Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hey Now

So titled because I am, once again, listening to the full London Grammar album as I write, and Hey Now is one of my favourites. Seriously, as Bee once told me- I think that album has medicinal properties. It's magical. My attempts to sing along, though? Not so magical. Sorry neighbours!

I think my favourite thing about blogging is being able to be nosy and really find out about what people have been up to though, so I suppose it's only fair that I do my own.It's been so long since I wrote a post like this- there's an awful lot to catch up on. I'll forgive you for skim reading though, I know we all have busy busy lives to lead (seriously- I can't remember the last time I even read a blog post that wasn't on my phone on my lunchbreak at work?!)

So! Here goes nothing.

One of my favourite things about living in London is the ability to visit all of the amazing markets. Since being here, I've popped to Borough Market (how I had never been before is beyond me- it's beyond incredible, and if you're a food lover, go, go now), Old Spitalfields (where I bought the cutest fox print scarf for three pounds), Greenwich Market (with Mama, where we bought beautiful snoods for five pounds), and Columbia Road Flower Market (where I managed to refrain from buying all the hydrangeas and Z bought the most beautiful lisianthus). I missed out on a trip to Broadway Market on Saturday, but I'm so keen to get up there soon, and despite how crazy busy it always is, I want to pop back to Portobello Market soon (and hopefully run into Lauren, because she's just the cutest).

I'm also seriously enjoying playing tourist in my own city (though it still feels weird to refer to London as my city- however at home I feel here). I've been to visit the poppies at the Tower of London again, this time with Mama, and was once again blown away by their beauty and humbled by the notion that every single ceramic flower represent a life lost. It's incredible, and if you haven't been and you live anywhere near London, you must go. They're wonderful. Mama and I also waved at the Queen as we strolled past Buckingham Palace, and I've spent a fair bit of time in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, saying hi to Peter Pan and strolling past the Italian Gardens

I've also had my fair share of bizarre London moments- including running into my old Cardiff housemate/ bestie M at the theatre (of all the theatres in London, we both ended up seeing Miss Saigon- which was wonderful, you should go- and she was sitting about ten rows behind me and Mama); then the following weekend running into M's sister L and her husband G outside the Southbank Centre. One sign that London is where I'm meant to be right now is the fact I run into more people I know here, in a city of eight million people, than I do in my home village of less than 4000. 

I also was truly shocked on the Tube the other day when a trio of hilarious Australians started talking to me. Strangers. Talking. On. The. Tube. It's the stuff of science fiction, seriously. We had an entertaining conversation about One Direction and Taylor Swift, and I was sad to see them hop off one stop before me. 

I've also been catching up with plenty of people I do know- including my brother E and our friend O on Saturday. Both were horrifically hungover and regaled me with stories of their previous night (where they had fallen asleep on a London street at 4am and more shockingly woke up with all of their belongings) over smoothies and milkshakes at Whole Foods. 

I'm also loving how easily I can catch up with my blogging favourites- Ellie and Emily live literally around the corner, Becca is just down the road, and Charlotte lives a hop, skip and a jump away. Bess has moved a little further away, and Meg has always been far away, but it's easy enough to meet them centrally. It's lovely.

On the subject of Becca, the two of us went for pizza at Franco Manca, and then for cocktails at Harrison's last week. We were so disappointed to find that their website was wrong and their cocktails were not £5 on a Wednesday, and I sent a little tweet to let them know that their website was incorrect. I got a tweet back quickly after with a sincere apology and the offer of asking for a specific member of staff who would look after us. The owner then phoned the manager to tell him to give us each a free cocktail of our choice by way of an apology. What sweethearts! Absolutely impeccable customer service, I'm sure you'll agree.

And on Saturday I also met two of my absolute best friends from uni, L and J, and we went for Pimms and beer at the Southbank Centre's roof garden, where we gossiped about J's new job, boys, and life in general. Those two make me so happy.

Work is also going well, for the most part. Of course, I have my ups and downs, but I genuinely feel as though I am seriously good at what I do. Of course, there are office politics, upsetting rumours, and days where I have absolutely no idea which way is up, but on the whole I love my colleagues, and I love the environment I'm in. I took in a whole load of brownies on Monday, just because. It's my favourite way of making my colleagues like me.

I've also started a new fitness pledge. I am desperate to feel body confident at my brother's wedding, and so I have a new policy- I have to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, be that a run, korfball training (I joined a new team! They're amazing, and it's slightly terrifying, but so so friendly and I love it just as much as before), a YouTube yoga workout, or something else. I'm also trying to walk home from work at least two or three times a week- though last week, I walked home every day. A) It's cheaper and B) it's good for me. I feel very brave posting a picture of myself in sports gear on the internet- it's my inspiration to DO SOMETHING about it. What's the point in moaning if I do nothing about it!?

And a few more bits- I'm on a spending ban. I've just finished re-reading Birdsong and Never Let Me Go. I'm finally reading Gone Girl. I'm still working my way through Gossip Girl on Netflix. How good is Educating the East End!? I'm so sad the Great British Bake Off is nearly over. I went a whole day without tea on Saturday. I then chain drank three cups on Sunday. There have been sightings of MICE in my kitchen. I cried about that. I went to Margate with Jenny and Charlotte, but I'll be posting about that separately. How good is Taylor Swift's new song!? Jenny gives the best life advice. I went for afternoon tea with Mama!

I think that's quite enough now. Tell me- what's new with you?


  1. Strangers talking on the tube...that is unusual, but the fact that they were Aussies makes it regular again!! We're a chatty mob!! So excited for our dinner tomorrow night, I can tell you a few mouse stories to make you feel better (and most of them involve how I have exterminated them!!). See you tomorrow xx

  2. What a fun post! I love reading about what people get up to. London is such a lovely city. I've only been there twice though and I really feel the need to get down there again soon. There's so much left to explore! Also, good job on exercising so regularly! I should try doing that too...

    xx Mimmi, Muted Mornings

  3. Perhaps I should become a life coach. Now if I could only take my own advice!

    J xx

  4. Yowser, that's pretty much all the stuff.
    So so glad you're enjoying London life, it is a ridiculously fun place to be but you do find that it's teeny tiny in social interaction terms. A friend of mine moved up there and joined a football team which ended up being made up entirely of people from our own little town in Devon. (With reserves,* that was some 20 boys from our town!)
    Keep having fun Alice :o)
    M x
    Life Outside London

    Is reserves the right word? Am I thinking about some random sport? Do I mean subs?

  5. I love a good catch-up! It sounds like you've really settled into the swing of things in London. Did you enjoy Miss Saigon? I haven't watched it in years but I remember really loving the songs.

    I had a look at your Korfball post as well - sounds fun! I'm trying to get fit as well. I've started ballet classes and finding somewhere to do yoga. My boyfriend and I are also planning on doing strength exercises everyday together to motivate each other!

    Saskia /

  6. I LOVED this. Maybe largely 'cos i am a nisey parker, but also because i love your blog and i love to read how you're getting along. I am so pleased you have settled in and i am a little jealous i live so so far away from London town as i'd love to meet you for tea! In a totally non-weird way lol. If you ever do fancy a northward adventure, the Lakes are heaven on earth! AND i bonded with Miss Bee over London Grammar when the album first came out. It's a magical journey right there and i drank it all in - if you can drink in an album - when my soul needed soothed the most. I still love it when it creeps up on shuffle on my Ipod.

    You look beautiful in the very last photo Mrs!

    Sal x

  7. Love these sorts of catch-up posts :) I'm glad you're still enjoying London so much! I really must go and see the ceramic beautiful and moving. That top sunset picture is also gorgeous! Where is it? xx

  8. So I'm not the only one who catches up on blogs being nosy etc.

    It sounds like you've settled yourself in to London life really nicely, which is great for you! Also, making the most of the city surrounding you. Being a Londoner born and bred, who now lives elsewhere, I often regret how much I took the city for granted - wishing I'd done all those touristy things.

    Go you for posting a picture of yourself in sports gear online, brave, but definitely shouldn't have had any worries about it. Looking fab, although we do all have our own reasons for not feeling totally 100% happy with our body so good luck on the fitness pledge, you'll keep us updated?

    Gossip Girl is my latest Netflix addiction. Not only am I loving the show but I love that there are so many seasons!
    Bits & Bobs


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