Thursday, 24 September 2015

Londres // London

Every summer & new year since I was a babe we would travel south to meet up with my aunts, uncle, grandparents & cousins in the mountains and cities of southern France. The four cousins - Emilie, Pauline, myself & Benjamin range from 19 to 22, and we've pretty much grown up together. This year it was time we organised a trip of our own, so they came to stay with me in Laaandaaan!

It had been ten years since they both came to the UK, so in the week we had, we showed them the tourist's London, the insider's London & best of all, the student's London.

Cue photos.

Their visit coincided with the river pageant for the Queen's longest reign, so in-between an introduction to how delicious porridge can be & a speedy lift to the Sky Gardens, we stood by Big Ben watching dressed up boats spray water patterns on the Thames... maybe with some royals aboard? I like to think so. 

The rest of the week we shared some amazing moments, so here are some highlights:
-Playing cards on the street with strangers at 8am. (Waiting for £5 Matilda tickets)
-Watching Matilda!!!!
-Sushi in Chinatown - best sushi I've ever eaten
-Laying watching the proms (again after playing cards on the street queuing for cheap tickets)
-Camden market meals
-Picking blackberries for a crumble
-Learning to do a crown braid
-Brick Lane Bagels

Hopefully this is just the start of many more travels for the four of us. 

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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

I made something

In July, I spent three weeks in Denmark. Week one in Copenhagen with my best friend En-Jia & the following two weeks volunteering in Nakkebølle. I really love Denmark. when I got back from Denmark I put together this short video of my trip along with a few things from the beginning of summer.

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Hygge (“heu-gah”). The art of building sanctuary and community, of inviting closeness and paying attention to what makes us feel open hearted and alive. To create well-being, connection and warmth. A feeling of belonging to the moment and to each other. Celebrating the everyday.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Two. Magnificent Seven.

The Team // Our name, the Magnificent Seven : Feyi, Ye, Steph, Nick, John, Kevin & I. In the mornings we would do a cringe-y warm up jog, stretch & hands in as we chanted, Maaaaaaaag 7! Not a usual student sight. Through the days of walking, everyone was encouraging and we somehow managed (probably thanks to Steph) to stay on route without getting lost! 

The other 6 of us also fell quite naturally into roles; Kevin - the one who kept everyone positive with his incredibly seagull-like laughter, Nick -who never missed an opportunity for a new profile picture, Ye - our paparazzi professional & teacher of all things Malaysian, John - an intellect with hilarious comments & Feyi - my campmate and our mother away from home, always helpful and putting others first. As for myself, you'd have to ask the team but haribo eater would probably pop up.......

The injuries // The main challenge for our team was the day we climbed Snowdon. Not due to navigation or difficulty but to injuries. Steph had managed to persevere with the first couple of days walk despite constant cramps but this was one walk too many and half way up Snowdon the cramps became too much. Nick & Kevin were swiftly in to help, carrying the rucksack and suggesting stretches but the pain was too much and a leader had to meet us to help her back down to the minivan. Having lost our best navigator and good friend, morale was a little lower and just before we reached the top we lost another member. Feyi had powered through the days but the final steep climb to the peak (which we had to literally run up to keep in time) was an extra she preferred to quite wisely bypass. 2 team members down, we ran to the peak & did a rushed photoshoot before picking up our pace to catch up Feyi and the other team by the lake. Not an easy day.

The last day // It was wonderful. As this was a practice expedition, Rick & Keith (our leaders) decided to treat us to a walk without our backpacks and only half the planned route for the day. By lunchtime we were 14kg lighter with a reunited team, sky high morale & the end in sight. We even managed to finish our walk by lunchtime, and substituted our pittas and honey for a well deserved full english (vegetarian for me) breakfast. The following 9 hours consisted of playing mafia & a long mini bus ride back to London with plenty of singing, hysterical laughter & haribos. Ready for hiking round II!

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My friend recommended this from Banksy's Dismaland, I like it a lot - The Employment

Thursday, 27 August 2015

One. Starry Nights & Steep Ascents.

4 days. 7 students. 70km. Duke of Edinburgh award brought my team to Snowdonia for a week as we hiked over mountains with everything we needed on our backs. For months we had been meeting up, learning first aid, how to cook, the best way to plan our routes. We had learnt a lot but we weren't quite sure how things would translate into reality. This was our practice expedition. 

Devil's Kitchen // The hardest ascent we faced. We navigated our way up the mountain clouded by mist and rain. Everything suggested we were on the right path - the map, contour lines, environment, timing, compass readings, everything. Except there was no path. We could see where the path was meant to be and where we were meant to go, but it was going to be a scramble to get there. We ascended one after the other pulling ourselves up using our hands & trying to balance our rucksacks. Once in a while we would call out numbers in order, to check we were all there (kind of a joke but actually kind of needed it on this climb). Half a day after we left the campsite, a bright red man emerged from the fog. We had been on the right 'path' all along, it was our assessor! Celebratory bagels and a nutella squeeze later - we were ready for the rest of the 18km.

The Food // This was probably the most important part of the trip for our team. When we were planning, food always came first. And when I say food, I mean snacks....... HARIBOS. Literally my favourite. My team soon found out the amount of motivation a haribo brought me. Sore feet, cold fingers and sleepy eyes all vanished as soon as the haribos came out. Definite highlight. Not to mention the hysterical laughter all that sugar can bring a team - mainly myself and Nick (also a Haribo addict......)

Starry night // On the second/third/first/fourth night (I lost track..), and after a small detour around some King Arthur filming, we arrived at a beautiful but incredibly windy campsite. We were freezing cold, our feet were numb and our campsite was located in a deep valley with wind howling through. After a battle against the wind to keep the tents up, we had another to keep our gas flames going for the food. No flame = no food. Despite all our head chef's best efforts (Kevin), nothing. A few hours later we discovered the gas had run out so our DofE committee came to the rescue with a replacement for the night. And so we cooked a FEAST. Any extra food we had was cooked and even the simplest of foods was beautiful. A few hours later after a cramped game of cheat & a warm shower, I walked back to my tent and literally gasped at how incredible the stars were. The sky was full. I have literally never seen such an amazing view, framed in the valley.

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A beautiful cover // He Lives in You - Durant
I like this music video more everytime I watch it // Crystals

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Barbican on Sundays.

The Barbican is the place I discovered my favourite film. The place my parents visited before they had children. The place my mother brought me to find out more about architecture. The place to meet good friends, old friends, family.

On Sundays, the Barbican also becomes host to one of London's most beautiful botanical gardens.

When I arrived in London, the busy days and restless activities were so different to my previous village life. I loved it. It was what I needed. But after a year of London I've found that my favourite spaces in London are the quiet ones. The parks, hidden streets, gardens. The Barbican is one of these places.

p.s. the restaurant is lovely too. we spent a whole afternoon and evening there. genuinely.

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Thursday, 30 July 2015

Being a first year Bartlett student.

My first year of architecture.

I // The visible and invisible. We were given a site along Greenwich beach and measured every single metre squared, examining the site in upmost detail - the visible. We created scaled drawings with the measurements and then focused in on the parts we we most interested by - invisible to most people. For me - the textures of the ground at different points.

II // Longing and Belonging. Our second project was to create an installation within our studio groups for the Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The installation had to have a sense of belonging to its site within the Royal Naval College and longing for the site along Greenwich beach. My studio group created an installation which changed vibrations into scratchings on chalk, depending on the skittle thrown down the alley.

III // Bibliothèque Sainte Geneviève. The whole year took a trip to Paris for a week. We had the best time gallivanting around Paris' most beautiful and exciting spaces. Foundation Louis Vuitton was my personal highlight. During the week we were also given building to survey and sketchbooks to scribble inspirations down. Mine - the grand library in the heart of Paris.

IV // The Whistling Café. This is the main one. Half the year was dedicated to this project. We were each given a specific program to design our houses/workplaces. My program: To create a house for a greasy spoon café owner with a passion for hot air balloons. I ended up designing my café to create different sounds according to the wind directions. This allows the owner to know the direction of the passing hot air balloons simply by listening to the sounds by the wind.

The year has been tough. Architecture means long hours and little free time. But I have met some of the most amazing people and learnt more than I thought I could. Now for year II.

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015



A post to appreciate the bike. In my family it was normal to be picked up from school on a tandem. Our garage has always been packed with a variety of bikes and the most natural way to travel is to cycle. So it was probably a given that the obsession would pass on to myself.

Last year I was captivated by the Tour de France. The struggles, the successes. Then I planned my own routes around the English country with fellow cycle adventurer Tom. We found places we never noticed before, rescued birds and sang at the tops of our voices. This year the bike obsession continues. I've recently started riding on the front of the tandem for longer trips, with Tom and with my cousin. Last week I cycled across 4 Danish islands. Next... I'm not sure. But the bike obsession will continue strong.

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Beautiful & Inspiring videos by Free People for their new 'Movement' range
Love Is All I Got by Feed Me, Crystal Fighters