Mayfield Lavender

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On the Sunday, we went to the nearby Mayfield Lavender farm, a huge field of growing lavender bushes. We wanted to go last year actually, but time restraints meant that by the time we got around to visiting, the Lavender had mostly been harvested. It was pretty busy when we went, not surprising I guess, for a hot Sunday with the sun in the sky. They forgot to charge us entry to the car park, so I spent the money on getting a small tub of Lavender ice cream instead – which, I’ve never really eaten lavender, but it somehow tastes exactly as you’d imagine.
Would definitely recommend a visit for those nearby, though those scared of, or allergic to bees should probably steer clear – we were wandering through the lavender bushes and somehow found ourselves in the middle of a really overgrown field of it, and there were bees fucking EVERYWHERE. That buzzing around your head, coupled with the thought of there being no escape, even the most direct route out was a good few minutes walking through thick lavender and involve kicking bees out of the way as you move through, I never realised I was so scared of bee’s until that point.

London Zoo nights

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For the first time in a while, it feels like I actually had an exciting weekend.

An old good friend had some spare tickets to the London Zoo ‘Zoo Nights’ event, which can basically be summarised as a trip to the zoo but adults only and all of the stores sell alcohol, and then some additional neat stuff like live DJ, street food stalls and just a generally more chill atmosphere.
I’ve never actually been to London Zoo before so that was really cool in itself, it’s not a huge zoo but big enough for us to have a wander about for 3 hours or so before the park started to close in on us – like a Fortnite dome but with security guards and zoo staff who want to go home.
It’s kind of mad how efficient and calm everything can be without children, it was like a huge congregation of civil adults, queuing and positioning themselves in ways to not block the exhibits for others, and even though there was a bag search, the entrance queue went by in a flash, many of the stalls were card only as well, again I presume in an effort to keep things moving swiftly.

 

Beckonscot Model Village

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Went over to Beckonscot Model village yesterday, my first time there so didn’t know what to expect.

It was kind of neat I guess, though I was a little miffed at it’s 4.5 tripadvisor rating.

The entire area was significantly smaller than I expected (even for a model village) and it looked like a lot of it could use some repairs or general cleanup, just about every water feature had thick forests of algae for example.

Some of it was pretty cool though, with an impressive amount of detail on some of the buildings and rooms, and little things like moving cable cars and a smoking building with firetrucks outside.
It was also rather entertaining seeing gigantic fat pigeon nestled in among the tiny figures, and similarly some huge koi carp swimming around underneath the tiny bridges – beckonscot would truly be a terrifying place to live.

New Forest

Spent majority of the weekend down near southhampton in New Forest national park.

Only last week at the aforementioned strange BBQ, was invited to go camping with some folk down at new forest, didn’t have anything already pencilled in, so I thought I’d take inspiration from that Jim Carey film ‘Yes Man’ and signed up for it, despite not really knowing how to camp.
I don’t think i’ve been camping since my days in scouts or primary school.

So we set out on Saturday morning and hit the camping area around 10:30ish, to which everyone was like “alright, time to go hiking to the nearest pub!”

2 hours and a hell of a lot of walking later, we finally arrived. Nice little lunch, drink and lay down and we were back on the long trail to return to camp, we took a different route of course.
Of worthy note is that one of the guys with us, Tim, had an OG paper map and compass, and without him we would have been very very lost, as google maps doesn’t really have hiking trails on the map, and tbh we weren’t following the paths all the time anyway.

Finally returned to camp around 6:30 (we left at 11:30), literally stumbling out through the forest and straight towards a beautifully timed ice cream van.
I was absolutely exhausted after all the walking, I think we totalled approximately 10 miles (up and down hills, over streams, through woodland and all sorts).
We didn’t actually bring any food with us, so we popped back in the car and went the local shop to buy some food, and came back with one of those disposable BBQ’s, Meat and Ciders. We threw the tent up with everyones help and then got to BBQing (the charcoal didn’t catch fire very well, so it was a lot of effort fanning the flames).

We were sitting in the dark for fairly long until maybe 11pm or so, when a sudden shower started and we were all forced back into our tents.

The night went about as expected, fairly hard ground coupled with a sleeping bag which was simultaneously too cold and too hot, the real problems began around 5am when I was woken up by birds and the sound of rain on the top of the tent. Needed to piss really badly because of the cider but oh my god the rain just refused to let up. Thus ended up laying in bed drifting in and out of sleep until 7am or so. God those birds were noisy.

A day in pictures – Hyper Japan Christmas 2015

Checked out the Hyper Japan Christmas Market this year at Tobacco Dock in London, the venue was pretty nice and split onto two floors, though I have to say the whole ordeal wasn’t as christmassy as I would have liked. Aside from looking around the shops we went to see the live performances by Wingworks and the incredible LadyBaby – who rocked the crowd despite being down 1/3 of the group and only having 4 songs, we managed to get front row despite being late, which was pretty sweet.

The Alternative Tour London

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So went with luke into london today for ‘the alternative tour’ – http://www.alternativeldn.co.uk/

It was fairly interesting, a walk around the shoreditch / brick lane area looking at and being told the history of many pieces of street art and graffiti, definitely some really interesting and impressive works in that area, and once you have been exposed to it you’ll find yourself noticing more and more.
The guide is also pay what you want, which is an ideal price point imo.

A day in pictures – Cardiff Bay

For my second night in cardiff I thought I would explore the Bay area near my hotel, I was staying at the Red Dragon Centre so it was pretty good location wise, with maybe a 10 minute walk down to the bay area and millenium centre. It was raining unfortunately which kind of put a damper on things but It was still nice to walk about.

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A day in pictures – Cardiff

My first evening after work in Cardiff I literally walked straight from the office into the city centre and just randomly walked about and explored the place. Very nice city, and very spacious considering it’s the capital of Wales. It was filled with lots of little alleys with smaller shops down the sides, yet had plenty of upscale shopping and mall complexes mixed in. Oh also a random castle in the middle of the city.
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