This is the year penguins will fly.

Posts tagged “travel

Travelling Peru #2 – Ash’s Favourite Park

After the passport mishap, an 11+ hour flight, and an expensive taxi ride (we were too tired and grumpy to find the cheaper ones a little away from the airport) we got to our Hostel in Lima.

We were recommended Pirawana Hostel in the beautiful Miraflores district. Immediately the atmosphere hit us, If you want party, activities and friends this is the hostel to go to. It has a beautiful roof area with sun loungers, table tennis and music, a lovely restaurant with delicious food and different activities every night!

Unfortunately for the first night we completely missed the activity (a ping pong tournament) as we were incredibly jet lagged and went to bed at around 8pm as we couldn’t keep our eyes open! Unfortunately this also meant that we (or at least I) woke up at around 4am and couldn’t get back to sleep. In fact now, on our 8th day of holiday, i think i’m only just getting over the jet lag!

Pariwana was also very clean, there seemed to be one woman who was constantly cleaning the rooms and bathrooms leaving everything spotless.

But by far the best thing about the hostel was the park right next door and completely full of cats! We spent a long time sitting watching the cats meander about.

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On the first day in Lima we wandered to the beach and chilled out after our long flight. We found some pretty shells and a sea urchin whilst we watched the waves and people surfing.

 

The next day we made the poor decision of walking 1hr30mins into Lima, with no suncream on. Needless to say we got burnt, we also got lost as I’m terrible with directions. Eventually we found the main Plaza with the presidential palace. As we were very grumpy we decided to stop for food and cocktails before meandering back to the hostel.

We didn’t actually get up to much in Lima, mostly because of how horribly jet lagged we were and unfortunately our schedule seems too full to have another good look around. However we have many more exciting adventures in peru on the way!

Claire


Travelling Peru – A Shaky Start

For the first time in our 5 1/2 year relationship, myself and Ashley are travelling on our own, outside of Europe. This is the first time we’ve been able to afford something so big and we couldn’t be more excited!

Unfortunately this trip didn’t start brilliantly.

Initially we weren’t meant to be on our own. Ashley used to work with a Peruvian and we still all keep in contact. He was meant to be showing us the sights but unfortunately his passport never arrived (wish you were here Jose!).

Then I also had passport troubles.

My mum came to visit me a few days before I left and, whilst doing her motherly thing, noticed that my passport went out of date in May. I replied ‘Yes, and i’m travelling in April, I checked it was in date already.  The well traveled among you might have already noticed the big error here.

Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months after you travel to Peru.

Why this isn’t a thing you are told when you first book flights etc. I don’t know. But queue a rush to ring the passport office, book an emergency appointment and pay over £100 to be able to get the passport before I traveled. Luckily all went smoothly and I picked up my passport the morning of our flight (good job we’d booked for 8pm!)

I must say, the passport office staff were amazing. They were polite, efficient and were putting up with some horrible members of the public. The lady at the door in particular was being spoken to like she was a child who knew nothing (when she clearly knew the answers to the questions, it just wasn’t the answers the people were wanting), she just grinned and bared the abuse. Serious respect to her.

Anyway, thanks to my mum, we are now sat in Peru and are having the best time. This is truly a beautiful country!

Moral of the story : Check your passport, even if it’s in date!

Claire x


Katy Jade Dobson Art

I was 3 hours away from my home, my legs we’re aching after running up a steep hill and I was all dolled up in a pretty party dress and heels frantically trying to get in touch with a friend.

It all started weeks ago when my friend, and artist, mentioned an evening event at a gallery her art was being shown at. In passing Ash suggested that we surprise her and turn up to the gallery without her knowing. I looked at my Rota and I finished work early enough on the day to be able to get there just in time, plus I had the day after completely off!

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So then it was a waiting game. I couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when we just randomly turned up, and I very nearly told her of our plans several times. I was just too excited!

On the day I finished work at 4, then I had to run some errands, post some packages, pack my bags. By the time we left it was 5:30 and we we’re definitely now in a rush. The drive was surprisingly easy, just the A1 for most of the way. We got there and it had seemed like the event had been cancelled, katy wasn’t replying to texts as she was other wise occupied so we decided to walk to the gallery anyway.

As expected it was closed, eventually I rang Katy and asked if she minded two people imposing themselves on her. She was very shocked but luckily seemed delighted that I had travelled to see her.

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The next day myself and Ash left Katy to go to and open up the gallery before joining her later in the day after a bit of breakfast and sightseeing.

Her gallery really looks amazing. I knew her paintings we’re gorgeous, but they look even better in person than in the photographs! The colours she uses range from natural earthy tones to bright dazzling rainbows. Every painting uses colour to great effect, really catching the eye. The subjects are superbly drawn in a messy but elegant way, really giving life and movement to the pieces. I know I may be biased, but I really do love her Art and I believe it speaks for itself.

Whilst I was there I decided to do a little interview with her:

CR : What did you want to be when you were younger?

KD : Well originally I wanted to be a horse, then a tooth fairy, and then an olympic gymnast, but I’ve always wanted to be an artist. Always, always.

 

Photo courtesy of Katy Jade Dobson Art

 

CR : That is adorable! So what was it about Art that interested you? 

KD : Well, I would say its whatever is suggested in art, the small things like a glance, or a certain positioning, or the way that not everything is recorded in a painting but it is suggested and you can fill in the blanks yourself in any way you want.

CR: What inspires you? 

KD : Sometimes, before I am inspired by the subject, I am more inspired by the want to paint something of a particular nature (powerful, strong or soft and calm) and then the decision the work on a particular subject and the research behind that is then the inspiration to actively get up and do the painting. I’m also inspired by artists like Odilon Redon who can work in dreamy and ethereal ways, thats why my work isnt always an accurate depiction of a scene, I like to add a dreamy quality to it.

 

Gorilla by Katy Jade Dobson Art

 

CR : When you’re not painting, what do you like to do? 

KD : Painting is quite a solitary process so I like to be around friends a lot. I like to go out for walks when it’s sunny, walking a dog,  going out for food and drinks or getting inspired by other artists.

CR : What have you found to be the most challenging with your art? 

KD : The process, the development and the actual physical act of the work seems to be very fluid and not exactly easy, but without its challenges. On the other hand, the part i struggle with is the side that I cant control as much, such as the material i am working on, if it takes a knock it effects the final piece. I am learning to see what materials work best to keep the longevity of my work to a high standard, i dont want that to compromise the work that is on it

Stag by Katy Jade Dobson Art

CR: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

KD : Oh gosh! Well I have lots of ideas for collections, some conflicting ideas but all seem to relate back to my own style. As I experiment with other materials to work on I might see a shift in technique and therefore, maybe, some new styles. But for now I am still figuring that out, I will have to see what happens in the future and how my work translates into prints and merchandise.

You can see Katy’s Elegant Mess Exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery in Lincoln until the 14th of April. Or if you don’t live close enough you can follow her wordpress here, find her facebook page here and her official site here!

Photo Courtesy of Katy Jade Dobson Art


Working Hard and Feeling Famous

I haven’t been updating things recently as i’ve been busy working far too many hours at my day job, but at least it’s (sort of) paying the bills.

Even on my (very few) days off i’ve been off doing other things and haven’t been able to sew.

On Saturday we took a trip to the Natural History Museum with one of Ash’s friends. I love that museum, maybe because i’m obsessed with animals and they have a giant dinosaur… But i soon had to go home as I had work in the evening. Still, it was a very exciting day out 🙂

Yesterday I had a day off, but again spent it having fun rather than sewing (ok so a different kind of fun…). I think Ash has been feeling a little neglected with me working so much, even when i’m home i tend to be working on Penguin Theory, so we decided to use my day off to have some couple time. We spent the morning playing video games together (i managed to squeeze in a little Penguin Theory time) and just generally having a laugh together.

Then in the evening we decided to go to the cinema. We don’t have a lot of money and so the only reason we thought of doing this was because of an offer with Galaxy chocolate bags. 4 bags gained us 1 free cinema ticket, and considering the tesco below us sells them for £1 each, this makes the tickets extremely cheap! So that was the sweets and tickets sorted, so we just took in a few bottles of mountain dew that had been left at ours. We even saved money on parking as it was free after 6! We’re planning on doing it again as we can get two more free tickets.

The only problem is we already have enough chocolate to last a week…wait did I say problem?

Today though I have been a busy bee. I’ve already listed a new item, an adorable reversible apron for children!

I’ve been playing with the background on these images and now they seem to match my banners and logo. What do you guys think to it?

Talking of banners, i’ve updated not only my blog banner, and etsy widget but also the banner on my etsy shop and some of the images on the About page! Personally I think they’re an improvement but feedback would be greatly appreciated 🙂

In even more exciting news! This morning I seem to be on the Europe wide Etsy homepage! I feel kind of like a celebrity! I got so excited i even made a screenshot before it disapeared. You can see my pink flower apron in the middle of the top row of aprons.

All in all a very exciting few days 🙂

But now it’s time for the day job again…

Till next time!


A Wedding in the North

As you will know, if you read my last update, i went up north as I was invited to a friends wedding in Lincoln!

I went up a day early so that I could see another of my friends who also lives up there. I hadn’t seen her in ages and so we had a nice girly night with nibbles and cocktails! Her house was full of paintings she’s made, I have my eye on a couple of them (i just need money first!)

If you’re interested in her blog and paintings then you can find her here. 🙂

Raspberry Cocktails!

The wedding the next day was nice. Thankfully the weather was beautiful! (It had rained the day before).

The ceremony was very…modern christian. Lots of christian rock and even a powerpoint presentation! Not really my cup of tea (I’m a bit old fashioned and prefer the old style hymns), but still lovely. It’s hard to make a wedding ceremony bad lets be fair. The reception afterwards was gorgeous! It was in a hotel with some beautiful grounds. Photo’s were taken outside in the sunshine and then we all went inside to eat. There was pork (as though it had been pulled off a hog roast) and lots of salads, wedges, couscous. Everything was delicious!

With the Bride

The speeches were wonderful. All quite short (at least for wedding speeches), but still packed with humour and emotion. Exactly the kind of speeches needed at a wedding. No one was bored, everyone was a laughing, many getting tearful. The best man wrote a poem, an extremely funny and tearjerking poem. Even the bride, who is definitely not a cryer, admitted she welled up. I would say his was the best speech out of all of them (although all were perfect!)

The rest of the night was spent flitting between rooms. Outside there were lots of benches and was perfect for sitting down and talking, although it did start getting very chilly. Inside there was a room set out with tables on one side and the other had room cleared for dancing. Lots of tunes were played ranging from old cheese to rock and even lots of dance tunes. Very good for getting people of all ages up and dancing! The was another room inside as well with lots of comfy sofas. I ended up on one of these sofas near the end of the night and very nearly fell asleep.

Gorgeous Table decorations

All in all a wonderful day.

The day after I thought I should go visit my mum whilst i was nearby (or at least closer than London). Unfortunately I could only stay for a day but I did manage to cram a lot into it! I walked my aunts dog, visited my grandparents, helped my mum buy an outfit for a wedding she’s going to, and met up with my other aunt and cousin.

Muddy George looking very pleased with himself.

I was actually quite sad to leave and come back down south, but I think Ash was beginning to miss me. Plus I had work the next day.

Hopefully it wont be too long until my next visit 🙂

‘Till next time!


Work Hard, Play Hard.

After my post last night I was a very busy bee indeed.

My boyfriend and I decided we hadn’t taken time for ourselves to do anything special together for way too long and so decided to have a nice romantic meal! We cooked our cheap Asda Price pies, cleared the desk, lit some candles and had a really lovely make-shift date.

It was a lot of fun, just sat having a laugh together. We’ve decided to do this more often as we don’t have a lot of money to go out to a real restaurant and this way we actually clean our desk!

After our ‘date’ I decided that I needed to sort out my whiteboard whilst Ash went back to his computer game. I used this whiteboard at University and it helped me to organise all my essays that needed doing, so i figure i should use it to help me organise The Penguin Theory. I’ve written down the tasks I need to do, the future blog posts i want to write, projects in the pipeline, things needed to buy and goals to make sure i’m progressing.

Hopefully i’ll stick to it as i feel it could be really useful for keeping on top of this business.

In other news, I probably won’t be updating this blog for a 3 or 4 days as i’m going all the way up to lincoln!

I have a friend getting married (the first of my friends to do so!) which is extremely exciting! I’ve booked it off work and they’re giving me holiday pay, getting paid to go to a wedding doesn’t sound too bad to me! I’ve already picked out my outfit and head piece! (It wasn’t that hard, i’ve only got one facinator and i’m just wearing it with the dress i got it for originally)

I’m going down a day early so i can have a big catch up with one of my best friends. We’re going to have a nice girly night with nibbles and wine and most likely hitting the town.

After I will be going further up north to visit my mum and other family members.

All in all it should be a good few days and I will make sure I take plenty of pictures!

‘Till next time!


Pubbing it up

Last Sunday we met up with a couple of Ash’s friends and decided to go for a nice pub lunch as the weather was reasonably nice. We both ended up having burgers and afterwards were so full that we just made a few pancakes for our tea (or dinner for you non-northerners). He spent the rest of the evening playing xbox with his friend whilst I messed about on my laptop and eventually fell asleep.

On monday one our regulars came into work and decided to give us all easter eggs! He’s such a lovely old man and my egg has already been devoured despite it not being easter yet. Whoops!

Weatherspoons is also bringing out a brand new menu, so obviously the staff need to get acquainted with the new foods and we have to try them all. What a shame. Unfortunately i didn’t go to the meeting where we got to sample all the new things as i’d worked in the morning, but one of the managers did make me an ice cream sundae (which was delicious by the way). We sold our first ice cream sundae yesterday and the little girl I gave it too was so amazed when it came out exclaiming ‘WOW!’ very loudly. It was adorable!

Hopefully we should get the keys for our new flat tomorrow! (I haven’t heard anything to say otherwise as of yet) Very exciting times. I wont be sad to miss the (what’s supposed to be) 40 minute commute on the M25. I’m sure that has to be the worst motorway to commute on, everyone drives like a maniac, under taking, speeding, not indicating, and that’s not mentioning the roadworks that seem to randomly appear and disappear. No wonder there’s so many accidents.

Yesterday the 40minute journey took me 2hours.

At a standstill for around 20mins

Apparently there’d been a car fire on one of the slip roads but then there were several accidents along the way as well and I seemed to get caught behind them all. I’m sure that most of my time on that motorway is spent in first, just riding the clutch.

I think i’d find it too weird to have a trip on that road where i didn’t get held up in all honesty…

Till next time!!

Claire x