Too hot!

Oh my word, what a scorcher!

All the sudden, the summer had arrived in London and it took us by surprise. Bella the Hairy and I hit the park as soon as the sun was out because a good weather was never guaranteed when it came to the British weather. However, the past few days were a little too warm for Bella.

Shall I throw a ball for you?

Despite drinking water throughout the walk, she appeared a bit worse for wear.

Ok, let’s have a break in the shade…

The forecast was 26°C max – later, it turned out to be  29°C! – but I felt it was hotter than that. I wished if I came in shorts not in skinny jeans!

After the break, we pressed on…

 

It is probably about time Bella should have her summer haircut. I shall ask her groomer to make her more streamlined…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Happy return

The weather seems to be finally improving! Is the spring here at last? It is about time we should have a proper springtime, is it not?

Instead of a blanket of grey cloud above us, which was all too familiar for the past few months, there are patches of fluffy white cloud against a backdrop of the baby blue sky. How this makes me feeling uplifted, I can’t emphasise it enough.

Understandably, my furry princess Bella is also very happy with the arrival of warmer (& drier) weather.

Follow me, QUICKLY!!

Yes, yes, I hear you.

As usual, we entered Regents Park via Chester Road, and Bella couldn’t wait being let off-leash.

Look, I am rolling!

I am ecstatic!

It was a pure joy to behold how joyous she was to be doing all things doggie – running around, digging, chasing a ball and rolling on grass.

Well, Bay-Bay. How can I throw a ball if you don’t return it to me!

Clearly, she was itching to chase the ball yet the ball I was supposed to throw was in her mouth! Oh well, never mind.

The ground of the soon-to-be cricket field was still scarcely turfed. The near-boldness of the sports field was the result of being stampeded by the spikes of football boots during the winter months and TLC by the park maintainence crew was very much needed.

Bella’s love of mud and puddle took a toll on her fine fur…

How am I gonna take you home..

She was soggy and smelt like seaweed. Yes, seaweed! Oh, never mind. I’m happy if you are happy.

By the way, a ballista at the Pavilion Café made me a lovely cup of latte…

Isn’t it amazing? I was so reluctant to drink it because it was so cute!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Big freeze

Apparently, it was the coldest first day of March on record. Even though the snow caused huge havoc on road and rail, Bella and I enjoyed it a lot.

‘I love the snow as long as it is fresh!’

 

She romped around in the snow, chasing an invisible something larking under the white surface.

Snow ball fight commences!

 

She couldn’t have enough of it. She loved every minute we spent on a wood deck behind Hubbie’s office. I kicked up some snow with my Timberland boots and she chased the bits and pieces thrown into her furry face.

Thanks to Beast from the East, my girl Bella, who was still halfway out of her puppydom, could experience and have fun with the snow. I was very happy for her.

Who knows when we gonna have another snowfall? A five years wait? Perhaps?

My favourite lunch haunt, Alpino, had a very handsome snowman by the entrance…

For some people, this freakish weather condition must have been nuisance or even menace. However, experiencing a proper winter in London was a very rare thing and I was very happy to able to enjoy it with Bella…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

#britishweathersucks

Oh boy, we should have stayed away from the park today, I felt truly miserable in Regent’s Park yesterday lunchtime. It was raining, cold and windy. Apart from keen lunchtime runners, there was hardly anyone in the park.

Even normally an outdoorsy sort of girl Bella was not too crazy about being in this rather dismal surrounding…

Oh no, I am not going in there!

We did play with a Chuckit but every time the ball landed on the ground which was saturated with the precipitation of the recent weeks, she refused to retrieve it.

I sighed and waded into the puddles so I could pick up the ball which used to be neon orange but now resembled a giant dark chocolate truffle.

Hey Bay-Bay, why can’t you stop pining?

She appeared to be distracted by the wind and as a result, she was much less responsive to my recall command. What if she catches a whiff of a squirrel and decides to give a chase?, the thought concerned me because she could go beyond the fencing surrounding St John’s Lodge.

I found myself screaming at her, ‘stop!!’ as she broke into a trot, making a beeline to the nearby hedge. I sprinted as fast as my Timberland boots clad feet could carry me. Thankfully, she froze on the spot, sensing the seriousness in a tone of my voice. I did not like shouting at her but the thought of losing her really panicked me.

Sorry Bella, but I will have to keep you away from the park until the ground becomes firm and dry. Or I will have to buy a pair of football boots with studs so I can run after you even if the ground is greasy…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Lumiere London @ King’s Cross

It was definitely that FOMO feeling which motivated me to visit the event Lumiere London 2018. I missed out on the same event in 2016 and this time, I didn’t want to be the one who was pitied by those, who made it to the spectacles, how foolish I was to skip such a fantastic do.

‘We are going to their King’s Cross venue after dark!’ I declared to Hubbie’s back while he attended a pile of emails on his iMac screen. ‘Are we?’ His response to my suggestion was rather ambivalent.

Hubbie always made it clear that he hated visiting crowded places. I, myself, was not excessively fond of overcrowded places, therefore, I understood his reluctance. However, we were living in a capital city with the population of 8.8 million and the possibility of finding any event which was not crowded would be pretty negligible. ‘Well, we will wrap up quickly if it is too crowded!’, I quipped.

We arrived at a forecourt of King’s Cross station around 7 o’clock. The square was already teeming with the people who appeared to be heading to the installations which were dotted around Granary Square…

At Battle Bridge Place, we found IFO (Identified Flying Object) by Jacques Rival…

Any well-publicised mega event, such as Lumiere London, was bound to attract large crowds, and as a result, the installation was swamped by the waves of onlookers with their cameras and smartphones. Like them, I also tried to capture the vibrant colours of the artwork but my iPhone 7 was not up for a job, the images came out all too light and flat.

On King’s Boulevard, we were greeted by a row of giant office desk lamps…

The work, Lampounette, was by TILT, a French artistic studio. The desk lamps towered over us and gave us the feeling of being a doll in Polly Pocket!

While I took some snaps of the installation, Bella was held by Hubbie…

‘I have a great vantage point!’

We decided not to walk her on leash at the event. It was because the streets were too crowded and also too dark. We thought she could be easily trampled and the lead could be tripped by the pedestrians who weren’t aware of her presence.

Then, we arrived at Granary Square where a large installation, Waterlight, by Daan Roosegaarde was displayed..

 

The mid space of the entire square was filled with LED lighting which floated above our heads.

The art piece was breathtakingly beautiful…

 

There was a fog generator at the southwest corner of the square and it was pumping out the mist so the LED could illuminate the travelling mist in the air. Oh how much I long to be alone with this blue dancing haze! The beauty was ethereal.

Then, we moved on towards West Handyside Canopy and found the work, Aether, by Architecture Social Club…

 

I was really not sure if the audience needed this deafening techno music with the installation. Instead of enhancing the experience, I thought the tune was distracting and it also made the piece rather cheap and cliche. Like night clubs in Ibiza? I would have like it more if it was a silent piece.

After having a glimpse of Entre Les Rangs and Bottle Festoon, Hubbie and I opted to head home. We thought that some opportunities, such as Lumiere London, were too irresistible to pass on and that was why we went there. However, the venue was simply too crowded and we were a bit fed up with dodging the people and slow-marching in the freezing wind.

‘I just feel numb on my toes!’, I pined.

At Vinoteca King’s Cross, we bought mulled wine. The spiced wine was hot and it warmed our chilled finger tips and stomachs…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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