Things I love this week

There is nothing connecting the things mentioned in this post, other than they appeared in my life this week and I want to marry them all.

The Danish String Quartet
A slightly out of left field musical obsession for me, the Danish String Quartet are three Danes and a Norwegian, “your friendly neighborhood string quartet with above average amounts of beard”.  Their Wood Works album has been on constant rotation for me for the past few days.  One review says “Every now and then a disc creeps into your ears and stages a peaceful protest, politely but determinedly refusing to leave” – the reviewer couldn’t be more accurate.
Danish String QuartetThe first song I heard of theirs was Waltz after Lasse in Lyby (thanks, Google Sound Search!), however the song that has made me regret all of my musical choices for my wedding is the Sønderho Bridal Trilogy – part II, a Danish folk song which makes my soul soar.

It has also led to the discovery of a wonderful Danish word – hipsterhår

Pretty Scandi boys playing stringed instruments – is there anything better?  (So pretty – I have a giant crush on Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen).  Why wasn’t I born Danish?  Speaking of which…

The Year of Living Danishly
This book is making me miss Copenhagen like nothing else, even though it’s set in Jutland.  It’s also making me desperately wish we’d had the chance to live there.  Working for Lego, of course.  One day.

Ridiculous clutch bags
I bought my first Kate Spade bag.  I imagine I’ll only use it once in my life and never again, but I don’t care – it’s red, glittery, and has HORNS.

Kate Spade clutch bag

Kate Spade Place Your Bets Ravi

Naturally, Husband hates it.

My new tattoo
My fourth tattoo (fifth time being tattooed) was done at the Black Rabbit Tattoo Collective in Newbury.  I had an idea to get a tattoo of the deer I met last year at Fleet Pond, and fell in love with Jessi James’ geometric designs soon after.  Jessi designed such a beautiful piece for me!

Jessi James Tattoo

I love the pattern work in combination with the watercolour style – it’s more perfect than I thought it could be.  Deer have been a repeating theme in my life.  They’re are the symbol for my home town and my current town, and the ‘mascot’ for my Uni workplace.  They were always part of our family stories when I was a kid, as my Dad worked in a forest (basically) surrounded by deer.  He, my brother, and I would see them wandering around site, but my poor Mum always missed them.  She thought we were making it up to annoy her.  Essentially, I love deer, so I slapped one on my leg.

Apologies to Tim for yet another picture of my pale legs.

The only reason why we ask other people how their weekend was is so we can tell them about our own weekend.

Fleet Pond landingWhat did you get up to this weekend?  Oh really, that sounds like fun.  Me?  Well I had a very unusual weekend which started off with a trip to a tattoo salon.

Sadly, Husband has not (yet) allowed me to have my fourth tattoo, but I was accompanying my mother as she lost her tattoo virginity.  My mother.  Despite giving teenage-me stern looks when I got my first, she now has some ink of her very own.

Mum tattooShe wanted to go to my tattooist but sadly Jessie has a 5 month waiting list, so instead got a recommendation from a work colleague.  When my Mum wants something, she wants it NOW.  The guy she went to was lovely and really reassuring, and gave her some good advice on placement and size.  It only took about 20 minutes as she only has a little one but it does amuse me to say my 50-something mother has just got her first tattoo.  I will now lecture her endlessly on how to take care of it (SPF, WOMAN!)

After this, we wandered out into the beautiful sunshine, stumbled across some guerrilla knitting/yarn bombing in Bagshot, and then did a bit of M&S shopping.

Guerilla knitting

On Sunday, Husband and I did a couple of laps around Fleet Pond to take advantage of the glorious weather.

Fleet Pond woods

I don’t visit Fleet Pond enough considering it’s pretty much right on my doorstep, and it was lovely to get outside under many layers of factor 50.

And this afternoon has been taken up by housework whilst listening to my Eurovision playlist, gesticulating dramatically to Rise Like a Phoenix by Conchita Wurst and bouncing around to Euphoria by Loreen.  A perfect way to end the weekend.

Cold days, long nights

My winter solstice was an eventful day.  It started with a trip to Boutink in Farnborough –  a tattoo studio staffed and run by very talented female artists, Jessie and Luna, with Elisa as their right-hand-woman.  This was my fourth time getting tattooed and I loved it.   I’ve wanted to get my very first tattooed covered for such a long time – nothing screams “I got my tattoo in the 90’s” more than Japanese Kanji, and I very quickly became bored with people asking me what it meant.  I don’t regret getting it, I just wish I had thought it through more.  So I had been on the look out for new artist for a while, and I happened to find Boutink.

A couple of months ago I met up with Luna for my consultation in Boutink’s beautiful reception.  I knew roughly what I wanted and had some photos for inspiration, so Luna took all this on board and jotted down a few ideas.  She sent me her design a couple of weeks later which was amazing, and after a couple of adjustments, I had my final design.

The day of my appointment arrived and I was nervously excited. My last tattoo was two years ago and I had forgotten how it felt, so I was a bit apprehensive.  Luna and Elisa made me feel so welcome as soon as I walked in the door (so unlike some other tattooing experiences I’ve had!) and this immediately made me feel more relaxed and comfortable.  The studio feels more like a beauty salon and everything is immaculate.  You get a private room for your appointment with a DVD player and TV (I had How the Grinch Stole Christmas on!) and yes, the tattoo hurt like hell but it was pain in much nicer surroundings!

And the most important thing – I have a bloody amazing tattoo.

IMG_20131222_173540

I love it, I love it, I LOVE IT.  I can’t wait for it to settle down so I can take proper photo – it’s a bit yucky and oozy at the moment.  I looked down at my arm once it was done and it felt so weird seeing it, like it wasn’t my arm.  I’ve had the Japanese there for almost half my life so I think it’s going to take a little bit of getting used to!

Luna is amazing and I’m giving serious consideration to my next tattoo so I can get another Luna design.

Arm strapped up with clingfilm, I battled through the wind and rain to the Union Chapel for my 20th Patrick Wolf gig, and a special Night of Winter on the longest night of the year.  Patrick was as stunning as usual, and I ADORED the reintroduction of electronics – the theremin beginning to Together actually took my breath away, as it seemed to do of most of the people in the audience.  Time of My Life sounded freaking perfect and Teignmouth brought tears to my eyes.  21st gig now please!

Patrick Master List update time:

1.     15th June 2005 – South Hill Park, Bracknell ♥
2.     18th July 2005 – Islington Academy, London
3.     31st October 2005 – Scala, London
4.     30th March 2006 – Bloomsbury Theatre, London ♥
5.     4th October 2006 – Koko, London
6.     19th December 2006 – Union Chapel, London
7.     6th February 2007 – Zodiac, Oxford
8.     11th April 2007 – Astoria, London
9.     20th December 2007 – Shepherds Bush O2, London
10.   13th March 2009 – Koko, London
11.   15th November 2009 – Palladium, London  ♥
12.   6th December 2010 – The Boileroom, Guildford   ♥♥♥
13.   25th March 2011 – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
14.   29th March 2011 – Koko, London
15.   31st October 2011 – O2 Academy 2, Oxford ♥♥♥♥♥
16.   4th November 2011 – Roundhouse, London
17.   29th August 2012 – Old Vic, London
18.   24th Nov 2012 – Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
19.   4th February 2013 – St Johns the Evangelist Church, Oxford
20.  21st December 2013 – Union Chapel, London