All 17 entries tagged Family

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July 18, 2006


Follow-up to We're staying in a palace! from For blog's sake

Sagrada FamiliaYay - I am going to Barcelona tomorrow with my two cousins - Katrina and Maria – and I can't wait!

Maria landed in Birmingham today from Indonesia and I am picking Katrina up from New Street at 9pm (she lives in Leeds).

I have yet to buy some travel insurance and euros and have not even thought about packing although I have done a bit of fake–tanning ready for the beach :)

I think its probably as hot here as it is over there at the moment (which for me is a bit too hot) but at least I can have a dip in the sea to cool down.

We are flying from Coventry at about 5:30pm tomorrow evening so will have tomorrow to pack and have a quick read of the tourist guide to check which bar to go to first!

In other news - i'm buying a flat!! Eeeekkkk! More on that another time…

June 22, 2006

El Bosc de les Fades

Writing about web page

El Bosc de les FadesI think i'm scared of themed bars!

Whilst browsing the internet looking for places to visit in Barcelona, I came across a bar called El bosc de las fades (the forest of the fairies).

I don't know whether I would have the courage to go here – it sounds like this may be where the crazy people go!

With this description – who can resist! The Sagrada Familia pails in comparison!

A dark, dimly lit, windowless place, where the windows have been replaced by weird, illusionary mirrors to either represent the mist beyond the trees or vertical, stagnant, silvery pools of mystery. Lanterns hanging from the branches, lanterns that resemble a dewdrop of radioactive snot, provide the internal light amongst the trees.
You can choose to sit on a toadstool or cross the little bridge across the grotto while the ambience is further enhanced by the background noise of forestry sounds, distant storms, insects and wild animals.

It also reminds me of the rather surreal Jekyll and Hyde Club in New York!

June 19, 2006

We're staying in a palace!

Follow-up to Barcelona… from For blog's sake

Finally booked a hotel for our holiday to Barcelona in July – Hotel Granvia

Located on tree–lined Gran Via, this ornate former 19th century palace is steps from Passeig de Gracia, four blocks from Las Ramblas, and six blocks from the Gothic Quarter.

It looks really beautiful in the photos, plus it was very reasonably priced. Worked out at about £25 a night each for three people sharing.

I am going with two of my cousins – one who lives in Leeds, the other in Jakarta, Indonesia so am very excited about spending some quality time with them as it has been a while!



The hallway features a grandiose staircase, Andalusian arches, stained glass ceiling and chandeliers. The inviting terrace, with its terracotta tiling and dolphin fountain, provides a retreat from the bustle of the city.



Am getting excited now… just need to make a list of all the sights I want to visit!

June 07, 2006

The Cuban Brothers

Writing about web page

I recently saw the completely hilarious, amazing, multi–talented, crazy breakdancers/djs/performers – The Cuban Brothers.

They played the Factory Club at the Custard Factory in Birmingham on May 28th – Bank Holiday Sunday.

The Cuban Brothers

To hear some of their music and see a video of exactly what they do – visit their myspace site. It's worth it just for the video!

June 01, 2006


Yay! Got a trip Barcelona booked for the end of July for seven nights.


I haven't been before so suggestions of where to visit and nice (cheapish) hotels to stay at would be appreciated from those who have been…

May 27, 2006

The others…

Writing about web page

I've never really been interested in genealogy or tracing my family history – but it's always interesting to see what a google search throws up…

The other Eleanor Lovells...

Eleanor Lovell died in 1681 – link

A friend of mine saw a ghost of a young woman whilst she was helping out at a school, in a building, which used to be known as Knowle Manor. The staff at the school told my friend, ‘Oh, that would have been Eleanor! A sad story; she died on her wedding day, a long time ago, accidentally locked herself into a large chest in a game of Hide & Seek, died of suffocation.

The Urban Myth about Eleanor being locked in a chest during a game of hide–and–seek, apparently comes from this poem…

The Mistletoe Bough - Thomas Haynes Bayley (1884)

The mistletoe hung in the castle hall
The holly branch shone on the old oak wall.
The Baron's retainers were blithe and gay,
Keeping the Christmas holiday.

The Baron beheld with a father's pride
His beautiful child, Lord Lovell's bride.
And she, with her bright eyes seemed to be
The star of that goodly company.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

"I'm weary of dancing, now," she cried;
"Here, tarry a moment, I'll hide, I'll hide,
And, Lovell, be sure you're the first to trace
The clue to my secret hiding place."

Away she ran, and her friends began
Each tower to search and each nook to scan.
And young Lovell cried, "Oh, where do you hide?
I'm lonesome without you, my own fair bride."
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

They sought her that night, they sought her next day,
They sought her in vain when a week passed away.
In the highest, the lowest, the loneliest spot,
Young Lovell sought wildly, but found her not.

The years passed by and their brief at last
Was told as a sorrowful tale long past.
When Lovell appeared, all the children cried,
"See the old man weeps for his fairy bride."
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

At length, an old chest that had long laid hid
Was found in the castle; they raised the lid.
A skeleton form lay mouldering there
In the bridal wreath of that lady fair.

How sad the day when in sportive jest
She hid from her lord in the old oak chest,
It closed with a spring and a dreadful doom,
And the bride lay clasped in a living tomb.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.
Oh, the mistletoe bough.

A bit creepy… Let's hope this Eleanor Lovell doesn't meet the same fate!

May 15, 2006

Most random weekend…ever

So I got up at about 2:30am on Saturday morning and headed to Birmingham International Airport with my cousins Laura and Anna – wearing rather fetching Cowgirl hats! Trashy I know! Met my other cousin Jenni there and flew to Murcia in Spain!

Anna and LauraJen and I

Spent the morning walking around the local city of Cartagena and trying to find a supermercado so that we could get some booze to drink by the pool in the afternoon. It was a bit overcast and subsequently, no–one put any sun lotion on – there were a few sunburnt brits by the end of the day! Went for a swim in the less–than–warm swimming pool but the sun managed to break through the clouds a few times to dry me off!

My cousins Laura and Anna couldn't resist the opportunity to get on BRMB again as they broadcast live from the poolside in the afternoon. I think my highlight was when Laura nearly started to cry live on the radio as she was talking about Anna departing to New York tomorrow! It was a fab day and we met lots of nice people!

See the rest of the photos of La Manga

On Sunday, we then ended up heading to Celebrity Soccer Six at St Andrews footy ground. We got into the VIP area with lots of d–list celebs including Caprice, Rebecca Loos, lots of Big Brother has–beens, some of the Hollyoaks cast, Lee Sharpe, Roy Walker(!), Jeff Brazier – you know the sort! To be fair, I was quite pleased to see Maggot, Eggsy and a few from GLC. We didn't stay until the end of the day because we were all shattered from the day in Spain! All in all, it was a very random weekend and very fun!

May 10, 2006

Jetting away for a day…

Writing about web page

BRMBJust found out that I am going to La Manga in Spain for the day on Saturday!! Its a competition on BRMB radio called 'Jetaway for a Day'!

My cousin, Anna, won two tickets for her and her sister, Laura….and then Laura won two tickets for me and my cousin Jenni! Woo hoo!!

We have to be at Birmingham International Airport at 4:20am and then we arrive in Spain at 9:30am. Not sure what time we leave at but am told that we are doing a historical walk in the morning and then chilling out by the pool in the afternoon!!

Fun way to spend a Saturday!

Picture taken from BRMB website

April 20, 2006

Wedding Fever…

So, wedding fever seems to be gripping my family at the moment – despite the fact that my cousins wedding is still just under a year away – 9th April 2007!!

We have been planning this wedding for what seems like an eternity already – suffice to say her fiance hasn't had too much involvement so far, especially considering that our family consists of all girls who are more than happy to talk wedding. We'll see how long it takes for us to get fed up with all the wedding talk!

So far, our preparations have been successful! Still a year to go but we have the following organised:

  • the church is booked
  • the brides dress is bought
  • the grooms suit is ordered (plus best man and ushers)
  • the cars are booked (for the bride, 6 bridesmaids + mother of bride!)
  • the harpist is booked for the service – we are still looking to get a choir
  • the 'save the day' cards are half written
  • the invitations are ordered
  • the hotel is booked for the reception
  • the DJ is sorted for the reception (although not yet confirmed)
  • all of the allocated rooms for the wedding guests are booked (despite the invitations not even going out yet!)

Things still to do include:

  • the bridesmaids dresses
  • mother of the brides outfit
  • the order of service
  • the cake
  • the flowers
  • plus lots of other things that I can't think of right now….

You may think that our preparations are a bit extravagant/premature since the wedding is still quite far away but there is just sooooo much to do!

Also, you may be wondering why I keep referring to the wedding as 'our' wedding! It's not my wedding, neither would I want it to be (no offence Laura but we all know how commitment phobic I really am!) but I am the secret chief bridesmaid so like to be involved in the planning! Technically, i'm not a secret chief since the real chief (Lauras elder sister Anna) knows I am the secret chief, I just think it is Lauras way to pacify me and give me lots of jobs to do that Anna won't do!

I can't wait for the party! More about the wedding when I can be bothered…thats if I don't get tired of it by then!

April 06, 2006

New York Diary – 1st January 2006

New Years Day…and our last day in New York!

We packed all our bags and cleared the bedrooms as we had to vacate by mid-day but didn't have to get to the airport until about 6pm. We took our luggage down to the concierge and they put it away so that we could collect it later in the afternoon.

We then got a taxi to Chinatown in the morning – someone who we met at the hotel (who happened to be from Yardley in Birmingham) recommended that we go to check out the counterfeit designer bags and jewellery etc. I'm not a fan of stuff like YSL and Louis Vuitton bags (not the cheap rip-off ones anyway!) as they all look pretty trashy to me – if I see someone with a YSL bag (especially if it's the one with all the coloured logos all over it) I tend to presume its fake anyway so I had no interest in going bag shopping! But we went anyway….

As soon as we stepped out onto the street, a chinese looking woman approached us saying "Come see bags, cheap designer bags. CD's, DVD's, bags". So we just kind of politely declined and had a look in a nearby shop. Now the shops weren't really shops as such. The interior was like a shop, but the front was wide open and resembled more of a market stall. There was allsorts of jewellery and bags and clothes on display and some of the jewellery wasn't bad. I got some nice beads and matching bracelets (which I later lost at the airport!) and Laura got some fake Tiffany jewellery which wasn't bad. However, if you made the mistake of going a little further into the shop, and showed the slightest bit of interest in any of the goods the assistant would try and coax you into a special area – usually behind a curtain at the back of the shop – where the walls were just lined in fake bags. The special area was only the size of a broom cupboard but it was packed full with bags. Now, when you're only in a small space, its hard to browse and feign interest so it was just a case of looking at a couple of bags, and then trying to sneak out before they pulled you back in!

Mary, Anna, Emily and Rosie made made a big mistake and were coaxed through a strange door that was just off the street and up about five flights of stairs to the top of a run-down looking building. A woman approached them on the street and they agreed to go with her, not realising that they were going to be taken away to the seedy underworld. Ok, it wasn't that bad – but Iwouldn't have gone! Me and Laura managed to escape this experience but when they came back down they looked far from impressed. Poor little Rosie got cajolled into buying a YSL bag which she didn't even want – just so that they didn't appear to be rude!

Chinatown was a bit grotty really – it seemed quite dirty and the people were really pushy so we got out of there after about an hour! We got a subway to what we thought was Bryant Park (after going for a coffee at Starbucks(!) and waiting for the clan to go to the toilet – again!). Somehow we actually ended up at Macys store again and then were told that Bryant Park was too far away to walk so started walking towards Times Square instead.

Once at Times Square, Mary, Anna, Laura and Rosie went to Applebees to have a drink and a sit down. It was a pretty tiring last day – and we had all been up late the night before but Em and I weren't ready to stop – our last few hours in New York were precious and we still wanted to do stuff…. So we went around a few of the shops and then ended up getting our portrait done by a street artist – suffice to say they didn't really look like us!! When you see other people having their portraits done, they look really accurate, but when it's your own you are more critical as you know exactly what you look like whereas with other people, you just see the resemblance.

Em and I went back to Applebees to meet the others and they all had a good laugh at our portraits! We had lunch/tea at about 3:30ish and then went back to the hotel to collect our luggage and head to the airport. We got a taxi from hotel at about 5pm and went to JFK.

Now, I was going to end the entry there – until I remembered the funny bit at the airport where I was nearly staying in New York an extra night!! I am obviously the most sensible person in our party of New Yorkers so I had the job of looking after the tickets and passports etc – despite the fact that on the way out to NY, when we checked in at Heathrow, I neglected to hand over my ticket so after the guy had checked us all in, he was like – 'Who is Eleanor?' and when I said 'me' he said 'Well, do you have your ticket?' and I replied 'Yeah, its in my bag' – as if thats where it should have been and not in his hands with everyone elses…

Anyway, I handed over all of the documents (tickets/passports etc) to the check-in girl at JFK and she checked us all in and handed everything back to me. I put the boarding cards, passports etc back in my bag together. We then went and had a coffee etc whilst waiting to be called to the boarding gate. When it came to boarding, we were the last to get to the plane I think – I didn't see anyone arrive at the gate after us – and I handed over all of the boarding cards. The guy at the boarding gate said: "Who's Eleanor Lovell?" – to which I obviously answered "me". He then asked me where my boarding card was! I assumed it was with all of the others that the woman at check-in had given me but apparently not. Now I couldn't possibly have lost my own boarding card and managed to keep everyone else's safe – could I?!!

He said that I couldn't board without my boarding card so I proceeded to check through my bag frantically. It wasn't in there. He then demanded $50 for a reprint of the boarding card. There was no way that I had lost my boarding card (I don't think!) so I refused to pay – to which his response was; "fine – you will have to stay here then" and he told my cousins and aunty to carry on onto the plane. I was starting to get a bit annoyed now as he was being pretty arsey with me. I spoke to another (more reasonable) guy at the boarding gate and asked him to call the check-in to ask whether they had forgotten to give me a boarding card. Luckliy, for some reason, I remembered the girls name who had checked us in – so I told him to call her. By this stage, my cousins and aunty had actually carried on and left me at the gate, but I was pretty sure that I was going to make it on to the plane so told them to carry on ahead. This other guy was much more reasonable than the other annoying man and said not to worry and he just printed a new boarding card for me.

So then, obviously, I was the last person to get onto the plane. All of the other passengers were seated and as I walked down the aisle they were all staring at me as I blushed – they were probably thinking 'who is this muppet who is holding up the flight?'! Then we had a right struggle trying to get our hand luggage into the overhead space and had to ask an air hostess to put our bag in a special place somewhere at the back of the plane because there was nowhere else to put it!! Oh the drama!! Anyway, it was a great flight home – I watched the Wedding Crashers and slept quite a bit as it was a night time flight.

It was a brilliant, brilliant holiday but as always it was quite nice to get back home. Still, I can't wait to go again!! Thanks Mary, Anna, Laura, Emily and Rosie for a great time!

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About me

My name is Ellie Lovell and I am the Web Editor in the Communications Office at the University of Warwick.

I started this blog in August 2005 when I started working at the University and have learnt a lot from it. I don’t update it so much anymore (I have been unfaithful to WarwickBlogs) but I hope you enjoy what is here…

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