Stepping Stones & Statues

This Saturday just gone, I finally went to Sefton Park for the first time since I arrived at university. It’s one of those places people always tell you you should visit and I’ve kind of nodded along like “yes, I’ll go at some point” but been too busy to go (plus winter weather… not always great). But I woke up that morning and it was just so sunny outside, and I finally had the option of taking a day off essay writing, so I grabbed a friend and off we trotted.

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#nofilter #sun #summer #spring #liverpool #trees

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Sefton Park turned out to be about a 40 minute walk from my flat, but I was glad for the walk. Despite being here since September, I’ve yet to really branch out into different areas of the city, so it was fun to have a look around and go off in a direction I hadn’t before. Plus, the walk there was actually a lot prettier than I expected. Some of the houses were a bit of an illusion; they looked super thin from one angle but it was only because they came to a narrow corner. Reminded me of some West End buildings in London, actually.

The weather the whole day was absolutely gorgeous, and as someone who finds the winter darkness really quite difficult, I couldn’t have been happier about it (despite being of Irish descent and so, of course, got burned).

Our day at the park essentially consisted of ambling around, eating food and taking photos. It was seriously needed after the stress of the previous few weeks, that’s for sure! I brought my mini-speaker with me, so when we plonked ourselves onto the grass for a while to read (yes, yes, we still did uni reading, but it wasn’t much) we listened to a bit of Imagine Dragons – praise be to Spotify premium, which I did have on a 3-month 99p deal but have just purchased a contract to…

 

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I grew up in a town a little above London and around the corner from my house was a place we all referred to as “the lakes”, which I later realised that to every other person in the country this meant “the Lake District”, but it was basically a big park of open fields, hills, too many rabbit holes to count, and two large lakes. As such, I’ve sort of been accustomed to having wide open space near me, so this was really nice.

I would say that the park could do with expanding their Oasis Café, however. It seemed rather bizarre to have people queueing far beyond the doors and extremely little space inside. But it didn’t matter too much – we’d brought food with us for lunch on a bench overlooking the water, which was so nice.

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If you get a chance to go to Sefton Park for an afternoon, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s much bigger than I expected, and there’s no hint of being in a city! It’s like its own little world inside those gates.

Katy x

Cloudy Dreams

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After my post about weird thoughts I had as a child, combined with turning nineteen last week and finding it very odd that I’ve been an ‘adult’ for a year now, I was thinking about just how much I’m really not an adult… And then I remembered clouds…

I went on a family holiday to Madeira over summer last year, and honestly it was one of the best holidays ever. It’s such a beautiful island, and the people were all really nice, and basically everything was perfect for a photo shoot.

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We stayed in a really beautiful hotel (though it was a tad confusing as you’d walk in from the street and then go down about sixteen floors to the ground level… it was on a really big hill) right on the coast, although let’s be real, it was a small island, so most places are right on the coast.

There was so much greenery around, it was beautiful. We explored some caves, took a cable car to the top of the island where it was about ten degrees cooler than the bottom, and we had an offroading tour of the island – definitely one of the top highlights.

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When we booked the tour, which was one of the experiences the hotel booked for us, we weren’t actually aware that it was partially off-road. So when the guy came in his open-top Jeep to pick us up, along with a couple of other people, we didn’t really think much of it. But when he suddenly turned from the road up a short, steep mud track into the trees, we were a little taken by surprise!

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We saw some truly stunning scenery and the weather was gorgeous, as it was for the whole week, really. And these aren’t even a fraction of the amount of photos I took, let alone any that my dad took – he’s really into his photography. Anyone who knows me knows that the sun is really my best friend, despite how much I don’t tan, and there was so much sun shining down through the open top that I had a sunburned thigh for the next three months.

Totally worth it.

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Eventually, we reached one of the highest points of the island, where there was a lone restaurant ready to serve us lunch. I can’t for the life of me remember what the fish I had was called, but it was absolutely delicious and one of the best meals I’ve had eating out. Maybe it was the altitude talking, but still.

Being at one of the highest points, the weather was quite susceptible to change – and this is where my inner child appeared. I’d finished eating, but we still had some time left before we all got back in the Jeeps for the final part of the tour, so I thought I’d just look around.

AND THEN THIS CLOUD APPEARED AND I GOT TOO EXCITED.

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Unfortunately, this is pretty much the only photo I have of it as it suddenly descended on us from out of nowhere, and I wasn’t going to waste time trying to get the perfect photograph of it when I could seize the opportunity to do as my childhood-self would have wished, and chased it instead! I kid you not, I got up from the table fast as a flash, ran up a little hill and danced around in a cloud. It was glorious. I was grinning like a buffoon. My dad has a video of the cloud coming on, and he turns the camera and suddenly you just hear a squeal and I run past, completely oblivious.

I like to think that any person when presented with this situation would do the same. Or, at least any person who isn’t really boring… It gave my parents a laugh at any rate. And I’m not ashamed to say it’s one of my favourite holiday memories. Forget ideas of being a princess, running through a cloud was my childhood dream.

Katy x

A Trip to Kew Gardens

On Saturday 3rd September, I finally went on my trip to Kew Gardens. I was given a voucher for free entry for two people for Christmas last year and was meant to go during August initially, but because of work and then results and being busy sorting out things for university, it didn’t happen. But, finally, I found a good time to go.

I was so annoyed with myself when I was about half way there (it took us not too far off two hours to get there, despite living just above London), because I realised that despite thinking about this trip for months and knowing I’d blog about it, I forgot my camera. I mean, it wasn’t a total disaster because I still had my phone with me, which has a pretty decent camera, but still. My actual camera would have been better, so if these pictures aren’t quite up to standard, please forgive me…

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I decided to go with my mum, because we are quite close, and it seemed like a nice thing to do before I go to university and might not see her for three months at a time as I’m going 200 miles away, so can’t just pop home every other week. It turned out to be a really nice day, though it wasn’t the gorgeous sunny day we’d have had back in August, and it started raining towards the end of our day. But, to be quite honest, we didn’t mind walking in the rain.

IMG_20160903_133034Kew Gardens is, no doubt about it, beautiful. I didn’t really know anything about it before, but really there’s not that much to know – it’s a beautiful area in London full of plants from around the world, amazing trees, good food (though a little expensive) and makes for a great picture day. I’m not ashamed to say, the day did involve a little tree hugging, and we also named some of the more impressive trees – meet Cecil the Chestnut:

Cecil the ChestnutOne thing I really loved was that they have a lot of things around in support of bees, which are fast becoming endangered, and that’s not good for humanity or the planet. Plus, bees are so cute. They just buzz around, keeping to themselves unless they sense they’re in danger. Best rule when it comes to bees? Leave them to themselves, and you’ll get on great.

Plus, it was nice to see the gardens at the turn of the season; it’s just starting to become autumnal, the leaves are beginning to turn, and starting to fall. I feel like it’s the time when the colours are becoming really rich, but the temperature hasn’t fallen too much yet. It makes me excited for the two months to come, when the conkers drop and we can bring out the scarves and hats again, and I can finally start wearing rich autumn colours again.

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The treetop walkway was brilliant – it was during this that it started to rain properly, and it got a bit blustery (I cannot use that word without thinking of Winnie-the-Pooh), which made the walkway sway from side to side without warning. It was fun to look out at the tops of the trees and walk through them. Trees look amazing from above.

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So, that was my day. I hope you liked the pictures – I definitely recommend going to Kew Gardens if you get the opportunity. I know I’ll be going back; I really want to see the trees in all seasons, they’re so beautiful. And plus, it’s a place without all the litter or buildings of the rest of London. (You do get planes headed to land at Heathrow flying overhead, but it’s easily ignored.) I wish I could go towards the end of October, actually, at the height of autumn when all the trees will be shades of orange and brown… Oh well. I’ll definitely be visiting again at some point!

Katy x