Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Christmas Village


This weekend I set out to have as festive a time as possible in the run up to Christmas. And with the help of my friends Gail and Jack, I think I've succeeded! 

Our most anticipated part of the weekend was undoubtedly the Aberdeen Christmas Village. To me, the lead up to Christmas would be nothing without festive markets with beautiful European stalls selling handmade crafts and delicious smelling food. And the fair rides with a sparkling array of lights giving that exciting buzz in the atmosphere. The Christmas Village certainly had those things... But I can't deny being a little disappointed. 

My first impressions didn't blow me away. Perhaps it was because my expectations were set so high with Edinburgh being my all-time favourite city at Christmas time. It definitely had everything a Christmas market should have, just not enough of it. I felt there was a little too much empty space with only one side of the street lined with stalls as I felt the shopping experience of the market was over in the blink of an eye. But I still enjoyed the time I spend there, even if it wasn't very long. 

The Market is beautifully arranged with lights and Christmas trees and pretty festive adornments. And the stalls are bright, warm and inviting. As if they are gingerbread houses themselves! And to the end of the market is an indoor seating area where visitors can enjoy their treats and drinks in the warmth, a small but charming ice rink and a high flying fair ride (which no one would to join me on). The whole place certainly has a winter wonderland-ish atmosphere and was the perfect way to get us all into the Christmas spirit! 

So, the Aberdeen Christmas Village doesn't hold a candle to Edinburgh's German Market. But I don't think that matters! My expectations were slightly different from what I was met with but it was a complete delight to visit and I hope it comes back next year! 

Have you been to the Aberdeen Christmas Village yet? What did you think of it? 

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, 20 December 2015

I'm Back!... From Outer Space


So it's been a while... Over 7 months in fact. Wow. And whilst I was gone I've had a series of potentially life changing revelations. One of which is the realisation that over the past few months I've forgotten how to enjoy the things that I love. 

For those of you who don't know me very well (or at all), saying that I've "forgotten how to enjoy the things I love" probably sounds a bit extreme. Maybe it sounds a lot worse than it is. But for now I'll just say that in response to falling into mental illness my hobbies, education and social life have suffered a great deal. So I've decided to take a step back and slowly begin to embrace those things again. And so my blog has awoken!

Seeing as it's almost new year, I had planned on one of my resolutions being to keep and regularly update a blog which I can be proud of. But I see no harm in starting early! 

So I hope you'll join me in my quest to regain my love of life and writing about it!


Monday, 27 April 2015

Sun, Sea and Costa Coffee

I love cities more than I can explain and nothing makes me happier than going to a new city and exploring all its quirks and charms. So it's no surprise that a four day trip to Liverpool with my mum and brother was the most exciting event of my year so far.

The journey there is always the best part! Up early to hop on the train with your backpack and travel sweeties, all set for the adventure ahead! Although, in a fashion typical of one who does not travel light (I'm not pointing fingers at my mum at all!), it was more like a carry-on film than an inspirational travel montage. But the chaotic train journey was all forgiven as soon as we entered a city which was, I have to admit, not at all like I had expected.

After a pre-trip nosy on Google street view, I was set for anther grey and rainy British city with a McDonald's at every street corner. What I found was sunshine and a perfect skyline of modern and archaic buildings, a shopping experience unmatched by any city in Scotland (although Glasgow is debatable), loads of amazing places to visit and Costa coffee shops. Lots of Costa coffee shops. And it's safe to say that we took full advantage of the phrase "but first, coffee!"

Here are a couple of my favourite parts!

Albert Dock

After what seemed like hours (and what was, in reality, only 15 minutes) of dragging our luggage through the town as my brother and I continuously asked our mum "Are you SURE you know where you're going?", we made it to our hotel, located at the Albert Dock. And what a beautiful  place! I had heard about Albert Dock before but as soon as we arrived there, I fell in love with it. The pretty little boats, quaint little shops, cosy looking restaurants and of course, the Liverpool Tate Gallery. I thought it was the perfect place to chill out for a few days.

Albert Dock at Night

The Cavern Club

One thing that is impossible to over-look in Liverpool is that it is, in essence, one big Beatles fanclub. I've lost count of the times I've heard a different version of "Here Comes The Sun" from each of the buskers along Paradise Street. There is even a yellow submarine in the dock, which you can see in the first photograph! All of this only adds to the charm of the whole city! It's fairly common knowledge that The Beatles originated in Liverpool but the true home of The Beatles is a tiny underground club and bar, hidden away in a back street of Liverpool, known as The Cavern Club. Knowing my complete undying love of live music, my mum couldn't wait to take me to The Cavern Club. I was a little hesitant at first, mostly due to the dark stairs spiralling down into a dingy underground space. But upon hearing the unmistakable sound of a live acoustic set at three in the afternoon, I knew I was going to love it! With the names and initials of visitors from years gone by inscribed over every inch of stone wall and music playing from 2pm until late almost every day, it is definitely one of the best quirks of the city of Liverpool!

The Mersey Ferry

I absolutely adore being on a boat. And a trip on the famous Mersey Ferry was so much fun, not to mention the incredible view of the city from across the water! And as you can see from the photograph, we had a "friendly" flock of seagulls following the boat on our trip across the water and back. Although the weather doesn't look very nice, it was a beautifully warm day and the sun shone for most of it! 

View of Liverpool from across the Mersey River

Liverpool Cathedral

I'm a sucker for religious architecture so, much to my brothers boredom, I insisted we visit Liverpool Cathedral. What a place... It was (excuse my cliché word choice) breathtaking. And the best part was visiting the top of the tower as it gave us a 360 degree view of Liverpool and you can imagine my childish excitement when I realised "I can see our hotel from here!"

View from Liverpool Cathedral tower. (Our hotel is beside the big wheel!)

I could spend days writing about all the great things we did in Liverpool and all the amazing places we saw. It was a trip well needed and one even more enjoyed. I would definitely recommend it to anyone in need of a chilled out AND exciting city break! 

Thanks for reading! Until next time!



Some extra snaps from the holiday:

Albert Dock

Inside Liverpool Cathedral

Albert Dock from our hotel bar window, sunset.

Padlock fence (I'm not sure what they're officially called)

City lights at night

Liverpool Chinatown Arch

Me beside a lion statue outside Chinatown

The big wheel right outside out hotel room window

Sunday, 26 April 2015

At First Glance.

Lately I've come across so many beautiful blogs that people have very obviously put a lot of time, effort and love into making and updating. And until recently I didn't feel my life was interesting enough to keep a blog. But with the encouragement of my good friend, Gail, and my love of writing (which I don't express nearly enough) I've decided to embark upon a journey of story-telling, creative expression and nostalgia.

Let me introduce myself.

My name is Racheal, I'm 20 years old (until next month, eek) and I currently study Contemporary Art at university. When I say "Contemporary Art" most people shut off. I don't blame you! Okay, I'll ignore that boring umbrella term and I'll just say that I practice Film, Sculpture and Photography. That sounds more exciting, doesn't it?

I guess you could say I have a pretty average selection of hobbies. Do people write about hobbies in bio's any more? Well I'll keep it brief. I like reading, taking photographs, watching films, drawing, baking, travelling, appreciating art and countless other things which happen to make me happy at the time.

And of course, like many fellow bloggers, I like to keep on top of my wild and wonderful life in social media. But don't worry, I'm not about to go off on an "anti-social-media activist" rant. Because frankly, I adore wasting hours procrastinating on Tumblr and Instagram. Notice the shameless self-promotion!

This is me! I don't take selfies as often as I could probably justify but it's always nice to know there's a face behind the blog.

So that just about sums up A Looking-Glass Memoir. And by the end of summer I plan to have a well documented account of life from here on in!

See you around!