Travel & Design Blog - BY YASMIN METZ-JOHNSON

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Thanks to 2014...

Its been a while since I last posted, as I've been trying to get back into the swing of university, I've also been working so I haven't had much free time this month. I hope your Christmas was filled with the same fun and laughter as mine was.

2014 has been amazing year, most of all an eye opener, as I was fortunate enough to do some travelling throughout the year. Here is a list of some things I am grateful for learning about in the year 2014. A year I definitely won't be forgetting anytime soon!

Happy New Year in advance everybody.



THANKS TO 2014...



* I learnt a new language - I spent half the year in Dakar, Senegal where I did my work placement. I had never learnt French before so this was more than a challenge. Its still not up to scratch but its a lot more than what I did know at the beginning of the year. Merci beaucoup to my teachers!

* I'm not afraid to do it alone - Don't wait for permission or confirmation from anybody. Trust your gut feelings and learn not to doubt yourself all the time. 

* I've made new friends from all over the world - It is daunting going abroad alone, however I wasn't alone for long as I eventually met more people. 

* I concluded that the London Underground is fantastic! -  and I will never ever complain about it again after experiencing the New York Subway

I learnt how to Salsa dance - This became my extra curricular when I was in Dakar as on of my colleages taught the classes!

* We are so fortunate - I am lucky to have English as my first language. During my time at Exit Festival (the biggest european festival) I met different nationalities of people and everyone's common ground was English. Growing up in the UK we do not have the same pressure to learn an additional language the same way other nationalities must do to learn English for example.

* I've met some really talented people - In both Africa and America, from graphic designers, illustrators to jewellery makers, I think Mia and Aaron will agree with me on this that their grind/stories were very inspiring.

* I've gained so much experience in my field - Many thanks to Atelier d'architecture Reda Sliemen and Atmos Studio.

* Nothing could have prepare for my final year I have ahead - Class of 2015

The importance of saving! - Pay yourself first.

* I learnt not to be a consumer (of everything, clothes mostly) - I think many factors have a part to play in this, but first and mostly it was travelling. I packed so much to Senegal, so much that I didn't even wear everything. Then during the summer when I camped for the Exit Festival I lived out of one bag. That put it all in perspective for me.

* I learnt how to knit - Everything is on Youtube these days!!

* I travelled to places I had never been to before. - Senegal, Serbia, Montenegro, New York and France. I didn't even plan to travel this year, it almost fell into place. Festival abroad, my placement was abroad and my birthday was on a weekend = Paris!

* I tried new things - A lot of new food. I also went to the BBC Proms for the first time during the end of summer.

* I camped abroad! At the Exit festival we camped in Novi Sad, Serbia for the week. before camping in  Budva, Montenegro for 3 days.

* French guys - It doesn't matter what race, height, occupation they are, all Parisian men are extremely good looking. (from what I saw anyway..)

* I learnt there are kind hearted people in the world! - Firstly my Senegalese family I will be forever grateful and never forget the way they looked after me. Secondly thank you so much to the person who handed in my purse I lost last week! 

* I am now a patient person - I am pretty impatient but have learnt that good things take time and patience. I also reflect and remember how patient my colleages and teachers were with me when I was learning the language and software programmes.

* I am a lot wiser than I was a year ago.. 

2014 I wouldn't change a thing.
Bring on 2015!!


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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Baking master class with Dr. Oetker

www.evenbetterbaking.oetker.co.uk

Last Friday a friend invited me to a master class baking workshop ran by Dr. Oetker in Brick Lane, Shoreditch for one week only. It was a free class where we learnt different crafting techniques on cupcakes. The teacher was great, giving clear instructions at every stage. We also recieved goodie bags which at the end of the session which is always a plus! At the front of the store were all of their products displayed for passing customers. Most of all it was a fun hour and a half where I learnt a new skill. To find out more about future pop up events with Dr.Oetker check out their site.






My cupcakes! I wish I remembered to take a picture before packing them away.







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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Remembrance Day 'The Blood Swept Land and Sea's of Red'













Earlier today many gathered at the Tower of London to honor those who lost their lives during the First World War. This year makes it a hundred years since the start of the war in 1914 (ended in 1918).  Each ceramic poppy placed on a metal stem on the grounds of the Tower of London, represents a British or colonial military death. I came to see the display early October, where many volunteers were progressively planting the designed poppies. 888,246 poppies created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins currently fill the Tower’s moat. They first began to plant the poppies mid July and will begin the removal process tomorrow. I really admire what set designer Tom Piper has successfully achieved, which is public awareness, and the opportunity for people to connect and remember loved ones by preserving and cherishing their memory through artwork like The Blood Swept Land and Sea’s of Red. 


These poppies can be bought at £25 

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

21 again in Paris!






Last weekend I spent my birthday weekend in Paris! I will never do a weekend again…because a weekend is way too short! However it is just the right amount of time to see all of Paris's main attractions. The short break was also an excuse to practice my rusty French. Luckily for us the weather was great as the sun shined throughout the day and dawn on both Friday and Saturday. I used the Eurostar for the very first time, however I haven't got much to report on it as I slept both journeys. We arrived at Gard du Nord at 09:15am on the last day of October and spent 3 nights in Louis' beautiful apartment thanks once again to Air bnb. The apartment was located really close to the metro and surrounding parks, I couldn't have chosen I better place to stay! Here is a run down of what I got up to in Paris!



Vendredi 31/10/2014

Cruise sur la Siene: This is the one thing I recommend anyone visiting Paris should do, to take a cruise a long the Siene. We did it with Bato bus who stop at 7 different tourist attractions each spaced about 10-20 minutes away from each other. It is a hop on and hop off system where you can also buy 2 day tickets. They also do a decent student discount rate, so do not forget your student card like I did! :(





Arch de Triomphe





Champ-Elysees: One of Paris' most famous streets with many shops and restaurants to choose from!




Notre Dame Cathedral



Pompidou Centre



Les Marais: We ended the evening in Les Marais, a historic areas now filled with lots of bars!

Samedi 01/11/2014 ( Mon anniversaire!)

Musee de Louvre: I loved it! We saw the exhibition of the Medieval Morocco showing an empire from Africa to Spain, it was interesting to learn about. We also saw the famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci of course.




Eiffel Tower: The famous tower, I've finally seen it in the flesh, I was surprised at the scale I thought it would be smaller for some reason. I didn't go to the top I was too impatient to wait in the 2 hour queue. The view from below was fine for me.



Le Dome Cafe: this place sells the best ice cream! I am sure the food is great too, but we only went for dessert. It is close to the Eiffel Tower on the corner on Avenue de la Bourdonnais, you can't miss it!


image from insidebars.wordpress.com


Monmartre: is a hill in the North of Paris, during the walk there we saw their market place, Moulin Rouge and other shows.



Sacre Coeur: is full with beautiful art work and markets, the best part is the view from the Sacre Coeur Cathedral ( my battery had died at this point to capture the moment) where many people sat in front of the steps of the cathedral to see the lit up city.



Grand Boulevard: Another location with many bars and clubs to choose from!

Dimanche 02/11/2014

St Canal Martin: Sunday was pretty chilled as we strolled along the St Canal Martin, and checked out the shops before having lunch at Canaletto Caffe.







Peré Lachaise Cemetery: We walked to the Peré Lachaise cemetery garden from the canal, it wasn't too far ( 20-25 minutes I would say the most). This is the largest cemetery in Paris, with the most creative and grand tomb stones I have ever seen, it is also where writer Oscar Wilde is buried.



Bibliothéque National Français: The Library which was established in 1461 was overwhelming huge, although we did need to library card to go into the reading zones.



Lundi 03/11/2014

Euro star train at 06:45am, au revoir Paris! :( Jusqu'à la prochaine fois.

 Some more pictures from my trip below, enjoy.



Bride on love lock bridge



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Friday, 17 October 2014

Alex Chinneck installation at Covent Garden


British artist Alex Chinneck does it again. He continues to keep people wondering about his art illusions with his latest work named 'Take my lightning but don't steal my thunder' making more than a statement at Covent Garden as the piazza replica of the historic 184 year old Market building appears to be torn with the upper half levitated creating a surreal scenery for the public to endure.

Take my Lightning but don't steal my thunder is on display until 24th October 2014.








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