Sunday 17 July 2016

London life 1

We've been here for three weeks. It might end up sounding like we've done a ton of stuff; the reality is that most of it has been working, pretty early nights and trying to make plans with people but realising they all have established lives and we're going to need to get ourselves more organised than last minute BBQ invites!

BUT I have done a few London things, and those few things have made me happy and glad to be here:

Listening to music at Campbell's Canal Cafe

This was where I wrote most of the last post; where I took a Zambian friend earlier this year having not seen each other since we were 16, and weirdly enough where I sat with two dear Brighton/uni friends many moons ago on a daytrip to Camden - only to find us all living in London now. Anyways, I like it a lot. Hubby and I went for a stroll on Thursday because miracle of miracles I finished work at a pretty reasonable time. We looked in to see if there was any music going on and joyfully there was a pair playing guitar and singing Brazilian jazz.  Washed down with a gin cocktail. Lovely. I plan to check out their Wednesday open mic night soon.

Eating at the amazing pizza place down the road

We sampled the delights of Organica Pizza and their Bresaola Beef Pizza at the end of the week when we were cleaning and painting the new place. Exhausted and paint speckled I swore it was the best pizza I've ever had. So we were excited to get more with our friends when they visited. While the food didn't taste quite as magical this time round, it still was pretty high up on the ranks of good pizza AND the staff were again super friendly and gave us free stuff! They did say the owners might be changing soon though, sadly. Will have to test it out again then...

Meditating at St Mary Aldermary

I've been looking forward to checking out some of Moot Church's events; and also been meaning to at least give meditating a good go. So their "stressed in the city" group meditation ticked a couple of boxes! I spent most of it nodding off and trying not to fall of my chair BUT I'm deciding to believe that stopping for over half an hour in the day can't be a bad thing and hoping that in time I might learn to stay awake. There was a short reading at the end, the bit that stood out to me and that I'm mulling over now is "a commitment to reality". Which to me is about trying to be present in the moment and not wish my life away. Easier said than done...

Walking along Regents canal (and Regents Park)

Yesterday friends came to visit from Brighton (hooray!) and we extended what I walked very early one morning two weeks ago. We walked from Camden Road right around the top edge of Regents Park, past the zoo, and into and around the park. It was a perfect day for it. Be great to cycle early one morning before it gets too busy. Loved seeing all the different boats, glimpses of the birds in the zoo, and then hanging out by the bandstand in the park with a quickly melting ice cream.

Swimming at Hampstead Heath Ponds

I've been missing swimming since leaving Cornwall and the sea, so been keen to try out London's outdoor swimming options. Today, with its good weather predictions, we checked out the first: the mixed pond at Hampstead Heath. The sun decided to hide the whole time we were there, but still really enjoyed the dip and my body is feeling much happier for it. There's not a lot of space to sit by the water, but you do have the whole rest of Hampstead Heath to picnic and sunbathe on. And at £2 you can't complain. It's quite easy to get to so hoping to make this a regular spot.

Dancing at Passing Clouds

This is a venue (in Haggerston/Dalston) I keep finding out that different friends are in love with, and actually the last time I was there I ended up seeing three different people I know from Brighton that I haven't seen in years. One of those special places. It's colourful and friendly and I've now been there for a spoken word night, a swing class and more recently for dancing to Jazzy B's tunes. I think it's under threat of being closed so sign this petition to protect it! And go enjoy it :-)

Celebrating our first week in London at Passing Clouds - still not learned where to look for selfies...
So yeh - been a pretty good start when I look back. There's also been a rooftop BBQ in Brick Lane and a couple of pub trips. London in summer is a happy place to be - especially grateful for the green spaces and the chilled out places you can find there. Here's to more sunshine and exploring!

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