Yellow Tulips

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doodles 

Last weekend in Edinburgh, on the round curve of Victoria Street up in a high annex window above the sixth floor, I spied a very lovely old gentleman tending to vaseful of fresh yellow tulips. He was so contentedly framed by the blue wood frame — and utterly oblivious to our cold-noses and wind-swept faces as we craned up at him. Quentin Blake could have done something perfect about it.

Old Man 2

 

… But I gave it a dab hand anyway.

Charlotte xx

 

 

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Edinburgh Weekend

 hello edinburgh!

BFS – EDI £70 RTN

     Spending a January weekend in Edinburgh is what I imagine being trapped in Hogwarts at winter would be like: it’s cold, it snows, and there’s windy-wee-passages and cosy shops to get trapped in. Just what Rebecca and I were looking for for a best-friend birthday-mashup weekend!

      I’ve never seen anything quite like the old town streets that wind and nestle on the hill. From above, Edinburgh Castle juts proudly over the city atop an outcrop of sheer rock-face, while the rest of the city’s old sandstone houses stretch up over six floors towards the cloudy sky.

City spires

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out & about

     Museums and independent trinket shops are right up my street, and Edinburgh has them aplenty. 10/10 to the National Portrait Gallery, and special mention to The Red Door Gallery, which stocks a fabulous amount of my illustrator idol, Gemma Correll.

photo 1 copy photo 4 copy 2 photo 5 copy

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top eats

     I spent a lovely couple of days jumping in and out of Edinburgh’s deliciously heated trinket shops and restaurants — a great excuse for eating my way around the city. Nom nom treats for my belly.

Recommendations are…

FIRST PLACE           The Outsider – Rabbit pie, pureed veg, and mash £7.20
Best find of Ed, ridiculously reasonable lunch prices – yet classy.

NARROW SECOND   Henderson’s  (Vegan + Veggie) – Stuffed peppers £10.95
Cosy, with piano-tinkling and amazing vegan and veggie food. Yes, please.

DELICOUS 3RD        Bread Meats Bread — BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich £7
Absolutely packed on a Sunday night for the best pulled pork I’ve had.

    Of course, I visited The Elephant House for a glimpse of the space where J K Rowling dreamt up the fabulous magicalness of Harry Potter. Strangely, but perhaps appropriately, I found Harry Potter’s world in the Loos, where hundreds of devotees had scribbled their love of magic.

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     On my last night, Rebecca and I made good use of the little pool, steam room, and sauna at Novotel (where the revolving front door refused to co-operate with Rebecca’s feet). It was puuuuuurfect for warming our wee fingers and toes after a chilly weekend.

Blueskyhouses

 

     Edinburgh you were lovely,

Charlotte xx

The last of student life

ON STUDYING

It’s finally my last month of studying.

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Studying

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Four years, three universities, and thanks to British vs. Asian schedules,
a disproportionate amount of semesters.

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終於快要完成我的學歷~

加油吧。

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Charlotte xx

Chinese New Year Chat

CNY

Happy Chinese New Year!

Lent has begun, and so has the auspicious year of the Ram/Goat!

🐑🐑🐑🐑

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The turning 23 consolation party is over, as is the Valentine’s chocolate binge-ing cry-fest, and all I have left are several empty, depressingly essay-less Word documents and a flabby post Christmas body. Seems to me like this horrible mixture of Lent and CNY is as good a time as any to make some resolutions to knuckle down and to work hard.

Have a good year folks.

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It’ll be in my backpack.

TOP PICK

 Swiftly beating my (dismally unreliable) second-hand mountain bike, and narrowly trumping pretty pink flask that facilitates excessive tea consumption, my #1 student item is my backpack.

My current backpack has carried all my junk across continents and around islands. It’s carried unnecessarily heavy books at three different universities, and completely necessary make-up/snacks emergency changes of shoes etc. on day trips, weekend trips, and ‘so what if I take my backpack on a date’ trips. Let’s face it, nothing else will hold enough snacks to get me through the day without permanently damaging my skeletal system; and I’m talking about you here, handbag.

 Backpacks subtly-hint-for-Christmas, backpacks to replace your old one, or simply backpacks to reinvigorate your backpack… cupboard.

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backpacks

hype

Hype
Av. Price £24.99

Their prints are wacky and totally fabulous and I absolutely love the crazy range available for the neat £25 price tag. All hail the king of backpack bargains. But you certainly won’t be finding these little numbers anywhere on the highstreet – and certainly not in the kitsch haven that is Exeter University. Check their online store.

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herschel co

Herschel Co.
Stockists: Urban Outfitters / Route One / Surfdome

Herschel Co’s bags are the prettiest candy and print palette. I love their super tall, slim cut that makes them perfect for even those cursed with a 15″ laptop, and their outer fabric is nice and stiff which makes them less… squished than the squatter Hype bags. They’ve got the essential padded straps – which boy do you appreciate after a long day at the library – and did I mention how pretty they are?

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 Mi-Pac 
£22-40
Stockists: ASOS / Urban Outfitters / Route One

Mi-Pac has a very, very wide range of prints: from the classics with contrast-pop outer pockets (LOVE) to the neat prints that have the perfect amount of pattern, without being… offensive (Hype). The thick, tan bottom helps survive the wear-and-tear of everyday student life, the straps are padded. A present the grandparents would understand.

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Easkpak

EastPak
Padded Pak'R £40 / Out of Office £50 / Pinnacle £70

EastPak is everywhere on campus, but it certainly isn’t cheap if you’re looking for something to fit a mammoth 15″ screen laptop. The upside is, their patent padded straps and back are super comfy once worn in; I’ve tried my housemates and was thiiiiis close to updating my own to an EastPak special. And hey there 30 YEAR guarantee.

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Final tip of the day, if you can’t find what you’re looking for with these mainstream brands, why not give Etsy a go? An international selling platform for independent artists, craftsmen, and small businesses, it has loads of original and one-off pieces that are worth a look if you’re particular about your backpack.

That’s about all the geeking out about backpacks I think I can handle in one evening. My own backpack and I will be up bright and early tomorrow morning for another trip to campus!

Till next time,

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Floral Prints and Sewing Chat

Shop!

 NO.1 True DecadenceXJohn Lewis/Tropical Shift Dress £37 £12
NO.2 MinkPinkXUrban Outfitters/Moonflower MaxiSkirt £60 £27.99
NO.3 Dorothy Perkins/Collared Floral Dress £32 £11.80 

SO… I’ve been bad.

Between all the final year assignments, essays and job applications, I confess I’ve been doing a liiiittle too much online shopping.

The good news is, however, I have sated my autumn obsession with floral prints, and a got myself a couple of sewing projects for (my guilty pleasure…) Monday Made in Chelsea nights.

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florals

There’s a bit of a floral theme going on with my October online-shopping spree. I think I’m finally getting in touch with my inner girly side. I’ve had a morbid fear of a) PRINTS and b) COLOUR all my life (idk), but it looks like my monochrome wardrobe is getting a flowery kick in the ass.

As per, my shopping bag this month is filled with classy bargain bin buys. In this month’s spree I’ve made two exceptions to my only-perfect-fit, and I’m hoping a cheeky needle and thread job will fix. Or 50/50 chance ruin.

I get a bit ambitious with a needle and thread.

sewing

NO. 1

This shop, I’ve been slowly altering the fab Tropical Print Shift Dress from John Lewis. The statement collar: big, bold, sharp – is just totally not for me, so I’m altering into a slight less obtrusive high-necked white band.

I’ve snipped off the collar, folded back the thick material of the remaining white neckline, and am taking a doubled thread round the inside edge with a blanket stitch. Easy-peasey!

Ta-dah.
Pre boozy Cosy Club debut.

Pre drinks debiut

NO.2 

I absolutely LOVE a sweet Peter-Pan collar, case and point the Dorothy Perkins purchase above with the cutest little rounded collar. There’s a lot to be said for a just about the knees skirt that’s long enough to be demure but wonderfully flattering.

NO.3

Is my next project: the beautiful, dreamy MinkPink x Urban Outfitters maxi skirt. The hefty £3 shipping price made me loath to click ‘confirm’, but I absolutely adore the huge moon-like flowers against the black. What you can’t see in the very sneaky UO shot is that there are two front slits. Weird and Angelina Jolie meme-esque…

Thank God a straight line of stitching even I can handle.

Love

Charlotte xx

New Home

Home

Well, I’m back in the UK, and back to my final year of University.
Back to the old family home, and a shiny new student house.

For any long-time readers (hi Mum and Dad), you’ll know it’s been a long old year.

But, September rolled around again, and I took the nostalgic flight from Belfast City Airport to the tiny Exeter International. I’m already back studying English and Film here at Exeter, and with plenty of re-homing practice, I’ve set up my little university room in record time.  I’m getting to be a pro at living away from home. Still keeping an eye out for some new bits and bobs to brighten up my wee room, it’s looking a tad sparce.

Final Year 

Flowery bedcover

Second Year  Throwbacks

My (admittedly mid-essay) desk and bed in second year. Lots of little bits have survived from my second year home… I think a couple of essays down the line and my new room will look just as note-strewn and hectic!

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It’s great to be back

I live in a cosy five-girl house, tootle up to campus for the occasional English or Film lecture, and bask in the Forum space when I’m supposed to be reading. It’s nothing as crazy as China was: there are no passive-aggressive dorm wardens, the campus isn’t a death-trap of rickety bikes commandeered by always-late students, it’s distinctly lacking the dull roar of a city of 23million people – nor the snot clogging smog that accompanies it.

Exeter’s clean, crisp, and particularly English.

I wonder if I’ll ever miss living in Shanghai.

Till next time.

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