Archives for posts with tag: travel
A hot air balloon near Bournemouth beach

A hot air balloon near Bournemouth beach

The past 12 months have been fairly busy for me; I switched flats, got engaged, passed my driving test and started a new job. As well as these milestones, the highlights of the year for me were watching the Winter Olympics in February, visiting Norway in May, and continuing to be inspired by so many things, from window worshipping in Kent, to viewing incredible war art for the centenary, getting creative with my face, and nomadic felines on film.

I’m not sure what 2015 will bring, and I haven’t made any plans so far, but I hope to up my blog posts and go on a few more adventures.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog. I appreciate the comments and follows so much. Have a great 2015 x

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The county of Ayrshire, birthplace of Robert Burns, Hendrick’s Gin and little old me. The best thing about my county is the great outdoors, particularly when the sun is shining, which it certainly was at the weekend (28°C, unheard of in Scotland). Ayrshire is home to rolling hills, lush green pastures and a plethora of beaches.

On the first day of my trip home I visited Dunure and Croy Beach in South Ayrshire, which was glorious after months in landlocked Berkshire. I try to avoid the busier beaches, such as Troon and Ayr, and head up the coast for more secluded spots.

The views here are incredible: rugged coastline, vast sparkling ocean, and the hazy outline of the uninhabited island of Ailsa Craig in the distance, ten miles out to sea. The few fluffy clouds gave interest to the vivid blue sky and white cabbage butterflies and wild flowers were in abundance.

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If you ever visit this area be sure to take a picnic as you’ll want to spend some time here. There is also a farm park for children close by called Heads of Ayr, and a few caravan parks for longer visits. Dunure is also very close to Turnberry, the famous hotel and golf resort, which has held many Open tournaments.

This is my third collection in paper form (the other two being postcards and art cards). I have many ticket stubs, from concerts and cinema trips to transport from unforgettable holidays. Here I share a few of my memories caught inside little pieces of paper, reminiscences trapped in ink.

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Coraline Onboard the Screen Machine (Spean Bridge, Scotland, July 2009)

A few years ago during summer, we decided to drive around the north of Scotland. We visited Mull, Skye, Oban and Fort William, where we stayed in a chalet-type room in a village called Spean Bridge. I was intrigued by a lorry parked up close to our lodgings, with the Royal Bank of Scotland logo stamped on the side, next to the words ‘Screen Machine’. I had stumbled across a service I had never heard of before: a ‘bus’ that travels to the remote areas of Scotland, bringing the cinema directly to people in remote communities. What a great idea I thought, noting that there was a screening of Coraline scheduled for a few hours time. Inside, the Machine was just like an ordinary cinema – except better maintained – but with a single aisle and plush red velvet chairs. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and the whole experience, and it was a great memory from a very enjoyable vacation.

http://www.screenmachine.co.uk

 

Deutsche Kinemathek Museum Fur Film Und Fernsehen (Berlin, April 2010)

As a huge fan of German cinema, from Expressionist classics to the Turkish-German films of Fatih Akin, the German Film and Television Museum was at the top of my Berlin schedule. To see original film posters for Fritz Lang landmarks like Metropolis and set models of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari – as well as stepping into Marlene Dietrich’s wardrobe – was incredible.

This museum isn’t for everyone but was perfect for me. One of my favourite museums in one of my favourite cities.

http://www.deutsche-kinemathek.de/en

 

Boston Bruins vs New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center (NJ, April 2013)

This was my first NHL game, and my first time watching a hockey game featuring world class players. I grew up in ice rinks as I was a figure skater and was always a fan of hockey. I don’t follow a particular US or Canadian team but my boyfriend is a huge Bruins fan. When we visited New York last year we looked for games at both Madison Square Garden (home to the New York Rangers) and the Nassau Coliseum (home to the Islanders) but could find no Boston games. When we realised that the Devils play in Newark our luck was in. With less than 5000 attendees for games in the UK, being surrounded by 17,000 hockey fans in New Jersey was a bit of an eye opener, and a fantastic experience all round.

 

Zoltar Speaks (Brooklyn, NY, April 2013)

During the same trip to New York we visited Coney Island in Brooklyn. We took a ride on the Wonder Wheel, ate Nathan’s hot dogs and drank fresh lemonade on the promenade. After a walk on the beach, we played video games in the arcade, where we had our fortunes printed from the Zoltar machine, just like Tom Hanks in Big. (We also saw the famous floor piano in toy store FAO Schwarz).

The history of Coney Island fascinates me, especially as a fan of vintage fairgrounds, and its use in modern cinema as diverse as The Warriors and Requiem for a Dream further fuelled my desire to go. Coney Island was a very memorable part of my visit to New York, which was my first trip to the Big Apple.

This was the first leg of my trip to Norway, which began in Southampton, England. It was a very hot, sunny day and I took full advantage by lazing on a lounger on the deck as we set sail on our Scandinavian adventure.

After taking some photographs and admiring the Isle of Wight in the distance, I settled down to read The Big Sleep before making like an old lady with a game of shuffleboard and a gin and tonic. Bon voyage!

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On my recent trip to Norway, I travelled by boat from the UK, meaning I spent a period of time in the middle of the North Sea. It felt quite surreal but was incredibly freeing, and the sunsets were very nice indeed. The experience only heightened my love of the ocean, and being completely surrounded by the deep blue was quite emotional at times. I became almost hypnotised by the smooth ripples of water and the sight of this image above takes me straight back.

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I’m so happy to be writing a travel post again, especially one on a country I have wanted to visit for a long time: Norway, land of fjords, lakes and snow-capped mountains, and the most beautiful country I have seen so far, the town of Olden in particular. From above Olden literally looked like a model village, to the point that I thought it was some kind of mirage. Lush green trees crept up the hillsides dotted with colourful wooden houses, with great waterfalls speeding down the mountains.

On the way to the glacier trail I photographed a large turquoise-hued lake that I could have sat next to at all day. I really wanted to find a rowing boat and get out on the water.

I then hiked for 45 minutes uphill past waterfalls, goats and grass-roofed huts to Briksdal glacier. It was my first time seeing a glacier, and it was an impressive sight; they really do look blue close up. At the bottom of the glacier was a small turquoise lake, which looked beautiful next to the rugged landscape, although alarmingly a man who has lived in the town since 1998 informed us that when he arrived in Olden, there was no lake.

An equally pretty place was the small town of Eidfjord, with the opportunity for kayaking and of course more hiking.

The Norwegian landscape was everything I imagined it to be and more, like the Scottish Highlands but even more rugged, with higher mountains and clearer lakes.

I hope you enjoy the photographs.

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Grey light shone down on my Bay, fine mist lingering over the ocean, marrying sky and sea.

Golden sand edged with pastel-hued beach huts that decorate chalky white cliffs.

Buildings on two tiers protect the cove, their windows watching.

Tiny figures dot the sand as they walk and talk, and be.

Last night I took a trip to the cinema to see The Wolf of Wall Street. The film is based on a true story, in which Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the lead role as Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker with a lust for drugs and prostitutes, and an even bigger lust for the American dollar.

Although the film is set predominantly in New York, many other locations feature, including Italy, Switzerland and the Bahamas. A scene in Kensington Gardens in London reminded me of some photographs I took a few months ago of the Albert Memorial.

The Albert Memorial, commemorating Prince Albert, was designed by George Gilbert Scott and unveiled in 1872. It is gothic in appearance and has four large marble statues at its corners. Each statue represents a continent – Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe – and features an animal from that part of the world.

As well as honouring Albert’s life, the Memorial celebrates the many achievements of the Victorians, in areas such as agriculture and engineering, as well as Albert’s personal interest in the arts. At the base, a frieze displays artists, sculptors and architects, among many others (there are 187 figures in the frieze). Angels top the statue, looking over both Albert and the Gardens.

By the way, The Wolf of Wall Street is depraved, debauched and downright dirty, and I loved every salacious second.

Every time I see the trailer for the new Coen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis, featuring a folk singer (Oscar Isaac) who travels with his ginger cat, Ulysses, I can’t help but recall a book I recently read called A Street Cat Named Bob, in which the author James Bowen is ‘rescued’ by his travelling feline companion.

Bob is a loyal and resilient tom who turned up on the doorstep of James’ hostel accommodation room. He was underweight and in need of attention, his ginger fur patchy and matted. James, a busker and recovering drug addict, took him in and they became inseparable, with Bob accompanying him everywhere – on foot, on the bus and on James’ shoulder.

It got me to thinking: are ginger cats natural travellers? Do they take more easily to life on the road than other cats?

In the film Harry and Tonto, Harry (Art Carney) is a widower who leaves his New York City apartment after he learns it is to be torn down. Despite his advancing years, he chooses to travel across America with his beloved ginger cat, Tonto, in tow, visiting relatives and old friends.

Then there’s Ellen Ripley’s (Sigourney Weaver) marmalade-coloured moggy, Jones, in Alien, the ultimate travelling cat, who survives against all odds in an outer space alien invasion.

It also got me thinking about the number of famous ginger cats featured on the silver screen, from children’s animation such as the Garfield films, Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots, and The Aristocats (Thomas O’Malley and Toulouse), to the ginger and white cat, Orion, in Men in Black.

In Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Holly Golightly’s (Audrey Hepburn) red tom, who remained nameless – or ‘poor slob without a name’ as she so kindly put it – was played by a cat called Orangey (he was also credited as Rhubarb). He had several film and television appearances in the 50s and 60s, and won awards for his performances.

Of course, it also reminded me of my own ginger fur ball, Moomin, who I wrote about just before Christmas. Moomin doesn’t like to travel more than five feet into the garden, so it’s still just a theory. Perhaps it’s just ginger toms? After all, all of the cats mentioned are male (ginger females are much less common), even the animated ones.

Even in this day and age, the sight of a travelling cat is enough to warrant stares. The cat will invariably attract a lot of attention, mostly positive, with perplexed smiles and attempts at petting. The owner is usually considered to be an eccentric, a bit mysterious even. If Moomin was willing, I’d definitely invite her out for a walk.

Moomin helping with the ironing

Moomin helping with the ironing


Since starting my blog in April 2013, I have written about many subjects, and have enjoyed exploring new topics. I will continue to write about what inspires me, and to discover new passions.

I have selected my favourite five posts since the beginning of Deco Domino, and let’s just say it’s a diverse bunch. Thank you to everyone who reads my blog; I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.

A post with bite

The purrfect post?

A very Jolly post

Postcards from New York

A post with a lot upfront