Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Last Day, Last Swim.

The last holiday post, for the last holiday day. We chilled this day and enjoyed the last of the sunshine by the awesome huge pool our hotel had next door. It's great because hardly anyone seemed to use it, was always half empty when we were there. Managed to get the same two sunbeds each day we used it. In fact you can see our stripy blue beach towels in this photo.
It's a shame the clouds are so dark here - each day they seemed to spring from the volcanic hill behind our hotel, then when they moved away they dissipated into nice light fluffy wisps, which was great for sun bathing, not so good for photos.

The pool was so good! There was 2 pools, a free form circuit with a sunbathing island in the middle, connected by the wee wooden bridge. And an infinity pool a little higher up, complete with 2 jacuzzi pools, and 2 strange jacuzzi things that you lay on in the pool and the bubbles came up and around you - was very strange, and I didn't really like it very much. You can see it at the bottom corner in this one ->
You can also see just how large the free form pool was - a whole circuit of it was quite tiring!
But oh my! It was so lovely to be warm enough to swim OUTSIDE! It's one of my simple pleasures which I love, but only at the right temperature. Wonderful!
A few pre-swim poses - complete with flip flops and bikini top showing. I've got my linen trousers on again, so comfy! And a favourite cotton top of mine, its one of the only 2 things I've bought from Mango (normally out  my price range) and it's quite old, and a losing its shape slightly, but I do still love it. It's got lovely lace detail at the bust.

More pool photos - I'm slightly obsessed with it, in case you didn't notice. I really love that the water comes right to the grill edge too, just adds a bit of class I think. And the nice gentle steps - easing you into the, at times, chilly water.
You can see the lovely pool house in the background behind the bridge. And the wall of the infinity pool. It was really nicely done, the water lapping over the edge of the infinity pool created a nice waterfall feature below it. 

In the afternoon it seemed to get even emptier, and suddenly a family of sparrows decided to go for a wee swim too. Was really adorable to see but I don't think the pool water would have been very good for them. Managed to get a few photos before they good frightened off, this is the best one.
After our day of lounging and swimming, we went up to the roof top solarium to catch the last of the evening sun and one final dip in the hot tubs up there. I like this photo. It shows the view from the roof, with all the other hotels, and both of us. Shame you can't see my face, but Arty! YEAH! There was another pool up there too, much smaller and much colder, and loads of sun beds for people to relax on. They were actually the busiest places in the whole hotel. Sometimes really difficult to get a bed.
Sunset of the day, and the last of the holiday. It was actually a very sad sunset, beautifully sad. I realised that it was the last time I'd feel any warmth in the sun for the rest of 2011. A sad moment indeed. And I knew that it would very soon be back to real life again - and the inevitable job hunting that I just kept putting off (and now, this long after, I'm still hunting, with no success :( there are just not enough jobs for the people looking, and I'm a little sad). I also realised I had to pack up all my clothes again - and that I had worn only a fraction of those I had planned to wear, every year I pack too many and this year I promised I'd wear all of them.... but didn't. One of the reasons behind Brag Doll actually.
I love the colours in this one - sunsets are so pretty. And I love the Island ferry coming back for its last run of the day. It traveled to and from Tenerife and La Gomera several times each day, we could hear the horn occasionally from our room. Would have liked to have visited La Gomera, but I priority this holiday was to relax after the hellish year we had both had, so that's just what we did. Wonderful!
One last one of the side pool that we could see from the side of our balcony. Another free form lap-esque poll. Didn't venture in this one - but you can see the pool house of the lovely neighbouring pool near the top of the photo.
Homeward bound. Somewhere over Spain/Portugal I think.
It was a strange route home we took apparently, to get the best air currents I guess.
Such a fantastic time, and really is just what we needed. I feel much more able to survive winter having been away. Winter always seems so long and harsh, it always gets me down, but since coming back home it seems to have gone by so fast, which is fabulous! Bring on 2012!

I've also realised that I put up too many artistic photos and not enough outfit posts. I've still not comfortably found what Brag Doll is going to be - a mixture of arty things, outfits and general diary goodness I think. I'm a very creative person, and part of that comes out in my photos, so I think it's inevitable that they appear quite often on here. Just need to find a happy balance I think.

What do you think? Should I focus on just one aspect instead of trying to cram too much in? Should I leave each post with only one theme - photography in one, outfit posts in another? It's all very new to me still and I'd really value some feedback or pointers from bloggers that are more established and experienced.

Perfect Day for a Wander.

So it's been a while since the last post. Still got a few holiday poses I'd like to put up, although they are a bit old now. But once they're up I can become a bit more current and start getting into the festive frolics that have been happening recently.

Wow! I can't believe it's almost December already. When these photos were taken Christmas, December and cold weather were so far from our minds, and now it's here. Wowzers! I'm sitting listening to Buble's Christmas album and the songs just don't seem to go with the pictures. Never mind - they will for my next post, I'm excited to get those photos up :)
Beautiful blue water and crisp clear skies. You can see the Island of La Gomera in the distance. The water gets super deep real fast too, see all the sand churned up in the waves.
See how busy the beach gets on a sunny day?! So much pink!
So it was another really gorgeous day - roasting hot! But I had begun to look a little red so decided to cover up for most of the day. The downfall of being very fair skinned and light red hair - I tend to turn red in the sun.... but then when I get home again the red fades to a nice healthy brown, so it's not all crash and burn. It just means that I've got to cover up more often than I would like, especially when it is so hot as that day was.

We decided to venture further afield and walk to the neighbouring tourist town of Las Americas. Lovely walk along the promenade and through the town.
It's Christmas time? Really?

Walking through the town we ended up on the main street of Las Americas which was full of hotels, bars and restaurants. The whole place was full of Christmas decorations too - it just didn't seem to go. Christmas is always associated with cold in my mind, I have no other choice being a Scot I suppose. I've always wanted to go to Oz for Christmas so I guess I have a wee insight as to how it would feel to have it in the heat..... strange and disorientating. Especially when you come across a massive Christmas pine tree alongside the various palm trees.

But round the corner from the big tree we stumbled into a cactus filled crazy golf course.... so decided to use it as another Canarian photo op. Yay!

A prickly backdrop :) It was really nice but very hot in there!

Chillin' by a fountain in the 'Cactus Course'.
Can see my red skin, but my hair looks nice :)

Baggy but cool in the heat. Standing above the water was really cooling too.

I LOVE these shoes. They're the only kind that don't hurt my feet. I have terrible luck with shoes, but these ones have always been faithful. I've had them for years and years.... but they're falling apart. I'm so sad! I've bought a pair that I think are the modern equivalent, but they're not as flexible or comfortable. They seem really heavy too. But for the mean time I shall continue to wear these for as long as they stay alive.

These linen trousers are really comfortable too. I completely forgot I had them, bought them at the end of the summer last year for a very cheap price (bargain, yay!) and put them in my summer drawer. Just as well I had a rummage before we left. Perfect for covering up during the hot days.

Love the background on this one.

 Cardigan: Fashion Union
Top: H&M
Wide Linen Trousers: Tesco
Purple Shoes: Hush Puppies

Saw this thing at the entrance to the 'Cactus Course'. Think it got a little lost on its route.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Colour by Night

Short post...

Ok... so I know most of them aren't the sharpest photos ever taken, but they are really pretty and have really nice colours. That and I kinda like what I was wearing and how my hair looked. So.... yeah!

The view from our balcony, just after the sun set. I LOVE the colours in the sky and the blue of the swimming pool. I love swimming pools at night. It looks so mysterious and inviting. Look at how many variations of palm tree there are in such a small space as well. This holiday has made me slightly obsessed with palm trees, there are SO many different kinds. And they all grow in a slightly different way. Oh, and strangely, Tenerife seems to shave the old leave stubble off the trunk so its smooth and green. Strange, but gives them a posh look.

Again, taken outside the hotel on the way to dinner. The waterfalls are lit up this time. The colours change every few seconds, very nice. This one shows the colours well, and is quite sharp really.

I really like what I was wearing that night. It got a little chilly after such a hot day in the sun - I seem to do that, when I spend a lot of time in the sun during the day, my body seems to think that's the temperature that it's going to stay. Then when the sun goes down and it gets cooler, I get cold. I'm just a little strange like that.
Same shoes as earlier, full turquoise skirt - its got so much fabric, I love it. I've had it for many years and it's beginning to fall apart, but I'm still wearing it. I also like my hair here. It was really soft and fluffy and is now getting to a decent length for tying back again. Yay.
Spinning round to show fullness of my skirt - it didn't work.... :(

Another of the fountains, minus me. I think the water coming over each ledge kinda looks like its cling film clinging to the side. Very nice though, and very cooling during the hot day.

Vest top: H&M
Purple top: H&M
Scarf: Accessorize
Skirt: Thrifted
Leggings: Next
Shoes: Kangaroos (Tesco Online)

 One last one. Sitting, after a great meal, by the side of the pool. See how the water comes right up to the rim of the pool - it makes it look like a fancy big puddle, a very nice puddle. Love the reflections and the fountains. Our room is far right, 3 from the top. Very private balcony.

Floaty Frocks and Golden Locks

The holiday continues! :D 

The first set of photos were taken by the waterfalls outside of our fancy hotel. They lit them up at night with colour changing lights, was really pretty but didn’t turn out so well in photos. There's a few I took another night before we went for dinner that I'll put up, they're slightly blurry, but I think that also adds a slight edge to them.

I love these photos and I love this dress.The patterns on it are really intricate and colourful. A mix of swirling paisley prints and sketchy looking shapes. Great! It’s really floaty light cotton, ideal for the hot weather. I bought it last year from New Look highstreet sale but never got a chance to wear it, so glad I finally have. It was perfect for our November winter runaway holiday to Tenerife. The day I wore it was gorgeous! Clear blue sky, slight sea breeze and a hot hot sun! So wonderful to feel the heat on my skin again after such a year of cold and cloudy days. It was a bit hot sometimes though!

I love how golden my hair looks in these photos too :D I have a strange brown/slight ginger hair colour, it goes really fair in the summer sun and goes very dark in the winter months. It had began to darken again before we left Edinburgh, but as soon as we reached the Tenerife sun it really went golden again. Yay! Shame it doesn't stay like that all year round, but  I guess it means I've got my own natural ever changing hair colour - who needs to dye it. Although I used to, when I was still at uni. That whole student-crazy-hair-colour-changing fad that all students seem to go through. I think I only really stopped when I joined the serious world of teaching - somehow going in with bright red or purple hair didn't seem to associate with 'teacher' in my head. Although I think, if it was displayed in a subtle appropriate way, I think these days it would be fine. But still, I grew up a bit and remembered how awesome my own natural hair colour is. :)

I paired my dress with these lovely flat slip on shoes from Kangaroo. They were open enough to let my feet breathe but comfy enough to walk around in all day - actually quite surprising. What a bargain they were too, from Tesco online last year. They’ve got the cutest polkadot details – the insole, the trim around the side and the bow on the strap - I LOVE polka dots, so many of my wardrobe pieces are polkadots these days, I just get so excited when I see people wear them or see new pieces in shops. Which probably isn't very good for my space or bank balance. Oh well.....

My bag is from a tiny market stall that arrived during the Edinburgh Fringe a few years ago. It’s really practical and has a really nice Indian Elephant design on it. It’s really strange when you see other people with the same bag, it doesn’t happen often but always takes me by surprise – makes me wonder if we’ve got them mixed up.

We walked to a Sunday market that tours the Island, arriving in a different town each day of the week. I had read all about it before we'd left so I was really looking forward to finally seeing it after so long, but it was a massive let down. I was expecting a lot of handmade items, crafts from Africa (since we're so close to the mainland), but instead it was full of tourist tack. Very much a let down. It was so busy too, and so many people in such a confined space, it was really difficult to squeeze through the masses of bodies with NO shade. We were beginning to feel lightheaded and very claustrophobic, so left after a quick trip round the circuit. Did manage to get a couple of nice necklaces - one for my Mum. So at least I didn't leave empty handed.

Down hearted and too hot we left for the lovely sea breeze to clear out the stuffy market air. It was so nice down by the rocks. I really like the shots too :) they look rather exotic and movie-like I think. Another good day walking around the town in the wonderful sun and adding restaurants to our list of possible dinner venues.

Dress: New Look
Glasses: Primark
Sandals: Kangaroo (Tesco online)
Shoulder bag: Market in Edinburgh

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Winter Runaway

A few snaps from our recent 'last of the summer sun' get away to Tenerife. Our way to avoid the winter blues for as long as possible.

The view from our hotel when we had first arrived.
We had such a wonderful week soaking up the sun, feeling sand between our toes and eating such lush fruit and veg, the kind we can only dream about over here. Was just what we needed before coming back to cold, windy winter days and dark, wet nights. Seems like so long ago now, but its nice to be looking at the pictures again. We stayed in a wonderful little touristy place called Los Cristianos - highly recommend it - not too remote, but not too touristy either, just right. A short walk to the beach staying in a wonderful hotel! We got it for a bargain price online a few months ago - splashed out and stayed in 4*! Totally exceeded our expectations.

My first 'blog pose', kindly suggested by my lovely photographer and manshape :)

I bought this dress last spring, but it was too long to wear - a problem I have with maxi dresses (I'm just little) - so I took it up a few inches, but by the time I did the weather had turned cold.
I don't normally have much luck with sandals, but these ones from Schuh are great - I wore them loads to work in the summer, my feet felt fine after walking and standing all day.
My feet look wrong in this, its difficult to tell because of the length, but I've put my left behind my right, it kind of looks like they've been swapped over. My feet are quite normal, honest, just weird in this photo. It was the first 'posed' photo I did for the blog so it was a bit of trial and error. I know not to stand like that now though.

This was another of the hotels many pools. It was great, empty, deep, long! We went exploring on the first day so didn't take a dip till later in the week but it was so tempting just to jump in. Calm water like that just makes me want to disrupt it... its like it calls to me. A bit like fresh snow too (but that was no where in my mind at that point). You can see the roof top solarium just above the red tiled roofed villas - they were part of the hotel complex too... it was HUGE!

My dress was ideal. I'm glad I took it with me, it was just the right weight to wear on the cloudy but hot day we had that first day - ideal for a walk into town for cocktails and nibbles and a much anticipated walk along the beach. 
It was a really pleasant trip to town, a little further than I'd thought looking on Google Earth, but it was lovely just to be in the warmth again. It's a heat we just can't seem to get in Scotland, where the whole atmosphere is warm and just being in it makes you happy and lifts your spirits. 

The place was so busy too. I don't think Tenerife has a quiet season, I think it's just busy all year round. It was full of.... lets say...the older generations :P and why not! It's ideal. The streets are well cared for, the promenade is flat and smooth, ideal for for the fancy wee motor chairs they use, and they all looked so happy and content in the wonderful heat.... IN NOVEMBER! Amazing! Downside though - lots of flesh on show.... lots!


Just as we reached the promenade, that traveled round to the first beach, we stopped to see these amazing sand sculptures. The building is amazing, he even put a wee water feature in. We wondered if the waves destroyed them at night and he had to rebuild each day, but it didn't. Instead he put wee candles in some of the towers and windows. It looked really magical at night, but I've no photos (my wee point and shoot doesn't like dark levels very much). I think he added to it each day too, but either way they are totally awesome! I love the wee walk way along the beach made out of pebbles too. Nice touch.

Stopped for more posing before walking on. We walked passed this fountain everyday and realised about half way through the holiday that it was actually full of wee turtles and terrapins. Again, I'm not sure what I'm doing with my feet here, really need to work on my posing.

The first appearance of my ever supportive manshape :) yay! Happy holiday times!
Because it was pretty overcast that first day (although still very warm, the photos just don't do it justice!), the beach and promenade was pretty empty. I think the majority of tourists were in the bars instead. But it meant we more or less had the beach all to ourselves :) Just like back home, except your toes don't go numb when you paddle in the waves.

Calm waves, black sand beach and tropical coloured water. It was a very good day. Again, the clouds didn't do the sea colours any justice. There were so many variations of blue! Lovely! The day we landed it was almost clear, it was the most beautiful descent I've ever had (but I've no photos! Major regret!). Tenerife is made up of lots of volcanos, with one central one right in the middle, there were only wispy clouds over the golden sea and around the island. It was really difficult to tell where the land ended and the sea began, you could see other islands in the distance too. And around the main volcano was a ring of cloud. It was like something from 'Noah's Island' (did anyone watch that when they were younger? I LOVED it. "Oiski Poisky"). I love landing in a hot climate, you leave Scotland in the relative cold (especially when we left, brrr!) and you arrive to a warm breeze and exotic smells. I love the smell of the warmth too, does anyone get that too? It's the difference between cold sniffs of home, but so perfumed with pine trees and hearty foods, and the warm sniffs of palm trees, dust, cacti and tasty fruit and veg. It might just be me :-P

Empty beaches filled with our footprints. And happy feet in the Atlantic :) and a very wet dress by the end of it.... refreshing!

I already look quite red here - after only a day of sun - the curse of fair skin.
Dress: Dorothy Perkins
Glasses: Primark
Sandals: Schuh
Necklace: Edinburgh fair trade market 
Rings: Accessorize
Bead strand bracelet: Amsterdam fair trade market

One last pose in the heat of the day. We got shouted at by a street touter (a very common thing there) who won us over with "You look like you've just arrived!". He was right, but I didn't think it had been that obvious. 

But we followed him in anyway. I had a cocktail and a toasty and my Mr and a refreshing pint. It was dirt cheap too - cheaper than what the tout had loured us in with... strange... also - notice the sign behind me 'Vodka and Red Bull - pint for 3 euros!' WOWZERS! Apparently you get a cheaper price for food and drink if you get escorted in by a street touter. But some of the calls they give are just strange - we got a lot of "Oi Dell Boy", or "English?" but the strangest has to be by one who really wanted us - we'd just eaten and didn't want to have anything else, but he carried on shouting, long after we had passed his pup and several others. His last, and most obscure, shout was: "We have soft toilet paper". Bizarre!

But overall it was it was a really wonderful 1st day of exploring and finding our Canarian feet. Home just in time to take dusk shots - the lower end of what my camera can tolerate. Brilliant first day :) More days to come soon.