Sunday, April 13, 2014

London Throwback: The Tower of London Part 1

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One of London's most famous landmarks, the Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The historic tower has served a variety of purpose such as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, a prison, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

The Tower of London is an attraction not be missed if you're one who is interested in medieval history. I personally found the tour really enriching and I've gained vast knowledge about England from this tour. The hubz would always be glued to English medieval history programmes on History Channel and so he enjoyed the experience too. It was really crowded at the outdoor areas of the tower initially due to the beautiful weather but thankfully, we were able to tour around the place quite smoothly on the whole.




Due to the large volume of photos, my photo story for Tower of London would be separated into 2 posts. If you are interested in viewing my previous London photo stories, click the links below:

Day 1: A Walk in the Park
Day 2: St Paul's Cathedral, Millennium Bridge & Shakespeare's Globe
Day 2: Borough Market, London Bridge & Tower Bridge


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Day 3: Tower of London (20 December)


Our continental breakfast consisted of cold cuts, fruits, croissant and breakfast cereal. A real minimalist affair though much healthier.




I was really thrilled when I drew the curtains open and saw the sight that greeted me -- brilliant sunny day in a cold wintry London!




I hadn't intended for a pink OOTD theme that day but when the hubs asked, I decided to annoy him by being lame. I told him that I had to be in cheery pastel colours as the Tower of London was a gloomy place. He simply went -_-|||.

Armani Exchange pink tee worn over no label white 3/4 sleeves top. Sovil Titus bracelet watch has a pink face. On my hair was Fleurfaerie light pink Silk Chiffon Flower Hair Tie.




As if those pink weren't enough! For outer wear, I had on my pink marshmallow jacket with a pink knitted scarf which my friend renzze had kindly lent. Ah yes, you would see the photo of these rune-like inscriptions much later on. For now, please focus on my outfit. Thank you. 。◕‿◕。




As usual, the Underground was our mode of transport. It brought us to Tower Hill Station which was just outside the Tower of London.




Hubz and I felt so thrilled basking in the resplendent sunshiny day outside the Tower with the Port of London Authority Building behind.




A huge sundial.




What a beautiful day!




I often see contrails (jet trails) in the clear blue skies without being able to see the jets. They must have been really far away.




Brilliant crepuscular rays.




A beautiful day to ice skate! I wondered how it felt like to ice-skate outdoors. The last time I ice-skated was some 10 years ago?




Chi cats would be leaving their paw prints at the Tower of London in no time.




Kh looked so intellectual here...




... and then so silly here roaring at the lion sculptures. (More on the sculptures later!)




Everyone was crowding around a Yeoman Warder aka Beefeater. Free guided tour is provided in the ticket price but we had to break away from the crowd as we could hardly hear anything from where we were.




Top L-R: Middle Tower 1280, Byward Tower 1280, Bell Tower 1190
Bottom L-R: Bloody Tower 1225, Wakefield Tower 1220--1238, a more closed up view of Bloody Tower




Various names of towers greeted us even before we entered the main area of the compound. I got quite confused exactly how many towers are there in the Tower of London and what their significance were across various eras. For a step-by-step the major events in the history of the Tower of London, I found this Historic Royal Palaces Tower of London link really useful. Also, this map as seen below --showing the various towers in Tower of London at a glance-- helps a lot in navigating yourself as you read on. I wished I had found this map when I was there touring the towers!




A siege catapult.




Many prisoners of the Tudors entered the Tower of London through the Traitors' Gate. The gate was built by Edward I, to provide a water gate entrance to the Tower, part of St. Thomas's Tower, which was designed to provide additional accommodation for the royal family. The gate area was totally dry during our visit.




St Thomas Tower.




Yikes!




Double yikes!




The White Tower is a fortress of enormous proportions, symbolic of William the Conqueror’s fierce suppression of a newly conquered capital. It is the oldest medieval building at the Tower. Read more about The White Tower here and here.




Let's take in all the beautiful outdoor sights around The White Tower.




Curious-looking trees.




What a pleasant little residential area amidst surrounding of the stony towers. I wondered who lived there? The Yeoman Wardens?




A spiffy modern circular memorial marks the approximate spot where executions were done inside walls of the Tower of London. Designed by British artist Brian Catling, the monument focuses on the ten executions that had taken place on Tower Green, within the Royal castle’s walls. In the middle of this monument is a glass pillow and around the circle are the names of those executed on the Tower green.




These buildings reminded me of those houses in Holland.




I thought that ravens were bad omen in stories, or was it crows? The ravens of the Tower of London are a group of captive Common Ravens which live in the Tower of London. Legend has it that the kingdom and the Tower will fall if the six resident ravens ever leave the fortress. Read more about these ravens here and here.




The walls of The Beauchamp Tower, especially on the first floor, are covered in graffiti left by Tudor prisoners. The ground floor houses the 'Prisoners of the Tower' exhibition.




In Elizabeth’s reign (1558-1603), Sir Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, was held for 10 years and died a prisoner and under James I's reign (1603-25), Lord Cobham spent the last 14 years of his life here. In 1553, Robert Dudley, Elizabeth I's childhood sweetheart, was imprisoned here for one year.




These are some graffiti left behind by the prisoners of the tower. Somebody actually wrote a very detailed blog post about the graffiti at the Tower of London.




When I think of GRAFFITI, ancient rune-like inscriptions certainly do not pop up in my mind. These powerful and often beautiful inscriptions record the heartache, unwavering faith and the patience of some of the Tower's prisoners.




Photo bombed!




Gotta tread carefully so as not to disturb the ghosts of the tower.




The guard simply marched to and fro for as long as I could see.




Next up was The Crown Jewels tour. For security reasons, photographing them is prohibited. These crown jewels are really beautiful. Those images in Google aren't even half as beautiful as the real ones we behold with our very own eyes.




Outside the tower that houses The Crown Jewels.




Life-sized baboon sculptures outside the jewel house were part of the many wire mesh sculptures created by artist Kendra Haste. Besides the life-size lions and baboons you had seen so far, there are other beasts of the Royal Menagerie such as a polar bear and an elephant constructed with Kendra's trademark material-- galvanised wire. All of Kendra's sculptures will remain installed in their present locations at the Tower, a World Heritage site, for the next ten years.




The Maltese Cannon.




"A Wardrobe Tower?" shrugged kh. He felt I needed a tower for my wardrobe too.
The Wardrobe Tower is only preserved as a ruin. It is named after the Wardrobe, the personal household of an English king, whose goods and utensils, including the Crown Jewels, were temporarily stored in the Tower. The still existing remains are about 2 feet tall, and are made ​​of natural stone and brick.




The Royal Armouries was where we spent the most time at. I will write about that in the next post!




This coming week would be a super busy and hectic work week for me due to the Good Friday Public Holiday. I hope to be able to blog after that. Till then!!!



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Ongoing Giveaway





I'm having my 2nd blog giveaway and I invite all of you to check it out. It is opened internationally and ends 1 May 2014 midnight Singapore time. Feel free to participate if you're interested. Boys and men are welcome to participate to try your hand at winning something for your significant other, sister or female friends!

For standardization and to enter this giveaway, please follow the instructions and "template" so as to make the counting of your points easier. Thank you to all those who followed the template for it really made my job of counting your points more easily!

For those who have enetered via Rafflecopter, I'm so sorry that you have to re-enter as I'm not able to retrieve any detail of the entries. Please re-enter by commenting under your comment, following the "template" I've included. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Instagram Snapshots ~*February & March 2014*~

Here's a combination of February and March Instagram snapshots. Some of these pictures might seem familiar to you as I've blogged about them as standalone posts some time back.


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~1 February 2014~
Made an anigif of the usual CNY Day 1 family on the sofa 全家福 shots. We were using an iPhone camera app that my sis downloaded with the self timer multiple shots function.
Original source with music here.




~2 February 2014~
~*CNY 2014 with the Loh family*~
The signature Day 1 family portrait shots similar to the video I last uploaded, only that it's done using Flipagram. I love making anif on my laptop. My family and frenz love looking at them. But when they asked me to send these anigif through their phones, I couldn't do it. Thanx to Flipagram I could do it now and with music too! It's not really an anigif app with loop function but it works well with some tweaking.
Original source with music here.




~2 February 2014~
~*CNY 2013 with the Loh family*~
Excited with the anigif effect from Flipagram, I did the same for CNY 2013 too. I used the same song I used for last year-- What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. This song gained popularity (or at least for me) coz of Kinect Just Dance which we played last CNY. Straight face award goes to my dad! He wasn't used to the multiple shots mode.
Original source with music here.




~2 February 2014~
~*CNY 2013 with the Ng family*~
There isn't enough photos this year to make a flipagram for CNY 2014 so here's the signature Day 1 family portrait shots with the Ng family. First time trying the multiple shots mode and hence only hubz and I had the most change in poses. �� ^^ I've been spamming too many Flipagram CNY family shots and I shall stop now.
Original source with music here.




~2 February 2014~
Loh Family CNY then and now.




~2 February 2014~
Ng Family CNY then and now.




~2 February 2014~
Unanimous bulooo. Could you tell? I wasn't feeling well.




~8 February 2014~
I was so hungry during lunch today and the only craving I had was soupy instant noodles. This pic is a throwback of the last time I had instant noodles at my family home more than 2 months ago. I was so hungry, called home a little too late to ask if there was dinner only to find out that my sis and dad had wiped off a whole table of fine home-cooked food. Feeling sorry for me, my dad added fresh clams to my boiling pot of noodles when I was away. BEST INSTANT NOODLES EVER! Ate up everything including the very unhealthy soup.




~8 February 2014~
All ready for the RSAF Family Day! The only bimbotic thing I could say when the hubz passed me the pass and ticket was "Wow. Nice shade of PINK!"




~8 February 2014~
RSAF 45th Anniversary Family Day. Hubz had a "hero" segment from his 2011 Ops Blue Sapphire mission.




~16 February 2014~
Hello Kitty chocolate lollies from a lovely friend. I'm not a huge fan of Hello Kitty but I do not dislike it too. Friend doesn't know whether or not I like HK but reason for giving was "You remind me of a kitty cat." =^>.<^= ������




~17 February 2014~
London Day 2 Throwback: Walk along River Thames. Photo story up on my blog.




~22 February 2014~
Love receiving parcels in the mail.




~23 February 2014~
I'm down with upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) since Friday and am trying out Olive Leaf extract. Since the extract came when I'm sick, I'm not able to witness the immediate effects and had to self medicate with the leftovers from my last URTI at night when the throat and cold got really bad. This combination coupled with loads of sleep over the weekend seem to promote faster healing. Slowly, I will reduce and abstain the intake of synthetic drugs whenever possible.
My friend who is quite the herbalist recommended Olive Leaf extract to keep infections at bay. Just google "olive leaf extract" and you would read many wonderful write ups on it. It is a natural antioxidant, immunostimulant and natural antibiotic. To be taken 15ml daily when well and 10ml thrice a day when ill. There are many types of olive leaf extract in the market and upon her recommendation, I got Barlean's Olive Leaf Complex. Liquid absorbs better but the sweet peppermint taste needs some time to get used to.
Are you those who believe in Western synthetic drugs or natural remedy?




~27 February 2014~
Throwback Thursday-- I'm a Tigress. Hear me "meow".





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~2 March 2014~
Car in a cafe. There could only be one eatery like this.




~2 March 2014~
Truffle fries is ❤!




~2 March 2014~
Big Breakfast for him




~2 March 2014~
Wagyu Cubes Salad for her




~2 March 2014~
Mocha and Chocolate Milkshake




~2 March 2014~
Vintage Vespa and other knick knacks




~2 March 2014~
Here not for the beans but for the 3D kitty foam art! Stay tuned!




~2 March 2014~
Hubby and his keroppi latte art at Chock Full of Beans. Each table is limited to one 3D art and the rest of the art are random.




~2 March 2014~
My long awaited 3D Kitty foam art! The Hazelnut latte is not bad too!




~2 March 2014~
I can't get enough of the 3D kitty foam art. The hubz threatened, "If I've to help you take any more photos, I will destroy your kitty!"




~2 March 2014~
Kitty with kitty!




~2 March 2014~
Hubby's favourite moment at Chock Full of Beans was when he could destroy the "stupid cat".




~2 March 2014~
After snapping 1827394726202 photos of the kitty latte foam art, it was time to stir it... And the hubby's favourite moment was to DESTROY the "stupid cat"!
The video isn't displayed properly here. View it from the Instagram link here instead.




~6 March 2014~
I'm truly tickled by this anti stray cat mat at Daiso. Seriously the Japanese have all sorts of invention! The plastic spikes are really sharp. Poor cats!




~6 March 2014~
Another quirky Daiso find. Cat repellant??? The illustration is too cute! I don't wanna repel any cats.




~2 March 2014~
How can pest control products have such cute illustration of the pest??? The poor mouse! Yeah I said "mouse" and not "rat".




~8 March 2014~
Happy International Women's Day to all women out there. Wishing 三八妇女节 to all my bimbos, biatches and 三八 women in my life.





~8 March 2014~
Hubby watched the food channel on cable and had been craving for gourmet burgers with melted cheese. He had been talking about burgers burgers burgers for the past 1 week and so we went to Fat Boys coz that's the best solution to his burger craving. Top left & right are photos of my BLUE CHEESE burger. Hubby had the shrooms burger which was really good too. The huge ass onion rings were blah this time round. Strong flour taste that was off putting.




~8 March 2014~
@czanneo informed us of a shoe sale from wearto.com and I bought this lovely pair from Irregular Choice at $50 (UP$209). It turned out that I bought the exact same pair as her! Bumped into @xtinaong who also got a similar pair but in grey and black and she got other pretty quirky shoes too!





~8 March 2014~
Every quirky pair of shoes I picked up from the wearto sale got a vigorous shake of the head from the hubz. These 2 pairs passed. Top: A pair of sneaker heels that the hubz surprisingly kept encouraging me to try. Me: "I thought you like plain simple shoes?" Him: "The sneakers very cute what!" Btw, there's a gaudy red and yellow mushroom charm by the side. Totally reminded me of Smurfs! Bottom: The simplest pair of ribbon shoes among all the quirky ones.




~9 March 2014~
~❤Jo's 2nd Blog Giveaway❤~
My 2nd blog giveaway is to show my appreciation to all my dearest readers, followers and friends for taking the time to linger around this humble blog of mine and leaving me some heartfelt comments every now and then. From this blogging hobby, I have gained a lot more frequent readers, made a couple more blog friends and also connected with some of you on other social media platforms.

For my Instagram friends/followers who have a blog, do check it out. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.

The gift set includes 4 items:
1. Kimmidoll Natsuki bookmark charm
2. L'Occitane Immortelle Eye Balm
3. Crabtree & Evelyn Citron, Honey & Coriander Hand Therapy
4. Fleurfaerie Korean Pink Dawn Like A Rose Ring

Instructions here:
http://iamjolene.blogspot.sg/2014/03/jos-2nd-blog-giveaway.html




~12 March 2014~
Inspired by an "auntie" who has such a positive outlook in life. She knows the products in her shop very well and was able to advise me accordingly. I felt so happy with her service and my purchase. We were fast chatting and I was surprised to learn that she had undergone her so-called last chemotherapy session a few months back. With her positive outlook in life and bubbly disposition, one could never have guessed that she has suffered from cancer. People thought she merely went for a long break from work and upon finding out that she was battling cancer, said that she should be resting and not working. She maintained that she is the happiest when at work as she loves to see the happy faces of her customers. She maintained: "最重要的是开心就好。" (What's most important is to be happy.) Oh and instead of a plastic bag, she gave me this recycle tote and said that I have to always use this coz it is her gift to me and a gift to the environment.




~14 March 2014~
Division Gala Night 2014 with the theme Super Heroes. TL: Free air brush rose band tattoo at a booth. TR: Super love this deep dark O.P.I shade-- We'll always have Paris. Sweet colleague not only lent me her nail polish but also helped me paint the nails on my right hand since I was screwing up the dark shade so much onto my skin. BL & BR: Super love the fit and material of this Batman T-shirt from DC Comics. I would never buy a Super Heroes T-shirt at its inflated original price! But for UP$55 --> $29 --> $19 --> Buy 3 get 1 free at $14++, my colleagues and I bought them and won the 3rd prize for the best dressed table. 1st was a whole entourage of Chinese legendary Super Heroes in rented costumes and 2nd was a whole team of Super Girls in rented costumes as well. $14++ to win the 3rd prize unexpectedly is a blessing.




~15 March 2014~
Batgirl yesterday; Supergirl today. Uh... More of the geeky female version of Clark Kent with turtle frame glasses. Didn't intend to be a Super Heroine for 2 days in a row but it was the only T-shirt hanging on the rack.




~15 March 2014~
~*Sushi Tei*~
TL: Ikura Chawanmushi -- salmon roe on steamed egg custard
Big love ❤❤❤ Ikura craving checked!
TR: Chuka Wakame -- seaweed
BL: Asari butter -- asari clam sautéed with butter and soya sauce
First time trying Sushi Tei's clams cooked in this manner. The soup tasted just like my signature butter garlic prawns! Next time I should try cooking with clams.
BR: Gindara Teriyaki -- grilled cod fish with teriyaki sauce
Big ❤❤❤ Grilled cod fish is my favourite type of cooked fish in Japanese restaurants. Gindara craving checked!




~15 March 2014~
~*From Sushi Tei Winter Special Menu*~
TL: Kagoshima Wagyu Gyoza
Not a huge fan of Gyoza as the hubby is but this Gyoza is yummy.
TR: Kaki Mentai Mayo Sushi
First time trying this superb dish that ought to be made available on their normal menu. I only take fresh oysters with lemon or tobasco sauce and thought oysters with mentai is a total mistake! How wrong I was! Big ❤❤❤
BL: Kagoshima Wagyu Tataki "30-50% cooked which is equivalent to medium rare" was what the waiter warned us. And we said, "No worries, we like medium rare!"
BR: Kagoshima Wagyu Tataki rolled up in minced radish and chopped spring onions




~15 March 2014~
~*Sushi Tei*~
Golden Roll -- mango king prawn sushi roll
Mango craving checked!
Sashimi Moriawase Rishiri -- Cold crab legs, salmon sashimi, ikura, uni (sea urchin)
Hubby's sea urchin craving checked. I hated the taste of today's urchin. Yucks.
Black Sesame Ice Cream
Matcha Nama Chocolate Ice Cream
Matcha craving checked!




~17 March 2014~
The picture below was once my Whatsapp profile picture for quite some time. It often invited lots of questions like: "What's that you're holding?" "Why are you holding socks to your face?" "Are those socks?" "What are you up to this time?" Blogged about the transformation of these socks at iamjolene.blogspot.sg/2014/03/craft-daft-sock-monster-edition.html




~20 March 2014~
Throwback Thursday -- At Maldives 2011
The last time Kh stood on this boat, the caption read: "A boat had beached itself along with a lunatic who thought he was Captain Jack Sparrow." If you would very kindly take this humorously, this caption would read:
"Jo is not Helen of Troy and her face could launch just one boat."




~23 March 2014~
Reflection




~23 March 2014~
Blogged: A Tribute to Mandy Faith
Mandy Faith is a Malaysian student who was studying in the UK. She is a fine photographer, an inspirational person and a lovely girl who sadly passed away from a virus in February 2014.
Her Instagram account was hacked after her passing and the hacker is currently riding on her legion of followers to make a name for himself/herself.
After commenting on the hacker's photos, my comment together with many others were deleted and we were blocked by the user.
Dear flawlessjournal,
Your intention may have been good but whatever good intention you have about providing inspirational photos and quotes to people seems negligible to your intentional hacking and lying.
It isn't nice at all that you have hacked an account of somebody who had passed away, deleted all her beautiful photos and even pretended that this is an old quotes account of yours that has changed theme. I notice that you have also been deleting comments explaining to people that this used to be Mandy Faith's account and that her account was hacked.
Any decent person with respect for those who passed on would leave their legacy untouched. You have completely marred Mandy Faith's legacy on Instagram.
The video isn't displayed properly here. View it from the Instagram link here instead.




~27 March 2014~
Latergram. At MBS for a full day conference.




~27 March 2014~
Looking at the upside down glass at the conference today, I recalled the conference 2 years ago at RWS. The reflection of the lights on the ceiling looked like little magical stars in a glass. Most beautiful... These little things in life.




~27 March 2014~
No time to eat the 2nd tuna bun for breakfast today. Squashed it in my bag the whole day and look, it flattened to a heart!




~29 March 2014~
Slept the whole damn day and woke up at 8:30pm to see a reminder from gal pal @xtinaong to switch off our lights for 1 hour for Earth Hour. Expended the least energy sleeping and now the lights are off!




~29 March 2014~
Earth Hour is over but we are still in the dark. Hubby surprised me by switching off the air con too. Usually he's the 1st one to reach out for the air con switch. Anyway, this is my current wallpaper dedicated to all cat lovers, animal lovers and earth lovers.




~30 March 2014~
Dinkie my mousasaurus sock toy has a new home! Its new owner loves it so much. She says she would continue keeping its name Dinkie. How sweet! Hope her daughter likes Dinkie too!




There you go. My February and March a la instasummary. You can find me on Instagram by clicking the button below. If you like my pictures, do follow and drop me a message so that I could check out your page too! I really love it when my blog friends and I are connected on other social media platforms too since I know many of them don't blog as often yet have got a lot more updates on their Instagram page. I don't entertain follow for follow requests but if we have enough meaningful exchanges here, I would naturally follow you back, especially if you are my blog friend. Have a happy weekend!

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