A Christmas Trip to Tokyo Disney Sea

I know it’s a little bit late to be posting about Christmas, approximately two months late, but I have Tokyo Disney Sea photos to share!

One of the things we really wanted to do during our holiday was go to Tokyo Disney Sea while the Christmas decorations were up. We went on the 21st and it was beautiful! It was also Disney Sea’s 15 anniversary, which was crystal themed, so there was beautiful crystals everywhere.

First Views of Tokyo Disney Sea

The ship and globe at the park entrance of tokyo disney sea

Inside the special mickey monorail at tokyo disney sea

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Where in the World is Nadina O?

Now that I’ve transferred all my posts over I can start giving you all fresh content again! At some point, I’m going to have to do the boring job of fixing all the pictures, but it’s been too long since we had an update so let’s have one.

The past couple of months have been exceptionally busy; I’ve been traveling a lot with work, everyone I know has had loads of drama, I’ve had 10,000 things to do in general so not much posting has been happening. I’m really sorry about that. This blog is usually something I do to chill out but I haven’t had the energy at all lately. Anyway.

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Tweekend Trip to Haworth at Christmastime

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of hanging out with some lolita friends from all over the place in Leeds. We went on a day trip to Haworth because it is actually the cutest place in existence. The setting was so beautiful and the people were really friendly too; we got lost, so the Vicar gave us directions and wished us a lovely day! You don’t get that in many places.

The highlight of the trip, apart from spending time with some really good friends, was seeing the Rose & Co. Apothecary. The snow fairy above was part of the Christmas window display, she was so ethereal and beautiful so she really stood out from the rest of the scene.

The whole shop was really true to the original building, with wooden windows an a hand-painted frontage and sign outside. The inside was also decorated in the traditional style of an apothecary with large wooden shelves and many drawers of various potions and tinctures.

A quick google later it turns out Zam-Buk is a herbal balm and ointment originally made in Leeds. Apparently “the ointment was advertised as being effective against a wide range of conditions, including cuts, bruises, sprains, freckles, ulcers, bleeding piles and even colds and toothache.” I love old timey cure-alls like this and I’m always kind of tempted to give them a go too. Lots of people say “oh the old way is better for this or that” and I think a lot of things we do now are probably based on old home remedies with a bit of science mixed in. The components of Zam-Buk are meant to be eucalyptus oil, camhor, thyme oil and sassafrass oil; all natural oils, I’m down for that!

I really liked their selection of hand made and local products and the care that was taken with labels and with the products themselves. I really wanted to buy something from the shop, so I ended up getting two jars of local strawberry jam as souvenirs because I don’t really like to buy people soaps or perfumed items if I’m not sure what kind of smells they like for their skincare.

My English auntie and uncle collect tin signs and hand painted signs similar to the ones in store, so that was a really nice homely moment for me.
We had lunch in the café behind the apothecary, and I think that was the actual name of it too. I had a really lovely warming tomato soup and some chips, as well as a few glasses of lemonade. I think lemonade is a really lolita thing to drink for some reason? Especially rose lemonade, because roses.
I’d really love to go to Haworth again and visit the local Bronte based attractions. I’ll admit, I’ve never really been a classic literature fan but I do like the romanticism of classic writers so I would love to learn about how Charlotte Bronte lived. I’d also really like to ride on the steam train because I’ve never done that before.

I was really happy to see that one of the bookshops had a comic about the Bronte sisters by the amazing Kate Beaton in their window! I was also really happy to see a local business that was “& Daughters” because usually you only see “& Sons.” You see it in family names too, there are plenty of Johnsons but no Johnsdaughters…. Either way, you rule feminist Hatchard! Your blue bookshop is adorable.

Location Scout for a day.

I think there are maybe a handful of people on the Earth who truly love their jobs. I feel like most people have a neutral opinion, they don’t hate their jobs and generally they like the people they work with and just put up with what they have to do for about 7 or 8 hours a day. Well, last Friday I had a day as a location scout and it was the most fun I’ve ever had doing work.

The task I had to was just to get some photos of Liverpool looking a particular way for a film, but the experience I had during just reminded me of the reasons that I love this city. I experienced such friendliness and warmth from people – my only regret is that I didn’t take photos of the people that I met.

I was taking photos of the India buildings when I was approached by a lovely man called Bill. He accidentally walked into my shot and apologised “Don’t worry” I said “I’m just taking pictures of  the architecture.”
“If you like architecture, there’s a part nobody ever takes a photo of.” Past the reception desk, you can’t get through the double doors but you can see a fully working art deco, futuristic looking lift surrounded by spiral staircases and with working water features. He told me all about the history of the building, how it survived the wars and what it’s used for today. He also introduced me to one of the shop keepers at the India buildings, who runs a blog dedicated to it’s history over at www.classicartdeco.co.uk. He is really passionate about the building and it’s history, as it seems a lot of the residents are. Bill told me about how it used to be a walkway arcade, and after surviving world war two the beautiful roof and marble floors were added. It used to be cobble and now it’s a lovely creme coloured marble. It’s definitely a film location people could use if they wanted to make Liverpool look like London, or for a period drama of some sort. 

After I left the India buildings, I was thinking I should get back towards the city centre as I had an appointment to get to. It was about lunch time and I was hungry so I popped my head into a café that had one or two people start in it. I totally missed the sign in the door that said “staff training day” and just pottered in like an idiot. Good thing I did though, because I met the owner of the café, Lynn, who told me all about it and how she’d come to open it. Lynn worked as a cookery and catering teacher for adults with learning difficulties for about 10 years before being made redundant. With the money, she decided to pursue her dream of opening her own café.

Now she’s just about ready to open “my flat white” and because I stumbled in she gave me a free lunch!! It was delicious, and I did my bit to help her staff training day; which is how I’m justifying my ignorance of her door sign…. Lynn was absolutely lovely; so warm and welcoming and passionate about her food. She introduced me to her chef, Giovanni, who comes from the same town in Italy where parmasan cheese is made! Theyre excited to add traditional, rustic dishes from Italy to their final menu. Personally I’m really excited to eat traditional rustic dishes from Italy. Also; he poaches a really delicious egg. 
Now full up on a really tasty free lunch, I walked around feeling smug and excited to say “you know how there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Well I just got a free lunch!” to everyone I know. Right place, right time for once in my life! I took a few photos of lower castle Street when a man in a long coat approached me. This is usually worrying for a girl who is alone but I actually wasn’t worried at all because he had a big, friendly grin on his face and rather than saying something crass he gave me a fun piece of trivia! Like a friendly npc.

“Are you a Beatles fan?” he asked. I dont hate them or anything. I like them about as much as anyone else.

“I thought you might have been taking a picture of that door over there. It used to be the civic mens club, they played there about 4 times before they became famous.” (I apologise, kind Beatles trivia stranger, if I got the facts wrong, my memory is a little fuzzy writing this now) He gave me his card, which I have now lost because I’m utterly useless. It was a lovely hand drawn business card on dark brown cardstock, which bore the url of a YouTube channel where he plays Beatles covers outside of famous Beatles related landmarks. I thanked him for the knowledge and then carried on taking pictures. A old man behind me was playing some kind of game of squash with a tennis ball in the alley. He seemed upset that I’d disturbed his secret place. I went home feeling satisfied with my day. 

More adventures in Chester – going to the zoo!

Yesterday had the best weather I’ve seen here up north in weeks! It was about 18 degrees at least, the sun was blazing so I decided to go to one of my favourite places in the whole country, Chester Zoo! Apparently Chester Zoo is the best zoo in the UK and has an excellent reputation worldwide for animal conditions and conservation. Sometimes I have mixed feelings about zoos, because while some of them do amazing conservation work some of them are very small and don’t have enough room for the animals to move around and be happy. It’s another one of life’s difficult moral dilemmas. I think sometimes that Chester Zoo does well is that it gives the animals a good amount of room to move, but also creates opportunities for you to see the animals up close.

This bird was actually really affectionate, he kept pressing his little feathers against the cage and chirping when I’d pet him. At the same time it is always sad to see a bird in a cage and this cage wasn’t huge, the birds inside seemed to be hopping from branch to branch quite a lot and not flying very much. I don’t know if it’s just characteristic of this type of bird though…

Dress: Dr Martens
Flower: Chateaux de Gateux
Tights with hole in the toe which I remove after this photo: Marks and Spencer

I went for a simple, summery look. Sorry I didn’t go for proper professional photos for this day…The main reason why was that I didn’t really want to focus on photography for once I just really wanted to enjoy the day. But, I did wear my Dr Martens dress and I have to say I rate this dress incredibly highly. I turned it inside out to iron it and the pattern of this dress is fantastic. The pattern is constructed really beautifully and the fit is generally fantastic. The cotton the dress is made from is incredibly high quality and the resin dipped part of the dress feels very smooth and cool. I actually took the tights off because it was too hot, but because my thighs rub, further proof that we are not Gods perfect creature, I popped on some Sparkle and Fade cotton shorts underneath.

I really love my Chateaux de Gateux rose clip/brooch. I bought it at Hyper Japan last year and had a really great conversation with Charlene, the person who makes them. She said she usually makes all the petals herself or sometimes she will buy a few different silk flowers, disassemble them and resew them to make fuller, more realistic flowers. This particular rose is incredibly well made, very sturdy and has loads of small details such as a vine leaf for the backing, that really show how much love was put into making it.

We brought a picnic of gluten free goodies and it felt very classical Britain to have a picnic in the sun. Pictured above is some egg fritters, potato salad, chicken salad with courgettes and tomato and gluten free brownies! My very dear friend made the whole picnic and I contributed some sugared strawberries, elderflower presse and a tiny little bottle of prosecco. Had to get the prosecco in before that upcoming drought we’re supposed to be having, ha ha ha! We also put a tiny bit of scotch whiskey sauce on the brownies and ate them with the strawberries and it was the most delicious thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Somehow elderflower presse makes everything feel so much more twee. Dandelion and burdock has the same effect.

We came to the zoo at just the right time of year, I feel, because there was so many baby animals! We saw tiger cubs, baby elephants, baby orangutans, baby giraffes and lots more. A baby giraffe was about the same size as me! It was sat in the corner of the giraffe enclosure looking moody, as if nobody truly understood the brilliance of it’s poetry. I had an amazingly good day at the zoo to be honest! It was especially good to be there on a Wednesday when it wasn’t particularly busy. The main thing I noticed is that there was a lot of people there with immense photography equipment! There was a guy whose lens was probably about as long as my forearm, who was trying to get a photo of a very uncooperative lion. I often worry about going into something like photography etc. just because of how accessible the equipment and ability is these days. Obviously, I’m all about accessibility, but if it is so easy to do I wonder why I would bother since I don’t feel like I bring something special to the table. However, that is just a lack of confidence talking because my work does have a few fans who really like it, and it would be unfair to them to talk my work down.

I’m going to hopefully record another video this week, so staaaay tuned!