Take Two…

Ever feel like starting over again?

Since my last post, I have actively made the decision to leave the job that was adversely affecting my health due to stress. I’m due to start a new job in a matter of days and whilst excited at the prospect of a fresh start, I can’t help but wonder what I would do differently second time around.

What I will say is that having defined goals in my personal life will help me to place less of an emotional emphasis on my working life which should allow me focus on the things that really matter to me. I have piles of unfinished projects, lost focus of my goals which were so important and motivational to me and have retreated into myself. Slowly but surely I will gather the momentum that was inherent in my life before this experience but the most important feeling is that I have no regrets.

Watch this space!


My Relationship with Tea: The beginning

I’m a lover of tea. I believe that after a stressful day, nothing is more intrinsically relaxing that a piping hot cup of tea. I had a blog about tea and hot beverages which was an absolute pleasure of mine. My favourite tea has been Lady Grey for a long time but after being introduced to Redbush tea by Mma Ramotswe of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (One of many series by the amazing Alexander McCall Smith), that is also a favourite. I love talking and writing about tea and hope that you can indulge me in this feckless passion dear reader. I have quite a stock building up and would love to share the joys and bitter notes of my tea journey with you if I may. Tea varieties, news, accessories and paraphernalia, books and trivia shall convert even the most tea shy amongst you.

Tea related rambling coming to this blog soon!

What is your favourite type of tea?


“The Paper Magician” and “The Glass Magician” by Charlie N. Holmberg


The former is the first book in this addictive series chronicling the lives of Ceony, the magicians apprentice and her tutor Mg.Thane (short for ‘Magician’). I know comparisons can sometimes be unflattering as every author wants to feel as though they are innovative, however it would be foolhardy NOT to make the comparison to Harry Potter, despite the fact that the main protagonist is female and a lot older that Harry. In short, this felt like I was being dragged against my will into the world of magic over inanimate everyday objects, totally engrossed and thirsty for more action! Can you tell that I loved these books?

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to read ‘The Paper Magician‘ for free via netgalley.com. This is the first book of the series in which you are introduced to Ceony and the world of magic that she inhabits. You meet Smelters, Folders and Excisioners, each with the power over a specific raw material or element and the ability to manipulate this in the course of magic. Unusually she is assigned a male tutor for her apprenticeship and she enthusiastically learns about the art of folding; a command which she initially underestimates and appears unenthused by until she discovers how useful and versatile paper is when she is forced to fight for her life against past nemesis. Obligatory magical duels, suspense, chases and bad ‘guys’ are all crucial ingredients that made this thoroughly enjoyable. Being set in historic London gave these stories a gritty familiar charm that is loved by Londoners and visitors alike and at times you are irritated by the stubborn, polite, Darcy-esque Englishness of Magician Emery Thane. None of these character traits took away from the enjoyment of the story though.

I enjoyed this so much that I borrowed the second installation ‘The Glass Magician’ using my Amazon Prime benefits! I couldn’t get enough and the second book didn’t disappoint. Ceony makes progress in her apprenticeship and discovers that she is more skilled than she could imagine when evil lurks around the corner. The second book was so much darker and grittier than the first which made it all the more enjoyable. A clever loveable protagonist, a quirky eccentric tutor and many more ‘Marmite’ characters and pleasant surprises you will love to hate…

Definitely a must read for teens and upwards I would say though I felt that it read pretty well for adults as well if you are a fan of supernatural type books.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? Who was your favourite character? Leave me a comment and let’s get discussions going!


Street Art: An unforeseen hobby

I don’t think that I have mentioned this in this blog before but it has been a hobby of mine for a number of years now to photograph graffiti and street art in any of my trips. I have quite a collection though I have not uploaded these to my blog before. Here are a few of the latest ones from a walk around the Brick Lane, Shoreditch area of London.

What you you feel about graffiti and street art?



P.s if you recognise yourself or your work, please let me know and I will attribute to you!

Artist Unknown

Artist Unknown

Artist unknown

Artist unknown

A work in progress. Artist unknown.

A work in progress. Artist unknown.

Sunday Wanderlust: Switzerland

I’ve decided that instead of moaning about returning to work on Monday, that I would use Sunday blogs to talk about a place I would like to visit or one that I would like to revisit.

Lakeside in Zug

Lakeside in Zug

 I love Switzerland.

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit for the first time in 2011. With my job as a nomad tax auditor, I was sent to Biel/Bienne in the canton or Berne some hours from Geneva, the multilingual city (German, French, Italian) was absolutely stunning and diverse. Our hotel was situated about a five minute walk from the lake which as well as being peaceful and picture perfect, featured some of the earliest forms of street art I had photographed on my travels ( I’m obsessed with photographing graffiti), friendly lake fauna and local residents. 


Next I was fortunate to visit and work in Lausanne in the canton of Vaud. This predominantly French speaking part of Switzerland possessed the same type of charm as Biel but more…well French. I frequented a bar called Bleu Lezard (http://bleu-lezard.ch/) for the live music but I understand that it is a very popular eaterie. Friendly local vibe and great music! The Ouchy waterfront was constantly busy with a life size chess board, local youngsters hanging out and tourists taking photographs.


I also visited Geneva and Zurich ( The Christmas market at the Hauptbanhof was amazing! ) but was taken aback by the beauty of Zug and its lake culture. The town was so clean and the air ridiculously fresh.  Breathing the fresh air and photographing the snow-capped mountains are experiences that I can’t forget in a hurry. Even the ducks were friendly!

There’s something so wholesome, clean and homely about Switzerland. It’s so hard to post about an entire country but of what I have seen, I love it and would love to visit again soon!

In which direction is your wanderlust pulling you this year?


Lakeside in Zug, Switzerland

Lakeside in Zug, Switzerland

Unhinged melodrama

Cue the Violins

So I might be a little late to the party but in the soundtrack of my life so far, the following pieces from Muse perfectly sum things up and bring me out in fits of melodramatic tears when I relate them to incidents and moments in my life.

That said, I’m biased. I love Muse.

There would also be ‘Knights of Cydonia’ to accompany my frustrating commutes to and from work in London. I imagine myself to be walking in slow motion, hair flowing behind me as I defeat the hostile crowds of travellers.


I can’t.

I think there is a song for every moment in life. Every smile, heartbreak, success or failure. Loss, friendship, family, love, hate, peace, war. It’s endless.

The running theme in any song that describes my life would be dramatic crescendos, instrumentals, violins, orchestral classic pieces.

Mediocrity has no place here…


I’m an 80s girl..

Growing up in a house with two older brothers in the 80s, naturally as a baby sister, you inherit the old consoles as your brothers move on to the latest gadget upgrade.

My first console was a NES and my favourite game was Super Mario Bros 3.

 Super Mario Bros 3



What’s not to love about this game? I have played previous Mario games but with the added benefit of being able to fly in this version as well as the improved graphics, this was the cause of many late nights playing in the dark, trying to avoid being told off for playing when I should be sleeping. The new suits: frog, raccoon, statue thingy all add the the awesomeness of the thing.

Forget the fact that you are a miniature Italian plumber and you’ll love this. If you haven’t heard of this cult classic, where have you been hiding for the past 29 or so years??

I love games but this one never ceases to please me!