25 February 2017

Lost in London || Week 1

I once heard a saying that goes "if you're tired of London than you're tired of life" and I've come to see that this is so true of the vibrant Anglo-speaking country in the heart of the Northern hemisphere. Since landing at Heathrow Airport (which is virtually the size of an island in the Mediterranean Sea) I have rustled out London's metaphorical feathers or 'ripped the town apart' as another saying goes.

I spent my first week mostly in the Royal Borough of Kingston (sounds fancy, doesn't it?). If you ever find yourself in this famous city, venture through to Kingston Upon Thames which you can find just South West of central London... or on Google.  I'm sure Kingston is one of London's best kept secrets. It has all the buzz that dazzling central London has to offer- food, people and places- with more personality, more personal connections and less pomp and circumstance which makes it the ultimate town.


Fashion
Whoever said 'fashion was pain' knew a thing or two about walking around in London. This past week, I was fundamentally Goldilocks, except, instead of trying out beds and porridge, I tried to find the most suitable shoes to wear when taking on London which ultimately resulted in back pain and sore feet no thanks to my 'not so high' heels. My pink trainers were too informal and gave me back pain. My dark blue, ankle-high swayed boots were not gripping well- which just left me slipping and sliding in them. My black boots were misleadingly comfortable to begin with...but it turns out my foot can't handle being unnaturally angled for more than an hour whilst in motion. 

Moving upwards, I love the layers and bulkiness that comes with winter clothing. I'm no connoisseur when it comes to winter clothes as I am when it comes to chocolate... just because I've spent most of my life avoiding winter, literally hoping on a plane to the opposite hemisphere just before it gets too cold for comfort. I've enjoyed the whole process of getting dressed in the morning and truly it is a process. To begin with, tights or stockings are a sticky mission, followed by vests and then socks. Then, it's all about planning ahead. How many layers should you wear? Coat or no coat? It is indeed a process.
Coat- River Island
Pants- Woolworths
Boots- Woolworths

Jersey- Woolworths

Uniqueness
The title of this post is no joke. I literally got lost in London and several times I might add. The first time that I got lost in London, I nearly ended up on an underground train in the complete opposite direction to where I needed to be. The second time, I did get lost in London, again on a train except this time it was an overground train- not that it makes much of a difference. I've felt a tad bit discombobulated this whole trip (that's a big word for confused). Time escapes quickly along with the sun here, which has taken some getting used to. 

Whilst getting lost in London, I've noticed some key differences between this city and the city that I get to call home, Joburg. Here, people walk everywhere. EVERYWHERE. In South Africa, if you have a car, you tend to drive everywhere. I think I've done more walking- jaywalking included- than I've done in the past year and a half. 


I don't walk much back in South Africa. Hence, I've crossed very few streets in a bipedal, upright position, nevertheless alone. Imagine my gratuity when I saw this painted help on the road- like a gift from above. Very cleverly, the road has instructions on which way to look for oncoming cars which I think is a very good idea when avoiding pedestrian incidents due to ignorance (or lack of experience, in my case) when crossing roads. 



London is full of history, which becomes apparent pretty quickly. Gothic-styled building with sharp angled windows and flying buttresses are preserved in beautiful churches. The design in many buildings ooze nostalgia, design and craftsmanship which isn't seen anymore. I took a stroll through the ancient market in Kingston as the sun set at around 17:00 (another observable difference between South Africa). This building looked homely and inviting, as most building seem to look here in London.


If you look carefully, this is a truck or a lorry, depending on where you're from. I thought that this was a creative way to showcase items. I'm so used to seeing non-translucent metallic truck surfaces, which makes the uniqueness of this understandable. My only dilemma with this concept is that I didn't take note of what the company was trying to market; I was too distracted by the medium.



...Turns out they were selling furniture and lighting.

How great is this! This made all four chambers of my heart beat with such joy. To me, this signifies a celebration of diversity and the inclusion of others sometimes bullied or discriminated against for being different. This skin condition is called vitiligo, caused by the lack of melanin. It is commendable to see a country and a brand who are the avant-garde, taking fashion and stereotypes to new, unexplored heights.


                          Food
If you're gonna do London...you gotta do it right! What better way to start the day than with a good ol' English breakfast? The Premier Inn offered a buffet that was a feast for the eyes and an extravaganza for my taste buds.



The next logical step for anyone after breakfast is obviously desert...okay, maybe not exactly in that particular order. An evening scroll ended with a visit to the local 'sweet shop', a local patisserie called Patisserie Valerie where this was on the menu- the perfect topping to a perfect family-filled day.






Cake is so 2016! If your birthday is coming round, this is the way to celebrate. Discard the 'welcome home' writing and imagine 'happy birthday' in its place. Do you see what I'm seeing? The perfect replacement for the conventional birthday cake. A large chocolate chip cookie poked with 18 or so candles and a pretty pink border dotted with multi-coloured smarties sounds very good to me.






Places
If you're in London, you've seen or been on the Thames. A morning walk gave me opportunity to capture these shots. The reflections are my favourite parts about the photographs. The swans and geese had quite the personalities. Obviously, they're no strangers to humans, stretching their necks like models do. 













This interactive sculpture is called Out of Order, made by David Mach in 1988. The tumbling traditional telephone booths ooze rhythm and repetition and make for eye-popping, attention grabbing pieces. Obviously, I had to go strike a pose with the work. Do you blame me?





Come back next week for week two in this 3-part series, which I promise to be as exciting as week one! If you ever find yourself in the Northern hemisphere, particularly in London, Kingston is definitely a 'must see' destination- London's best kept secret I tell you!

Till next time-
Steph


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12 comments

  1. London seems like such a fun place to visit! All of that food looks really good :-)
    And your photographs from the Thames are really pretty!

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    1. It is a fun place...although, it did take some getting used to.
      And the food was definitely delightful.

      Thank you so much. I like them too.

      Thanks a whole lot for the comment! Always appreciated and never fails to make my heart happy.

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  2. London was my first holiday without my family, I think I was 16. I went with my friends and it was the best of fun! This summer it'll be my third time visiting the enormous city ( enormous in size and culture ). I absolutely love your photos. I've never seen that sculpture "Out Of Order" but next time I'm there, I'll definitely search it out. What was your favourite part of London?

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    1. Wow! So you have very special memories of London. You're definitely right about it being enormous when it comes to its culture`1

      Thank you so much! The sculpture is a tad bit out of central London. You may have to travel a bit if you wanna see it- but the sculpture and the surrounding town is worth it.

      My favourite part would probably be the people (and their accents). Everyone seems to be so friendly. I'm just enjoying talking to people here.

      I can't wait to hear how your trip goes!

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  3. OMG Your blog is so cool! A definite follow from me! I have never been to London but it is one of my dream destinations for the future!

    xxx TG

    targetgirlonline.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much, TG!

      London is a good city to put on your bucket list! I hope you visit it, one day, soon!

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  4. I live in London! It's true, if you're sick of London then you are sick of life. This is because there are sooo many things to do in London. I just recently started realising how many cool opportunities there are here, I always thought America had all the amazing stuff to do. Sounds like your experience in London was amazing! Even though you got lost, it was funny right? I'm glad you had a nice time here, this post was a pleasure to read! x

    ~ Rukiya

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    1. You live in London! That's so so exciting!

      There are definitely an unbending number of opportunities. But then again, one does have to go out and look for them!

      I have had a lovely time, here, indeed! I got lost several times, but I always became 'found' so it all worked out well.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you, Rukiya.

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  5. Seems you had a great time there! Big cities are always fun, they had a lot of things to do, imposible to get bored!
    I loved the pictures on that art installation!

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    1. Cilia! Once again, massive thank you for the comment.

      I did have a adventurous and self-reflective time indeed. It is definitely difficult to have nothing to do when you're in a new country!

      Thank you, Cilia!

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  6. Hey girl!
    Looks like you had the most incredible time in London. First off I need to say that I lovvvvveee those boots you're wearing. Also I'm guessing that Woolworths is a VERY different store to what it is here in Australia (It's one of our biggest supermarkets and it definitely doesn't sell clothes!). I love that the city got you out and walking, I think that's one of the best parts about travelling. Sure, your feet are in so much pain but it's the only way to see everything, and you get some exercise out of the way too! x

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    1. Why, thank you! Yup, our 'Woolies' as I like to call it is definitely different. In South Africa, it's both clothes and in-store grocery franchise.

      "The city got you out and walking"...I like that, and yes, it definitely did. No pain no gain I guess!

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