Tiddley-Bits tea

Tiddley-Bits tea

Thursday, 30 June 2016

{quotable thursdays}

Hello blogland!
I'm not going to lie--I'm exhausted and have had a few weeks of extreme stress and craziness. so this will be brief (as I pour myself a glass of wine, glug, glug, glug...)
The thing is, we all have those periods in life when we're not sure we can handle much more, but then we have to remind ourselves, that, it's life. Life has its ups & downs... and right now the whole world feels like it's having its downs, with Trump & other men with orange mops for hair running for office, and Brexit, and extremism growing. It's a sad state of affairs, but that's life...
{gorgeous from the motivatedtype}
& in the midst of adversary, or stress, or whatever, we can make a decision. We can choose to become a victim...choose to be so low that we bring everything & everyone around us down with us, or we can choose to stay positive. Because in life there are the downs, but there are also the ups...and the downs don't always last forever. So have faith in the lovely people around you that there are humans who are wonderful and that maybe, just maybe, the sad state of affairs won't last too too long. The sun will shine again...just you wait!
on a positive note, I'll end it there.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

{quotable thursdays}

This will be brief and frantic because I'm having one of the busiest weeks of my life...
Today is the EU referendum. Use your right to vote! I feel so happy to have the right to vote and to have a say in the future of the country I live in:
{everybody should have the right to vote}

Tomorrow, I have to leave the house at a very very very early hour to head into London and do some filming at the V&A for our new third level module, before it opens to the public:
{on etsy}

{lights, camera, action}
From there, I'm running to an exam board in Milton Keynes, and then from there, running to my cousins in Essex. It'll be a day on trains, in meetings, in front of a camera, and I guarantee a high degree of stress.
Must get back to practising my script!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

{postcards from Israel-Holy City Walk}

If you've been following my  blog recently, you'll know I spent a week in Jerusalem at the end of May/early June. A fantastic place! This post is dedicated to our walking tour of the holy sites of the Holy City. I highly recommend taking a Sandemans tour. They offer free short two hour tours to get your bearings of the Old City, but we opted for the paid 4-5 hour walking tour of the Holy sites. I normally hate tours, but I have to say, this is the best that I've been on-and that's saying a lot!
{our group}
{as an art historian I was called upon by the guide numerous times!}
The guide was informative and friendly, neutral (a particularly important trait when visiting Israel), and encouraged dialogue and friendship amongst the other tourists.
{and we're off!}
We started off at the Jaffa Gate and walked to a Protestant church, from there we went to the Armenian Quarter and visited a beautiful Armenian church:

 Walking along the Via Dolorosa:

{Veronica's veil}

{station of the cross where Christ is said to have laid his hand}

From there we walked through the Jewish Quarter and visited the Western Wall:

{Western Wall}
The wall is divided between genders:

{women at the wall}

{a sneak peek at the men's side}

{prayers in the wall}

{the men's side}
 We returned to the Western wall later that night, as it was a Friday and Shabbat--at this time families and groups of Jews come to pray, they dance in circles, they sing...it's quite an amazing experience.

{heading to Shabbat at the Western Wall}

Unfortunately it was a Friday so the Temple Mount was closed, but from there we went to Mount Zion where we visited the supposed Tomb of King David.
{Zion Gate}
{the views from the roof of David's Tomb}

The hall above, the apparent room of the Last Supper, has an interesting combination of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian motifs and architecture. A mihrab appears on one wall, while Crusader capitals adorn a vault...

{mihrab in the Room of the Last Supper}
{Crusader capitals}

Finally, we made it into the Christian quarter to visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

{on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre}
{outside the church of the Holy Sepulchre}
The church is a very complex building, shared by the numerous denominations of Christianity, I'm dedicating another post to this unique building. So stayed tuned for more!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

{postcards from Israel-the markets of Jerusalem}

If you've been following my blog, you'll have read my first instalment of my trip to Jerusalem.
I'm still marvelling at the wonder of it all.
I thought I'd start my first feature post on the markets of Jerusalem. I really enjoyed just wandering the streets of the old city and taking everything in... from the everyday shops selling kitchen goods to the ladies on the side of the street selling grape leaves, to simply taking the time to marvel at the beautiful doors and the thick stones which make up the ancient buildings that surrounded me or the streets on which I walked.
I think the best way to describe the markets and the streets of the Old City is simply to say it in pictures:


{opening shops...}

{frankincense and myrrh?} 


There are numerous antique shops in Jerusalem. Many of them, like this shop below, sell Russian icons that were brought from people fleeing Russia, who couldn't carry money with them, but invested their capital into works of art that could then be pawned. My own research examines similar situations in the circulation of goods in the fifteenth century, so I found this particularly interesting. Many of these shops have real antiquities-ancient pots and ceramics that look like they belong in the British Museum rather than in a shop for sale! Some of these stores have ancient cisterns or ancient streets in their basements,  while tiles and chandeliers adorn the roofs-- the shops are works of art in themselves. Check out this youtube video of this shop here.
{The Palace, 6 Via Dolorosa}

{early morning rise to get to Galilee, meant we saw everything opening up at sunrise}

{more spices}

{coffee break at the side of the road}

{best coffee--Turkish with cardamom}


{barber shop}

{from the rooftops down into the markets}
 We met this lovely old man who had the most incredible shop--something really out of Aladdin's cave. He asked us to come in and he said he had a message for me. He sat me down and said that I needed to balance my heart and my intellect--that I was an incredibly intelligent person, but also sensitive and that my life-long struggle would be to find a balance between those two. He didn't ask us to buy anything, but gave us both a jade ring to take back with us, to remember his message and our time in Jerusalem. A rather strange but moving experience:

 & his shop:

Everywhere you look there are spice shops, which permeate the air as you wander down the streets--a true feast for the senses!
{more spices}

{check out these amazing floors!}

The spice shop below was amazing--look at this incredible pyramid of intricately stacked spices. If you have a second, I'd recommend going over to my instragram account where you can see this spice shop on video, while the muezzin calls for prayer in the background.

taking a picture in front of this fruit stand...and then this happened:
 yes he asked me to come behind and pretend to sell fruit for the photo!

& finally, here are a few of things I bought in the market:
{now safely at home on my table!}
stay tuned for more blog posts on Jerusalem, including sites of the Holy City, Galilee, and more!