Versatile Blogger Award

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It has been my good fortune to have been nominated for the versatile blogger award, by the wonderful Shruti, who writes a truly most excellent blog about life in Germany. Thank you so much!!! Please be sure to check out her blog here. I cannot recommend it enough. As for the rules of this award, I’m to share seven little facts about myself and nominate five fellow bloggers to do the same (should they feel inclined). So without further ado…

Little Facts

I enjoy really long walks in the countryside.

I have a crazy laugh and some rather silly sensibilities.

I’m a massive fan of cheesy films and the Prince Charles Cinema may well be my favourite place in London.

I love the discworld books and have read all forty one of them.

I like to embrace the random side of life. I often take tube journeys deciding which stop to get off at by rolling a twenty sided dice. I’ve found all sorts of interesting places this way.

I’ve never had a favourite whisky maker, so many are absolutely brilliant and in very distinct ways. However to those who insist I must choose, I always say Highland Park.

I love a hair brain scheme, just coming up with a plan on the spur of the moment and following through with it is ace. I’ve been like this since I was teenager, sometimes with disastrous consequences. For instance, I once locked my entire school in the assembly room and used the speaker system to serenade them with chicken noises. I haven’t a clue what made me think of doing this.

Nominees

https://bitchwithwifi.wordpress.com/

https://thehumblefabulist.com/

https://dancingtothewords.com/

https://crawcraftsbeasties.com/beastieblog/

https://rediskot.com/blog/

Be sure to check these out!

(As always there’s no pressure to participate)

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this odd little post. I should have another article ready by Monday, with what I think is my favourite whisky photo of the year (so far)!!!

Falling With Style

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This shall be a day long remembered! Only the most ardent of my readers are likely to have read my long winded first post, but to recap when I first embarked upon this blog I set myself the challenge of three, knock your socks off,  are you out of your tiny mind, make you scream ‘I’m alive’ adventures. After several years of the boring and mundane I’d finally put my foot down and decided that this time it would be different. Having resolved myself to completing one every four months, I then entered into a rigorous regime of procrastination in which the wild side of life was forever postponed by the allegedly essential. Thus after a great deal of time passed, I suddenly felt a little low on realizing that this time it wasn’t any different. Only, as the totally crazy photographic evidence above shows, most unexpectedly and quite delightfully, this time it is different! I have undertaken a true out of this world worthy of a bucket list adventure. And as you’re about to find out I loved every precious second of it.

So there I am, strapped to a stranger sitting in a rickety plane flying two miles above the earth and I have to pinch myself it feels like a dream. There’s a red light that’s about to turn green and I can’t help but briefly imagine that I’m a commando on a super-secret mission in a war film. My imagination is working overtime, as I try to ignore the very basic mechanic that I will have to execute in order for this adventure to occur. I usually get a tad frightened on normal plane journeys and that’s without the thought that at some point during the ride I’m going to have to bloody well jump out of it. It turns out I didn’t need to jump, oh no! I had to cumbersomely sit down on the edge of the exit and then as I teetered on the abyss I had to cross my legs and wrap them around the fuselage. I then felt a light tap on my shoulders which was my cue to fall forward like an undignified drunk. Upon reflection, I think I would have much preferred a short swift jump.

Whoosh! The first few seconds of the jump are a total blur as a result of the fifty espressos worth of adrenalin that automatically pumped through my veins on account of me doing something very stupid. I came to my senses a little while in, to find the camera lady falling below trying to grab my attention, she was blowing kisses. I’ve desperately tried to avoid using this word, but it was truly surreal. It sounds mad but after the initial fright of exiting, the experience of falling was a wonderfully pleasant affair. A beautiful majestic scene before me coupled with the exhilarating and calming white noise of the wind gave me a brief moment of ecstatic clarity. It came to a close when the parachute deployed and I suddenly felt like I was pulled up to the heavens.  Looking at the amazing higgledy piggledy farmland below, we now fell gracefully as we gently twirled our way back to earth.  Arriving with a bump, I was brimming ear to ear with joy having experienced the extraordinary.

I can safely say that exiting a plane from extreme height is terrifying but I also cannot recommend this experience highly enough. After the initial shock, the fall is pure magic. I’d like to give a big thank you, to all the wonderful people at the London Parachute School who made this most excellent adventure happen.

I’m Alive!!!

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London’s Monster Supplies

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One of the things I love most about London is the way it can remind you at practically any moment of the sheer wonder and absurdity of existence. Such occurrences are infrequent enough never to be considered dull and yet somehow simultaneously manage to be frequent enough to be considered a regular fixture in one’s life. Bored out of your brains, desperately trying to write something for your blog, you look out the window completely lost only to see a grey hound dressed as an AT AT walker from Star Wars go by. You slip out the door for a closer look, and chuckle as you consider if it’s possible to get arrested for stalking a dog. You don’t get anything written that day, but now you’re armed with a spectacular excuse. Or, there you are on a beautiful summers day, drinking coffee with a friend, completely content, when out of nowhere a hundred odd people dressed as zombies suddenly go by. A brilliant day made brilliant-er by the oddest of occurrences. Or, it’s been a hard day, you listlessly stroll along, deep in thought bemoaning your lot, when suddenly a part of your brain pipes up to inform you that you have just walked past an abandoned Russian tank.  How it got there and who painted it pink, you ask, but there are no immediate answers. Face to face with the inexplicable, all you can do is smile, as whatever you were worrying about suddenly evaporates. No matter ones mood, Lady London will always find ways to interject and remind you of the, sparkling, majestic, joy, that life can offer if you just look around once in a while.

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Quite recently I took the liberty of giving the world a good old look around, and to my considerable good fortune spied a most excellent little oddity. I was in Hoxton market minding my own business when my mind was set ablaze as I beheld a monster supplies shop! Flabbergasted, I quickly checked I wasn’t in Diagon Alley, and once assured of this, simply stood in awe as a sense of childlike wonder came over me. The shop, with the exception of the signs, had the appearance of a painting and decorating supplier. As I entered I noted that the sign outside permitted only one giant to enter at a time. Inside I found a host of interestingly labelled tins and jars. The items had some truly marvellous balderdash written upon them. Having annoyed the invisible cat Wells, I grew concerned that the overly friendly staff might eat me. Fortunately I managed to appease the despicably friendly fiends that managed the shop by making a few purchases. For the record I bought a vague sense of unease and some salt made from the tears of boredom.

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I cannot express the pure whimsical delight that I found myself experiencing on suddenly discovering this place. I later learned that this inexplicable store with its strange supplies helps support the Ministry of Stories, which is an organisation that pairs professional writers with children so as to induct them into the great art of yarn telling. If you’re ever in Hoxton market I strongly recommend you check this place out and while you’re at it be sure to buy some overpriced knick knacks and help this fantastic enterprise out.

In the meantime be sure to keep your eyes peeled for life’s pleasant surprises.

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A Little More Pollocks

Last week I had a reader request a few more photo’s of Pollocks toy museum, so as to get a real sense of this little wonder. Ever keen to bring reading satisfaction, LWA is proud to present, by popular demand,  a second helping of toy treasures.

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I do apologise for the terrible reflections in some of the photo’s but it was unavoidable given the sunny day! Looking back over all these treasures, I must say that I fancy another trip. I do hope the photos will inspire a few people reading to venture forth and visit this most excellent museum.

 

Pollock’s Toy Museum

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A museum full of toys that has a name that rhymes with bollocks. It’s fair to say that Pollock’s was an easy sell for this big kid. It specializes in 19th century toys but has a wide array of playthings from all sorts of periods. Sadly a few highlight the offensive attitudes that Europeans have held at various moments in history. Thankfully the sparkling joy of childhood play makes up the majority of the items. Like so many of the unusual museums that are dotted around this part of the city Pollock’s is on the small side and some may be put off by the £6 entrance fee. I’m so glad I wasn’t one of them. It may be on the small side, but there are intriguing sights and items of interest everywhere in Pollock’s. Little gems included, the saucy Fraulein’s from 1925 with a string that lifts up their skirts, a four thousand year old clay rat from ancient Egypt that has moving wooden tail and mouth, and oh look Buzz and Woody are attempting to escape the museum! I also really liked the row of Russian nesting dolls that had Brezhnev, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin at the centre. It didn’t make my top three little gems though. It could have but alas where for art thou Putin?

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My favourite section in the museum without a doubt was filled with giant toy theatres. They were so beautifully crafted, with such an amazing eye for detail. One could imagine what a delight to play with they were, and I could just picture kids putting on a play with cardboard cut outs for Mum and Dad to enjoy. A close second in the favourites department was a room packed to the rafters with exquisite and oh so creepy Victorian dolls. The creaking wooden floors of the museum added an atmosphere of suspense and for a moment I could not help but feel that I was in a horror film. I should also mention the awesome 1950’s alien, robot, spaceman, Goodness. How could I possibly forget that! As a child who was constantly pew pewing laser death at the world, these incredible tin toys were my childhood dreams come to life!!!  At the end of the museum tour one is faced with the ultimate test of willpower, a shop full of toys. I was dismayed by how many grownups effortlessly succeeded at this ultimate test. Let me assure you dear reader that I was not one of them. All in all, I had a rather jolly and dare I say it fanciful hour of imaginary wondering walking round this museum. I definitely recommend the trip.

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Swingers (Crazy Golf)

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Having done a ton of work last week and organized what I hope will prove a most excellent Bachelor’s Party; I was most pleased to suddenly have a day all to myself. At last time to read philosophy, create art, and realize my potential! To be honest I mostly watched TV and worked on my couch potato skills. Nevertheless the day was not without some adventure.  For today I put pay to life’s boring bits and enjoyed some silly fun with a spot of golf in the City. Located right next to the Gherkin, Swingers is a terrific bar which has two awesome and dare I say it fiendish pitch and putt courses inside it. Entry is yours for a mere ten pounds. A great deal of my cousins are amazing at golf, I mean they’ve won trophies and stuff. As such, I’ve always harboured delusions that I would one day try golf and just find that I’m super humanly good at it. Thus today I was really looking forward to playing with my friend, stoked by the fantasy of finding a hidden talent. Unfortunately the bounder never showed up and sent a txt at the last second with a lame excuse as to why. Thus Johnny no mates found himself playing golf all alone.

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On this day however, the Gods were with me! It wasn’t long after I started to play, that I was joined by three incredibly kind staff members, Soli, Jasmine, and Ally. They let me try the second course for free, bought me a drink, and were fantastic fun. So a huge THANK YOU to them. On the hidden talent front, initial evidence was promising. I got a hole in one on an insanely difficult shot that involved a jump. Further scientific investigation though, indicated this to be a complete fluke. At the end of the day, it was hard not to conclude that my innate talent was average maximus. The real star in our group was Jasmine, who pulled off some super smooth shots and made it look easy, she won by a mile. All in all, I had a wonderful time at Swingers and think it’s a great bar to go to if you’re in the mood for some kick ass shenanigans. Once again I’d like to thank the super kind, Soli, Jasmine, and Ally, who went above and beyond the call of duty to make my day blooming brilliant. I cannot recommend this place highly enough.

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Liebster Award

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A good while ago* I was nominated by Lottie for the Liebster award, which is for up and coming bloggers. So thank you Lottie for this awesome accolade. Be sure to check out Lottie’s blog here , it is truly most excellent with a focus on photography, happiness, and beautiful moments. I cannot recommend it highly enough!!!

(*I do apologise for how long it has taken me to do this)

The Rules/ Guidelines:

  1. Write a blog post about your nomination, displaying an image of the award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  3. Answer the questions the person who nominated you asked you in his/her post.
  4. Nominate 5 other bloggers who’s blogs you enjoy reading and come up with a set of your own questions to ask them! Make sure to let them know on social media that you have nominated them!
  5. Enjoy discovering great new blogs!!

 

My Answers to Lottie’s questions

What have you most valuably learnt from writing your blog?

I think the most valuable thing I’ve learned, is just how uplifting it can be to see or do something new each week. I know that many of the things I cover on my blog are silly fripperies. Yet I’ve found there’s a simple joy that creeps in, when one makes a little space in one’s life, for such marvellous flights of the imagination.

When do you feel most happy and content?      

Give me a glass of whisky a mellow setting and fine company, and I’m as content as anyone could be. I simply love listening to friends tell good old fashioned ripping yarns into the early hours, and if they ever fancy taking a break I’m more than happy to talk some twaddle of my own.

Who or what inspires you the most?

I always find these ‘most’ questions the trickiest. So many people and things have proven an inspiration in my life. Yet for me Gandhi is the one who always tops the list. His message of nonviolent protest changed the world and I think it has proven a guiding light for positive change.

 

If you could click your fingers and be ANYWHERE in the world right this second, where would it be and why?

My immediate reaction to this would be to click my fingers and head to Niagara Falls to take in an awe inspiring spectacle of nature. It’s a gloomy day today and I always find a spot of nature uplifting. Then again, I can’t help but notice that this wish gives no indication of an easy click of the fingers to get back home! I can’t say I fancy getting stranded in a foreign land this evening. So perhaps, I’m best off staying in the gloom of London Town; it really is quite magical in its own sombre way.

What one thing would you most like to do or achieve in 2017

My best friend’s getting married to an absolutely delightful lady this year and I’m the best man. I’m super nervous and I just hope that I manage to pull off a stonkingly good toast that warms the hearts of everyone there on the day and properly extols the virtues of this wondrous couple.

 

What is your favorite ever ever ever pudding/dessert?

I’ve found this last question the trickiest of them all, how could I possibly pick just one pudding? They’re all so incredibly delicious. For the record I’m not counting black pudding, which is possibly the greatest piece of false of advertising in all of history. Evil blood sausages aside, the rest of the pudding family are all blooming brilliant. The idea of praising one at the expense of the rest is hard to get my head round. It’s like having a favourite child it’s just not the done thing. However if you put a gun to my head, I think I’d settle on pineapple upside down cake as my favourite. The core reason for this is pure nostalgia, as it’s the cake I had most often as a little kid.

 

My Nominees

https://thehumblefabulist.com/

https://cinespiria.com/

https://slickbadgercreations.com/

https://barleymania.wordpress.com/

https://threesixfive.art.blog/

https://londonstoneandmetal.wordpress.com/

(Please do check out all these blogs as they’re brilliant)

My Questions

How did you get started blogging?

Recommend a curiously unusual book or film?

What is your favourite pudding ever, ever, ever?

What adventurous activity (if any) would you most like to do?

What makes you laugh in life?

What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?

(As always don’t feel obliged to take part, it’s only meant to be a bit of fun.)

I do hope you’ve enjoyed this post. I should be back Friday with another London Adventure!