London: South Bank and the O2

Hello folks!
This week's adventure also happens to be a musical extravaganza - this time a trip out to the capital city to see the one and only Jason Mraz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, let us begin:
twinkle twinkle little...London eye...
Walking round the big city, drinking in some of the sites before the gig. The trees along South Bank were all strung with twinkly lights - very festive.
hazy book stall - a place that breeds dreams

In the "Winter Wonderland" market, as we nibbled toasted chestnuts and took in the wonderful smells of cinnamon, mulled wine and German sausages, we stumbled across this extensive and magical book stall. I could have honestly spent forever there, which of course was not possible.

majestic; St Paul's

Just before we submerged ourselves into the hectic underground, I turned round to face this magnificent sight and just had to take a quick snap.

The concert itself was absolutely incredible. He even played some of his old stuff for us true fans! His music has this wonderfully chilled quality yet lively and playful; the kind of stuff you just can't but help to smile to. The staging was simple, yet very effective. Then again, when you have a stage presence as large as Mr Mraz, you don't really need any fancy gimmicks to sell tickets; just good tunes, an infectious smile and a lovable personality. I would write more about how totally-super-duper-amazing this was, but words literally cannot describe it. All I will say is I definitely recommend you check out this incredible man's music and if you ever get the opportunity, go and see him!
Oh yeah, and I couldn't leave without showing you my best new purchase of my very own Jason Mraz t-shirt...I know what I'll be wearing next week to college...


Lights, camera, action! [Travel tips]

Right here goes my first attempt at sharing with all you lovely people some of my ultimate tips for travel and adventure!
To start with, I would like to advise you on the joys of taking a video-recorder with you on your travels. Now I don't just mean a multi-functional-digital-fantasmagorical-double-fast-snaptastic-what-za-majic, but a: Real. Actual. Camcorder.
Don't let new-fangled technology cull old traditions! In our family, it was always common practice to make a home-video tour of wherever we visited and some of our exciting excursions: a practice I would like to stick to through-out my exploring years. Below you can see me with our very old - possibly even vintage now!? - family camcorder. We went nowhere without that beloved contraption.
A few holiday snaps stored away on the computer or uploaded to facebook can never ever compete with the sheer bliss associated with rediscovering old holiday videos and reliving cherished memories.

Whats your opinion on camcorders? Any other top-tips for remembering holiday memories? Let me know!


Adventure of the Week - South Hampton, Ben Howard

Well hello there. Firstly, happy belated beginning of advent! November has flown by leaving us with frosty, sparkly December - Christmas here we come!? Whose excited yet? I still can't believe it is coming quite so soon...
Anyway, getting back to the point of today's post; my "adventure of the week". This is to be a weekly post, to ensure regular blogging and to have an excuse to ramble on about the minor excitements in my life as well as larger ones. After all, every explorer needs some form of adventure to get her through each week.
So here we go - adventure of the week #1: My (long awaited) trip to see Ben Howard, Southampton.

hues of gold

Waiting in anticipation!!!

For this wonderful outing I was accompanied by mon pere as we set off to Southampton Guild Hall. On arrival (after a little difficulty in entering the car park) we fell out of the van and straight into a que - and a rather lengthy one at that. Despite being at the tail end of those entering, we still managed to wheedle our way into the front third of the crowd.
The support act was the stupendous Willy Mason. Admittedly I had not heard of him before entering the building however I shall definitely be investing in a song or two of his beautiful bluesy riffs and husky voice. This one is called 'we can be stong' and is one of my current favourites. To the left are a few snaps I managed to grab frantically waving the camera above my head (it's not easy being a short girl in a seemingly extraordinarily tall crowd).

Here you can see you're very own "small girl" in comparison to some of the loftier members of this audience. A lot of tip-toeing and jumping was done on this fine evening it must be said. It was however, most definitely worth it as Devonshire Ben delivered a cracking performance displaying incredible skill, especially for someone so new to the music scene - he has just one album!

Around the stage hung individual spot lights, framing Ben like little stars.
One of my favourite songs of the evening was Black Flies, the dynamics were just incredible. Ben has this awesome ability not only to project his music, but to fill every inch of the room with it. I love live music and it's safe to say from a skills level, Ben Howard is definitely one of the best performers I have seen along with his brilliant band (I particularly like the crazy female bassist). Even the lighting and graphics were superb, with images of waves and Devonshire roads projected onto a large moon-like shape hung at the back of the shape as the lights switched between shades of blue, amber and gold.

To conclude, I have placed my favourite photo of the evening above. You can't see the band very clearly, but you can see a little of the effect of the lighting as Ben broke into one of his heavier instrumental sections. Overall, the evening was a delicious blend of delicate acoustic guitar, all the way to full blown prog-rock explosions. A unique and incredible style of music and definitely an artist I would love to see again.