November 5, 2015

Autumn in Hampstead Heath

It has been a while since I have been here. We have moved once more and currently I am connected to the closest available network, since we still don't have our internet sorted out. Tough times people, tough times... It is honestly amazing how many aspects of our lives require the internet and not having it, slows down productivity so much. But, I am determined to post something, because I need some sanity in my life.

Instead of posting old Oxford phone shots as I promised in the last post, I thought I would rather post something a bit more up to date. I recently went to Hampstead Heath with a friend to take some photos and the Autumn foliage was on point. Autumn is honestly my favourite season and even though London's Autumn does not last very long, it's still rather beautiful and dreamy. So here is, sadly, the only real autumnal shots I've been able to take this year. Hopefully I can get some more in before all the colours disappear.

October 5, 2015

2 Days in Oxford

For my birthday, hubby and I went to Oxford for two days. Little did we know that, given all that we wanted to see, that two days would be too short. Even though its a small city, there is honestly just so much to see. We definitely want to go back and finish touring.

I didn't take nearly as many photos as I would have liked, as we were trying to fit in a whole lot of sights and I just wanted to enjoy the moments for what they were. These are just a few of the photos I took. The highlights for me, were definitely the Christ Church College, the Bodleian Library and Blenheim Palace.

If you don't know anything about Christ Church College - it is basically one of the colleges of Oxford University and has many famous alumni, including Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson). If you want to see the entire list of well-known alumni from this college, have a look at this list. And, obviously this college was also used a few times for the Harry Potter movies. Seeing the Great Hall was amazing and I had a total Hogwarts moment right there! There was even a real fireplace with a fire going in the middle of the day. Very Autumn appropriate...

We weren't allowed to take any photos inside the Bodlein library, but that library has such rich history and architecture, it was definitely worth the tour, even without photos. The Divinity hall was used as the Hogwarts Infirmary and sitting in it for at least 30 minutes listening to the history of that place was fascinating to say the least.

Blenheim palace - what can I say?! If there's one thing you need to see in Oxford, this is it! Breathtaking, surreal, insane. I have no words. One can literally spend an entire day there and not see everything. The park is about 2000(!) acres in size. I think we both want to go back there and spend a day.

Oxford, you are a true gem of a city. Never will I look at an Oxford Dictionary quite the same way again.

Look out for some iPhone photos of Oxford, next...

September 8, 2015

Getting back into reading

If you were a follower of my previous blog, you will know that I have always been a bookworm. I used to have a widget of recommended reads and kept it updated. I might bring that to this blog - let me know what you think.

I haven't read in a while. I go through phases of totally forgetting about books and then suddenly finding the love for it again. That is what happened last month - I just wanted to read and having also constantly checking out book reviews, it just fueled me with the yearning all over again.

I restarted my reading journey with The White Queen and The Red Queen by Phillippa Gregory. I seem to have a weird fascination with royal British history and will definitely be checking out more of Phillippa Gregory's books. Ever since then, I've just been adding more and more books to my to-read list. I am way overdue reading particular books and need to catch up on those classics I never seem to make time for.

If you love reading and want to check out what I am currently reading, what I have read, whats on my to-read list and see my favourites, please follow me on Goodreads and we can be friends :)

Here are my recent purchases:

I know that these are are all "old" reads, one perhaps more old than the other, but I've wanted to re-read Alice in Wonderland for a while and had to get this pretty Penguin classics version. The other two books... well, I'm just a bit late to the party, I have to admit. Alice in Wonderland has a special place in my heart, it being the one book that reminds me of my childhood and subsequently also my favourite childhood read. Alice in Wonderland also celebrates its 150th anniversary this year and London has really gone all out celebrating. I would have loved to experience the Alice Underground, but tickets are a little steep.

There's a really cool theatre play running on the Curious incident of the dog in the night-time, which looks amazing. Check it out, if you are interested.

I know these photos look rather gloomy, but its a clear depiction of the weather lately. Autumn has arrived for sure. I'm not complaining, since you all know that this is my favourite season. Bring on the crunchy leaves, pumpkin spice, crisp mornings and duvet days with a book and cup of coffee in hand...

Happy reading and please do share your current reads - I am always looking for recommendations.

August 30, 2015

Absolutely Starving! and its coffee

I haven't blogged about cafes or coffee in a while. There has been a serious lack of it on this blog.

Wandering past Absolutely Starving! in London Bridge a couple of weeks back, I thought that next time I'm in the area, I should definitely pop in and try the coffee. Hubby and I are always looking for new cafes, but have lately just been too busy to explore and more often that we'd like, we've found ourselves with the usual Costa or Pret A Manger coffee in our hands.

So yesterday, it being our "day off", we decided to head back to Absolutely Starving!, just because it looked appealing and hey, it was a rainy, gloomy day - perfect for a coffee.

Now this isn't a cafe per se, but rather a deli/delicatessen/grocer/everything. It's mostly popular for its food, as the name suggests. But it not being halal, means we don't have the privilege of eating there. All we wanted to know is, is the coffee decent? I also noticed that they have shelves of books everywhere, large windows with ample seating and all sorts of pastries.

And yes, the cappuccino is actually quite decent. We had a good window seat, something sweet and two bookshelves to keep us occupied, while watching rainy London in all its umbrella glory go by. This could be a new hangout spot for me.

They have a read and return book policy and of course I decided to borrow a book, which means another trip back there soon :)

Hopefully this is the start of getting back into coffee exploring again.

August 10, 2015

Summer walk along the Thames

Since I haven't been here in a while, I thought I would share some photos of the London Bridge and Tower bridge area from a recent afternoon walk. Taking walks along the Thames on a sunny afternoon is the quintessential London thing to do I guess and something we do quite often.

London has been so hot and humid lately, even when overcast/rainy and evenings have been rather balmy. I think an evening walk out, might be next on the agenda.