5 things I liked this week – 16.9.16


S's islamic geometry in progress

Girl Lacer’s work in progress

My finished islamic geometry piece

My finished piece

Girl Lacer and I went to an Islamic Geometry workshop on Saturday run by Samira Mian, I’ve been to one of her classes before but this was Girl Lacer’s first time. The workshop is principally for adults but a few kids go along, it can be quite challenging but Girl Lacer is a bit of a whizz at maths and it turned out that she absolutely loved it. She’s been doing more Islamic Geometry at home too and has been telling her maths teachers at school all about it.


V&A lion

Getting out to the V&A on Monday, I hadn’t planned on going but I was in the area and the two things I had thought about doing were closed, so I popped in and as usual had a great time.


Home Park

Home Park

River Thames in Kingston

River Thames in Kingston

Thanks to the recent lovely weather, I got lots of walks in this week, which was brilliant.


First completed spread in Jennifer Orkin Lewis' Draw Everyday Draw Everyway

Jennifer Orkin Lewis’ new book, Draw Every Day Draw Every Way is fantastic, it has a year’s worth of prompts to draw, each in 30 day sections of different techniques. So far I’ve been doing a drawing a day, the first section is ‘colourful markers and a black pen’ and has nature prompts and I’m loving it.

5. Sew Over It has a new ebook out, a five pattern capsule wardrobe for a city break and all the patterns are absolutely lovely, I can so see me making all of them, multiple times, that’s if I ever can ever finish sorting out our living room, which is the only space I can sew now and unfortunately right now I can’t sew because it’s still full of boxes. But I can drool over those patterns.


Random visit to the V&A

I had an errand to do in London today, that took all of 10 minutes to actually do but I didn’t want to go all the way into London then out again just for 10 minutes, so I popped into the V&A too (excuse me whilst I practice my Photoshop).

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5 things I liked – 2.9.16

1. A walk by a stream in Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park.
2. We went to The Good Food Show at Hampton Court on Bank Holiday Monday. We saw Paul Hollywood and Martha Collison. Paul demonstrated bagels that looked ten times nicer than the bagels you can buy in the supermarket and I have to try the recipe and an apricot and fig tart, which I wasn’t so keen on, only because I don’t really like those sort of tarts or figs for that matter. He was very funny and rather red, having just come back from holiday. Martha was lovely too, although she looked a little nervous bless her (I’m sure Paul Hollywood was probably nervous when he first started doing these things too), she made oreo ice cream brownie sandwiches. The ice cream looked like the easiest recipe ever and I have to try it, I’m not a massive fan of oreos, although my kids are, so I’ll have try the recipe with oreos in but she did say you could add anything to the ice cream mix and it’s no churn! The brownies also looked lovely and added with the ice cream to make the sandwiches, looked absolutely delicious!

Good Food Show - Paul Hollywood

Good Food Show - Martha Collison

3. Me and the kids were on the bus, it was extremely crowded and we were spread across the bus, squeezing in where we could. There was a baby screaming angrily and it was all just ‘very crowded bus’. Then suddenly, from behind me, I could hear, just under the baby screaming, someone softly singing a song in mandarin. I turned round (although I knew who it was), it was Girl Lacer, she started mandarin lessons last year and as far as I can tell, hasn’t learnt that much (it’s probably one of her least favourite subjects and she normally enthusiastically loves everything) but she has learnt quite a few songs in mandarin (the one she was singing on the bus translated to Jasmine Flower) and they’re beautiful.
4. Going to see The Lost Palace.
5. On the way to and from The Lost Palace, we walked via Southbank, one of Girl Lacer’s favourite places (Boy Lacer is pretty fond of it too), every time we go there, Girl Lacer guaranteed sees it, draws in a big breath and sighs “I love Southbank”. I’m very fond of Southbank too, there seems to be always something new to see. This time there were the ‘Modified Social Benches NY‘, which were fantastic fun and a big hit with the kids.

The Lost Palace

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Queen Mary’s steps, that would have once lead down to the river

Me and the kids haven’t done that much this summer holidays, as I’ve been recovering from my surgery (still another 6 1/2 weeks official recovery, although apparently in 2 1/2 weeks time I will be able to play competitive sports, which always makes me laugh because I couldn’t before!). I’d spotted The Lost Palace at The Banqueting House at the beginning of the holiday but there was no way I could have done it then and even at the end of the holiday now, I was pushing myself a little – although it was mainly the stairs on the Golden Jubilee bridge on the way home that made me puff). The Lost Palace is an interactive audio tour of the lost palace of Whitehall. The only bits of the palace that survive today are The Banqueting House and a wine cellar under what is now the Ministry of Defence but it was once the biggest palace in Europe.

The tour takes about an hour and you walk around with this device, a bit like an unlit wooden torch and you touch various ‘burnt’ things around Whitehall and it tells you stories about things that happened in that area. I listened to the children’s version (so I was in sync with what my kids were to listening to) and it was rather good (I think the children’s version was probably a lot more fun). You do have to be prepared though to look a little odd as you’re waving this wooden thing around in public!

Girl Lacer (nearly 13) liked it, Boy Lacer (nearly 11) liked it at first but got quite bored about 45 minutes in. I think younger children may have also not found the experience that entertaining and very sensitive younger children may find it a little upsetting, with talk of fire and chopping people’s heads off. But it certainly was a fun way to see a part of London that we don’t normally go to and if it sounds like something you might be into, it’s on until 4th September.

5 things I liked this week – 26.8.16

  1. Getting out to see some Welsh countryside last weekend.

    Near and at Barmouth plus Snowdonia

    2. Appreciating my own ‘countryside’ when I got back (and the fact that it was a lot sunnier!)

    Home Park

3. Whilst I was away (and the kids were at the mother-in-law’s), Mr. Lacer started the very long process of swapping ours and the kids’ bedrooms around. We live in a tiny two bed flat and can’t afford to move, for the past 12 years, me and Mr. Lacer have had the ‘big’ bedroom (it’s not that big, particularly when both kids were babies and took their turns sharing with us) and the kids had the little bedroom, sleeping in bunk beds eventually (they originally shared the room in a toddler bed and a cot). Both kids need a lot more privacy now and really should have their own separate bedrooms but we can’t afford to move to a three bed place in our area and we desperately don’t want to take the kids out of their schools, so we’ve swapped bedrooms. Now technically our flat is a two double bedroom flat but the second bedroom really is a stick a double bed in it and not much else room but you know what, I think it’s cozy.

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I do have a hell of a lot of stuff to sort out chuck out though (and also a lot of storage solutions that require sewing).

4. The Great British Bake Off is back!!!!!

5. I have a new dangerously favourite shop, The Journal Shop, do not, I say do not, click on that link if you have any predisposition towards stationary, particularly vintage or Japanese, because it is bloody gorgeous, sigh (and I thought Present and Correct was dangerous).


5 things I liked – 24.6.16

1. Visiting galleries I go to less often at the V&A, sometimes a break from my favourite galleries can be refreshing.

I love the scale of this gallery
You can imagine Dorian and Lily from Penny Dreadful having a dance here

2. Some plants I planted are actually thriving (I normally have the anti-green thumb) and they’re looking very pretty.

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3. Game of Thrones! Eek, I had to remember to breathe! I don’t want to give any spoilers, so to give my reaction in emojis, 🤔 🔥 😅 🤔 😬 😱 💉💉💉💉💉💉 😠 😀 😮 (and Lyanna Moremont still managed to be the most badass, even though she was only in the latest episode for about 3 seconds).


4. Jake Morley has a new album out, woo hoo! I’ve been waiting for that for quite a while, I was virtually skipping along with music induced bouncyness, whilst I was out listening to it on my (*ahem* Mr. Lacer’s) headphones.

5. The Tate Modern extension, I am in building love.

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An unexpected day out (the non-wild version)

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I went to see the new Tate Modern extension today and had a quick pop into Kew Gardens as well. After all the rain, London was looking especially photogenic, so I even enjoyed the walk to Tate Modern (although to be honest I normally do, as I used to work and live (nearish) that part of London).

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This is one of my favourite London streets 👆, a hidden gem near Waterloo (also very near Konditor and Cook, one of my favourite bakers, which is an added bonus). There’s also a nice pub along there, although last time I went there was many moons ago, so it may have changed.

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Not the pub I remember but another one ….. and a handy thing to know.

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Now, Tate Modern is always one of my favourite buildings to walk up to, in London, it’s always very impressive but ooh it’s pulled out all the stops with the extension.

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I love how the outside almost looks like knitting in this shot

And the inside looks even better.

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The new space holds their more architectural pieces and their performance work. They’ve also now permanently opened up The Tanks (the old oil tanks from when it used to be a power station), which also shows some performance pieces.

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There’s a new bridge that goes over to the main building.

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AND there’s an amazing viewing platform on the tenth floor of the extension!

(The new shop is pretty nice too).

My second sight seeing stop of the day was Kew Gardens, on my way to see The Hive (see my previous post), I walked along The Broad Walk, which is, apparently, the longest herbaceous border in the UK. They’ve been replanting it (it’s been bare soil for months and months) but it’s almost completed now, the posters are advertising it from July, some of the flowers aren’t blooming yet but it’s already looking stunning, so definitely worth the visit.