Transformers

IMG_0104In free magazines, leaflets, through Facebook, word of mouth; there’s so many ways to find out what’s going on in this city. I often make a mental note to visit a new bar or buy tickets to an exhibition, fast forward a few months and have I been there? Have I got off my arse and done it? Of course not.

I am getting better at it though, the pursuit for self improvement continues; tickets are bought, outings organised and days well spent. Here’s some snaps from one of those days. IMG_0107IMG_0109TelephoneCallSecurity GuardIMG_0118IMG_0240We spent some fast-passing hours roaming around the Maxxi, to see the Transformers exhibition. Some of the photos are from other exhibitions of this modern art museum, but worth including nonetheless.

The idea of the exhibition is to use art and design to highlight social causes and to create discussions about them. For example, we saw a mechanical orchestra made from weapons confiscated by the Mexican Army. Notes created by hitting a xylophone made from gun parts show the potential to transform even the most dangerous of objects.  IMG_0125IMG_0121IMG_0133I particularly liked the idea of using everyday materials, albeit in a new way, to create art which is easily accessible to everybody.  Hubble Bubble, the green ‘suspended forest’ below is made from plastic colanders, while Life Life, this walkway of long swirling balloons, continually transforms as visitors pass through it. IMG_0126IMG_0145IMG_0127IMG_0142IMG_0147IMG_0151More than meets the eye – this is usually true isn’t it? It seems to me inspiration and ideas are out there for the taking, it’s the ‘doing’ part that’s difficult. But the transformation into something concrete and tangible makes you realise getting up and getting organised is well worth it.

More stuff soon.

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The Eternal City

Colosseum Rome

I’m sitting here wrapped in up in wooly layers, slurping a hot Ribena. Feeling so very cosy it’s hard to believe just how blue the sky was a couple of weeks ago on a trip to Rome. I’d been itching to go away ever since the trip I made to Greece last year so a weekend break was certainly a relief from the 9-5 routine!

Usually before a holiday I’m quite the planner. I enjoy the ritual of buying a book (Lonely Planet, always) selecting some sights to see and swotting up on what’s good to eat and how to order it, or at least attempt to! This time, my friend Kate and I had both been to Rome before so we did our planning in super fast time by quizzing ourselves about pasta shapes and their names. Very thorough.

Here are our snaps from the Eternal City.

Piazza Novona

Via Dell Orso

piazza novona

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Pantheon Roma

Pantheon Roof

Rome street sign

Me in Rome

Fontana di Trevi

Emma Kate Trevi Fountain Rome

Piazza del popolo

Piazza di Spagna

Spanish Steps

Rome citroen

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Roman Baths Mosaic

Roma Mosaic

Roman Baths

Rome Baths Ruins

Latin writing

war memorial rome

piazza della repubblica

santa maria church door rome

santa maria church door rome

Rome FiatUntil next time, Rome x

Different Class

tatton house tatton garden Last week I stayed with a friend in Manchester and took the opportunity for a bit of road-tripping. One of our visits was to Tatton Park, which as you can see from the pictures is just so beautiful. It’s ran by the National Trust (gotta love those guys) and pretty much ticks all their usual boxes: Stately home, gardens, deer park, and a working farm all fashioned in a particular style from the estate’s history. For example, the groundskeepers cottages are of a similar style mentioned in my Back to Backs post earlier this year.

Exploring the gardens we spotted some giant plants which made for some fun photos of me scrambling around the supposed undergrowth. A bit pixie at the bottom of the garden, a bit ‘Honey I shrunk the kids’.
Giant5 Giant1 Giant7 Giant3 tatton park maize maze I did want to do another outfit post and share my new dress with you in detail. Unfortunately my batteries ran out which only demonstrates my terrible planning!
60s outfitInstead I took a quick outfit snap when I got home. Listed as vintage, the dress was from eBay but is actually modern garb. Personally I don’t mind vintage inspired clothing but it is annoying that some sellers list any old thing as vintage; last years Primark dresses just don’t cut it for me!

I’m really enjoying using this brown shoulder bag at the moment too. The quest for a new handbag is such a tricky thing that finding the perfect combination of practicality and design is so pleasing. Judging by that musty bag smell, I’d deem it genuine vintage too!
tatton park gatewaySpending the day in a historic setting, we debated how we would have lived if we were to be transported back to a Gosford Park type situation. Sara reckons she’d enjoy the secrets with the downstairs staff but I think I’d prefer the banquets and luxurious clothes of the owners.

Let’s finish with a few snaps from around the gardens…
tatton park fountainbutterfly flower flower bedhanging flowers red white flowers garden tap lavender tatton park gardenpastel pink rose

Here, There and Everywhere.

London Cartoon Map

I live an hour away from London and I’d never really seen the big tourist sights – ridiculous I know! I’d done a couple of the museums and seen the inside of plenty of bars over the years, but considering how much of a sight-seer I am on my holidays my London to do list was shamefully long. So when I had a day to myself in the big city I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.

I packed a map and my camera and pranced onto the tube!

breakfast in hyde park

My first stop was Hyde Park. I spent a little time on the edges, but the early start meant my stomach soon demanded breakfast. I leisured over a paper in Green Park and gained some energy for the day ahead. One more consultation of the map and I was good to go and tick some landmarks off my list…

Wellington Statue Hyde Park

Hyde Park – check!Wellington Arch Hyde Park

Wellington Arch – check!

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace – check! Trying to walk through Buckingham Palace I realised I’d timed it right to see the Changing of the Guard which was good to watch. That said, it was so busy so I scurried off and watched from a distance.  It was far to hot to stand like a sardine with all the other tourists!

column in trafagarNelson’s Column – check!

trafalgar square

Trafalgar Square – check! I quite enjoyed mooching through the National Gallery too. Some of the more traditional stuff wasn’t really to my taste but there’s a good collection of Impressionists which was popular.

Big BenBig Ben – check!

london wheelLondon Eye – check!

So what do you think, did I miss anything out?!

This isn’t quite the order I did things in, as there were lots of pit stops for ice cream and cool drinks. I also meandered through St James’s park – how’s this for a splash of colour in the middle of London?! What a beaut.

st james park nature

Toxic Threads

Care Label

This week, Greenpeace have released a report detailing the toxic trail of the textile industry in China. I haven’t had chance to read it yet, but the accompanying pictures really put specific faces and stories to sometimes uninspiring facts and figures.  Go take a look.

A quick browse through my wardrobe and I discover that my favourite dress is made in China (and I’m sure countless other garments) so it’s easy to see that we should all be taking an interest in where our clothing comes from. It’s particularly timely as I’ve just written an article for the Bloomtrigger Project about the ecological impacts of cotton production which you can read here.

If you’re interested in finding out more about ethical fashion I’d suggest stopping by this blog, ran by a friend of mine, Katie Ledger. Her enthusiasm for all things green is catching and I must have picked up lots of interesting facts purely by osmosis over the years. She really knows her stuff, why not take a look and be inspired.

What do very hungry caterpillars turn into?

British Summertime is in full swing! Well not quite, but that didn’t stop us enjoying a tropical day out at Stratford-upon-Avon’s butterfly farm.

Although the butterflies were the main attraction, there were also some other animals roaming free. I loved the cute quails scurrying around and the iguanas casually munching on leaves.

It’s definitely worth a visit, as you wont see butterflies like this in your back garden. I’d recommend following it by lunch and a cold beer by the riverside like we did. Perfect. : )

Some of my photos can be found on the Bloomtrigger blog here.

           

The long term effects of oil spills

Fishermen in the Gulf are Mexico are reporting horrible deformities in the local wildlife, including shrimp with no eyes and crabs with missing limbs. Scientists believe that this is as a result of BP’s oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010.

It makes me sad to think that we continue to exploit natural resources, especially when the consequences of disasters are so long lasting.

Read more…

 


Eyeless shrimp caught off in Barataria Bay, Louisiana (Erika Blumenfeld/Al Jazeera)

The Bloomtrigger Project

Recently, I’ve been working on a blog piece for the bloomtrigger project who are aiming to save 100 hectares of Peruvian rainforest. As part of Earth Day on April 22, they’ve made a pledge in the Billion Acts of Green campaign.

You can read my article and find out more about the project here…