Until I met my husband I was pretty cynical about love, so Valentines Day was more of an annual annoyance than special occasion.

I can’t lie and say I’m not a die hard romantic… because I am. I FUCKING AM! I LOVE ALL THE ROMANTIC CHEESE!! I just like to pretend I’m not, shh please don’t tell anyone.

 

We made plans for Valentines just to go out for a nice dinner, no gifts, I just wanted to be surprised! My husband is literally THE BEST. I’ve been pretty depressed for the past several months(thanks hormonal birth control!) and worrying my moodiness would ruin another special occasion I tried to keep it low key.

Last night at half seven a car picked me up to take me to my mystery destination; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. It was sweet because it was the first ‘fancy’ place we ever went for dinner after we got married, I appreciated the nostalgia.

Despite having said no gifts, he got me a present;

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Pearls from Tiffany&Co. he even had the clasp replaced, silver instead of gold because of my allergies. I had mentioned a few months earlier that I needed to get the vintage pearl necklace I owned fixed. It’d been sat in a drawer for several years broken, and tbh I don’t even know if they’re real pearls. He’s so thoughtful and such a good listener.

It wasn’t a TOTAL surprise because I had, completely by accident, discovered the receipt from Tiffany&Co. while cleaning a few days before. It didn’t say WHAT had been bought, so exactly what I was getting was still a mystery!

The day before Valentines I had rushed into the West End to find SOMETHING so as not to arrive empty handed. It wouldn’t quiet measure up to ANYTHING from Tiffany’s but I wanted to get him something! I had already cheated slightly and ordered PERFECT MATCH chocolate matches from Choc on Choc after I had seen them online, we have MATCHING MATCHSTICK tattoos and my inner romantic cheese fiend couldn’t resist…

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…but I wanted something else. He had mentioned needing another pair of sweatpants so I braved the Nike store and picked up a pair of Jordan sweatpants. Not satisfied with either of those I played my trump card; home made gifts! I made him a Valentine. I hadn’t made him one since BEFORE we were dating. Back in 2011 when we were only just starting a friendship I made him a card where I illustrated a anthropomorphised tree holding a bouquet of flowers and a heart shaped card that read ‘Single on Valentines? It could be worse! Be glad you’re not an ENT!’ …because the Ent-wives… you know? I told you I was a nerd. You were WARNED! I was going to follow that Valentine up with an ‘adult ENT-ertainment’ joke but drying a stripper Ent-wife pole dancing was way too complicated. After several failed attempts I went back to the drawing board and came up with this;

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… on theme.

Dinner was lovely, I drank too much wine and woke up with a hangover.

I hope you all had a lovely Valentines, Palentines, or Galentines. However you celebrate, or even if you don’t I hope you felt loved yesterday. Just incase you didn’t here’s a kiss from me from last night;

 

 

XOXO Gwendolyn

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Riding the (Great)Wave,

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The outfit I should have worn to Hokusai The Great Wave…

Last week I was lucky enough to catch up with Afroglory;

We met at the British Museum and decided to take in Hokusai, The Great Wave. I’m a member so we got to jump the MASSIVE queue. If you know me you know I seriously hate queuing. We arrived to a sign on the door saying the show was totally sold out… but I’m a member so they let us in.

SOLD OUT…

It was absolutely RAMMED with people. I have had this happen a few times at a few galleries in the past few years. Mostly with the really popular shows(Freud at the National Portrait Gallery is one I remember), where they sell just a few too many tickets bumping the number of people per session up. Often times to the point where the crowdedness of the space makes it uncomfortable.  Properly viewing anything is nearly impossible. This was one of these occasions.

That thing that happens when you put too many British people in a room happened; you turned into the slowest fattest snake of queue and trudged at a slugs pace by each piece. This is not my style. I have a photographic memory, so I only need to see it once, and you know what if it REALLY REALLY interests me I will spend a few minutes taking in every little detail. I respected the line for 15 minutes. In that 15 minutes we saw 4 pieces and moved 4 meters. No. After that I abandoned the line and floated in empty spaces and popped from work to work when there was a gap in the line because someone else abandoned the rule of queue by not keeping up the flow and dallying at a particular work.

That being said the show is well worth seeing. I returned again on another day and visited the exhibition under much better conditions. I was able to properly appreciate and enjoy it.

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Spotted these two on our way out, I love when couples match. The Burberry is bangin’

*it should also be noted that when I leave the UK the lack of an orderly queue is the first thing I miss.

After escaping the crowd and exiting through the giftshop we decided to grab a coffee. I took this as an opportunity to visit The Camera Museum.

The Camera Museum is a secret gem in the city for anyone into cameras. The first floor is a coffee shop, and down a winding narrow stairs and into the basement you’ll find an analog mausoleum.  They’ve got everything; Soviet era toy cameras, Canons and Nikons, Polaroids, some cameras dating back nearly 100 years. Plus there’s a  Kodak Super 8’s you can play with!

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Just one of over a hundred cameras on display at The Camera Museum.

 

We sat and had coffee, then perused the museum, and dug through a large 1£ SALE bin of cameras and camera accessories. I picked up a little automated Canon and a flash, neither have been tested yet to see if they work…

After coffee we continued our camera theme and went to do a little more camera shopping. This time specifically for a 50mm lense for Shahira since she was planning to cover AfroPunk at the weekend. You can check out one of her style posts leading up to the event here.

Had such a lovely afternoon of art and cameras and catching up with Shahira! I can’t wait for our next adventure!
Can’t wait for our next hang out!