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

Obagi blues

‘This afternoon, the temperature will rise up to 20°C!’ A BBC weather woman chirped. Finally, bloody finally, the summer is crawling forward, and I can finally stop reaching out for a thermostat on the wall! I performed a twirl of joy in front of Bella and Hubbie.

Must make the best out of the weather, I thought. As Hubbie was in Richmond for a photo-shoot, therefore, my presence was not required at work today, I headed to Knightsbridge with Bella in tow.

‘Too windyyyyyy!’, Bella complained.

‘Are we getting on now?’

The skin clinic I had been using for the past four years was on Old Brompton Road, about 5 minutes walk from Harrods.

I underwent an Obagi Nuderm programme in order to improve my skin at the clinic and had been buying their maintenance products from them ever since.

Obagi was an amazing programme, especially the skin with pigmentation. Apart from my freckles, I also had skin prone to blemish if the environment was too humid or dusty. However, my skin became robust, supple and clear once I completed two months’ of Obagi treatment.

‘Are you thinking about doing another course of Obagi Nuderm?’ A friendly staff at the clinic asked me as she handed over a new bottle of Obagi Clear. ‘Ohhh, I would like to but I’m not ready to go through that experience again yet!’ I sighed.

I wouldn’t mind doing the programme a few times a year if it didn’t disrupt my life so severely. During that two months’ period, I had to live like a hermit, avoiding people and sunlight. The skin on my face was permanently red and itchy, and it was shredding and peeling like crazy by the end of each day. The experience did traumatise me in a certain way, and I was not mentally beefed up to the hardship yet. The staff and I both agreed that undergoing a full-on Obagi treatment during the summer months would not be very practical anyway so I should consider it towards the winter.

Having a hairy face would solve all the problem, wouldn’t it, Bella? I need no Obagi…

This is one place Bella will never be welcomed, you bloody Harrods!

Bella’s predecessor, Mr.B was invited to the place once when he was one year old. The store was advertising a wedding service for dogs (!), and we were participating in the photo-shoot. In spite of us having a permission to enter the place, we had to be escorted in & out of the store with a burly security guard with a stony expression which made us feel very unwelcomed…

Eventually, our slow moving No.74 bus had arrived to our favourite department store, the Selfridges…

We like them because they allows dogs into the store. Even though dogs are not permitted to walk on their floors, therefore, they have to be carried, we can shop together.

Bella fitting in perfectly in my Vanessa Bruno tote…

She seemed to like being carried around in a bag like this as long as she could look around.

After checking over their denim department for Khloe Kardashian’s Good American, we descended to the beauty department on the ground floor. I needed by a tube of Touche Éclat by YSL ‘Aww, what a cute puppy!’ Makeup artists at YSL squealed as they ran their fingers through Bella’s mop. I explained to them that I wanted the concealer to compliment my MUFE stick foundation. Soon, they found a very good match and my missions of the day were complete.

After arriving back to Old Street, I enjoyed a cup of mocha at Shoreditch Grind…

Oh Bella, I have an itchy eye! I hate hay fever…

Do you think having a fringe like yours will help my eyes from a pollen attack?

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

Bavarian getaway

Before Bella managed to drench her face and paws at the Royal Academy, we visited Waterstones to buy some maps last Sunday.

I was planning a European holiday with my mom sometime this June, and needed large paper maps so I could plot possible route by car.

They will do, Bella.

Yes, I will be driving to Bavaria!

Don’t you worry because I am a seasoned long-distance driver. Enough mileage was clocked up while I was driving for away games, from London to Newcastle, Sheffield, Cardiff and so on. I also took Mr.B and mom as my passengers to Brittany and Paris in the past.

I want to show my mom Romantic Road and Garmisch-Partenkirchen as they are my late father’s favourite places…

I love to see the sceneries which my dad was so impressed and talked about countless times. Mom and I agree that we want to see what he saw so we can feel him closer.

Now, I haven’t decided if I should take Bella with us or not…

All depends on if Hubbie will be coming with us or not. I must start more detailed planning, however, there are still too many “if”s!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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