Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Polyvore: The Suitcase Packing Edition

With my impending overseas trip just around the corner, the thoughts have begun flying surrounding different outfits and outfit combinations I can come up with out of very limited luggage.

As someone who has way too many clothes (don't we all) and not enough time to wear them all, having to pack two months worth of outfits into a 70 x 40 x 30cm suitcase seems like something nightmares are made of. 

To add to this, all the outfits must be comfortable enough to walk around for 10+ hours a day on cobblestones (a stiletto's worst nightmare) while not looking like I stepped out of the hotel without looking in a mirror.

In an effort to inspire myself and dream up different outfits that fit this criteria, as well as perhaps giving ideas to those who may be reading this, I have created a few Polyvore sets that outline what I believe to be perfect  outfits for looking good while on the go.


T By Alexander Wang boatneck shirt / rag & bone/JEAN distressed jeans / Converse sneaker, $68 / Alexander Wang over the shoulder bag / Karen Walker Lomography 35mm Fisheye Camera


Monday, 20 May 2013

Break On Through

Admittedly, this is not one of my usual posts, but I wanted to write something to pay homage to a musician that has made a significant impact on me.

Last night at 9.31pm in Germany, Ray Manzarek (keyboardist) from The Doors passed away from his battle with bile duct cancer.
I came across the announcement post on the official Doors Facebook page whilst brushing my teeth this morning, and was shocked into turning my electric toothbrush off and staring, captivated, at the information in front of me.

I'm too young to have witnessed The Doors in all their glory, before the death of Jim Morrison, but their staying power over decades and a generation or two is indicative of just how incredible they really were.
Considered one of the most 'dangerous' bands of the 1960s, The Doors pushed the envelope with their controversial stage shows, namely Jim Morrisons antics, as well as controversial lyrics. The well-known story goes that when playing The Ed Sullivan Show for the first (and last) time, they were asked to change the lyrics from "Girl, we couldn't get much higher" to "Girl, we can't get much better", due to the supposed drug reference. The band agreed to the change.
When it came to sing the lyrics on stage, Jim sang them as they were originally written, much to the disgust of Ed Sullivan.

Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison were the founding members of the band, and met at film school at UCLA. Believing that they had gone their separate ways after leaving, they had a chance meeting on Venice Beach in California, where Jim told Ray that he had written some songs and sang an early version of the song 'Moonlight Drive'. They formed their band then and there, and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Ray's parts are probably the most recognisable sounds of each Doors song. Everyone knows the opening music to 'Light My Fire' or arguably the most epic piano solo in contemporary music in 'Riders on the Storm'. More dedicated fans would also throw in the opening to 'Alabama Song' or the aforementioned 'Moonlight Drive'.

I could go on forever about a band that has had such a profound effect on myself and millions of others, but I'll keep it short and sweet.
The music world has lost a legend, but Rock 'n' Roll heaven just gained one. 

R.I.P Ray Manzarek
1939 - 2013

"Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders, smooth as ravens claws"
- Jim Morrison 'An American Prayer'

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Euro-spiration Part 10: Rome

Well, here we are at the end of our 'Euro-spiration' blog post journey. In hindsight, I could have separated my Ireland post into the separate posts that Dublin and Cork rightly deserved, but in a moment of blonde-ness I didn't think I had enough weeks. Turned out I did, as I could have stretched it to next Monday, but at least it's left me with more time to plan last minute things to do with my trip, rather than typing posts and daydreaming about it.

We end our eight-week long trip in The Eternal City; the capital city of the Roman Empire and what most consider the birthplace of Western civilization itself. 

Of the most well-known explanations of Rome's beginnings is the story of Romulus and Remus, the twins who were suckled by a she-wolf. The twins grew up, decided to build a city (as you do) and then after an argument, Romulus killed his brother.
For centuries, Rome was the most powerful, politically important, richest and largest city in the Western world, before it officially ended in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.

Each year, millions of tourists flock to Rome to visit the Vatican City. The home of the Pope exists as its own state and is home to around 800 people. The Vatican has its own unique political system, military and police, and even issues its own coins.  

While visiting this ancient city, we will visiting the Colosseum, the Forum, Palatine Hill (already booked as a combined ticket. No lines for us!) as well as doing the other standard tourist thing of throwing a coin behind us into the Trevi Fountain. We will also be visiting the Vatican, seeing the Pantheon and probably just generally eating our body weight in food. One other thing which I'm super excited about, is our epic day trip to Pompeii. The ruins are much closer to Naples than Rome, however it is apparently very doable from Rome, and I don't think I could live with myself if I was in Italy and didn't get to see it.

To anyone who has stuck it out and read all my Euro-spiration posts, you are to be commended. It seems very surreal to think that the next travel-related posts I do will be based on my actual experiences. I'm still unsure as to how much I'll actually be able to blog without a computer, but I will do my best. If you want to follow my trip in pictures, please feel free to follow me on Instagram (Username: thepeonymuse). You can also like my Facebook page by clicking here.

Any tips on Rome are welcome, as always. I'll say "hey" to Pope Francis for you.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Euro-spiration Part 9: Florence

Florence is the undisputed birthplace of all things Renaissance, and is our second-last stop on our eight week Europe trip.

Growing up, I was always surrounded by art books and artworks belonging to my mum and through this, I developed an interest in art myself. While my favourite period of art was without a doubt the Surrealist period (Salvador Dali is my homeboy), I decided in high school that my next favourite was the Renaissance.
That, coupled with the beautiful architecture, made Florence an obvious choice for me.

Florence is the capital city of the province of Tuscany and is ranked as one of the wealthiest cities of all time as well as one of the most beautiful. The city is home to the extremely famous Michelangelo's David, along with the Ponte Vecchio and the fourth largest church in Europe, the Santa Maria del Fiore. 

The Santa Maria del Fiore is more commonly known as the Florence Cathedral, or The Duomo (meaning 'Dome') and is another reason for my being drawn to this place. My motivations for this are not religious, but rather (along with millions of other tourists each other) architectural. While I'm no architecture buff, there is something so incredibly beautiful and delicate about it's Gothic Revival faรงade.

Florence is always said to be a 'walking city' that is best enjoyed at a leisurely, relaxing pace, and we plan to do just that.
If you do have any tips/places/restaurants (budget) for us to try out, please feel free to leave a comment in the comments section. 

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Euro-spiration Part 8: Venice

Tell ya what, when I started doing these 'Euro-spiration' posts it seemed like a really fun way to get me into the spirit and get excited about the places that my best friend and I will be visiting.
"Do a separate post each week", they said. "It'll be fun", they said.
Now here I am, eight posts in and two to go (after this one), and I feel such sweet relief. I think deciding to do a series TEN POSTS LONG was maybe too much of a commitment, and once I've started something I have to finish it. Lesson = learnt.

The next stop on our travels after Berlin is beautiful Venezia!

Venice is one of those places that amazes and intrigues even the most apathetic person. I remember learning about it when I learnt Italian in primary school, and the idea of a whole city floating on water completely astounded me. It consists of a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges, and it is no surprise that the city itself is listed as a World Heritage Site.

The area that Venice occupies is actually considered to be a marshy lagoon, which seems strange as it's not really what one imagines when you picture a beautiful, romantic Italian city. It's original inhabitants are thought to have been fisherman, who were referred to as "lagoon dwellers". 

The foundations of Venice are actually constructed on wooden piles, which are still intact after centuries of submersion. While the wood that was chosen is known for it's water resistant properties, it is sadly believed that one day Venice will actually sink. Over the centuries, it has been sinking at a rate of about 7cm per century; however, in the last century alone it has sunk about 24cm. Obviously, this is going to happen very slowly, but is still sad to think that such a beautiful city will one day be gone.

We will only be spending about 2.5 days in Venice, but will visit St Mark's Square and Basilica, Doge's Palace, Rialto Bridge, and of course, enjoy the mandatory Gondola ride. The thing I'm looking forward to the most though, is getting lost and wandering through the city.

If you have any other tips that are a must, which won't be squeezing too much in to such a short amount of time, leave a comment in the section below!