Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 25 June 2015

{quotable thursdays}

How in the world is it Thursday already? Where does time go? Work has been insanely busy, so this will be short but sweet.
{lukewarm is no good}
I say, there's no point in living if you can't live to the fullest. This quality tends to encourage eccentricities. But then I think eccentric people are so much more exciting than dull, boring people. 
{a little bit of love, a little bit of crazy}

 Be an enthusiast and live your life!
{go on, wear that pink sparkly hat!}


Saturday, 20 June 2015


Last Saturday I spent the morning wandering the streets of Old Warsaw, stopping at a little cafe in a gorgeous square to enjoy a drink in the 30C weather. Today I went antiquing at Hatfield House and got caught in a torrential typically summer-in-England downpour!
I was in Warsaw to give a paper at a conference-the conference turned out to be exceptional-fantastic papers given by fantastic scholars. We ate well and were treated royally.
{conference--note funky retro furniture discussants sat on, on the stage of the lecture theatre}
On Wednesday night we rushed from the airport to the hotel and then were whisked off again to the University of Warsaw to hear the inaugural keynote lecture.
{university of Warsaw, lecture was in this fantastic building}

{university buildings}
We finished the day eating amazing pirogies at a place called Babooshka. The next morning we reconvened at the National Museum (after a glorious buffet breakfast at the Mercure Centrum--I've seen many a breakfast in my lifetime, but this spread was pretty spectacular for a mid-range hotel).
After a day of glorious papers we were given a tour of the newly installed medieval galleries by the curators. I took far too many photos, but here's a selection of some:

{us art historians listening to a tour of the galleries}

That evening we headed out for some good Polish wheat beer and dinner:
{a mega skyscraper, now home to the Palace of Culture and Science, but of Stalin origin}
The next day I gave my paper and we were once again treated to an amazing lunch in the gallery's cafe: 

The day ended with an amazing tour of the medieval collection in storage. I always find it so fascinating being able to see historical objects up close--with their grime and wear of the ages.
{conservationist brushes}

{gorgeous old paintings & glass}

{limbs from some cherub or baby Jesus}

{close looking}

{me, amongst the statues}

 We then moved on to an amazing spot where there were a ridiculous amount of beers--in the 100s to choose from, with a beautiful view of an old building, ravaged by time & wars.
{enough beer on tap?}

 The final conference dinner was held in a lovely old Polish restaurant:

 On Saturday morning a friend & I walked into the Old Town of Warsaw--it was largely destroyed during the war, but they have attempted to reconstruct it to its former glory. Because of that, it looks a bit more pristine than one would expect. But the colours are lovely and the squares delightful.

{we had a drink in this lovely little cafe, where ladies went around watering all the lovely pots of flowers}
& then...it was time to come home.
In the end, a fantastic, lovely, stimulating few days!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

{quotable thursdays}

Hello readers!
It's been an incredible couple of weeks--Warsaw was fantastic and then I came home and spent a couple of days working in Oxford at our regional office there (in a converted Edwardian mansion). It has been rather insane and I'm just trying to keep my head above water in the midst of exam boards etc...
so this will be brief. But in the spirit of the country I have just visited, a Polish proverb:
When we feel overwhelmed it's important to remind ourselves that we can only do what we can do, but also not to concern ourselves with things that are not our problems.
ps: loads of pics to come from Warsaw...all in time!

Friday, 12 June 2015

{quotable thursdays}

Well I flew to Poland yesterday so today's quote will be on travel.
Nothing like getting away and discovering a new place. I'm here for work--a conference at the National Museum & University of Warsaw. After I get home, I then go to Oxford for work...so lots of days ahead travelling & lots of nights in hotel beds. But I simply agree with Fleming, that we must say yes to adventures, otherwise we do not grow, but stay stagnant.

{flying high}

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

{off to Warsaw}

I'm off to Warsaw today for a conference. Looking forward to a new city to explore--although not sure how much free time I'll have.
In any case, I'm getting inspired from some images I've found on the web...
{fantastic buildings & fantastic colours}
will take lots of pics!

Sunday, 7 June 2015

{Trooping the Colour}

Yesterday I attended Trooping the Colour, the Colonel's Review of the Queen's Birthday Parade. It was fantastic and then we wandered around Mayfair, having lunch at my favourite restaurant in Shepherd's Market, le Boudin Blanc, followed by shopping at Cath Kidston & Fortnum & Mason. I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday! The pictures really say it all.
{my ticket!}
Tickets are limited--if you belong to a commonwealth country, you can often get tickets through your embassy. We got our tickets through the Canadian High Commission. They're not too pricey, but just difficult to get!
{Buckingham palace in all its glory on a sunny June day!}

The reason for the big hoopla is to celebrate the Sovereign's birthday, and although The Queen was born on 21 April, it is celebrated in June, because of finer weather. For more on the history click here.

{we were a teeny bit late--we didn't anticipate the 20 min queue to go through security, but it meant we entered right when they came marching in... and in the end, got some incredible close-up photographs!}

{we were lucky to have front row seats!}

{the band on horses}

{drummer horse}
 We certainly worked up an appetite, so off we went to Shepherd's Market for moules frites:
{yum, moules frites at le Boudin Blanc}

{lovely Mel about to dig in to the fantastic feast before us!}