Athens the story – day 1

Hi!

Well…. I am quite the jet setter this week. After returning from Germany on Friday me and Miss E (a friend from uni) flew out to Athens for a week of sun, history and culture.
Athens is a city which I have always wanted to visit; it has a history that goes right back to Ancient times with the Acropolis being over 5000 years old! It also once was the centre of the world for education, art and philosophy not forgetting their impressive selection of gods and goddesses!
I have visited many of the Greek Islands and found some of them lacking culture (Zante) and others too rainy (Samos) and others very beautiful (Kefalonia) but so far Athens has perfectly stunned me.
Walking out of the metro station on Saturday night the warmth hit us and our first sight of Athens was bustle on the streets, warm light from everywhere, graffiti galore and the sound of Greek music creating an ambience that brings pleasure to the senses.

Soooo our first day in Athens we wandered over to the Acropolis then to the Acropolis museum where we were overcome with the amount of things to see. The monument was packed with sights as was the museum; walking boots were the choice for today as we did walk a lot! Tea was taken in a flask to keep me alive.

Well worth the trip!

Becksy

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Eurobike – a fashionistas view

Thursday after work me and two colleagues left the office, jumped on a plane to Zurich from Gatwick then proceeded to spend 2 hours in a car to get to our hotel in Germany. ‘Why you make such a trip?’ You ask…. ‘we were going to Eurobike to scout out new products to stock’ I reply.
Eurobike is quite simply the biggest bike show on the planet; it has all sorts of weird and wonderful items that are sometimes too wacky and unconventional for the mainstream market and thus just end up being photographed as works of art!
Some of my favourite things I saw at the show are below; I mostly have an eye for colour and anything that is a bit quirky or girly.
My favourite item by far was Egg Helmets by a Dutch brand and made in Holland also! They come in two sizes (supposedly for kids only!) and covers and clip ons are bought separately to customise the helmets as much as you like. 
The polka dot pink one with crown are awesome!

Commuting by bicycle…. a guide for the rain

Gore Bike Wear Ladies Element Jacket

Righto! 
Well today was one of those days that us Brit’s are very familiar with; cold, rainy and windy with a bit of extra cold and a lovely grey sky. On days like today I still cycle to and from work (the only time I don’t cycle is if it is too dangerous due to snow or flooding) with my work outfit either wrapped up in a carrier bag in my rucksack or safely in my waterproof pannier bags.
On a regular day I would just cycle in my work outfit (dress, jeans whatever) but wet days require extra care. No one wants to sit in the office all day soaked to the skin smelling and looking like a wet dog!

Endura Thermolite
Women’s Jacket

My outifit of choice for my cycling commute today was my 2 year old trusty thermal/water resistant pad-less cycling tights which hold up really really no matter how hard the rain gets (these are amazing in snow too!), a baselayer to keep me cool and my other trusty friend; the Gore-Tex waterproof jacket!

Helly Hansen Women’s
Baselayer

Plus some rather bright lights of course to keep me seen in the greyer weather and some overshoes that fit on normal shoes to keep my DM’s dry plus clear glasses to keep the rain out of my eyes :). It’s not yet cold enough to require gloves; thankfully!

Most cyclists may complain that cycling doesn’t need special equipment, which is on the whole very true unless you are cycling further than 10 miles and going fast, I normally agree with this statement accept when the weather is either really hot (don’t want to make my own clothes sweaty), really wet (don’t want to make my own clothes wet) or really cold (don’t want to make my own clothes sweaty due to not being breathable and they aren’t warm enough). There are some situations where having the correct kit is a life saver and if you treat it well it is only something you have to stock up on once 🙂

Becksy

Quick cushion cover! No zips!

Well… I have had a cushion hanging around for almost a year waiting for one of my existing cushions to give up on life so it could earn itself a case to live in. So today I decided to make it a cover using some fabric left over from my clothing projects just so it could get some air into its lungs and see the light of day!
As I am not a huge fan of putting zips into things I decided to skip the zip and take inspiration from the pillow case to make my cushion cover.
First I measured the width of my cushion (16 inches) then added an extra 5 inches to one side which will become the ‘lip’ to hold the cushion in (seam allowance is only required for this if you have a particularly plump cushion as mine was rather airy I didn’t need to bother adding seam allowance). Then I cut a square from the other fabric just 16 inch to become the front: turning over 2 cm at the end which will be the opening to make it neat. Then placing both fabrics good side together I sewed down the 3 sides that aren’t the opening sewing 1 cm from the edge, then turned out the cushion cover, ironed flat then stuffed in the cushion and it’s done! Simple home decor…. why spend ton’s on a cushion case when you can spend nothing 🙂

Altering/reinventing my teddy coat

Sooooooooo the teddy faux fur coat that I got on Ebay last week went under scrutinisation today to reinvent it and make it a bit more wearable; One of the main issues was that because the jacket is double breasted it had TWO layers of the thick fur material at the front creating extra unwanted bulk.
I resolved this by removing the buttons, sewing up the button holes and letting the jacket hang loose…. it looks so much better and more expensive just from doing that! Also because the button holes are sewn closed the fabric moults less (have you ever really seen a faux fur jacket with button holes? Nope me neither due to the moulting I expect!).
I didn’t have to take it apart after all! Yay!
It now looks like a classy oversized coat which I can wear with pretty much anything; dress up jeans and a tee shirt on weekends or great for a night out over a beautiful dress. Snug as a bug in a rug! I do adore this £15 jacket…. amazing yet stylish bargain. Bring on the colder days 😉

What I am wearing today (transitional fashion!)

If any one actually reads my blog; right now you may thinking that I am a bit self obsessed to assume that anyone would be interested in what I am wearing today but I just want to document my more quirky of looks for reference in future when I am old and grey…. like a diary you would suppose!

Back to the post… today is very sunny but is still somewhat bloody cold here in England so my look of choice involved a LOT of layering to keep me snug. I don’t know how opposed everyone is regarding socks over tights but I find it keeps my feet extra warm and helps fill out shoes that are used to socks rather than the thinness of tights. I also find that it is a good way to add a bit of quirky colour or print to what can sometimes be a bland palette of colour.

What I am wearing (in case you are interested) skirt from charity shop, tee shirt from Pull and Bear, bag from Accessorize, cardigan from Forever 21, tights from H&M, socks from Primark, shoes from Assos and sunglasses from Oakley. I think my green alien approves of my look today!
Ohhh ohhh ohhhhhhhhh another item of clothing to add to my winter wardrobe arrived today courtesy of  a lovely Ebay seller; this Jack Wills jumper retails at around £60 when bought new…. I acquired mine for a mere £15 including postage and the jumper looks barely worn!. Made of lambs wool this snug jumper will keep me warm on the coldest days and will look awesome worn over a bright printed shirt. Prep prep it up.
Be careful with the sizing when buying these jumpers second hand as the one I bought was a size UK 10 but due to being washed incorrectly by the previous owner it now fits a UK 6 or very snug UK 8. These jumpers are hand wash cold only! 
Gloves up to a very fashionable winter
Becksy

The first day of Autumn (kind of) where’s the summer gone??

If you have been living in England for the summer you would have felt the recent sudden shift towards very wintery weather. Though it is 19 degrees outside it feels very cold! Today was the first time in many months that I had to crack out a pair of knitted tights to keep me snug at work. I don’t know about you but working in an office where the only rule is ‘no flip flops’ makes it extremely difficult to know what to wear for work. Most people go down the safe route with jeans and hoodies (the office is 80% blokes) and the few ladies dress is the same attire with the thought of ‘why bother looking good when the guys don’t bother’. With my love for colour and print I am considered somewhat of a misfit in a office that loves grey and black! The amusing thing is that the way I dress at work would be considered ‘safe’ in any fashion office!

Today I wore a pink knee length chiffon dress with a Peter Pan collar from Forever 21, a green cardigan from H&M, making the look not to twee with wedge trainers from New Look, belt and tights from Forever 21 and Oakley sunglasses (my new loves!). I was channelling a more geek yet quirky look  :-). 
Ever since I have started wearing glasses for computer use I have started to geek it up more with my work style too! Awesome! I am perfecting the geek look!

I would love to wear long flowing dresses but with me clothing has to be practical to survive the cycle rides to and from work and also be pretty hard wearing to survive the friction with the bike saddle.
Becksy

Teddy coat! Teddy coat! Teddy coat!

Soooo… my most recent purchase towards my Autumn/Winter wardrobe is a lovely vintage style faux fur coat to keep me snug. £15 off of Ebay including postage…. bargain! The only issue is that it is too big for my small frame (is a very large UK 8) so I am going to have to work some magic on it; shorten the sleeves and take about a inch off of each side and make the waist more defined as well as replace the buttons with more attractive ones. Also the fur is coming away in places so need to work out how to stop it from malting too much! The fur is so soft like a teddy bear and overall it will be a cool project to undertake….. watch this space

Things to do in London on a sunny day….

Hello! Me again! Well… I had a pretty epic weekend.

I spent Saturday in London with my lovelier half showing him the sights of East London near to where I used to live (Poplar). The best thing about actually living in London is that you find all the interesting and beautiful places that you just don’t find when you go to the City as a tourist. Below are some of my favourite places!

We cycled from London Bridge station to the pretty blue CS3 cycle route from Tower Gateway, then through to Canary Wharf where we jumped off our bikes to explore the London Docklands Museum . This museum is rather fascinating if you are the kind of person who enjoys the history of London! It has pirates, a model of the old London Bridge AND a great cafe for cake and tea. A great cheap day out.

Limehouse is such a pretty place; it has all the character of a small riverside village with the benefit of being pretty close to Central London. It has a little harbour that is full of boats. The warehouses that are converted into flats and best of all…. it is the mouth of London’s Regent Canal! This Canal, as the name suggests, leads North West directly from Limehouse all the way up to Regents Park; it is the most perfect cycle route!

We actually didn’t cycle the whole way along the canal but split off at the intersection with the Hereford Canal which took us down the side of the Victoria Park (such a pretty park!) and towards the Olympic stadium. You do get a very good view of the Olympic park from this side! Heading North from there we cycled up to Hackney Marshes (who knew that there is so much green in London!) and through to the hidden little nature reserve on what remains of a few old mills.

From there we headed back South on Cambridge Heath road to arrive at the V&A Museum of Childhood which is a great way to spend the afternoon dreaming about your childhood and remarking on the toys that you used to own. It also had good facilities for tea and cake and even some rocking horses to ride! Well worth a visit if you are in the area!

After having an amazing time on a horse our next destination was the old Shoreditch Underground station….. and hot tub cinema. The film was Disney The Lion King and the hot tub was 40 degrees… amazing evening! After that all that was left to do was jump on the train back to the sticks… aaaaaaaaand sleep..!

Becksy xxx

Things I love – books & my bicycles

One thing that I have always always loved ever since I was big enough to hold one; is reading books. Not a day in my life goes by that I don’t read a book from my trusty sturdy £5 charity shop bookcase. There is nothing that I would rather be doing on a cold winter evening than being engrossed in a good book! One of the most inspiring books that I have read recently is the biography of Roald Dahl by Donald Sturrock ‘Storyteller; The Life Of Roald Dahl’. Like many children all over the world I grew up reading Dahl’s books and loved their dark humour and the general theme of the children always getting one over the adults; most adults in Dahl’s books were evil vile creatures who hate children.
He led a very interesting life from his various adventures at school to his time in the RAF to his time as a spy in Washington for Britain during the war; I learnt a huge amount that I never even knew before about my favourite author! If you have read his autobiographies Boy and Going Solo then you will be somewhat disappointed, like me, to discover that a lot of his experiences he fictionalized or exaggerated in his true style. It really leads you to think; what was real? What was made up? His main goal with all of his writing and the things he said was to challenge and push the boundaries of what was excepted./accepted, there is nothing at all wrong with that from what I see. Be yourself no matter what. Challenge the world! Anyhow; the book is well worth a read. Other favourites have been the Tales of Narnia (not the films), Harry Potter (not the films) Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ (the series was pretty good too), The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy Triology (the films were pretty good because they had Alan Rickman doing the voice of the tired robot and Zooey Deschanel who is awesome).
I generally can read pretty much anything depending on my mood from rom com to crime to thriller to sci fi to classics to biographies. It is all about the mood.

One of my other favourite places to spend time (other than huddled near my bookshelf) is riding my noble steed. Her name is Rosebud and she is a 6 month old Norco Cityglide customized with a ginormous basket, bottle holder, rear rack and a beautiful Brook’s saddle. ‘My one my only my true love in bicycle form!’ Great for picnics in the woods and day trips to the sea, perfect also for commuting to work whilst wearing a pretty dress. I need to take some photos of my beautiful commute to work!
Want this! Vintage Raleigh Chopper Bike; how hip to the hop is this??? Just attach a ghetto blaster to the back and away you go!
This coat would be awesome! So snuggly and cute… t’is a pity it isn’t available to buy yet 😉 would look cute with jeans and a woolen jumper for when it gets cooler