I came across this view the other day. Vapour trails were crisscrossing the sky then and I just loved the marks they left. 

Accidental beauty with fleeting nature – it is like a writing on a sandy beach which is destined to disappear in no time. Look away now and they are all rubbed off by the wind or wave. But may be it is precisely because the magic lasts such a short while, its beholder finds oneself even more luckier and enchanted?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Pop-Up Book Sale ICA @ The Mall

The recent London has been blessed with a blue sky and fluffy white wispy clouds. And the weather of the last Saturday was no exception.
‘We are going to the ICA today!’ Hubbie declared breezily. He explained that we were to visit a weekend-only pop-up bookshop held at the gallery. Oh, okay…

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I was not an avid Royal calendar follower and therefore I had no idea what was held at Horse Guard Parade that morning but along the stretch of The Mall, a row of crowd-control barriers was in place on both sides and onlookers were milling about…

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We had a quick bite at the gallery’s cafe before plunging our nose between pages of precious prints…

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The coffee at ICA was not bad at all and the sandwiches were really tasty.

After climbing two flights of stairs…

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And we were greeted with table tops and shelves laden with vintage art & photography books…

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While Hubbie was wandering between stalls, I came across intriguing looking pins at one of the venders…

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The staff explained to me that their designs were inspired by fonts and borders. I decided to take two of them home with me, the pins in the first and second row, because they reminded me the artworks of James Turrell…

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A corridor of the ICA…

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Once outside, we headed to the nearest ice cream van. They were making a brisk trade as customers swarmed around the window, wanting to have an icy treat…

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We licked our soft ice-cream and sauntered to the Royal Academy…

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Alas, the Summer Exhibition was not on yet so we headed home.

A back view of the statue in the courtyard resembled a bullfighter, squaring at a bull in the ring, I thought…

Do you agree with me?

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

No Quick Fix…

‘Oh, you have to talk to your GP if you need anything stronger’, my local pharmacist shrugged his shoulder apologetically. I was at a chemist, hoping if they had any effective solution to my ongoing hay fever misery, but I was out of luck.
As soon as I hit the outside, my eyes, especially left one, become teary and uncomfortable. Unlike Hubbie and Mr.B, I don’t suffer from a torrent of sneezes. However, I feel my left sinus, which is swollen, puts pressure on my eye from the inside and irritates it to no end. Why spends a small fortune on medications which only gives me a weak & short relief?! I’ve already been taking Piritons, Beconase nasal spray, Prevalin spray as well as eye drop since the beginning of the spring. Yet, my day out is always slightly ruined by stuffed nose and prickly eyes. Before taking refuge in the Starbucks by the tube, I was going to West End. However, I found it too gusty and dusty and ended up changing my mind. It looks like I am gonna be under house arrest until this damn grass pollen season is over… *SOB*

Now, these are a couple of sights I encountered on my way home.

The claddings reminded me M.C.Escher’s Impossible Constructions…

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And fluffy clouds resembling flying saucers…

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Please someone and anyone, invent a miracle cure for my seasonal ailment…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Evening Sky @ Hacchobori

This morning, tiny round white flower petals were scattered all over the pavement as if to emulate the artwork by Yayoi Kusama.

The sky of Tokyo in early evening was not as dark as London’s due to the city being situated closer to the equator…

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Typical of urban scenery at Tokyo’s business district. As we stood in silence and waited for a traffic light to change, I observed how the Tokyo skyline rapidly dimmed and fused into graduations of grey. I was leaving Tokyo (& mum) the next day and felt sad and depressed. As always, the last day was the hardest emotionally. Both of us pretended as if it wasn’t a big deal and that was tough…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

London Morning in Rain…

Yesterday, I took my car to the garage near Tower of London for an annual check-up.
It had been nearly a year since I bought the car as brand new and the car had clocked up less than 2000 miles. Yet one day recently, its tire pressure warning popped up on the dashboard and refused to turn itself off even after I checked the tire pressure. Since the arrival of winter was imminent, I thought it must be best to be examined by their mechanics.

The garage was located on The Highway, a stone’s throw from Tower of London…

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After depositing the car, I headed towards Tower of London, but oh my, what an unattractive stretch of the road it was! And so many traffic police on the wayside. Later, I was told that the police were there to pull in any over-laden HGVs passing by in order to fine them…
Once I reached Tower of London, instead of catching tube home at Tower Hill, I thought ‘Hmmm… How about grabbing breakfast at Borough Market?’ So I walked towards Tower Bridge.
Tower of London, looking imposing & forlorn…

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I had never been gifted with any sensitivity to supernatural presence but  still couldn’t help checking those medieval windows in search of Anne Boleyn and Kathryn Howard, poor wives of Henry VIII. And of course, I found none.

It had been raining heavily the night before. The weather forecast I checked before I left home predicted a dry spell during the day. However, the sky indicated otherwise…

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At this point, the heavens started spitting. And the wind increased its strength…

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On the bridge, I saw the Thames at low ride and its browny banks exposed under the blue grey sky. From Tower Pier, a river bus was gliding out, heading towards Greenwich. ‘Oh I must use River Bus instead of tube next time I visit Greenwich!’, I made a mental note.

Shall I visit Tower Bridge Exhibition?

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Another madding idea. Alas, the door wouldn’t open until 9:30 and the prospect of having to hang around for nearly half an hour on the windswept bridge wasn’t so appealing. Therefore, I opted against acting upon my whim this time.

By the time I reached the City Hall, the spit turned to proper rain so I put up my umbrella.
Around London Bridge station, the sight was rather depressing. The pavements were awash with the crowd churned out by the station, all sporting frown lines across their foreheads. Dodging pedestrians as well as uneven paving stones, I made my way to Borough Market.
Unfortunately, all popular cafés were swamped by the people taking sanctuary from the pouring rain. I didn’t see the point of standing in the rain with coffee & pastry, therefore, I turned my heel and headed back to the station. *ARGH!*

Good old OZONE on Leonard Street near Old Street station…

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Soothing murmurs in the place was a world apart from the miserable chaos around London Bridge…

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I ordered flat white with almond croissant…

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The croissant was enormous and rather dry. Peeling off layers of the pastry, I wondered if I fared better in Borough Market. Nah, it’s nicer to keep my feet dry in here.

Around 13:00 the garage sent me SMS, informing my car was ready for collection. So, I hopped on a No.15 bus after running a few errands in West End.
While the bus was crawling by St.Paul’s Cathedral, I saw temporary viewing stands being erected in preparation for the Remembrance Sunday…

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Don’t you think the clouds look like a gigantic flock of sheep walking across the sky?…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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