Dreaming of Scotland

Next week I’m off to Scotland for a couple of days with my friend Laura. We’re flying to Edinburgh, with enough time for a pint and to rest our heads, then we’re travelling to Inverness, via Glencoe and Loch Ness. Yes, we’re going on a monster hunt!

scotland
sheep
mossy
Loch Lomond

I’ve been to Scotland once before, in 2009. It was February, and so cold the water was freezing over. These are pictures are all from The Drover’s Inn, Loch Lomond. Apparently I didn’t take a single snap in Edinburgh, so perhaps it was all a dream? I do remember it was the first place I ever saw a squirrel, and had chips ‘n’ cheese. With vinegar. Now that’s a memorable moment in a young woman’s life…

30 days of June

June 2012

June 2012 will be known as the month where I finally got with the program and got a phone that actually has a colour screen and a camera. Fancy. As a result I’ve been instagramming my butt off, so loads more pictures for you! Add me as @amberparkin if you’re on there too.

All in all things have been going pretty swimmingly. A few things that made June awesome:

+ Jubilee celebrations (and a day off)
+ Picnics in Regent’s Park
+ Skyping with my kiwi favourites
+ Backyard hang outs
+ Visiting my friend’s graduation show at RCA
+ Making friends with some very tame squirrels
+ A trip to Oxfordshire; including Blenheim Palace and an amazing meal at The Mole & Chicken

Today is the first day of a week-long staycation, followed by a weekend in Paris; so I’m off to go eat some crème brûlée in bed and watch some Community. It’s good AMAZING being an adult.

 

21st Century City

Photos from last night: wandering on a Monday evening to buy a saucepan from Bangla Town (an awesome cash-n-carry on Brick Lane), and to eat some sweets. I don’t know the name, but my favourite is a dense squiggle of fried dough, soaked in a sugary syrup. Oh, and guess who finally upgraded from a Nokia brick?

2CV ooh la la.

Truman Breweries.

East London

A familiar face!

A familiar face – Tame Iti. (See my photo of a similar stencil in 2008!)

 

Blenheim Palace

Last weekend Thom and I sneaked away from mad London to enjoy 24 hours of loveliness in Oxfordshire. Thom’s parents live in the UK, and it was Father’s Day here,  so we went to hang out with his family.

oxford

After pottering around in Oxford (beautiful old buildings, bookstores, PRIMARK), we headed to Blenheim Palace, home to the Duke of Marlborough and birthplace of Winston Churchill (yes, in the bed below).

Blenheim Palace

I love palaces… And this one was quite lovely to look at. It’s a shame that the owners have taken a weird theme park approach in some places. At one stage we were trapped in a never-ending series of rooms,  terrorised by animatronic maids. We finally exited to a gift shop. One entry gets you a year-long pass – I’d like to go back again and spend more time in the gardens.

Little things

frenchtoast

Saturday morning breakfasts, made all the sweeter by the luxury of a newspaper delivery. No more fretting about whether to make a dash to the dairy in my jim jams.

eggprinting

Egg printing, explained! The simple illustration really appeals to me.

birdcage

Birdcage Walk mosaic, outside a local primary school.

walrus

Got this sweet walrus from Oxfam Dalston for .29p – bargain! I also scored a pair of jeans (black, the perfect fit) for £ 2.99. It was a happy op shop adventure indeed.

estate

Nothing makes me happier than long, clear evenings. Here’s to many more…

Ohla! Barcelona

The beach!

tapas bar

balcony

Las Ramblas

cine

window

le-segrada-familia

This Easter I took my first trip to Spain. Just three days was enough to dent my heart.

Waking up on a train, and brushing my teeth as well rolled past the ocean; my first sight of the sea since August. Sipping sangria and scoffing dainty tapas at a cozy bar. Drinking cheap glasses of fraught beer in a courtyard, the pavers ruptured by trees. Taking an elevator to the top of a monument and seeing La Sagrada Familia from afar. Making friends with an elderly German couple over paella. Walking through narrow alleyways and ending up exactly where we started. Eating a fat churro, filled with dulce de leche. Looking up in wonder at all the gloriously decorative buildings. My spirits raised by the warm sunshine. Seeing oodles of adorable dogs, including one particularly fetching Afghan hound. Eating patatas bravas for the 5th meal in a row.

More photos to come…

Paris in one day

Untitled

fraise

optometrist

metro

anchor me

lock hunting

coffee

shakespeare

meringues

sad

which

pistache eclair

bonjour

1. Good morning, beautiful buildings 2. Fresh fraise 3. A wonderful optometrist’s sign 4. I always love the bold graphic deign of Metro posters 5. A bit of grit down by the Seine 6. Lock-hunting, seeing if ours still might be there (ha!) 7. Café crème to start the day. Don’t look foolish by asking for café au lait – that’s so 90′s  8.Shakespeare & Co., style-stalking the girl in the mustard tights 9. Marvellous meringues 10. Have you seen this cat? 11. Nice typography 12. Un éclair pistache – soooo good. 13. A couple of silly-faces.

More Parisian adventures:

Easter Yellow

cachou

EC1

rubber ducky

new desk

spring

ices

A few good things:

  • The sunshine! It has been fantastically sunny in London the last few days, making it an utter joy.
  • Thom bought me a desk for £10 at a charity shop in Dalston, then carried it home. What a guy.
  • I met up with Johanna for breakfast and a seriously good coffee.
  • Visiting Lounge Bohemia, a bookings only Czech themed cocktail joint. It was amazing, like being in someone’s chic grandmother’s living room, only you’re served Lavender Creme Brûlée cocktails and absinthe. The highlight for me was a Bubble Bath Martini, that came with a little yellow ducky floating on the foam.
  • Brick Lane on a Sunday afternoon – I just love people watching.
  • Only 3 days of work, then it’s Easter, which means an adventure to Paris and Barcelona by train. Muy bueno.