Things to do in London, part 2908

Ah sweet London, your living costs kill me but when there’s so much exploring to do, (free) events to attend and good food markets to try all the testers hard to resist, really. I’ve written a million and one posts since I moved here 3 years ago, but one more list of things to do couldn’t hurt anyone! If you’re here on holiday, visiting for the day or have a morning free, here’s some of my favourite things to do: (and does anyone even realise how much it hurts me to write favourite things on this blog!?! hahahaha).

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So many (free!) exhibitions

This might sound really sad but my favourite thing in the world is when I have a day off and can spend a whole day wondering. Luckily lots of exhibitions are free or super cheap admission with a student card so I can be cultured with still money to spend on food later. Somerset House will always be one of my favourite places to wonder through (especially in the summer), the most beautiful views of London, awesome exhibitions and a lovely courtyard to drink tea in. I love the V&A, Fashion & Textile Museum and I want to visit the brand new Design Museum too!

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A bit more far out…

God’s Own Junkyard was the first place I visited as soon as I got my house in London. In Walthamstow, it’s a warehouse full of neon lights. That’s all I have to say. Free to wander around, every time I’ve visited something’s changed and is a good excuse to visit Walthamstow too (and the William Morris Gallery).

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Rainbow Bagels

Er hello! Rainbow bagels! Make the most of London’s weird stuff, a walk down Brick Lane and you can get a whole 24hr shop dedicated to bagels and a cafe full of cereal. Cheese toastie bars, vegan fried chicken shops and cafe’s dedicated to crisps are also a thing. (And you wonder why I can’t leave?!).

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Sketch

If you’re gonna push the boat out then you might as well do it properly! Afternoon Tea at Sketch, aka the place where you’ll find the most Instagrammed toilets in the world (see). Designed by David Shringley and never ending cups of tea, it took a lot of persuasion to make me leave (a trip to Kew Gardens, of course).

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The London Eye (a classic tourist trip)

You can’t not visit, really. I went with Justina a couple of years ago when she first visited London (after an obligatory visit to Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Oxford Circus etc duh) and I really do think it’s one of the best ways to see the city (especially at night!). I wasn’t aware, but turns out there’s also discounts available via Discount London too if you ever fancy getting your tickets at a cheaper price!

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Markets

Soooooooo many markets! Portobello, Borough, Bermondsey and of course my favourite Columbia Road Flower Market, there’s one for pretty much every day of the week. The best days include a market, some good food and an exhibition in my opinion and luckily London is well and truly overflowing with ’em.

I write this from the library as I try and break down these monster briefs I’ve been given for the other 50% of my degree. It ain’t pretty but in 6 months it’ll be over and my to-do list for London will be sooooo much longer.

Other posts relating to London broadly: A student survival guide, Bucket List


now playing: The XX new album, beautiful

Post in collaboration with Discount London

How to Survive as a Student (Clue: You Can’t)

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I write this moan today after receiving my student maintenance loan this morning: £1602.15. This is expected to last me until April, giving me £400.53 to cover living costs (housing, travel and food). ER HELLO. I also read this article from the Telegraph the other day with a headline stating that ‘Nearly a third of students waste their student loans on shopping sprees, drinking and gym memberships‘. And so my first question as a response to this is HOW THE FLIP CAN THEY DO THAT????????????????????????????????!

So this is my current situation, I’m a final year student studying in London. I’m not from London and don’t want to (or can, really) rely on my parents for extra financial help so I work. I have my blog, this, that gives me a tiny income occasionally and I’ve worked since I was 16 and try to work up to 21 hours a week to help. I’m lucky that I’ve worked for the same company for 5 years so they allow me to be flexible and even more lucky that I’m paid London Living Wage (£9.75) which is amazing. When I first moved to London I couldn’t afford to live in my University’s halls which was something crazy like £200 p/w so I moved into a house share in Stratford, East London. At this stage, it’s harder and harder to get a job when I graduate (particularly in the over saturated fashion industry which I know I chose to go into) therefore it’s a requirement that I intern. By intern I mean work for free – travel sometimes paid, lunch a rarity.

I’m in work 2/3 days a week, university 5/6 (10am-10pm days if I can), expected to intern combined with a sweet dose of rising living costs and this shrinking maintenance loan. I graduate with a comfortable £45k debt and a lot of uncertainty. I dunno, maybe everyone else is doing just fine and it could just be me but with all these articles going round I just wanted to let everyone know that it’s shitty over here and the real shit (post graduating) hasn’t even started yet. I know the education system is corrupt, but really?

Yours sincerely,

A really struggling third year

(I also recognise that in the grand scheme of things happening in the world my problems are nothing at all and that I should recognise my privilege that I’m allowed to gain further education….but still guys)


now playing: bad day daniel powter lmao

2016

Here are my posts from every year that I’ve blogged: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

ERE WE GO AGAIN. And I looked through my old posts and yet again I’ve neglected my blog even more this year, with regret, but also I’ve been working like a mad man and having the bubble of this being my last year of being a student hanging over my head I feel like I need to make the most of every opportunity I can! (Read: having no formal work commitments therefore going on holiday as often as I can). This year has basically been tragic for the whole world (Brexit), but on a personal level I’ve had a really bloody great year and I’ve had a really bloody great time. A year for saying yas to everything I can, getting into some really bizarre situations and just kind of rolling along with it.

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-10-21-29Interning, working my life away etc etc

I suppose the biggest distraction from my blog (continued) is work this year. Beginning with a placement term I spent 2 months working for a fashion show production company preparing for LFW, working behind the scenes at the V&A in their Press Office and spending a couple of weeks working for Sunday Times Style in the fancy News Building in London Bridge. All so different but all really cool opportunities seeing how it all works BTS and now I feel like I’ve nearly covered all areas of the industry……nearly. Promising that I was gonna take the summer chill and never intern again after it taking over my life the past couple of years, plot twist I somehow turned into a styling assistant and I worked my socks off. Also where I truly learnt that I am really shit at ironing. Starting off working in Rankin’s studio working on his new book (a series of nudes which was a bizarre experience I’ll tell you that), working on a couple of editorials and then ending up travelling around and being flown to Belfast to assist and style 90’s girl band of dreams All Saints. Seeing my work in the press (!!) and working towards their larger shows at Hyde Park and Brixton Academy was so flippin cool, plus they’re the kindest and most talented women and I feel so lucky that I had the chance to work with them.

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I’ve embraced my inner tat and I just REALLY like being by the seaside (and slot machines)…maybe it was growing up with the occasional trip to Skegvegas…….hmm……….. Coney Island in Brooklyn is no question about it heaven on earth, Margate is a retro dream and we had the bestest weekend in Brighton at the beginning of October (my first time ever visiting!). Chip shops, doughnuts and deck chairs are calling my name and one year I’ll move to the seaside.

untitled-122On a mission to find the largest cup of beer I can……..

And going to as many gigs as my pennies can stretch to! A bit of Bloc Party, The Maccabees at Brixton to seeing Lucy Rose perform at a tiny church in Hampstead with my homie Naomi and a bit of Tom Odell in between. A trip to Manchester with my best mates for Parklife included me stood in the middle of a Skepta set in my flowery mac thinking it was Stormzy and a lot of Jamie XX and Annie Mac. Sweetly followed by my first festival abroad kicking off a months worth of travelling, Benicassim!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sitting by the pool and lying on the beach during the day, a bit of Biffy, The Vaccines, Muse and Kendrick Lamar at night like hollaaaaaaa. Watching Burt Bacharach and flautist James Galway from backstage at Hyde Park is also a pretty major highlight.

Untitled-2DSCF4697ER THE BEST SUMMER EVER (and travelling)

Following on from above, my plan was to travel in second year if everything went to plan and I’m so bloody lucky that it all fell into place. Beginning with a trip to my new favourite city Budapest and a recent day trip to Paris, the biggest highlight was a gang of us heading to Spain followed by Italy, Slovenia and Croatia over 3 weeks and I had the bestest of best times ever and had so much fun. City strolling finding markets and ice cream shops to finding a deserted patch of ocean and looking for fish. Getting back, flying to New York with the fam for a couple of days spent strolling around and exploring Brooklyn was amazing.

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I turned 21 and made it last all summer (year). Work hard play hard amigos. Balancing Lush, with uni and interning, making the summer amazing oh so totally made it worth it followed with going out with mates at home and a couple of days spent partying in the streets at Notting Hill Carnival…………

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(The highlight being us wearing Christmas jumpers). So erm work hard play hard, amigos. Between October and December my time was split between three places: my bed, work and the uni library and as of 3 weeks ago I’ve submitted 50% of my degree. Really pretty major and really hard work. 6 more months and I suppose you could say that the shit really does get real. Uhoh.

Adios people and thank you again for reading my blog, all these years on. I’ve had the best year ever ever ever and being able to do so much and spend so much time with the best people in the world, I feel proper lucky and #grateful for. The past 5 years documented through blogging I’ve been in this little bubble of education and as of next year it all changes which I’m beyond terrified about. Hey, I’ve done everything I can and now I’ve just gotta wait and see. Kinda exciting, kinda shit scary, ygm.

Also here’s a video I put together where I filmed 1 second of every day this year!

Hope everyone had an amazing Christmas and 2017 is perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

final sale picks

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So the initial burst of the sale has gone and like every year I said I wouldn’t look or buy anything but the deliveries I’ve had every day this week may prove me wrong. Although the best gems might have already been nabbed, there’s some really nice things left! I’ve collected some of the bits I’ve already bought (er, those velvet culottes and ballet slippers, DREAM) and added some extras in that I wish I could buy and maybe in a couple of days they would’ve been reduced even more……………. I don’t hate sales but I well and truly refuse to shop in the sales on Boxing Day (a) because I think it’s so wrong and care about retail workers b) because videos like this (the place where I actually work) makes it even worse) but scrolling online from the comfort of my bed with a tea in hand is a dream scenario. Have you picked up any gems?

I’ve had the best week at home and sitting in front of the TV eating chocolate is just what I needed. I’m heading back to London early on New Years Day for a day at work which I’m sure will be really enjoyable!! ! ! Hope everyone had a lovely lovely Christmas!


now playing: seasons future islands/second hand news fleetwood mac/be mine alabama shakes/the suburbs arcade fire/love is to die warpaint

TIGERS AND BLING: GUCCI SS17

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I admire luxury designer houses secretly from afar. Obviously with clothes oh so completely out of my price range/life; their imagery, campaigns and art is something I find more accessible and more enjoyable. This Gucci SS17 campaign sums up everything for me. It’s excessive, over the top and if anything quite hilarious. Shot by Glen Luchford and including top models, obvs, it also features a lion, leopard and a tiger. Insane. Shot in various locations in Rome (including the Trevi Fountain) it combines the every day (a fast food restaurant) with everything out of the ordinary. Incredibly retro, oh so tacky and those bling bling bling sunglasses are giving me life, my favourite campaign that I’ve seen for a while for sure!

Full campaign and images


now playing: defo I Have a Dream Westlife/2 Become 1 Spice Girls/Feliz Navidad some random spanish Christmas song that reminds me of putting bath bombs through a till, ah sweet memories/Step into Christmas Elton John (personally my favourite Christmas song)/Mistletoe Justin Bieber (another favourite)

the best xmas jumpers EVER

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Boohoo, you’ve stolen the show. Aren’t these the best Christmas jumpers ever?! Well and truly kitted out for all the festivities. Boohoo wanted me to talk about about my festive family and seeing as I’m currently 150 miles away from home (and not back until late Christmas Eve, boo) it was only right that I included my adopted library family – seeing as it’s basically my home recently! Introducing my faves, Charlotte, David, Caitlin and Liv behind the camera! They bring me snacks, send me memes and put up listening to my ridiculously bad taste in music through my rubbish earphones…..that’s my kinda family! Here are our beautiful family photos, one for the photo album for sure.

Anyway, if you’ve got a Christmassy event coming up or you just have a good stash of Christmas jumpers like moi, Boohoo have got your back covered. PS BTW yes, that is a jumper for two people.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, I’M EXHAUSTED MY UNI DEADLINES ARE NEARLY DONE THERE IS A LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL……A LONG WEEK OF RETAIL LEFT THEN I CAN GET THE TUB OF QUALITY STREET OUT!! Jokes it’s already been out for a month.


now playing: finally listening to the full Christine & The Queens album, really really good