North London lunch (with a special date)

Recently I decided to start exploring my neighbourhood a bit more – namely, Wood Green/Palmers Green/Tottenham/Walthamstow. North London at its finest.

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Last weekend I spent a lovely afternoon roaming the Turkish shops on Harringay Green Lanes (up near the North Circular) and today I did a little bit of wandering, and a little bit of lunching (pro tip: the Turkish and Greek supermarkets are brilliant – just under half a kilo of hummus for 99p, or a full kilo for £1.99, and a packet of pita bread for 39p – no need to go to evil Tesco!)

The Turkish and Greek shops and restaurants of Green Lanes are legendary – in fact, Green Lanes as an entity is pretty famous. Stretching 7.5 miles or so, with many of the side streets being one-way only, it’s an easy place to lose half a day to, exploring and eating your way along.

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For lunch I went to Fatisa. Named after the town of Fatsa in Northern Turkey, this Italian-Mediterranean restaurant is a sweet little local spot. Less than 10 minutes walking from Wood Green tube, the restaurant has expanded a lot in the past few years and has a new 2nd floor, an extended terrace, and a lovely little garden, where locals hang out.

I started with a summer special – the goats cheese, roasted pepper and aubergine bruschetta.

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This was the stuff of dreams, it really was. Rich, creamy goats cheese fresh from the grill, soft roasted peppers, and delicious smoky aubergine.

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Total gem of a starter, so simple too.

I wasn’t planning on getting a main meal, but the lovely waiter recommended the homemade burgers, so I gave them a whirl. The fries and bun were okay, but really this was all about the burger itself.

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Of course, I couldn’t get a nice photo of it – but it was so good – juicy, full of flavour, and not fatty or padded out with bread! I let most of the fries and bun, and instead tucked into the fresh, light side salad, with a really good dressing (the simple ones are always the best).

Together with a few drinks, my meal came to less than £20, so thumbs up from me!

But possibly the best part of it? This little pup who decided to hang out with me.

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I heard the dog described as both a he and a she, and the dog was called a “naughty dog!”…as it slept soundly. Also, apparently the dog “belongs to everyone”, so I’ve not acquired a timeshare dog.

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Those puppy dog eyes!

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Afterwards, I went for a little walk through Woodside Park, and headed home before the rain tried to catch me.

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If you’re ever in Wood Green or Alexandra Palace and fancied a lovely lunch, check out Fatisa – summer al fresco lunches are the best!

London sunsets

The past few nights in London we’ve had some pretty fantastic sunsets, as well as the big thunder and lightning storms…which unfortunately I didn’t photograph. I did however take some snaps of the colourful clouds and sunsets that I wanted to share.

Friday 18 July 2014

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Saturday 19 July 2014

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Even though I didn’t get any photos of the lightning, I did have one of my tweets about the storm featured on a Metro.co.uk article, which made my life. I laughed so damn much as this.

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The full article here.

Its the little things!

Project 365 – part 4

The final chapter.

This is the part that feels most relevant to my life at the moment – that might be because the last photo was taken 6 days ago, so it’s not that surprising. But this final quarter starts at the beginning of December, and actually, it’s a pretty good quarter.

December through to February saw me do some more travelling (Warsaw, Jersey, Cannes, Manchester), spend super happy times with my family and best friend, throw some colour into my life, and learn some new stuff.

Festive December…

December saw a lot of pre-Christmas crafting, my nails snapped (need moar calcium?), I got a new iPhone, I had another trip back to my parents (see photos with my mama and my Lauren), I acquired a super sassy hat (blue glittery tophat!) and sated a work-Christmas-party hangover with a trip to Five Guys. Christmas was spent in Poland which was relaxing, with board games (including a Polish game about queueing in front of shops in the 1980s) and walks in the forest. New Year was spent with my best friend, eating a lot of Turkish food, playing with sparklers and having sekrit times.

New Year – January…

The New Year continued with time spent with my best friend – on the first of January we went on the London Eye, which I absolutely loved. We also visited Winter Wonderland (btw HOW BIG is the German Beer Hall there?! it’s amazing!). In contrast to last month, my nails were now screwed because of wearing false nails. C’est la vie! This month also saw me get my bangs cut back in, travel to Jersey for a beautiful few days for work, try a street dance class and do Fire Marshal training for work.

The final month – February…

February was the final month of my Project 365 – by now, it was completely ingrained in me to photograph something everyday. The month started with a weekend in Cannes for the Midem music hack weekend. Such a surreal weekend, I loved it. I also became a qualified First Aider (spent part of the afternoon flouncing around pretending the mannequin was my boyfriend.. I thought more people would do this, apparently not..). I travelled to Manchester to see Childish Gambino, ate the biggest pancake ever at My Old Dutch, received the most beautiful flowers for Valentines Day, went to a London Fashion Week event, visited Greenwich, bought a dress, and generally continued to love London.

Phew.

Once again, I have to say thank you so much to you guys for reading and revisiting my year in photos with me. Part of me looks back and thinks not much has changed, but a bigger part of me is amazed at how far I’ve come. I’ve loved looking back at the little details in my life, laughing at how silly things have been, seeing myself move on from sad times and throw myself into the good times.

I’m already 5 days into my next 365, and can’t wait to share that with you.

Project 365 (part 2)

So yesterday I posted the first quarter of my Project 365 (a photo a day for a year). I humblebragged about how proud I was, and going through the next section of photos has been no different. It’s so interesting to see how far I’ve come, in the space of a year – how much has changed, how much I’ve done, and it’s really lovely to look back on photos of relatively insignificant things and think how fun they were.

The whole process is making me realise how much I value the little details in life, which has made P365 so worthwhile.

So here’s June…

June was the start of the summer heatwave – it saw me eat at some goooood places (Hache burger, Meat Liquor, that fancypants 1920s stylee French place near Piccadilly.. name escapes me..), also this was the month I hung out with the Queen at the trooping the colour, tear a ligament in my foot, and finally spend a lotttt of man-hours making origami hearts. They were made for a summer garden party for my parents in July, and I still love looking at the progress of the hearts – I made 400 of them in less than a weekend. It. Was. Glorious.

July was this…

The heatwave continued, London was a sweaty mass. The month started with a sciencey event where I learned about alcohol (by drinking a fair amount of free booze… all in the name of science!), a trip to Poland for the aforementioned party – look at those hearts in situ! I was in love with them! July was also my birthday (the 17th! represented here with a chocolate ball and raspberry sorbet ball.. heheh balls..), the month my hair kinda exploded with volume, there was free Eton Mess in Soho Square, and I bought kabanos.

August was good…

It started with a little photo-montage of how I made origami stars (which I then didn’t blog..), and my new camera arrived! What a little babe! I had lunch with a dog in a pub; Patrick and I got hammered and barged into Ed’s Diner for the most amazing chips; I worked on my portfolio site. I also flew to Berlin for a long weekend – another garden party, plus boardgames and photobooth fun! Lauren came to visit, we played Guess Who! amongst other sekrit activities. This was also Notting Hill Carnival month, where Patrick and I accidentally joined the parade and shook our booties.

I’m getting all nostalgic looking back at these photos – for about 90-95% of them, I can still remember exactly what I was doing, how I was feeling, why I snapped that photo, what it means to me. My actual memory is pretty shoddy, and I’m a sentimental person, so being able to flick back on photos and remember every feeling (good and bad!) is a novel experience. My next post will be autumn, which holds some sad memories, but also some exciting changes. More tomorrow.

Ridin’ solo

In the words of the immortal Jason DeRulo – I’m ridin’ solo.

I’ve realised the last blog post I wrote was one where I started off mentioning I’m unhappy, and I didn’t want to do that again, so, I’m not going to. Instead, I’m lonely.

Or at least – I was!

I’ve been in London for 2 and a half years, for most of that time single. At first it didn’t bother me, then it started to, and recently I came to the conclusion I need to grow some balls, and get over it, and do more – on my own.

So I’m setting myself a challenge – think a “101 things” kinda list, but with an unspecified number, of things to do in London while you’re ridin’ solo.

Of course, this isn’t prescriptive, do it with partners/friends/family/dog etc, but holy heck London can be intimidating when you’re on you’re own so much.

So, first up? Let’s take a walk.

On Tuesday night, I went to my first get together of a new group I joined – a knitting and crafting group. I decided to walk there from my office, and I’m so glad I did.

Hello epiphany moment!

I walked from my office in Holborn, down to the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank. This meant I got to walk over Waterloo bridge, something I rarely do. Of course, it’s mostly full of people bustling too and from work, and a couple of tourists wrapped up against the bitter November cold weather.

But – not one of them stopped to admire the amazing views.

This is tip number 1 for you solo Londoners

Walk across the central bridges in London and admire the views

Now, admittedly, because I wasn’t expecting my epiphany moment, I didn’t have my camera. I only had my iPhone. But let me show you some shaky photos and introduce you to London as seen from Waterloo Bridge.

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^ Click on this guy above, and you can get the biiiig full size image.

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I told you they were shaky Blair Witch style iPhone quality…

But enough about my shaky hands and poor little iPhone!

Did you know that Waterloo Bridge is regarded as one of the best spots to view the city at ground level? You can see Westminster, Canary Wharf and the City, the South Bank, the London Eye – all just in one sweeping glance!

Did you know the bridge is named for the Battle of Waterloo in 1815?

Did you know that this is actually the 2nd bridge in this position – the first was opened in 1817 and then demolished because it was unsafe?

It’s a pretty ugly bridge itself, but the views are breathtaking.

And it’s free.

And you can experience it solo.

[EDIT TO ADD] My brother pointed that “ridin’ solo” is also a term used for masturbation. If my suggestions for things to do in London don’t excite you, maybe that will.

Greenwich and Visions of the Universe

This Sunday, I took a trip out to Greenwich. I’d bought a couple tickets to an exhibition called Visions of the Universe, at the National Maritime Museum, so grabbed a friend and off I went. I’m a big space ‘n’ stars nut, one of my dreams is to use a “proper” telescope and see some amazing sites. In the mean time, to tide me over, we went to the NMM to enjoy what they had on. A beautiful exhibition, taking you to the Moon, the Sun, and through so many different galaxies and nebulae, I saw some of my favourites (the Horsehead Nebula!) and learnt more about the history of space travel. Interestingly, there were also a number of photos by (and of) Commander Chris Hadfield, who was captain of the International Space Station for 6 months and returned to earth recently. I follow him on Twitter and Facebook, he regularly posts incredible photos from space!

I definitely recommend seeing the exhibition – for adults it’s around £8 a pop, and there’s a whole range of different group tickets you can get, if you want to take children. My advice though is to get there early, as it got quite crowded around mid-afternoon and there was a queue – we got there early enough to waltz right in!

Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside the exhibition, but I can share what we did for the rest of the day in lovely Greenwich! We had the now-obligatory Sunday roast in a little pub near the Cutty Sark, then overdosed on ice cream, and got the still exciting  scenic route back into town – the Thames Clipper, one of the passenger boats you can get along the Thames. For about a fiver, you can go between Greenwich (and actually further out, I can’t remember where it starts though) right on through to Embankment and Waterloo – the scenery is always so beautiful, if you give it a whirl grab a window seat!

  

Exploring University of Greenwich buildings

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The water looked like diamonds!

The City always looks so good

Arriving into central London – Tower Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, from the front of the Thames Clipper boat.

Another lovely end to a sweet weekend.