Tintern Abbey

So, here is the first of my promised catch-up posts!

One of our little jaunts away was to see S’s family over in the West Country. On one of our days out we hopped over the border and into Wales, to visit the lovely Tintern Abbey.

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Tintern is a picturesque ruin, in the most beautiful setting, nestled in the depths of the Wye Valley.

The Abbey itself was built in medieval times, before falling into ruin as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries brought about by Henry VIII. It’s a familiar story for most monastic buildings or Abbeys found in the UK dating from this period, but for anyone who’s not aware, the dissolution of the monasteries basically involved the crown under Henry VIII seizing large amounts of land previously owned by the Church at the time when the Church of England split from the Catholic Church.

If you’re interested in the history of this, you can read more about Tintern here. But I really just wanted to share my photos – my little attempt to try and capture the atmosphere of this amazing place.

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I hope you enjoyed this little peek, if you’re ever in the Wye Valley area I recommend a visit to take in the sight for yourself!

 

Jxx

A typography walk

January is a good time to try something new. It was completely unplanned, but this weekend I’ve managed to try two new things – pretty good going!

The first was a new magazine, Breathe, which jumped off the shelf and into my hand whilst browsing the magazine rack in a supermarket on Saturday morning.

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I am a bit of a magazine addict. The Simple Things is one of my favourites, and probably the only one that I get every month without fail. I tend to gravitate away from the traditional ‘women’s lifestyle’ magazines – you know the kind that are full of make-up tips and fashion spreads – those aren’t really my thing. To be honest I’ve been feeling a bit fed up with homes and interiors magazines lately too – they always seem to have the same spreads of all white houses. Magazines like The Simple Things which mix features that I actually want to read, recipes, craft and travel items are much more my cup of tea these days. Breathe seems to be after this pattern, and I’ll be looking out for it from now on. I haven’t had a chance to read much of it yet, but it looks really good, with lovely photography, interesting features and ideas for things to do.

So, buying Breathe led me to try my second new thing of the weekend as one of the short features in this issue suggested a typography walk as something fun to do. This is exactly what it sounds like – grab your camera, head out side and find and snap as many interesting examples of typography and signs as you can. I love to take photos and I do like interesting signage and typography, so this seemed perfect. So, when S and I headed out for lunch today I brought along my camera. I wasn’t really expecting to find much just in our local area, but I found about 10 good examples of typography within a short distance of our flat.

 

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This was really good fun (well to me it is anyway!), and I think is a great way to be a little more observant of your everyday surroundings, including the kinds of places you see week after week and don’t pay much attention to.

Stay cosy x

 

In and around Hampstead

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This time I thought I’d share a little bit about a day out S and I had in London. We often think that there are a lot of hidden gems in London. Places to visit that tourists might overlook and that we as London inhabitants probably forget or never hear about. So, I thought it would be fun to tell you about a visit we had to Hampstead this weekend. It’s one of my favourite areas of London for wandering around. And it’s not just about the famous Hampstead Heath or and the view from the top of Parliament Hill. There’s a lot more to Hampstead.

The main reason for this little wandering was for me to have a chance to try out a new camera. I’ve been lucky enough this week to snap up a new-old camera in the form of a second hand Canon Eos M compact system camera, in virtually mint condition. I wanted to take it out for a spin, so came up with the idea of a walk around Hamsptead to visit some of my favourite haunts.

There are some lovely back streets and side streets, which seem to have hardly changed since Victorian times. If you like old street lamps, street signs and forgotten little churches with overgrown graveyards carpetedin flowers, you’ll be in heaven here.

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When the weather is as gorgeous as it was yesterday, it’s enough for me to just roam the streets – I don’t need anything more to make me happy!

However, if you are after some more of a destination, and a little bit of culture for your day out then there are a few National Trust properties in and around Hampstead. We happened upon this one, Fenton House.

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We didn’t go in on this occassion, but just peaked through the gate.

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However, it’s now on my list of London places to visit, so I’ll hopefully be returning there soon.

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The final destination for our morning out was the Hampstead Pergola. The Pergola is sort of part of Hampstead Heath, but is a little bit away from the most popular spots on the Health. You can find out more about it, and a map here.

It’s a beautiful spot to visit on a summer’s day, and yesterday it felt positively mediteranean!

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It’s truly a beautiful spot to sit and lounge, soaking up the sun. There are plenty of benches where you can sit and take in the view and enjoy the site of the occasional rose peeping out from between the stone columns.

That’s all for now, but I promise to be back with a crafty catch up soon. Hope you’ve enjoyed the weekend, whatever you’ve been doing!