Architecture & Monochrome

Completely off topic, did you know there are a billion quick tutorials on YouTube to help edit your WP dashboard to make it more personal & user-friendly? Amazing!

And now for another shot of Harpa Concert Hall, possibly my second-favourite building after anything Gaudi-designed.

Harpa, Reykjavik, Iceland

I didn’t notice the reflection of the windows behind me on the glass in front of me. Eagle-eyed daughter to the rescue! I tweaked the contrast to hide the cables holding the birds.

I’m stretching the topic and calling the next shot Natural Architecture….mmmmmph!


My dancing trees, now in B&W

All this B&W photography is making me feel very arty-farty indeed! Heaven help us if I ever get a real camera.

Pops of Colour

Red Shoes


I had a pretty bad setback on Saturday night (Sunday morning?) with a traumatic memory, but I got a handle on it yesterday afternoon and it fuelled my piece for Stigma Fighters last night. I will not share it here as it could be a graphic trigger for someone else, but writing it out eviscerated its power over me. Writing my bio for the piece led me to wonder if what I ‘know’ about my personality, such as the traits I think of as defining, or fixed, are really not, but just reactions and defence mechanisms from embedded memories and traumas?

Thinking about it today hasn’t triggered the same flood of tears, but I’m still feeling hollow. From experience, this will pass in a day or two. I’m celebrating the small wins & realisations that seem to come at me every day. I’m practising new habits, not sweating the small stuff, and generally trying to focus on the good. Eating macarons helps, too!

Raspberry Macaron

Searching for the mystery light

Song for today: Ace of Base – The Sign 

There was no plan to complete a photo assignment this weekend – I have four hours on Saturdays to hang out in indie cafes, to drink proper flat whites, to catch up with husband, and then read, research and plan for the week ahead. There was no time to chase the sun. However, when this photo opportunity came up while running errands, I couldn’t resist.


Giant Easter egg or alien spaceship? Used my front-facing camera on the smartphone for this one.

Westfield 2

Stardust? Lightstorm? Used my rear camera for this one, without changing position.

The lights are inside a large shopping mall – the first photo is of the OTT chandelier in the luxury brand section. The second shot is the floor reflecting the same lights.

Mystery & Light

Sarah McLachlan’s song, Building a Mystery, has been playing in my head all day. I forgot how much I ❤ her, so I am glad that this assignment triggered that memory. It’s nice to have a positive trigger, for a change. I’ve been working through some incredibly negative triggers recently, so it’s good to have a happy memory brought to the surface.


Ribbons of pasta? Ruffled fondant icing? Tear in space?


Oh, sun, how I love you, but why you so cruel?

Light 3

Floating wall?

Warmth & Light

Beetroot juice

The dregs of my beetroot juice, backlit in this morning’s sunshine

Þjóðminjasafnið, Reykjavík, Iceland

Window at Þjóðminjasafnið, Reykjavík, Iceland – it was a very grey day, so I was surprised to see how warm the colours glowed! It’s true what they say about the light in Iceland.

Strawberry laces

Quick snooze on the Embankment, in the first of the spring sunshine. Yes, that’s a strawberry lace hanging out her mouth.

Blogger Love!

I got a very lovely notification from Sarah at Just Another Snowflake to let me know I was nominated for a Liebster Award. If you click the link to her blog, it explains that the award is for new bloggers and the idea is to generate more exposure for them, which is brilliant. However, me being me, I’m going to mix things up a little. I’m going to answer the questions and point you in the direction of the great blogs I’ve discovered recently. If you happen to be one of the bloggers I’ve mentioned, please feel free to carry on with the Liebster award, and post it to your blog, or not.

my questions from Sarah:

What is your ultimate blogging goal? I honestly don’t know. It’s the first time in my life I haven’t had a plan, and things seem to be growing very organically. I’m just letting things flow. 

Where is your most favourite place in the world? This is like Sophie’s choice, but I’d probably have to say Reykjavik.

Who is your hero? My husband. No, my daughter. No, my husband. I can’t decide. Me.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years time? Somewhere warmer? Nah, I’m quite content to be back in London for the time being, and 5 years is just too far down the road.

What is your oldest memory? Climbing scaffolding far higher than I should have climbed, and being at the hospital a few hours before my brother was born.

If you had to choose, would you choose TV or internet? Internet. Internet. Internet.

What makes you happy above all else? My daughter. She is everything good, bottled in human form.

Town or country? Town, 95% of the time. Unless we’re in Scotland or Iceland, then I make exceptions.

Has blogging made you more inspired and confident in yourself or your writing? Absolutely. I used to read comments where people went on about the ‘lovely feedback and great support’, and I’d think, “Are you for realsies?” I have now discovered, to my delight, that it’s all true! I’ve found my voice again, which is very affirming.

What is the one fact that you know which no one else does that always sounds really cool? Uhhhhhhhh……………………………ummmmmmm………..

My recent blog-coveries

Amazing images: Angela Seager Images, A Ma Vie De Coeur Entier, BCL Photo

Refreshing writing: Analysis Paralysis, The Belle Jar, Rachel’s Whims

Laugh & cry about the expat life: thesmult, The Expat Partner’s Survival Guide, Waking the Wombat

The gritty honest rebirth chronicles: Shirley’s Heaven, Imperfection is Sexy, The Pickled Pastor

General Deliciousness: Butter Baking, Le Zoe Musings, Architectural Wanderlust

Big & Point of View

I was temporarily stumped this morning until I trawled through the phone, and found three photos to share for today’s topic. Enjoy!

Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik, Iceland

I had to lie on the floor to get this shot of the inside of the Harpa Concert Hall in Iceland. The handblown glass seagulls were an added bonus!

London, UK

The London Eye or a giant bicycle wheel? It’s fun playing tourist on the wrong side of the river!

South London, UK

The Shard, soon to be joined by Baby & Mini Shards


Tricky topic for me today…

Low: I keep mulling over the fact that my London BFF is moving back to Paris in a few months. She has been my lifeline here, our children are friends and I would just like to say that the expat life sometimes SUCKS big time! There’s going to be a big DISconnect in my life in a few months.

High: I’ve done lots of fun Twittering today, I ❤ Mondays because there are a zillion #MondayBlogs to discover. If you’re on Twitter, say Hello – I’m @petalandmortar 

And here is my photo for today:


Layers of love