Eid Mubarak…! Eid-al-Adha 2017/1438

Wishing you all a wonderful Eid and a fun-filled, food-filled and beautiful weekend. How beautiful are these Eid decorations made by my sister? Loved the green and blue theme!

Love, Harlequin Tea Set
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The Beautiful Colours of Santorini

One of the things my husband and I loved when we went to Santorini was how lovely the island is in terms of the scenery – the sea looks amazing, there’s beautiful flowers like bougainvillea everywhere, and there’s plenty of white-washed architecture everywhere. However, I’ve noticed that most people assume that Santorini is just blue and white buildings with a beautiful sea – and that’s it. To be fair, if you Google the island, that’s all you’ll find – that iconic blue-and-white spot which is actually the island’s capital city overlooking a rich blue sea.

Unfortunately, this is just a tiny side of the island – literally. A lot of tourists and honeymooners come to Santorini for the blue and white scene, as well as the famous sunset part in Oia, which is a popular (but very expensive!) part of the island. While the area does look as beautiful as it does in the the pictures, it’s easy to be fooled by the images. My husband and I signed up for the sunset tour on one of the days that we were on the island, and could not believe how busy it gets – there’s literally about a thousand people all packed against the walls to see the sunset. It’s a lovely vibe, but very crowded, so not exactly romantic! Similarly the blue and white part of the city is a very popular place for people to pose, but the pictures are worth it, if you don’t mind queuing for the spot.

I thought I’d show the other side of Santorini, which is grassy, hilly and mountainous, and surrounded by beautiful flowers and blue water. Below are pictures I took from our holiday – if you notice, there’s not a single blue-and-white picture presents!

View From My Window: Blue Skies and Concrete Jungles

We’ve been enjoying some late summer weather recently (although we haven’t been enjoying the humidity!), so I thought I’d post the view from my office window. There’s plenty of buses, trains and pedestrians below (there’s a train station and a bus station nearby) but I thought I’d crop out the hustle and bustle and focus on the serene, beautiful blue clouds : )

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Channelling Audrey from Tiffanys

I love the idea of flat lay photography (laying out items flat on a surface so that they look stylish from a birds eye point of view) and I’m always looking for new styles and ideas to play around with. I loved these movie-inspired flat-lays by poster artist Jordan Bolton, and thought I’d try my hand at my own version. I don’t have quite as many things as the posters but I loved the result!

It’s made me want to do a few more (think Bollywood, for example! ) – I’ll be sure to post the results when I do!

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Transition

I know, I know, I’ve disappeared a little from blogging, but I’m still around, fear  not! I’ve been immersing myself in classic films and long books to enjoy a little time to myself and it’s nice not to have a little nagging pressure of worrying about cooking, tidying, working or tip-tapping away on my keyboard (until the weekend’s over and it’s back to work!)

Today’s weekly photo challenge is ‘transition’ – be it the general phasing of one thing to another, or a general progression as you learn more to go higher. It made me think of two things, firstly, the beautiful blues and greens of the clear waters in Greece when my husband and I visited in the summer, secondly, about my own journey with writing and the idea of ‘going with the flow’.

I won’t bore you with a philosophical rant (and it probably wouldn’t make sense!) but I’m loving the idea of writing and seeing where I go with it, as well as travelling to new places and seeing where we end up. I’m sure this will always remain an ongoing thing with me, and something to always explore, but it’s also something to interpret and re-interpret – progression, transition and the journey it takes us on.

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Beneath My Feet…

I love boats and I love travelling on water, although it’s not something I get to do much. When my husband and I went to Greece a couple of months ago, we took a cruise around some of the nearby islands and were awed by the beautiful blue of the waters, the cool  breeze and the feel of the sea waves under our feet.

These days, we’ll have to settle for the ferry across the River Thames for some water under our feet, but here’s to hoping for another exotic boat ride soon!

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That Moment When…

…you’re at a wedding and you still managed to get distracted by nearby gardens and take a quick snap. My sisters and I went to a family wedding this weekend, and inevitably the self-described photographers (me and she of everyphototunity) escaped for a few minutes to do shaadi-dot-com poses (me) and look for flowers (her).

Here’s one I took of her while she wasn’t looking – she was all decked out in a gorgeous outfit, crouched under a flower bush to get the right angle!

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Journal Your Ramadan – Day #14: N is for Night

Night-time is becomes a busy time in our household – as the sun sets the kitchen bustles with ovens warming up food, glasses clinking and plates being set out with food; and the lights slowly pop on all over the house as the blanket of night creeps over. (And occasionally I’ll creep out into the garden and whisper ‘I AM THE NIGHT’ as well before the husband shakes his head and drags me back in again.)

I took these photos today to show the view outside my window, it’s difficult to take pictures at night because they seem a little blurry but also surprisingly, the pictures came out a bright blue compared to the dark outside.

So here’s a peek of the clear sky, I tried to looking for the moon but didn’t have much luck, but I’ll keep trying – until then, it’s evening time so back to stuffing my face!

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Journal Your Ramadan – Day #12: L is for London

Summer-time is a great time to wander around London, seeing all the tourist attractions fully abuzz, enjoying a scorching day with lots of events happening and plent to see. Occasionally I’ll take my camera and wander around to see where I end up – this one’s from a few days ago where I thought this was an interesting angle – the Big Ben positioned inside the Millennium Eye.

I did take a few more pictures around the main roads, but I liked this one the most, although I wish the colours came out less blurred!

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Harlequin Travels in Santorini – DAY 7 & 8: Final Tours & Departure

Santorini Day 7 & 8: Final Tours & Departure

I won’t bombard you with too many photographs in this post; the last two days in Santorini were quiet for us and we spent the last couple of days relaxing and wandering around. Because we’d already visited most of the sites on the island, we weren’t in a hurry to visit everything the way we had been before, and we picked and chose the places we wanted to go. It would have been amazing to go on another cruise to further out islands, or do a day trip to Athens, but this would have taken hours by boat, and we wanted to be able to take our time. We’ve decided to take a separate trip to Athens on another date, so more planning in the future!

We spent a lazy morning at the local beach after breakfast, sitting in the sun, looking at the sea and the quirky things around town (we wanted to try a hammock but it looked unsteady so we didn’t!)

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We went to a really interesting local restaurant called Gecko for lunch – we’d been here for dinner a few times and loved the impeccable service and cheap food. This was a newly-opened restaurant, and the chef was willing to tweak anything we wanted to menu – with some amazing egg sandwiches, clubs and veggie burgers, as well as their signature piece called Tornado Potato (a twisty piece of potato skewed all along a stick , very nice and crispy!)

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After wandering around for a while and looking at the signs, we took a bus from Perissa to walk around Fira one last time and see what we could buy.

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We also spent rest of the day souvenir shopping – there were some local shops with a lot of beautiful hand-crafted goods, such as these different glass and clay beads which I thought were beautiful. We also got the standard fridge magnets, bookmarks and touristy stuff as well, and had a look at some t-shirts (which we didn’t end up getting because they were surprisingly expensive!)

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After one last peek over the edge of the cliffs towards the beautiful sea, we headed back to the hotel to get our things ready for the flight the next morning.

The drive to the airport was strangely surreal, after seeing all the blue seas, sandy beaches and beautiful buildings, we drove for a while through green fields, hilly mountains and past mis-matched buildings and shops.

The airport itself is tiny – we’re used to the buzz of London airports and this one was pretty small, with a small cafe to wait in, a tiny duty free corner and a long queue to get to the place. The surroundings of the airport is quite sparse, but there are a few ruins around the area (including a fake building which is on the edge of the runway below, which is bigger than it looks and gives a taste of what is waiting in Santorini!)

It was really relaxing holiday for us, and lots to see – we got back to London pretty quickly (back to drizzly weather!) with a beautiful view of the countries below from the airplane window, and plenty of good memories. : )

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