surprise that I like this one. This southern girl, she knows the Northern Lights.

Bowerbirds casually making music in the canned goods section.

If it doesn’t warm you enough then maybe add some whiskey?

x

Celeste

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Field Trip: Iceland

Iceland 2K13, it happened. It was magic and now I want to move there. I have an extremely serious crush on Iceland.

 We managed to coincide our trip with Iceland Airwaves which meant seeing Reykjavik in a particularly glorious state.  There was live music in every corner of Reykjavik even bookshops and hairdressers. If you were lucky you might have even stumbled across John Grant performing in a stairwell! (See!? Magic!)  I fear I can’t do it justice with words, but I am going to give it a go… and then they say a picture’s worth a thousand.

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Iceland, the land of heartbreaking natural beauty, vikings, folklore, invisible people, music, beautiful water, volcanos, coffee, puffins, whales and arctic turns.

We had roast lamb and sweet potato, Christmas drinks in November.

We smoked pipes and cigars on the balcony.

We  chased the Northern Lights to the beach in pyjamas.

There were old friends and new friends, hilarity and conversations peppered with nostalgia, life, love and other difficulties.

 Did I mention the Northern Lights? Yep. Saw them. Again, magic.

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Oh… there’s also a penis museum!

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unnamed-11A little bookshop gig.

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Plenty of Sarah Lund’s jumpers to go around.

unnamed-8Nearing the Blue Lagoon.

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This is it. I warn you, for a good forty-five minutes following prolonged exposure, you could’ve used my bright red face as a beacon to guide you in the night.

unnamed-13Delicious coffee.

unnamed-10 Even their lighting is beautiful.

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Even their fire hydrants are friendly.

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It was so lovely to be reunited with Hanna, the beautiful and friendly Icelandic!

That’s enough of my gushing. You have probably realised that you should go. So just go.

x

Celeste

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A little Icelandic jaunt!

For the last little while I have had more than a little obsession with Scandinavia. In part to do with some particularly beautiful music (The Tallest Man on Earth, Mew, Olafur Arnalds), Nordic Noir and more than a healthy amount of Scandinavian chums.

All this to say, after being on my ‘wishful thinking’ list for last 5 years, I actually get to make a little trip to ‘the land of Ice that’s very nice’! (A little Mighty Ducks quote there for ya!)

One of my favourite regular coffee drinkers is a little bit of an expert on Iceland and when I asked him for tips this brilliant itinerary is what he came up with. This actually made my day! It’s too good not to share.

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photo 1

 

And now to the Northern Lights, the elusive Celestial treat, I know I’m not meant to get my heart set on seeing them but I can’t help it. I’ve wanted to see the Northern Lights ever since Joey and Dawson watched them in Season 3. (Don’t judge me.)

Until after Iceland!

Xxx
Celeste

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