Spring: welcome cherry trees!

Posted by The London Ginger (Para ler esse post em português, clique aqui)
Spring Greenwich Park 2017

After a beautiful autumn and a long winter here in London, I can say that everyone is waiting for colours, warmth and the spring flowers.

Here spring is a serious thing. The city gets very colourful and full of flowers everywhere – on the streets, stores, parks (such lovely parks). The parks all look beautiful with green leaves and a huge variety of flowers.

The London Ginger - Spring Greenwich Park 2017
But, every year, what really gets my attention are the cherry trees, especially at Greenwich Park, which is very close to home. Last week the cherry trees blossomed, and when this happens, what a visual it is. I went to the park to enjoy the view that got even more beautiful, as well as the weather, which was also perfect – sunny, warm and practically without a single cloud in the sky.

The London Ginger - Spring Greenwich Park 2017
The London Ginger - Spring Greenwich Park 2017
The cherry trees do not last long. They blossom and soon the flowers fall from the branches, so we rushed to see and take some pictures, (and everyone one else was there doing the same thing). The park was very crowded with people and their cameras, all admiring e registering this gorgeous view.
The London Ginger - Spring Greenwich Park 2017
The London Ginger - Spring Greenwich Park 2017
Here is a poem from one of my favourite authors: William Blake

“Sound the flute!
Now it’s mute.
Birds delight
Day and night;
Nightingale
In the dale,
Lark in sky,
Merrily,
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little boy,
Full of joy;
Little girl,
Sweet and small;
Cock does crow,
So do you;
Merry voice,
Infant noise,
Merrily, merrily, to welcome in the year.

Little lamb,
Here I am;
Come and lick
My white neck;
Let me pull
Your soft wool;
Let me kiss
Your soft face;
Merrily, merrily, we welcome in the year.”

How I moved to another country with my pets (steps and tips)

Posted by The London Ginger (Para ler esse post em português, clique aqui)
Sookie

When we started organising our move with our pets to London we initially thought it would be more complicated, bureaucratic and hard. But, if you are organised and do your research so you don’t miss nothing important, the work will not be as hard as it seems. There are steps to follow, and I will share our experience on this post.

Our family is composed of two dogs, five cats (all rescue/adopted) and two humans. This number can be scary, and is the main reason behind we hear things such as: “you are insane”, “what do you mean, you brought them from Brazil?”, “it must have been a lot of work”. And on our day-to-day life they are no trouble at all, and our routine is so full of love, laughter and fun that the work is irrelevant. I can’t imagine life without my pets.

But, let’s talk about the steps and organisation for the move.

First of all, you must check the place you intend to take your pet, since the law and requests differ from each country. Here I will focus on the steps to bring them to the UK.

Until 2012, there was a “quarantine” process in London that lasted between 60 to 90 days where the pet would stay in a shelter (a specific place where pets were taken when they arrive in London) and you were responsible for all the expenses, etc. Only after this period that the pet got released to go home. Mas since then, this has changes (which is great, because this sounds terrible for the pet).

The “quarantine” period is now from the date in which the serology material is collected from the pet, until the day the report is released allowing the pet to travel (this period is 90 days days long). I will talk more about this test.

Once the place you are taking them is decided and the laws are verified, it is time to take the determined steps. I recommend taking six months to organise and take every step, but there are ways of accelerating the process, depending on the urgency.

So, what are the steps to prepare the pets to travel?

  1.  Microchip – the pet must be microchipped in order to travel (keep the document with the specific number of each pet because you will need to present them later with other documents);
  2. Vaccination – V10 for dogs/V8 for cats and anti-rabbies;
  3. Serology Test – one month after getting their vaccination, the pet must take blood samples to be taken to the Zoonosis department in your city so they can generate a report after 90 days which will allow your pet to travel if no irregularity is found. In case it is, you must take care of the pets’ health and redo the test;
  4. Pet health check-up – done by the pet’s veterinarian.

These are the bureaucratic steps to be taken. Now let’s talk about plane tickets, transportation and forwarding agents.

For other countries inside the European Union it’s not necessary to use an agent to handle the process of the pets leaving and arriving in another country, but specifically for the United Kingdom (and London), it is mandatory.

We chose for this service in Brazil a company called MM Cargo Logistics. I researched many other companies, but this one had the best recommendations and the best customer care soe we could ask all the necessary questions. It was this same company that recommended the company to handle the London side – called JCS Livestock, which was a partner of theirs.

My experience with the company was excellent, and during the entire trip (from the moment they picked-up the pets at home in Brazil, to the moment they arrived in London), they kept me abreast of each part of the journey with messages and even pictures of the pets at the airport up to the moment they had to board the plane. That was very helpful.

Another important part of my research was regarding the airline companies. After reading a lot of reviews and talking to many companies, I felt that the only companies that I could safely send my pets where through Lufthansa or KLM. We decided to go ahead with Lufthansa.

The airplane ticket is charged by the size of each transportation kennel (or carrier) in which the pet travels. So I split the pets so a few went in pairs and others alone. The price (by kennel and not pet) where around 200 and 300 Euros (this value varies from each company).

The transportation kennel must fit the pet with enough space for it to walk around himself (enough space to move). If the pet plus the box weighs under 9Kg (approximately 20 lb), you can take the pet with you inside the plane. This is allowed in a few destinations, but it’s not the case for London (and UK). If it weighs more, the pet travels in a specific part of the plane dedicated for them.

But don’t worry because, contrary to popular belief, the space in which they travel is heated and prepared exactly for this type of transportation. Larger animals such as horses, tigers and many others travels make journeys like this all the time.

The moment you buy the tickets, make sure to request a reservation for your pets, because the number of pets allowed in a plane is very limited.

The choice of which transportation kennel to purchase is also important because they need to meet certain standards established by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). I chose a brand called Pet Mate, but there are many brands that meet standards. If someone can buy them for you outside of Brazil in can be a lot cheaper, because the prices in Brazil can be very overwhelming when compared to Europe or USA.

For the trip, we arranged the kennels with a lot of newspaper, an absorbing carpet and a blanket that the pets used everyday to sleep at home, so that they can have a familiar smell with them, which helps them to feel more comfortable. We put a small amount of food in plastic ziplock bags which was requested by the agents that would handle their transport.

Once they arrived at their first stop in Frankfurt, the pets where fed, they received water, and a veterinarian checked the pets to see of they were all doing well.

The pets left home in Brazil where I was and Leo was already in London to receive the there. Our experience was very positive. The pets left and got in London all very well, without any sign of trauma or unusual behaviour. And we, along with recommendation from their vets, decided not to sedate them for the trip. We were afraid they would wake up from sedation and be scared, considering it was a long trip, and the sedation wouldn’t last the full journey (just reminding readers that this was our personal option. It is up to each pet owner to decide what they feel is best for their pet).

Once at home in London, they were looking great, they immediately started exploring the new house, ate, and drank a lot of water, and continue to enjoy their new life in Europe.

I won’t lie and say we weren’t scared and apprehensive. But this was only due to the new experience and a small fear of the unknown.

Autumn, the most charming season of the year

Posted by The London Ginger (Para ler esse post em português, clique aqui)
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Ever since I was little I have liked the autumn, I’m not sure if this feeling was one of those that grow by it self, or if it was fed through movies and series, all I know is that ever since I can remember, this season has a special place in my heart.

The autumn colours captivate me, note only the different flower tones, but also the sky has a different colour.

I moved to London during the winter, so it took a whole year before I could experience autumn on the northern hemisphere (considering that I have lived in Brazil all my life), and I believe that this season is very different between the two hemispheres.

It is during the autumn that you feel the cold breeze that comes before the winter, it is when the evening starts to arrive earlier, when the mist takes over the city in only a few days, when nature goes through a change, letting leaves fall from the trees so new ones can be born.

And this transformation is beautiful to watch, the ground is full of colourful leaves and I feel the urge to grab a bunch on my hands and through them in the air, or to make a big pile of leaves and jump on them, like they do in movies and cartoons.

In this celebration of autumn and of the month of November we can see the inspiration behind the Guns’n Roses song November Rain, so there is nothing better than capturing beautiful moments on incredible places.

Along with Fernando (photographer already known here in my blog), we made beautiful and fun pictures.

We chose the gardens at Eltham Palace, being the great location it is, an interesting and exotic palace that combines different times of history, art and architecture, mixing Medieval and Art Deco architecture in the same environment.

And also, the beautiful colours created by the autumn season, and not letting the rain get in our way – quite the contrary, making the rain an important part of this photoshoot, playing with the umbrella.

Very soon we will have a post and a video about Eltham Palace. Until then, we have these photos done in the gardens on a rainy but beautiful autumn day.

The city, the views, everything gets a new colour palette during autumn, that ranges from yellow to green, going through tones of red, which makes this season a real explosion of colours.

This beautiful season, poetic and colourful, prepares us for the winter, that comes full of its charm, so follow through our social media channels that I will be sharing it all with you.

A visit to Penhaligon’s

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In 1870 a barber shop was born, and almost 150 years later continues to be part of the streets and the history of England. Penhaligon’s was a barber shop when it first inaugurated by William Penhaligon and during the reign of Queen Victoria, it was appointed as the Royal Court’s Barber and Perfumier, and this began the story of one of the most traditional perfume brands in England.

With many stores, the brand has in its line over 50 fragrances, that come in and out of catalog when they are created. Currently the line has approximately 40 perfumes. The fragrances are created after a lot of research, the studies done go beyond simply aromas, and each perfumes has over 20 different notes that together tell a story, taking colours, places in the world, e what the perfume wants to tell.

Besides the brands own creations, there are perfumes created for the Royal Court – not only for the English Royal Family, but other Royal families have (and still do) make special orders from this brand.

I will share with you a few of the stories of the perfumes that I got to know in my visit to one of the stores.
Iris Prima
The inspiration behind the creation of this perfume in 2003 was the English National Ballet. Its aroma has the intension of taking us to the ballet’s backstage, the note are a reminder of makeup, the leather on the ballet shoes. If you have ever been close to a dance spectacle, you will be able to imagine this sensation.
Vaara
This perfume was ordered by a Maharaja. This Maharaja wanted to celebrate his granddaughter’s birthday, and so he ordered this perfume with a special request – that it had the aroma of his palace’s gardens. And so it was done. After much research and studies made, the result was exactly the luxurious perfume of the summer gardens of the palace.
Sartorial
There is strong tailors tradition in England and Sartorial was a perfume created to celebrate this tradition. In London, for example, there is a street dedicated to tailors called Savile Road. The notes on this perfume takes you directly to a tailor shop, it is possible to feel and relate the smell of fabrics and the metals (scissors, needles, etc.) of a shop like that. It is hard to explain without using the sense of smell while we talk about the perfumes, but if you have the opportunity the perfume store, it will be easy to remember this explanation.
Juniper Sling
The inspiration behind this perfume was Gin. Its aroma is very sharp, strong and fresh, which reminds a lot the Dry Gin. The freshness of the perfume is largely due to the juniper. Since this drink has great importance and great tradition in the country, this perfume is to celebrate the main ingredient to so many cocktails.
Hammam
The story I am going to tell about this perfume is not about its creation, but about a person who adopted this perfume as part of their daily life. This is the oldest perfume in the brand, and the opera singer Maria Callas liked to have this perfume scenting the stage during shows , so before her presentations they sprayed the Hammam all over the stage. This fragrance is strong and eccentric, doesn’t go unnoticed, just like Callas, and maybe this is the reason behind her choice of this perfume. All the stories i’ve learned are interesting and together with the aroma of the perfume make sense and tell a story through the aroma, this makes the brand interesting and unique. With time, the brand is becoming more modern and creating new products like the line for beard, bath and beauty, as well creating a line of amenities for travel with a few products from the main line, all that without losing quality.

One thing I cannot go without saying is the candle line the brand has. Here in the United Kingdom it is very traditional to have candle at home, many beauty , decoration and other brands have a line specialised in the creation and selling of these products. The Penhaligon’s line, besides being extremely aromatic, it also has interesting collections such as the fragrances from the perfume line or inspired by a tea collection.

Whoever has a trip scheduled, include this perfume shop on the list.
It is an enchanted world filled with aromas surrounded by a lot of history.
To learn a little more about the histories of the perfumes and the brand, watch the video we made in the Regent’s Street store here in London.

My 32nd Birthday

Last Sunday was my Birthday, and everyone that follows my social media (Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat) got to see that I did a park picnic to celebrate the date.
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It was a small gathering, but very nice. This is my first Birthday away from home, away from my family that I love so much and from many special friends, so I decided to make something simple and relaxed. The English have the Afternoon Tea tradition, or just taking tea naturally on a daily basis, but during warmer days (a little in Spring and a little during Summer) they rush to the parks to make picnics, and that is why I decided to go to the park fully equipped with various treats to celebrate.

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It was all simple and decided relatively at the last minute (since I was waiting to be sure it wouldn’t rain, after all, we are in London), but it was enough time to make a fun and colourful decoration. It wasn’t a sunny day, but the climate didn’t change and it didn’t rain.

And as an added bonus to an already amazing day, I found out during the week that on Sunday, 30 August (my Birthday), they would have an outdoor session of “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade”. Nothing better to end the day!

The movie session was carried out by Pop Up Screens at Manor Park, which is 15 mins away from home, with a bonus of popcorn and blankets (I’m always a little chilly).

A very special day, to be forever in my memory! My first Birthday in London! And let Halloween, Christmas and New Years come …