Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Portfolio Update - Tales from the Woodpecker Tree

Here it is! I couldn't wait to have the printed book in my hands, and I'm so chuffed with it! I can officially say that I'm a published illustrator, and that feels very good. After all, one of the reasons why I quit my full-time job last year was to pursue my goal of being a children's book illustrator. When I finalised Tales from the Woodpecker Tree, I realised that this was my first proper book, which is available on Amazon and in a few book shops in the UK. What an achievement!

I've already talked about it a little bit on the blog during the launch so I'm not going to annoy you even more with how excited I am (!), however, if you'd like to see more of it, you can head to my website ;)

And for the ones who missed it last time, you can buy your own copy right here!

Thanks to all of you for your support, and for those who already bought one, I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Friday, 15 September 2017

Deià, Mallorca

On the first weekend of September, we had the pleasure to visit beautiful Mallorca thanks to my generous client Charles Marlow & Bros. Everything was organised by the team and Jason and I could not believe how lucky we were to have such an amazing opportunity! Charles Marlow always throw a party in the summer, inviting their clients and other local businesses, and they felt that it was time for me to meet the team in person. Exciting!

We flew out on the Friday and came back on Monday, which left us plenty of time to discover a few spots on this amazing island. Not only was I over the moon to meet the people I've been working with for a year and a half, but I could never get over how beautiful Mallorca was. When we saw the view of the coast of Deià from up in the hills, I said to Jason 'We're basically in paradise'.

We instantly loved the view from our hotel room at the Hostal VillaVerde and it felt unreal to gaze at the mountains and the sun going down on Friday evening. After a good shower and a meal at Trattoria Italiana (the best pasta we've EVER had), we were ready to go to bed early enough to wake up fresh and ready to explore Deià on Saturday.

Because we knew that we had the party to attend in the evening and didn't want to feel exhausted by 6pm, we thought it would be best to explore Deià itself as well as Cala Deià. We went up the hill to walk around the church and stopped for a while to take in the breathtaking view. We also really enjoyed walking around the tiny steep streets and petting all the cats we could find that weren't afraid of us (there were loads!).

Deià still feels very untouched and has a lot of charm because of that. We didn't see many tourists there and it felt very refreshing to be in such a calm place. The sun was shining all day and we were pretty hot walking around but to be honest, it didn't feel too hot and it was just perfect for us.

Cala Deià, a small rocky beach on the coast of Deià, is about 30 minutes away by foot from the town centre, so we thought it would be a shame to miss it and headed there late morning, just in time for lunch when we arrived!

We had the typical Pa Amb Oli in Ca'n Lluc and although it was delicious, I found it hard to finish my plate! We stayed for a while on the rocks, just soaking in the sun and taking our time before heading on the footpath towards Soller. We obviously didn't go all the way as it would take us a few hours, but we went far enough along the path to see the amazing view of the coast.

Honestly, the photos don't do it justice because when you see the colour of the water and the higher mountains far away, it's just so unbelievable! I've never been anywhere similar and it really blew me away.

The last photo shows Deià from afar when we were walking back. We then went on to have a great evening meeting the Charles Marlow team, eating and drinking the night away with live music in the background.

Stay tuned for the second part of our holiday exploring Palma!

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Holiday in Dordogne - Part 3

Ah Rocamadour! We visited this unique religious cité (the second most visited in France after Mont St Michel) on the hottest day of the week during our holiday in Dordogne, and man, we were suffering. But we had plenty of water with us and we made sure to find bits of shade for my poor tired mum.

Rocamadour is not just beautiful, it's also full of history. This sacred place built in medieval times has a whole atmosphere to it that you just can't describe. I'm not religious at all, but I do respect all religions and it doesn't stop me from being interested in them and their pilgrimage sites. Actually, I did a blog post about Mont St Michel about 3 years ago, have a look at it here (excuse the crazy artwork at the top) if you're interested! Even though the experience is different, I had the same type of feel visiting these two places. Some kind of respect actually.

The main street down the cliff is always super busy, as well as the Sanctuaire, but when you start going to the smaller alleys, it gets a lot quieter and peaceful. Such a beautiful place!

We were knackered after that day and couldn't wait to jump in the swimming pool at the campsite but to be honest, I felt privileged to see this place again. Plus, I didn't take photos of the delicious meal we had at La Table du Curé. Wow the food was good. The lunch time menu is very affordable for the quality that you get!

And our last visit in Dordogne: La Maison Forte de Reignac. I've never visited it before, and because we're crazy about history, we thought we couldn't miss it! The weather was turning a bit grey again so the fact that we were mostly inside was great.

The story of that building was very interesting as it was a cave used by prehistoric people before. We loved the fact that most of the furniture had never moved from there and it all felt very authentic.

Jason is standing in the tiny prison cell they had built a long time ago! We found it a bit weird that it was alongside the room for the higher class, but I guess they wanted to keep a close eye on their prisoners!

"Âmes sensibles, s'abstenir!". The Maison Forte is also known for its big exhibition about torture over the ages. The descriptions are very detailed and it is quite disgusting most of the time (who am I kidding?! EVERY TIME). The thing that shocked me the most (apart from the fact that you're wondering how humans could have done that), is the fact that some of these torture techniques are still used in a few countries around the world. Horrible!

Well, I hope you liked reading our little adventures in Dordogne, and if you're planning a trip there, don't hesitate to send me a message if you have some questions!

Missed the first parts of our trip? Click here for part 1, and here for part 2 :)