Monday, 30 July 2012
Rebecca was one of my favourite books when I was a teenager, and these radiant flowers reminded me of the rhododendrons that line the drive to the country estate in that classic mystery. And they matched my 1930s dress, which I recently bought on Etsy. I don't consider myself a major vintage wearer, but I love old clothes, mainly because I spent my childhood reading old books and watching old movies. The 30s and 40s have always been favourite eras of mine, so I'm thrilled to now own a piece, even if I'm a bit terrified of ripping it.
Plus, it makes me feel a bit closer to my paternal grandmother... I may have dreamt of Manderley, but shortly after these photos were taken I headed to North Yorkshire, where my Dad is from and where my grandmother lived, and wore dresses much like this one in the 30s.
Photos of me by Albert
Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Sorry for the even less frequent than usual blogging recently. I wrapped up two months of work madness on Friday and promptly went to the country with my parents, and since then I've been warring for internet coverage with a dongle (well, in between sleeping and eating and all those good things). Anyway, I've got plenty of posts coming, it'll just be a question of when I can get the internet to work.
Anyway, these photos are from real life (erm, weekend life) in Barcelona before I jetted off. Summer is such a magical season there, a time for wearing the simplest outfits and heading out in search of adventure.
Sclumping through the neighbourhood in the heat...
Meeting up with old friends
And their dogs. Meet Cow, possibly the dumbest dog I've ever met.
Having Vermut and olive aperitifs
And visiting hotel terraces after dark when the temperature is perfect to look over the city, be a bit decadent and order a glass of champagne...
Friday, 20 July 2012
I should really be packing a suitcase that has been looming over my head for at least a week now, but I guess it's waited this long it can wait a bit longer...
Recently I went to a wedding. This is a pretty normal pastime for people in my age group but I usually can't make it to the ones I'm invited to and so I've only been to this one and one other (to which I also wore this dress). This one was pretty special too, because the ceremony took place on Montserrat, one of the most significant places in the Catalan cultural landscape. On the funicular up the mountain, it was either backpacked, camera toting tourists, and people dressed to the nines for weddings. The one we attended too place in the little chapel behind the famous sculpture of a black virgin, and was in fact the same place where Albert's parents got married in the 70s! I felt like I should get some certificate of Catalan-ness just for being invited.
All in all it was a really lovely day, notwithstanding the part when Albert stuck his head around the door while I was having my morning shower to say "Um... the only train that will get us there in time leaves in 20 minutes." 'Hair' and 'make-up' were done on the train, and ironing just didn't happen at all!
"La Moreneta" from behind, as seen from the chapel. There was a ridiculous line to go an see her, so this was as close as we got on this occasion.
Saturday, 14 July 2012
A couple of days ago was the second anniversary of starting Ruby Slipper Journeys. Going through the past year's posts to try and put together some coherent retrospective was actually overwhelming. How should things go? Chronologically? Outfits or travel photos? Should I talk about all the places I've been?
In the end, I've left it a colourful jumble. The past year has felt crazy, surreal, and moving at lightning speed sometimes, and at other times entirely mundane. Since I don't blog the mundane so much, you get a retrospective of cherry blossoms, seasides, dresses and erm, alcohol.
I'm hoping for another year of all of those things!
summer style is my favourite!
Brussels, and my grandfather's home on a lake in the Ontario woods. This year I've lived in Barcelona, with multiple visits to Germany and Canada, and little weekend trips to France, the Netherlands, Belgium...
Barcelona and all its bars...
I tried to get into layering in the fall, then defaulted back to just wearing cool tights with my dresses. I've promised myself that I will stop buying summer dresses and work on developing my wardrobe for the other 9 months of the year.
I spent a week in Germany in the winter and drank at least one mulled wine per day. December was an especially wonderful month, as I stayed in two castles, and went home to Canada (where I made mulled wine for my family). ;)
I went to so many typical Catalan festivals with dragons and fire and suchlike and bored half of my readers by posting about them every chance I got. ; )
And then I went to Paradise.
Thank you so much for reading! It's been a pleasure to get to know so many of you, online and in real life. I'm looking forward to another year.
Monday, 9 July 2012
I don't know when finding time to post became so impossible. Menorca feels like a year ago (it was two weeks ago). The beach the second day didn't have quite that turquoise cove perfection of the first one; it was for a different type of day. One of strolling through the surf, kicking up spray. Of eating peaches and probably a bit of sand. Of leaping across the scalding ground to sink your feet into cool silty water. And of slathering on SPF 50 every twenty minutes!
Thursday, 5 July 2012
I could really get used to living on an island. Actually, the weather was pretty much the same as Barcelona, so I think it was less the tropical feeling and more the holiday feeling that was making me happy in Menorca! Either way, I had that contented glow (having survived my horse allergy attack the night before) as we wandered around the little town we stayed in. Ferreries isn't a big deal of a town, but it was nicely local and non-touristy. We spent out time trying to decipher the accent (they speak Catalan on Menorca but there are lots of different words and a really strong accent and I was just basically confused the whole time--also, all locals seemed to always give directions starting with "go to the No Entrance sign," followed by confusing their rights and lefts--not sure what was up with that), and eating amazing seafood at the town's one restaurant that wasn't a bar!
Photos by Albert
Monday, 2 July 2012
It contains hazelnuts, flying women, horses, and even a video!
The above picture looks like Palestine or equivalent, but was actually one of the more bizarre features of the Sant Joan (St. John--summer solstice) celebrations in Menorca. Some of the traditions are well-known and part of the reason we went that weekend. What is less well-known is that they start everything off with a giant hazelnut fight. And I have to tell you, having hazelnuts hurled at your head kind of hurts! After the hazelnuts had been flying for a while, it was time for phase 2: hurling women in the air! Bands of men (well, teenagers) roamed around finding smallish girls and tossing them in the air repeatedly. This whole things was clearly a bit of a juvenile mating ritual on the island... note that all the girls being thrown are kind of cute (and they were all wearing a throwing-friendly uniform of shorts, some revealing top, and long hair to be whipped around). ;) I was told to keep out of the thick of things, but Albert waded in in the name of journalism to bring you these pictures!
(note the hazelnuts flying around).
But this was mostly a time-filler. The real reason we were all there was for the horses.
Menorca is famous for it's Sant Joan festivals featuring the beautiful horses that live on the island. In honour of the event, they're groomed to within an inch of their lives, dressed up in velvet saddles and decorative bridles and paraded through the streets. Or perhaps paraded is not quite the right word--this being a Catalan place there needs to be some danger involved. So the horses come down the streets and everyone jumps in front of them and the horses get scared and rear up and everyone supports them as they come down and chant and sing and get really drunk and so on. :D
Much better than the pictures is the video. If you really want to feel like you were there, give it a watch (you get me laughing too--this was before I rediscovered my lifelong allergy to horses)!