ARCHITECTURE WORKSPACES

Last month Archdaily published an article entitled ’42 Sketches, Drawings and Diagrams of Desks and Architecture Workspaces’. Readers from across the world were invited to submit drawings of where they work, ranging from busy office spaces to a small desk in the bedroom.

Amongst the 42 drawings submitted, my illustration of Livraria Lello was featured at number 22. We discovered this beautiful library last year on a university study trip to Porto. It is rumoured that J.K. Rowling used to visit this workspace when writing the legendary Harry Potter series. It does make you wonder whether the rich decorative interior of this space with its grand central staircase influenced the design of Hogwarts!

42 Sketches, Drawings and Diagrams of D...nd Architecture Worksp

To see the full article and the other drawings, check out the link : goo.gl/chvnZ5

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3DReid Student Prize

A few months ago I was very fortunate to win the 3D Reid Student Prize 2016 and named the best Part II architecture student in the country.

My competition entry explored the role of educational buildings where I proposed a school of construction set amongst the derelict remains of a former ceramics factory in Porto, Northern Portugal.

I was amazed how far the news travelled and couldn’t believe that I had made it into the Architects Journal (‘The UK’s leading architecture magazine and the voice of architecture in Britain.’)

To see the full article just follow the link here!

AJ 3d Reid

The competition was also featured on the 3DReid website, to read their full article just follow the link here!3d Reid News

CORNWALL

As crazy as it sounds, Michael and I had never been to Cornwall so on the first weekend after Michael finished university, which happened to be a bank holiday, we packed the car up and headed down the M5 in search of sandy beaches and crystal blue waters. Cornwall provided and did not disappoint!

We decided to explore the southern parts of Cornwall and camped at a little place just outside of St Ives, making good driving distance to all of the locations we wanted to check out.

Upon arrival on Friday afternoon we wandered St Ives town centre and got situated, feeling tired from our day of travel and hungry for some sea food, we happened upon the Sea Food Cafe which we are still talking about today! The food was so fresh and so delicious that we ended up going back for lunch a few days later.

We zipped open our tent to misty skies on Saturday morning but quickly got ready for a day walking along the coastal path from St Ives in the direction of Zennor. The sky began to clear as the morning went on and we enjoyed meandering the cliff tops with stunning views across the shimmering blue ocean. We were so lucky to witness a pod of dolphins swimming in the bay which just made our weekend! The coastal path got a little sketchy in places and we were not wearing suitable foot wear so decided to make our way back and spend the rest of the afternoon on a little beach.

Since we were so close, we felt we had to make a visit to Landsend. Despite the touristic nature of the place, we went late enough that everywhere was closed so we were able to walk straight through the complex and get to the tip of the land. Of course we got a photograph with the famous signpost and were glad to have made the drive down there. In search of a dinner of fish and chips, we had been recommended Porthcurno beach, so we grabbed some dinner and spent a couple of house on this beautiful, hidden cove with bright yellow sand and icey blue waters as the sun set. Michael had the urge to strip down to his pants and run in the water – he said it made him feel so alive! I, however, remained on dry land…brrr!

On Sunday, we got up bright and early and headed towards the south coast to Marazion. We arrived in time for breakfast and decided upon a little restaurant on the water’s edge overlooking St Michaels Mount. The weather was gorgeous and we stayed on the decking for some time, watching people in the water on boats, paddle boards and jet skiis. We were gutted to have not brought our wet suits with us (the water was cold!) as the water looked so tempting.

Once the tide had gone out, revealing the stone walk way to St Michaels Mount, we wandered across to the wonderful island and learnt about the history of the castle and villagers.

We headed back to St Ives that evening, for a dinner and a walk around the harbour before crashing in our cosy tent.

On Monday, we booked ourselves onto a boat trip and were lucky enough to see quite a lot of seals chilling out in the sunshine. I absolutely love being on the water so this was a perfect way to end our weekend trip.

After lunch we began to head homewards, stopping off at Hayle to check out a building and had an ice cream on the beach, watching the kite surfers do their thing.

With sand between our toes, salt in our hair and rosy cheeks and noses, we made our way back home, watching the sun set behind us and made a pact to get back to Cornwall before the summer is out.

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GOWER PENINSULA

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Over Easter, I was lucky enough to spend a whole week with my mum and niece, Coco Bella. We always make a conscious effort to get outdoors and do different activities almost every day as this is when we have the most fun and everyone is at their happiest! From climbing Margam Mountain one morning and playing pooh sticks in the streams, to a BBQ on the beach and plenty of picnics in between. An afternoon with the ponies, exploring Ogmore sand dunes and delicious ice creams. We had a beautiful week together.

We decided to head a little further from home and spend the day at the Gower Peninsula, Oxwich Bay. As we drove down the narrow lanes, spotting wild ponies and listening to my mum tell tales of her childhood days spent at the Gower, the car journey felt like no time at all. Upon arrival, we were stunned by the picturesque views with a washed up sailing boat surrounded by blue gentle water, rolling hills and cliff faces.

Unloading our picnic, blankets, buckets and spades from the car, we spent the day exploring the rock pools, building sand castles, scouring the beach for its beautiful shells and indulging Coco with her love for math equations and problems? I just love that girl’s eagerness to learn all the time!

As the beach began to empty, we grabbed an ice cream each from the vendor just before she closed up for the day and headed along the sandy beach for a walk. Accompanied by horse riders enjoying the evening sunshine and sand between our toes, we chatted, laughed and made beautiful memories.

I hope that these times spent together, outdoors will stay with Coco as she grows up, I hope that the photographs and maybe even this blog, will be gentle a reminder over the years to come.

I sure love these ladies!

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THE END

Michael

So the 19th May was a day we had been eagerly awaiting for three years.

Michael chose to take a year out of his architectural studies to get some work experience and settle into our first place together, here in Bath. We knew that he was set to go back to university for two years to complete is Part II of Architecture and it was something we dreaded. Two years seemed like a long time, a lot of lonely evenings for me, long nights behind a laptop screen for him and altogether quite an arduous struggle.

Soon enough the count down began and on Tuesday 9th February (Shrove Tuesday) we hit 100 days and celebrated with candles in our pancakes!

The weeks started to go by so quickly, 50, 40, 30.. and then we hit the single figures! With butterflies in our stomachs, the end was approaching and we started to make plans for AFTER Michael’s final hand in. I’ve always loved to plan a few things in advance to keep me going through the week and have something in the diary to look forward to – those dates sure kept me excited for our future!

As I write this, we will shortly be heading off up to Bath University to attend the Architecture end of year show. Michael has been officially finished for two weeks and is slowly getting back into the grove of real life.

Michael has been nominated for some pretty prestigious awards, including the RIBA Silver Award and I could not be more proud of what he has achieved in the past two years, whilst also living with an impatient and at times grumpy and needy girlfriend like me!

Here’s to real life Michael, I cannot wait!

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman
And a boy can be someday a man.

Fred M.Rogers

FEBRUARY

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This morning I realised it was exactly a month since my birthday and what a good month it has been. So I thought I should document some of things that have made me happy these past four weeks.

  • Of course I should start with my birth day! This year, I loved spending the morning of my birthday with my mum after a wonderful weekend in Madrid. Poodling around bath and having breakfast at Boston tea party. Followed by an afternoon cycle in the countryside with Michael and dinner at the wonderful vegetarian restaurant in town called Acorn.
  • Trying our hand at something new; a pottery class for two
  • Spending the day with Michael and a good friend from university, Daniel, at the Bath literature festival seeing Emma Bridgwater and an urban landscape lecture. Followed by a browse of a new to us, bookshop, hidden on a cobbled street in bath.
  • Having Jane, another friend from university visit, for a joint birthday brunch and a wander along the canal. A great chat with a good friend felt so good.
  • Spending Mother’s Day with my mum, eating cake and crafting in our cosy flat
  • Visiting Coco and my brother in St. Albans with my mum and watching Coco on stage in High School Musical.
  • Fitting in a quick stop at my parents’ house mid-week after a work related site visit. Such a treat to snuggle with my mum on a Wednesday evening.
  • Meeting up with old school teachers (who are also my mums friends) and their children and Veralamium Park, which is a great park, may I add.
  • A close friend from school, Ashley, joining us in St. Albans for a delicious Sunday roast at my brothers and his girlfriend’s pub. This was so special and I will always remember the laughs we had.
  • Spending the night in a hotel with my mum and niece, my two favourite girls. I absolutely adore spending time with these two.
  • A spur of the moment trip home with Michael and a Sunday spent with my horses in the sunshine. Perfect!
  • Michael and I splashed out and got our first iPhones, after months of deliberating, I didn’t quite realise how much time was wasted by a slow and unresponsive phone; I make phone calls with ease these days! What a luxury.
  • Our favourite summer meal of kebabs, humous, brown rice and pittas is back on the menu. We hate not being able to get our favourite kebabs from our local supermarket so we were so pleased to see them back in stock last week!
  • Longer daylight hours and sunshine. I say no more.
  • Getting offered an interview for a college course I am interested in and overcoming my initial fear of the interview tasks set. Charcoal, Willow and A1… Yicks!!

Wow, now that I have written that down I feel so happy to be surrounded by family and friends so often. My family make me whole!

With 10 days off work over Easter, I intend spending every moment drenched with family, I intend on spending afternoons at the beach building sand castles and dipping our toes in the sea, eating picnics outdoors and playing with my ponies.

Here is to another four weeks, let’s hope it is as good as the last!!

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MADRID PART 2

I have been wanting to sit down and write this for some time but…life! Luckily, I jotted down notes about our wonderful weekend in Madrid on my phone to help. So Part 2 of Madrid, here goes!

We had heard about the open air flea market, El Rastro de Madrid, and were very keen to check it out. So on Sunday morning we made our way to El Rastro and unfortunately, we were a little disappointed. After a quick meander through the market streets we decided to make our way across the city, through the vibrant Puerta del Sol and towards Chueca. In search of some brunch, we came across a cute little café called [h]arina. We settled into the window seats of the café, watching the city wake up and loved our light, fresh food. Feeling energized we wandered around the boutique neighborhood and happened upon a beautiful food market in the center of Chueca, San Anton Market Madrid. The produce was so carefully arranged, exquisite coloured fruit and vegetable stalls.

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My mum and I love to relax, chat and people watch in public squares, and Madrid is a perfect place for just that. We passed an impressive church which seemed very popular with a lovely garden so we decided to sit for a while. A family of three generations congregated outside the church and despite the language barriers, the love and cheekiness between the elderly grandparents and feisty grandchildren got us and the family giggling. The square behind the church, Plaza de la Villa de Paris, was filled with happy dogs and their owners, a popular space in a busy city.

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We walked back along the tree lined Paseo de la Castellana, the main road connecting us back to Parque del Retiro, stopping off at the Cauxi Forum to admire the huge green wall. Feeling a little hungry, we decided to make our way back to Plaza de Santa Ana and share a margherita pizza, in the sunshine…perfect! After a little rest at our apartment, we headed out for our final evening in Madrid, feeling exhausted from our day of walking and fresh air, we headed straight towards Plaza Mayor, keen to see the plaza alive with diners and street performers. A visit back to Mercado San Miguel for a tapas style dinner of delicious paella, calamari, shrimp, octopus and white bait.

With our taste buds tingling and our feet aching, we made our way back to our apartment for a much needed rest. Our flight home on Monday was in the evening so we saved our visit to the Museu de Prado for our final morning. After a quick breakfast at a little café opposite Caixi Forum, we were so glad to leave our luggage at the cloakroom of the museum and freely walk around, admiring the vast and varying art works.

With a few hours to spare, we picked up the makings of a picnic from a fun market style super market called Mallorca near to Plaza Independence and relaxed at Parque del Retiro, eating out picnic, overlooking the boating lake and ruins. Sad to leave, we meandered through the beautiful park in the direction of the Atocha Station, savoring the mild weather, stopping to admire the Palacio de Cristal on our way.

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A wonderful weekend spent with my mum, filled with great memories, giggles and even better food.

Michael was kind enough to collect us from Bristol airport and we returned to a balloon and bunting filled home, ready for my birthday the following morning.

Thanks Madrid, we loved you!!

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MADRID PART 1

One Saturday morning, last November, my Mum and I found ourselves in the library close to my parents’ home. Trips to the library have become one of my favourite chores; it makes me slow down; I enjoy the calm atmosphere and feel somewhat mature. This particular morning, I logged onto the germ-infested public computers and found myself on the Easyjet website. In moments, with a click of my finger (literally) we purchased two tickets to Madrid. A getaway for two, the weekend before my 25th birthday. We left the building a little confused as to how a trip to renew a bunch of books, ended with the purchase of plane tickets. Nonetheless, we were glad to have something to look forward to in the new year!

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Fast forward to 19th February, Michael dropped my Mum and I at the airport and we set off for a wonderful three days together in a beautiful city. Whilst sat on the plane, on the runway, we laughed about that Saturday morning at the library! Upon arrival to Madrid, we located our Airbnb apartment and headed straight out for some dinner. Now, despite having been in Spain for only a couple of hours, our first dinner was in fact at an Italian restaurant at Plaza de Santa Ana. The streets came alive as we sat under heated lamps eating one of the most delicious pizzas I have ever eaten.

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On Saturday we were keen to get out and see the city in daylight, we were greeted with beautiful bright blue skies and sunshine. We headed towards Plaza Mayor, stopping to admire the food markets that were preparing for a day of trade. Plaza Mayor was empty, a rare sight we later realised, and so we took our time to appreciate the beautiful architecture, murals and huge archways. We had read in our guide book about the well-known Chocolateria San Gines and as a chocolate lover myself, it was the perfect spot to have a fun breakfast of churros dipped into a warm mug of melted chocolate.

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With full tummies we made our way, slowly, admiring the window displays of shops as we passed, towards the Placio Real. Upon arrival, we were breath taken with the white stone which dazzled us in the morning sunlight. We soaked up the atmosphere, and the sun outside the palace and the adjacent Cathedral for a while, listening to the buskers. Meandering through the palace gardens, we came across the Sabatini Gardens and took a stroll, stopping to relax next to the impressive water fountains.

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After all the walking we had done in the morning, we were ready to check out the Mercado de San Miguel. A very popular food market next to the Plaza Mayor with a great atmosphere and tonnes of delicious food; from brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, to delicious mini 1 euro tapas, deep fried squid, prawns, calamari, paella, oysters, various meat and cheese stalls and bakeries. We purchased our picnic-style lunch from various vendors and headed out to Plaza Mayor to sit, eat and enjoy. The Plaza was much busier by this time so we relaxed for a couple of hours just soaking in all the accents, buskers and smells of delicious food. Perfect!

Since the weather was such a treat, we decided to spend the afternoon at the Parque del Retiro, we were so happy to find a spot in the sun, surrounded by trees and some very tame cute little birds.

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Feeling a little sun kissed we went home for a quick nap and a freshen up before going out in search of some tapas for dinner. We found a cute little café and shared patatas bravas and a paella close to Plaza de Santa Ana.

A wonderful day spent together, strolling the streets of Madrid.

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I CHOOSE

choosingtolovemyself-final_Page_1.jpgWhilst I do not follow a religion and my beliefs are somewhat Atheist, I am often drawn to quotes and ideologies birthed in the church. There is no doubt that integrating kindness, love, self-worth and positivity into your life will have huge benefits. I came across a challenge via Instagram; #choosingtolovemyself initiated by The Small Seed blog. The idea being; since February is the month to celebrate love and since our minds are so quick to think destructively with the distractions and comparisons we make of our lives through social media, we should all be reminded to love ourselves a little more.

I read something that really resignated with me a couple of days ago and it went something like: to those whose grams I envy and whose stories I lust, I must reconsider for those have not visited the places I have been nor the experiences I have had. It is so interesting how we are so quick to put our own lives down and be envious of others but what if those whom we envy also feel the same way?

Coincidently, last night was Day 7 of the Yoga Camp with Adriene for me, and the mantra for the practice was “I choose”. Adriene invites us to finish the sentence as we see fit; I choose to be. To be present, content, lifted and at ease.

So not only do I choose to be present, content, lifted and at ease with where I am at this very moment, on this very day, I also choose to love myself. I am so quick to speak badly of myself and to put myself down that this will be a challenge indeed, but one I am only so keen to work at for the benefits are sure to be fantastic!

(If you haven’t checked out Adriene on Youtube  – you should!)

I LOVE MYSELF AS I AM – for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am beautiful, right now, just the way I am. I am more than my body, the clothes in my closet, or the style of my hair, for I am strong and do hard things. I am worth loving. I hold myself to a standard of grace not perfection, and I refuse to put myself down. I am a beautiful being, a daughter of God, and I love myself as I am.

The Small Seed