Salut, Calais!

Our mum & daughter road trip had finally come to an end. It was a whirlwind ten days holiday which was filled with lots of laughter, meaningful conversations and a few unexpected events. I was very sad because the holiday with my precious mum was over but also I was relieved because I managed to finish the 3756km drive without any incident and to deliver mum home safely.

After leaving Cité Europe, we followed Google’s instructions for Eurotunnel Terminal.

Wind mills were hard at work at Calais…

My word of advice for anyone who is considering using Google Map in order to find the right terminal for cars and coaches is, DON’T USE GOOGLE MAP unless you want to end up at a terminal for freights!

Until we found ourselves at the check-in gates for lorries, I had 100% confidence in Google Map. However, the glitch let us down at the very end. Shame on you, Google!

After a few frantic three-points turns and whizzing around countless roundabouts, we managed to find the right terminal without using satnav and parked the car at their car park.

‘Phew, that was a bit hairy!’, we agreed as we alighted from the car…

We looked around a shop and used a bathroom before joining a queue for the immigration.

The queue through UK Border Force point was long and slow …

Same as the cross-channel ferry journeys, an interview by the immigration officer took place while we were in our car. Even though, the interview was friendly and courteous, it was much more thorough , therefore, it took a lot longer than I expected. Since the UK terror threat level was still critical, it was understandable that the border force wanted to scrutinise every single person entering the UK properly.

Finally, we were boarding…

Salut, Calais…

A journey to Folkestone was smooth and eventless.

When we arrived to the UK, the sun was already set…

So this was the way our road trip ended. I never thought that writing a chronicle of the holiday would take this long! Anyway, that’s a wrap! Thank you for your patience and I hope our adventure was entertaining and inspiring somehow. We are already plotting another mum & daughter road trip 2018 which will take us all the way to the south of France and back. I can hardly wait…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Echobelly@Scala

Hubbie and I were at Scala, Kings Cross, last night, attending a gig given by Echobelly . The band’s lead guitarist, Glenn, kindly put us on their guest list because Hubbie helped them with their recent publicity photos.

Sonya & Glenn’s visit.

After having dinner at Mildred on Pentonville Road, we watched a supporting band, Salad, giving a great performance…

Then, this was what we were waiting for! Echobelly!

 

They played the numbers from their new album, Anarchy & Alchemy, as well as their well-known and well-loved tunes.

A lead singer, Soyna, was as mesmerising as usual. She had a great stage presence and her charisma was felt throughout the performance…

Thank you, Glenn! It was a wonderful treat…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Harry & Meghan

Huge congratulation to the royal couple! I am so thrilled to learn that finally, finally, Harry popped the question and Meghan said yes! It was a long time coming and probably the worst kept secret, still we all held our breath when the Palace indicated that the announcement was imminent. Did you watch the royal couple’s very first official interview? Awww, they were so loved up and the way they gushed about each other while holding their hands was so romantic! They looked so natural together, didn’t they? I loved it!

So, we have another royal wedding to look forward to this spring then? How wonderful! I am sure Meghan will make a stunning bride and Harry will be a dashing bridegroom. Who will design her gown? And will Harry marry in a military uniform like William? So many questions and I am so EXCITED!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Doggie X’mas Market @ Netil Market

Shoreditch is a fun place to live, and one of the many reasons is how dog/-friendly the area is. Especially on weekends, we see many people on the streets, enjoying their day out with their four-legged pals.

Look, even a dog is on the hand rail!

So when there was an announcement that a Christmas market for dogs was coming to London, it had to happen in Shoreditch, naturally.

Netil Market was the host of Santa Paws – A Christmas Market for Dogs and Their Owners…

It was soooo coooollldddd! The forecast was 9°C but the biting wind was so bitterly cold, it felt more like 4 or 5°C.

Bella the Social Butterfly was in her element, regardless the weather…

‘Hi! Hi! Hi!!’ Bella, they don’t know what make of you.

She just dashed towards anything four-legged and started to flirt like there would be no tomorrow…

It didn’t matter if the receiving ends of her attention appreciated her open friendliness or not, she just advanced to them with her tail wagging manically.

I call her Bella the Serial Flasher…

I don’t know why but she flashes herself to all the dogs she encounters. Yes, she is very friendly and submissive which everyone finds cute. However, she does this gesture all the time, regardless how wet, how muddy and how grubby the surface she is rolling on. No, Bella!

Stalls at the market was a pure retail heaven for doggie lovers.

This stall offered personalised soft furnishings for furry pals and their owners…

You can send an image of your four-legged friend to the designer and she will customise it to a plush cushion, etc. The end result will be a very special seasonal gift, won’t it?

How about doggie themed Christmas decorations for your tree?

Unfortunately, we can’t have them because we have decided not to have a proper tree this Christmas. Do you know why? Because I can visualise how Bella will trash the decoration, eat some bits and pieces of the tree and end up on a vet’s examination table. I will have to keep our seasonal decorations beyond her reach on the window sills so she won’t do any harm to them and to herself. *sigh*

Now, this was one thing I really loved…

A beautiful handmade dog lead by HIRO + WOLF. The main colour was turquoise blue and the effect would go very well with her neon orange harness as well as her neon pink one. I will love to use it during the summer, I thought.

The leads on display were for larger breeds and I asked the seller behind the stall if they had any option for small dogs…

She gave me a business card and suggested me to forward the details so she could customise a lead for Bella. ‘I will drop you a note as soon as I get home!’ I waved and left the market.

‘Too cold here!’ Hubbie, Bella and I hurried to Market Cafe on Broadway Market…

Despite it was after two o’clock, the place was still very busy and a manager told us that we would have to wait for about 15 minutes if we wanted a table. Still, we didn’t dither and agreed to wait because we just wanted to be indoor!

For late lunch, we ordered the same dish…

Ham hock hash with a fried egg! I had a glass of rooibos tea & apple ice tea. Hubbie had cold pressed juice of carrot, orange & ginger with his lunch.

For pudding, we shared apple & spiced plum crumble with cinnamon ice cream…

We found huge juicy plum chunks underneath the crunchy crumble top. It was very good.

At home, I measured the length of the lead…

So I can commission HIRO + WOLF to make us a new lead. Oh, I can hardly wait…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

The Stack Awards 2017

Last Monday night, Hubbie, his senior designer and I were queuing at Queen of Hoxton on Curtain Road. We were invited to the Stack Awards 2017 because one of Hubbie’s work was shortlisted for one of the awards.

How long do we have to wait before being admitted? It looked like the organiser was making sure only the people who were on the guest list would be allowed to enter and the registration was taking a loooong time…

The venue, Queen of Hoxton, was approximately 7-8 minutes walk from Old Street tube station.

A mirror ball!

A DJ was spinning retro boogies and girls with trays laden with mini-burgers, halloumi kebabs and cute avocado wraps were shimmying through the guests. The foods were very moreish and they were plentiful.

There were some print samples done by the printer across the pond…

Park Press Printers, based in Northeastern United States.

We chatted with other guests while the organisers prepared the basement for an award giving ceremony…

Shame that the do was not on Friday. If so I would have drunk more…

The Stack Awards was an annual award given to noteworthy independent magazines by Stack Magazines. And the competition was international, therefore, the entries were global…

The result? Hubbie won a commendation amongst 22 shortlists! Well done, you!!

His magazine, Pan and the Dream was a collaboration between him and a fashion designer who resided in NYC. I saw him toiling and burning the midnight oil for months before the magazine went to press. It was a damn hard work and I was very happy that he was rewarded for his effort.

There is a review done by Creative Review here. Take a look if you are interested…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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