A London Staycation

World

A year ago today I moved to London. And the best way to celebrate feeling like I truly belong here is by going back to the very beginning – being those all important, slow walking, picture-taking tourists on their holidays, enjoying this wonderful city.

This weekend Jack and I took it upon ourselves to do a variety of ‘touristy’ activities. It was probably the most productive weekend we’ve had to date and most definitely the earliest we’ve got up together on a Sunday morning.

We started Saturday by getting up at 9AM (unheard of) and going to our local cafe, Bread by Bike. It’s a super cute bakery around the corner from my flat that prides itself on its sourdough bread – it’s a real hidden treasure and I would definitely recommend going if you’re ever in North London. We got take out, took it home and sat in bed watching Friends.

 

 

Jack napped whilst I put my glam on and we headed to Notting Hill. When we first got together, Jack was desperate for me to watch the film Notting Hill; I had never seen it and never intended to because of my hostility towards rom-coms. Of course, I eventually gave in and I can now begrudgingly say I quite like it. We walked the length of Portobello Road Market, got milkshake and found pretty coloured houses to take pictures with.

 

Next, we got the tube to Westminster and walked along the bridge to the Southbank. Our next choice of tourist attraction was either the London Eye or the London Dungeons. Because I knew how happy it would make my mother – she’s wanted me to go for the past year – we went to the dungeons. I was slightly terrified of people jumping out and any talk about blood or gore is abhorrent to me, but nevertheless, I had a wonderful time. It was also super interesting to learn about London before artsy vegan restaurants, boozy mini golf and pretentious cafe’s.

Our next stop was Wagamamas before we decided we had spent far too much time out of  bed. I introduced Jack to the wonder of yasai kastu curry, then we went back to Camden in time to have a Saturday night in, complete with snacks and a film.

 

Sunday was a bright and early start as well. We woke up, got ready and went straight to Camden market. I usually do my best to avoid Camden on a weekend because of how busy it gets, but it was only right to do the tourist thing and have a browse. There is a ridiculous amount of food choice round there and I had to make the decision as to where we went for breakfast. We found a cute little Mexican cafe and settled there. Jack had breakfast tacos and I had a blueberry cinnamon loaf. After food, we were raring to go for day 2 of our tourist staycation. Jack wanted some posters so we searched the maze that is the market for some cute vintage movie posters.

 

Next, we went to Brick Lane market. We had a look at the vintage stalls, strolled the street and Jack played chess with the man who ‘plays chess for fun for free’ every Sunday. Next, we went to Old Spitalfields market. All the browsing was absolutely exhausting so we did the true British thing and stopped for tea. After we gained a bit of energy, we grabbed a doughnut – obviously a photogenic one for the pics – and I made Jack take a million photos of me. Honestly, that man is a saint. If he doesn’t complain when taking outfit pictures, he’s a keeper.

We stopped at our third and final market of the day – Petticoat Lane Market. To Jack this probably seemed like a horrifying, typical dirty London street selling fake Gucci and what claims to be vintage (really just dirty and used) clothing. But to me, it’s an absolute wonderland. If you look hard enough, there are some real bargains, including brand new things from Mango and Topshop. I spotted a dress for £10 that is still full price at £42 in Topshop. I would definitely recommend going there every now and again to see what they have. Whether you are a tourist or not, if you can get past the slightly scary Londoners and dingy streets, it’s a really great shopping destination when you are on a budget.

 

To bring the weekend to a close, we went back to my flat and began watching Harry Potter; our plan was to watch all 7 this week then go to the Warner Bros studio. Jack however, fell asleep whilst I edited the hundreds of pictures I got (I will be posting them for the foreseeable ever). He woke up with a new lease of life and we decided the weekend was not quite finished after all. We got ready and went to Pizza Union at King’s Cross. We then got the tube over to Tower Hill to take a Jack the Ripper tour around Whitechapel. It was so much fun and super interesting whilst being a slightly morbid way to spend your Sunday night. It made us feel like real life tourists, following a man around with an umbrella in the air with a bunch of people from around the world.

I have had the most incredible weekend. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and general daily life that you forget where you are. I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most amazing cities in the world. If you are too, I would highly recommend taking a day off from the ‘rat race’ lifestyle and really try to appreciate your surroundings.

I just want to say a big thank you to Jack for making me the best possible version of myself. You make me laugh, cry, smile and love like never before. This time one year ago, I could never have imagined myself being as happy as I am now.

 

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

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Feeling Uninspired

Lifestyle

Pinterest. I swear that app solves 98% of problems in my life. I go on it for everything. Sad and fancy a cheering up treat? Here’s a recipe for 2 ingredient unicorn fudge. Not sure what to do with your hair? Try this faux hawk tutorial. (Legit things and if you’re interested I have linked them).

But jokes aside, where do you go when you’re feeling uninspired? Without realising, I have felt like it for a good few months now. It was only until I went to write when I realised. I had no perspective… Nothing to say whatsoever.

My first thought was why? I usually have so many ideas flying around my head I don’t know where to start. My friend once challenged me to have a conversation with him without stating my opinion; we ended up sitting in silence for 10 minutes. So how had I suddenly come to a place where I didn’t have an opinion on anything?

In my case, I concluded I was feeling uninspired because for a little while now, I have been in a job that hasn’t challenged me enough. Of course it’s nice to feel comfortable in your work, but I had got too comfortable. I ended up making my bed and very much snuggling down and sleeping in it, presumably for the long haul.

Ordinarily, I don’t think you must have a reason for feeling uninspired, it can just happen. The most important thing is fixing the problem.

I’m not a complete novice to rediscovering my flare and creativity, but I can definitely say that I am yet to master the art. After spending a lot of time in my own head, I have put together a list of things that I think personally, help me to get back on that ‘rise and grind’ mindset.

 

Health

Since living in London, I have found it super hard to keep on top of everything. Actually, I lie when I say it’s since I moved to the city; I have been struggling to get myself together since ’99. But something I have let slip significantly is my health and well-being. At home, I would go to the gym at least 4 times a week, eat nutritious food that would leave me feeling energised and practice an actual skin care routine. Nowadays, I am lucky if I can be bothered to make something other than a cheese sandwich for dinner, the very thought of the gym makes me queasy and my skin is a hot mess.

To feel more in control of my overall happiness and therefore feel inspired in life, I know I need to take care of myself – inside and out. Lately, I have been trying my best to do a face and hair mask once a week, to cleans my body of toxicities, including negative thoughts. Exercise and getting the vitamins you need is also important to give you the capacity for a much clearer head-space so you can let new ideas flourish.

 

Reading

Because of how lazy I have gotten, I tend to find the easy route in everything. I’ll re-watch the same television show instead of reading a new book, or I’ll online shop instead of attempting to write a new blog post.

This is where my love of Pinterest comes in. After spending just 20 minutes reading through random articles that sparked my interest, I felt so much more open to new ideas. That website is literally a portal to the unknown, you can search for a smokey eye look and end up finding the best dress shape for your star sign. No matter how random, it’s good to let your mind wander, instead of scrolling through the same people’s Instagram pages day in day out.

Online shopping – I’m a fine one to talk with this one. I get most of my inspiration from online shops. I can actually confess that as soon as I wake up in the morning, I look on Topshop and ASOS new in. It’s a problem and I need help. As good a tool it is for fashion inspo, it’s incredibly hurtful to the bank account. Instead, I have started to read more fashion blogs. I find this gives me ideas and also benefits my own writing skills. After all, us bloggers need to help each other.

 

Indulge

It doesn’t hurt to indulge in your favourite things every now and again. My favourite thing to do is wander round London streets and go for afternoon tea. As much as I would love to spend the rest of my days doing just that, I know that I would eventually begin to resent it, just how I did with work. To begin with, I absolutely adored my job. I was learning new things and every day was more exciting than the next. As time went on, I became less and less productive because everything was familiar to me; I was so comfortable that I had no desire to do more. It’s good to keep yourself on your toes and indulge in the good stuff in order to reiterate your passion for the things you enjoy.

 

I’m not sure how informative this post has been. It’s easy enough to read about getting inspired but it’s a completely different story putting it into practice. But as my therapist once said, if you know the route of the issue, it’s easier to fix. Thanks for that hun – unfortunately I never found the deep, complex route of my inexorable sadness but as long as I have the inspiration to put a cute outfit together, all is well in the world.

 

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x