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Tuesday

Butterflies


I love butterflies! I once had the misguided notion that I should get one as a large tattoo  on my hip (thankfully that never happened) but overall I have many happy childhood memories of chasing them around the farm or in my grandmother's garden, fascinated by their array of colours and sizes. It's amazing the way they emerge from a cocoon, something I was lucky enough to witness a few weeks back at the National History Museum in London. 

Much to my amazement the whole process happens so quickly, the cocoon shakes and suddenly splits and this wet crumpled colorful mess emerges, slowly drying off to become a smooth, intricate butterfly. Last July when I arrived in Provence after a long and bumpy car-ride from Lyon, the first thing I did was run down the street to the meadows to photograph all the amazing flowers. Here I couldn't help but notice the vast number of species that populated the area, a veritable feast for the eyes. Apparently the global number is set at 24,000 different species which is mind-boggling if you think about it.  I also discovered some crazy facts like how they taste with their feet, are cold blooded and possess long, tubular tongues. Here are some of the beauties I captured during the warmer weather.  
















Incredible creations aren't they? 

Monday

Sunday in Notting Hill

Our internet temporarily shut off last week, hence my temporary hiatus from blogging. It's amazing how much more productive I was without it however, which worried me slightly! It was nice to take a break and feel completely unconnected for awhile as sometimes I can easily waste away a perfectly wonderful day by starting in the morning writing emails, and boom, before I know it it's dark and the day is done, leaving me feeling really guilty.  This weekend I was reminded that life is made to be lived outdoors, particularly when the weather is as nice as it is now! It's already October, and yet yesterday felt like summer, albeit with the presence of a welcome Autumn breeze. I had a quick breakfast and in the process somehow managed to convince the guys in the flat to come on a charity-shop tour of Notting Hill with the conviction that the wealthier the area, the more treasures to be found!  This proved to be somewhat true, with the boys scoring some fancy shirts  and my find of a sadly too-small pair of Acne jeans. I must say London is absolutely brilliant for vintage and second hand stores, I've decided to almost exclusively trawl them frequently from now on, as I'm far too poor to pay full price and love the thrill of the hunt. Just last week I found a giant black hat, which the boys think looks ridiculous on me, but I love anyway.  



Notting hill is such a fun place to spend a Sunday, if you're ever in town. I like to wander down portobello road and find all the little quirky side streets and market stalls in the hopes of unearthing hidden treasures. Without fail you will find at least ten different people dressed cooler than you could ever imagine, pretty good street performers and a brilliant atmosphere. I love that if you want to buy almost anything, no matter how whimsical the desire, you'll probably find it at portobello market.  It's probably a good thing I'm a struggling recent graduate, otherwise I might buy everything and become one of those hoarders you see on tv. Westbourne Grove is another lovely part, a little pocket full of fancy boutiques and full to the brim with cool places to have brunch. 

After wandering around Aldwych market where they have a tasty selection of international street food stalls, we decided to head to the local bakery and grab some gorgeous looking rainbow cake. It's definitely delicious, but explosively sweet. In hindsight, when it comes to cake, appearances matter but it's the filling that really counts. James bought a mirror from a charming antique store and then we headed home through Holland Park, one of (in my opinion) the best parks in London.  Hyde Park is brilliant but it's mostly homogenous in its landscaping whereas in Holland park one minute you're in a football field, the next in a Japanese inspired garden, the next in a forest or a maze of roses. It almost reminds me of Alice and Wonderland! We played frisbee for a little bit and then headed home to whip up a curry which wasn't much to look at but tasted delicious! All in all, a great Sunday outdoors. Hopefully I'll remember not to let the Internet distract me too much in future.. 

            As we tired of charity shop madness we came across a beautiful cadillac adorned with flowers on its front fender .. perhaps waiting patiently to escort a bridal party? 
Check out this psychadellic door! If only I could live there... 

The one, the only... Portobello Market! 
Found myself a rainbow painted chair. So tempted... 
  A giant teapot hanging from a shopfront certainly gets your attention! 
Some vintage books perhaps? Some fantastic stories just waiting to be heard.. 
Broaches, rings, earrings galore, from the completely tacky to retro, ethnic, and if you're lucky, classic pieces. 
         It's true that you can actually find anything. I fell in love with a full set of flowery china! 
Colorful flags and windmills dotted the outdoor seating area, making for a cheerful spectacle.
There was lots of great street food, but I couldn't take my eyes off the sinfully delicious dutch pancakes!
I've always adored Volkswagen camper vans and this orange beauty was being cleverly used as a drinks van! 
Rainbow cake you beauty! This might sound strange, but blue was easily the best part.
Look at this stunning light through the trees! I seriously need to organize a forest camping trip soon. 
James played model for me amongst the flowersSpeaking of flowers, check out this orange globe-like creation? Amazing.
      We happened upon a ferocious game of giant chess between two brothers
And finally as we passed through the end of the park, these rose bushes positively glowed  in the evening light..

Thursday

Uppsala


 

Uppsala you beauty, I will miss you so much! Thank you for all the fantastic memories you gave me, introducing me to some crazy wonderful people, and reminding me again of how brilliant it is to live in Sweden. Uppsala if you haven't heard of it already, is a tiny little city near Stockholm where I spent last year doing my masters.  It's technically a city but really is a small university town with a big heart, its atmosphere dominated by a visible youthful exuberance. 
For me, places are extremely important. Everywhere I have ever lived is profoundly imprinted in my mind with a deep sentimental significance, whether I like it or not. The saying 'the people make the place' is often true, but the place itself will always have a unique atmosphere that is hard to replicate elsewhere. Uppsala possesses one that I will always treasure. 

I was briefly there to hand in my thesis last week and now I'm back in London,  unsure of the next time i'll be back to visit. This is actually the very first September I will not be returning to education and it's certainly a bittersweet feeling.  I found myself surrounded by initiation ceremonies, study-groups, new students excitedly chatting about their first weeks. It's a wonderful time of year and I was definitely sad not to be part of it this time round. I'll miss the coffeehouses, the tiny streets, the swedish berries, the long, deep winter and the short, but exciting spring. I'll miss the dinner parties with mismatched plates and looking out at the snow falling,  but most of all, i'll miss my dear friends who are still amidst the magic of it all.  Below are some autumnal moments from my stay.. 

Dimi rests by the river, stylish as ever in his trademark checkered shirt. 

Making soft and spicy kanelbullar at Lena's apartment 

     A view down the Fyrisån river in Uppsala, a favourite spot of ours to spend lazy afternoons

Picking out my breakfast berries at a street stall

     An evening walk on my favourite bridge, looking at recent love locks..

       I happened upon a trail of painted tin flower-pots that led down the street. 

Two cheerful sunflowers face the morning sun in the botanical gardens

     As I headed out for a late afternoon walk, I spotted a romantic scene, a couple gazing into eachothers eyes, rowing down the river. 
 Christa looking fabulous as usual, cracking jokes and telling stories over dinner

The front of the highly symmetrical and picturesque main University building

Walaa glowing in the evening light as our friends joked around in the playground

Laura giggling during the aftermath of one of our dinner parties, a classic rough and tumble with the gang. 
Ozge waiting on a train at midnight, happy as can be 

Gorgeous afternoon light illuminating the plants in the botanical gardens. 

Saturday

Weekend



It's the weekend! It's bit grey and lackluster in London today however, so I'm not overly enthused about going outside even though I probably should. Instead I'm reminiscing back to last weekend's fun in the Stockholm sunshine when I ate cherry ice cream, wandered around aimlessly with my friends and people-watched to my heart's content. Here is a selection of a few little moments I captured during those final summer days. 

        A trio of friends sit atop the hedges, enjoying a saturday lunch in the park.
Over the hedges I spotted a little girl holding a purple balloon that almost looked like it wanted to bring her somewhere. 
     A peek down a small side street show visitors to the local comic-book store.
          A bright windmill blows in the wind 
       As I walked past stureplan on my way home, this woman was the star of the street. It's funny how much impact a color can make. 

Weekenders chilled on the steps, enjoying the sunlight on their skin. Both solitary figures exuded an effortless cool. 
This fellow plays all around Stockholm. He plays sweet, latin notes and at this moment, on this bridge, with the afternoon light and the beautiful atmosphere that surrounded us, all eyes were on him. 
Two patient seagulls sit atop a rusty skip, gazing out over the harbour. 
Laura doing what she does best, capturing the beauty around us. 
     As we cut across Stockholm's small streets, Nui looked effortlessly beautiful and mysterious.
      A musical duo with enchanting choral voices serenaded a relaxed crowd on sunday afternoon. 
Two men casually talked beside a pristine vintage cream volvo in gamla stan
       I watched slowly as sunkissed pedestrians crossed Drottninggatan