Bank holiday weekend highlights: parks, gardens and history


Green retreats and historical places are the best short destinations to visit in the city. Royal Parks, gardens and museums enchant my eyes and transport me in other times, escaping the routine and challenge the mind. 

This weekend I went to see live the Still Pond, the most published capture and representative for Isabella’s Plantation. It’s very idyllic to gaze to the still water of the pond where colourful Rhododrendons and azaleas are reflecting. The other ponds are populated with yellow irises and water fouls. The deers were very friendly and let themselves be photographed by the visitors in close ups. 
The Hampton Court Palace offered the best performance lied on the border of the Thames. I traced a few famous painting by Rembrandt, Titzian, Rubens, found at the favourite court of Henry VIII. Also I went on his steps following him on his apartments, on the Magic Gradens, the Kitchen Gardens and admired the Great Hall whose ceiling are decorated with magical creatures and eavesdroppers maybe hanging there to make p

Little pleasures and secret oasis in the city


A stretch of wood and wildlife in the heart of the vibrant King’ Cross, along Regent’s Canal. The Camley Street Natural Park is a dense little woodland with ponds, meadow wildflowers, shrubbery and its woodlanders…insects, birds and fish. A kept secret and hidden place, tucked away from the eyes of the city lovers. It’s just for the wanderers and for the true seekers of greenery and authenticity. It’s lunch break regal to go for a stroll on a hot summer day and eat your meal sitting on a bench nearby the pond or to enjoy a coffee on the site’s terrace. Either way you’ll get a positive mood and a boost of energy without too much effort. 

I am a thorough seeker of places that are not very marketed despite their worthiness. I like to discover authentic places that do not address to the crowd and will not be on the consumers’ wish list. For me this is a real gem, a treasure in the middle of a busy and full of brands area of London, nearby Google offices, the Univeristy of Arts, Camden Library and fancy restaurants in the Granary Square or the Stables. 

This is a place to soothe your mind and soul reading poetry or meditating when you’ve got little time. It’s a refuge for resting your mind and chilling down. This has been a way to detach myself from the anxiety I’ve got the whole week. It’s been therapeutical and exciting in the same time to discover and enjoy a couple of minutes of escapism from the city features and connecting with true self. 

This beautiful fantastic


A movie about gardening, books and frienship. 

“Creating a garden starts as an interest and soon becomes a lifetime’s obsession. One that can be engaged in a moment’s notice, by simply stepping outside. A true gardener can create more happiness propagating life in one seed and seeing that single flower unfold, than the rich man could ever get from his perfect, rolling lawns.

So inspiring, resourceful and delicate. My kind of movie. 

Creating a garden
starts as an interest
and soon becomes
a lifetime's obsession.
One that can be engaged
on a moment's notice,
by simply stepping outside.
"A true gardener can
create more happiness
propogating life in one seed
and seeing that single flower unfold,
than a rich man could ever get
from his perfect, rolling lawns.

Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=this-beautiful-fantastic
Creating a garden
starts as an interest
and soon becomes
a lifetime's obsession.
One that can be engaged
on a moment's notice,
by simply stepping outside.
"A true gardener can
create more happiness
propogating life in one seed
and seeing that single flower unfold,
than a rich man could ever get
from his perfect, rolling lawns."

Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=this-beautiful-fantastic
Creating a garden
starts as an interest
and soon becomes
a lifetime's obsession.
One that can be engaged
on a moment's notice,
by simply stepping outside.
"A true gardener can
create more happiness
propogating life in one seed
and seeing that single flower unfold,
than a rich man could ever get
from his perfect, rolling lawns."

Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=this-beautiful-fantastic
Creating a garden
starts as an interest
and soon becomes
a lifetime's obsession.
One that can be engaged
on a moment's notice,
by simply stepping outside.
"A true gardener can
create more happiness
propogating life in one seed
and seeing that single flower unfold,
than a rich man could ever get
from his perfect, rolling lawns."

Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/movie_script.php?movie=this-beautiful-fantastic

Exploring Hampstead Heath woodlands


I love nature and spending time in the middle of it, is my weekend’s bigest achievement now that I live in London. I could walk for the whole day through the woods and still wonder at the sight of a spot of a sunlighted bunch of bluebells as if I had never seen flowers in my life. 

Yesteday it was an absolute marvel: woodland, gardens, historic  house, art, sunshine, everything on the same day and in the same neighbourhood, Hampstead Heath. 

I started my walk at Gospel Oak entrancr and walked past the ponds, men’s, women’s and the mixed one. Not little were my surprise when I actually see people swimming and dome of them without wearing their thermal swim suit. We started to climb the hills and walked intl the dogs exhibition, then carried on with our path and stepped onto the Kenwood House property. A dark alley welcome us, vaulted by trees, twisted and entagled forming archways and paved with dead leaves and spots of bluebells. After cooling ourselves along these alleys we finally came to the light, passing by a ornamental bridge accommodating a clear pond populated with lot of fish. The meadow spreading in front of us was neat and freshly landscaped and raw, highlighting the ivory house rising in front of you. Climbing the hill, just as you finish the stairs you will be blessed with the colourful bushes of rhododendrons and azaleas, peope with their picnic baskets, serene, jovial and smiling. After exhausting all the flowery pathways, I went into the house to explore the hidden gems there. A very helful and informative lady welcome us at the entrance asking whether we liked to see the house or to listen to the music concert. I preferred to visit the house especially they exhibit Rembrandt, Vermeer, British School and Sussex collection paintings. The interiors coated with stunning art collections were kept to their original times when owned by 1st Earl of Mansfield or adapted to the other owners, from 17th century to 1986 when the English Heritage took it over. It was a walk to remember. 

My other objective was Pergola and Hill Gardens, a heaven on earth. One storey pathway, covered by a wood pergola embellished by wisteria and jasmine. The interior gardens with the hard and soft landscape offered a unique view. The other side of the gardens offered another type of landscaped, vivid colours, a meadow around the reflecting pond and terraced alleys with flowers and plants. 

Spring break


I had a nice holiday in March, back at home, in Romania. A tourist in my country. I started my holiday by visiting a very dear city where I’ve got friends, where I lived and lots of memories, Timisoara.

I tried to revisit a few of spots that I’ve loved like Unirii Square, webbed by cafe bars and terraces on a sunny day, surtounded by the stunning buildings inherited from the Austro-Hungarians and Habsburgs that today still last and are refurbished. I had a classic breakfast in one if these bistros with vaulted ceileings and light painting. After then I celebrated my visit to Timisoara with my friend on a sunny terrace with a glass of prosecco. I tried to get tickets to the opera but there were no performances during my stay. 

Bega Canal River is hosting on both sides many restaurants and cafes where you can admire the weeping willows or the watersports lovers, in a quiet place in the busy city of the Western part of Romania. Or just sip a fresh lemonade with a portion of Romanian dumplings. My favorites are Flora restaurant, Terasa Gradina Banateana, Riviere Brasserie, D’Arc pe Mal or Porto Arte, a ship restaurant perfect for destinations for chilly weather and the best for a sunny weather. There are gas heathers for the outdoor spaces and sunbathed terraces when the weather treat us well. Of course one shouldn’t miss the late night indoor spaces with live music for everyone’s taste. I was blessed to be there back in 2013, it was a late summer in October and the nature was showcasing the best colours especially in mild honey tones. 

Back to my hometown I drove near to Luncani Valley, where my ancestors had their shelters in Orastie Mountains and Cioclovina Cave, leaving behind burried lots secrets. 

I went there to forage some nettles that I like the way my mother cook them, stew, broth they are so healthy as long as they are picked very young, baby leaves. 

I also climbed the hills with my dog and my father to look for other herbs for tea. The day was glorious, haven’t seen such a blue sky with no spot on for quite a while. One could still see the peeks of Retezat Mountains covered by snow. 

So peaceful and lovely, it was a real theraoy for soul, body and mind to go back to my roots. I still would have liked to go to a spa in one of the places I like, either UMT in Timisoara, Do Stil Wellness or somewhere in my county, Geoagiu, Hunedoara, Deva, Aqyaland or just drive to Mercure Hotel to Lancram, Alba Iulia. Then I would definitely would like to go to the opera to hear one of my favorite opera singer Mihaela Marcu. 

My wisteria hysteria


This time of the year is about wisteria. I am absolutely thrilled with the wisteria in blossom and hence trying to spot on places where this tree is growing with its abundance and all its splendour. I recently found a picture on Instagram mentioning Peckham Rye Park and showing a picture of the pathway below. Fortunately, I had the chance to visit it yesterday morning. It was breezy and a chill wind blew but it couldn’t stop me to take the overground and head to Peckham Rye. The strech of green meadow is huge, with Japonese Gardens, Sexby Garden, The Oval and the Lake. The weeping willows over the water, and the weeping wisteria over the alleys or solitary benches are going to confort you along the stroll you take in the park. 

Yesterday it was all about wisteria and the neighbourhood kept that tone as well. Getting out on the highstreet, we were searching for a urban vintage cafe shop to drink a hot cocoa accompanied by a nice home made pastry or pie. On my way I saw a white wisteria raining down upon the wall of an isolated house. We found a nice heated terrace with glass fence panels and wisteria curtains falling over. I opted for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, at the Clock House, as closure of my little wander on London’s Royal Parks. 

The Universe and its laws… or Cretan nights


Many years ago while I was back and forth, in and out Greece, I met a guy. We worked together as baristas in a Cretan village cafeteria. I was serving coffees, he was making them, I was pouring drinks to the locals that were homies there and he was chatting with them. Slowly he started to flirt with me as I was seductively wearing my dresses of sophisticated East European girl. I played a little cold but afterwards I responded to his infatuation. We started to go out together although I knew he was dating another local girl. Soon she dissapeared and we let ourselves carried away by those summer nights heats. We spent a very nice time together, going out for dance, food and drinks after work. In September my stay was over for that year. I had to go back to my country to finish my last year at the university. It’s been painful to let him there on the peer but still I had the comfort of the feeling that our story wouln’t end there. We kept in touch for the whole time until I went back to Crete. It was like finding my man after only a fews days since I left the island, warm, familiar, caring and responsible of his mature and deep feelings for me. He got a day job in town and was helping me find one for me, more serious. I still was flirty and behaved seductively although I didn’t mean it. One evening, we were out with some friends and I got a phone call from a guy that we both knew, from his village and a customer of the cafeteria we used to work together. I really can’t remember how he got my phone number but I remember my talking to that guy wasn’t on my sweetheart taste. I felt embarrassed and didn’t really understand why I was sending twisted messages to people. It wasn’t my intention to have a flirty chat or to upset my guy. On the spirit of last summer I felt like being open, nice and warm. I didn’t even like that guy that called. We had a pleasant evening and nothing seemed to spoil our days to come together. We said good night as we normally did. I got a job at a hotel the following days and as I hadn’t have any news from him I called. The number I dialled was unreachable and never got any phone call from him or saw him ever again. The community was small and once I worked in a very popular beach bar for a couple of days. I found a bottle of whiskey that had a post it with his name on it and asked my collegue who was it for. His answer confirmed that it was about him. He was there one night before with his friends and didn’t drink the whole bottle so they had kept for him. He didn’t come back in any of the days I worked there although I secretely wished for. Needless to say how many times I had tried to reach him that summer. Never met him or anyone to give me any detail about him or our story. He left me as we had never been together. Vanished. Dissapeared. The last night we were together he confessed he loved me and that he loved me from the previous year. I don’t remember how long after, might be that autumn or next year when I found out from Katerina, the owner of the cafeteria that he married the girl he was with when I had first met him. She must haved loved him a lot and she deserved him more so that the Universe gave him to her so silently that I’ve even asking myself if it was real. The memory of that story is bitter sweet in my mind, that summer, ease and confidence of everlasting life together. 

I couldn’t understand why this happened and especially why had it had to be that way. I carried on, suffering in silence and didn’t even have the chance to revolt myself against it. I was just witnessing what the other decided for him, forcing me to summon myself to his decision without the right to have a say. Somehow I buried all my feelings and resentment for all these years. My memory still wander on deserted streets of that Cretan town, looking for his silhouette in the dark, hoping to get a glimpse of the truth and of what has become of him.