Monday, September 28, 2015

3 weeks & 5 days Interrailing

Having come out the other side of exams and a month long interrail trip alive, I'm going to try my upmost to keep up with this blog this academic year. I've just started an Art Foundation Course and I'm finding the creative environment really motivating already. And I don't want to harp on about it because I mentioned it in my last post but in a turn of events I've also decided to try to commit to a plant based diet/vegan lifestyle. I've meddled with the concept for a while, knowing I'd eventually transition, but I've finally taken the plunge. It has only been a month I feel so awake! So far so good! Watch Cowspiracy and Earthlings! They are enlightening!

This post is a photo dump from interrailing (digital and film pictures). I went with one friend (Amber) for 3 weeks and 5 days because I could only get so long off work and we had to be back for A Level Results day. So, our timescale was limited, and it feels like we literally did a whistlestop tour of Europe, which was exhausting and crazy and the most incredible experience.

We flew into Amsterdam, where we spent 2 days. We visited two museums there and cycled around Vondelpark, and went out one evening with a girl from our hostel, for 'drinks'  that turned into getting hot chocolate from a cafe on the side of a canal.

We then caught 2 trains, a night train, a ferry and a coach up to Copenhagen. In Copenhagen we were lucky enough to be able to stay in an apartment through connections my friend has, which a welcome change from the hostel we had in Amsterdam. We spent 2 days there again and went to Tivoli and Christiana, went shopping (Copenhagen has Monki, & Other Stories, Cos etc etc) and cooked ourselves a huge substantial meal of fajitas (a big deal when on an Interrail budget like ours).

Our beds/room in Copenhagen
on a boat trip/tour in Copenagen
Botanical Gardens in Copenagen and Christiana in Copenhagen
view from the window of the Rosenborg castle in Copenhagen

From Copenhagen, we got a direct night train to Berlin that got in at 6am. We spent the day walking around near our hostel in Oranienburger/Freidrichstrasse and then joined a walking tour, which was so, so interesting. We then went out that night and got back at 5am, but had to check out at 10am that morning, so on almost no sleep we spent that next day deliriously stumbling around the city, visiting museums and killing time before going to catch a night bus to Krakow in Poland.

skies on the walk back from a club called Suicide Circus 
We arrived in Krakow at 7am, and my Dad's friend Robbie, who is living there, was kind enough to pick us up from the station and take us back to their house. Being able to do our washing, have good showers, be fed and kindly driven around was amazing. Robbie gave us a quick tour of Krakow and took us to Auschwitz, which was on a bigger scale than I could have ever imagined. It was unsettling just being there, and having just come from Berlin, I learnt a lot over those few days about the 2nd world war/holocaust.

Driving in Krakow
From Krakow that night, we got a night train to Budapest. We spent 3 days in Budapest, which felt like an eternity following the whirlwind of a journey we'd had so far. We also got slightly carried away because everything is so cheap there and decided to eat out for every meal of every day just because we could for once, having lived on €10 a day up to this point. We climbed up to the palace on the Buda side of the river, went to the market in market square, explored the jewish quarter, went out to a ruin bar/club called Szimpla Kert (which is one of the coolest looking places I've ever been) went to the Szechenyi Baths and went shopping.

Szimpla Kert, Budapest
Market Square, Budapest
Amber in the window of our hostel in Budapest
From Budapest, we got a day train, followed by a night train, to Split in Croatia. Again we had 3 days to spend there and managed to do so much - we visited Krka Waterfalls, went to Hvar Island and spent a day on the beach before going out in the evening with some of the people at our hostel. Our train from Split to Zagreb left at midday and at Zagreb we changed onto a train headed for Villach in Austria, where we got off at midnight, intending to get on a night train up to Vienna. However, we were bluntly told that this train was full and that the next one didn't leave until 5am. So we had no choice but to try to sleep on the floor of the train station - and there were probably about 100-200 backpackers doing the same thing. We had no problem waking up in time for our 5am train because of the cold, so, relieved, we got onto a train that arrived in Vienna for 9am.

Coach view on the way to Krka National Park in Split
Fruit Market in Split
We only had 2 days in Vienna but explored by foot, using a walking tour route we found online, so we saw a lot. It was prettier and cleaner there than I expected, but we had come from Eastern Europe so it was probably going back West that was a shock too. 

Evening train view on the way out of Croatia (I think)
Train views on the way into Vienna

Salzburg was our next stop, which was only a 2 hour train journey from Vienna, and we were there for a day and a half, which we actually found was enough, because it is such a small place.  My friend did a cycling tour of the sound of music landmarks/sets while I browsed shops because I've never seen the film before and was dangerously low budget by this point. We also climbed up to a fortress the evening we were there and saw the most incredible sunset and had breathtaking, sprawling views across the city.

Views from the fortress 
Train stations
Salzburg Street
The next afternoon, we caught our next train to Zurich in Switzerland, which got in late at night, so from the station we went straight to our hostel. The most shocking thing upon our arrival in Zurich was the extortionate (to us) cost of everything. We soon realised that our strict budget hardly allowed us to buy bottled water, and after walking around in the sweltering heat for an hour or so, we literally spent the rest of our only whole day there sitting on a bench in front of the lake with our supermarket value range lunches. We were kind of glad to leave and be going to Interlaken for 3 days.

As soon as we got off there we were literally in awe because it was so picturesque. Mountains littered the landscapes at every angle and our hostel was one of the nicest we had had which was very much appreciated by this stage in our trip!! Our first day in Interlaken we decided it would be a good idea to climb up the mountain Harder Kulm, instead of paying for the cable car up. It was simultaneously horrendous with the humidity/hot weather, and hilarious, because we were both thoroughly unprepared for what turned out to be an intensive hike. The next day, we used up the remainders of our money to go canyoning, one of the scariest yet most exhilarating things I've ever done. On our final day there, we walked for an hour towards where we thought the lake was. Nothing was signposted, we had no idea where we were, had hardly any phone signal and we had to be back in the centre of the town for 4pm to get a train to Paris, but we eventually found the most insane clearing/private beach leading out to a panoramic view of Lake Thun and the mountains surrounding it. We swam there and had a picnic before running back to catch our train, which then arrived in France at about 9pm.

View from halfway up Harder Kulm & in the town  
Walking into a thunderstorm
Up Mount Harder Kulm
On the walk to our hostel from the station
We only had one day in Paris, and by this point we were both exhausted, so didn't rush around trying to do too much. We did see the Shakespeare and Company book shop though, which I remembered hearing about a couple of years ago through Rookie, and it just incomprehensible. Had I had any funds left over I would definitely have lugged back a tonne of books to England. By the end of the day in Paris we had reached the Eiffel Tower, which we sat/laid in front of for 3 hours as the sun set and as we reflected upon the ridiculous amount of things we had done in the past month and also anticipated returning home the next day/A Level results.

Window in The Shakespeare and Company Shop, Eiffel Tower
Last Evening by the Eiffel Tower
Shakespeare and Company Shop

Shakespeare and Company Shop
So we then flew back from Charles de Gaulle to Bournemouth in England. With our trip having been so fast paced, I think I'd have given out if we'd have been away for much longer, and I'd also have more obviously run out of synonyms for 'good' in writing this. Though, after being home for a week I was ready to leave again and really really want to go travelling in the US and further afield if I ever get the chance.

Thank you for reading,


Thursday, September 17, 2015


I was lucky enough to have been invited to the launch event of People Tree's collaboration collection with Sandra Rhodes, which I went to last Wednesday.

The event itself was held in Zandra Rhodes' penthouse, which was crazy, and I had caught the train straight up from uni to get there on time because I live two hours from London, so the whole day was such a rush and so so surreal. To help matters my phone died on the way up so I was wandering around, resorting to using the maps on the streets to navigate my way there.

I was also suitably petrified, walking into this on my own and being, as far as I could tell, the youngest person in the room; but in the end it seemed everyone was in a similar position and happy to talk. No one was as scary and intimidating as I expected once a conversation was started.

Safia Minney (CEO of People Tree), Zandra Rhodes and Lucy Siegle introduced the evening with speeches detailing their trip across India, where they met with organic cotton farmers and fair-trade artisans. People Tree is famed for being a pioneer for ethical fashion, and there was a lot of focus on this aspect of the collaboration collection, which is what really sets it apart. It helps to know that the 'organic' and 'ethical' monikers aren't just token marketing ploys, too, and that sustainability is really at the core of the brand(s).

 The stories and anecdotes the women told of their personal experiences only further went to show how important it is to make the connection between the clothes we wear and the story of the people that make them. Rebecca Pearson, a model for People Tree, spoke about how, for her, it was humanising, and dissuaded her from shopping on the high street. 

To shop on the high street is the easy choice - I think we all subconsciously kid ourselves about what we're contributing to on a larger scale when we're buying mass produced clothing. I recently went Vegan, wanting to hold myself accountable for my impact on the planet, environmentally, and animals, ethically, and fashion is comparable in the way that being ignorant is so much easier. I'm trying to be more mindful of my choices and what Safia, Zandra and Lucy had to say was really insightful and interesting.

Images from their trip across India:

Images from their trip to India

Images from their trip to India

The decor in the penthouse was wonderfully bizarre, technicolour, eclectic, everything you could expect from Zandra Rhodes. Everyone looked really cool, too, so I was in awe most of the night, there being literally too much to take in. Though taking photographs, considering the location, felt somewhat intrusive, so I only took a handful. 

The collection looks a lot more extensive in the booklet we got upon leaving, so there's more to it than what was on display on the night. So these are just a few of the pieces.

It was certainly a learning curve getting to go to something like this, but I'm so glad I did and I'm so grateful to have been invited! 

Thank you for reading! I should be blogging twice more this week and getting back into it properly for the next academic year.


Sunday, April 19, 2015


I've been meaning to post this outfit for while but have forgotten my memory card twice when taking my camera out with me - so I finally resorted to taking these in the front room. I feel like I'm 13 again wearing floor length charity shop skirts and grotty cardigans.

Cardigan - Urban Outfitters £20 (eBay)
Skirt - Topshop £32
Shoes - Topshop £30
Lattice crop top - Urban Outfitters £8 (eBay)
Stripe crop top - Topshop £12
Necklace - Urban Outfitters £8

I'm in the final stretch of my last school year now and I'm glad to be nearing the end, despite the looming exams. However summer should be good!! I have planned to go to Kavos with friends (which is ridiculously funny bc it is so not me) and possibly to go interrailling round Europe with a friend after that. Im not complaining about the 3 month long summer we get this year!

Thank you for reading! Hollie

Saturday, January 24, 2015


So I'm crawling out of the woodworks from my over zealous December promise of 4 posts a month with this meagre outfit. I worked every day of the Christmas holidays bar Christmas day, boxing day, new years day, and one Sunday I visited family on the Isle of White, leaving next to no chance for blogging. Now I'm back at school I'm putting it into my planner to ensure I have a set day every week I write/do something here. I have a feeling it might last a little longer because I am definitely guilty of talking myself out of it if I don't feel any urgency/hold myself to deadlines.

You may or may not notice this looks a bit different - I was lucky enough to get a lens (Canon 50mm 1.4) for Christmas and it has been fun trying to use it. It is also extremely fun for my mum to try to get to grips with shallow depth of field (half of the photos from this day were very out of focus and a few of the ones here are a bit iffy).

Coat - Asos
Scarf - Asos
Top - Christmas present but GAP
Shoes - Topshop but they creak loudly with every step so I don't recommend
Skirt - Asos
Necklace - Christmas present but Urban Outfitters
Bag - Xmas 2013 present but charity shop

Seeing these photos has made me realise how desperately I need my roots done so I'll be getting around to doing that soon. 

Downside of a better lens = annoying specks of whatever are actually picked up (and I'm not skilled enough to photoshop them out).

I wore this to London last Sunday where I met Ellie and Ophelia - I've met them a few times before but we initially found each other through blogging. Ellie and I got Pret lunch and Ophelia got Wasabi when she found us. Then we went to to the National Portrait Gallery to look at the Grayson Perry exhnition. All the photos that I would otherwise also put here are either on film or are/were on my phone that sadly got stolen when we were sat in Ed's diner. 

Thank you for reading!


Tuesday, December 02, 2014

rain circles

Two half term posts went really well!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway this is my post to fulfil my December one post a month quota (no but i really do intend to try to post once a week this month). 

I had Friday morning off of school so I went with my mum to the hospital (irrelevant) and it was really decrepit round the back so I forced her to for once take photos and get over myself and being embarrassed to be able to actually blog. I can't believe how long I've been doing this how scared it still makes me. It was also absolutely freezing and I shunned my coat for these pictures. 

Vintage Jaeger top - £15 eBay
Zara skirt - £15 ish
Topshop stripe crop top underneath - £10
Vintage desert boots - £20 ish
Disgustingly thin tights - Primark
Asos necklace I forgot to take off - £8 maybe

Wow I look extremely short here. I am short but I try to wear shoes that disguise it a bit and these definitely don't. They are also very uncomfortable and squeak a LOT on any non carpeted floor so they're really not practical in the slightest.

I have the afternoon off tomorrow so if I get round to it I may take some photos for another post for next week. I'm just really missing how exciting I used to find blogging and the concept of the internet circa 2012 and feel like I've been letting go of it slightly. Writing wise my posts are a lot shorter than I remember them being, too, which is annoying for me. I just can't think for the life of me what I can write that is anything of substance/use so instead I just don't.

Thank you for reading anyway,