Saturday, 10 August 2019

Wanderings Lately :: July 2019

Hot off the heels of May and June here is my look back over July.

We began July in Scotland, exploring two of the inner Hebrides and then a weekend in Edinburgh with Victor's family. Straight back to London to move ourselves into our new flat - shout out to my amazing family who moved the majority of my stuff and a sofa in whilst we were away. I had to work my second farewell since starting Chevening the day after our return. That week was rather hectic; farewell, then a day off, then into work for a couple of hours before I had to rush home to take delivery of our mattress. It was well worth it though and we're all in now.

It's taking quite some time, but we've got ourselves to a liveable situation. We're still awaiting some furniture and spend any spare time trawling through charity shops on the lookout. We're both enjoying having our own space and building our first house together.

Castles, Whisky and Gin






The two islands we visited were well known for their whisky distilleries, and we had tours of a few of them. So much so that I joked that I could now make my own whisky as the process is the same for all the different brands - just different amounts of peaty smoky flavour.

When back in Edinburgh we also took a visit to the gin distillery which was a much more straight forward and simple process to undertake - Victor was quite disappointed that it was basically just alcohol passed through a tea bag. We also got to try quite a few of their different gins and gin liqueurs.

Scotland was beautiful as always, we visited a couple of castles on Arran - one a ruin and another inhabited until fairly recently. The weather back in London was much nicer but the scenery in Scotland more than made up for it!

Moving In







A few snaps from our first few days in our new place. Really happy in this new place and starting to make it a bit more our own with houseplants and pictures.

Weddings in Back Gardens





Victor's cousin got married on a lovely day in mid-July. I wore the second ever dress I ever made my self (with mum's help). We also went back to the house the following day for round two with more lovely weather, paella and good company.


Staff Party





This year's staff party was held in Swinger Mini Golf Club. I think everyone enjoyed it, and it was a blessing to have settled on an inside venue (with a/c) on the hottest day of the year!
 

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Late Wanderings :: May & June 2019

I haven't been able to write an update since May! Life has been very busy, but today I thought that this is exactly the type of thing I want to remember and look back on. The past 3 months have seen a lot of life changes and the whole purpose of my blog is to document them so I can look back.

So as  recap I'm posting them all in August! This is a bumper post, but how could it be anything less?!

MAY

Ongar Festival



I went to help mum on the Teddy Tombola stall at Ongar Festival. Managed to sell all our bears and hopefully make some children very happy. 'Every ticket wins a prize!'

Fortnum and Mason


 

We donned our Sunday best to cash in my Christmas present of Afternoon Tea in F&M. It's a lovely tea room, and a generous afternoon tea. Next time we may branch out and see what the Savoury option is as it looked interesting. Afterwards we took a lovely walk thorough Green Park to Buckingham Palace. A very civilised afternoon indeed.

Work Dinner



This time the fellowships dinner was in Draper's Hall. All of this luxury and opulence is hidden behind dirty walls in East London. During this dinner I was receiving phone updates from Victor as he looked around a potential flat. 

The following day we hastily put an offer in to rent it - didn't realise that was a thing - despite my not actually having visited in person. In the end we were outbid (someone offered more than they were asking *eyeroll*) and it was for the best as we found a much better place later in May.

Soaking up the last of South East London







A walk around Crystal Palace, and seeing the random Victorian dinosaurs. Also managed to squeeze one last BBQ in Canada Water before I moved to my new place without any outside space.

A wedding in Essex




Absolutely loved celebrating one of my greatest Essex friend's wedding day. Although I have lost touch with my school friends, the friends I have in Essex go back to before school years. Neighbours since we were all born, I don't see them very often any more as our lives are located in different places but that Ongar bond never really leaves you. 

Mary Quant



Rinsed my mum's V&A membership to see Mary Quant's mini skirts up close. Really interesting exhibition and a woman way ahead of her time in terms of marketing and branding.

JUNE


My final month living in East London. started with a loooong bike ride and ended with a looong train ride!

Night rider






My brother and I completed the 50k Nightrider challenge and raised money for the Alzheimer's Society. Leaving from Stratford at 11pm, and getting back by 3:30am. We saw the sun rise and I witnessed the river at its most calm as I rode back to collapse into bed.

My biggest realisation from this challenge - I cycle past famous London landmarks everyday and should take more time to appreciate that I am actually quite lucky to do so.

Moving House




This is a blurry picture of about 1/5 of my stuff. I have a lot, and will likely accumulate even more at my new flat. I was feeling quite a lot of guilt about how much stuff I own, but now we are moved into the new place I realise that the majority is stuff I use all the time - or things I use less regularly like baking bits but stuff that bring me joy - and so I feel less guilty about owning these things now.

Also it all looks a lot less when you have 5 rooms to fill.

I managed to lug that microwave from Goodge Street to Canada Water on my own. It was a bargain in the charity shop but less so once I considered how I would get it home. Definitley glad of it now though!







And finally, we embarked on our break to Scotland. Taking the Caledonian Sleeper to arrive in Edinburgh in the very early morning. After a wonderful breakfast in Dishoom (love that place!) we headed off to explore Scotland's southern inner Hebrides.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Wanderings Lately :: April

I began April as I'd spent most of March, travelling, getting ready to travel or catching up after travelling! We had a really late Easter this year and I was really ready for the four day weekend. We had great weather so it was lovely to enjoy that in my parents' big garden.

I also celebrated one of my best friend's hen do and wedding two weeks apart. Two fab events with my favourite people.

Also in April; went to watch the RAF rugby team be thrashed by the Navy, celebrated a work friend's birthday with Syrian food, and started the final season of Game of Thrones. 

Family Weekend




Our four day easter weekend was, as always, filled with family and hot cross buns. A fun trip to the park, catch up with old friends in our old local and frantically finishing my wedding gift for Macey and Brian!

Protests



The first I knew of the Extinction Rebellion protests was returning from work on Tuesday 16th. I came back over the bridge and it was full of people, a small make-shift stage and it was quite difficult to get through.

For the next week on my journeys to work the bridge was a fantastic place (back in the afternoon was slightly more difficult as there were more and more people each day). 

This was no longer the worst part of my journey but a bit of the best. No cars, buses lorries over the bridge. Plenty of space, not being squished between the crash barriers and the road. Even the following part around Aldwych was quieter. These protests were necessary and important. We are in a climate emergency, and no matter how much we change our own habits the change must be systemic and the government has a responsibility to lead this.

Also, wasn't it lovely to have a break from Brexit constantly in the news!

Hens and Weddings





I can't quite believe that I have known these girls for 15 years. We've come a long way since university, but we still know how to party! Also standing in height order was a complete accident.

Russia









Work took me back to Russia, where I managed to get a little bit of time to wander past St Basil's, catch an exhibition at the Pushkin Fine arts museum and order the biggest Georgian cheese bread one person has ever attempted to consume.

It had its highs and lows but it was nice to be back for a brief visit.