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!

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City Sunsets in Canary Wharf

I’ve been a busy bunny these days, so it feels like I hardly get time to blog. It’s frustrating as heck because I have a few blog posts to write and a few book/food/cupcake/city reviews to write and I keep getting caught up with domesticity!

I’ll do my best to post this weekend, but in the meantime, here’s a beautiful sunset hubby and I caught last week while dining in Canary Wharf. I feel like I don’t see enough of these (either the day is too long or the sky is too grey!), so this was a special one for me – first sunset picture in ages!

Happy weekendings all, I’ll be posting soon!

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Ramadan Mubarak…!

I’m a bit late in posting this (only a couple of days late!) but I’d like to wish everyone a blessed month of Ramadan, full of good deeds, delicious food and a memorable month of fasting, prayers and charity.

I debated whether I should take part in the yearly Ramadan Journal challenge held by the wonderful Neelu who initially started a lot of bloggers doing this. I’ve taken part in previous years, but decided not to this year to focus on ibadah (prayer) and spending more time at home to make the most of the month rather than stressing about posting every day. As much as I always enjoy the challenge, I’ll be taking a break this year, although I will be continuing to post where I can!
However my elder sister will be taking part in the challenge so please do follow her progress!

In the meantime, here’s an idea of the beautiful sunsets we’ve been seeing lately. the sunshine has finally hit London and it’s made our skies all pastelly pink and blue. I’m off to break my fast soon, which we’ve been busying ourselves in the kitchen with, so enjoy the lovely summer that’s finally reached us and I’ll be posting again soon! : )

Ramadan Mubarak and may all of your duas be granted x

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A Grand Entrance

Its not often I get a chance to stop at beautiful gates like this, but naturally when they come on a beautifully grand scale like this, a picture must be taken. It brings me to mind stories that I’ve read in the past where the hero (or heroine) has to reach the gates fast enough to get their happy ending – or even Greek Tragedies like Orpheus and Eurydice‘s tale of lost love. Inspiring enough to try my own hand at a fable like this, if I manage to finish it, I’ll post my story!

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Journal Your Ramadan – Day #19: S is for Sunset/Sunrise

I’ve been spending the last week trying to capture either the sunrise in the morning, or the sunset just before iftari times, and failing miserable. I keep missing sunrise because I’m usually asleep by then, and in the evenings I’m rushing around to get food ready (so I always see it *about* to set, but then look up again a while later to see the night sky).

So for today’s post, here’s a sunset I captured a while ago, and which I loved the colours of – which are similar to the pinks and purples I’ve been seeing recently.

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Cable Cars over River Thames

This weekend we took some of my nieces and nephews out to ride on the Emirates Air Line, which have cable cars flying across the River Thames from Greenwich to the Royal Docks. We got there at the perfect time, the sun set while we were in the cable car, and by the time we got to the other side, it was already dark.

The kids had great fun in the car (my toddler niece was fascinated by the view and was the quietest I’ve ever seen her!), and we took plenty of pictures and selfies from our height. It was pretty amazing seeing the o2 Dome, the River Thames and all the boats, and also the bright lights and motorways around which added to the view.

If you’re ever around this area I’d recommend a visit, it’s cheap and doesn’t take long, and it’s a great way to travel across the river!

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Walking Around, On the Move

I love the weather in May, it’s warm and balmy, slightly breezy and there’s plenty of daylight so that the sun sets late, making evenings the best time to walk around. There’s a beautiful calm which makes for a really eye-opening experience, particularly when walking around streets, past  hidden away stores and small parks which are separate from the rushing public and busy traffic.

This picture below was taken in the Embankment area, next to the River Thames, which was next to some empty offices (after all the usual inhabitants had gone home and only a few lights were on), and some quiet cafes, away from the main train stations and hubbub of the streets. There’s something soothing about the stillness of this picture, but there’s also plenty going on, the tumbling clouds moving along, the lamps just minutes away from being switched on, the small boats jostling in the corner, and most of all, the feeling that something is about to erupt onto the scene (most likely me with my camera).

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A little post for a little sunset

I haven’t been posting for a few days, because I’ve been very, very busy lately with some personal things (which I’ll post about soon!) I’ve also felt like I’ve been in a bit of a rut, blogging-wise because I’ve been looking for new things to blog about, rather than the same old things that I feel have been repeated before. I’ve had plenty of ideas, articles, stories and silly jokes that I’ve wanted to post, but I’ve never managed to post a lot of these because I haven’t finished some of these stories, or because I’ve lost the momentum for some of these articles.

Lately, I’ve been wanting to go back to my first love, writing stories of different types, whether they’re fairy tales and folk stories, or if they’re serious stories, or even whether I write weird horror shorts. I haven’t gotten very far with this, as I’ve always managed to start then started to slow down and question my writing and my ideas. I still have a few ideas, and don’t worry, I’m not ready to give up yet! But I think that having read so many amazing (and terrible!) books and the fact that I’m always reading has made me more hesitant to put my own proverbial pen to paper (to fingers to keyboard).

Once of my close friends who reads my blog (she’s a secret lurker!) commented a few days ago that she still loves my blog, but that it’s always full of pictures. I love photography, and I forget that not everyone wants to see pictures all the time – it’s certainly true that a thought-provoking article, blog post or story will certainly stay with me just as a long as a good picture can. If anything, I feel that with the rise of social media and image-sharing, photography has become slightly over-rated, and some people may appreciate it’s beauty less. This has led me to think that I’ want to post more about what I love, and what I’ve been thinking, even if it’s silliness. I’ve always found writing therapeutic, although it’s not always easy to write about the more personal side of life.

So if I disappear for a few days here and there, just assume that I’m re-charging my brain’s engines so that I can post something more interesting, or that I’m taking another baby step towards that epic-saga I’ve always wanted to write!

In the meantime, here’s a picture of a sunset that caught my eye a while ago, that reminded me slightly of some murder-mysteries I’ve been reading – particularly the parts about lonely, winding roads and late evenings full of hazy memories. Or something like that. Sometimes street life isn’t always what you see every day, but it’s nice to catch those little moments when no-one’s looking : )

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Reflected Buildings

So I was walking across a bridge near my workplace while the sun was setting, and thought I’d take a quick snap of the way the buildings on one side of the bridge was reflected on the glass panes of the bridge. I like the end effect of this photograph, the buildings and colours were reflected so that it looked like some weird alternate reality colliding with another one (although I would have preferred a space-ship or two as well in the background!)

So although this is an everyday image that I walk past nearly every day, here’s a different twist on it. May you ever look at your world-view in a different way each time you look at it (and happy Monday!)

20131028_163109Also part of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections