The start of something

The start of something is always the hardest part of the journey.

2018  has started and there are many things to reflect on and many things that need to be started.  Our plans for this year’s travel and adventures are well on the way.

Part of the delay in the kick start of this year has been the other writing love in my life, my play writing, has taken a front seat at the moment due to my second play being published.  I have put my links at the bottom of the page in a shameless self promotion.

No excuse is a good excuse, I know.  But in any case this is an excuse that I am proud of.

Any way, on to the next thing, we’re off to an exhibition at the National History Museum.  More to follow…

Plays!

 

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Made by Elves

Less of an adventure more of a challenge.  I’ve undertaken an upcycle/refurb/artistic re-do project on a traveling trunk.

I found this trunk online and have be reading lots of blogs (thank you guys!) and this is my first try.

First I washed the trunk down and made sure it was clean.  There was a little rust on the lid, so I sanded it back a bit.

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Next I chose my colours and started painting.  I chose chalk paint as it sticks to all sorts of materials including metal.

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Next…I realised I had an issue…bleed through.  After more research I realised I should have used a sealant before painting…still I know.  Although I have been assured this will not have caused any damage to the trunk.

So, I sealed the trunk using a spray varnish for metal.  After applying and drying two layers I re-painted.  Having used up some of the  colours I updated the choices and applied two coats.  Once dry, I applied two further coats of varnish and this is the final result.

 

If you are interested in the trunk, it is for sale. Please do get in touch and let me know.

 

Sam Shepard

One of the most inspiration play-writes past away today…I’m am sad.

“I’m a great believer in chaos. I don’t believe that you start with a formula and then you fulfill the formula. Chaos is a much better instigator, because we live in chaos — we don’t live in a rigorous form.”

— Sam Shepard in conversation with Clare Dwyer-Hogg, 2013
(I found this on Bustle)

 

“When you consider all the writers who never even had a machine. Who would have given an eyeball for a good typewriter. Any typewriter. All the ones who wrote on a matchbook covers. Paper bags. Toilet paper. Who had their writing destroyed by their jailers. Who persisted beyond all odds.”

– Sam Shepard, True West

Country Elf

We’re off on a countryside adventure this weekend. The Broadlands Country Show. This is a proper country show, there are dog breed competitions, gun dog trials, demonstrations in the main arena. Food and local produce, rides and stalls.

The show is set in the attractive grounds of an Estate called Broadlands, which is well worth a visit another time. Lovely old house, beautiful gardens and lovely walks. Back to the show, if you buy your tickets online in advance you will get a cheaper ticket, it’s a little expensive at £15 but everyone under 16 is free which is nice. We toddle on through and stop at the gun dog trials. I have never seen this before it’s very cool. We stop toIMAG2677 watch the “long retrieve” there a red ball like thing is short into the air and down the end of the enclosure accompanied by a loud simulated gun shot. Now, all being well the dog sprints off down the field and returns with the red ball like thing…this is not always the case and lots of the dogs had a good romp around and sniff before returning (or not) with the ball.IMAG2685_BURST012_COVER

Next we head to the main arena, where we are blown away by the craziness that is “The Devils Horsemen”. Not for the faint of heart, that is sure. These guys are mad, they hang off the sides of the horses and do handstands on the back of galloping horses. Then to top it off they stand astride two horses for a race. It’s thrilling, and I will not lie…it leaves me desperate to go horse riding. Perhaps a new career path?

We munch our way round and enjoy pasties, hot coffee (to ward of the cold as it starts to rain), popcorn and candy floss. We pick up some apple strudel and cakes to take home and on the way out I can’t help it… I get some fudge as well. (Licorice flavour…oh my, so, so good)

I’m already busy looking up the next Country show I can get to.  If you fancy heading along to a show, I found this website with lots of information about upcoming shows.

Natural History Museum – Elf out late!

London is lucky to have some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.  One of my particular favourites is the Natural History Museum.  A new series of Museum lates has started, these happen at lots of the London Museums and there are different themes and exhibitions to attend.  This series at the Natural History Museum is “Dino Snores”.  we book ourselves in and head off to the museum after dark.

As we arrive we are assigned houses (I end up in Dino House) and head into the museum.  There is music playing, food and drink available, activities…and no children.  Now I’m very much aware that I will sound a grumpy miser for saying this, but, it’s absolutely brilliant without the kids!  I mean there are no tantrums, no trying to look sensible, no lines of people, no school groups taking up whole galleries… Nothing to stop us adults from being kids!

We take full advantage of the big kid atmosphere and we throw ourselves 100% into the face painting and mask making. imag2462

We start by watching the “Rocks The House” show with the messy experiments and fun camera work.  Next up is a stroll through the dinosaur exhibitions.  imag2464We make dinosaur themed t-shirts.

Our group takes part in the egg and spoon race with a little too much competitive spirit we skate down the hall, egg and spoon in hand and big fluffy dino slippers on.  It’s a photo finish and our friends in Panda House win the house points.

Next, we head into the observatory which has been blown up in the corals exhibition room.  It is magical, we sit on the floor and watch the milky way move across the ceiling above us.  The presenter is fantastic.  This is a definite highlight.imag2473

We assemble at the exit and sing a roaring chorus of “Circle of Life”.  This is joy affirming!

We also have tickets to the silent disco and spend the rest of the night dancing away in the museum to three great DJs.

Get yourself tickets to the next one.  One of my favourite nights out in a long time and a great opportunity to be a big kid.

More information here Dino Snores

Elf’s tip – cheaper tickets are available on some of the voucher sites. 

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Christmas is coming!

We’ve come over all Christmassy!

So, we are at the Christmas Grand Sale at the Royal Horticultural society.  Close to St James’s Park it’s easy to get to, there are tickets available on the door or you can book in advance.  With over 60 stands with a huge variety amongst them.imag2217

There is everything from wreathes to Christmas lights.  Silk scarves to flashing woollen
hats for walking the dog in!

It’s a bit squished inside the hall but we make our way around and try olives and chutneys and pick up a few early Christmas gifts.  It’s a good place to pick up some designer shirts or jewellery at discounted prices.  We don’t actually spend all that much but just enjoy imag2220milling though the stands and only spend an hour or so.

A lovely morning to start the Christmas season we don’t feel like finishing there so we jump on the number 11 bus and ride down to Covent Garden.  The 11 bus is great if you want a nice trip past Westminster Abby, Houses of Parliament, Horse Guard’s Parade and Downing Street before passing Trafalgar Square and jump off at Southampton Street to make the short walk up to Covent Garden.  I very much recommend this route if you want to show of London to visitors or want a cheap way to see the highlights of London.

Covent Garden is very busy this time of year and the whole area is full of performers, but we wonder the stalls and enjoy the decorations before ducking down a side street for coffee and cake.