I am a very disorganised person. This has been compounded in recent weeks by the fact that I’ve been travelling around the country to visit friends and do some bits of work. If I have a laptop, my camera and an internet connection at the same time, I’m generally so excited that I forget what I’m meant to be doing (blogging) and end up watching episodes of How I Met Your Mother instead. Hey, it happens!
This is why it’s taken me two ENTIRE weeks to get round to posting about London (but I have watched like half a season of HIMYM…)
My friend Abi and I rented a gorgeous flat in King’s Cross for a couple of days to celebrate her birthday. With the cruel precision of British weather, it managed to rain every single day – except for when we were so hungover, we wanted nothing more than clouds and cold weather. Then, it was boiling. C’est la vie.
The morning after we arrived, feeling far healthier than we had any right to (damn you, cocktails Be At One King’s Cross) we jumped on the Underground and headed to Westfield at Shepherd’s Bush. Now, I’m not a big shopper – in fact, I avoid huge shopping centres like the plague normally – but everyone’s been going on about Westfield since it opened so we felt like we ought to jump on the bandwagon.
I kind of wish we hadn’t – it was a bit soulless, which probably wasn’t improved by being there at midday on a Monday – but it was a good way to spend a grey morning!
I’m a sucker for big slogan t-shirts, even though I hide that passion in the form of pyjamas. Anyway, I thought these Uniqlo ones were pretty cool. I’d forgotten all about the jelly shoes (H&M) until I started looking through these photos; I actually bought a gold sparkly pair from Primark a few days later. They’re amazing, but I’m slightly too scared to wear them out of the house yet.
Abi wore this gorgeous button-up skirt we found at a Vintage Kilo Sale in Bristol a few months back, paired with an awesome fedora that I’ve been trying to steal off her for months.
As a side note: those Vintage Kilo Sales are absolutely amazing and definitely my favourite way to buy clothes (no changing rooms with terrible lighting! nice people telling you the best way to find a good pair of shorts! a really cool bar thirty seconds away!) Check ’em out here.
That night, we had tickets booked to see Samaris at Birthdays in Dalston. I’d only heard of them a few times before, through a friend, but they were incredible: Icelandic indie-folk…with house beats…and I also managed to score an interview with them afterwards, but I didn’t dare take my camera for fear of breaking it, so I’m still trying to find some photos to go with it!
My dad lived just down the road from Birthdays for eight years, so it was really nice to go back to the area and see what had changed (hipsters everywhere) and what hadn’t (a shitload of fried chicken shops).
When we woke up, slightly worse for wear and facing an early checkout from the flat, we decided to cut along Regent’s Canal and walk to Islington. The weather was so nice, and walking along completely revived my desire to go on a narrow boat holiday. Water, lots of pubs along the way, and with a 4 mph speed limit, I might actually be able to drive one!
So many of the boats were decorated or had cute little decorated details, but this one was amazing. The little stencils on the back are a really nice touch; it made me want to print something similar onto cushion covers or tea towels.
I passed this girl walking her super-cute dog on the towpath and fell in love with her print skirt. I’ve been wanting something similar for ages!
When we got to Islington, we had a stroll, then sat ourselves down on the green to work out a plan. This swiftly derailed as all three of us produced copies of the Game of Thrones books (one on Kindle, one on an iPad, and one in print!) and we ended up reading in the sun for a bit. After grabbing a quick lunch, we caught a bus to London Bridge to catch a train home.
The monstrosity above is the Shard, a shockingly expensive development ironically billed as “regeneration” in an area with huge poverty and homelessness – but I’ll end my rant there! There’s always so much construction in London. For some reason, I really enjoy taking photos of building sites, cranes and the like. I guess it’s a reflection of the constant evolution of our surroundings. It seems odd that even the things we consider “solid” – bricks, mortar, steel – are put up and pulled down easily. Hey ho!
I had a really great time in London, and was lucky to pop back again a few days later after going back to Hastings. More on that later!