Weekending in London

British flags were EVERYWHERE

It’s good to get away and travel for a few days every now and then when and if you can. It gives you perspective – you make new memories from new experiences –  you meet new people –  you jolt yourself out of your routine.
Sometimes, it’s planned months or more in advance, and sometimes it’s a spur-of-the-moment trip.

I managed to do one of each to London within a month of each other. The first, in middish-May, was booked on a Tuesday for that weekend, and the second trip – just over a week ago – was planned for a few months, to go for a few days with my sister and her friend.

Katie & Lisa, 35mm Fujifilm ISO400 on Pentax MeSuper
Katie & Lisa (35mm Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400 on Pentax MeSuper)

So while my credit card and all associated finance-y things hate me right now (aaaaaargh) it was really enjoyable.

During the first trip (I was only there for two days, one night) I stayed just by Primrose Hill – a beautiful part of London. I didn’t plan where to go or what I wanted to do, I just went with the flow and having brought a lovely Pentax film camera with me, decided to just grab shots as I went. It worked out pretty well. Solo travelling (while it’s not for everyone, or even for every destination) does have its upsides – your schedule is completely up to you; where you eat is completely up to you; if you want to stop off and have a coffee and do some people-watching for an hour – it’s all up to yourself.
Solo travelling also really reminded me of how much we are constantly checking our phones etc ALL THE TIME. I had turned my data off while away, so initially felt like a limb had been removed, but once you get used to connectivity not being so instantly available, it is actually quite liberating. You also have so much more free time, with far more opportunity to observe everything around you.

Here’s a few of the shots I grabbed on the Pentax MeSuper camera – 35mm Fujifilm Superia X-tra 400.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So the second trip with my sister and friend highlighted the upsides to travelling with friends – you get persuaded to go to places you wouldn’t normally choose to go – in my case, Madame Tussauds and to a musical – and you find that you really (unexpectedly) enjoy yourself.
Despite delayed flights and cancelled trains, we actually managed to fit in a morning in Madame Tussauds, a delicious lunch upstairs at Ottolenghi Nopi, a leisurely afternoon adventuring around Camden, a trip to Queen’s Theatre to see Les Miserables, and all amidst the fallout of the Brexit results (I won’t even go into it right now..) and the celebrations of Gay Pride!
So certainly a lot going on… 🙂

Again, I had brought along the film camera (I had a roll of film that I wanted to try out) as well as my Canon 70D. I really wanted to take a few more photos while I was there but as it turned out, didn’t take ONE photo on my Canon – after dragging it all over very humid London…. #facepalm ….

Didn’t take as many shots the second time around, but this time more of them turned out better – progress?

So again, these were taken on the Pentax MeSuper, this time with 35mm Kodak Colorplus 200.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I think this post has probably dragged on longer than I wanted, but hope you saw something interesting ! If you’re already following me on Instagram or Twitter you may already have seen a few of these shots…

Either way, would love it if you let me know what you think 🙂

S

XO

Advertisements

Photo-ing Paris

One of my New Years resolutions was to try and travel a bit more – spend less money on crap I don’t need, and use it to fund travel!

Paris is just one of those cities that everyone goes on and on about. To the point that it gets tiresome. To the point where you want to book anywhere else to travel to, because the world and their mother have already been. And bought some Parisian style t-shirt to prove it. “It’s just so beautiful”.”Oh it’s so romantic”. “So bohemian”, “Fabulous dahling” (Okay that last one is a direct quote from Ab Fab but you get my drift…)

But all of it is true. It lives up to the hype that it has created for itself. I have been several times now, and each and every time, I have not wanted to leave.

I think it’s a city that combines some of my biggest interests:

  • travel – d’oh… but seriously, I love the exploring experience, even when you have been to a city before, it’s still nice to go get (a little) lost and find all-new places.
  • food – this country knows how to cook. I mean, they REALLY know their way around the kitchen… (quick but weighty recommend for Le Flamboire – ate there. Delicious. Fabulously French, but also just plain fabulous. Just go…!)
  • wine – yep. Yeah. Mm-hmm. Yes to the wine.
  • film – every corner of this city is just constantly aching to be photographed !

So when Ryanair had a flash sale before Christmas with flights for €5 each way, it was too good to resist. (Of course, there was a Ryanair style hiccup, but that’s a story for another time…!)

Two days and one night in Paris. What to do? Given that I had been to Paris before, I figured there was no need to rush around, and that a very chilled approach was key. Soak up the atmosphere, eat as much as possible, take lots of photos of pretty things and revisit a few sights. So that’s what happened.

Here’s some of the photos (if you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen a few of these already!) – a mixture of shots simply grabbed on my phone (Samsung S6), and some film photos, taken on a Pentax that’s from the seventies. Which is AWESOME.

Hope you enjoy!

S

XO

So the film photos first….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Followed by the phone photos….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

PS if you’re subscribed to my blog, the photos possibly are not displaying if you’re reading your mail on a mobile device. But you can check them all out here 🙂

 

 

Street Art in Dublin

More and more pieces of street art are popping up all around Dublin at the moment. Particularly in the city centre, MURO Street Art‘s recent event left behind some wonderful works. While some on the corner of Greek Street have been sprayed over – *Boo!* – the bigger pieces are still available to see along the Luas lines near the Four Courts stop.

Street Art DublinStreet Art Dublin Street Art Dublin

I love to see that they have painted these wonderful pieces on buildings that were falling into disrepair and making the area look quite derelict. Literally blank canvases!

Street Art Dublin

What I don’t agree with it is the fact that these are being looked at as graffiti that needs to be painted over…

Street Art Dublin

There are plenty of other spots around town to spy other creations. Some buildings in Templebar are quite colourful, and there are lots of other finds around town as seen by Ekaterina Smirnova here.

Colours - TemplebarPavement Art  - Lord Edward StreetStreet Art Dublin - Kilmainham

Street art certainly seems to be more of a growing trend (not just in Ireland, Athenian street art here ) as more boomtime purchase buildings are being left untended, with increasing demand for art space, but not much of anything in the way of support for aspiring artists..

I personally like it;  I love to see all the various methods of expression. It also goes to show that you don’t need a massive budget to produce something special.

Last night’s Met Ball – My Thoughts..

Last night’s Met Ball Gala was as always, a celebrity-packed affair. Held at the Metropolitan  Museum of Art, the guests certainly made quite an effort. Some, however, took the punk theme a little more literally than others..!

I think that those that stuck closest to the theme unfortunately didn’t quite pull off their respective looks, and possibly just lacked a bit of imagination.

Miley Cyrus and Madonna were definitely top of the list in this regard!

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

What can I say? Miley looks like she has been waiting all her life to go to a punk party. The end result? She looks like a spoilt brat with a bad attitude.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Madonna looks like, well – where do I start? Ok, first of all kudos to any 54-year-old stepping out in an outfit like this – that takes cojones..! 🙂

 

Some of my favourite outfits had elements of punk, but kept their own personal and individual styles.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Love the slick of lipstick on Rooney Mara – makes the whole outfit so much more edgy. And that dress – wonderful.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

I’m not usually a big fan of Kristen Stewart’s style, but this colour really works on her, and her androgynous look really helps her pull off this Stella McCartney jumpsuit.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Emmy Rossum has managed to punk up this whole ensemble with fantastic smoky-eye make-up and a great braided up-do, showing off her fantastic bone-structure in the process. Predicting great things for this girl.

 

 

Next up: a few honourable mentions go to a few who looked amazing – even if they “forgot” that there was a theme…

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

 

Emma Watson’s cut-out, cutaway black dress was just edgy enough, without going over the top. The simplicity of her hair and make-up ensured that she looked the essence of elegance.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

 

 

 

Zooey Deschanel  looked simply radiant. Veering away from her normally kooky look, this white one-shouldered design highlighted her pretty  features and great figure perfectly.

Photo from justjared.com
Photo from justjared.com

Ashley Greene’s dress had a bit of a dress-up feel about it, but teamed with glossy locks, and incredibly slick make-up, it all just works quite well. The opulence of the gold-flake style waist really brings the dress bang up to date.

 

 

 

 

Last but certainly not least – her Honourable Fashionable Self – Sarah Jessica Parker once again quite certainly stole the show, and lets us all understand why she quite simply still remains a style icon years after SATC wrapped up.

Photo from dailymail.com
Photo from dailymail.com

Til next time folks,

Shar

XO

Street Art or Graffitti?

On a recent trip to Greece for a wedding of two friends of ours, we spent an entire day wandering around the streets of Athens.

My husband lived in Athens for ten years, and as a result knows the city quite well, and would in many respects regard it as home.

Having been there myself several times, I too have come to love the city.

It’s hustle and bustle, the noisy comings and goings, the “ella malaka” to be heard everywhere over the sound of traffic – I had come to like this within an ancient city with so much to offer.

Leo and myself at the Acropolis in Athens back in 2010.

Our most recent trip both saddened and angered me.

I was sad to see this once proud city slipping to its knees, a shadow of its former self. The atmosphere in the city is tense – people who once walked with eyes firmly ahead, proud of their city and what it stood for, now walk with their heads down, eyes downcast on the ground. The city is much quieter than when I have been previously, everybody just seems to want to keep their head down and stay out of trouble. Yet there is a undertone in other parts of the city, where you feel a vague undercurrent of something much darker at work. People are angry, and a lot of that anger has materialised on walls, buildings, windows, billboards – any surface available – where the feelings of Athenians are expressed in the absence of any real presence of anybody listening to what they have to say.

Theodor Adorno said

The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.

If Adorno was right, then the artists of Athens will have to put in a good few extra hours.

My question is – does this freedom of expression help or hinder? Does a daube of paint expressing hatred of the police assist the people in getting on with their lives? Or is it simply inciting more bad feeling?

Some of the articulations are certainly beautiful, and created by genuine talent. Some messages however may be doing this city more harm than good.

I for one, hope that things will only get better for these wonderful, warm, funny and proud people, and certainly, sooner rather than later.