Posted in London, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

The rookery at Streatham common

Situated between Streatham and Norwood, Streatham common is a mass of green space that is hard to miss. I have lived in and around the area for over 20 years and so have spent a lot of time on the common. I have attended festivals, fun fairs, bonfire nights and even school sports days on the common and it is easy to forget that you are surrounded by busy roads, even more so if you venture up to the rookery.

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I imagine it is usually an oasis of calm strolling around the paths of the rookery but I attended on the last day of term when the children were chasing each other around with the buzz of the beginning of the summer holidays, I am surprised I managed to avoid capturing them whizzing by in my photos.

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The rookery is filled with the colours of summer and has loads of seating areas to just sit around and enjoy the tranquillity.

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There were little pockets of water and you can see the tracks where they connected forming a stream, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be running at the moment which is a shame as this would have made a lovely feature.

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I only ventured around the back paths, as it was so busy I avoided going to the rookery café but will definitely be going back over summer to explore further.


 

Posted in Photography, Uncategorized

Photography project – The garden edition

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I have come across quite a few garden blog posts recently and they all seem to be full of bountiful blooms, immaculate lawns and ornate décor. Then I look out of my window and just see a mess of overgrown bushes, withered flowers and a dilapidated shed.

A few years ago I decided to give my shed a makeover, I painted it in a pretty off white shade and hung bunting around the top but I have since filled the shed with everything I don’t need from the house so it has become a bit of a dumping ground. My neighbours then put in a new fence and all the greenery on top of the shed died revealing a hole in the top and a load of dead roots.

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My plan is to hire a skip and get rid of the lot! I would also like to cut down the bushes and start over with a blank canvas but in the meantime I have challenged myself to photograph the garden focusing on details and textures. It is quite a small space so I wasn’t expecting to find a lot but it’s amazing just how much detail there is in a garden environment.

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One thing I have noticed recently is the abundance of berries that have started growing, although I have no idea where they came from, this is an addition to the garden that I really like and would love to grow more fruit.

I often look for places I can visit to photograph but actually there is so much to see on my own (back) doorstep that I should pay more attention too!

Have you found anything interesting to photograph lately?

Posted in Food, Lifestyle, London, Uncategorized

Bodean’s – Covent garden

Bodean’s is described as London’s original BBQ smokehouse and was the brainchild of Andre Blais. Back in 2002 his dream was to bring the taste, the style and the soul of his beloved Kanvas city barbeque to the UK. There are currently 8 branches across London.

I am a fan of Bodean’s food, it is really tasty but I find the restaurants themselves a bit too overcrowded. I once visited the Clapham branch with the OH and we had to share a table with another couple we didn’t know which made for an awkward meal! Maybe this is because they are so popular.

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We arrived at the Covent garden branch without a reservation on a Saturday afternoon and was told they could fit us in which was a good job as I was starving. After being shown to our table we waited a good 20 minutes before even being asked if we wanted a drink, the table next to us arrived after us and had their drinks and ordered food before the waiter had even approached us which was quite annoying, especially as the waiter told us we couldn’t be long at the table as we hadn’t pre booked.

When our food eventually arrived it was definitely worth the wait…

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Bodean’s is the perfect place for meat lovers, we were all thoroughly filled up and had no room for dessert! Reasonably priced at under £60 for four of us I would certainly return for more food, it’s just a shame that the service was so slow!

Have you ever tried Bodean’s, what did you think?

Posted in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Currently reading

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So far this year I have finished 15 out of my 45 book target on Goodreads so according to them I am 8 books behind (this may have something to do with my current obsession with Pretty Little Liars on Netflix) but I am determined to catch up over summer!

My recommendations from my last update are Sister Sister which is a real mystery, lots of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing! The couple next door was a good read, another thriller but not as much of a page turner as Behind closed doors. I found How not to fall in love actually dragged a bit but it was an easy read filled with humour and perfect for relaxing summer days in the garden.

Now onto the current selection…

I am a big fan of Jodi Picoult and always find her books really thought provoking. Small great things is about a black nurse working in a maternity ward where a baby of a racist man dies. I have just started this one and like how each chapter jumps between characters so you get to read from different points of view.

A thousand splendid suns is a book that has been on my to read list for many years so I was quite happy when I recently visited my mum and found it on her book shelf, looking forward to getting stuck in to this one.

On photography by Susan Sontag is a collection of essays and is the first book on the reading list when you start a photography degree. We looked at the first chapter in class but I never got round to finishing it so had to add it to my pile.

The Saturday supper club is one of the books that has been sitting on my shelf for years and I want to make sure I read those as well as buying new ones.

I didn’t have any thrillers on my reading pile so decided to add these two to my Kindle app to get my fix. Also I like to have books available on my Kindle to read if I’m out the house and don’t have any books on me.

What books are you reading?

 

Posted in London, Travel, Uncategorized

The wind in the willows – London Palladium

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The wind in the willows that is currently showing at the London Palladium is an adaptation of the original children’s story written by Kenneth Graham, first published in 1908.

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I am not really familiar with the original story but this version is a lovely family show that takes you from one Spring to the next looking at the friendships of the woodland animals, although it is not all friendly and the mischievous Toad and the villainous weasels are thrown in for good measure.

The staging and costumes were amazing but with a reported budget of 4.5 million it is no surprise that they managed to put on such a spectacle. Each set of animals have their own style and I particularly liked the outfits of the family of hedgehogs. The music was really catchy with both choral and pop influences, you know it’s good when you find yourself singing along even though it’s the first time of hearing it.

I loved the relationship between Ratty and Mole, there was some good humour between them that had me smiling throughout, although I wouldn’t say it was really laugh out loud unless you are under the age of 10.

The show has loads of famous faces including Denise Welch, Rufus Hound and Gary Wilmott to name a few and they created real colourful characters and played the role of the animals convincingly. Whatever Toad was on I think I need some, he had more energy than the Duracell bunny and hats off to Rufus Hound for managing to put on such a performance, although I didn’t find toad himself very endearing.

A great, feel good show that I think could appeal to anybody, it did lack a creative storyline but the simplicity would appeal to a younger audience.

I am really getting a taste for musicals and have enjoyed Wicked, An American in Paris and The Commitments in recent years but would love some recommendations for other west end shows!

If you are hoping to catch The wind in the willows then you will have to be quick as it is only at the Palladium until early September, could it be a contender for your summer bucketlist?

Posted in Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Put fresh to the test – Win a years supply of flowers and a £200 Oasis voucher

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I’m sure by now you are familiar with the term Oooops moment. It is a phrase that is used often to describe all those embarrassing mishaps that us women have to endure, one of the ones that is less talked about are the little leaks! Lights by TENA are constantly working to raise awareness of bladder weakness and here are a few facts they found out

 

  • Bladder weakness can be caused by the smallest of things including: coughing, sneezing or exercising
  • Up to 69% of pregnant women and new mums will experience light bladder weakness making it surprisingly common!
  • Experiencing light bladder weakness is the biggest concern for over a quarter of pregnant women in the UK
  • 1 in 5 women would rather go a week with out make up than speak out about their bladder weakness problem and over half label it as a taboo subject!

 

The latest campaign running by Lights by TENA is ‘Put fresh to the test’ they want to know what you really think about their products and how fresh you feel while wearing them, all you have to do is visit the review hub and leave your feedback.

 

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There are many products to chose from and if you feel they could be helpful to you but haven’t yet tried them then just request a free sample.

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I was sent this lovely Lush giftset and my own sample of Lights by TENA and now my house is full of the floral fragrance. Yours could be the same all year round with a years supply of fresh flowers so head over and give your feedback!

 

Posted in London, Uncategorized

Silent disco at London sea life

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I wouldn’t have thought of the London aquarium as a setting to host a disco but it actually worked really well. You may have seen my post on the silent disco at the shard and I also recently visited the aquarium to see the new ocean invaders so this was a lovely opportunity to combine the two experiences and it didn’t disappoint! I mean where else are you going to get the opportunity to see two giant sea turtles getting it on while listening to Justin Bieber and sipping prosecco!?

While attending the silent disco at sea life there is a main dance area where the three DJs are based but you pretty much have free reign to explore as you wish although there are a couple of areas that are not open, it was a shame that the penguins were not available to visit as they are my favourite! But the new Jellyfish displays are open so if you haven’t visited the aquarium in a while and want to see them then this is your chance!

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The aquarium has all manner of sea life from lobsters to sharks and with the relaxed atmosphere, music playing in your ears and no kids dragging you around it makes the whole experience all that more enjoyable.

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The DJs were great, playing everything from Disney classics to hardcore Hip Hop (I like them both equally) with the option of switching the channel if its something that doesn’t float your boat or get your feet moving. The only downside is that while exploring certain areas the signal cuts out so you cant hear the music but still a great experience and really good atmosphere!

I don’t really drink a lot but I heard that you could purchase a band for £20 that gives you unlimited beer or wine for the night which sounds like a great offer if you want to make a night of it.

There are not many opportunities to join in with this unique night out (only three dates between August and December) so you should check it out on the Timeout website if you are interested. Tickets are a reasonable £29 which includes entry and a glass of prosecco on arrival.