Monthly Archives: March 2016

Obsession fosters collection.

BBC One’s series Sherlock has been my bane in the last few months since I started following it. Such a brilliantly written and acted show is pure delight to watch. It is a tribute to the makers that they have managed to turn their audience not only to their own vision but inspired many to turn to the original books again.

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What’s an obsession without inspiration, eh? I may be too old to be a “fan” but I can put it to good use.

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Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has arguably the most iconic silhouette in literary history. These are RI transfers of the outline and the others are show references that followers will easily identify.

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What is Sherlock away from London? This is is lair, his home, his heartbeat.

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And whatever he does to keep his London safe, whatever his part is wheen England needs him, whatever John thinks of his deductive skills, Sherlock never fails to remind us:

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For the love of clues.

So, what have I been up to lately? Besides enjoying an unseasonably warm winter at home, trips to the mainland, fulfilling chauffeur duties for the kids (oh, what a term it’s been!), I’ve been catching up on some TV and cookie-ing.

Between February being the month of luuurve *eyeroll* and birthdays, cookie making has acquired a life of its own.

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I called this one “Be(ak) Mine” and was quite proud of it. The design idea and colour palette came off a card and I used some new techniques (for me) while icing. So that was fun.

The collection had a “bunch” of other designs as well.

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(Sorry, I went overboard with the colour edit here.)

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It was quite a cute little collection in the end — one I thoroughly enjoyed creating.

Then there was V’s 10th birthday. He requested Minecraft themed cookies (one eyeroll isn’t enough for this one). On the surface it was a reasonable request, one that I even eagerly approached. Don’t they say something about fools and optimism? It was one of my hardest collections to create.

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All that pixelated goodness? Yeah, not simple to execute on a cookie. Not at all. Here’s my version.

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It was fine for a bunch of boys whose parents didn’t pay any money to buy these but as a professional outcome, not so much.

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This was the whole collection. If you know anything about Minecraft, specifically Minecraft Youtubers, you’ll know what all this is. If you don’t, quick, plug your ears and sing la la la. If your kid’s not into this wretched game, count yourself very very lucky.

In other news…

I’ve recently acquired an obsession with the show Sherlock on BBC. The cast is perfect and the show itself is so well-made, I’m not ashamed of it. If you haven’t watched it, I’d sincerely urge you to. You won’t regret it. Since I’m unbelievably living in a place that I have access to the show’s filming locations, original context, etc., I’ve been doing some exploring of my own.

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This monument to the great sleuth is outside the Baker Street tube station. Sorry for the picture quality since even an iPhone can’t compare to an expensive DSLR.

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This is the outside of the actual street (North Gower) that substitutes for Baker Street in the show. The black door on the left (187 N. Gower) is the famous 221B of BBC Sherlock. I ate lunch in Speedy’s, a formerly unassuming cafe that is apparently now a worldwide sensation and thronged with tourist fans during the summer (I’m hardly one to talk though!).

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I love going into London and just exploring all it has to offer. I’m loving every minute of this can you tell? 🙂

Adventures in Italy.

I often say that if I were to retire somewhere in Europe, Italy would be it. After Greece, my options have a strong second contender but when we got back from a trip to the south of Italy recently, my original instinct is now as strong as ever. Italy reminds me of India: loud, cluttered, friendly. It seems like everyone is in everyone’s business although it may not be literally true, not in modern India, and probably not in modern Italy. It still feels that way because of the vibe of the place. The differences with, say, England, are striking. The first couple of days after you return, you’re like, “Where the eff is everyone? Why the eff is it so quiet?!”

In short, Italy is Irene Adler to England’s Mycroft. #who’s sherlocked #notme. Ha.

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I love, love Firenze. With one of the most impressive duomos in the entire country (second only to Siena in the surprise factor), I’d vote for Florence as the city of lovers over Venice. Not that I’m looking at it with those eyes anymore (ah, whatever you say, one can’t feel that invincible at almost 40), but meandering through the Piazza Duomo one can’t help but feel a bit intoxicated, a bit above it all (even with kids dragging at your helm).

And then there’s Siena. Bella, even in the rain, even without the tourist-induced atmosphericness. A vast central piazza flanked by chic shops on radiating streets and small, homey trattorias; Siena unquestionably took my heart. Originally built as a walled city accessible through the humongous Roman gates or porta romana.

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The amazing thing about Italy, and indeed most of Europe, is the historic wealth that has been preserved almost magically unharmed. I mean, see how many times people have fought over, bombed, raided these cities over the centuries and you can still view Pompeii in incredible original detail. It never ceases to stop me in my tracks with the realization at least once during a trip.

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10 days split over Catania — Mt. Etna (must visit, for the hurricane-force wind, if nothing else) — Caltagirone (lovely steep steps, but can skip if punched for time) — Pisa (cheesy but definitely must-see once in your life) — Siena — Florence — Naples (only as a pit-stop) — Amalfi coast (dramatic but also a bit overrated IMO. Once you’ve witnessed drama like the Moher cliffs in Ireland, the Icelandic fjords and Santorini…) — Pompei.

Perfect.

An active Mt. Vesuvius
An active Mt. Vesuvius