life

Painted in Waterlogue

In the vein of Rosie and Freya, I thought I would share my week in London through numbers. So here you go.

2 | Celebrities spotted. I was in London all of 20 minutes when I walked past Bill Nye in Soho. Then on Sunday I headed to The Wolseley for brunch (seriously love The Wolseley) and Samuel L Jackson was having some eggs.

20+ | Hours spent on buses, trains and tube. I stayed at a friend just past Hackney after I got into London got back to using the bus a lot. Definitely the best way to get around London if you aren’t in too much of a hurry. Plus a train from my Mom into London, to Cambridge and back and to the airport, plus the occasional zip on the tube. I have to say it was a little exhausting all the moving around though – I only take the bus once a week to go to one of my little tutoring jobs. And occasionally to the beach.

3 | Nights slept in my styled hair. Four days and it still looked decent! Very impressed

12 | Charity shops visited. I was looking for some bits for the wedding and was fairly successful. This was split between one near my mum in Bracknell, Crouch End and Cambridge.

At least 10 | Number of jugs in said charity shops that I eyed up longingly. I have a thing for them.

18 | Friends caught up with. Not everyone but glad that I got to spend some quality time with a bunch of my special friends.

1 | Photo shoot. Had to some work (although always so fun).

2 | Pairs of shoes bought. A smart move with the Tom’s but got massive blisters from the cheapo high street purchase. Oops.

gazillion | Calories consumed. In case you are interested this included meals from the following: The Vintage Tea House with my mum (great cake!), a late dinner at Maeve’s Kitchen (a simple menu but lovely cosy feeling), Tibits (a great central vegetarian restaurant which is great for a bite with a friend for lunch), Rosa’s (to get some Thai food fix), Beam (still thinking about their salad), Franco Manca, a little caf’ in Cambridge where I had a full veggie English (yum), The Wolseley (always brilliant), an amazing Turkish falafel wrap from Dom’s Place (a hipster kebab joint basically. It has been there since the 1970s but recently refurbished. Super good wrap too). So many new places had popped up in favourite neighbourhoods and exploring new areas meant I was keen to try 10,000 more but afraid my stomach and wallet could not handle that. Time for a detox now!

learned-on-a-friday-mycreative

>>> A hairdo and makeup session from Blow Ltd is well worth the money. After seeing some people post about this new salon on twitter I thought I would try it out as an option for my wedding and I will definitely be heading back. Three strangers complimented me on my hair and the makeup lasted until after midnight (though admittedly I wasn’t dancing away, something I plan to be doing on my wedding night). I slept on my hair two nights in a row and it was still looking good on Sunday!

>>> Left to my own devises I generally spend more money than I should (sorry Tim).

>>> Chocolate chip biscuits from the in-store bakery at Marks and Spencers still taste amazing.

>>> The staff at Schuh in Covent Garden are really friendly and helpful. The level of service was made even better by the contrast of staff at another high street chain. Schuh also give you a year to return items. A year!

>>> Lunching with a good friend is the best. Made even better when the food is so good. I don’t think I have ever had a restaurant salad so good as the one from Beam. Walnut and tahini dressing is definitely something I will have to try and create at home.

>>> Some people obviously get gifted items from West Elm that they don’t realise are awesome. Picked up two little owl cups for £1 each in a charity shop. Not practical but so fun!

>>> Crouch End is an awesome corner of London (note lunch and charity shop finds above). Plus it has the prettiest florist. I think in another life I might have tried my hand at flower arranging.

>>> Cocktails served in teapots and drunk out of tea cups taste better.

>>> Franco Manca is worth the queue. (And I must have a serious love for Italian food to eat it when I am on holiday from Italy!)

>>> Blogging ladies are the best.

>>> A table of women in a pub have a gravitational pull on drunken men at tables next to them. Also I am glad I am not on the dating seen. Hard work if that is what is out there.

>>> The most popular photos on instagram (based on a small study of 2 instagram profiles) contain at least two of the following elements: trees, fog, the sea, a sunset, old men, birds, leftover food (strangely more popular then ‘fresh’ food). Some combinations are more popular than others. I am now thinking of a way to combine all these elements into one shot.

This post had no sponsors, just so you know.

happy friday

happy-friday-plant-sea-mycreative

This weeks happy:

  • Leaving Trieste late enough in the day that Tim could walk with me to catch the bus to the airport and my Mom hired a car to pick me up at 11 at night from Stansted. Which meant I didn’t have to deal with travelling into London so late at night (which can just be exhausting).
  • London’s weather putting on a good show.
  • Catching up with my lovelies.
  • Kind friends who let me crash at theirs.

Links for the weekend:

Have a good weekend!

sunshine and sea air

the-sea-1-mycreative the-sea-2-mycreative

Yesterday I organised with some friends to meet in the gardens of our local castle for a birthday picnic. Everybody brought some food so we stuffed our faces, drank prosecco (sometimes with orange juice) and enjoyed the sunshiney day. Trieste is a quiet sort of town, there are lots of bars and restaurants, but if you don’t speak sufficient Italian your weekend activities are reduced as going to the movies or the theatre don’t make too much sense. After being in London for 8 years it is a bit of an adjustment living in a small town. Any small town people want to tell me what they get up to on a weekend?

In the summer, however, I think there will be a lot more picnics. Or just enjoying the sea. I really do love having the sea air and the sunshine.
the-sea-3-mycreative the-sea-4-mycreative I’ll be in London this week so it will be a bit quiet over here as I haven’t been very organised with blog posts. One day …

happy friday

happy-friday-spring-blossom-venice

Well there we go. I’m older. This week I am grateful for

  • Spending a ‘work day’ with my favourite.
  • Calls with friends in far away places
  • This one is exciting: a new old ironing board. A local friend moved and we got the benefit of her ironing board in the clearing out. We have been using one of those mini table top ironing boards. Those do not work.

Links for the weekend:

  • I love these photos of Italy in the 1980s
  • I made these treats last week and definitely did not feel guilty when eating the batter.
  • Love these film photos of California. Has me planning an American road trip.
  • I’m deleting my pinterest board and just going to use this one.
  • I’m daydreaming of a new camera. Actually ‘downsizing’ and getting a mirrorless which will be lighter to carry around for personal use. It is impressive what they can do. Though it will certainly be a long time until I can actually get one I inevitably spend a lifetime researching them and will eventually get over the burning desire for a new toy.
  • Interesting post on how link ups are good for your blog!

thirty

mini-my Today is my 30th birthday. I doubt that little kid sitting on the front steps of her house would imagine that she would be spending her 30th birthday in Italy. Who am I kidding I probably didn’t even know where that was!

I thought I would share some things I’ve learnt in my time on this planet (some of them are personal, some more general).

  1. It is your choice. Who you spend time with, what relationships you are in, what you do, what you eat for breakfast. Don’t blame other people (especially your parents) for your problems because you made a choice.
  2. Choosing good people to be part of your journey is really important. I might be biased but I have some of the best people in the world. To my old but still incredibly dear friends in South Africa, my London gangs, my newer blog buddies who support me on a daily basis through their ‘published’ words or a little email to me and to my best friend and favourite person in the world who I get to marry in a few months – thank you for choosing me back.
  3. Appreciate people. It is the best way to improve your relationship.
  4. Say thank you and express gratitude.
  5. Moms are about the most awesome people on the planet. They have good advise, have learnt some lessons so you don’t have to, they give the best hugs, send the perfect cards, help you finish the DIY projects that you actually aren’t that good at and are just there.
  6. The relationship you have with yourself is probably one of the most difficult you will have and unconditionally loving yourself is hard!
  7. Love your 20-something year old legs. Wear shorts and mini-skirts. They might never look so good!
  8. You should buy yourself flowers sometimes.
  9. Sometimes you feel so sad that you think the world will implode. It won’t. Things will get better.
  10. Chocolate, peanut butter, gelato and pancakes are good for you.
  11. Sunshine is the best medicine (except for sunburn).
  12. Moving to Italy is always a good idea even when you feel like you have totally crashed out of any future career options.
  13. In the tradition of my grandmother – there is always a reason to celebrate with bubbly. The Italians seem to agree.
  14. Bon Jovi is still the best band of all time.
  15. Listening to a great song on repeat for 5 days in a row only makes it better.
  16. Whether you think it or not, you are blessed. In every moment.
  17. Have fun. It is okay to be silly sometimes.
  18. Travel whenever you have the chance.
  19. Dancing around the lounge like a crazy person is a great way to improve your mood.
  20. Breakfast at The Wolseley is one of those luxuries you need as often as you can manage in your life.
  21. Pack light.
  22. A specific kind of happiness is linked to baking things for people.
  23. It is a scientific certainty that an open packet of biscuits or sweets will not last longer than a day in my house.
  24. Take photographs of the moments. I haven’t always done this and I regret it.
  25. Getting up early makes me productive, sometimes.
  26. Stay curious and take the opportunity to learn whenever you can.
  27. Blogging is awesome. It has lead to awesome opportunities, meeting brilliant people and grown my confidence.
  28. A perm is never a good idea, something my 12 year old self disagreed with (no I will not be sharing those photos).
  29. Try new things. It will enrich your story.
  30. By 30 you will not magically have all the answers (much to the consternation of my 18 year old self) and 30 will probably not be what you imagined it would be at 18. That is okay too.