Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 26 February 2015

{quotable thursdays}

I'm feeling particularly snowed under--with an endless pile of work that keeps on getting bigger. Apologies for my lack of posts recently!
I need to take this advice:
{laugh + sleep = cure}
Totally agree! Might I add a cuddle from the cat & a glass of vino (or cuppa) are also great cures!

{a good laugh..}

{a sweet cuddle}

{cream tea!}
{sleep tight!}


Thursday, 19 February 2015

{quotable thursdays}

Yesterday I received some good news from work, and it's in these moments, where I look back & think--my goodness I worked hard, & my goodness, I struggled. But doesn't it feel good when it finally all comes together & all your hard work is recognised?
It's for that reason, I chose this quote for today:
{success doesn't come from being lazy}
I would certainly say that success in academia doesn't come easy and isn't for the lazy... While it might take long, things do fall into place. 


Sunday, 15 February 2015

{day trip to Otavalo}

If you follow my blog regularly you'll know I spent Christmas in Ecuador. I celebrated New Year's Eve with my sister & her family (who live there) and in early January we took a day trip to Otavalo. Otavalo is a small town north of Quito (about a two hour drive), with a large market. Saturday is market day, and the market spills out into the streets of the city.
Otavalos take pride in their heritage and they still dress in the traditional way--the ladies with a white embroidered blouse, strings of gold necklaces, and long black skirt, accompanied by traditional shoes (called alpargata) and a hat. The men wear white-cropped trousers, a poncho and a hat as well as the alpargatas. (for more on the symbolism of their costume, check out this Ecuador travel website).
Otavalo is a great place to visit, but nearby there are also fantastic places for lunch--old haciendas that speak to a yesteryear, which offer visitors a wonderful place to enjoy the local cuisine and to get a peek into the colonial legacy of South America.
{Otavalos in traditional dress}

It's recommended you stop off at the Lago San Pablo on the drive down to stretch your legs--there's a cute little restaurant on the lake, and you can also stay the night in little cottages that look like something out of the Swiss Alps. The views are breathtaking...
{Lago San Pablo}

{my sister and my nephew}

We arrived in Otavalo in the late morning, when the hustle and bustle of the market was in full swing:
{traditional dress on sale}

 The market sells everything from fruit & veg and spices, to more touristy items, such as traditional blankets, embroidered table cloths, hammocks etc.. to more mundane stuff such as socks & underwear. There are also food vendors selling fried fish and other local delicacies.

{Otavalos picking out the gold beads they wear around their necks} 

{me, finding it hard to choose what to buy!}

I couldn't resist buying a beautiful black & white blanket, some embroidered bun warmers for friends, and a lovely fedora hat, which has served me well here in the UK (left)...

Once you've filled up your bags and emptied your purses at the market, head to one of the nearby haciendas for lunch. Hacienda Cusin or Hacienda Pinsaqui are both great options. They sometimes have strict set menus, so call ahead of time to check & to reserve. We had lunch at Pinsaqui, where live music was being played, and waiters serve you in bow ties and the waitresses, in traditional dress. Pinsaqui has a fantastic history of hosting illustrious figures, including Simon Bolivar. Indeed, the peace agreement between Ecuador and Colombia was signed on its very premises, known as the "Treaty of Pinsaqui". The family has a historic ambassadorial past, reflected in pictures of Frida Kahlo and Simon Bolivar gracing the walls...
{the main hall}

{filled with gorgeous antiques & chandeliers}

{the grounds are a great place to work up an appetite or burn off a big meal}

{stunning blue & white decor in the hall leading to the restaurant}

{as it's rather high altitude, the mornings and evenings are a bit chilly, so a warm fire is welcome}

{ the family's coat of arms on the menu (and on the back of the chairs)}

{traditional food}

{live music accompanies the lunch--they play in the outside hall so it isn't too loud or invasive}
We also stopped in at Hacienda Cusin, just to walk the grounds. It has sentimental reasons for us and especially for my sister & her husband, as we had a big lunch here a few days before they were married in Quito. The house dates back to 1602 and some of the grounds include a monastery--it's a wonderful place to walk around, and if you stay overnight there is a library and other wonderful guest facilities to enjoy...
{some tiles dating from to the early 17th century}

{the library for guests at Cusin (through the doors)}

Otavalo and environs is certainly worth a visit! (for more on Otavalo, you might want to read my blog from 4 years ago when I visited; for more on haciendas in Ecuador check out my blog post from a few years ago here).

Friday, 13 February 2015

{quotable thursdays}

Hello blog world!
I apologise for missing quotables yesterday, & the week before. It has been a hectic couple of weeks!
In thinking of Valentine's day tomorrow, you might want to go back to my post from a few weeks ago, that was full of LOVE!
but today's quote, is one about the importance of beginning:
{dare to begin}

Yesterday I gave a talk at the British Museum-it went well and I felt a sense of accomplishment. But one has to remember that such a moment of glory doesn't come out of the blue, but from daring to begin. For me, it's hard to know when that beginning began. Was it the moment I decided to do Art History in undergrad? Or was it when I began archival research and started piecing together bits of the puzzle? or was it when I decided to write my PhD? It certainly wasn't a few weeks ago when I put together the powerpoint and cobbled together my paper from a number of word docs--sections of an article published, sections of the rejected parts of another article published etc...
{starting to write can be the hardest for a writer}

The point is, beginning is sometimes the scariest bit, but you'll never know where it might lead if you don't take a risk & start!