I had to choose between waiting at work late on a Friday or going back in on Saturday. At 5:30 I chose the latter and was so glad – the email I’d been waiting on didn’t even show up until 6:30 on Friday.
I almost died when I got an email from Aly asking me to take photos at her wedding; such was the speed at which my heart leapt into my throat.
As someone with terrible terrible wedding photos (taken by an amateur) the last thing I wanted was to do the same for her.
But Aly, being the amazing friend she is, talked me down off the ledge – it was their second ceremony, she had photos from the Canadian wedding but still wanted to remember the British wedding etc etc etc.
I think the photos came out pretty well. If I do say so myself
It was such a pleasure, a privilege to shoot Aly & Arthur’s wedding.
Before this, the last time I saw Aly was in 2008, and she was trying to decide whether to reply to this guy, Arthur, who she’d been texting. I was one of the many who told her to give it a go – you never know what might happen.
This might be a very long post.
My tattoo appointment had been rescheduled. I took Craig out to see how Westfield Shepherd’s Bush has changed before heading to Clapham for sunday roast with friends.
These are the beautiful houses in Hampstead Heath near our hotel.
It was sunny in Edinburgh. Kat took us all around. It was lovely.
My adorable engineering nerd husband wanted to go see The Falkirk Wheel. It was actually quite interesting.
We went on a walking tour of Berlin. This is the sculpture of Käthe Kollwitz’s sculpture Mother with her Dead Son inside the Neue Wache, the ‘Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Tyranny.’
It was freezing cold in Munich, we went to the Alte Pinakothek.
The entire gallery was designed around this canvas by Rubens’ “Last Judgment” (1617), one of the largest canvasses ever painted.
One of the things Craig really wanted to do in Munich was go to the BMW factory/museum. Unfortunately the only day we could go was Sunday. The factory was closed and he found the museum underwhelming. I found it kind of torturous.
I did love this bubble car though.
After a morning at the Uffizi, my ever-enduring husband accompanied me to a zoological museum in Florence. IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER.
Also: they had anatomical wax models from the 1800s. Life Made.
With the heavens full of thunder and lightning Craig and I went to the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica.
(I always thought something like that would happen)
This statue is Laocoön and His Sons
So then when we FINALLY got to Christchurch and found out that our crack travel agent had booked us on the flight to Wellington but NOT ISSUED US A TICKET, that was not excellent.
(another travel agent, from the same company, did get us on a later flight)
I was SO proud of myself. My packing list for Europe was just 18 items long. Including the outfit I would wear on the plane.
What a hopeless, optimistic fool I was. The weather, my acquisitive nature, and a few foolish choices conspired against me and I returned with many many many more items than I left with.
But, for what it is worth, here is that base list.
3x strappy tops – white, black, and grey
3x shoes – boots, stud flats, and leather chucks
2x jeans – blue and black.
2x sweaters – chartreuse cardigan & fox sweater
2x tees – black lace & Kate Sylvester swan
2x jackets – leather and cropped blazer
1x blue belt
1x little black dress
1x sheer black maxi skirt
1x knee length black skirt
I should have taken one fewer strappy top and one more t-shirt.
I should have taken a lightweight ¾-long-sleeved shirt.
I should have left my boots at home, they were not comfortable enough.
I should have taken a less sheer maxi skirt and ditched the knee length skirt.
I should not have taken that belt.
I should have taken one other warm jumper
I should have taken a pashmina. And I would have. Except I didn’t own one.
I should NOT have taken that DAMN belt. I did not wear it once. HATE.
In general though, I’ll stick by my list. For a trip shorter than a month but longer than two weeks? Definitely. Over packing drives me crazy.
In London with the fashion and the style and the wedding to attend I ended up adding four dresses and another pair of flats to my suitcase. I also added three shirts and a knee-length pencil skirt. Oh and another light-weight jacket. And a super cute mint-green-and-skull-print
In Edinburgh with the freezing cold, and the style, I added a cashmere sweater and another t-shirt.
In Prague with the oppressive heat I added a pair of shorts and two lightweight long-sleeved shirts. Oh and another t-shirt. I also bought a pashmina.
So, coming home my item count was 34. I was surprisingly disappointed with myself*.
A lot of what I purchased I didn’t wear overseas. Or if I did wear it, I could have very easily worn something I had brought from New Zealand instead. That’s not to say I regret the purchases. Well, maybe one of the t-shirts. I’m getting off topic.
My point is that out of the clothes I purchased in Europe, only a few of them were necessities. If you go through my list of mistakes they are all there – the sweater and pashmina because it was colder than I expected; the lightweight shirts because it was warmer than I had expected. The shorts because PRAGUE WAS FUCKING WITH ME.
I wore those damn shorts for a sum total of 6 hours.
Also if I had remembered how terrible I am when last-minute shopping for specific events I would have taken a dress to wear to the wedding. But I didn’t. So instead of taking one cute dress I bought FOUR. Two were options for the wedding and two were supercute dresses I found but that wouldn’t work at the wedding.
However! This does mean I have many many cute dresses now. Which I am pleased about. And which is why I am not allowed to shop for the rest of the year.
I should have made sure I had outfits that covered me knees to elbows for both hot and cold weather. It was a little awkward. Basically, unless you are sure of your itinerary for the day, dress so you could walk into a church just fine.
But don’t sacrifice everything. Looking cute is important to me. So I tried to look cute. But I was practical about it. Cute flats or cute sneakers, I didn’t take heels**. If you are tourist-ing then just don’t wear them. Especially around cobblestones. I saw too too much of that. They always looked ridiculous and uncomfortable.
* which was, frankly, ridiculous. My bag was not over the weight limit, it was not straining at the seams, and, most importantly, I could lug it both up and down stairs if I needed to. Admittedly I DIDN’T a lot of the time, but that’s because I have a very large very strong husband who could carry both his and my bag up stairs. But the rest of the time I insisted on carrying my own.
** I did buy a pair of Underground heeled creepers. They are amazing. Now I want regular creepers.
canal approach to the Falkirk wheel, Scotland
I find it devastatingly difficult to comprehend that at this time one week ago I was sitting at work, ever-so jet lagged. Or that two weeks ago I was walking miles and around Florence, having taken a wrong turn on our way back into the city.
It is the worst of cliches but I can’t help it. Time is flying. It’s already June which means we are halfway to 2013.
I get the feeling 2013 will be a big year. I can feel it in my bones.
(all this is to say that: photos are wily things and getting them all in a line is taking all of the time. ALL of the time)