Wednesday 2 November 2011

Challenge 8: Tell a Story

From my list of challenges, telling a story was right up there as an obvious one for me - I love to write a lot. The hard part was getting it all on the page.

In then end, to challenge myself to do something new, I branched out and made an extra coordinating 6x12 page on notebook style paper. That gave me the space to tell the whole story which I lifted from my Istanbul travel journal. The story of how we realised our dreams of being lady travellers of independent means.

My friend Ruth and I have travelled together a couple of times. We both have very similar tastes holiday-wise so it works out well. It was Ruth that got me hooked on Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody novels, where Amelia, our herione, sets out as a lady traveller of independent means to see the world. She's a forthright Victorian lady who takes no nonsense and has many adventures solving crime and studying archaeology, armed with a parasol and "damnable self-assurance". And rope. For tying up criminals, apparently. If you haven't read them, do. They're fab! Anyway, she is our inspiration at times, and since we both have jobs and therefore are of independent means...

-*Travel Journal extract*-

I'm having tea in the MOST AMAZING hotel, sat in a ballroom that looks as though its exotic elegance hasn't changed in at least 70 years and I'm sipping tea that, at 14TL a pot, cost 14 times more than most cups of tea we've had here. It did come with a free tiny pastry on a dish in the shape of a leaf though.

We came because apparently Agatha Christie wrote Murder on the Orient Express here in room 411. As lady travellers of independent means, we decided to see if we could step in for a cuppa and a journal. After all, pressing our faces up against the window had revealed an attractive tea room.

We tailed a doorman into the hotel and were immediately greeted by hoards of staff who security scanned our bags (odd) and ushered us into a gorgeous lobby. A promising start, as I was in jeans, a hoody and walking boots and half expected to be told to go away and not come back until I looked decent. We asked if we could have tea (yes) and were offered a tour. We looked like tourists, not guests, clearly...


There's more on the card about the wingback armchairs that we sat in to write (I want to upholster everything I own in that fabric), the marble staircase, the old lift-in-a-cage (second oldest in Europe after the Eifle tower. The tour was quite informative), the chandeliers, the parquet floor and the way everything was dripping with a combination of vintage European decadence combined with exotic oriental touches.

Poirot would have approved, I think.

Anyway, long story shortened somewhat, we aspire to travel in that kind of style one day. But until then, we're content with tea and a tour and a complementary map. It's pop-up. Score.

Kisses xxx

P.S. It's dark when I'm at home these days, so it's tricky to get good pictures of pages. Sigh.

P.P.S. Thanks for the comments on my last post - made me all happy inside! Loved hearing about your travel journals, and I LOVED the links Elizabeth, thanks!


  1. That tour sounds like it should have a photo page (or 2 or 3) to itself. I have similar problems with LO photos this time of year. I put a big wooden bread board on the hob and use the extractor fan light. It's not perfect but, combined with the white tiles, it is a big improvement on the dingy living room light.

  2. Fabulous post, I love posts where you get to hear the stories behind the photos or titles :)
    I love the layout, a nice balance of busy and quiet.

  3. Great post sounds like a great trip! Love how you've done your journalling
    Alison xx

  4. I love the idea of an extension page - it works brilliantly!

  5. I didn't want to stop reading - you write so lovely. I like the extension page too...great idea.

  6. It sounds like you really have had an amazing time, I want to travel and experience these places too :) Great little extension page, I like that idea, and your layout is lovely as always :)

  7. This is so pretty, I always love how you find different ways to include a lot of journaling :)

  8. Loved your travelogue story, indeed a better one than mine.
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