Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The Hundred-Year-Old Man: review


I recently read a book called The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. And it was great.

I honestly don't think I've enjoyed a book this much, purely for it's humour, in as long as I can remember. It is so funny I can't even begin to tell you. And funny in a ridiculous, I wish this was real, kind of way.

The narrative revolves around a man called Allan, who has just turned one hundred and has had enough of his boring elderly years in a retirement home. Essentially, he ends up on the run from the police and a gang, after managing to steal a suitcase full of money as he gets on a bus to get away from the director of the retirement home, who he can't stand. The text follows his endeavours, introducing new characters who all become close friends.

The narrative jumps back and forth in time, recounting tales from all throughout Allan's life, with a lot of historical background covered. I particularly enjoyed reading these interjections of Allan's past. There are so many historical moments and key figures that he is involved with, in the most ridiculous ways. You can't help but laugh.

After reading a heap of books for uni, this was just what I needed to relax and really, truly enjoy the reading experience. There's also a film version of the novel, which I am really looking forward to watching.

You will love this book.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 12 December 2016

'Tis The Season


I am feeling really, truly Christmasy for the first time since I was probably 8. And it feels lovely. So I've been doing a few Christmas activities recently, including seeing Christmas lights, going to markets, ice skating and even a Christmas show, and I though I'd tell you about them.


Mum and I went to Waddesdon Manor towards the end of November, and saw their Christmas light display and market. The market was really nice and had lots of local businesses selling their goods, giving it a lovely community feel. The lights display this year was a 'Field of Light', with lots of pretty little lights across a large open area.



More recently I've been to the Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham, an annual occurrence as a UoB student. It felt a little more spaced out than it usually is, which was nicer, but was still super busy as always, and will only continue to get busier as we get closer to Christmas.


Over this weekend, Charlie and I went to see The Overtones at their Christmas show at Symphony Hall in Birmingham, which is one of my all time favourite venues. It was a lovely show and they create such a wonderful, cheery atmosphere.



The following day we ventured out for brunch, heading to the business district. We went to 200 Degrees Coffee, which is on Colmore Row, opposite the Cathedral, and I had a delicious coffee and sandwich. From there, we headed to the ice rink in Centenary Square, and had a skate around the (very) busy rink. Neither of us fell so we're calling it a success.


We've put our tree up and I've finally put my fairy lights up in my room, so I can feel a little more festive whilst slogging through the essays I need to write over the Christmas break.

What kinds of Christmas activities have you been up to, and where's good to go near you at this time of year?

Until next time.


Contacts/Social Media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

November Favourites

As I've been on the quieter side this month, I thought it might be nice to do a favourites post, to round up both what I've been loving and what I've been doing.

Fashion



Fashion wise, the majority of my current favourites were mentioned in my Autumn Essentials post, but I wanted to mention a few of those items again and say a little bit more. Doc Martens are getting me through the cold weather, and I'm thrilled that they're a little roomy so I can wear thicker socks with them; day to day, they're my go-to shoes. My love of jumpers knows no bounds and I've found myself somehow accumulating more (oops), but they're perfect for the cold weather we've been having and I don't know how I'd survive the winter without them.

The Denim Bomber Jacket I got from Monki is still my absolute favourite, although I do wish I'd gotten it in a size smaller to help keep the heat in as it hangs off me a little more than I'd like, but luckily I can bulk that space out with a thicker jumper. And a scarf. Zara are the best for scarfs, I always find really nice, neutral designs and colours from there, and they're always big and warm, just what you need in England right now.


Makeup


I've finally (I know I'm beyond late) tried some liquid lipsticks, and two of my favourites are from Too Faced and NYX. They look pretty similar, but the NYX one in the shade London has a really beautiful orange tone to it and looks surprisingly nice on my skin tone (pale as it gets). Too Faced Child Star is such a lovely nude (probably more or less the perfect one for me), but it is a little drying, which is a bit of a pain. Nonetheless, a bit of extra lip balm underneath and it's good to go.

Also, I've been absolutely loving the Starstruck Highlighter from M&S's Rosie for Autograph collection. At first I thought it might be a bit too pink for me, but a little blending and it just looks so pretty. Looking forward to trying a few more bits from this collection.


Books


Some of the best books I've read this month have been for my course. I fell in love with Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth a couple of months ago, but I recently read The Age of Innocence and I love her writing even more. The way she depicts New York society in this age and critiques it is so interesting and great to know that women were writing like this at the time. I also really enjoyed reading Grief Is The Thing With Feathers by Max Porter; the style the text is written in is unique and intriguing and it's a very strong and accurate depicting of the experience of grief.


Music


I've been listening to Oh Wonder non-stop this month; they have the perfect calming music, which I find great for background music whilst studying. But I do really enjoy listening to their stuff just generally, especially to unwind in the evening. And as an almost complete opposite, I've also been enjoying Empire of the Sun's album Two Vines. It's super up beat and feel good and I cannot get enough of their music (definitely have a listen).


Place



Towards the end of the month, I went to Waddesdon Manor to see the Christmas lights and market. It's definitely a perfect place to go to at Christmas time, and the lights displays are stunning. If you're in the area, would 100% recommend a visit.

What are your favourites this month? I'd love to know.


Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 28 November 2016

Study Songs


I've been pushing this post back for months now, so I thought it was high time I sat my bum down and got on with it. Ironically the reason I've not had time to blog recently is due to my degree taking over my life even further, but there we are.

When it comes to study songs I generally go for either soft, calming songs or upbeat motivational music (or, more likely, a mixture of the two). I've compiled a playlist of songs I've most often found myself listening to while studying recently; they both help me keep focused on what I'm doing (by stopping me focusing on the sounds around me) and keep me feeling as good as you can when reading and making notes on a 400 page book about the imagined natural environment, for example.


1. Oh Wonder's album

2. re: Stacks - Bon Iver

3. Doria - Olafur Arnalds

4. All I Want - Kodaline

5. To Build a Home - The Cinematic Orchestra

6. No More Sad Songs - Little Mix

7. Winter Things - Ariana Grande

8. Kicking Roses - Benjamin Frances Leftwich

9. There's Only One Of You - Nathan Sykes

10. California - Blink-182

11. En Route - Balmorhea

12. Saturn - Sleeping At Last

13. Where the Sky Is - Ward Thomas

14. The Girl - City and Colour

15. Begin Again - The Piano Guys

16. I Believe in You - Michael Buble

17. Cairns - Nancy Elizabeth

18. Best That I Can - Vance Joy

19. Where I Find You - Dustin Tebbutt

20. Friends - Empire of the Sun


Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 14 November 2016

10 things I've realised




Inspired by Beth Norton's post, I thought I'd note down some things that I've realised this year (who'd have thought Kylie Jenner could predict how we'd all be feeling right now). It's been a long 10+ months, that have somehow still manage to flash right by us, but a lot has happened, and as always, I, and I'm sure you, too, am feeling rather different to how I did at the beginning of the year. Here's 10 things I've realised throughout 2016.


1. Happiness is hard. As children, we'd never have thought it would be something we had to work towards, and quite frankly, work really damn hard for; but I guess life is painful and it can be very difficult to see the light sometimes.

2. But, the light is always there. No matter how much we struggle to see it, there are so many things to be happy about, even if we have to make a big effort to decipher those things.

3. Having a full time job would be much easier for me than uni, as much as I've been loving my course this year in particular. And I'm quite looking forward to starting one.

4. The world is a beautiful place and I wish for nothing more than for everyone to care for it. Nature has always been the strongest force on the planet, and we need to take care to preserve it rather than letting it waste away, because it will.

5. Democracy is both a blessing and a bit of a curse. I'm not sure if the general public should be deemed qualified to make major decisions about countries' endeavours, but at the same time we'd live in a dictatorship of kinds if we couldn't vote on such things. In short, politics is a massive double-edged sword and probably always will be.

6. Just because other people don't always make an effort to see you, doesn't mean they don't want to, and it's no reason for you to stop making plans with them. We're all busy. We all get it.

7. There will never be enough hours in the day, so it's important to lay out your priorities before making commitments.

8. Death and suffering will always be around you and will always be hard, but you should never let it stop you from living your best life.

9. It's really important to look after your body and to protect your health. As much as you think you don't have the time to, it's better to make that time than to allow yourself to get so ill it takes a long stretch of time to fully recover. Listen to your body and take time out.

10. Life is always going to feel exhausting, but every now and again you realise it really is worth it, for many more reasons than you might think.


Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 7 November 2016

Autumn Essentials

It's jumper seasoooooooon wooohooooooooo (although saying that I've been trying to wear them since the beginning of September). Thought I'd do a little fashion post, as autumn is by far my favourite season for clothing. So here are what I'd consider my autumn essentials.


Jumpers

Autumn/Winter is all about the cosy knitwear for me, and jumpers are my no. 1 favourite item of clothing (ever). Below are some of my favourites, old and new. I really love the leafy orange and mustard colours and always feel completely at one with the season when I wear them. The high/turtle neck is something I also love; they're perfect for avoiding the dreaded cold neck, especially if you've forgotten to take a scarf out with you.

Left to right: H&M, H&M, Pull&Bear, Topshop, ASOS, Sainsburys, Next, Topshop







Black Ankle Boots

Shoe wise, my staple for autumn/winter (/all year round) is a good pair of black ankle boots... or three (I think I actually have four or five lol). Below are my absolute favourites, as I'm sure you can tell by how well-loved they look. Perfect for rainy days, crisp walks, and day-to-day wear.

Left to right: Office (similar), Next (similar), Dr Martens



Jackets/Coats

The weather can be unpredictable at all times of the year in England, but in autumn in particular the temperature tends to go up and down rather a lot. As a result, it's always handy to have a few jackets and coats of different thicknesses. On chillier days I'll grab my ASOS parka, which has a nice fleecy lining and a giant hood to help keep my neck warm. For very mild days, I love this light khaki jacket from Urban Outfitters; it's also the perfect jacket for spring, so nice and versatile. My current favourite is a denim bomber jacket from Monki (which took months to get a hold of). It's the perfect middle-of-the-road thickness and works with pretty much any outfit.

Left to right: ASOS, UO, Monki (via ASOS)




Accessories

There's great power in even the smallest of accessories. Here I've got a few very appropriate ones for both the cold weather and the stress of uni, as most of the uni year is during autumn/winter. My favourite online store in the whole world is sighh.co, and two of these three items are from there. I cannot get enough of Polly's designs and have a nice selection of her other products too, but these are two of my most recent favourites. My watch is a beautiful Daniel Wellington model and I've adored it ever since I first got it; it's a very classic design and always handy for keeping track of time.


Coffee pin: sighh; Mug: sighh; Watch: Daniel Wellington







Another autumn essential is soup, but I could go on about that for far too long.

What are your fashion staples for autumn? I've love to know what your favourite things to wear are.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Friday, 28 October 2016

The Book of Memory: review



The Book of Memory by Petina Gappah is one of the texts on my Last Year's Novel module, and it's by far one of my favourites.

The book follows the story of Memory, who is in prison in Zimbabwe. She gives her own account of a number of events that have occurred in her life, from childhood to present, as well as giving an insight into her life in prison. From the beginning of the text it is made clear to us that Memory believes she was sold as a child, and as a result a large amount of the text circles around this idea. We see into her perceptions of her parents as well as the man who 'buys' her, who she believes, in the end, she actually quite liked.

I don't think I've ever read a text based specifically in Zimbabwe before, so that drew me into the book initially. There are fairly vague references made to the politics of the country, however the narrative is essentially made up, with an ending that has never taken place in Zimbabwe, but acts as more of an idealisation. There are also a number of instances where the characters are explicitly speaking in Shona, and as a result English speaking/reading readers are unable to know what is actually being said. I found this really interesting and I did wonder why Gappah decided to do this, as it's understood that whenever any of the characters are talking, for the most part it's in Shona, and yet for the most part their speech is still written in English within the novel.

I found it interesting that in the acknowledgements Gappah expresses that she was keen to actually visit the prison that she describes within the text, however was only to be allowed access if she would not write about what she saw there. As a result, the depiction of the prison is based purely on records and the author's imagination, but she paints a very bleak picture, which comes across as notably realistic. It also seems to go to show that the somewhat ideal ending of the book clearly hasn't occurred, as the government of the country wouldn't even allow the prison to be accurately depicted in a novel.

Memory as a character is one that I liked, for the most part. At times she seems perhaps more judgemental than necessary, and a bit snobbish, as Lloyd, the man she lived with, made sure she had an excellent education and even sent her to Cambridge. As a result, her writing and the way she sees things in Zimbabwe certainly seem to reflect that she's better educated than the people she's around, particularly in the prison. As a reader, I did have to question her reliability throughout, as in the majority of the text she is fixated on one particular aspect of her history that isn't even true. However, after finding out the actuality of her past, taking a second look at the book, everything she has previously described makes a lot more sense and there's a certain clarity that appears.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this text. I got through it very quickly and it was a complete page turner. Being able to piece together the truths of a story is something I revel in, and this is a great one for that. I would highly recommend this text.

Until next time.


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Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Setting Goals: a coffee shop chat


I'm someone who's scared to set goals and aim for things due to a fear of disappointment or discontent.

And it probably sounds stupid.

I've thought about bucket lists so many times, but I can't write one out without tearing it up because I don't think I'll ever manage to do anything on it. And even though, in a lifetime, I'm sure the goals I'd write down would be realistic, I can't look at a list of things I hope for without feeling discontent and thinking about the inevitable disappointment it may cause me.

I don't know if I just think I don't deserve nice things, so thinking about nice things I'd like to do feels wrong to me, or quite what. Even if I tried writing out career goals, it would be impossible, because not only am I unaware as to what I wish to do with my life, even if I did have an idea, things would be unlikely to go to plan.

But at the same time, every single day I write myself a to-do list, and make sure that by the end of the day I have accomplished either all, or almost all, of those tasks. And it's made me think recently, am I too focused on the here and now to even attempt to plan for the future?

With to-do lists, I plan in both things I need to do and things I'd like to do, so it can't be just about not wanting nice things for myself. I think, ultimately, it must be down to the fact that I can't control my future situation, and because I don't know what situation that will be, I'm reluctant to think about anything I might be able to plan around it.

I think that's my really long winded way of saying that if I don't know where I'm going to be, what I'm going to be doing, and what my means will be, how can I try to plan things that I'll definitely be able to do?

Bucket lists certainly aren't about making your goals as realistic as possible, but there's something within me, that I'm trying to push out, that will only let me think realistically about my future as a whole.

Now, I think that, day by day, or week by week, I'm going to start trying to write a bucket list, of things that I'd like to do, without think about what position I'll be in when I might get round to doing them. Because if I'm not setting goals, and at least trying to plan things that make me excited to be alive, then what's the point?

The excitement for what may happen needs to be stronger than the fear of disappointment. And that's how I'm going to try to start living.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Friday, 14 October 2016

Current Music Favourites

Since I've been putting off doing a general favourites post for a few months now, I thought I'd update you on my music favourites (although I'll probably be doing a general post before the year's out). Music is certainty the thing that I'm always most interested in and actively look out for, so I thought it would be nice to just have a chat about it on its own.


Bon Iver

Generally speaking, I absolutely loved Bon Iver. Like Bear's Den, Bon Iver offers some really nice, though softer, uni work music, as well as beautiful, meaningful lyrics. In regards to the newest album, 22, A Million, I must say it took me a little while to really get into. He's tried out some new sounds, some of which were very likeable from the first listen, and others I found a bit more difficult to get into. But nonetheless, my favourites from this album are 8 (circle) and 00000 Million.


Blink-182

I've loved Blink for a long, long time, but their latest album, California, is just something else. I cannot get enough of it. They just have such a classic, timeless sound, and they manage to progress as a band without changing that sound so much that it's unrecognisable; one of my favourite bands to hear evolve. I love every song, but the stand out tracks for me are Bored To Death, Los Angeles, No Future, Home Is Such A Lonely Place and California.


Parachute

I'm sure I've expressed my love for Parachute many, many a time in the past, and I'll probably continue to forevermore. There's something so feel good about so many of their songs and some of them certainty have really inspiring messages too. They also have the more melancholy, stunning ballads that I can't get enough of. It's the kind of music I like best to listen to when I'm on the way somewhere, usually on a train journey. My favourites include Without You, White Dress, She Is Love, and Getaway.


Ward Thomas

I have fallen in love with Ward Thomas' most recent album 'Cartwheels' since first hearing it at work when it was released. I love country as a genre, though still never actively listen to it, but since this album came out I've been listening pretty much every day and I don't think that will end soon. Upbeat singalong songs and heart wrenching ballads; I can't get enough. Favourites include Cartwheels, Material, and Proof.


Bear's Den

'Red Earth and Pouring Rain' came out at around the time I started my current job, and it's an album that's been on the playlist on and off for several months now. So I first heard it playing as background music essentially, and for me personally I find it works really well for that. I find the album very relaxing and not too distracting, which makes it pretty perfect for doing uni work, when you want to drown out the sounds of everyone around you but stay concentrated on what you're doing. It is an album that I'll put on just to listen to though, and some of my favourite tracks include Emeralds, Broken Parable, and Fortress.


The Shires

Another country duo, I remember hearing a few tracks by The Shires when their first album was released early last year, but only ever really listened to them when they were on the radio despite really liking their music. Again, I think this was just me not actively thinking to listen to country music, but oh how I love both of their albums. My favourites are Friday Night, State Lines, Tonight, and Drive.


What have you been listening to most recently?

Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Final Year


I started my final year of uni yesterday and oh gosh this has come along quickly.

I thought it would be nice to do a little run-through post, regarding what I'm doing this year. Just a chat about what modules I'm taking, the rather dreaded dissertation and general life around uni.

Module wise, I'll be doing two modules per semester, as well as my dissertation all throughout the year. My semester one modules are Last Year's Novels and Henry James and Edith Wharton. I've read through a good load of the LYN texts and I've found them all really interesting and intriguing in all kinds of different ways. And I really love Henry James' writing and I've been getting into Edith Wharton as well, who has a fairly similar style, so I'm really looking forward to that module too. In semester two my modules are Shakespeare's Tragedies and Law and Literature. I've read quite a few tragedies so I think it'll be interesting to really analyse them and look across their similarities and differences. I think Law and Literature is going to be a great module, I can't wait to read the texts.

A far as my dissertation is concerned, I've got a fairly general idea of what I'd like to write about and the texts I'm keen to look into. I've submitted my proposal and am just waiting to find out who my supervisor will be, before I get really stuck into it.

For my last year, I'll actually be living at home, instead of in Birmingham as I have the past two years. The long and short is that having only 6/7 contact hours doesn't really make it worth the cost of living there. I think money is always a big factor when it comes to uni, and something that even puts a lot of people off from going. Whereas the past two years I've had classes most days each week, this year it'll be noticeably less, and it's therefore more cost effective to get the train on the days I'm in. And I can read on the train, so that'll be a productive use of that time and will hopefully help me keep on top of the reading.

In all honesty, I'm really looking forward to this year of uni. It's going to be the year most tailored to what I'm really interested in studying, rather than the more generalised 1st and 2nd year courses. But of course, it is always daunting starting a new year and I know that this is going to be the most important year. As much as I'm looking forward to getting back in the swing of uni work, I hope I can cope with it - with 75% of my final grade counting on it, I kind of need it to go well.

Fingers crossed.

Are you starting back at uni, or maybe even starting for your first year? What are you most looking forward to?

Until next time.


Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Monday, 19 September 2016

A Royal Day Out


My birthday gift to my mum this year was a 'Royal Day Out' at Buckingham Palace. Although her birthday was back in May, we decided the best time to make the trip would be September, as certain parts of the palace are opened up to the public between late-July and early-October (and we wanted to avoid the surge of people during the summer months).

Of course, I was actually really ill on the day (typical), but I'd booked a few weeks in advance and obviously wasn't going to back out. It was a very warm day, which didn't help the sickness feeling, but I powered through and we had a pretty nice day.


A Royal Day Out ticket includes admission to the Queen's Gallery, the Royal Mews, and the State Rooms; you can alternatively by individual tickets to each attraction if you're on a time limit. In all, from when we entered the Gallery to when we left through the garden, we were there for around five hours, so the full day experience really does cover the bulk of the day.

We began at the Queen's Gallery, which essentially had two main exhibits. The first was Maria Merian's Butterflies. The images were very vibrant and depicted the life cycles of insects, which was done very nicely. Essentially her paintings were used educationally, as a means to educate the people of the 1700s on the insects life cycles, and informing them of what she'd learnt during her time in Suriname.



The other exhibition displayed the work of Scottish Artists between 1750-1900. These paintings were more focused on people, with many portraits, but still with the odd landscape image (my personal favourites). There were many paintings of the royal family throughout this period, in particular, of course, Queen Victoria.

After the Gallery, we went on to the Mews. The royal carriages are beeeeeautiful. I cannot even begin to describe the grandeur and attention to detail. Absolutely stunning. It was so interesting to read into the history of the Royal Mews and the Riding School as well, and to learn about the day-to-day routine there. There were two horses out to be seen, but they looked a little shy and a bit hot and bothered sadly (it was a very hot day).



Due to the heat, we grabbed an ice lolly and sat in the shade for a little break before entering the State Rooms in our allocated time slot (entry to the Gallery and State Rooms are timed, but you can enter the Mews at whatever time you wish - so if you wanted more time in the Gallery, you could come back to the Mews after the State Rooms).

The State Rooms were pretty darn stunning. Everything was as elegant as you can imagine and in perfect colour schemes. This was by far the hottest of the three locations though, so if you end up going on a hot day, be warned - there are benches to sit down throughout, but they will be crowded.

The Queen's Wardrobe display was out, so we got to have a look at some of her outfits, from when she was very young, to more recent ones, like her outfit for the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.

Of all the rooms, I must say the Music Room was my favourite, closely followed by the Blue Drawing Room. They were just, perfect? I don't think you could possibly design any room better. Very impressive.


When leaving the State Rooms, you head out into the Garden, where there's a little cafe; we had ice cream (of course), which was very nice. And then we hit up the gift shop, which was something else. The tea sets were everything I could ever dream of but £££££ golly were they pricey. We settled for some fancy tins of biscuits and a bar of chocolate with the palace on it. But one day, I'd like a few cups and saucers for my future home.


All in all, we had a really nice day (almost nice enough to forget how dreadful I felt, but unfortunately not quite). We rounded it off with a wander through Green Park, before heading off to catch our train home.

Personally, I think Buckingham Palace is definitely worth having a look around. And, additionally, you can convert your tickets into a year's pass if you get it stamped at one of the three attractions, which we did. As a result we're hoping to head back on a cooler date, which will hopefully make another day even more enjoyable.

Until next time.


Contacts/social media:
Twitter: @abbielour
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Email: abbielour18@gmail.com

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Lion King


On Thursday I took my best friend, Charlie, to London for a day of sun and song (and food), to celebrate her upcoming 21st birthday before we're back and busy at uni.


We arrived in London at around lunchtime, but knowing we would be having dinner fairly early in the evening, we didn't have a big lunch. Instead, we opted to head to cc Selfridges, and have a cupcake each at Lola's Cupcakes. Charlie went for salted caramel and I had red velvet.


We didn't really have a plan or schedule for the afternoon, so decided to do a few touristy bits. First we went along to Baker Street to see Sherlock Holmes' house; only from the outside however, but I'm sure we'll go back to have a tour around the inside at some point. We then headed off to King's Cross to find Platform 9 3/4, which we did not realise was a full on tourist attraction, with a shop and a photographer.


We were there for a while before going on a wander around, then going towards Trafalgar Square. It was a very warm day, so the breeze next to the fountains was ever so refreshing. We had a nice sit down and relaxed for a little while before moving on.

Following on from that we sauntered off to Covent Garden, where we caught a street performer, before heading off round the corner to dinner. We went to one of our favourite restaurants, Fire and Stone. We discovered the place back when there was one in Oxford several years ago, which sadly closed down. But now, every other time we come to London we have to go. They do the most wonderful pizzas, and also accept tastecards, giving you 50% off of your food. The food was delicious, I have a Melbourne pizza, one of my favourites.



After dinner we made our way to the Lyceum Theatre, which was just down the road, to see The Lion King. We'd both heard brilliant things about the production, but nothing could have prepared us for how utterly phenomenal it was. From the moment it began to the second it finished, we were amazed. The costumes, the music, the stage production. It was incredible. If you're thinking of seeing a musical next time you're in London, you should without a doubt see this one.

All in all it was the loveliest day, and a wonderful way to celebrate Charlie's birthday.

Until next time.


Twitter: @abbielour
Instagram: abbielour
Email: abbielour18@gmail.com