….a little bit more…

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” 

― Dr. SeussHow the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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Secrets

So, we wanted to share some of our favourite secret things we have learn on our travels.  In no particular order:

 

Amsterdam – Vondel Park

If you want something low key and easy on the wallet whilst you are in Amsterdam, we thoroughly recommend a Picnic in Vondel park.  Lots of the supermarkets sell little BBQs that are disposable, grab one and join the locals.  Really is wonderful.

 

Porto – BBs Bar 

For the best view and money saving beer.  Head under the bridge on the Porto side of the river and grab a cheep beer from BBs, then grab a bit of wall.  Perfect.  Simple as that.

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Ouse Valley Viaduct

A short train trip from London and a walk will bring you to this wonderful location.  This Viaduct was built in 1841 and it something to behold.

 

Esposende (Northern Portugal) – De Lili & Ca

For the best pastry you can imagine…only you can’t imagine a pastry with pumpkin that would taste like this.  Really Pasteis de Lili are something else!  Covered in icing sugar and crisp pastry, perfect with coffee.

 

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.

 

Braveheart

just for fun!

 

William Wallace: “Royal Magistrate: The prisoner wishes to say a word. William Wallace: [shouts loud and long] Freedom!”
Magistrate: The prisoner wishes to say a word.
William Wallace: [shouts loud and long] Freedom!

Elf’s afternoon in Dublin

It has already been a week since our adventure to Ireland began. I cannot begin to describe what a wonderful place Ireland is. So friendly and so lush.

We start in Dublin with our solitary half a day to explore before we head off to the country side. So where to start? With a free walking tour of course. Everyone that knows us, knows we love a free walking tour. Just to explain a little about the idea…it’s not free. You can find this idea all of the world, sometimes run by independent companies or individuals and sometimes a company charges a marketing fee to the freelance tour guide. In all cases it is a pay what you think situation. If you think the tour is great, you pay up more, if it’s okay, maybe a bit less if you hate it…perhaps you slide off half way though.

So we joined up with a free walking tour and explored the city. We head through the streets, stopping to listen to lots of history and stories. The TempleIMAG3551 Bar area is interesting in that it is named after a sand bar that used to run through the area and the Temple family who helped to develop the area. It is now a theatrical and nightlife centre of Dublin.

Another highlight is the Dublin Castle where there has been a building since 1200s! The Record Tower is the only surviving part of the medieval castle and is at the heart of the story of Red Hugh which is well worth looking into if you don’t know it already.

The Gardens behind the Castle are a beautiful kept secret and I recommend having a look. It is peaceful and surprising to find.

Next we head to Trinity College where apparently you can sit your exams with your sword by your side.

We finish up in the early evening and wander back towards our hotel, stopping of course for a Guinness on the way. For dinner we find a pub close to us that is very popular and we share a table so that we can eat some of the best stew I have ever had!

And that’s all the time we have for Dublin this trip as the next morning we are up early and in the car to head off to Co. Meath.

 

Dublin we’re coming

So here is a bit of James Joyce in anticipation.

 

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today.

I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”

 

– James Joyce

 

New Elfdom

There are many different adventures in life. Some of them are exciting, some are inspirational, some we embark upon because something is missing from our lives, some because there is too much of something in our lives.

Our newest adventures has been moving home.  Having been in our Clapham flat for 4 years (possibly one of my longest addresses) we have decided to move on.  Not far, but on to a new area of London (I know! Weird right!) and a new house.  We’ve a garden and everything now!  It has been a big change and a bigger move than we had anticipated.

For one thing, our box labeling game, it turns out was very poor. “Kitchen” is not sufficient.  Also our packing skills…whilst very good in terms of space saving was fabulous it was creative in the combinations of items we deemed sensible to pack together at the time.

In any case, we are in.  We’ve not enough storage outside the now huge number of cardboard boxes that we are surreptitiously trying to sneak out with the recycling.

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Mowgli’s moving must haves:

  1. Blanket in full access at all times.
  2. Food at normal times.
  3. Lots of cuddles and love on demand.
  4. Explore all the new walks together.