Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Hidden Gems

It has been a while since I posted anything substantial hasn't it? I've been incredibly busy recently, with university, projects and taking care of the puppy. Bree still has two weeks before her next set of injections, and after she has had those she is finally allowed to leave the house. I am very much looking forward to being able to take her to different places (and being able to leave the house for a long period of time).

I have always dreamed of having my own personal library with a spiral staircase, with shelves so high that you can only access the books near the top by climbing a ladder. As a child, I was completely infatuated with the library in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. When I reached the age of six and discovered C.S Lewis, I decided I would also like a library that you could only enter by walking through a wardrobe. At the age of twenty one, I would still very much like to have both of these things.

Bromley House Library is situated in the centre of Nottingham, nestled amongst the tall, imposing buildings of the city. It truly is a sanctuary in such an urban environment. It was founded in 1816, and is home to over forty thousand books. It also features a relaxing little walled garden. I had been planning on visiting for quite some time, and went along to an open day a few months ago. Most of these photographs are in black and white as my camera was being temperamental, and turning everything yellow (I adjusted the white balance and it made almost no difference). However, I think adding a black and white filter only enhances the beauty of the library. I couldn't quite capture how beautiful and serene the library is, but I did my best.

The range of older texts was astounding. I felt very privileged to be allowed to view them. My particular favourite was the photo shown above, a truly spectacular edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses. It took quite a long time for me to pull myself away and let other people take a look!

I am actually posting this in reverse; we walked through the walled garden on entry as rain was forecast and we wanted to make the most of the sunshine. However, I couldn't resist posting the photographs of the library and of the books first.

If I had been blindfolded and taken into the garden, I would have rejected all claims of being in the city centre. It is delightfully tranquil. I was unfortunately unable to take many photographs in the garden as there were too many people walking around. It is the perfect place to curl up with a book in the sunshine.

I absolutely recommend attending an open day and visiting the library for yourself, as it is difficult to capture on camera. I would love to be able to afford to join (it costs £90 per year). I also firmly believe that more libraries should have spiral staircases!

Have you been anywhere interesting lately?

Monday, 3 November 2014


Firstly, I would like to apologise lack of posts on here lately. I have been busy settling into my new university, working on my various assignments (my first deadline is next week), and learning to drive. I seem to go through phases of having very little to do, and then having times when I have almost no spare time at all. I really ought to learn to plan my time so this doesn't happen, but I seem to be completely incapable of being remotely organised. Luckily my next deadlines after my first one aren't until January so hopefully I can stop neglecting this blog so much!

Anyway, as some of you who follow me on Twitter and Instagram may already know, I recently acquired a puppy. This is a bit of a long story. My family have always liked dogs (my Dad grew up in a house with four dogs, and usually lots of puppies), but we never adopted one because I've always been terrified of them. I managed to decrease my phobia when I was nine after spending Christmas with my Aunt and Uncle, who at the time had two rather large dogs. After this, I took my friend's new puppy out on the park with my sister. The puppy jumped in some water, and got over excited. She started frantically jumping and biting and chasing me on the park, and I since can't physically run away, I ended up with a phobia that was even worse than it was originally. I've had to conjure up excuses for various social events because the person whose home I had been invited to had a dog. I was also unable to go walking alone, just in case there happened to be a dog without a lead. 

As a family we now spend quite a lot of time out walking, and due to our different timetables, there is always somebody in the house. We decided this would be a good environment for a dog. It would also encourage us to exercise in winter, and it would finally help me get over my phobia.

It took us forever to find the perfect dog. We went to several rescue centres  (I prefer having rescue pets), but it was difficult to find a small breed with a good temperament that liked cats. I did fall in love with one rescue dog. However, the shelter was really quite revolting. The conditions were really not pleasant, and I hated having to leave the dog I liked there. I was awake all night worrying about the dogs there. They wanted a lot for her. We sent them a email asking if they would accept less for her, which they ignored entirely. We also spoke to the RSPCA and my vet about the shelter in question and they both advised that we did not adopt from there. After researching them online I heard so many terrible stories about the shelter and it broke my heart. The RSPCA are aware of the problem, and I'm hoping that they will go in and seize the dogs soon.

After a lot of online searching, we found a litter of puppies nearby. The owner  of the mother had been moving in with her partner (the owner of the father), and they ended up with puppies. We went to visit, and chose the smallest, quietest puppy of the litter. We have named her Bree.

Of course, Bree lost both of these qualities before we went to fetch her. She is very bouncy and playful. She's a cross between a patterdale and a cocker spaniel. She is very cute (almost too cute). We're trying to get her trained and organised before we go away at Christmas so she can come with us. She adores toys, and is forever running around with things in her mouth. She also loves to be cuddled, and is crying for fuss all the time. She's also surprisingly clever, she has already improved since we bought her home. I was nervous around her at first but I am not at all uncomfortable in her presence now, mainly because she is so tiny! Figgy looks absolutely huge in comparison!

My main concern when we brought her home was Figgy. Fig has been fantastic with her so far. They aren't exactly friends yet, but I think they will be in time. Bree is always trying her best to get to Figgy because she wants to play with her, and Figgy is not overly impressed. Bree jumped at Figgy the other day and ended up being hissed at, but aside from that they both sit with me in the lounge peacefully. Figgy goes over and sniffs her whenever she is asleep nearby. They keep trying to eat each other's food though, which is a problem. Bree figured out the cat flap on her first day (the cat flap which took Figgy about five months to figure out). Luckily we have a magnet controlled cat flap so she can't get outside!

I realise that this has been quite a long post! Let me know if you like these posts and I'll post little updates like I did when we first adopted Figgy.

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