When writing a recent post about my favourite street art around the world I realised I had never paid much attention to the magnificent work in my own city. I’d always seen it as a backdrop to other activities I was taking part in, like shopping or drinking!
This weekend I sought to rectify that mistake and booked a place on a The London Street Art Tour. The tour covers the ever changing artwork found along East London’s Brick Lane and the surrounding streets of Shoreditch. Steph, my guide, was an American expat with a clear passion for the subject as well as impressive knowledge of the most prolific and talented artists in the area. She shared her knowledge over the course of an hour and half and the fee to take part was just £10 per person. Below are some of my favourite artworks along with a few interesting facts Steph taught me about them.
It’s a funny thing to admit but I owe a lot of my present situation to Twitter. I found a job on Twitter, which led to a change in career, involving Twitter. I’ve won flights to India, Iceland and Madrid via Twitter and have tweeted my way around the world several times. I even found my boyfriend on Twitter (something I would never admit to in public at the time but that seems like a fairly normal occurrence now.) Needless to say, reading the latest book I got my hands on to review was a pretty surreal experience.
Biz Stone’s book Things A Little Bird Told Me tells the story of how he came to co-create Twitter. For those of us whose lives are entwined with the site looking back at the world when it didn’t exist has a fairly dizzying effect. Remember when we consumed news from a paper and watched X Factor without discussing it with the world? Hashtag was not a word one said out loud and ‘engaging’ with strangers on the Internet was considered weird. The mind boggles right?
My trip to Vegas in February was my very first visit and boy was it an eye-opener. For all you Vegas virgins I’ve put together some tips to know before you lose your v-plates in Sin City!
Looking back over my blog and photography archives I can see some patterns emerging with regards to the things I like to seek out and capture on my travels. Cake is definitely one of them, but just as voracious is my appetite for street art.
Over the years I have gained an obsession with colourful murals on unexpected walls and always seek to hunt them down on my travels. Many of the places I have been to are not only making a name for themselves because of their street art but it is drawing crowds to parts of the destination that may have previously been forgotten or ignored by a visitor.
Below I’ve put together a collection of some of my favourite street art photos from around the world along with a little note on how you can find these murals too. If you’re a fan of street art too, let me know where you have found some of your favourites in the comments below. I might have to make a visit there.
Melbourne is a name synonymous with street art, almost as much as it is coffee. Crowds flock to Degraves Street and Hosiers Lane to see the latest incarnation of the walls but my favourite spot is a hidden alley in Chinatown. Croft Alley, off Paynes Street, is a winding, vibrant dead end, mostly hidden from the main road. At the very end you will find the Croft Institute, a quirky bar loosely modelled on an old school science lab.
(What’s hiding down Croft Alley?)
How would you like to win £2000 worth of adventure travel with Explore and Blacks? More importantly, what would you spend it on? An African safari perhaps, or sailing the Greek Islands, or maybe (this would be my choice) it would be the downpayment on a trip to Antarctica! The dizzying choice would be all yours if you happen to be the winner of their epic contest.
How To Win
So how do you win this tantalising prize? Blacks (who specialise in outdoor gear for the adventurous traveller) want to see your best outdoor photographs from the following categories:
How you choose to interpret each category is up to you. But to give you a helping hand, here are my efforts!
I have read so many books since I last had a chance to write a review post that I didn’t know where to start! Luckily I made some notes along the way and would like to share with you some of my favourites from the bunch. From memoirs, to the return of Bridget Jones and my first experience of short stories, read on to find a selection of good reads to add to your reading list. Plus win a signed copy of the magnificent collection of short stories published by one of my favourite writers.
Frankie with her self-published short story book – Shy Feet
Because I am a lady who enjoys the odd home comfort on her travels I take booking my accommodation very seriously. On my recent tour around Sri Lanka, however, it quickly became apparent that the guesthouses we were staying in weren’t going to be merely a place to rest our heads. As tourism in the country slowly takes off (rightly or wrongly) it is currently staying very focused on the guesthouse or hotel sector. Unlike other parts of Asia, in Sri Lanka we often had to rely on our guest house to be our restaurant, guide, driver and tourism office in one – these services simply weren’t available outside the accommodation. In some of the remoter parts of the country we visited our accommodation was not only a source of information but the only source of sociability too.
Where is everybody? The beach in Tangalla
I’ve been packing on autopilot for many years now. I assumed I was good at it because I had curbed my habit for over-packing and could throw everything in a case very quickly. So it wasn’t until Muji invited me to take a look at their Travel Shop and see how I could utilise the products that I realised I had been doing it ALL wrong. So very wrong.
I often joke that since I begun working for myself it’s like answering to the strictest boss ever. Contrary to what I suspect some of my friends and family think, being a freelancer does not mean long, lazy lie ins and never-ending lunch breaks. For when time out effects your businesses bottom line it becomes even harder to justify taking any time out at all. When you have only yourself to answer to, you can be pretty hard on you.
But after 16 months of being my own strict boss I realised I needed to gain some balance. Which is why when Flexioffices got in touch about their #LiveYourLunchBreak initiative I was their perfect candidate.
Over the last five days I have challenged myself to take a lunch hour and do something productive with that time. You will see I have taken a very wide interpretation of productive but for some of the lunch hour activities it was the productivity that flowed after them that really helped improve my day.
Those that know me know I do not camp. Only in rare, unavoidable circumstances do I succumb to a night sleeping close to nature and even then I will still be fearful of it. In Sri Lanka one of those rare, unavoidable situations arose when I discovered there maybe a chance to see leopards in the wild in Yala National Park (Yala Block 1 has one of the highest density’s of leopards per square kilometre in the world). This sounded like an opportunity I would not want to miss and yet it involved things I try to shun, like getting dirty and sleeping under canvas. Then I read about Leopard Safaris and all my weak arguments went out the window.