Weekend in Wonderland(s)

How many wonderlands can you fit in a day?

Yesterday I went to pick up Isa at the train station (after watching Halmey’s Christmas Toy Parade and freezing my toes off), and she took me to Wonderland #1: Skoob, a basement filled floor to ceiling with first editions, second hands, hand-me-downs and donated books. I loved it! When we entered, we stood at the first step of the stairs leading down to the shop for a moment, just to enjoy that smell of books. I behaved really well, and in the end I only got four books – but we had to skip our usual “tea & gossip” session because I just couldn’t tear myself away.

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We almost arrived late at the British Library, where Wonderland #2 is set. (Because we found another bookshop on the way…) Juanma and Diego joined us and together we visited the exhibition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
It was really well made, showing the history of the story and how it influences pop culture ever since. I really loved the original manuscripts being showcased and how the exhibition design took a twist on classic Alice representations. Of course the colourful pop-up Alice in Wonderland shop was one of the highlights and selfie with the heroine herself couldn’t go amiss!

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And what can I say? As it’s late November in London, there is obviously only one destination for Wonderland #3: Hyde Park!
We made our way to Winter Wonderland where we had mulled wine (not as good as my home-made one, of course!), Pretzels and a big helping of Christmas joy. Isa and Diego took a ride in a thing called “Hangover”, and we all got our heads dizzy in a spinning barrel.
“It’s like Feria, but frozen.”- Juanma.

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When I came home, I was absolutely wasted. Wonderlands are fun, but very exhausting! Which leads me to Wonderland #4: with pillows and a blanket! 😉

Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well!

XX, Angie

Happy thoughts

As you may or may not know, Peter Pan is by far one of my favourite stories. And when I learned that this winter a Warner Bros. was to release “Pan”, an epic prequel to the classic tale, I was more than excited!
The film actually came out on the 18th of October, but for some mysterious reasons I didn’t come around to see it until this weekend. (I want to point out that afternoon showtimes and my super grow-up friends or rather the difficulty of finding someone equally childish magic-minded as me didn’t play in my favour.)

Yesterday Isa and me had a gorgeous afternoon tea with loads of clotted cream and gossip in our new favourite café in Camden. Stuffed with cucumber sandwiches and scones we were deciding what to do next and well, it was only 16:30 – the perfect time to fly to Neverland!

I want to say straight away that the weakest point of the film was probably the script. Although it takes a very lovely spin on the original book by J. M. Barrie, creating a prequel to a story that doesn’t need one, is a very daring task. To be fair, to a certain extent it did really well. I very much appreciated the settings in London during he Second World War for instance, or the presentation of Neveland how it was before Peter’s reign. But other aspects, such as the made-up story of Peter’s parents just didn’t come together very well.

Let aside the not-as-smooth-as-could-be storyline, the film was a feast for eyes and mind! Being set in Neverland basically excuses everything; neverbirds, glowing mermaids, Nirvanan-chanting lost boys, a crystal fairy hive and colours – lots of colours!
From the costumes of the pirates and the indians, the ships and mines, tents and war paint, to the Neverforest and the hidden fairy kingdom: the production design is simply amazing. Everything is so rich on details and unique ideas, one can tell that the makers tried really hard to avoid existing “Neverland clichés” and created a fresh perception of this magic space, where logic and physics as we know it don’t apply and everything is possible.

“Pan” is set in a very different Neverland from the one we know from previous screen adaptations. For a start, the “main pirate”, who steals orphans from London to make them mine fairy dust, is Blackbeard. James Hook on the other hand is introduced as a dashing, self-secure lad, trying to escape the mines and most of all as a friend of Peter – leaving a lovely white space for your imagination to go wild (hopefully not for a sequel of the prequel! *fingers crossed*)

Another little easter egg for those familiar with the book, are names and quotes, very carefully woven into the lines of the main characters as they go along, reflecting the original source of the subject on a different level.

Excuse my rambling, but all I want to say: I loved it! And even thought the story has its flaws, its a perfect magical, whimsical, colourful and fantastic movie!

I do believe in bedtime stories.
XX, Angie

 

48 hours in Milano

So my boyfriend is a little crazy, did you hear? When Gonzo found out that he is free all weekend, he immediately planned to get away somewhere! The choices were Edinburgh or Milano, but well, we don’t have friends to visit in Edinburgh, so… 😉

So we booked a blitz-trip to beloved Milano and spent almost exactly 48 hours sipping caffé, catching up with gossip and “industry talk”, having aperitivo in Colonne, shopping for biscotti, riding the tram, saying “hi!” to Duomo, have proper pranzo di domenica cooked by a real Italian Mamma, with more caffé, strolling through Navigli and comic book shops, watching the X-Factor in Italian, reading mangas and being with all sorts of lovely people. ❤

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Even though it was short, it felt so good to meet our Italian friends. Thanks everyone who came out to see us! And grazie mille casa Vitiello, for standing us! :*

É stato un piacere guys, see you soon!!

Tanti baci,
Angie

Remember, remember…

… the 5th of November, gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
should ever be forgot.

We certainly did not forget. Well, at least there was a bunch of fireworks going on this weekend – if everyone remembered to remember, I am not so sure. 😛

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On Thursday (the actual 5th) Gonzo picked me up after work and we walked to Roundwood Park, where we saw some fireworks and made our heads spin and bruised our bums at a small fun fair. We had a lovely walk home and arrived just in time for our Thai take-away-dinner (very British indeed!). We concluded the evening by watching – you guessed it – V for Vendetta, the obvious choice for the day.

With the 5th being a weekday, most of the firework displays actually took place on the weekend. Of course Isa came to visit, and we went to see the Guy Fawkes festivities at the Victoria Park in East London. The area was completely closed for traffic and it was super busy. Others were clever enough to bring their wellies, but we just had to deal with our very muddy and dirty shoes this morning.
All around the park there were little booths that sold light-up toys, food and mulled wine – we we opted for hot waffles and made it to the viewing site just in time for the show to begin.

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It was huge. I think I’ve never seen fireworks that big ever before. There were lights, fire, music – and of course pyrotechnics in all colours, shapes and sizes dancing in the sky! The show lasted about 25 (!) minutes and it was brilliant!

Afterwards we managed to escape the crowds rather well and actually went straight home, where a nice tub of Ben&Jerry’s and a cheesy movie were waiting for us. Wait, Saturday nigh you say? Is there any better way to spend it? 😉

XX, Angie

November rain

Maia_IIToday I got woken up by the postman. But who can be angry, when he brings a parcel full of sunshine, colour, love and sweet memories straight from Sevilla? 🙂
In fact, it was belated birthday post from Maia! Thanks, Estrellita, you couldn’t have picked a better date, as todays cloudy sky definitely needed a pop of colour!

I guess the sunshine’s finished for now anyway, it’s grey and rainy since November started. But that’s ok with me, I have the perfect battling plan:

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What else can beat the November blues better than a walk in the park, a cup of tea with a slice of toasted date-orange-walnut cake and the assuring company of Mr. Darcy? 😉

Enjoy the rainy days!

XX, Angie

Papa-Besuch

Last weekend my dad came for a visit! 😀 He arrived with his little suitcase full of goodies for me from home: first gingerbread of the season, sweets and socks knitted by my grandmother. The weather forecast was great and our schedule for the weekend more than full.

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Here’s a short summary: Sunshine, bus stop, tea and spotted dick, Rugby-Worldcup-Finale, a pub, a pint, bangers & mash, Spectre at the Odeon. Buckingham Palace, the Guard’s Chapel, St. James Park, more tea, National Gallery and William Turner, Tower Bridge, Fish’n’Chips, fog, Leicester Square, The Play That Goes Wrong, another pub and baked potatoes. Rise and Shine, breakfast in Soho, the Tower of London in and out, a pub and soup of the day, relax.

It was a very lovely weekend! I always enjoy it a lot when my dad comes to visit. He’s such a good tourist and I always get to see new things in London with him!

XX, Angie