My favourite places: Papersmiths

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Lets go on an adventure together, back to the cobbled streets and beautiful buildings in Bristols Clifton Village. I would like very much to spend the rest of my days here. Its so lovely and especially on a fresh, sunny cold day its the very nicest place to be. Popping into the small little independent shops, walking around the squares and tall town houses and spying beautiful doors. Lots of lovely cafes serving very good flat whites. Just off one of the main roads, tucked away on a corner near a lovely veg shop and other sweet shops leading up to it you can find a stationary addicts ultimate dream. Papersmiths. They have the best most extensive collection of stationary that I have ever ever seen. Perfect HAY scissors, notebooks, lovely cushions, funny sweet cards, posters and prints, the best magazines, pens and pencils (<3) lovely sweet cards and much much more. Everything is displayed so perfectly, all lined up and I do love how the pricing is displayed. On a day like the day I visited everything was bathed in a beautiful winter sunlight. Everything is white and wood, the floors are just so beautiful. Its worth a trip for the interiors alone (succulent wall!). Staff are super friendly and I love how you can just browse without being bothered. I would love to see my work in there someday, one can dream!

My week in photos- 5

What a week! This little project/series/diary has really made me realise that even if the majority of the time is a bit (a lot) shit the best bits and things are about stopping and appreciating the small little tiny details and capturing them, holding onto ones breath just to breathe it in and saviour it all. Time goes so so fast and in a blur and its easy to get stuck in it all and just trudge along. So this week, lets start with the not so good:

  • Monday starts with stressed trips to the hospital (typical Sarie style I wrote down the wrong time). Also scary MRI results (bleed in my spinal cord and having lesions on it). Also bad bad back pain and a buggered knee that just won’t give up. Finding out that the strong medication is not doing the trick and walking into my consultants office to find 6 dr’s al wanting to study you because you are such a weird rarity. Scary stuff.
  • Scary test results resulting in yet more tests and uncertainty. I now have to visit a neurologist as have CNS involvement to add to my list of ever-growing symptoms. More MRI and more medication. More doctors and more diagnosis’ and more puzzle solving. I have had enough of this.
  • Bed has been a place I have been for 80% of this week (these pictures and weekly posts are quite deceiving!). My body has felt like sludgy led iron and the tiredness (plus pain, mouth ulcers, burning face and flu-like symptoms). These do not make for great pictures though.
  • Behind on my drawing project and being so uptight about trying to produce the impossible and not letting my self off the hook. I am too ambitious and then end up being late and not doing anything at all.
  • Bad moods and black clouds. I get angry, ashamed and feel so trapped and stuck with this all. I also have the imposter syndrome and constantly feel like I don’t deserve stuff or that I am not good enough.
  • Feeling isolated with my illustration stuff and work and like the above point illustrates. I JUST DON’T FEEL GOOD ENOUGH. Also working on it alone with NO feedback is hard. I just don’t know if what I am doing is achieving anything or if it is any good. I am finding it really hard to judge my own work and have lost all confidence in my self (thanks to health and other traumatic stressful situations which I will write about in the future when I can ;))
  • News on having to go to a tribunal to be judged by people who don’t know me on whether I am sick or not. This is so stressful and scary. I know I have all the facts behind me. I just want this all to be resolved and to feel better. I don’t want this unknown hanging over me. Its one of my trigger points for anxiety and such a cause of stress and worry.
  • Being that flakey annoying friend who can’t ever keep a date or a promise.

Lets get onto the GOOD things:

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The view from my hospital is pretty spectacular. Also my medical team are amazing and have seen me and are working so hard and are so passionate and amazing really.

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My dearest most -querido- Poblenou. I love this place so much. Its industrial glory (it was once all waste land and old factories).

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Can we just take a moment to look at these great textures, colours and lines? Its spotting little details like these that make me happy.
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This week has been one of spotting great vans. I love old vans. I want one, and often day-dream about travelling around in one and stopping off at the most amazing places. One day!

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Finding really good little places tucked away inside of old warehouses. Pretty foliage and good installations (see bird houses <3).

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Sushi for lunch when I am too tired/ill to cook!

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Going to an event with my partner in crime Borja . He was invited to a Instagram Spain event. Free food(!!). I was umming and ahhing about going (didn’t feel up to it and guilt about doing anything). So glad I went though. We were totally awkward and joked around together in the corner and ate all the free food. It was so nice to get out for a few hours and just be doing something a little different from hospital or lying in bed. The place was amazing. Its places like this that is why I love Poblenou so so much. It’s also good for me to try to do semi normal things, even if it did mean straight to bed after only a few hours out. Had the best time though, thanks Instagram!

IMG_2882 IMG_2883Finally sorting out little prints and all of my illustrations!

IMG_2906 IMG_2909Oh the moon and night-time walks to the beach with my little family. I need these mini adventures to clear my head and feel like me again. The moon oh the moon. How can you not feel better by seeing this big guiding light in the sky?

IMG_2966My outfits are literally just the most comfortable things that I own. I don’t think I have worn proper shoes in so long now and just live in trainers. These are new, a present from the sales.IMG_2977My little family keeping me sane, I am not the nicest to be around when I am so ill and in pain. I am like a grumpy old woman. It’s these two that are always by my side. Thank you both, I would be lost without you. (even if I am a grumpy beast 99% of the time!)

IMG_2994 IMG_3002February has been a month of focusing on little favourite things and birds are top of my list. I do love them, and drawing them too. Swans and magpies. Ideas swirling around in my brain.

IMG_3019IMG_3029RAIN, it has really rained like it only can here in Barcelona. I’ve enjoyed the wet and damp so so much. Pretty pavements and reflections.

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Lastly enjoying how weird people and things are in this city. Very random and strange.

My week in photos 4

This old week most certainly has not been a great one. One of those weeks to write off really. I sometimes write about how difficult it is living with a chronic illness. You feel like the biggest flake in life, that you are constantly letting everyone (including yourself) down by shrugging everything off to while away your time under the duvet. The pain and the fog and tiredness are indescribable and to say “I am tired and in pain” never seem enough to describe what it is actually like. This week has been soups, drawing where I can (its my escape and the only thing that makes me feel productive and like me), trips to the centre to stock up on lush (baths are my saviour!), scary MRI scans and yet more doctors visits. I haven’t picked up my camera all week, because well, I have been in a sore coma state and not really wanted to do anything. A lot of the time I don’t really want to make much of a fuss about being ill, and it doesn’t really notice on the outside (apart from the hobbling and mong like state). I like to keep it that way, I don’t want to feel stigmatised by it all, although I am on the inside. Good things, however, have been meeting with my lovely Silje, walks around the park listening to a multitude of podcasts (Serial, Womens hour, This american life) and Netflix (Luther again!). Its also been drawing and dreaming up future plans and goals for when I am better (If I am better). The cold and the grey have finally arrived here and its been nice to go out all bundled up. I decided to make Friday my getting up and going out day as I had to go into the centre to collect my MRI results and also had other medical like errands to run (doctors and the like).

I wanted to do the day in the life photo diary by taking a photo hourly but some of the time was stuck in a doctors waiting room or trying to rest and ignore being in such pain so here are some “glimpses” of my day.

8.30 am Woken up with a cup of tea in bed. Is there anything better than this? NO!

8am

9.30 am (Yes it takes me a full hour to warm up my body and to be able to move in the morning). Finally up and out and a quick circuit of the local park to take the pup out. It is both a blessing and a curse having a dog when you feel like this. Its amazing because it forces you to get outside and in the fresh air and a tiny bit of soft exercise. But on the other hand its so hard to move and walk when you are in pain (I would liken it to knives stabbing your joints and being so wooden and stiff that each step is like running a marathon). Its good to get out though and notice the world around you and enjoy the fact it has rained after a 90 day drought in Barcelona.

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10am- Time for breakfast (Marmite on toast and a cup of coffee)

1030am

11am- Some planning and yet another cup of coffee (did I mention I am TIRED  have chronic fatigue).

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12pm-

Time to do my daily drawing. Todays love/inspiration comes from right outside my window

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13:00pm House chores and general pottering about at home. I liked the way my clean washing looked together. Good textures and colours. A little sit down with my pup.930am 1005am 1130AM

14:00pm Time to get showered and dressed. A mammoth task in itsself. Always makes me feel better though.

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2:30 And I am ready to go! See you can’t really tell there is anything wrong and I look “normal” or “you don’t look sick/ pero tienes buena cara).

14pm

15:00- 16:30 Not pictured as I had to go to the doctors and also had lunch at my inlaws (Soup and croquetas!)

16:45- In the centre and ready to pick up my results

17pm 12AM

17:20- Time to meet with my lovely Silje for an early tea and chats. We went to Flax & Kale. It was my first time there. Alright, not totally amazing and a bit hyped up. My “english muffin” was quite dry and the service was a bit too “I am too cool and hipster to serve”, also it was quite pricey and slow for what it was and would’ve enjoyed a bigger menu choice. It was pleasant enough though and the place was super pretty. But a bit style over substance IMO.

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18:30- We decided after the “healthy” snack we would need to indulge. My lovely twin Camille once told me about this good Doughnut place called “Donuteria”. And it really did the trick. It was quite a walk/hobble there (what with my bad joints and Silje being nearly ready to pop)..

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19:15 We arrived and it more than lived up to the recommendation!

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Long chats and having someone to listen to my silly rambles is such a good medicine for me and I am so grateful that I have a few friends/sisters that I can do this with. And off back home on the metro and changed back into my pj’s and back in bed I went. Content and happy I was able to have one day of feeling like Sarie.

Sorry  not sorry if this was a bit too honest and moany. I want these weeks to be a honest memory of my time.

My week in photos- 3

 

My week has been a very quiet one, scans, doctors appointments, a lovely lunch date, more doctors and a lot of time spent at home. Unfortunately there have been two poorly ones at home. Borja has badly sprained his ankle and is having to rest it which has resulted in long solo walks with doggy listening to a lot of podcasts (serial and womens’ hour mainly- hooray for them both!). I am not sure where the time goes and how it runs away so fast. I have kept myself very busy with drawing and watching Luther (!)pancakeTuesday was pancake day, and I gorged myself silly on them. Lemon and sugar being my Faves! Love pancake day, its one of my favourite childhood memories and foods. It was always so exciting knowing that after school on a random Tuesday in February there would be a pancake feast. Its days and traditions like this that I make sure to celebrate as they make me feel a little less homesick and lost.

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Lots of time staring at this wall and all of my things. I definitely own too much and need a BIG spring clean. I seem to collect Marmite jars. They come in handy to store pens and other such things and I love the way they look. This mini one is used for paint water.

 

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Much appreciated and needed lunch dates with the lovely Silje and her mummy. Amazing burgers and ice-cream for dessert and naughty trips to sephora. I love this gal very much, she is a wise good one. Can’t wait to meet her little bebe!

ribbon ribbon2 buildingbarcelona pgdegraciafeetSome Barcelona goodness here, A ribbon shop! A shop dedicated to selling ribbons only. Its so typical to find a shop like this here, so compartmentalised! Also yet more beautiful buildings, this city is full of them. There is a lot of ugly to though. Lets just pretend that the ugly doesn’t exist. And finally I will never ever bore of the amazing floor tiles in Passeig de Gracia. Oh and of my amazing (albeit scuffed- thanks mum) disco shoes.

pleasingfruit kitchentable deermirror wallfavouritesYet more time at, you’ve guessed it, home. Pleasing apples, and messy messy kitchen tables. I love paper cutting so much, in my own way though. Deer antlers left over from christmas, but they shall be staying! And my favourite things on a wall (print by my mate g-koko) and my weird hand print (where I can see it as a good reminder!) also a print from my boy.

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This months theme for #sarieshanddrawnyear has been my favourite things. This week has been dedicated to my favourite foods. Not all very healthy but yanno. Soup though, and details of it here. I totally underestimated the amount of work in this daily project, but it keeps me sane and a few hours working away at this makes me feel like I am chipping away at my goal.

busgreybeach beachgrey2 beachgrey coffeediaryThe grey has finally arrived here in Barcelona!! Bus journeys to the hospital (it sits right on the beach!) and beach spying. I love the beach when the weather is miserable. The colours and the angry swirling sea. I have also been planning and trying to get my life together a bit whilst waiting for appointments in the hospital cafeteria. Bring on next week!

My week in photos 2

Hello again,

Another week has gone by, with little to write home about. Mainly have stayed at home, and allowed myself to go on a few walks. Have been hit by the dreaded fatigue and worried a lot about lots of goings on. I can’t believe how quickly this week has passed.

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My week started well, with my favourite bright smoothie (orange, carrot and ginger) to brighten my mood. I then had to go to the doctors and then onto the beach with my little chap. I can’t quite believe we are in february. I was sweating and it was over 20 degree’s!

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Lots of squirrelling away in my little studio and on my kitchen table drawing like a fiend. Its my little escape.

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18Walks and walks. Keeping it fairly local (bad knee and back) and enjoying the bashed up, industrial area that I am currently living it. It looks so scrappy from the outside but you soon appreciate its charms after a while. There are also some great studios dotted around here. Often when out and about in Barcelona you are scurrying around like a little ant and its good and refreshing to sometimes take a look up and appreciate your surroundings and interesting things you may well miss. Such as good patterns, colours and tree skeletons.

19 20 21 22 23 31A trip to the centre and trying to remember to keep in mind the phrase “don’t forget to look up”. Such beautiful buildings all around. And funny interesting things like a little weird tree shed thing attached to the building. The mind boggles.

26 2832Criss crossing through the streets that are El Borne. Its like a maze here!

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Finding sweet little shops/workshops along the way.

37 27Quick! Take my picture (queue awkward posing- eyes closed and all!)

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Visiting art and craft fairs and spying secret ally way’s.

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And a trip to the market.

That was my week. Tired, not very busy but grateful to get out of the flat a bit and explore for a few hours. More of the same next week!

My week in photos 1

Hello,

long time no see and all that. I have had another unplanned break from this here blog. I have been keeping quite busy though over on my instagram feed. I thought that I would do a little post each week to record my week through the photos I take either with my camera or my phone. I love keeping and recording memories and reminding my self to look up and appreciate the things around me. This is actually one of my goals and resolutions. I meant to do a big grand blog post about that however never got round to it. So instead I will talk about it all in these weekly posts/updates. I love and equally hate looking back at old blog posts due to the fact they make me cringe but its ever so lovely to have things recorded and to look back on old memories.

This week started by popping to the centre, its been a busy week full of errands and appointments. Which has been great to get out. This week I have felt really low and having a lot of anxiety and just feeling dread, self doubt and being in a bit of a black hole. Walking around these streets sometimes is so very surreal. I just feel like this small tiny unknown island floating around a bit lost and not knowing where I am going. It all feels like its not actually happening and right and that scares me. However, I do get lost in its beauty, even if I am feeling like its not “my place” I can still enjoy it. This is one of my favourite bustling areas of Barcelona to visit. Its so pretty and old and I like that. Good bars too!
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Mi querido Poblenou. I do love this little village within the city. Its where I live and where I feel most at home. Walks to and from doctors appointments have been a breath of fresh air and a good reminder of how much I do love this place.

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I also had to pop up to Gracia, for an errand, I always forget how much I love it there and think to myself I should visit more often.

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The centre of Barcelona always has its beautiful, charming hidden bits. I like to seek these out.

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The rest of my week has been stuck inside my flat (no so photogenic) and drawing like a mad woman. Its what keeps me sane. Might even show some more off in next weeks photos.

A year ago

I can’t quite believe that a whole year has passed. How much can change in a year. Three hundred and sixty five days of total utter difference and flux. 2015 you have been one hell of a year. A lost forgotten year that has twisted, tried and tested me in the most difficult ways. Mainly, as we all know by now, health has been particularly poor and have been to hospital more times than I care to count, started new treatment and spent the majority of it in bed unable to move. On these bed days my mind has drifted to better times. Last christmas was spent at “Home” in England. It was wonderful, albeit a bit intense as ever (not being able to be in one place and having to drive the long way and out yourself on relatives gets a bit er tricky at times). I miss these times and I am feeling so nostalgic at the moment for these times. My head and heart totally split about what I want and dream about and what is the right sensible safe thing to do. 2015 you have seen great sadness, worry, pain but you have also seen magic, new life being grown and born and radical change. I have a feeling in my bones that 2016 will bring yet more lifechanging change, scary and thrilling as that is.

For now lets look back on rosier times, little fun innocent days like these are what I hold onto.

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A day at the beach in the midst of winter is my very favourite place and thing to do. The day we decided to visit Western Super Mare was the most perfect winters day. Sunshine and blue skies but bitingly cold. This place is full of old seaside charm. Old regency buildings and piers still preserved perfectly sit against the gaudy arcades and the amazing old fashioned cafes still offering chip suppers with a cup of tea. Unfortunately we couldn’t go inside one of these cafe’s as we were accompanied by Señor Came dog. Spying through the windows and marvelling how unchanged these places were had to do. Next time though. We walked the stretch of the beach, wind whipping through our hair and clothes, cold fingers and rosy cheeks. Running around after Came and walking and just standing in awe of the most beautiful light that bathed everything. One of those special days where it is magic hour constantly. I love walking along the beach in the winter, I am in no way a beach person in the summer. But as soon as it gets cold and the sea a little wild my heart sings and I enjoy nothing more than wondering and walking and just being outside and in the crisp fresh air wrapped up in a million layers. I love seeing Came run and Theo (my little nephew) play together and get huge sticks and throw them as far as they can be thrown. I love walking through the weird, unchanged (for good and bad) town admiring the dazzling lights of the arcades and the old cafes. Stopping in one to sit outside and drown fish and chips in loads of vinegar. I love imaging how these weird seaside towns were in their hay day. I love spying the weird tack that only seaside shops sell. Most of all I love enjoying these kinds of days as a family. With my sister and her family and with my own little family of 3 (The boys and me!). So heres a hoping on more magical days like these that I can store in my family album and remember fondly. Better days are a coming!