Some more winter shots…

Here are a couple more winter shots from around London, these were taken in the Soho area, close to Piccadilly Circus in my previous post.


These were taken on my GoPro Hero 7 silver, a fairly new model when I bought it. I really wanted to get a camera that would take good video and timelapses, but I also wanted to experiment with the images I could get from it too. It has more of a fish eye lens meaning a lot can fit into the screen from close proximity.

Some decent shots can be taken on the ground (literally putting it on the floor with it being waterproof) and getting the ground, buildings and sky all in one shot for a more all round photo.


I also used this in Edinburgh, catching some nice shots of the local sights. It is a great camera for still shots, with objects appearing so close you can almost touch them despite capturing so much behind it too. My sister being the center of attention in the first shot!


If anyone is interested I have linked the Edinburgh post right here, it really is one of my favourite cities and one I never get bored of walking around. Both the architecture and landscape is stunning and I couldn’t recommend it enough. You may recognize the last picture as the one I use on my Instagram and at the bottom of my website when scrolling down. Despite the Walter Scott Monument being in Edinburgh I haven’t found a picture I want to replace with it yet in London. So it will remain for a wee while!

Just a couple more shots I wanted to share with you, more tomorrow and hopefully more time too. I have been fairly busy today, despite not leaving the house. My flatmate and I are currently watching Tiger King as well, which so far has got us both hooked. For someone that doesn’t watch much TV, I have surprised myself for sure.

Has anyone been watching it? It seems to have everyone’s attention.

No spoilers though please!!



Due to the Coronavirus outbreak I am somewhat limited as to what I can do in London, but I aim to post as much as I can during this time. I promise to have some great posts coming your way once this is all over as I continue to explore London.

Stay home, stay safe and happy blogging!



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Getting deep in thought in Edinburgh

I had a great time up in Edinburgh seeing family. The problem was catching a bad cold once I got back to London that had me in bed for a couple of days when I was planning to post about it. I am back down in London now on my days off work with enough energy, so hello again!


I know the trip to Edinburgh pretty well now, being my sisters current home and my mum’s birthplace. You may know it well now too, as I have posted about it many times. It is a great city. Beautiful, not too busy, easy to walk around… I am always happy to give it another visit. And from my mum’s home in Durham it isn’t a long journey at all. This will cause a little deja vu in some of you that have seen previous posts from Edinburgh, but it isn’t a city you can go to and not talk about again and again.

As I was checking the train times I noticed on the screen that trains were delayed. Pretty standard really. What I haven’t seen before however was a description as to why they were delayed, in particular on this specific and tragic occasion.


It actually told us that someone was hit by a train between Grantham and Newark North Gate. It is very sad to hear and we have no way of knowing if this was fatal, although the chances of course are very high. I was surprised that it mentioned exactly what happened as I would have just expected a ‘due to an incident’ kind of message. My mum and I had the person in our thoughts as we waited for the train, this gave us a reminder of how precious life is. I hope the family are okay.


So many people, it is impossible to know all of the struggles people go through. And despite seeing something like that on a board it is still hard to become too emotional. I have no idea who the person is and what they look like… Is it a boy or a girl? Young or old? Was it someone loving life and were incredibly happy that simply had an accident, or someone that couldn’t live for another moment? All we can do is read the text and try to imagine how awful this news would have been for their family that day. A reminder that just because we can’t see or know about other people’s problems it doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Or that we are the only ones that have problems. This helps me to get by when times are hard.

A peaceful train journey was had, and we arrived at our destination.


A cold and cloudy day, but this didn’t really matter too much. It gives the streets more of a dramatic feel, the statues looking down to us below a dark sky that reminds me of a darker history.



Red telephone boxes losing their red over a time when telephone boxes are more for photographs than for calling. They have become pretty useful for those wanting to advertise brands or send out messages to the world in the form of stickers.


Below, the golden toe of philosopher David Hume. It has become tradition for passers by to rub his toe for wisdom or luck. Some do it just to keep the pastime going.



As travel often does, we arrived quite peckish. We met my sister and decided to find somewhere that after midday would still serve breakfast as we were hoping to be there and eating a little earlier. We found this friendly pub (not the one in the above photo however) that would happily do this after the bartender checked with the chef.


I mean who wouldn’t want to go into a pub with a Scottish monkey as a mascot?


We sat and ate, I went for the Scottish breakfast. A little variation from the full english, the weird things you can see on my plate are as follows:

Haggis– savoury pudding, ingredients include sheep heart, liver, lungs and stomach. Interestingly looking this up I learned that traditional haggis has been banned in the US since 1971. Apparently no food consumed in the US is allowed to contain sheep lung.

Black pudding– also popular south of the border. A blood sausage consisting of pigs blood, mixed with oats, herbs and spices.

Tattie scones– (seen underneath my fried egg and toast) basically a potato scone, ‘tattie’ being a sottish term for potato.


It is certainly not for vegetarians/vegans, and I felt a million miles away from this whilst eating it. As I get older I am looking into vegetarianism/veganism more, and although I haven’t set out to be one I think I may at some point give it a go. It is hard changing up a lifestyle that I am used to, but I guess today is easier than ever.

Having this breakfast is like a time machine. In that old pub I felt what it would have been like to eat such a meal with family in the warmth by the fire whilst the cold, dark nights roll in.


Speaking of tougher times, we headed up the Royal Mile to the castle where I discovered a little memorial to those poor souls that were literally burned for witchcraft.


The castle is amazing as it sits right on top of an extinct volcano. The rock formed after an eruption 340 million years ago and later (much, much later!) provided a suitable place for a castle.

Here I am getting my castle fix.



The sound of bagpipes flow through the streets and it is a great sound. It is a reminder of the proud history Scotland has and the patriotism still seen today. And I can’t walk past the monument below without taking a moment to take it in and grab a few shots as I do. Scott Monument is my favourite structure so far in the city, it just looks awesome.



At the time Remembrance Day was taking place for fallen soldiers, hence the poppies and crosses on the grass around it.


The sun decided to come out and really made a difference.


Now I know the Scottish like to drink, but this is on another level. I decided to go for a drink with my mum after we said our goodbye’s to my sister and waited for the train back. We headed to a hotel bar providing nice views of the city.



As I headed to the toilet, I kid you not some guy left his trousers on the bathroom floor.

Trousers!! I must have deleted this picture from my phone so I went back into my Instagram story.


It looked like they were taken off in a hurried manner as change spilled onto the floor. There was no one in the bathroom, however when a housekeeper came in he looked just as confused as I was. I decided that I didn’t want to get drunk enough to forget my own jeans so left after one and headed to two of the cities museums.


A little further down Princes St are two buildings opposite one another. The Scottish National Gallery displaying historical paintings and the Royal Scottish Academy of contemporary art. As I do not know too much about art I preferred the Scottish National Gallery, as the artworks made more sense. They were created by talented artists and I could see the effort that went into them without any further knowledge needed.


Contemporary art is more hit and miss for me. Some of it I liked, like the sculpture below.


Others not so much, such as the colourful thing below with a very hefty price tag.


I try to be open minded but if something doesn’t blow me away on first looking, it has to do really well to impress me after that. I didn’t catch the meaning behind the one above, but looking at it I feel I could achieve that. I just have to assume that there is something more to it that is above my comprehension, or a meaning that is so clever it has to be interpreted in this very way. Maybe if I knew the meaning I could understand just how perfectly the sculpture represents it and respect it a little more. Who knows.


In the space left on the floor I couldn’t help to think what if I brought along the guys abandoned jeans? Place it in the centre of the floor, change scattered around it and see who takes interest. See what meanings would arise. I mean everything has a meaning, I would call the piece ‘despair’.

Art of the times, our fast paced lives, the way we live and the contrast to how we want to live. The struggle to get our lives in order when the easier option is to grab a beer and slowly forget with each sip that our lives aren’t in order. Wearing jeans is a cultural but not a physical necessity to get through life, alcohol blurring the line between what is needed and what is accepted. The small change representing our willingness to waste many tools that help us, not realising that what seems minuscule and a burden in our pockets are small grains of sand that form a beach. A beach isn’t possible without these grains of sand.

That will be £11,000 please.


Art seller



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The travel stories sound great but… did you tan?

I must admit, after booking a flight to Cairns I have had a few concerns with being exposed to unrelenting sunshine.

Then again, looking at the forecast for the dates I will be there, it seems to be very cloudy. I do hope we get a few sunny days.

However it took me back to this post about our desire for a tan, and how in the UK a sun tan is what people want to see most from our time away on our two week long Spanish holiday. It is like a trophy almost. People gather around at work to listen to your stories of that bright golden thing in the sky and what it felt like on the skin.

Let me know your thoughts on this. I am sure many people from the UK and other nations with similar climates can relate. Those that live in warmer climates, just show a little compassion to your grey skied neighbours 😉

I was with three German friends yesterday, they were travelling from Stuttgart to Newcastle for a weekend break. They underestimated the Scottish sunshine as I watched them come back from a day trip to Edinburgh. It’s there and craves attention from time to time. One of them came back more red than a Stuttgart away shirt.


Of course, the featured image isn’t northern Europe. It is Belém, Portuguese for Bethlehem. I loved this city and the regions around it, if I was in danger of sunburn it was this place. It is a shame, I used to tan so well. Maybe it was the parental guidance as a child and my clear lack of self reliance to apply enough sunscreen. I am fine with this though, it isn’t the main focus of my holiday.

It seems to be the main focus for so many people. When I arrive home after a trip, more often than not my skin colour will be the topic of conversation. Whether I tanned or not, I have to go through the cliche who-has-the-browner-skin competition.


I have five right arms. Great for carrying groceries, terrible for balance.

For many Brits, holidays abroad are simply for the sunshine. To be able to sit down outside with a beer and do nothing. To get a great tan and show everyone back home. It seems like this is what is perceived of my reasons to travel too. Not the stories of what I did or where I went, what food I tried and how much of the language I learned. Just how hard I tried to sit still to get brown enough to prove I went away in the first place.

I do often come back with a little colour, but this shouldn’t be the only evidence that any journey was worth it. If anything the lack of tan may prove I was busy doing other things, venturing away from the hotel pool from time to time. If I go all that way I want to make it worth it. I want to take this opportunity to do what I cannot back home and sample a new experience that my great grandparents were not able to.

I wonder if I went back in time and visited my great grandparents, would they take any interest in my change of skin colour at all, considering the huge amount of curiosity they must have gathered knowing I had travelled overseas? Or would they spend the whole day sitting down with me asking what such an experience was like? The smells from the restaurants, the appearance of the natives, the warmth of the rain and the height of the mountains.

The tan fades. Experiences don’t.


Originally posted 19th June, 2017

Reposted 1st February, 2018

Meet Biggles

This is Biggles. He was a much loved dog at The Rocks in Sydney where he lived. He was often seen on the back of a bike in a milk crate riding around with his owner.

This reminded me instantly of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier that spent the last 14 years of his life in the 19th century guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray. My mother introduced me to Bobby in Edinburgh (where she was also born) and I have walked by the statue many times.

The monument has had a problem with tourists rubbing Bobby’s nose for good luck. This has caused discolouration and signs have been put around his neck asking passers by to refrain from doing so.

Back to Biggles, I had to Google him for a little more info. I’m sure the local tourist information centre could have provided it however I decided to explore the streets a little further and do a quick search later. Monument Australia provided the following.

‘Biggles was regarded as a `local character` among the residents and shopkeepers as he roamed the Rocks Area sometimes leaping from balconies in pursuit of cats. Unfortunately for Biggles, his final leap was off a cliff near Mrs Macquarie`s Chair after what was thought to have been a rat. Biggles died at the age of fourteen and is now immortalised in the statue created by artist, Anne Dybka, herself a resident of the Rocks.’

He spent his whole life chasing, as we should be doing with our dreams. Bobby spent his whole life loving, equally admirable. 

Has your hometown had a very popular pet, one that fits beautifully into the community? Does it have one currently that deserves a statue in the future?

Let’s all be like Biggles and Bobby. I for one could certainly learn a thing or two from these great dogs.

Scratch your name 

There is something beautiful about carving your name into history when it isn’t in a toilet cubicle.

This was below a bar if you’re wondering, I took a snap whilst waiting to be served.
When it is welcomed it’s fun. It is fascinating to read who it is and when it was, where they are from and the reason for being there. I love being able to glimpse into the lives of other people, even if it is for a second.  Whole lives glanced at for a few short moments, marriages and anniversaries, birthdays and first dates… Interesting stories that would be missed if I was to simply look elsewhere.

This is our everyday. We walk by amazing stories daily without knowing, as do others when they walk right by us. I built a tolerance for other people in the street when they seem mad, rushed or genuinely ignorant when I considered the fact that they may have similar problems to me. It is easy to judge a person instantly without the experience behind the scenes.

Thankfully, everyone seems content in this image, even Lucky despite losing her phone and wallet.

If you can’t be lucky, be happy.


I always feel like I put weight on at festivals such as the Fringe. Not because of the beer and burgers but for the sheer amount of flyers I am given. 

Although it may be too late, if anyone is heading up to Edinburgh right now I highly recommend these guys. They are called LOVEHARD and the performance is called ‘Murdered by Murder’.

I saw them perform in a pub called The Newsroom, although this may have changed since. There was a stage with two actors and a coffee table, the room darkened with a third person playing piano along to the scenes. Set in the 1930’s, a group of friends play a murder mystery game on Christmas Eve at a stately home when an actual murder takes place. The performance takes you through the night and all of the accusations, twists and turns with plenty of wit and improv along the way.

What was unique about this performance was that the multiple characters were played by the two young actors you can see above. The stage must have only been ten feet wide in the basement of this pub, enough room to switch character with a ‘whoosh’ sound. The character changes must have been every ten seconds or so, and it worked both perfectly and hilariously.

It was completely unique and I don’t often throw recommendations out there, however this deserves one. Not in Edinburgh? If the great ratings keep coming I am sure they will be seen elsewhere. What I love about the Fringe Festival is that most of these shows are free and promoted via word of mouth. I paid a fiver towards it, into a bucket whilst leaving as they asked for donations. 

Sometimes the best things in life are free, and sometimes these things deserve a little money.

Facebook: LoveHardComedy

Where we choose to look in life 

We are a very proud species. What is better than admitting defeat is to keep looking the wrong way, hoping something on the horizon looks vaguely like the thing we are wanting to see.

I felt this picture deserved a post of its own. I knew right away what that post would be as I looked beyond the spyglass and onto the horizon and its constantly changing weather patterns. 

Taking a step back and viewing the horizon as a whole can be much better for gaining an accurate perspective. It may seem better to keep looking deeper and deeper into something to find meaning, sometimes the true discoveries are found by looking elsewhere. 

This is how I try to see life. If I am looking somewhere and get no results I will look elsewhere, even if that takes me out of my comfort zone. Looking elsewhere isn’t admitting defeat, and defeat may well lead to quicker success.