If you holiday in Lisbon, a breath-taking day trip to Sintra is a must. Make the time…trust me.
Really spot-on octopus and potato salad in the outdoor cafe…
I remember the exact moment I realized that the magical sparkly world I lived in might be a big horrible lie. I was 6 years old and I had been seeing this commercial for weeks in between my much-cherished Saturday morning cartoons:
Omg. They fly. They are ponies that fly. Flutter Ponies. Holy shit. NEED.
I decided that I had to have a flutter pony more than anything in the world and eventually I wore my mother down and was soon standing in the “Barbie aisle” of Target (as I always called it).
AKA the “PINK aisle” (American girls you know what I’m talking about).
Anyway, there I am. A shiny naive six-year-old Jamie Susan. I’m rocking the SIDE PONYTAIL and I’ve got my SLIP-ON KEDS and I’m taking FOREVER carefully selecting my magical flutter pony.
Probably the most important decision of my life at this point.
How do you choose a new best friend!?
I picked the pale yellow one with pink hair. I don’t recall her name. But I couldn’t get out of Target fast enough to free her from her packaging and watch my new friend fly across the parking lot.
I literally threw her into the air. I watched with all of the hope in the universe. My pony was gonna flutter around my head like a butterfly and my life would be complete.
Instead, gravity ripped her from the air and she landed near my mom’s car with a loud plastic THUD.
I remember my mother gazing down at me with amazement on her face.
“Why did you do that??”
I looked at her incredulously. WHAT A STUPID QUESTION!
I can honestly still recall the sensation of my tiny angry face hurting from pinching it up in disdain and shock at my flutter pony’s poor performance.
“Moooooooooooom!!! She’s broken!!!” I bellowed.
“Oh Jamie.” She sighed. She picked up my poor flutter pony and handed it back to me.
The car ride home involved a long conversation about what you see on TV vs. reality.
This conversation was necessary I suppose, but it stabbed me in the heart as I clutched my stupid pony. I simply refused to believe that the Saturday Morning cartoon advertising THAT I TRUSTED AND APPRECIATED would lie to me this way. Don’t they know how awful it is to lie about whether or not a pony can fly?
So, let’s speed up 24 years into the future of my life. I still love ponies. I love magic. I love fantasy. I am however, completely lacking of the beautiful naiveté I clutched onto as a child.
Aren’t we all…
Photography lets me tap into that little girl that believed all those glittery falacies and sometimes I get the opportunity to capture images that directly source those pure innocent feelings. It’s a gift I receive on a regular basis.
On a hike through New Forest, a few months back when the weather was still bitter and the Spring flowers were desperately trying to push through, I encountered ponies.
Velvety, soft and magnificent ponies. Gentle and wild all at the same time.
It was extraordinary and it made me feel very pleased to be alive and grateful for EVERYTHING good in the world.
I also found some super fluffy sheep and some delightful foresty bits.
Towards the middle of the day, after hiking for a couple of wintry hours, we stopped in Burley for lunch and I saw this in a shop window…
This immediately reached in and dredged the whole bittersweet flutter pony childhood tale from my memory banks.
And then on the last leg of the hike, I climbed over mounds of prickly bushes and through deep pockets of mud just to say hello without trying to “capture the moment”…
My husband pulled out his iPhone just at the right time and snapped this sweet little blurry shot of me COMPLETELY in my element.
Life is beautiful folks.
Even in a world where plastic ponies don’t actually fly. xx
Yippee! I have more Spain photos for your viewing pleasure!
There was so much to photograph yet I left feeling like I should have taken more.
Shall we begin?
Our first day in Alcalá la Real we simply could not sit still and took a nice brisk hike up the hillside…
Quite the view!
The clouds rolled in to create a nice moody light…
My gorgeous Sister-in-Law Veronica standing underneath her street sign…
My darling Brother-in-Law Andy, experiencing his first deep thoughts of the day…
Next up…Our road trip to Granada xx
I think most people would say that Autumn is their favorite season.
What’s not to love?
Somehow lattes and hot teas taste better when the air has that Autumnal briskness that is only present in October and November.
And pulling out your favorite sweaters and scarves from their lonely spots in the closet…it’s my favorite yearly fashion transition!
And THE LEAVES ooohhh the leaves…
I want to live in a house constructed of crispy fall leaves.
Richmond Park is one of the most magical places in London no matter what time of year you visit, but an October or November trip is extra special because everything is a warm shade of GOLD or RED…
I took Sir Noodles and his bestie Chewywampa on a big leafy hike a few weeks ago…
Remember this little guy?
Needless to say, we had the best time stomping around the forest and basking in all the gorgeous reddish hues.
After 4 hours of magical hiking through the woods, the pooches (and myself) were absolutely shattered and had a nice snooze on the ride home.
Happy Autumn-ing! xx
I’ve been living in the UK for over a year now and I’ve learned a lot of things.
It may seem obvious to you, but to me it’s been an epiphany.
You simply MUST go on holiday every now and again.
For the sake of your own personal sanity and the sanity of those around you having to listen to you moan and be grumpy as fuck all the time.
It totally sorts you out. Trust me!
I never used to take many trips.
I longed to travel more than anything.
Even just a quick weekend away to kick back and relax.
I worked too much, made too little money, took too many classes at a time, and anytime I saved up enough money to go somewhere, something would surely come up.
Car trouble, an unexpected medical issue,emergency vet bill, self-inflicted hair dye disaster…
SOMETHING.always got in the way.
But life is definitely changed for me now.
I’m far less stressed, certainly less broke, and much better prepared to face unexpected expenses than I was a few years ago.
So yeah, take a vacation people.
If you can swing it.
It does wonders for your temperament!
Especially when you live in a big city like London.
Being packed together with millions of other people on public transport day in and day out can leave you craving a bit of scenery that is more of the green and blue variety and less of the concrete and glass variety.
We decided that our souls needed a bit of open sky a few months back and we took a 4 day trip to Kirkby Lonsdale.
We went on a breathtaking waterfall/English countryside trek as well as a stroll through the village and a couple of visits to different farms around the area (so I could fulfill my lifelong dream of hugging a SHEEP!)
The raddest steps in England.
If you ever find yourself in Kirkby Lonsdale, you simply MUST do this:http://www.ingletonwaterfallstrail.co.uk/
Those are pennies!
SHEEPS THAT WOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES LET ME HUG THEM.
Isn’t it other-worldly beautiful? Sigh.
So then we visited farms!
And I made friends and kissed fuzzy animal faces and my dreams came true.
I don’t remember this guy’s name, but he was ace.
Hands down the friendliest goat I’ve ever met.
He’s got PIGGY EYEBROWS!!!
(pig sex photobomb totally happening in the background for extra points)
Which is how you end up with BAAAAABY PIGGIES!
And buns! So many buns…
Check out all the feet floof!
They are totally making the same facial expression!
With furry feet!
Tiny emo horsies with stubb-tastic legs and ombre hipster fringe!
I’ve seen dogs with longer legs…
Soooooper goofy donkey friends…
The moment you have been waiting for.
The hugging of a sheep done by ME!
He came right up to me and said hello.
So I said hello back.
Quite gleefully I might add…
And then I did what any reasonable person might do when confronted with a really sweet sheep friend.
I hugged him!
And he was totally into it!
Best tiny Holiday ever! xx