Friday, 28 August 2015

Adventures in Wonderland


This time of the year is always Alice-themed these days. Or so it seems, anyway.
After weeks of letting it tug vaguely at the corners of my mental to-do list, I've gone ahead and booked tickets for Alice's Adventures Underground, interactive* performance extraordinaire. (I won't use the other 'i' word, because everyone hates it and you know it.) The event isn't until tomorrow, and already I've spent days obsessing over small details - does the 'Black/Red' dress code mean red and black? Red or black? What if I change my mind and decide I want to side with another suit? Should I Eat it? Drink it? Which one will make me big, which one small? What do I want? - until I thought I was going mad. And then I thought maybe that was the point.

I never thought I liked Alice. Having been decidedly unimpressed by the Disney cartoon, cat-less smile aside, I shoved the memory of it to the back of my mind as a child, to only take it out of a dusty brain drawer when Disney's shiny-and-new live remake forced me to. I was equally unimpressed. But I had to admit, something about the Crazy-circus, Creepy-clown concept of it all appealed to me. I mulled it over and had to concede - Alice belongs to the same, dreamy-yet-terrifying-if-you-think-like-really-think-about-it category as Peter Pan.

Once I realised that, I was hooked (no pun intended).

And so last year, I decided my birthday would be Wonderland-themed.


Quite conveniently, Archway with Words festival decided to hold an Alice in Wonderland Fancy Dress Day on that very date, complete with hat-making and flamingo croquet.

 

(In case you're wondering, I won at flamingo croquet. Ha.)



(At least... I think I did?)



A certain mad hatter talked us into making giant card hats...

          

...And we got stuck in a house.




Top - Etam
Silk corset - Harmony
Skirt - Topshop
Vintage apron - Absolute Vintage
Cardigan - Jane Norman
Shoes - Repetto
Clock earrings - Warehouse
Clock necklace - Vintage
Scarf - gift from Jerusalem







I want to hear all about YOUR Wonderland events, parties and adventures!



Thursday, 23 October 2014

Reminiscence - Spring Ball




In anticipation of the upcoming historical Poppy Ball, I thought I'd share with you a few photos of the previous period ball by the same Masters of Ceremonies, the Spring Ball at Normansfield Theatre, Langdon House.



The venue is a Grade II Listed theatre with beautiful hand painted decors.
Built in 1877-79, it retains its Victorian side flaps, in full working order, and is still used for performances to this date.
Langdon House itself is home to the UK's Down Syndrome Association, to whom the Ball's profits were donated.




Waltzes were danced, quadrilles, reels and country dances, including my beloved Pride of Erin Waltz and all-time favourite Waltz Cotillion - all to live music by the wonderful Green Ginger.




Photographs #2 and #6 courtesy of Andrew Rawe



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Time Tourist in Kew Gardens

After being asked multiple times throughout the day if I was a tourist in my own city (was it the camera? the odd clothes? Who knows...) it was decided by my friends that a tourist I was indeed, only of the time-travelling kind. And so I was declared a Time Tourist.

This was my first visit to Kew in a very, very long time (a Time Tourist never reveals her age). The only thing I remembered about it was the large Greenhouse by the pond, next to Victoria Gate - I wasn't disappointed.


I like to think of it as a tropical palace...







 Dancing in the Greenhouse

What I didn't remember, on the other hand, was the Other greenhouse, the one where each room amazingly reproduces an entirely different climate to the next. The sights and smells there are wonderful. Seriously, take a deep breath when you enter each room! You'd be losing so much of the experience otherwise. It's like stepping into a different country altogether.


So tropical the lens gets foggy!

Banana alien



Now, I'm not much of a romantic, but on that day we happened to walk into a small and unassuming glasshouse. The contemplative stillness of the waterlily pond took my breath away. 


~



Making friends with plants

Blouse - Vintage
Leather skirt - handmade by my grandmother!
Turquoise necklace - Oliver Bonas



Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mongolian Chic



So... you guys may be wondering where I've been for the past few months, lack of posts and all.

I've been off having adventures in Mongolia.

Part of me wants to spend the rest of my life out on the steppe.
 



I met some incredible people and made friends so close they're basically family. I learned of new traditions and customs, how to find monuments and walk the length of valleys for days without tiring. I also learned how to keep singing after the third bottle. I ran through thunderstorms and bathed in rivers, drank salted tea and killed my own dinner. I drank too much dairy, ate too much mutton and drank too much vodka. I wrestled and partied up at a Kazakh wedding. I had snowball fights under the heat of a sunny summer day.














A hunter's tamed eagle


The bride and groom. She was much happier once she got rid of that encumbering dress, and promptly joined us to dance to Gangnam Style.




For months my concept of 'indoors' meant sitting by the yurt stove, playing cards as I watched the smoke escape through the hole in the roof and enjoyed the respite from the biting cold of Mongolian nights.
Coming back to civilization was... a bit of a shock. Strangely enough, the one thought that struck me the most was the rediscovery of windows - you can see the outdoors and not get rained on?! And curtains - what a frivolous thing they seem!


Some things seem incredibly luxurious after you've lived under a tent for a month. Like artichoke juice.
And curtains. And showers.

In the week following the return to Ulaan Baator, I trawled markets, embarrassed myself at karaoke and raided the department store's CD section. I bought a mighty fine pair of riding boots, and still ate too much mutton.




Horse belly hotpot!

Making friends with a giant vulture.
They're a hell of a lot more sociable than eagles.

After missing our train to the Gobi for the 3rd day in a row, we decided to head to Darkhan and make a surprise visit to a very special person.
We may have, on a whim, flagged a random car and asked them to take us on a two-day trip out of the city.
His 10-year-old son drove, we camped out and feasted on roasted pickles and ChocoPies while the wolves howled in the nearby hills.





I told you there'd be adventure on this blog.