Scented candles made me feel all Christmassy

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Yesterday, I spent the day wondering the hippy streets of Totnes.

First stop was at a small tea room that sells the most delicious crumble and custard, ever!

Later on I walked into a shop called Penelopeton. It sells lovely unique trinkets, perfect for stocking fillers. It was a case of going into all the shops along the street to hide out from the blowing wind.

Whilst I was in there all I did was hunt round the shop smelling all the different candles that were on display.

In the end my mum said that she would buy me one for Christmas. I chose one called fairy dust. They all smelt so beautiful it was very hard to choose.

According to the website the products are all hand made in Somerset.

If any of you are stuck on what to buy family members or girlfriends for Christmas, I highly recommend these Lilly Flame products.

Totnes, with its windy streets and shops that sold smelly goods, made me feel all Christmassy.

NaBloPoMo: Last but not the end

I have really enjoyed writing blog posts everyday. It has been a struggle at times, trying to juggle work and blogging but overall I have enjoyed it.

I hope you have all enjoyed my ‘what makes me happy series’. I have loved writing about things that make me happy because it made me happy thinking about them all. If I ever get miserable I plan on reading these posts. If any of you fellow bloggers ever plan on doing a similar thing, let me know so I can read everything that makes others happy.

Next month I plan on trying to continue regular blogging by posting at least one post a week.

As we near the official countdown to Christmas, I hope everyone is getting in the festive spirit – I certainly am!

November, it has been a pleasure…I can rest now!

ME

NaBloPoMo: The Hare and Bear

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Quite recently one of the top trends of twitter wasย #hareandbear and I had no idea what that meant until I sat down to watch Downton with the fam and saw the advert.

Yes, it is a lovely advert…the bear can’t wake up so a hare buys him an alarm clock so he can be with all the animals on Christmas morning with the slogan ‘Give someone a Christmas they will never forget’. How sweet, right?

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It first hit our screens on Saturday 9th November during the advert break of X-Factor.

Having read all the tweets about this famous hare and bear, I was looking forward to finally catching a glimpse of them. When I finally saw the advert I did think it was lovely, especially the way it had been hand drawn (the first in UK history to use pencil drawings).

The work that must have gone into the creation of this ยฃ7 million advert obviously paid off due to the amount of hype that surrounded it.

I did however hear a very funny thing on Greg James’ Radio 1 show, unfortunately I didn’t catch who was speaking but whoever it was, firstly, didn’t understand why hare was on top of the bear.

He went on to say:

“There once was an animal that had never seen Christmas – what a looser.”

“Oh he is yawning look, let him sleep he is a bear.”

“What? is the hare in love with him or something?”

“Oh look, here we go, the bears awake now. Why does the hare care so much? The hare bought the bear an alarm clock. It is a bear, don’t wake it up it is supposed to be asleep.”

Whether you think it is silly or ‘cute’, it is the song that I fell in love with; Lily Allen’s eerie rendition of Kean’s Somewhere Only We Know.

If you have not heard it yet, I suggest you get yourselves to their website.

As usual, John Lewis do not disappoint on getting everyone in the mood for Christmas. My Dad even said the advert makes him want to shop at John Lewis, and that is solid proof of its success because he hates shopping!

Christmas makes me happy.

A month to go ๐Ÿ™‚

NaBloPoMo: Downton Abbey

Every Sunday I look forward to watching Downton Abbey, on the sofa, cup of tea in hand, with my family…this makes me happy.

Tonight, I await to hear the final sound of the servant bells that symbolises the beginning of the programme for the last time this series.

This will be the fourth year that I have been glued to my television screen every Sunday evening, and it definitely hasn’t gotten old or boring, as a shocking and controversial rape scene hit our screens.

I think what shocked the nation the most was the choice of the rape victim, the lovely Anna (Joanne Froggatt). I beg for a happy ending for poor Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle)ย and Anna. They have been put through enough over the past year with Bates nearly being hung for a murder he did not commit. Don’t they deserve a happy ending?

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Will Bates find out who the evil rapist is on tonights episode? Let’s just hope that he doesn’t do anything stupid!

I also can’t wait to see what comes of the scandalous affair between Lady Rose (Lily James) and the black bandleader Jack Ross (Gary Carr). I think this storyline is brilliant and has been handled with ease and grace, unlike what was anticipated by many critiques prier to Carr’s first screening.

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Creator, Jullian Fellowes, hasn’t made Carr’s appearance on the period drama, as the only black man,ย a vehicle for a sob story, nor has he concentrated in on any racial slander. He was invited by whimsical Rose to an event at Downton and was allowed to play his music, admittedly with a few raised eyebrows from the family.

According to Gary Carr, the fact that he was invited to stay at Downton Abbey would have been possible back in the twenties, because it wasn’t uncommon for Jazz artists from the US to tour Europe.

On a side note, I also think he is a lovely singer and apparently he has been singing all his own songs on the programme.

In the adverts we glimpse a British Bake Off style garden party which I cannot wait to watch. I wonder if Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) will have sorted out her pregnancy problem, or found the man responsible, in time to sit down with a piece of cake in the grand grounds of the Abbey?

Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) has also provided endless humorous remarks throughout this series and I think she plays a great a part.

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I cannot forget my favourite character Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), with all the suitable bachelors circling her, I do hope she is able to find her happy ending in one of them. I do not think we will find this out until the Christmas special though.

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As always, this series has proven, with its 12 million or so fans, that Downton Abbery is a quality period drama.

After tonights episode is over, I will surely have no idea what to do with myself on a Sunday evening, until the Christmas special is aired. I may have to watch re-runs to keep me entertained.

Comment: Tea, cake and Clifton

Yesterday my mum came to visit me in Bristol and I decided to take her to one of my favourite places; Clifton. I enjoy wondering around Clifton village because the people have smiles on their faces and the shops are full of dainty objects that tempt and tease me as I window shop.

Unfortunately the weather was rather miserable so I don’t think my mum was able to gain a true sense of what the village has to offer. Luckily Cliftonย has an amazing cafeย cum restaurant called Primrose Cafe, that we could hide from the rain in for a few hours. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend you visit this place. I assure you will not be able to resist one of their homemade cakes to accompany your cup of teaย or coffee.IMG_7294 copy

I should probably mention that cups of tea and slices of cake will be a regular feature on this blog because they are two things (amongst others) that I simply couldn’t live without.20130509_150110 copy

What I enjoy about my visits to Primrose, apart from the delicious food, is the quaint decor that makes you feel at home. I previously visited the cafe in December when they had mini Christmas trees and baubles dotted around the place. This time, seeing as Christmas had been and gone, they filled the empty spots where the trees had stood with an ornate picture frame and fairy lights. Large chalk boards inform you of the daily specials and the small service counter is manned by friendly staff who are skilled at making heart shapes out of milk and coffee.

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On this visit I sat upstairs in the corner next to a vintage lamp. I felt hidden away from the 21st century world, free to gossip with my mum about the latest Devonian news. When our food arrived I envied my mums chicken and noodle soup as it looked more like a stew.ย 20130509_150820

When we felt brave enough to face to rain and wind I decided to show my mum some of the special shops that line the streets. I new it was a bad idea actually entering the shops because I ended up buying a bag when I really should be saving for my travels. I suppose, if the rain had not of forced us to take shelter, I would have been able to defy my urges to spend money.20130509_153832

In my defence, I had been looking for a new bag that I could take traveling with me because my current tote does not have a zip and I consider it rather large to carry round a country. The bag I chose was from About Face a shop that features many different styles of bags in all sorts of colours.20130510_181949 copy20130510_190815

About Face also sells jewellery, accessories, mugs, tableware, wall art, clocks and candles, as well as a variety of other things that all have that vintage look. I always like to go in these types of shops and point out various different objects that I think I will buy when I have my own house. I guess this method is the next best thing to actually buying it all. I hope that after you have finished your tea and cake in Primrose cafe you will take a look in this shop, provided you don’t mind parting with some of your money.

I ended the day with a bedtime film…Peter Pan ๐Ÿ™‚

Photography: Start a war

tumblr_mdpqwiEdkE1rlwse4o1_1280December 2012

With the busy end of term submissions, the sigh of relief once it had all been handed in and the excitement of returning home for Christmas, I had forgotten all about this piece. With a reminder from the editor I began the task of finding a photographer I felt worthy of writing and sharing with readers. Turning to a favourite website,ย Dazed Digital, I found photographer Kevin Morosky.tumblr_mdpqrimIeP1rlwse4o1_1280

Morosky is a London based photographer who co founded the company Gloria Loves Valentine with Daren Montague. He has described the company as a gang who throws up cameras and paintbrushes rather than gang signs. Striking out against โ€˜spoiled rich kids and arse-lickers with no talentโ€™ the company is made up of a group of young creatives who have a passion for photography and videography.

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Morosky has photographed celebrities Misha Barton, Billy Piper, Kelly Rowland and Ashley Madekwe. Most recently he has produced an online series titled Start a War which is his way of transforming a song written by some of his close friends We The Committee into visual imagery.

The song is also called โ€˜Start a Warโ€™ and depicts the troubles that can occur whilst in a relationship with someone who isnโ€™t right for you.How leaving them for the unknown is a struggle.tumblr_mdpqvjKbzZ1rlwse4o1_1280

I imagine many people go through this whilst in a relationship. You donโ€™t quite know how you managed without this person and canโ€™t envision a point were you are fine without them.

Moroskyโ€™s pictures depict a flawed love. Imperfect but the girl loves the love that she is in. She cannot escape or leave it because the lines between doing better or settling for what she has have merged. She no longer knows who she truly is without her man and doesnโ€™t know who she could be.

His images are erotic yet painful. In some photographs you can see the sadness in the girls eyes but in others you can see the longing for her tattooed lover that she canโ€™t leave behind.tumblr_mdpqvzWl2h1rlwse4o1_1280

In the photograph of them facing each other, the guy seems happy and the girl looks as though she is remembering why she is fighting for the relationship. The glimmer of laughter makes up for all the fighting and sadness.

The close up shots add interest to the photographs. The shapes of the body are explored and tension is pouring out of the images, reminding me of personal relationship tragedies and blessings. I can feel the war that is going on in the girlโ€™s head. Thinking how to escape and survive but worrying about the loss of all she knows.

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He uses extremely narrow depth of field in some of his photographs which creates mystery. The blurred imagery may connote the girls unsure feelings and thoughts. It makes the photographs softer inventing sorrow and sadness feelings towards the couple.

The colouring to the photographs also compliments the theme of the songโ€™s lyrics. It is soft and pale which makes sure their is no energetic or lively feeling to the photographs.

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I am glad I turned to Dazed Digital to find this young photographer. I think he is very talented at not only taking photographs, but telling a story and depicting feelings from his subjects by using various technical techniques.

http://www.westerneye.net/comment/2012/12/photography-blog-kevin-morosky/