A Million Dead End Streets


Things are changing round these parts! You may have noticed a little bit of painting and decorating going on on the blog, in other words, a new and hopefully improved format. It was starting to look a little tired and dated, but with a little TLC it’s looking perkier and fresher, although it’s very much a work in progress. There’s also some news in the pipeline which should make for some exciting future posts. Watch this space.

I spent yesterday mooching around Oxford and taking in all the (free!) attractions the city has to offer. We saw Dodo’s, dinosaurs and a variety of stuffed animals (which you are invited to touch!) in the Museum of Natural History. I took lots of colourful photos, but for this post I wanted to pare it down and keep the photos consistent too. The sandstone colour palette of Oxford is rather pretty so the technicolor museum snaps are staying under wraps for now. 01
This ASOS jumper has been a staple for me lately. Easy to add layers to depending on the weather and with an interesting side split to keep my fickle attention span happy. A polka dot shirt underneath keeps things fun – sometimes I feel a little boring if I’m not wearing a print of some sort. The boots are from Dune and have been lived in this Winter, a wise investment even if I do say so myself.duneboots Polkadot collarportrait portrait5

Go to bed with wet hair and this is what I end up like, thank heavens for hairdryers eh!
Oxford RailingOxfordBicycle

I only live about an hour away from Oxford so I can’t believe I’d never been before, it’s a beautiful day out. A lot of the museums and university buildings are free to enter, and there’s lots of architecture to see across the city centre. The choice of restaurants and shops is good too, both independent and the usual chains…I can’t think of anything it was missing!White Jumper


A Stormy Sky Over The Mountains On A Sunny Sunday

sittingSo you may have noticed that I’m trying out outfit posts on this blog. As such, I’m trying to keep reminding myself to stop being camera shy and awkward and just ask people to take photos for me. I think it’s always a strange request, but I repay my friends in weird expressions, strange poses and many many outtakes. Totally worth it, don’t you think?

Anyway, whilst I’m practising how to stifle my natural strange expressions, here’s a quick post from the other weekend!

Plans were made on where we would eat and breakfast was skipped in order to work up an appetite. In reality, that was a dumb idea as were told there was a 20 minute wait for a table. An absolute age on an empty stomach.

Thankfully, we quickly whiled away those 20minutes with these outfits shots.

spotty dress red shoes bag coat red dolly shoesI love these little dolly shoes, so red and shiny. After living in boots all winter, it was weird to switch back to a more summery shoe, especially without an in-between phase in the middle – I haven’t worn a brogue in so long!
The shoes are from Mellow Yellow, the bag and coat (both seen before on the blog) are vintage.

torsoThis vintage denim shirt is one of my favourite ways to change up a dress, especially in warmer weather when I don’t need a jumper too. If you’ve noticed the glint of gold flashing at you, then I don’t blame you – this necklace certainly turned my head! I’d fallen out of the habit of wearing jewellery, preferring a simpler look without the tons of accessories I wore in my youth. I spotted this necklace on Eclectic Eccentricity and immediately loved the Art Deco triangles and chunky slice of Amethyst. It’s called Tove Amethyst Triangle Necklace if you want to find it on the site. I thought their description was pretty damn cool:

“Tove comes from Scandinavian mythology, taken from ‘Tófa’ meaning “Beautiful Thor”. Being the God of Thunder, this necklace so looks like a stormy sky over the mountains.”

amethyst necklaceIt’s the sort of jewellery which you wait excitedly for the postman for, and Instagram almost immediately after unwrapping. That’s fairly geeky isn’t it, but why not? It’s such a pleasing and satisfying thing to admire.

redshoes leamington2 outfit viewI’m thankful to my friend for taking these photos for me, otherwise my outfit photos would look only like this last shot!



Budapest Part II

You can probably tell just by looking at them, but we exhausted ourselves climbing to the top of a very steep hill to take these photos! The night before, we’d been on a cruise down the Danube and spotted the Liberty Monument overlooking the river. It was just so beautiful at night, we made plans to trek up Gellert Hill the next day. Gellert Statue Gellert HillOnce you make it to the top however, you find yourself a bit too close to take a decent snap of the Liberty Monument. These are two smaller statues which stand to her side. Liberty is a big old lady holding a palm leaf up to the sky commemorating those who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Hungary. She’s quite the beauty – especially in comparison to the St Gellert Monument a bit further down the river which marks the spot St Gellert was hurled to his death in a spiked barrel. Grisly.

Porthole Budapest View of PestNo such action going on anymore, the hill was a quiet spot for some shots of the skyline, including a panorama which my friend captured. Panorama River Budapest Panorama Heroes SquareThe next day bought a change in weather, some crisp blue backgrounds for our photographs and with it a sense that Budapest had lost a bit of its mystery. For me, it’s not Budapest unless it’s misty, grey and bloody cold!
War statue Heroes Square Traffic Bike Lights Budapest outdoor Ice Rink city park budapest Anonymous Statue Budapest Tour GuideAfter taking in Heroes Square and City Park, we had just enough time to see Budapest’s  Timewheel and Revolution Monument. The Timewheel is the world’s largest hourglass, some 8m high and 60 tonnes in weight. The sand empties from the chamber over the course of the year and the wheel is reset at New Year. I would have been impressed, if it had been working! Budapest Time wheel revolution monument 1956 revolution monument hungaryIt was worth a look though, as was the 1956 Revolution Monument. It was fun to weave in and out of the columns and see how far you could make it in. 
Budapest holidayWell that’s it, another trip over. All the postcards, tickets and metro stubs have been stuck in my scrapbook, ready for some more to join them soon.

Just A Character In Your Stupid Film

I keep getting distracted writing this post. Not by other tasks still to do or by the endless black hole of the Internet (which is my usual style) but preocupied by the offshoots and tangents I find myself researching as I look back on my trip to Budapest. 

I visited just after New Year, the first weekend in January so this post has been a long time coming.

Basilica St Stephen St Stephen Railing St Stephen Wooden DoorsOur first port of call was the Basilica of St Stephen, Hungary’s most important Catholic Church. It contains the mummified right hand of its’ namesake, which quite frankly is nothing great to look at. Preserving relics for the sake of worship seems strange to me, but I do find the historical side of things interesting.

We climbed a maze of spiralling staircases and were rewarded with views across the city from the top of the 96m church dome.

StairwayTower Group2The link to our next destination was Chain Bridge, we stopped close by to get our bearings which is where I took my favourite photo of the whole trip:

Tram1OK, it doesn’t look like much (and photographically it isn’t) but I had a real moment here. I was pondering the atmosphere of Budapest, taking in the cold, grey landscape, the buildings disguised by fog in the distance. (People describe cities as giving off vibes, but I hate that word, and this is sounding pretentious enough already.) My knowledge of history here is sketchy but vague notions of life behind the Iron Curtain bring up certain associations. Time might have passed but to an outsider in a country with an unfathomable language, history lingers.

But back to this moment of mine! All these thoughts in my head were disturbed by this rather dated tram which came trundling into view. A shade of retro mustard yellow, I could practically hear this song playing and savoured my moment in my own Wes Anderson film (if only!) Knowing of the soon to be released The Grand Budapest Hotel, this was bound to happen at some point.

lockCrossing the chain bridge brings you to the Royal Palace, the top attraction in Budapest. It sprawls across part of Castle Hill and now comprises of the National Gallery, Budapest History Museum and the National Library. Don’t forget all the fountains, statues and monuments too. If we’d had more time, we’d have investigated this inside and out. As happens in Winter, we were forced inside by the impending dusk.  Roya Palace Entry Fountain Peep Copper Stone

Spire ArchesWe finished our day in this glowing red bar at the top of a spire. Cradling mugs of mulled wine was a perfectly acceptable end to day one.Red Bar

Back at home, when asked about my holiday, I struggled to explain just what the city was like and I wondered why I couldn’t  quite put my finger on these thoughts of Budapest. Of course, all the best ideas have already been done and someone’s always been there before you. In this case, good old Wes has summed up the Eastern European spirit I was trying to get a hold on by creating the Republic of Zubrowka, the setting for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Yes, it’s a film (which incidentally I haven’t seen yet) but take a look at the Academie Zubrowka for a few hints of that feeling I had watching the tram ricket past in Budapest.

I think I’ll carry on exploring this tangent which keeps distracting me for a little while longer…

A Faithful Old Shoe


Isn’t it funny how a new item of clothing can reinvigorate your outfit choices, reminding you of some long forgotten gems at the back of the wardrobe?

military coat

red collar

Freshly delivered to my door via eBay, I knew I’d be wearing this vintage red coat at the weekend and planned my outfit around it. Once I’d clapped eyes on the sapphire/navy blue collar, the rest of the outfit presented itself from the depths of my wardrobe. A blue velvet T-shirt which rarely gets an outing these days, black trousers, and some beat up brown shoes. As my friend commented at the time they’re old favourites of mine, with leaky soles and faded toes to prove it.

Vintage coatHeatonex Coat Label

Anyway, back to the star of this post, the coat! Trying it on for the first time I noticed the somewhat cropped sleeves (not the usual fit for a 5’2 woman) and suspected it might have been a kid’s coat. Inspired to do a little digging I looked into the name on the label and found some rather sweet adverts for Heatonex. (I’ve pinned some more here.)

-1950s-uk-childrens-heatonex-the-advertising-archives 3342422684_4371b99154_o 10940602663_7ab43936b7_oHeatona were a Yorkshire clothing company specialising in coats, Heatonex being their girl’s fashion range. It’s definitely a name I’ll look out for when vintage hunting now, the designs are adorable and the quality still great. I wanted to keep the rest of my outfit quite low key, letting the coat be the main focus but I think it’s versatile enough to go with lots of styles and slot into my wardrobe nicely.

Vintage outfitcrest


Oh, the title of this post comes from an expression which my mum frequently uses to describe the cat!

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


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


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

And Your Bird Can Sing…

Woodland dress

jephson gardens

It’s getting to that time of year when you can start to feel the season changing, with gentle reminders of Autumn nudging you for attention. Getting ready yesterday morning, I was choosing which sandals would go with my Summer dress only to see (and hear) the rain reminding me to be slightly more practical! On went the standard tights and sensible shoes instead.

Thankfully, the shower abated and I took advantage of what I suspect will be one of the last days of Summer with a trip to some nearby Gardens.


swan print dressI love this swan print dress! It was love at first sight when I spotted it on eBay –  with a cute collar and even cuter print I knew it had to be mine. It’s actually maternity wear which means it’s a bit, ahem… busty for me but I think it’s manageable.

tie waist


With such changeable weather I covered up with a favourite army shirt of mine. It magically fits into that slot of your wardrobe when it’s too hot for cardigans, and too chilly for bare skin. Being so useful must be why it’s so worn and bobbly but I’m not ready to part with it yet.



yellow flower

wasp flowerIt turns out having your picture taken for blogging is mortifying and hilarious in equal measure. Of course, I’ve edited out the dodgy snaps but I can tell you they come with captions such as; “what’s wrong with your face?”, “yeah, you have got a funny mouth” and “what are you doing with your arms?” Not my words, but those of my trusty friend behind the camera :) So, for balance, please enjoy some pictures from around the park including a rather adventurous squirrel!

grey squirrel

sitting in shelter

swanThe real deal :)

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

David Bowie is…good for the soul.

Bowie V&A

This week I’ve had a much needed break from work to spend some time on life’s pleasures. Reading the book I meant to start months ago, finally watching The Graduate (loved it! It must be an inspiration to Wes Anderson, right?!) and eating my favourite foods. As well as having my introvert moments, I also trotted down to London and caught up with some uni friends. I hate how we haven’t seen each other for so long but I love that we can slip into old routines without skipping a beat.

The point of my trip though was to at long last see the David Bowie exhibition at the V&A. If you’re any kind of Bowie fan (who isn’t?) then go and see it! The original costumes are just stunning to look at  (I don’t think I’ll ever see a more stylish suit than the Thin White Duke’s) and the collection is comprehensive.

Waiting to be found amongst the garb are fun facts like this one: When Bowie wore the Aladdin Sane knitted catsuit, the knitting pattern was also published so fans could make their own version. I love that fan-club adoration and I hope there’s still a home made, slightly rough around the edges catsuit tucked away in an attic somewhere.

The show focuses on the performance and the inspirations behind Bowie’s personas, rather than any in depth analysis of his private life. No bad thing. There’s a great video of Bowie demonstrating a computer programme he made which breaks down and scrambles news headlines for inspiration. I knew he used the ‘cut-up’ method of writing lyrics but to make your own computer programme is brilliant, the video shows just how fantastically he takes a tiny snippet of information and creates a story from it.

It’s great fun to immerse yourself in Bowie, literally so in the final room which has wall to wall screens playing mash ups of old live shows. No photography is allowed in the exhibition, but  I can show you my mementoes from the gift shop.

Bowie Tote

Bowie Postcards

The Archer Bowie


God, I love a gift shop. I normally just pick up a postcard or two from exhibitions, but I couldn’t resist a canvas tote bag for £5 and some stationary as well as the usual collection of postcards.

Top 5 Bowie moments (because I can):

1) Boys Keep Swinging – my favourite music video.
2) Team GB enter the Olympic stadium to Heroes – the perfect song to epitomise a summer of Great Britishness.
3) A collection of awkward interview moments
4) Thanks, but no thanks Queenie – Bowie refusing a knighthood.
5) See his pug nosed face.

After Bowie we stopped for lunch and then mooched around the rest of the V&A. Here’s the picture highlights:


v&aMore London stuff soon x