Wonderful Wednesday 17

31 August 2016

A snap of a bedroom ceiling from William III's apartments at Hampton Court Palace - dream ceiling!

Ahhh a Wonderful Wednesday after a bank holiday weekend, is there anything sweeter?! A holiday is fabulous but one that everyone has had has its own unique quality - you're not the only one coming back after a break to be faced with all the letters/emails that have built up over the course of your break for a start. It also makes the week shorter too, even more so for me because I took yesterday off because it was my birthday. (Being a summer baby I don't think I could ever face having to work on my birthday, it's just not on).

This last week was filled with oodles of happiness and joy too. My mother in law has been staying with us since last Wednesday, which has been lovely, and we used the bank holiday weekend to do a couple of really touristy things that it takes someone visiting from outside London to inspire you to do. (Honestly, I know I could do these things anytime but somehow you just don't and I suppose that makes them extra special, together with visits from an out-of-towner). So without further ado, here are some of my favourite bits from the last week...


♥ Being a Tourist in London... As I said above, we've done a few touristy things over the course of the bank holiday weekend, which I absolutely adored. As I'd been working up to the weekend, we took it easy on Saturday morning before spending the afternoon at the British Museum (which is actually something I do on quite a regular basis, love it there. On Sunday though, we spent the day at Hampton Court Palace, which is somewhere I hadn't been to for a few years. It was really busy as the GoodFood festival was taking place in the grounds too and, you know, bank holiday and all. They seem to have spent a lot of money over the last few years making the place more 'visitor-friendly' as there were lots of interactive-style exhibits and pieces of information hidden all over various rooms, meaning you picked up lots of little details that you might have otherwise missed. One of my favourites was in the small closet-type rooms in the Tudor apartments, where people might have gone to escape being looked at all the time in the larger appearance rooms - the wooden panelling on the walls was textured like cloth, to mirror the tapestries that would have been on the walls in the main rooms of the palace. When we visited the Georgian apartments, there was a play just beginning which led us all through the apartments and taught us snippets of information about that era that I had no idea about. (Although it initially panicked me when one of the actors tried to get me to join in a group dance - audience participation is one of my greatest fears.)

The gardens at Hampton Court are another reason to visit and the sun shone for us as we wandered around the grounds. The garden above is one of the Pond Gardens, originally ponds made for Henry VIII. Another top fact, which I shared on Instagram with the above photo, is that the eighteenth-century lead statue of Venue in the garden was discovered in 1892 in 'Mrs Grundy's gallery' - a private room in the palace used by a prudish housekeeper to hide paintings and sculptures which she felt were unsuitable for the public. Firstly, 'Grundy' - hilarious in and of itself. Secondly, I would LOVE to have discovered that room! It made me remember that one of my classics lecturers at university used to mention a theory of his that there's a secret room in the Vatican filled with all the rude bits lopped off classical statues - teehee!

On bank holiday Monday, we headed to London Zoo - somewhere I haven't visited for years and years! I think we saw pretty much everything over the course of the day. Like Hampton Court, it's become much more interactive than I remember it to be, and you can even walk through various areas with the creatures rampaging around you. The lemurs were a particular favourite, although seeing a sloth in the rainforest area came a close second. I didn't enjoy the butterfly experience so much, coming over a little claustrophobic in the humid tent with all the wings fluttering around. It was a fantastic day overall though. Top tip - bring a packed lunch as the food is quite pricey!

♥ Gorgeous Stationery and Art Supplies... When we were walking back to the station from the British Museum on Saturday afternoon, we stumbled upon the most gorgeous little shop selling art supplies and all manner of other stationery-related delights - L. Cornelissen & Son. Pushing open the door, it was like stepping back in time. Old wooden floors and little drawers filled with lots of tempting purchases - there were drawers just filled with pen nibs, for example. I went through a little calligraphy phase when I was younger...perhaps it's time to get back into that again? It was the kind of place that you could just browse in for hours and daydream about all kinds of different projects. I came out with a new pen and a notebook, but the difficulty now comes in deciding what to use it for! Does anyone else have 800 new notebooks which are too beautiful to write in and sit on a shelf just waiting for inspiration to strike about something perfect enough to fill their pages?!

♥ Takeaway Treats... Although we're really trying to be better with money and save more now that we've moved, a takeaway is a good treat every so often (and less pricey than eating out!) Since moving though, we've been on the hunt for a local curry place that delivers and on Saturday night, I think we found a new favourite locak place. Really fresh-tasting curries, not greasy and oh my goodness, we opted for some sides too and the dhal was amazing. The portions were huge too, so we had leftovers for dinner on Sunday too. Yum.

♥ Stranger Things... A few of the Wonderful Wednesday collective have been raving about this already but if you haven't watched it yet, you must. If you loved the Goonies when you were young (who am I kidding, I still love the Goonies), you'll love this. It's also got a hint of the Stephen King about it, leading me to watch some of it from behind my hands. We have only one episode left to watch and that's only because we've had a guest staying with us, otherwise we'd have devoured it all in a matter of days.

♥ Birthdays... I had such a lovely birthday this year! 34, which I wasn't too excited about celebrating in any large way - I'm not really a fan of the big party in any case (ties into the whole fear of audience participation, not wanting to be the centre of attention type thing) and just wanted a day with my mister, which was exactly what happened. We travelled into London, picked up a cake-based lunch at the National Portrait Gallery before going to the William Eggleston exhibition, which was all kinds of wonderful. We then stopped for a few drinks at a pub we went to on our first date before going on to dinner at La Polenteria, where the mister had booked a table. It's a gluten free Italian restaurant and it was fabulous. My goodness, their gluten free pasta tasted how I remember the real deal tasting and, although absolutely stuffed, I had to have the cheesecake when I saw that on the dessert menu. So delicious. I also wore my dungarees, which I'd been looking for an excuse to wear with my new wedges, which the mister had bought me for my birthday. Although fabulous, they are of course the shoes of extreme pain...the destiny of all beautiful shoes. Oh well, here's to 34 - may it be even more exciting than 33 was!

♥ Using my Actual Camera... Over the weekend (and on holiday of course) I've really enjoyed taking photos on my camera. I love the ease (and lightness!) of my IPhone but the photos really don't compare to a proper full-sized camera snap. Something I need to try to do more often I think.

What have been the highlights of your wonderful weeks?

♥ Do let me know what's made your week a little rosier by leaving me a comment below (I do love comments!) or dropping me a tweet (I'm @happygoluckycat) or better yet, why not join the fabulous bunch of #WonderfulWednesday bloggers? Pop over to their blogs for a dose of mid-week happiness - SallyMichelleHelenKateJoEmma, and the lovely Wonderful Wednesday newbies Samantha and Kerri - and then join me in counting down the days until the weekend. It's in sight! 


  1. Again, happy birthday - you looked so great in your dungarees too. If you can't get them out on your birthday when can you eh?

    One of the things I miss THE MOST about living in London was being a tourist for a day when folks came to visit. It's just really good fun.
    And enough with the Stranger Things already, I'll watch it ok? (I'll have less attitude about it when I've alleviated the FOMO of not having watched it yet!!)
    Have a great rest of the week, more dungarees please.
    M x

    1. Thank you so much, you lovely thing you. I felt so nervous going out in them but I adore them and getting lots of warm comments really made my (birthday)day.

      SO pleased that you've started Stranger Things at last! Really hope you love it too.

      C x

  2. Happy birthday again dear one! You look FAB in that last photo and i'm so glad to hear you had a lovely day.

    This is a seriously lovely little list of goodness! Being a tourist in your own city is something everyone should do more of, there is so much you forget or just never get around too and the urgency isn't really there because you know you can do it tomorrow. Or next week or next month.

    SO glad you watched ST - i'm so sad it's all gone - thank goodness for GBBO to fill {kind of} the void lol.

    LOVED this - happy rest of week Cat xxx

    1. Thank you, wonderful Sally! Yes exactly right...but sometimes, sadly, you move away and then there's a whole list of places that you really should have visited when you had the chance. We need to treat ourselves to being tourists in our own cities more :)

      Hope you're enjoying your well-deserved break, Mrs xxx

  3. Oh I love stationary too, and that little shop sounds amazing! Will definitely have to pop in next time we're in London, your picture makes it look like it might be an art shop on Diagon Alley! You've also really inspired me to have a look for some long dungarees...they look fantastic! xxx

    1. Yes, that's exactly what it felt like! Definitely worth visiting, I wholeheartedly recommend it...and a lovely part of London too!

      Thank you for the dungaree loving! So happy to be in a circle of dungaree-appreciating ladies! xxx

  4. Happy Belated Birthday wishes for you! Love the shots you while wandering around London, it looked so sunny while you were there. I especially love the lemur too. - Tasha

    1. Thank you so much Tasha. It was a wonderfully sunny day, rather too hot for me at the zoo but the lemurs were loving it! C x

    2. Glad to hear it was nice and sunny! Thank you so much for the kind comments on my last post too. <3

  5. Happy Birthday!! If I was a summer babay, I don't think I could agree to work on my birthday either... sadly, I'm a winter baby.

    So far, we've only watched one episode of Stranger Things, it's not for me but the husband thought it was good so I think we might continue to watch it.

    Ah, I love my actual camera. I find that when using my phone, I just can't get into the photo... I enjoy having a proper view finder to look through and it's easier to compose the photo that way. It's weird, but looking through a screen to take a photo throws me off.

    Happy Thursday!

    1. Thank you!

      Do you take photos on a film camera? My husband uses old film cameras and says exactly the same thing about the view finder. My camera is digital and I'm happy enough using the screen on that but it's not so good on my phone!


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