Tuesday, 23 December 2014

to keep on walking when there's nowhere to go

Before I begin, I feel an apology is in order. I'm not entirely sure what happened with blogging, I think alongside not doing anything interesting, or forgetting to record interesting events, as well as the inevitable end of term mock exams, practise assessments etc, blogging didn't really get a look in. There's far too much to update you on, dating all the way back to half term in October. I went to Brighton in half term, and since then I've been to look at sixth forms and pondered over A-level choices; revised for mock exams; watched a meteor shower with my closest group of friends, wrapped in duvets with Christmas songs playing softly in the distance. It's such a cliche but I really did feel so at peace and satisfied with life just standing under the stars feeling insignificant yet so happy. It would have been a great scene in an 80s movie with Tears for Fears playing over the top.

Due to Christmas looming close, my mum and I felt it an appropriate excuse to take another London trip. We began at Whole Foods as it never gets old. Although Whole Foods has such a predictable crowd (think New Balance trainers, iPhones, etc) although it is essentially just a supermarket that sells prettily packaged products and labels screaming ' organic ', it still boasts a great atmosphere and endless photo opportunities.

After grabbing a cinnamon doughnut and watching over the Kensington street from the cafe above, we headed up to Islington as I wanted to show my mum Camden Passage after loving it when I went there with my dad. They had a market on on this day in particular so the usual quiet atmosphere had been transformed to a whirlwind of shoppers, from families doing their Christmas shopping to the odd vintage shopper nonchalantly browsing the dress racks propped up against railings. As I'm in Year 11, apart from the obvious exams, this year also involves the stress of prom. Although I don't condone those who choose to go down the typical prom dress route, I really do not feel the excessively vibrant colours and flammable materials are for me and really want to go down the vintage route. I'm not at all a fan of the whole pin-up, victory rolls look, although it can suit some people I want to go a tad subtler. As of yet I'm undecided, but definitely want to go for a 1920s lace dress, or a 1950s pastel prom dress. Then again, Topshop Unique and Asos also do really pretty prom dresses that are not the typical prom dress style. However, if I were to go down the vintage route, Camden Passage is definitely somewhere I'd love to shop. My absolute favourite vintage shop ever (besides the likes of Beyond Retro) is the shop Fat Faced Cat (click to visit their website), which houses a treasure trove of vintage dresses alongside penguin classics and battered Chelsea boots that line the bulging shelves.

After our jaunt to Islington and a trip through my favourite Cross Street and being nosey at people's Christmas trees, we headed to outer suburbia and went out to Highgate. Although I do enjoy Highgate, it really doesn't feel like London, watching the city spread out in front of you, although it cannot be argued the endless Victorian terraces and stooped houses are easy to envy.
By the time we reached Highgate the light was fading and twinkly Christmas lights strung in the bare trees on the green in Highgate were the only source of light. We stopped for red velvet cake and tea at this point before heading back to the train to rest our battered feet.

In other news, despite breaking up from school and simply wanting to relax and lounge about all day binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix, I have been surprisingly productive. We battled the throng of Christmas shoppers in Sainsburys and wrapped presents and I also managed to meet up with friends yesterday. Myself, Anne Claire and Alex grabbed breakfast at Bill's (blueberry pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup accompanied with peach ice tea) and then went and got our nails done in wintry shades at a local nail salon. We then headed back to Anne Claire's where we baked far too many cookies, attempted to decorate them and eventually ended up on Tumblr, beaten by the wretched biscuits. Today I wrapped even more presents and I sense tomorrow will become a pyjamas all day on sofa whilst watching every Christmas movie in existence day. I wish you all a merry Christmas, I hope you all have a absolutely brilliant day and get some great presents. I hope to blog before the new year but if not happy new year too. I'm hoping to head to London in the new year and will definitely blog about it. I'm aiming to buy more vintage next year and want to blog more about music and clothes and get my act together. Speak to you soon!

currently: listening: world pleasures//peace, last christmas// peace cover, sycamore//swim deep, petulia//the kooks, come closer// miles kane, reading: the mayor of casterbridge// thomas hardy, wishing: taylor swift's album for christmas (no regrets taylor is my gal)

Sunday, 19 October 2014

east london's not a bombsite, it's a treasure chest

I felt these Wombats lyrics from the song Techno Fan were extremely appropriate for this post. We drove up to London again today to pop into in the British Library and wander down to Columbia Road's flower market, as I'd never been before and was hoping for some flowers I could later press, or some cacti to add to the dangerously ever growing collection.

We arrived in London at around 11, beginning at the British Library and accidentally stumbling upon the nearby North Gower Street where they film Sherlock. I immediately positioned myself before the door, along with a few other Sherlockians. We all shared a knowing smile as we took our turn to pose, much to the amusement of the flat's occupient, who came out halfway through with an expression that read ' oh not these geeks again'.

 After mooching round the Bloomsbury area of London for a few hours we took a bus down to Shoreditch high street. The vibe in Shoreditch and East London in general is so warm and lively, everywhere something  is taking place and shops boast bright window displays and hanging signs. The atmosphere is so welcoming compared to some of the cold spots around central London. The area that surrounds Euston is probably not one of my favourites, it feels like everyone that is there is trying to get somewhere else and although it's true for most of London- no one acknowledges each other.

We had lunch in a small local cafe that marks the start of Columbia Road Market that went by the name of Maison Dellys. It had beautiful original oak floorboards that gave a satisfying creak as you paced around on them, and the walls were panelled wood with a peeling white paint. The staff here were so lovely and the prices were incredibly reasonable, as lunch for all three of us was £11. I might also add that I can honestly say it was the best tea I've ever had in a cafe, (you know how tea in cafes is never the same as the tea you make at home). After refuelling we headed down to the flower market and were met with a throng of people. The street itself is fairly small, with the two sides lined with cutesy independent shops in an array of colours with quirky names, but the street inbetween is crammed full with stall upon stall of flowers, in bunches and pots mixed with whole branches and individual cacti, flowering in every colour fathomable. There are so many people that at some points you feel as if you are going to fall straight into a flower bed, people pushing you frustratingly from every angle. However, the prices and friendly atmosphere make the hoard worth it.

On the walk back to the tube station we walked through Tower Hamlets suburbia. Cottages with overgrown gardens are nestled inbetween blocks of flats in a juxtapostion of classic Victoria London and modern cheap housing. I hope to study in London when I go to University and areas like Shoreditch, which are just out of the city but not too far out are where I dream to live.

Hope you've all had a good weekend, I spent my Sunday night eating apple and pecan pie and catching up on various blogs. Half term is calling and I'm hoping to go away to Brighton for a few days, I will try and blog before then, but if not, have a good week or two!


currently: listening: mind mischief//tame impala, mesmerise//temples, keep in the dark//temples, 1996//the wombats, reading: the 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared//jonas jonasson, wishing: oversized boyfriend coat//new look

Thursday, 9 October 2014

i was living on the westside

I have concluded that if you take a visit into Cambridge town centre, you must take at least one photo of a bike propped precariously up against railings.

These photos are from a few weeks back now which feels odd, when, along with my Textiles class, I paid a visit to a couple of museums in Cambridge as part of our new GCSE theme ' Cabinet of Curiosities'. Upon first glance, it seemed like a relatively exciting theme, and I think I have a good idea in mind for my final piece, (something along the lines of a mini cabinet, tying in things such as collage and embroidery) but the museums were a slight disappointment. I was hoping for glass cases brimming with large arrays of butterfly species, or rare arterfacts from long forgotten expeditions- not rows and rows (and rows) of shells. Shockingly, after 10 cabinets or so I really had seen enough shells, rare or not. The layouts of the cabinets were what really interested me, the tiny calligraphy scribed neatly onto tiny printed cards, arranged perfectly in burnished oak desks, with draws labelled in cutesy typewriter print. I spent the majority of the visit listening to the Kooks' new album whilst taking badly lit photos and attempting feebly to draw rocks and shells.

Lunch was a wild goose chase. One of my best friends Anne-Claire and I cried at the expenses in M&S as we longed to look cool and arty whilst munching on quinoa outside one of the colleges. Sadly this did not happen and we ended up walking round trying to direct our other friends on the phone whilst quickly stuffing our faces with crisps on the wall outside Kings College. I wore my new midi skirt all day, teamed with a plain black tee and my 1461 Doc Martens. My mum made the midi skirt for me although I had not worn it out yet, but loved the floaty hippy like effect and the intricate Liberty print style fabric. On the train ride home we bought grapes and apple crisps which were exceptionally delicious and laughed until we cried and listened to Lana del Rey and Catfish and the Bottlemen.

In other not particularly exciting news, I am longing for a Cocoon coat, preferably in a burgundy/wine or sophisticated navy.  My evenings have been spent watching various series whilst sprawled on the sofa munching peanut butter and day times have been spent getting back into the school routine which has not fared well. Year 11 is filled with controlled assessments and revision and rushing and open evenings and mock exams. Walking round Cambridge simply reinforces my yearn to live in a city, not Cambridge itself but hopefully London, doing a subject I love at University, writing about anything and everything surrounded by culture. I am now off to listen to some weather appropriate music in bed, farewell!


currently: listening: the kooks//sunrise, catfish and the bottlemen//tyrants (and the whole album), jamie t//rabbit hole, reading: 14,000 things to be happy about// barbara ann kipfer, wishing: cocoon coat, mom jeans, rookie yearbook 3.