Saturday, 6 November 2010

Weekend Happiness....


So tomorrow is my friend Helen's hen party (bachelorette party, in england we call it a 'hen', and a guys one is a 'stag' night!) . I am very excited, we are going for a lovely posh tea in town, all dressed up! Should be wonderful spending time with the girls, and wearing pretty dresses of course :)

How are your weekends?

El xxxxxx
*pictures as always google and from a pretty 1950s wedding blog!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Blog Renaissance

Dear blog friends,

It is now November and I am so sorry I havnt written in such a long period. As you may know, in the summer I was in Ghana volunteering (see blog post below to read more!).... and then I came back and started work. I have also applied to be a drama teacher and today have my interview at a top drama school in London, so a little nervous but I know that as long as I just show them me I'll be OK!! :)

Hope that you are all well and looking forward to more blog posts. I hope you all had a great summer, halloween and are doing fabulously!

With Love,

El xxx

A snapshot of my Ghana experience..

Here is a snapshot of my Ghana experience from July- August 2010... an incredible whirlwind of a time where I learnt so much....... a beautiful and special country...x E

'We arrived here in Tamale, Northern Ghana three weeks ago and so much has happened since we have been here so I will try to write a little of what we have been up too.

Myself and the other seven volunteers are staying in a house in the little village of Fuo, next to SSNIT, a suburb of Tamale. It is quite far from the majority of our placements which are past the centre of town, and we have to get two taxis to get to work every day. The taxis often leave much to be desired as should be expected in a developing country, but we all cram into them every day. To get to the taxis we walk past the mud huts and goats of our village, the villagers calling out to us 'sillyminger' (white person) or desba ('good morning) with smiles and waves. The culture here is to greet everyone who approaches you and so it is a very warm feeling walking through the village smiling at people and having conversations. The old man at the side of the road tending his crops, the young school boy riding his bicycle on his way to school, a group of girls giggling because theyve seen a white person in their village for perhaps the first time, the woman at the side of the road selling egg bread or cooked maize. All while dodging the dust, goat poo, motorcycles and potential muddy puddles that come our way!

Tamale is a welcoming and friendly place. There have been many challenges, lack of cooking gas in the first week which was resolved, trying to build a fire when it randomly pours with torrential rain, the feeling of being in a westernised house (albeit built by a ghanaian) while some of those around us live in mud huts, with straw and their animals roaming free. It didnt feel right at first but what was pointed out was that we couldnt have successfully got through our experience without certain facilities. I feel privileged to be living in this village and seeing another way of life- even though it can feel uncomfortable. A volunteer in a previous year mentioned that one feels like a celebrity as a white person here and this is true. Children in particular get very excited to see you, and you are highly visible, however adapted you feel to the culture around you.

We began our placements after touring central Tamale and acquainting ourselves with the area and a couple of NGOs. I am working at Gigdev 'Girls Growth and Development', which takes impoverished girls, some who have had to drop out of school because of teen pregnancy, some who went to the South of the country looking for work but ended up doing menial tasks, known here as 'Kayaye' and others who come from difficult backgrounds. Gigdev is a sustainable development organisation promoting self-help, education and women and child rights. It focuses on the marginalised in society, providing them with vocational skills such as dressmaking and hairdressing, so they can start their own businesses and get out of poverty. The hope for the 'Kayaye' girls is that they will stay in the Northern region and give back to their local communities rather than go off for a fruitless search for work down South in Accra.

I am working at Gigdev as a literacy, numeracy and IT teacher for women aged between 15 and 25. I also worked in the nursery for the womens children 'Kiddicare' for three weeks until it closed for the summer, assisting the teachers and looking after the children. This was an eye opening experience because I came into contact with the first usage of the cane here. It shocked me that children so young were being caned but this is the disciplinary system here, and it was the same in the UK up to 50 years ago. One cannot intervene but I did feel the teacher caning felt that they had to justify it to me continously, as they know the cane is now banned in England. The teachers were lovely women however and we shared some interesting and amusing moments, singing African songs while the three year olds come up to dance one by one, swaying from side to side, teaching the children maths (more difficult than it sounds with poor resources), and playing with the children in the playground and sorting out their fights and scrapes! Not to mention becoming known as the 'hello' girls because Rachel Franklin (who is also working at Gigdev) and I were shouted at with 'hello, hello hello' and jumped on by the children as soon as we entered! This again brought home the novelty of being a white, new person here but the children genuinely grew to like us and I will miss them!

I am finding teaching the women at Gigdev so rewarding, and I hope they are benefiting even on a small level. To be able to teach and build relationships with women around my age (i am 22!) and of a different culture, is very special and something I will treasure for the rest of my life. It is so interesting to see their reaction to what I teach them, whether that be a song as it was today, or reading, english verbs, to fractions.... which confused them at first but they soon picked up. I wish however I had more time to teach them and not only one hour a day!

I have also been taking part in an after school club at Morning Star school, a school for orphans and poorer children in the community. This has been an amazing experience and also a wake up call. Morning Star is a school in little shacks, with no electric lighting, blackboards and small wooden desks. There are incredibly basic resources. The after school club has been wonderful, we run it for an hour and a half every afternoon on a week day and the children can choose between sport, drama, art, reading, maths or whatever we decide to run on the day. I have been largely involved with playing drama games with the children and they are currently working on two plays- 'Teen Pregnancy' (which warns about the dangers of it- this is a big problem amongst the poor in the North, and was suggested by the children themselves!) and 'The Wicked Stepmother', a more traditional fairy story with african elements. It has been great building a relationship with the children, seeing them get so excited when we teach them a new game or when I see how much a child loves to act, it makes me happy- we have found genuine acting talent! :).

However, despite the good side, there have been wake up calls as stated. For example, the children asking me for water throughout the club because they don't have any and they become dehydrated (temperatures get up to 40 degrees here) and one child becoming so hungry they started eating a plant leaf. I felt so torn... on the one hand, your heart wants to give the child food and on the other you know that if you do, the expectation will always be there.. and the 40 or so other children will want food too. A difficult conundrum, one that some of us face on a daily basis and I'm sure will write more about on the blog here.

Ghana is eyeopening, enriching, challenging, difficult and amazing all in one. There is so much to write about- the boys playing football in the village, going to an African wedding, our excursion to a Tamale nightclub for our friends birthdays.... and the list goes on....

Love to all back at home.

Eleanor '

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Pre Ghana Thoughts

I am currently sitting in the heat of the English sun (i know, sun, shocking!) ordering things for my holiday, sorting out insurance etc etc. This sunday I will be going to volunteer for 2 months in Ghana, Africa. I am going to be working for an NGO that helps empower women in business and teaches them about water, sanitation and health.

Very excited and also a little nervous about impacting negatively on their culture, I hope that I help rather than hinder.... and that I make good relationships with the people out there. I know there will be challenges along the way, I may meet people with malaria with AIDS.. these diseases are preventable and its going to be hard to see that and know you can pay for their treatment.. what do you do?. Cultural dilemmas, the way I am viewed as a person from the West. Wanting to make more changes than I possibly can in 2 months of being there and knowing when I leave things will stay the same..........

I hope it is a rewarding and fulfilling trip that will empower me even more to make a difference ...

El xxx

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Back after a Break!

Hello wonderful blog friends!

Sorry I was away for a while!!! All has been rather crazy here, my best friend and housemate just got engaged to her lovely boyfriend, and its so wonderful. :) Love is truly in the air...

I am also off to Ghana to volunteer pretty soon so have been enjoying reading all about the country and what it may bring. Nervous and excited!

And lastly... I am currently craving the Cath kidston uk print bag (see above!)

Whats news with you all?

El xxxxx

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Fell in Love With A.... 1930s Hand Mirror!


Readers of my blog may remember that earlier this year, I purchased a 1930s hand mirror and clothes brush!! Well look at this beauty I just found on the same antiques website. Its from the same era and I love the gorgeous floral design, but I am not going to buy it as I am still a poor student :(

Even so, isn't it beautiful??? I'm thinking of starting a collection...

El xxx

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Can't sleep


Its 3am here and its been so hot in London today, like hotter than the meditteranean. I am boiling and I cant sleep.................

How are you all? How were your weekends?

El xxx

Friday, 21 May 2010

My week....

Hi everyone!

Sorry i havnt written for a while have had a rather busy week. How are you all? I hope well.

I have had a very lovely week with friends and family, playing badminton in the garden......enjoying the sunshine in my new pink maxi dress (in love..), eating ice cream lollies on white latticed chairs, oh and did i mention the amount of cheesecake that has been consumed this week? (a religious festival here that we had that practically prescribes cheesecake!). I have enjoyed the baby babble of my little cousin- watching her learn to stand, and I found out this week that...


I'm so excited. Its a dream of mine to see an African country.

This weekend I am helping out backstage at a charity talent show. What are you doing?

El xxxxxx

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Florence Welch, A Style Inspiration

'She first dyed her hair bright red when she was nine, and since then it’s meandered through the entire annoy-your-parents spectrum, only returning to her trademark auburn 18 months ago. She describes her look now as – deep breath – ‘half gothic bat crow winged fantasy, half golden 70s Stevie Nicks white witch. And a smattering of disco go-go hotpants', Daily Mail, UK.

I love you Florence Welch, lead singer of UK band Florence and the Machine! For your creativity, your awesome hair, your style and your songs!

And for describing yourself as a white witch with disco hotpants.

El xxxx

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Quote of the week

'A butterfly is a flower with wings'

Japanese writer of ' The Book of Tea', written in the 19th century.

These past few days I have been doing research for an essay on the perception of art and culture in Japanese society using the ideals of Zen Buddhism and how it relates to the Anti-art movement and Dadaism. Very complicated stuff, of which I have had to learn a lot on the spot. The basic principles are that we must live in the moment, have serenity and peace with our surroundings, find beauty in the mundane, that every day life IS art. I am relating this to Japanese tea ceremonies (which changed from being at one point a material form of entertainment to a more simple, spiritual idea promoting humility)......and the art work of Yoko Ono and others.

So I am rather tired but I found this lovely quote for you all. And thought it was beautiful. It comes from 'The Book of Tea', an amazing book I recommend to all.
With love,
El xxx

Sunday, 9 May 2010

5 things of today x

i love this beautiful picture of love... a testimony to the human spirit x
cath kidston (amazing uk brand) bedding!

i would love my future room to have curtains like this...

smiley face badges- i got given one today and it made my day!

dita von teeze- style icon!

El xxx

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Happiness....Free.... Joy.. x

Dear all

The above post is named this because these are 3 emotions that I am feeling strongly today. I havn't quite finished university yet but I am relaxing after around a month of intense essay writing... thousands and thousands of words that seem to have come out of me on to the page.....

I feel quite exhausted, relieved and happy that so much of it is done. I only have 10 days to go now. Today I am feeling relaxed and free...... I am/want to...

1. plait my hair...little plaits :)

2. experiment with my look.... style inspirations right now are Dita von Teeze, Alexa Chung, Fearne Cotton and of course Marilyn Monroe.

3. listen to beautiful soul-warming acoustic music

4. go outside, breathe the air and just feel happy because i am alive.

5. dream....

6. go to the butterly house in london

7. laugh

8. walk around barefoot for a while

9. snuggle with good friends

10. spread LOVE.

11. write....

What do you want to do/feel today?

El xxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

ModCloth Dresses

Today I discovered this amazing range of retro inspired dresses. I hope they open in the UK. :)

Monday, 3 May 2010

Caffeine Survival

And so my dear friends, here in London it is 1am. I am sitting in my dressing gown and PJs surrounded by books, looking distinctly unglamourous.. haha... as I have an essay due tomorrow that I have to write. So Iam doing an 'all nighter', accompanied by my spotify playlist and various cups of coffee.

I have to go an hour and a half to give it in tomorrow too. And i already feel like death! Noooo.

So I hope that this picture will be how I feel in around 8 hours time. Wish me luck.

El xxx

image: google

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Quote that will make your soul smile...

'The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."

El xxx
ps.. i found this quote on a gorgeous blog called its such a sweet blog. x
image as always- google x

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Dreamy Days

Hi everyone

Have been having a great, relaxing weekend so far with friends and family. Has been wonderful. Came across this image and it really made me think about how much we lose our dreams as we get older and the reality of life begins to set in...... may we hold on to our child-like love and dreams for as long as possible.....if not forever.

Hope youre having a lovely weekend.

El xxx
image: post secret

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Messy Plait, Barefoot and Free

walking barefoot in the grass....
love this cute plait....and the natural setting.<p>

Hi all,

So currently I am sitting indoors, barefoot and writing my dissertation (thesis) but longing to be free in nature!! Hopefully not long to go :)!!!

Summer is coming.....


El xxx


Sunday, 25 April 2010

Five Happy Things!!!

1. how sweet is this picture???! it reminds me of dressing up when i was little.
2. the great english institution- cadburys chocolate <3
3. i love motown soul music... what a wonderful legacy... and who doesnt dance when they hear it?

4. marilyn monroe- timeless elegance.

5. how pretty is this?! :)

Hope you have an enjoyable and fun monday. What 5 things make you smile?

El xxx

*pictures via google, tumblr, flickr

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Sunday Morning Vintage Postcards!

How lovely are these post cards*? I particularly like the one of the man and woman in the star... :)

Hope youre having a fun weekend..... and if not, hope these made you smile.

El xxxx
ps it may say saturday above but its very early sunday morning here in england!


Friday, 23 April 2010

Happy Weekend!!

Have a wonderful one!
I'm looking forward to spending time with friends.
El xx

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Quote of this sunny thursday

'I don't know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.'

Marilyn Monroe.

El xx

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Dancing to Lady Gaga

And so today was another day of studying... sad times. BUT what made it better was this song. My best friend (and housemate) Anna and I, when we got tired with our books put it on loud and danced wildly round the room. I particularly like the 'LA LA UH HA HA LA LA RAMAMA GAGA OOH LALA' bit (if anyone knows what I'm talking about?,

Oh blog friends, please leave me sweet comments and make me happy as i sit here with my books, how are you all?

El xxx

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Inspirations to Brighten Your Day

Hello wonderful blog readers! How are you?

So today I was having a bit of a down day because its been beautifully sunny and I was stuck inside with my books. But sometimes stopping and taking a moment to appreciate and be inspired helps.....

I love the quotes above. It just shows you how much hope, passion, inspiration can fuel your dreams- but remember you have to work hard to achieve them!
As I come to the end of university and into the 'real world' where I need to make my dreams happen, this is what is on my mind.

Remember to keep hoping and loving, even in the darkest hour because.... this too shall pass! So, smile!

With love...
El xxxx

images: google

Monday, 19 April 2010

Monday love.... vintage dresses from vivien of holloway.

a gorgeous 1940s style dress in satin

a beautiful 1950s floral dress.... ahh love!!!

I am in love with this shop Vivien of Holloway, in Holloway in London. website: They have such lovely dresses and accessories. I will be going after my exams to buy some of these wonderful delights. I'm thinking the floral dress may be my first purchase....

Now back to work..

Hope you are having a fabulous Monday!

El xxx

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Hopeless Romantic!

'Love leaves beautiful scars'- Mignon McLaughin

I will never stop believing in love :)

El xxxx

Friday, 16 April 2010

Travel... :)

dreaming big dreams.....
i yearn to travel more......

Hi everyone!

This post came about because I have been sitting dreaming about travelling... !! I truly have got the travel bug again.

Lets hope my wishes come true.

Where do you want to travel too?

El xxxx

images: google

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

I want to be here....

Dreaming of beaches..... fun times with friends....
Hope you are having a happy week!
El xxx
images: google

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


image: google

Hi everyone

At the moment I am doing an academic essay on the Rihanna and Chris Brown domestic violence case- analysing linguistics of an interview she gave on it, and its relation to the place of woman/social status in society. Complex stuff.

It has made me appreciate what a great, talented, strong woman Rihanna is! I love her. Wish I was as pretty as her too!

El xx

Monday, 12 April 2010

Vintage Photography

I am truly in love with vintage style photography like this gorgeous picture* above!

I am also currently craving a 1950s holdall.... perhaps I will buy one as a treat after my exams are done!


El xxx

*image via google
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