Nature Photography Shoot

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Hey!

So my photo-shoot from the Nature Trail my sister and I ventured upon last week is now uploaded!  Here’s a little background information of the journey:

We went to Potteric Carr Nature Reserve right here in Doncaster! (From living here most of my life I had no idea something so beautiful was so local!) It consisted of a long walk – approximately 3 hours to walk round the whole reserve – but completely worth it. There were shorter routes available to explore but we were determined to view it all.

We began by crossing a few bridges, and stumbled upon a beautiful lake with a small pier. The whole place was crawling with wildlife, although majority of the time we just saw ducks and geese, the birds never stopped singing and chirping. There were fantastic natural structures; vines made into arches and stones carved into caterpillars, also, when you reach the woods they engulf you. I felt like Red Riding Hood on the quest to reach her sick her Grandma (fortunately there were no Big Bad Wolf) and the atmosphere creates this feeling that you are in something so deep and magical it is as though you have been transported into another world.

It is inspirational as much as it is scenic and influenced me to write my own short story (see previous post ‘The Valley of Vines’). The pictures I took were a massive success, I tried my best to do the scenery justice through my digital eye so I hope you check it out – Just go to the Photography Page and click ‘Nature Shoot’ to view the gallery!

Hope you like them!

The Valley of Vines

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A little dose of magic..

Lately I have been engulfed by the fantasy world of Princes, Princesses, Evil Sorcerers and Dragon’s, so much that I have even been dreaming about it – I’m not complaining though! And after watching and re-watching movies from my childhood (Peter Pan being my all time favourite, greatest line opener to – ‘All children grow up, except one.’) they all merged together and influenced me to write something that will hopefully open up the beauty your imagination brought to you as a child. Do you believe in fairy-tales?

THE VALLEY OF VINES

She was chosen as a leader, the one with courage that never boasts and she sensed the danger of the land to be threatened by new hosts.

 Her silver hair and stony glare had lain upon a Prince so brave, just and fair. He must take control and save the land, but with a weakened soul and his trembling hand, a stronger force was needed from those with the ability to float.

‘You must go to them my Prince,’ she proposed ‘you must go to meet the Ghosts.’

 With a gaping mouth and widened eyes the Prince rose with fright and surprise, he wiped his good hand across his forehead and whispered,

But surely my lady the Ghosts would want us dead?’ With an icy grip upon his shoulder, the Lady with a grin pleaded the Prince to

‘Serve his land’ through lips so tight and thin. A fire roared silently in the corner of the room, it coughed and hissed and spit, as her steel hand compelled him slowly, to sit. With a wince he spoke so low and discreet,

What am I to do?’

She replies,

‘The Quest is simple my sweet, we are in search of a clue. The Valley of Vines is where all the answers lay, to the Ghosts who know all that is true. Time is precious so you must not delay our people are depending on you.’

 So the Prince, with great haste mounted his horse and began to ride for the woods that bloomed so wild. The Valley of Vines hidden in the dead of the wood surrounded by stonewalls that consisted of the stale scent of blood.

 In the thicket of the forest he continued on foot. The wood was alive with mischief, tricks and elves in search of loot. The staggered breathing of the Dragons, deep in their slumber led the Prince to tiptoe to the Iron Gate too high to crawl up or clamber.

 ‘Hello!’ He shouted, but no one was in sight when a sudden blast emerged and his body took flight! The Earth met his back and with a grunt and a curse he found the mighty iron open and through it he quickly dispersed.

 An eerie chill overcame the Prince, a flashback led to his withered hand; he violently flinched away from the cool air that pinched his skin so grand. About him the vines hung, giant and thick lingering like venomous snakes with their teeth ready to sink. Further ahead was a clearing in which a stone throne was placed. The pain in his hand began searing as he prepared for what he was about to face.

 The rock of the chair was smooth, with twisted vines wrapped around it like mothers protecting their youth. The Prince sat, his body rigid and cold, the presence of the Ghosts was strong, but a single one he could not behold.

I have a message from the Queen’ his voice was an icy gasp, if only one would allow itself to be seen then the sudden thought daunted that this was a trap!

The plant snaked and slithered about his waist, it tightened and squeezed until it was blood in his mouth that he could taste. No limbs would function; his arms lay in a state of paralysis preventing any discussion, his head has sunken. Frostbitten vines wrapped him up to endure a fate of frozen solitude, a handsome statue for all to view the consequences of treason, and what the Queen would do to you.


Hope you enjoyed it!

P.S. My sister and I went for a little nature trail (when I say ‘little’ I mean a six mile walk round some nature gardens! As I walked around the place I found began to find the surroundings more and more magical, the whole setting also tied in perfectly with The Valley of Vines. So stay tuned for my next post because it will be all about our adventure out there, spoiler alert: to continue with the fairy-tale theme, it involves some kissing of frogs! And some nature/landscape photography by yours truly!

Teaser for what is about to come – Deep into the woods we go…

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CRUMBS

The second stop of the Hot Chocolate Hot Spot Tour.

It’s quirky, unique, sweet and upon my first visit, Crumbs instantly became a special favourite of mine. Situated just past the infamous York Minster and swallowed by the bustling heart of the city, this dinghy little cupcakery also consists of yes, cupcakes! The variety of flavours will leave you completely spoilt for choice. Upon two of my visits (yes, I have been more than once) I left it up to the waitress to decide for me as she recommended the specials of the day (I would have been there all day if I had to decide.)

It is a very memorable atmosphere – The dinky decor will transport you to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with patterned bunting and cottage-like wooden beams across the ceiling, mismatched seating and handwritten signs – the whole place just looks as though so much love and effort has filled it and never left.

The Hot Chocolate: None of that instant, boiling water that burns the taste of the chocolate but milky and creamy topped with mini marshmallows that didn’t melt straight away. It gave me a real homemade hot chocolate feel –  it will give you flashbacks to when you’re seven years old in your pyjamas, snug under a blanket on the sofa watching Disney movies whilst sipping on warm, chocolate-y goodness.

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The cupcakes were perfectly presented and perfectly decorated. Like those ones you would see on the front of every baking magazine…and they tasted as good as they looked. Upon my visits I have had a lemon, red velvet and Victoria sponge cupcakes – and I cannot fault any of them. (I’ll admit I’m a little biased as I can never fault food, after all it’s food!)

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Lemon Cupcake

 

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Clockwise from top: Red Velvet, Chocolate Orange and Lemon

I don’t understand why they would call it Crumbs…I didn’t leave a single one.

If you do decide to go (which I highly recommend), Enjoy!  😉

 

Crumbs Cupcakery,
10 College Street
York

For the menu and more information visit: http://www.crumbscupcakery.co.uk
Twitter: @CrumbsCupcakery

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THE PERKY PEACOCK

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As promised we now begin our Hot Chocolate Tour within York – first stop, The Perky Peacock.

I’ll just dive straight into it:

First things first, there are two Perky Peacocks situated in York, myself and a friend of mine (Harpreet) visited only one of them (the address I’ll place at the bottom of the post). So, as we entered the small cafe, an instant aroma of coffee surrounded the air. The atmosphere was a quiet one, yet buzzing with small, intimate conversations at each table – there was the effect of this being a popular coffee hot spot! The staff welcomed us as though we were already a member of their Perky Peacock family, awww!

We seated ourselves upon a high top table upon some high wooden chairs, each furnished with a different coloured cushion.

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There was no need for menus, the whole thing was right up on the wall that substituted as a giant chalkboard! – How CUTE! Everything handwritten added character and personality to the place plus there was an adorable coat stand (which we didn’t even use!) Also, as you can see the cafe was infested with book nerds – not that I’m complaining about that! But serious bookish vibes were ongoing in here!

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A stack of books next to me for me to take at my own will to read whilst I eat/drink! Very considerate! I did get my read on…

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Then we ordered, since it was nearing up to lunch time and I didn’t eat breakfast, I felt a nice BRUNCH was also in order! We got up to order at the wonderfully stocked counter with cakes, cakes and more cakes! – All homemade too!

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As we seated ourselves back down the food and drinks did not take long to come! But as we waited we had time to appreciate the interior a little bit:

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The lonesome lightbulbs were a favourite of mine 🙂 It gave an urban, fresh theme to the place.

And now, I present to you…my brunch!!

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Poached Eggs on toasted artisan bread – absolutely delightful! The bread was crispy and soft, the eggs perfectly poach-y ! To cut it short, there was nothing left on the plate by the time I was done! 😉

Harpreet decided to feast upon a slice of Banoffee cake, and she detailedly described it as:

“The cake was very delicious with a very strong flavour of banana, the added sweetness from the toffee combination was a stroke of genius. The balance of the flavour was impeccable and really went well with the hot chocolate which can usually be overpowered in a combination of other sweet desserts, but in this case it was prefect!”

What can I say, the girl really knows her cake! 😀

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Now speaking of hot chocolates – let’s move on to them!!

Aaaah the sweet, sweet aroma of chocolate, deliciously melted and combined with bubbling hot milk to serve our chocolate craving needs! The Perky Peacock served us theirs with cute little marshmallows too!

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The hot chocolate was a perfect drinking temperature, the chocolate not too overpowering however, in my opinion I could have done without the marshmallows. Their sweetness sunk into the rest of the drink, putting off the taste of the chocolate but overall, The Perky Peacock is a MUST-VISIT kind of cafe! And, I intend to visit the other one soon!

Hope you guys found this helpful! To find out even more information about The Perky Peacock I have listed more details about them below:

The Perky Peacock,
74 Gillygate,
York

Website: http://perkypeacockcoffee.co.uk/#home
Twitter: @ThePerkyPeacock

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOT CHOCOLATE HOT SPOTS : THE YORK EDITION

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Like all good ol’ fashioned Brits, there is no better sound to me than the sound of the kettle rearing itself up for good old brew! I sometimes think I was meant to be born in a past generation (old biddy in a twenty year old body over here!) Aside from the comfort of your own home, it is pretty hard to determine where to go for a chillaxing moment when your out and about…SO…I’m going to tell you!

As I am studying my undergraduate degree in YORK I have come to the conclusion that the historical little city oozes with the CUTEST, QUIRKIEST, COSIEST cafes for food and hot drinks! And it got me thinking that these little places are one of a kind and nobody outside of York are aware of them!

SO, I have decided to venture upon each little cafe to seek out the best hot chocolates in York (those standard Costa and Starbucks brews are so overrated!) As well as hot chocolate’s there will also be food involved – I can’t go into a cafe and not eat!

So keep your eyes peeled on this space as my first review will be up very very soon!

Iram x

London Baby!

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So, as I hit the ever so mature and wise, older age of 20 (wow, I still haven’t gotten used to saying that!) I watched with a heavy heart as my teenage years faded far, far away from me…BUT… my sisters decided to treat me to a trip to London!

Like any major FRIENDS fanatic, you hear London and the first thing you think of is ‘LONDON BABYYYY!’  Oh Joey, what a wonderful man-child. Anyways as it is one of my favourite places ever (well some parts of it) I was mega excited to go AND  to top it all off my amazing sisters surprised me with a visit to the Sherlock Holmes Museum! Where else would that be but of course the one and only…. 221b Baker Street!! Major fan-girling moment (total Sherlock Holmes geek over here!!)

Enough chit-chat, let me show you some pics!!

 

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What’s a day out in London without a cheeky OOTD? My slam-dunkin’ dungarees paired with some kicking New Balance trainers! 😉

 

 

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Slogan T-Shirt @ River Island. Dungarees @ ASOS. Trainers @ JD Sports

 

Let the journey begin…

 

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On board the Grand Central and here, Ladies and Gentlemen are my travel compadre’s #antisocial feat. Ms Monroe photobombing in the back there.

 

 

 

Meanwhile at Baker Street…

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We had reached 221B Baker Street! Feat. Old-school looking police man.

 

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Pouts with the pooch!

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So she could say that she ‘went’ at Sherlock’s House, my big sister everybody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Then it was time for Din Dins at SPAGHETTI HOUSE – The Special that night…Seafood Linguini!!! Served in little mini cooking pots!! Cuuuute!

 

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Yeah it rains a lot in London so a hair change-up was needed!

 

Three girls in their early  twenties (do not think I will ever get used to that term for myself) in the middle of London and all its glory. With some birthday money burning a searing hole in my pocket how can we visit London and not go SHOPPING?! Thus propelling us into the third instalment of our trip, as Oxford, Regent, and Carnaby Street opened up their great pathways before us like Dorothy venturing upon the Yellow Brick Road. We set forth on our mission.

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As we became absolute professionals at mastering the underground (Ha! Who are we kidding? I’ll settle for amateurs) We visited Piccadilly and of course prowled through all five floors of MnM world and Trafalgar Square where I visited THE biggest Waterstones I had ever been too!

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Dark clouds brew above us – A spooky looking atmosphere surrounding Trafalgar Square. And more rain, yay(!) Bringing our visit to an end!

 

 

 

A New Image

LONG TIME NO POST…

Recently I have been undergoing a lack of inspiration and motivation to keep this blog running hence the last post dating all the way  back to October! Christmas and New Years has woken and slept again for the year and as a new years resolution (kind of a late one but oh well) I have decided to reboot my blog and stick with it. HOWEVER this time round it is going to come back with a MAKEOVER!!!

I have had a few ideas of how would like to set about my career and feel like this blog will help me by sharing my other interests (that don’t include creative writing!) I will be taking this blog as an opportunity to express myself from a more personal aspect. I will be venturing upon fashion, photography, lifestyle, travel, personal experiences and hopefully to guide you through the journey of the many stepping stones towards a career in the creative arts. Let’s not forget the occasional creative writing piece and poem!

I hope my life doesn’t bore you and I can now be found in the new domain I created: http://www.theredlippychronicle.wordpress.com
And yes…I love red lipstick! (Is it too obvious?)

 

(Rain)Drop

Has anyone else just looked up at the sky when it was raining, and thought that all them drops are just little people having a little jamming session and are dancing their way down from the heavens?

No? Just me then.

The change of weather is starting to become a massive inspiration towards my writing. As we dive further into the chill of winter here is something that we all can relate to:

(Rain)Drop

Released from the imprisonment of the cloud
gravity pulls and plunges it to Earth. Plink!
It hits the windowpane with a chilling sound,
like the way its long last cousin would hit the sink.

Yet its brothers and sisters still fall
pummelling down in all their transparency
wildly flung through the atmosphere they
call out for help until they have reached terminal velocity.

The Earth with endurance has thirst to quench
yet time stops a little for crystals to shower
upon us blessings and spells to repent,
patience is virtue for that dehydrated flower.

My head tilted up towards the heavens, I see
them spin and glide to their own special beat,
some settling there upon my cheek,
others pool and melt into one another by my feet.

I squint through each plop!
A stage of graceful dancers,
then the curtain drops.

As the Cold Dawns

As the drop in temperature is decreasing rapidly, this became an influence to put some poetry skills to the test. It showed me that anything can become an influence. Enjoy.

 

The Dawning Freeze

A blizzard slowly blows
from the chill of the far North.

The daunting cold bites onto dense clouds
And rides its way through the waves of the storm.

 The flakes are scattered across oceans and
white paper angels are torn and strewn

over fields ridden with specks of dandruff
and tease us with their icy pinch.

 The fiery hue of the leaves still glow
and will soon fall,

as the coldest winter of the century dawns.