May (boring) Bank Holiday

‘Yay! We are on a bus!’

It is hard to tell which mode of transport, bus or tube, my girl Bella prefers. She appears to get a kick out of watching passersby from the window when she is on a bus, and she always has a long leisurely nap when she is on a tube.

Don’t get too excited, Bella!

Sadly, this bank holiday weekend was not a particularly exciting one. Poor Hubbie was snowed under with urgent projects and had to work through the whole three days except nipping out to a local pub for a Sunday roast lunch.

Hubbie’s only high point during the weekend. Tucking into a huge roast chicken at Eagle the Pub…

After a brief respite with half pint of cider, he had to go back to his PowerPoint presentation.

How about me? I’m not even invited to the feast!

Sorry, Bella. I will make sure that next weekend will be more fun and interesting for you. I promise.

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Scorchio!!!

‘We long for it but also complain about it as soon as it arrives!’ We mused about the sudden arrival of heatwave as we licked ice lorries. Our atelier didn’t have air-conditioning but an electric fan, and the device didn’t help much other than it stirred up the hot air.

Early on yesterday, I met up with my old teammate from ice hockey and had lunch together. We hadn’t seen each other for almost a year, therefore, we had tons to catch up with. While we were busy chatting and eating, Bella was sitting on my lap quietly, no figeting nor begging for attention but looking around what was going on. A model behaviour. Well done, Bella!

Bella on my friends lap, looking at her pasta…

Oh my, it sounded like so many things, some of them were pretty drastic, had happened to a few of my teammates while I was in the thick of my own domestic affairs. All very happy and positive changes, yet, life changing decisions nonetheless! We both agreed that a summer social gathering would have to be organised before some of them disappear to the other side of the earth.

Let’s play with the bubble! I brought a secret weapon for Bella to play with at the studio…

Doggie Incredibubblles!

The bubble was absolutely harmless and peach flavoured. I could hardly want to see how Bella would chase the bubbles with excitement. Well, my good intention disappeared into thin air literally like “bubbles”…

She just ran away! She just hated it. Those bubbles were rather sticky and kept the shape for much longer than normal soap bubbles. She seemed to be freaked out by the bubbles sticking to her all over, especially around her furry face. Therefore, she rolled around the floor, trying to rub the residue off from herself, rather than chasing the bubbles for fun. Oh well, never mind. I will find another entertainment for you, Bella…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

The Classic Car Boot Sale

‘I must, must, MUST visit the car boot sale today!’, I insisted. The event I was talking about to Hubbie was not an ordinary weekend bric-a-brac sale but The Classic Car Boot Sale, the most grand, entertaining and spectacular vintage and collectables market I had ever been!

So here we are, at Granary Square behind Kings Cross…

The entree fee was £5.00, more expensive than a normal £1, per person and it was well worth the money. As the name suggested, it was a car boot sale. However, the main attraction was these classic cars displayed all over the venue…

Aren’t they beautiful? Those cars were free from modern injection-moulding plastic but crammed full of immaculately polished handcrafted chrome and walnut. All passers by, including us, were drooling over their shiny body works and lovingly restored interiors.

Another attraction of the event was their well-selected vintage stalls.

Cute tea cups…

Pin cushions looked like cupcakes! Even Bella the Tomboy was very attracted to them…

Picnic paraphernalia for this coming summer?

I always loved men’s vintage clothing even though they were way too large for me…

Hubbie was pondering about the khaki green nylon bag for a while. I thought it could be good for his camera and lenses as the interior of the bag was well padded and had two generously-sized pockets. A man who was manning the stall explained to us that the bag was a real ex-helmet carrier used my an airforce pilot. In the end, he decided not to buy as the bag was not quite large enough for all what he wanted to carry.

There were also lots of toys and memorabilias which made us squeal with delight…

Apparently, Hubbie owned one of those Action Man Sportsman dolls. A doll with full of nylon hair! Unlike plastic hair like Ken!! Cool 😉

Retro-inspired signs made with timber…

A railway sign…

Vintage road signs. They would look great on the wall, don’t you agree?

Vinyls were attracting quite a few serious shoppers…

It was fun to explore hidden treasures and gems….

and also watching stylish vendors and customers in period clothings…

I was drawn to these wooden steps. Aren’t they sweet?

I thought about buying it for our library. However, Hubbie pointed out that it would be far too low for the purpose, and I had to give up the idea reluctantly.

Bella was not interested in shopping…

However, she met loads of furry friends which made her a very happy dog.

‘I WANNA SAY HI TO HIMMMMMM!!’

Mr.Brown was not that into her. Still his response made her satisfied.

‘HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!’

It was great to see Bella was enjoying the event as much as we were.

There was a very odd find amongst heaps of the unique vintage items.

The ladybird Book of The Mid-life Crisis? Is this for real?!

I couldn’t help picking up the book in my hands and flicked it through. Yes, it was for real, and the content was rather depressing. No, I am not taking you home with me, I shook my head and put it back to the box.

Outside of the enclosure in Granary Square was as fun as the inside.

The area was dotted with interesting objects and exhibits.

How about perfect Instagram posts with life-size timber cutouts…

Or marvelling at retro-futuristic cars/motorcycles? How does this one run? I couldn’t figure out. Could you?

Bella the Marmaid loved playing with the mini-fountains…

‘Let’s find some tea & cake!’ We entered the area which was designated for food and drink.

BBQ, Mac n cheese, steak sandwich… Not very migraine detox friendly, we sighed. Then, we spotted a van selling tea and crumpets!

Even though they had no caffeine free beverage, the tea they brew properly in pots looked delicious, therefore, Hubbie had his first normal tea in nearly two months.

Crumpet with butter and raspberry jam!

Ahhh, it tasted fabulous and the tea was divine. The best cuppa I had in a long time.

All in all, we had a great time at the event. And we will definitely be back for another one in future.

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bank holiday recap 4

‘Why don’t we have lunch at Mildreds and then go to Liberty?’ I suggested as we were mulling over how we should spend the last day of bank holiday. It was about time to taste their insanely delectable Sri Lankan sweet potato & cashew nuts curry again, I reasoned. It would be wonderful if I could cook the dish at home since I bought their cookbook recently. However, Hubbie is never keen on spicy food, therefore, I have to satisfy my craving for spicy dishes when I eat out with my friends who love hot stuff. 

Man, you don’t know what you are missing out…

I pitied him as I watched him wolfing down his veggie burger with sweet potato chips. 

Bella’s behaviour at the restaurant was as impeccable as usual. Fast asleep and not bothered by smells of foods….

After lunch, we headed to our next destination, Liberty…

We wanted to buy Bella a lead / harness with the famous Liberty prints. However, we were disappointed to find that they didn’t do any accessories for four-legged creatures! What a shame…

Ok then, I will look for doggie related objects in the store, I decided. 

I found mugs with dogs…

I would have bought one if there were any Yorkie one.

Medium-size flower vases…

And figurines and more vases….

I found those holes on their heads rather creepy. It looked like they were lobotomized! I have no idea how they are meant to be used, but don’t you agree it would look rather disturbing if pencils (or scissors!) were stuck in them?

A ceramic dachshund…

Small plates with a spaniel / Irish setter type dog…

Stuffed dogs made with leather…

A set of stickers with dogs…

I found dogs alright but didn’t find any Yorkie! Why?! Are Yorkshire terriers not that popular in the U.K??? 

Do you feel snubbed by Liberty, Bella?

She loves the store (especially their fourth floor) as long as they have shaggy rugs!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bank holiday recap 3

Since Hubbie has cut out caffeine for his migraine detox, we are mainly drinking Rooibos tea with soy milk. At first, he winced (and cried) about the prospect of having to say good-bye to good old milky English tea for foreseeable future. However, once he has got used to a new diet, Rooibos tea has won over him, and he has not missed the old way at all. Even though I still drink odd mocha here and there and always start my day with normal tea, the choice of my hot drink throughout the rest of day has become Rooibos with soy milk. The best thing I have found in this tea with reddish hue is how easily I fall asleep and how well I sleep if I drink it after dinner. Sometimes, I also have pretty wacky dreams which I find fun. Last night’s dream was another crazy one in which Justin Timberlake was a sky-diving instructor and trying to teach me how to jump! I still can’t figure out why I dreamt about him because I am not his fan – I don’t dislike him but I never fancy him either, you know what I mean? Why did he pop in my head? It was so bizarre.

Anyway, our bank holiday Sunday was spent locally. Hubbie’s migraine had disappeared and the weather wasn’t too bad – cloudy but windless. ‘Shall we have late brunch at Ozone?’ The good old restaurant was open despite the bank holiday weekend, therefore, we sauntered along City Road with Bella the sometimes reluctant walker.

Well done to Bella’s short legs. We are here!

Surprisingly, the eatery was not too busy. Any normal Sunday, a queue by their till entrance can stretch out beyond the door during the peak time. After waiting for about 15 minutes, we were ushered to one of the table.

The chefs busy at work….

While Hubbie sipped green juice, I had to have my mocha moment. Sorry!

I had smoked fish cake with poached egg, and Hubbie tucked in their veggie big breakfast….

I would have given 10/10 for the dish if the fish cake was not too salty. The poached egg was a good antidote, but it was not enough. Therefore, I had to score it as 7/10.

For dessert, we ordered our favourite, Lamington!

After brunch, we headed towards east. ‘Do you fancy browsing some magazines?’

Bella having rest on the floor of Artwords Bookshop…

‘Which magazine are you going for, Bella?’

All the sudden, Hubbie declared that he needed to buy tulips. ‘I want to shoot tulips!’ Alrighty, we made a beeline to Columbia Road Market.

Lots of flowers! So beautiful, aren’t they, Bella?

Two for tenner, it was…

I wished if he bought less because the flowers took so much space!

And they had to be left in the vases until they were half-dead. It took a whole week to be in this state…

When will I get my ironing board back?

And Bella was not too concerned…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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