kew in an instant

You may have seen my post with many photos from my recent visit to Kew Gardens on a glorious summer day. Now that summer is officially over (raining and cold in July, I have given up hope!) I thought to share the little Instax Mini snaps I took on the day.
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when in rome

Cheesy title? Yes. But when will I ever go back to Rome? Not any time soon. Although it was nice to get a few days away from work and travel to a new place to see beautiful art and to catch up with my friend David who was over from Perth, Rome left a sour taste in my mouth. Just a little. Firstly it was a bad decision to go in July because the heat and humidity was unbearable, so I won’t be doing that again. Secondly, three count em THREE of my flights got cancelled and I ended up having to shell out 250 euros to get a flight back to London…Stansted! All because Starbucks burnt down part of the Fiumicino Airport. Anyway, you can see why even though I saw amazing things I will not look back on the trip with the fondness that I should have. It’s a shame but I am happy I went because I got to see some art that I studied at uni and ate a whole lot of delicious food. I even stumbled upon the rehearsal for the Valentino couture show, now that was exciting!

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When the Trevi Fountain is covered in scaffolding, look behind you!

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Even while under conservation, still beautiful.

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Giolitti, the main reason why I went to Rome

Giolitti, the main reason why I went to Rome

I didn't go for summer flavours but it was so delicious!

I didn’t go for summer flavours but it was so delicious!

Ginger, great food and lovely juices

Ginger, great food and lovely juices

Sunset behind Piazza del Popolo

Sunset behind Piazza del Popolo

Heading to the Galleria Borghese

Heading to the Galleria Borghese

Early morning, beating some of the heat

Early morning, beating some of the heat

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The Galleria Borghese was the highlight of my trip, one which deserves its own post.
Bernini sculptures next to Alaïa couture, it was breathtaking!

Was it worth it?

Was it worth it?

Always look down

Always look down

Get me outta here!

Get me outta here!

The usual sights

The usual sights

Sunset from the top of the Spanish Steps on my last night, arrivederci!

Sunset from the top of the Spanish Steps on my last night, arrivederci!

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Sun tipped

Sun tipped

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Over the Alps, goodbye Italy

Over the Alps, goodbye Italy

As well as my post dedicated to the Galleria Borghese look out for a post with the film I shot in Rome, currently waiting on development!

never write a letter while you are angry

Never write a letter while you are angry. In fact, most people just never write letters anymore. If you have never clicked through to my Postcrossing page then you probably didn’t know that I am obsessed with sending and receiving mail. For my 200th post I thought I share this little passion with you to hopefully inspire more letters, postcards, care packages, photos…anything really to be sent via the real physical mail.

Postcrossing July 2015

I’ve been a member of Postcrossing for FOUR years now. I’ve sent & received over 440 postcards over 4.7 million kilometres, 119 laps around the world! Although there have been times when I haven’t sent any cards for months due to moving or not being able to justify postage, it is always something that makes me happy when I do it. Opening my door to see cards that have hopefully not been stepped on makes my day better. If you want to see all the postcards I’ve received and delve deeper into the stats then feel free!

I like sending mail. I like having lots of books. So when I come across a book about mail I cannot resist!

To The Letter Simon Garfield

This was the first mail related book I picked up. It was cheap because it was a bit damaged but also signed by the author so I thought why the heck not! To The Letter by Simon Garfield takes you on an epic journey through the history of letter writing and it is really interesting and inspiring. It’s very well written and I couldn’t put it down. But you have to put it down to write all those letters you’ve been meaning to write!

Snail Mail Michelle Mackintosh

I saw this book in Waterstones Piccadilly and then thought no, I don’t need that. Then I browsed for a bit longer, went to a completely different floor and thought, yep I need that. To my surprise, Snail Mail is by an Aussie! Michelle Mackintosh takes you through all the different kinds of letters you can write, how to address & close them as well as make them look super cute. There’s templates, fun pictures and stickers in the back. I. Love. Stickers. So I love this book! As you will see below I love to have many things on hand to decorated any postcards or letters I send so it’s always good to have a bit more inspiration as it makes writing letters even more fun. I didn’t know that was possible!

Also, to note in the picture above, I love the German stamp teaching you that it is bad to step on nails, don’t do it!

Writing supplies postcards

This barely scrapes the surface of my stationery collection. And don’t forget the rubber stamps, sticker books and mountain of stationery I left behind in Perth (I will rescue it in December, I won’t forget you!). At the moment I don’t have a desk, which is killing me, but in the meantime I’m using this cute little clipboard I picked up from the Pound Shop pop-up at the Science Museum by Ding Ding. Postcards are from galleries, trips and box sets and I have more than I could ever afford to send. You always need cute stickers, fun pens and washi tape to finish off your heartfelt handwritten notes. Don’t forget stamps!

I hope this inspires you to sit down and write something! Remember, it doesn’t have to be ten pages long and decorated to the extreme, even just a small note to say thank you sent through the mail means so much more than an email or a text. And I bet you that the person on the receiving end will keep it and shower you will chocolate* the next time they see you.

*chocolate not guaranteed

a day well spent on Piccadilly

Piccadilly is somewhere I find myself quite frequently for a myriad of reasons. Most times I will just end up there during my wanderings, but this weekend I make a specific trip to see an exhibition and also to visit some places I would like to share with you.

First stop, after emerging from the Underground at Green Park, was the Royal Academy of Arts to see the Summer Exhibition. I went to this exhibition last year and although it’s not my favourite format (hanging hundreds of pictures in a small space) I do enjoy walking through and having my eye drawn to some works that stand out to me.

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Conrad Shawcross RA, The Dappled Light of Sun, in the courtyard

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015 2The first room is always (as I can judge from only attending twice…) a big show stopper to get you looking up in the form of Liam Gillick’s Applied Projection Rig. I adore Alexander Calder’s mobiles so anything hanging & colourful gets my attention easily.

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I enjoy the rooms that are a bit more spread out and Gallery III was also a nice shade of pink.

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Here are some other pieces that caught my eye.

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962 – Elizabeth Zeschin, Sadie and the Bird

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999 – Sophie Smallhorn, Component Cube 2

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1111-1131 – Tom Phillips RA, A Humument

I really enjoyed the final room dispaying pages from Tom Phillips’ work, A Humument. I even bought a postcard!

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 2015

Another place I like to spend a lot of time at on Piccadilly is the massive Waterstones. So many floors, so many books! I especially enjoy how the stairs have worn down steps next to the balustrade. It makes me imagine all those book lovers who have climbed the stairs in search of knowledge. Lets ignore that this buildings only became Waterstones at the turn of this century.

Waterstones book store PiccadillyIf you mange to cross Piccadilly Circus with your life then I highly recommend paying a visit to the Japan Centre (Shaftesbury Avenue) and JP Books just around the corner (Denman Street). Pick up a cute cat bowl (or twenty) on your way up to peruse and purchase wonderful Japanese foods and then go and get ALL the cute stationery around the corner!

Japan Centre Piccadilly JP booksI hope you enjoyed this short trip down Piccadilly, if you know of any secret spots around there please let me know as I’m bound to wander along it again very soon.

a summer’s day at Kew Gardens

Last summer I went to Kew Gardens and accidentally took photos on a roll of film i had already used in Perth, this year I made the decision to use my phone and my Instax Mini – no chance of overlapped frames here! When I told Eleanor of the long list of places you can go for free when you work at V&A we decided on the next sunny and warm day we would use this power to visit Kew Gardens. We walked for miles, saw many beautiful vistas, made friends with a duck, smelt lovely roses and were completely exhausted at the end of the day.

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Kew Gardens 10 Palm House Rose Garden

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super chill at T2

Of the many things I missed when I moved to London T2 was one of them. My favourite is the Melbourne Breakfast and my life felt empty without it. When my friend back home asked what she could send me I first asked for friends (naw) and secondly I asked for my favourite tea. A few weeks later a cute package from Georgia arrived, fulfilling both my requests with a DVD of Season 1 of FRIENDS and a big pack of Melbourne Breakfast tea bags. I rationed them and wondered if I’d ever feel that joy again.

One day I was walking down a street I had never explored in Shoreditch. As I walked along, it happened. I could smell a T2 shop (I’m not kidding you can smell them a mile off). I followed my nose and oh joy of joys my people have arrived! Long story short, I signed up to their mailing list and found out that last week they were having an iced tea event at their King Road store. With the promise of free tea & goodie bags I RSVPd like there was no tomorrow and convinced Eleanor to come along for the tea extravaganza.

First things first we grabbed some tiny bottles with super cute straws and Strawberries and Cream tea (a long lost favourite of mine). Then we lined up and got an iced tea made, we mixed Sencha Peach and Fruitalicious and garnished the hell out of it!

While we sipped and slurped some canapés we had time to admire the beautiful tea wares they have, I fell in love with anything glass and it was a given that the cat mugs caught my eye!

Of course I couldn’t walk around sipping on tea without thinking about buying some tea. I stocked up on some essentials: three tins – two for my Melbourne Breakfast & Mint Mix at home and one for my new purchase (finally reunited) Strawberries & Cream. With a nifty 15% discount and a nice chat to the Australians (seriously, everyone who works there is Aussie!) we were on our way out.

But wait! Couldn’t forget the goodie bag! And when T2 do a goodie bag, it’s amazing. I wasn’t expecting much but they really went all out. I got a box of Fruitilicious (I’ll need another tin…), a mesh ball and an awesome double walled glass that had been debating buying anyway!

sunday adventure: brompton cemetery

I have been meaning to visit Brompton Cemetery for a while but was never down that way so thought it was too much effort. Now I have moved to the south-west of London it is on my usual train route so on this beautiful May Sunday I decided I would take a leisurely walk through the grounds.

This time of year is my favourite to visit these kinds of cemeteries (I visited Kensal Green Cemetery last year) as they let the meadow flowers grow wild which surrounds the tombstones in a beautiful vibrant greenery.