Tropical Yorkshire

I know summer is over and it makes me very sad, so to cheer me (and you?) up a bit, here are some pics I took during a walk along the canal back in August. I'm pretty sure some of these flowers aren't endemic to Yorkshire but they certainly seem to be thriving!

I seem to have a thing for all fern-related plants at the moment. I even bought a huge one for my bathroom! It's not the happiest fern but it seem to be doing ok, I hope. I promise you'll get a peek of him soon!

As much as I complain about some aspects of living in our house (everything keeps breaking, the landlady couldn't care less, it's draughty as hell), it is lovely to live by the canal and to get to snap pictures of fancy boats whenever you go for a walk.

This cluster of houses is where the tropical (and general flowery) magic seems to take place. Ready to be transported to a fairyland of vibrant flowers and tiny garden gates and neatly growing lettuce in no particular order?

I also admire the hardy weeds that keep on going despite the layers of toxic paint that they get sprayed with every few weeks. It's not easy being green.

I'd like to finish off by showing you how the wildlife is doing. The geese are as hissy as ever with us humans but they seem to be getting on just fine with their Canadian cousins.

The local cats had a rather zen Summer, mainly spent sitting around with eyes half-closed, being cats.

Some are naturally more perplexed (and adorable) than others, but I can assure you, we love them all just the same.

So, that was Summer along the canal! I will be turning 30 (gaaaaaaaah) in 2 days and celebration preparations are in full swing (the brownie is in the oven. I repeat, the brownie is in the oven). I can't quite believe I'm a real grown-up now, I still feel like I'm just pretending most of the time. Oh well, here's to pretending, and being, and enjoying, and succeeding!


Yorkshire Sculpture Park

So that's what a freelance translator's Summer is like... let me just try and remember that for next year so that I can have all my fun during a different season... No really, sorry bunnies, I seem to have drowned in work over the last few months and am just creeping out of my nest and into the dazzling October sunlight. Forgive me for the long silence. I have lots of adventures to tell you about!

Let's start with an adventure that happened in July! My Mama came to visit us and it was the perfect occasion to go to Yorkshire Sculpture Park as I had been wanting to go for ages (this is the view from the restaurant balcony. Not too shabby). Ok, mostly because I had spotted these plates in their online gift shop and I really really liked them...

Well everything else in his exhibition was just as pretty. I wasn't sure if photos were allowed so I only took the one. You'll have to go and check it out for yourself!

The park is very big and of course we had a little look at some of the other exhibitions too. Now this artwork is by Ursula von Rydingsvard and the basic concept is that she carves big things out of wood and metal and sometimes glass (you can read a much more detailed description here).

I think this one looks better as it is outside. They just weren't as striking inside the exhibition hall. Boyfriend was so overwhelmed (ahem) with all this artistic creativity that he had to go for a lie-down under the tree while we carried on.

We also saw an exhibition by Ai Weiwei (more here) which I really liked. Simple yet moving, like a lot of his work. Photos aren't allowed inside the chapel so once again: you'll have to go and take a look yourself!

So this was our day at YSP! One of these days I'll get some decent pics of the lovely things I came home with!!


Now you see me, now you don't

Remember when my bookcase looked like this?

Then it looked like this. A definite improvement, but the multiple colours still stang my eyes a little, and although I loved seing my collection of vintage books and miscellaneous objects, I was concerned that they would get sun damaged if I didn't protect them in some way.

Enter, the £6 piece of material that I came across by chance while browsing one of my favourite Hebden shops! Initially I had thought wallpaper might work. This was the main reason for ordering all the samples that ended up here: 

Then I decided £30 for a roll of wallpaper was a bit much for something I might never get the chance to use again. So I was keeping my eyes peeled for something pretty and easy and with a geometrical pattern, preferably yellow triangles and grey or white circles... when I saw this little bit of retro jungle material and thought: yessss!

Also, as you may have noticed, there has been a furniture switcheroo in our living room! More on that later though, this post is all about showing as many pictures as possible of my relooked bookcase:

What do you think? Yes to material in bookcase doors? I gave the rest of the material to my Mama who is going to make cushions out of it for her new house! Yay for matching house decor!

On a completely unrelated greenery update note: we have two huge Jasmine trees on our back terrace and a couple of branches were growing dangerously close to the dustbin, risking decapitation each time someone opened and closed the lid. So I decided to give them a longer life in the house, and have since realised that Jasmine has a very strong and very lovely smell that fills the whole room. I can't get enough of it! I'm hoping a few more branches decide to grow in the direction of the dustbin so that I have an excuse to do a bit more pruning...

Our little rescue plant is doing so well! Unlike the Nasturtium you can see in the background, who have been decimated by caterpillars... I've since had to get rid of all the dead stalks and replace them with something else. Pictures soon!


Scampston vintage weekend - part 2

This is the continued story of how we visited East Yorkshire and a vintage fair (first part here). So, if you remember from my previous post, we had a lovely (if chilly and damp) picnic the night before the vintage fair and rose bright and early the next morning to make the most of the sunny day. 

We got to Scampston a bit early, so we had a little wander about the tiny village. It was like something straight out of a film with the beautiful old brick houses and vintage cars whizzing past on their way to the show.

Just imagine living here...

Storing your garden tools here...

Going to church here...

 And going for walks in the fields around the village...


Isn't it just like a film set? I'm always amazed at how quaint the UK is in places. Like time has completely stood still. I'm pretty sure the house prices haven't though.

Anyway, on to some proper vintage fun! We were greeted by this lovely sight as we arrived at the fair:

Actually, if I'm absolutely honest, we were greeted by this sight. I guess you might as well find out where the toilet is as soon as you arrive, yes? Also, please note the neat queue which has formed spontaneously, the reasonable distance from the toilets, the personal space between each person. As a former inhabitant of suburban Paris, it thrills me to see such respectful and disciplined queueing.

There were a lot more cars than I had expected and their owners stood proudly next to them, ready to answer any questions we may have and launch into a full-on history of their baby. Sadly, Boyfriend and I aren't really into cars, so although I think they're much prettier than the one we own, I don't have anything interesting to say about them.

Now this one is different (apparently!): it's from a TV show or something. There were lots of people crowded around it and posing and Boyfriend got all excited and snapped these pictures of it!

So that was the celebrity car at Scampston does vintage! I liked this pram much better though, and I liked it even more when I realised it had a real baby in it! Not a vintage one! A young baby one! Anyway... some things are only funny to me, moving on swiftly!

There was a dance workshop but I think people were a bit too intimidated (or maybe just to sweaty under the arms, it was turning out to be a proper scorcher!) to take part. These two were extremely good though, and a lot of fun to watch.

There were a scattering of stalls and 3 or 4 big tents around the grounds. The old VW in this pic had been turned into a photobooth, with lots of accessories and fun backdrops to choose from. I just wanted to sit on a bale of straw and sip cocktails at that point, but that would have made me a very good contendent for the vintage sunburn and heat stroke trophies...

There were a couple of different bands playing again and it was all very festive and sweet and Bully Holly-esque. I don't think I saw a single grumpy face all day. Proof that they don't write'em like they used to...

We did a bit of exploring and discovered a lovely lake and park. I didn't dare do anything to these pics because the greens and blues were already sooo intense.

So like I said, there were a couple of individual stalls with people selling things, but the main selling took place under big markees.

So did the tea drinking and home made cake eating!

Although there was a serious selection of lovely things, I didn't take anything home with me... sad face. Sometimes you have to know when your house is full enough, right?

Instead, we left the fair and went to fill our bellies at a lovely pub down the road. Sitting in the shade with a frosty beer is just something you have to do now and again.

Thanks again to Anna for the tickets and the opportunity for a refreshing weekend getaway! I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the next Britain does vintage events!