A Christmas Post

Christmas lights


Just to make it clear, I have no idea how this photo above happened. Moving on, I am super excited (and so should you) for Christmas this year because I’ll be spending a few days with my family and I’ll get to open presents basically. Otherwise it’s going to be a bit strange seeing as I won’t have the usual Christmas schedule, this being the first one I’m spending in London. Which translates into no lunch at my grandparents’, no decorating the tree with my cousin, no traditional Romanian Christmas food and no Christmas Eve with my friend… yeah, this kinda brings the spirit down a little. Oh, not to mention the confusing weather – it’s a little warm and still green, not my definition of Christmas.

But nevertheless, I have painted my nails a festive shade of red and wrapped presents to put under the tree (which I myself have decorated, thank you) and now I am just waiting for the green light to opening the gifts because who am I to pretend I’m not still a kid at heart.

My little (weird, I’ll admit) present for you is this interesting Christmas song 😀

Christmas tree

Christmas tree


Christmas cards

Christmas presents

Merry Christmas! 


Jynweythek Ylow

It’s days like those that make me love my ‘job’. I say job with inverted comas because not many people call volunteering that but hey, each to their own.

It basically boils down to this: since October I have been a volunteer for Somerset House, which is an amazing gallery within the Courtauld Institute in central London. I go there every weekend to help with the exhibitions plus on other evenings when they need extra people for events.

Some 4 weeks ago I received an email from my manager asking if anyone would be interested to volunteer for the ‘Valentino: In conversation’ event on the 30th of November, the day the exhibition Valentino: A Master of Couture was opening to the public. Needless to say, my reply had an endless number of exclamation marks and some quite embarassingly desperate pleas but they all payed off because I was selected to help out so no regrets there.

The event consisted in a hour-long conference at the Savoy with the master himself 🙂 followed by champagne at Somerset House and a viewing of the exhibition. Now, in the course of around 2 hours I ticked many things off my bucket list so I’m pretty hyped about that:

Valentino: In conversation

Valentino: In conversation

1) I saw Valentino himself. I was fangirling all the way and said ‘Ciao!’ because you only live once and he’s already 83 so by the time I (might) become famous he will probably not be around so better seize the moment

2) Saw the Savoy and oh my god I want to live there

3) Fringe benefit of my said ‘job’: exclusive viewing of the exhibition before everyone else. It was just so beautiful I cannot put it in words. The long corridor  lined with magnificent dresses from each decade, one more beautiful than the other, it’s so beautiful it’s actually emotional. Or maybe that’s just me, Valentino dresses tend to make my eyes all watery from the overdose of amazing-ness (pretty sure that isn’t a word but oh well). The movie was also really good and from that I found the website of the virtual Valentino museum : it’s like a corner of internet heaven so click here.

Valentino sketches

Valentino sketches

Valentino: Master of Couture

Valentino: Master of Couture

Valentino: Master of Couture

Valentino: Master of Couture

It would be unfair of me to tell all so you better come down to Somerset House and visit Valentino: A Master of Couture which is on till the 3rd March 2013. I’d advise you book tickets because there is a lot of people trying to get in!

Ana x

(the song is right here)

Set the fire to the third bar♬

Thursday night, us rebels doing French AS-level went all the way down to Earlsfield to see a play – mind you, performed in Bollywood style and spoken in English, but written by Moliere. I was a bit skeptical, as any normal person would be, but at the same time intrigued, so after getting so stressed at Clapham Junction (the worst train station ever) we arrived at Tara theater. It may be the smallest theater in the world, I don’t know, but it’s definitely the smallest I’ve ever been into; the size of a normal back-to-back house, the ‘stage’ was the size of the living room and there were no more than 30 seats altogether. Needless to say our group took up 1/3 of the whole thing. Anyways, it was such a fun play with amazing live music of all genres and the actors were actually very good. There isn’t as much dancing as we thought it would but I guess that wasn’t the point of the play…

On Saturday I met with my friend for lunch on Kensington High Street where she suggested Dryland Grand Cafe , a really nice bar restaurant just opposite the tube station. They had everything from cakes to salads but I just had to go for the goats cheese and roasted vegetable sandwich with a blueberry smoothie…so healthy. No need to mention that we couldn’t resist going in a few shops and I’m putting together a wish list as soon as possible. Actually, as soon as I get enough money to spend because otherwise it’s just mean.

And to wrap up my exhausting weekend, Sunday was spent at Somerset House where I’m a volunteer with the temporary exhibitions. This week I was assigned to the Paul Benney : Night Paintings display in the Deadhouse which has just opened and will run until the 9th of December. I love my role anyways, but to get to be in Somerset’s Deadhouse is a privilege as it is almost never open for the public and it’s so interesting. It’s called as such because in its crypt-like walls there are tombs and gravestones dating from the 14th century and with the lighting and the gloomy paintings it was quite chilling. Coming in from Embankment level, the exhibition really stands out as different. I find the paintings themselves quite interesting, some which are quite quizzical and impress with the use of perspective and technique of oil and resin on wood, but I liked the way they’ve been exhibited and I think the location is perfect for the story of the paintings. I definitely recommend it, as I recommend the Valentino exhibition which will open on the 29th of November… I literally cannot wait for that one!

By the way, I’m selling some of my clothes – and not only – on eBay so if you’re interested click here! Thanks 🙂

We were promised jetpacks ♬

* my friend Sonya who was also the photographer 🙂 *


 I’m only going to say this: I should not be wearing jeans and a sweater and a coat in July! 

(photos taken all around London -Savoy Place, Embankment, Southbank and the National Theatre. I was wearing Geox trainers, Gap skinny jeans, my mum’s sweater, Zara scarf, Uniqlo trench coat, MNG bag, hawaiian shell necklace as bracelet, vintage elephant one and pearl bracelet from Cambridge marketplace)

Mini cycling trip

When London gives you sun, you take it and go cycling.

That was my mantra for today, since we Londoners are being lured in with actually ok weather. I’m not sure if it’s just a temporary sadistic weather joke or it’s going to be like this for a while but hey…. I’m not going to complain this time!

So given the happy happy times we lead, I went cycling with the fam’ (cool bunch of people 😛 ) outside of London in a county-type-place called Weybridge. It was very pretty with all the green and we cycled for about 3 hours along the canals, switching views from either bumpy roads to stupendously posh houses with equally stupendous boats (more like mini yachts) parked in front of them. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I sighed as I pedaled past.

Oh yeah, here are some arty photos taken with my not-so-capable Ipod camera. 🙂

Ana x

Here I am!

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog! I’m really excited to have finally taken this step – it always takes me a while to actually do the stuff I plan- and to have joined the sea of blogs out there. 

The Urban Maze is, hopefully, a fun and definitely personal project with which I hope you relate. I live in London and there are tons of exciting things happening here, so this blog is just a journal of my daily happenings plus stuff that I know you guys love just as much as I do : photography, fashion, art, music and the list goes on. 

So enjoy the ride!