I used to refer to the UK as Home. It's where I was born, grew up, got married, and lived until 7 months ago when I moved to another country. I was raised to be proud of my British heritage, and informed of UK history. While studying at university I felt compelled to give back to the community and began working in schools, later completing training in Education.

I've worked with difficult youth, experienced their aggression first hand and listened to the reasons behind it. They explained how they felt over-looked, undervalued and misunderstood. They talked about how the groups of friends or gangs gave them purpose and made them feel important, powerful. By over-protecting them and under-disciplining them we've created a generation of misinformed youth that thinks no-one cares. They've become selfish and lack any fear of consequence as they haven't been confronted by any before. They are empowered by their ignorance, believing that looting and public disorder will only effect the police and government. They lack the foresight to understand that it is the hard-working members of their communities they are sabotaging, the people they so desperately want to respect them. So the divide deepens, fear and contempt grow and the rioters don't make their point, it still goes unheard but they do close the doors that could have helped them get it across.

It's so painful to watch the coverage; these young people destroying their memories and their futures, destroying the places they have grown up in, the places they may possibly raise their own families. They don't comprehend the privileges they have access to, they take for granted; the opportunities they are given. I understand that in comparison to others in the UK they may not have much if anything, but consider their fortunes in comparison with other parts of the globe. Yet, they display their selfishness and lacking fear of repercussion by taking the things they want and more beside, but are still too cowardly to show their faces, choosing to hide behind hoods and scarves; they are still children after-all.

Home may no longer be the UK for me, but it holds a hugely special place in my heart. I long for its crisp mornings, frosty windows and cut-grass fragrance. These are the images I will hold dear, hoping that eventually these troublemakers will see sense and beauty in the country they seem intent on destroying. I hope the fear they are creating does not consume too many and they can claw their communities back from these events. The British spirit is strong and welcoming, all those who now call the UK home, I hope, will help to clean it up.

Kt x

A Thursday...

In Dubai, Thursdays are the last day of the working week as the weekend consists of Friday (Prayer day) and Saturday. And yes, getting up on a Sunday to go to work takes a bit of getting used too! Summer vacation means I'm at home and privileged to spend time with this little fella:

We played Jasper's favourite game of chase, under the blanket (he thinks you can't see him, like he's in stealth mode). Although I've learnt from previous games to keep my body parts out of the way so I used a plastic stick as bait.

As you may be aware, it's Ramadan. August is a difficult month for it to fall on as it's so very hot. The Municipality have imposed shorter working hours as they do every Ramadan, which is lovely as it means Mr Shortcake is home a little earlier.

Due to the restrictions on eating and drinkng in public I've not ventured out much other than to pop to the corner shop (it's more of a massive supermarket not on a corner!). Mr Shortcake thought it might be interesting to explore Dubai a little to see what kind of changes take place during Ramadan. We were aware that some businesses close and most food outlets only offer take-away for those not fasting so we went to see for ourselves. We started in the Mall of the Emirates where they have a beautiful display of twinkly Ramadan lights in their fashion dome. The huge inflatable stars pulsated too:

It was eeriely quiet in the shopping mall. Any of you that have visited Dubai will know that the malls are packed day and night so it was very strange to see it so sparsely populated.

Next stop was Safa Park, Gate 4 where they have a cannon that fires at sunset to signal the end of the days' fast. As it is our first Ramadan we were keen to check it out. We weren't sure what to expect but we were certainly a little intimidated by the sight of the sleak military cannon and the four officers sat nearby.

A few spectators had gathered early like us, but as sunset drew closer large SUV's pulled in with the passengers choosing to remain in the air-conditioned atmosphere of their vehicles rather than stand on the side lines with us. I moved at the last minute and stood on the other side where you can see the people in the image above. You will see from the video I've included below that it may not have been the best idea.

BOOM! I'm grateful that my ears didn't mind the sudden abuse but the poor young man next to me was a little shocked by the sound.

As the call to prayer rang out and the fast was broken we drove to Jumeirah Mosque, a mosque that is open to visitors on certain days. They had put in an extra special effort to decorate the mosque for Ramadan and it looked spectacular:

So beautiful! It was lovely to view and experience some of the aspects of Ramadan here in Dubai. We also plan to visit an Iftar buffet at some point too. Traditionally fast is broken with dates (I love dates) and juice, followed a little later with a slighltly heavier meal, but of course in Dubai there are many many variations to try. Tomorrow we have a clothing fitting at the tailors, I've never had tailor made clothes before so I'm a little excited!

On the beach: Crustacean


I'm suffering from what I guess is a creative lull. Two action packed months out here in Dubai, with glorious weather followed by an intense week of sightseeing with my parents has clearly exhausted my creative flair. It's ok though, I know it will return. I've been using my sketchbook this week, the first time for months, and I start a new job at the beginning of next week so all will return to normal once more.

It has been a strange week for Dubai, the weather suddenly changed, humidity and temperatures rose and a lingering sandstorm imposed itself on the city. I stayed in the apartment most of the time as I'm not one for getting clammy. Then yesterday the sandstorm gave way to cloud and lots of it. By the evening we were watching a fantastic display of lightening and heavy rain. I believe it rained for most of the night.

It has left this morning feeling fresh and regenerated, but cloud and drizzly; the balcony is bearable this morning, allowing me to write this out here and enjoy my morning cup of coffee. I also receive delivery of my hire car today, I'm a little nervous about driving on the crazy roads!

For now though, I will endeavour to continue with my regular blog posts. I know they don't give a lot away about my personal life and creativity, that will come with time. Soon I hope to inter-disperse them with posts about new work and adventures.

Until then, your patience and feedback is greatly appreciated!

Thank you!

Love love love,



I've been Missing In Action as my Folks came to visit. I had the best of intentions to continue blogging while they were here but this never transpired; I was having way too much fun at the water park/dune-bashing/going up the world's tallest building etc! Normal service will resume with a (slightly late) On The Beach post.


Love, love, love...

Love this tutorial...

Love this one too….

Love this one as well…

(copyright for images belong to sources)

Looks like a weekend full of DIY is on the cards…

Love, love, love...

On the beach: foam

Still not sure what this is!

Coloration: Orange

Love, love, love...

Love this living room…

Love these woven fabric, the colours and patterns are delightful…

Love organised collections…

(copyright for images belong to sources)
Love love love,

On the beach: bricks

Love, love, love...

So in Love with these boots:

Love how cute these socks look:

Love to try this when my hair is longer:

(copyright for images belong to sources)
Love, love, love

On the beach: bowl

New look, new features...

As I've started a new life in another country I thought it was an appropriate time to give my blog a makeover. I hope you like it! I'm very new to the html editing that goes alongside running a blog, so with the help of the Blogger forums, my time and patience I've finally got there!

I'm also going to be introducing some regular features:

On the beach - Mr Shortcake and I have pledged that we will walk down our local beach at least once a week together. The beach is a magical place for me, evoking childhood memories of holidays, books and movies. I do also find that the beach can be a strange place where treasures can be washed up and wondrous moments can be witnessed; I plan on documenting these findings in my weekly blog post!

Love love love - I have used this title once before but I think it's very appropriate as I use the term so very often! I will be posting three things I love every week; whether it be art, music, places, people, food… who knows! I will share my inspiration with you.

Coloration - a fortnightly post of photographs involving colour in my neighbourhood. They will be themed: one colour per post, sometimes a combination.

Ornamentation - alternating with Coloration, this will include images of patterns and flourishes I've discovered in my daily adventures.

Although an 'on the beach' post has already snuck in I'll be starting these regular features from Sunday. Until then I'm going to allow my brain to relax by spending some time on the beach……

On the beach: nap-time

Blossomking Bespoke Bouquets

My amazingly talented friend gave me the most precious wedding gift; my bouquet.

Becky and I met at college where we studied Art and Textiles together; we've been great friends ever since. After college Becky went on to study Floral design; she has a natural flare and set up a business in with her mother: Blossomking Floral Design. Becky's arrangements have always had that little something extra, for her own wedding she used lanterns, mirrors and wired bodices incorporating flowers for her table centres, it was beautiful (I pinched a lantern and have it on display in my home alongside a photo of the happy couple!). I have always known that when I eventually got married it would be Becky I would entrust with the floral arrangements; she just gets me!

So after Mr Shortcake proposed I immediately started to filter images and inspiration from wedding blogs down to Becky.

We were planning a long engagement to allow for sufficient savings to be made, as we didn't want to fall into the trap of taking out a loan, so my thoughts on bouquets took a back seat while I finished up my studies. Unbeknownst to me, Becky's creative brain had been ticking over and she produced this beauty in the summer time:

The minute I saw it I needed it! I put in a request to reserve it and kept my fingers crossed someone else wouldn't get it before me.

A few months past and Mr Shortcake got the call for the job in Dubai and suddenly our relaxed wedding plans, which were just pictures I'd saved into a folder, had to be actioned. We had TWO WEEKS to plan a wedding. The panic set in. I called Becky to let her know and asked if I could buy the bouquet on the website. She said yes! Becky also added that if I need anything changing she would do it for me if I let her know. Once Mr Shortcake had picked my shoes (yes, I let him choose, he has great taste!) I acquired some ribbon to match and sent it down to her workshop in Bedfordshire. Accompanying the ribbon were some vintage buttons that matched in colour. Becky gave me a call and asked the colour of my dress and whether I had a preference between gold and silver. I then received this tantalizing picture:

I was now uber excited; she was making me a bespoke bouquet, all of my own and was also giving it to me as a present. It was so very generous I had a little cry! Along with the bouquet were matching buttonholes for Mr Shortcake and Dad Shortcake and a corsage for Mum Shortcake too! They were beautiful and more than I could have hoped for. The most precious thing was that as they are all artificial we are able to keep them as a memento of the occasion. Mum and Dad Shortcake have theirs next to a wedding photo of us!

Becky has since gone on to produce numerous designs in different colours for brides that want something a little bit different form your standard bridal bouquets. One of my favourites’ is 'Victoria', a beautiful gold bouquet:


Becky collects all the buttons and jewelry herself, bedding them on a base of foam roses. The foam roses look so authentic one customer actually remarked how lovely they smelt not realising they were artificial!!!

Hop on over to Becky's Facebook page and have a look.


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