Galentines Day

Lifestyle

Valentines has well and truly crept up on me this year. It feels like only yesterday I was bringing in the new year with one too many jagerbombs. Sadly, I will yet again be spending the 14th without a significant other.

Thankfully, I had my brother’s gorgeous girlfriend Ciara come to visit me in London and we had an impromptu/unintentional Galentines day on Sunday. It consisted of chocolates, flowers and cocktails – really the only way to spend time with a loved one. Yes, I did spend Galentines with my brother’s girlfriend – sharing is caring right?

 

Columbia Road Flower Market

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First we went to Columbia Road Flower Market. This is always somewhere I have wanted to visit because of my love for all things floristry. I was hoping to write a post dedicated entirely to the wonders of a market just for flowers but unfortunately, it didn’t really live up to my expectations. It was far too busy to have a nice stroll and look at all the pretty blooms and the vendors were shouting so loud it kind of ruined the tranquil atmosphere I was going for. But all in all, Ciz bought me some beautiful flowers which is far more than I can say for anybody else this year.

 

Dark Sugars Cocoa House

We then headed towards Brick Lane because a Sunday just wouldn’t be a Sunday without a trip to Shoreditch. How on earth I could have missed Dark Sugars in all the million times I have been there I do not know. Ciara spotted this incredible chocolate shop whilst walking down Brick Lane and honestly, I think it’s what heaven looks like. There were literal slabs of chocolate in the doorway and pretty much every flavour you could possibly imagine. They even had alcoholic chocolates for the slightly more boozy (i.e. me) like gin and lime and vodka and orange. The slight downside is that 6 teeny tiny chocolates cost £12 but undoubtedly, they would be worth it.

 

Hoxton Square

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After a very taxing day leisurely wandering round London, we decided to top it off with a couple of cocktails and a ton of food. It was surprisingly difficult to find a cute place to eat and drink in central London on a Sunday – pretty much everywhere was closed or eerily quiet. After walking for what felt like an eternity, we ended up at a place called Zigfrid von Underbelly (?!) Me and Ciz being our obnoxiously confident selves obviously made friends with the bartenders. We ordered ridiculous amounts of sides to eat and had cocktails that tasted like flowers – rather fitting considering our day. After tormenting the staff, giggling like little girls and eating way too much food, we finally brought Galentines day to an end.

After a slightly rocky start to my weekend, I finished it in the most positive way possible, with my lovely friend and sister.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Real Talk: Relapsing

Lifestyle
relapse
rɪˈlaps/
verb
gerund or present participle: relapsing
  1. (of a sick or injured person) deteriorate after a period of improvement.

I could very easily pretend like this weekend didn’t happen, and that it was all flowers, fairies and family (which 30% of it was may I add). But I also need to acknowledge the fact that the rest was not.

On Friday I had one of my most significant relapses yet. Everything felt like it was going wrong; I was tired, depressed and extremely alone. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling of helplessness wash over me. Granted, a simple wrong direction can have my world spinning upside down but this time it was far more prominent.

Whilst I’m at work, I keep myself busy. I don’t have time to over think things; I have like-minded people around me to talk to and keep me company. I really love my work and who I work with! But let’s not lie, unless you’re very lucky, there will always be some sort of boundary between work friends and actual friends.

On Friday it suddenly dawned on me just how alone I am. I have one friend in London who is usually too busy living his normal young adult life to fit me in with my work hours – which I don’t blame him for! I would too if I could. The closest family and friends I have are at least 2 hours away from me. It doesn’t matter how much I can pride myself on saying I’m independent, capable, adult etc. everyone needs someone.

Anyway, I came out of work to a completely normal Friday. I’m used to seeing everyone together having drinks in bars, eating food and laughing whilst making my way home. It doesn’t usually affect me but there was something about it that made me feel sick to my stomach. For some reason, I just cried… And cried and cried.

Then I went on to do things that the old me would have done, I walked down dark alleyways in hope that I would be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I crossed every road without bothering to look, unconcerned about the cars and buses just meters away. I went through Shoreditch hoping a sleazy man would pay me some attention. I walked for an entire hour in the freezing cold, found a canal and just sat next to the water in the dark. I went into full on self-sabotage mode.  And you know the worst thing about it all? Not one person looked my way.

I find it more difficult to contend with relapse when I have been doing so well for so long. You feel like you’ve worked so hard for what? I also find it tough knowing therapy hasn’t helped me and I’m on the highest dose of medication I can get. What now? Is this really my life forever? A couple of months of feeling ‘normal’ then a weekend of self-pity and you’re back to square 1.

It’s tough as hell having to accept that you might go through this for the rest of your life. But after really thinking about it, there is nothing I can’t handle. Relapses don’t last into infinity. If they did, I wouldn’t be alive to write this post today. You can think that there’s no hope and you’ll be like this forever. But if you’ve relapsed, that means you have got better.

As much as we would like it to be, life is not linear. Our ups and downs, as painful as they are, teach us a new way of coping every time.

This time taught me – always wear a coat if there’s a possibility mental breakdown.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

 

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Shoreditch, LDN

Lifestyle

 

I have previously said my favourite place in London is the Kings Road, Chelsea and I stand by that. However, my second favourite place to spend my free time is Shoreditch.

Yes, these two places are polar opposites so it’s kind of hard to understand why I would love both places so much. They’re just both so niche and unique, wherever you walk you’re sure to find something beautiful.

Last weekend I put on my most indie outfit and headed to E1. My new flat (post still to come) is located only 20 minutes down the road from Shoreditch which is a blessing; whenever I fancy playing chess for fun, I am only a bus ride away…

 

 

I always head for Brick Lane, but of course I end up browsing Petticoat Lane market for high street bargains and going to Spitalfields to see the pretty jewellery stalls. When I do finally end up where I intended on being, I go straight to Brick Lane’s vintage market.

As you know, I am a self-confessed shopping addict but I definitely don’t feel as guilty when I’m not on the high street. I love the vintage market because you never know what you’re going to find. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, it’s all so pretty to look at. Obviously, I couldn’t leave empty-handed and therefore ended up walking away with 3 new pairs of sunglasses and the cutest headband. If you’re looking for that Instagram chic, this is definitely the place to be. As well as proper vintage clothing (old-fashioned flowers, frills and everything) they have all the cool stuff you see on girls on pinterest at half the price of all the online boutiques.

After plenty of time pottering round looking at vintage Burberry and various types of artwork, it’s always a good idea to head to the nearest doughnut shop. My very favourite is Crosstown – nothing fancy, just really good. I always go for a simple glazed doughnut and a hot chocolate because I am basic as heck. But if you’re looking for something a little more fancy, Doughnut Time next to Old Street station sells all sorts of sugary monstrosities.

 

 

You can’t miss all the artwork in Shoreditch; there isn’t an clear wall in sight. Unlike the majority of London, it isn’t graffiti, it is actual ART. There are some crazily talented people out there.

Ordinarily, I don’t tend to stray much further from Brick Lane and the close surrounding areas. But in an attempt to find my way back home, I stumbled upon some more cute individual shops. I first came across Boxpark, a pop up mall with lots of small and random traders including The Ordinary – an affordable skincare range supposedly recommended by Kim Kardashian herself. I then found an even cuter store called AIDA. It’s actually both a coffee shop, clothes shop and gift shop which I love – it is literally a day out in itself. The clothes they sell are on the pricier side as they’re all quirky brands, from distinct vintage to contemporary and modern. Me being me, still managed to bag a Selected Femme wool jumper in the sale for £23 (money-saving expert eat your heart out).