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February Wish List

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  1. Cambridge Satchel Company. Navy & Peach Satchel. £160. Available here. I’ve been dying for a Cambridge Satchel for ages, but somehow I just never end up buying one. Soon.
  2. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle. Prices start at about £90. Available here. This was my perfume of 2012, and I’m missing it. Not that I specifically choose a perfume for each year… it recently occurred to me that I just so happen to buy my perfume around Christmas each year. Or of course, someone buys me perfume as a Christmas gift. Maybe I’ll break with routine. I love Dior J’adore – especially the teeny tiny travel sized bottle that I have in my purse because it’s adorable. But I’m definitely more a Chanel girl. Always have been
  3. Bo-Homey cushion. $44.99. Available here. Because my bed is screaming out for some cushions. It’s just so pretty!
  4. Crosley Keepsake Turntable in Blue Floral. £160. Available here. What is it about vinyl that makes every song sound so much better? I’m more than a little bit obsessed with vinyl, be it vintage, classics or new releases. But a floral turntable?! Yes, please!
  5. ‘Time of Your Life’ phone case, available for a range of Samsung or IPhone models, as well as prints, posters… etc. Prices start at $15. Available here. I love everything in Kavan & Co‘s Redbubble portfolio. It takes self-control not to paste my whole home with beautiful motivational quote posters. It seems I’m a sucker for graphically beautiful inspirational quotes.
  6. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith… or, you know.. JK Rowling. £9.99 to pre-order from Amazon… I think Waterstones have the same pre-order price too! I’ll be buying mine from the latter. Waterstones need my money more than Amazon. Available here. It’s like Harry Potter all over again. Queuing outside bookshops at midnight for a book release. Actually no, I never did that with Harry Potter. I’d be sent to school, my mother would go and buy it first thing in the morning, and I’d some home to find I’d then have to wait the three or four agonizing days for her to finish it. Luckily these were during my pre-Facebook days, and I avoided the M25 circa book six. But this time, I don’t have to share this book with the rest of my family. I read the first of the Comoran Strike series, The Cuckoo’s Calling, mostly during my few months in Rome, reading a few pages a day in bookshops because I didn’t want to carry around a bulky €25 hardback copy with me. Anyway, super excited for book two!
  7. Alexander McQueen Velvet & Leather patent heels. Originally £455, but here, they are £204.76!! I don’t know how well I’d be able to walk in these. Anyone who knows me knows that my heel-skills are limited to kitten or wedge. Me and stilettos are not on good terms. But still, they are beautiful. These and a little brocade black tea dress? Yes. I keep having to push the word ‘steampunk’ from my head, though.
  8. Chloé monochrome jacket. Originally £1370, but here, £479.50. There is nothing to say but, I have 1000 outfits from my wardrobe that would look so good with this. Damn…
  9. Victoria Beckham. Originally £2195, but here, £987.75. Pricey, but my god, so gorgeous. It’s sexy but girly but classic. Without the visible built-in bra straps, I’d say it’s very ‘modern day Audrey Hepburn’, except that I think she’d have avoided the outerwear as underwear and visible bra straps trends. Isn’t it about time that certain newspapers stop wondering if the ex-Spice Girl/’WAG’ can match other designers?
  10. Tom Ford Lipstick in Spanish Pink. £36. Available here. I’m still searching for that perfect pink lipstick. It’s out there, somewhere. Maybe I’ll try this one next.
  11. Undercover Leather Travel Organiser. £59.95. Available here. Cyclamen, please, magic gift-bearing elves of the universe. Of course, I can’t have a wish list without something travel-related. I don’t really need this, of course. I love my On the Road passport cover too much, but still. Browsing, browsing, browsing.
  12. Guerlain Météorites Face Powder. $60. Available here. I know, I know. Pretty packaging doesn’t mean that the contents are necessarily as amazing as they look, but it’s hard not to pick my makeup on looks alone. I mean, it’s the beauty industry. Choice of three colour pallets depending on your skintone; clair, medium and dore.
  13. Olivia Burton Floral Watch. £85. Available here. I haven’t worn a watch in about a decade, not since the hideous, chunky hand-me-down that would go off at random times during those rare moments of silence at school because I had no idea how to un-set the alarm. Is that trauma? Perhaps.
  14. ‘Refind your footing’ in turquoise. $34.99. Available here. I’ve loved brogues and brogue-esque shoes for a few years now. I’ve worn the soles out of several pairs now, I wear them to often! So far, though, I’ve stuck to ‘classic colours’; black, white and various shades of brown. But these… oo. I have room for a pair of turquoise brogue-esque flats in my life. Also available in brown, blush and beige. Actually… I want them all.

Hmm… right now I’m struggling to remember why exactly I’m saving my money… time to stick a memo to my wall, I think.

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Wanderer

I’ve never been a fan of Spain, but Seville, oh!

Ok, nothing against Spain, but I’ve just never liked it. I starve every time I go there because I hate the food, I almost keeled over with shock when I found out that Zara – one of my favourite fashion stores – is Spanish, and the men are just… urgh. It’s not for me. Give me France or Italy any day!

However… when I arrived in Seville. Or rather, not specifically Seville, that was just another Spanish city; beautiful architecture, but then you eat the food and talk to the people and.. it all falls apart. But more specifically, Plaza de Espana. Yes, I know I just said, the architecture is beautiful and then you eat the food and get hit on my slimy men who think they’re god’s gift to woman and it all falls apart, and here I am talking about more architecture.. but hear me out.

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I love travelling, but after a while, it becomes a bit repetitive. And I know that I’ve only been travelling this time for a few weeks, and I shouldn’t have hit this point yet, but it’s like, I’ve never refreshed from my last travels, travelling as become such a big part of my life for so long that it’s just become like ‘ok, here we go, life is great’ rather than ‘holy shit everything is so wonderful and magical and wow’ to the point that you’re pretty much high from purchasing a flight ticket or realising that your coach has crossed a border. This time, I’ve been walking around, and yes, it’s all beautiful and exciting, but.. and then I walked into Plaza de Espana, and I suddenly had that wow feeling for the first time in a while.

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I could have either ran around photographing every single little detail to give you an idea as to how intricate and beautiful this place is. But that would be insane, so just trust me when I say, visit Seville. I spent about 3 hours there on 3 different days, just sitting, doodling or scribbling down one of my shoot ideas or some other creative fibble-fabble. And, what I loved most about Seville is that yes, it’s touristy, but not too touristy. Plaza de Espana was never crowded with people; not even close. And that’s a nice change from places like, the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum. It’s very peaceful.

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And the best part? I met some lovely, lovely people in my hostel, and one of them is going to come and visit me next week.

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Wanderer

Beach Days and Princess Castles

Firstly, sorry for the biggg delay. I’ve had all of my posts ready and waiting, but they just wouldn’t post while I was in Spain! So here they are now in one big fat chunk. Sorry about that.

As I was saying…

12th July:

It’s been a lazy week. There have been a lot of lazy beach days this week. I’m in Lagos, and I think everyone who knows me is surprised to find that I’ve been here for almost a week now. Originally I thought ‘ok, one night, that’s all I’ll be able to handle in Lagos, one night and I’m out’. I’m not a party scene girl, I hate being drunk and worse still, I hate clubbing while sober, which makes it a bit of a lose-lose situation for me. I came to Lagos purely for the scenery and the water-sports. (Ha! If only my old P.E teachers could hear me say that! Emma? Sports? Hell no.)

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I can’t say anything here that most people don’t already know, Lagos is full of enough English tourists, everyone knows that it’s incredibly beautiful, to the point that in this week alone I swear I’ve developed arthritis in my shutter finger. I did put the camera away though eventually after I’d fallen over for the thousandth time. What is it with the whole of Portugal choosing the slippiest, shiniest white cobbles for their pavements?! An arthritic finger and bruised bum has definitely been worth it though.

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Before arriving here in lovely Lagos, I made a quick day stop in Sintra, having heard so much about it’s stunning princess castles; yet another of the 1000 apparent light bulb moments of inspiration for dear Walt when Disneyland sprung to his mind.

Take my advice. Do not do what I foolishly did and decide to walk to Pena National Palace; the most beautiful of them all (yes, there is more than one Palace in this tiny town!) I was walking for over an hour up long, winding roads. And the palace is atop a very, very high, steep hill. Take the bus, it’s worth every cent of it’s €5 return ticket.

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who had been silly enough to walk, and I met three girls from New Zealand on my hike. Crazy uphill hikes in 38C heat are always so much easier with company! But again. Worth it.

ImageMy first thought when I caught sight of Pena Palace was honestly ‘I shall bring my sisters here one day’, as soon as they have a passport (small hiccup). It’s the ultimate princess castle.

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Once I reached the entrance, I happily paid another €2 for the craziest bus ride of my life. Being English, sometimes I forget that other countries don’t have the same OTT health and safety regulations that smother my country. At Sintra, once every seat of the rickety, vintage-chic bus is full, they just start perching people wherever they can. The passenger seat next to the driver’s had been ripped up, and so I was sitting on the metal bar that was left. A kid sat awkwardly at my feet, and another little boy and his sister, who couldn’t have been older than 14 were seated on the steps at the door – or rather, doorway. There was no door.

Still, the driver was very careful, and was constantly looking back to check on the two kids in the doorway. I don’t know if that should have made me nervous as he therefore only spent about 20% of the time looking at the road, but there you go. Crazy Portuguese bus rides. I found it much too enjoyable, thanks to years being wrapped in cotton wool by England’s health and safety.

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ImageI need to go back one day and see the other two castles; The Moors Castle (which is exactly what little English me pictures when you say castle), and Sintra National Palace, which is the easiest to reach, being central in Sintra town, and not atop a hill, but when I arrived it was covered in scaffolding. I could still have gone inside but I’d rather come back one day and be able to see it properly, in all it’s beauty!

One day.

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Wanderer

Joie de Vivre.. Part Four….

Zurich
 
I didn’t plan to go to Zurich. It just sort of happened. There I was, admiring the beautiful views from the window of the Milan-Paris train (seriously I recommend that everyone travel by train from Milan to Paris at some point in their lives, it’s amazingly, spectacularly, jaw-droppingly beautiful!) and we were passing through Zurich, and I just thought.. I’ll get off here, just for a few hours.
So glad that I did!
One of the first things that I saw was hundreds and hundreds of people just floating – not even swimming – floating down the river on inflatable green and yellow butterflies. I don’t know why, or what it was about, but I did gather that it’s an annual thing so I have decided, that is how I want to celebrate when I leave university next summer! With all of my friends of course! I saw two genius girls using orange armbands to hold a bottle of wine – definitely a plan for next year!
I only had time to spend about four hours in Zurich, and for most of that time I was either exploring the biggest, most amazing antique fair I have ever seen, (if only I was a millionaire, I’d have bought everything in sight), or just sitting on the jetty, dangling my feet into the lake, as it was ridiculously hot).
I need to get my bum back to Zurich and explore it properly. ASAP.
Paris
 
J’adore Paris ♥
As long as I don’t look too closely (and spend as little time in Gare de Lyon station as possible, as it’s filthy and has a serious cockroach problem) I love Paris. I have always loved Paris and so as much as I had to drag my bum out of Italy, I think Paris is about the only place that for me could come close in winning my heart.
I love that everyone kept mistaking me for being ‘a true Parisian’. I love the French language, I love the art, the culture, the history…. I love how friendly everyone is, despite their reputation for being rude and.. Parisian…
Or at least I loved how friendly everyone was, until I realised rather late in the day that it might have had something to do with my black top being very see through, and I had decided to go bra-less… oops.
So, I crossed many ‘must see’s from my Bucket List while in Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Moulin Rouge, the Louve (more specifically the Mona Lisa), etc etc… but I also went here:
My inner child is still buzzing – I’ve only waited twenty years and I’ll admit, mock me all you like, I was the biggest kid there! Though I only met Mickey Mouse and Jack Sparrow. Oh and of course I saw the parades. Still… not a fan of this whole ‘character meeting points’ system – I was looking forward to seeing all of the characters just casually strolling around.. my inner child was a little disappointed. That’s the best part after all, right?
 Anyway…….
Montpellier (and various little surrounding lakes and villages)
 
I have fallen in love with Montpellier. As well as Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris, Bordeaux, Porto… the list goes on and on… but seriously, I love Montpellier. Unfortunately I’ll have to wait to develop my many many rolls of film before I can see any of my photographs from Montpellier itself.. I have just one for now:
My first evening there, after a lovely long walk around the city with my lovely host Mallory, just as we were walking back to his apartment, we happened to walk past this lovely group of people: (I’ve just realised that I use the word lovely far too often, but there’s really no other word to describe the lovely people I have crossed paths with and places that I have stumbled across). We perched ourselves on a ledge for a while and listened to them sing about coffee and life. There was an old woman listening from her balcony a few floors above us and a couple sitting in the doorway across the street from us. I love that about Europe – in England, people hang around the streets, and everyone else peers suspiciously at them from their windows, wondering if they’re out to cause trouble, but in so many of the countries I visited, neighbours chat to each other while sitting in their doorways or on their tiny balconys. It’s so similar but so different.
The next morning, Mallory showed me around the area surrounding Montpellier. He took me to a tiny village full of winding streets where people hang clay sunflowers on their doors to ward off evil spirits. It was exactly how I picture ‘Southern France’, it felt familiar almost to the point of deja vu.
We picnicked by the river and went for a swim, and we laughed at everything; the teenage boys posing and wading through the water like they were male models staring in a perfume ad, my tan-lines, which were pretty horrendous at the time, my failed attempts to swim against the current, the man who hesitated for ages on top of the largest rock trying to decide whether or not to jump as all of his friends had, only to finally do so while cupping his ‘special pebbles’. I spent what felt like hours just perched on the same slippery rock watching fish swim around my feet.
By the time we had reached this lake, I was exhausted. I had already been struggling to keep my eyes open in the car as we drove from river to lake. I dozed on the damp towels while Mallory went for another swim, only to return two minutes later complaining that there was ‘water plants’.
Eventually, the mosquitoes drove us away, and so we went back to Mallory’s apartment and gorged ourselves on crab, salad and blackberries.
I miss it.
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Workaholic

Monochrome Fashion

Back in September I had a lovely photo-shoot with my biggest creative team yet. It was windy and rainy for the most part of the day and wreaked havoc on my set and everyone’s hair but thankfully the sun did come out half way through the shoot itself! Big thanks to:
My models:
Jessie Jing
Natalie Kate
Geo McCondichie
Tasha ‘Boo’
My MUA, the lovely Razwana
Donna and her team from Bonce Salon
My lovely assistant Cali
and Geo’s boyfriend Chris who became an unexpected second assistant – he spent most of his time re-tying and draping fabric to the tree branch as the wind blew my set up apart! Would have been a disaster without him and Cali there!
Behind the Scenes shots taken by Cali:
And some final images:

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