Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tuesday 28 June - One year on

11.11pm, Deciding.

One year ago today, on the day I moved to Berlin, I started this blog.

I've recently been thinking about it, and debating whether to continue or not... The thing is, I wanted to start the blog to document all the varied, exciting and new things I would be doing after I moved to Berlin. At the time, I had no idea what I would be doing, where my life would take me and the decisions I would make.

After living in Berlin and Austria, I have moved to London. Over time, I have taken on a full-time job, and moved in with Andy. Now, often, what I am doing at 11.11am is sitting at my desk doing work, and what I am doing at 11.11pm is sleeping. It doesn't make the most interesting reading.

I love my life, wholeheartedly, and wouldn't change it at all at the moment. I couldn't be less bored, but I am aware that reading about someone else's everyday life can definitely be boring. So... should I carry on?

I have become mega attached to this blog. It means I pay more attention to what I am doing each day, I take more photos and I have kept up with writing. I have learnt more about blogging, read more of other people's blogs and been proud to show my blog to people. Most importantly, I now have the most amazing online diary that documents, in detail, the best year of my life.

It's been a year that has seen me achieve more than I've ever achieved in a year, including:
Live, and fall in love with, a different country
Learn to snowboard (badly)
Have my very first garden of my own
Live in the same city as ALL my best friends from uni
Get a pay rise
Get robbed
Visit Oslo
Own three different bikes
Launch my website
Move in with the love of my life, twice
Meet Hanson, my idols

This is only a (very) small selection of the things that have happened to me this year, and I could write much more. But I do wonder if I would have remembered all these wonderful, challenging and exciting things if I hadn't blogged about it all. Though I'm pretty sure I would have remembered meeting Hanson...

The blog has had almost 18,000 hits in total, and I don't want to give up on it completely. But, from now, I might not update it daily. We'll see...

(Picture taken from

Monday 27 June - Four fun things in one day

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Sitting in our kitchen, talking to our friend Jmery. He's from Australia, but I met him in Austria over the winter. He's a hilarious guy with a pretty good moustache, and he's in London getting ready to go home to Australia after a year's travelling.

Today I had the most social engagements of all time ever. Other than Jmery coming to visit, I also had a picnic lunch with Andy and his cousins in Soho (top picture), met my mum for an hour and a drink, and then went for dinner with the City girls (and remembered to take photos for once, bottom two pictures). Four fun things in one day, plus a full day at work. I am tired, but my soul is oh-so-happy!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday 26 June - Green fingers and dirty feet

Current location: Lewisham
11.11am, In the garden. When Andy and I moved to Lewisham, there was a lovely outdoor area, but the weeds had made it their home and the 'garden' needed a fair amount of work. Bit by bit, we have worked on it, wedding, planting grass and putting down paving stones.

And finally, we put aside this weekend to do the rest. Cue a visit to the garden centre yesterday, and a taxi ride back from Catford with a garden bench and LOTS of plant pots. And today, we had to actually pot the plants, cut the grass, pull up lots of weeds, lay some slate, make some borders and many more gardening jobs.

We spent 10 hours at work in the sweltering sunshine (sweltering for England!) today and, by the time we finally went inside at 8pm, we were exhausted, sunburnt and super proud of our amazing garden.

Our garden now boasts herbs (mint, rosemary, oregano, basil, coriander and thyme) and flowers (Begonia, Petunia, Impatiens, Marigold, Daisy, Lobelia, Lavender, and an unidentifiable yellow plant). I LOVE our new garden.

Saturday 25 June - Tapas and Rioja

Current location: London Bridge
11.11pm, Sitting in a beer garden. We (Emily, Sara, Andy, Paul, Jack, Ruth, Grant) were at a pub called the George, in Southwark/London Bridge...a pub that both Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare used to go to (though not at the same time, obv). It's a medieval pub owned by the National Trust, and it was pretty cool. Apart from the fact they're closing tomorrow for refurbishment, so had run out of pretty much everything. Other than pink wine, luckily for us.

Earlier in the afternoon, we went to one of the best things I've done since moving to London. We went to a Rioja and Tapas festival near London Bridge. It was so warm and sunny, we tasted many a wine, ate very varied tapas and just enjoyed being in the company of awesome people. Happy times, good for the soul.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday 24 June - Banarama take two

Current location: Soho
11.11am, At work, playing with fruit. Kind of. My work friend (workmate? colleague? person I sit next to at work who I consider a friend?) and I had both bought bananas in and it all seemed to go downhill from there. In case you can't read it, the bananas say:

"This place is so square. I'm gonna split."
"Hi Lucy, I'm one of your five a day."

It's all glitz and glamour in the world of magazine journalism!

Thursday 23 June - The good life

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Going to bed after a lovely fun London with lovely fun Londoners. Andy and I met Ruth, Nicky and Jack (and later Gav), and went for excellent and ridiculously colourful cocktails on the South Bank. Ruth's even came in a coconut! Next up was Gordon's, which is fast becoming a local (can it be a local if it's miles away from your home?!) and ate cheese for dinner, washed down with fancy red wine. I love my friends. x

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wednesday 22 June - The halcyon days of Berlin

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Talking to Andy in bed about when we lived in Berlin.
Berlin was amazing. I loved living in Berlin. The other day I found an awesome blog post by Kat George on the website 'Thought Catalog' that kind of summed up my summer (and autumn. And winter) in the city.
The post starts off a bit cringey, but I was entirely won around by the time it ended; I think the writer captured Berlin perfectly. Click here for the blog post in full... Or read below for my favourite (edited) parts...

Arrive in spring but expect nothing of the weather.
Learn how to pronounce the names of all the boroughs and metro stations. Embrace your newfound love for the German language but also revel in the fact that you can have a lively conversation with a German person—you speaking English while they speak German—and walk away not knowing exactly what happened but that it was lovely anyway.

Go to the Turkish markets and buy 8 chicken breasts for 5 Euros. Buy Turkish tea and fresh vegetables. Start feeling incredibly sane and relaxed.

Start partying as it gets warmer. Get to the club at 3am and don’t leave until midday the following day. Wonder how you’ll ever keep up with this sort of party lifestyle.

Now that it’s summer spend your weekends in the park. Go to the flea markets at Mauerpark; when you get to the market get a freshly squeezed orange juice for 1 Euro. Meet your friends on the grass when the sun is high in the sky and start drinking beers. Have a picnic.

Be upset when summer ends abruptly. Start having dinner parties and drinking lots of red wine. Read lots of books and watch lots of movies. When you go outside, wear absolutely everything you own. Realise that despite the paralyzing cold, Berlin is absolutely beautiful in the snow, in its way. Go to the Christmas markets and drink gluhwein.

Be overwhelmed by the history. Walk everywhere or get a bike and ride. Drink in the street. When you finish your drink put the empty can/bottle under the trashcan so the homeless can cash it in. Live cheaply. Live calmly. Live like you always dreamed you would.

(Picture taken from 1and1is2 on Weheartit) - Ooh and I think Kat George might be a new fave writer. Read more of her stuff here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday 21 June - A denerification situation

Current location: On a train
11.11pm, Coming home from an evening with my sister, Kate, and my friend, Gemma. We had tickets to go and be in the studio audience of my favourite programmes, Mock the Week, and were pretty excited. However, when we arrived and got our wristbands, we waited around in the BBC building for a while, before being told that all the seats had been filled and we wouldn't be going in. Booooo.

However, not let our high spirits be flagged, we realised we were across the road from Westfield Shopping Centre, and so, five minutes later, we were shopping. A couple of hours later and we were in the pub, talking about our new purchases (that included leggings, cards, necklaces, and many, many tops) over a glass of wine, and agreeing that our evening had turned out brilliantly. Denerification* at its finest.

*Denerification is not, officially, a real word. It's a word my lovely friend Nicky and I came up with at the age of 16, for when something doesn't go according to plan, but ends up better than the original plan. Much like tonight.

NB: Not to be confused with Denitrification, which is a microbially facilitated process of nitrate reduction that may ultimately produce molecular nitrogen. Obv.

Monday 20 June - Bananarama

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Getting the banana bread out of the oven. We had loads of going-off bananas, so I did what any self-respecting domestic goddess would do, and made banana cake/loaf/bread. The house now smells insanely good, but I'll wait until tomorrow to see how it tastes...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday 19 June - A river, a family, a Sunday

Current location: Walton-on-Thames
11.11am, Walking alongside a beautiful part of the Thames river. Today is Father's Day and, by some miracle of co-ordination, Andy and his dad are in the same place today. Which is a beautiful part of south-west London, joined by Andy's mum, Val, and me.

We got up early-ish this morning and had scrambled eggs and coffee outside in the sunshine, then went for a nice four-mile walk along the river. Actually, nice doesn't even really come close. We ambled along for about an hour, dodging the cyclists and joggers, petting the dogs, watching the rowers, admiring the flowers (thanks to Val who seems to know the name of anything that's ever grown - in the fourth picture down, she's in the background smelling some honeysuckle!)), chatting, laughing, skimming stones, watching the barges and working up an appetite. Our walk took us to a riverside pub, where we all ate until we were full, and toasted all the lovely dads in the world, Andy's and mine especially.

Saturday 18 June - Families reunited!

Current location: East Molesey
11.11am, In Andy's cousins' house, drinking tea and reuniting with Andy's parents, David and Val. They're on a massive and fabulous worldwide trip from their hometown in NSW, Australia, and have so far taken in Alaska, Canada and SW London! Neither Andy nor I have seen them for almost two years and they are simply wonderful. So much love, fast fast talking and too much cheese today. Incredible.

(Picture of David and Val outside their home in Australia, taken by Nick Lawrence)

Friday 17 June - No finer thing

Current location: South Bank
11.11pm, Drinking wine in the British Film Institute bar.
I honestly don't think there are many better things in life, than a Friday night, drinking wine with some of my favourite girls in the whole world. Tonight was (in the words of Sarah Potts) "fun, drunk and emo". Awesome.

Thursday 16 June - Barbecue with youuuu

Current location: Angel
11.11pm, At Ruth/Nicky/Jack's with Andy where we'd had a dream BBQ. Nicky made some amazing treats, Willy and Sarah came over, and we all ate too much and then snuggled up on the couch when the sun had gone down. Just how BBQs should be.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wednesday 15 June – Hooked on books

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Reading in bed. A new book arrived in the post for me today (I did order it, it didn't arrive by magic) and I love love love it already. The book is The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain. She writes in a similar way to Jodi Picoult, which I know is not to everyone's taste, but I just find her so readable and full of twists. Upon the book arriving this morning, I opened it and found the first 'praise for Diane Chamberlain' to be a review I wrote while I worked at Candis. Pretty funny/awesome to find my words in her book. In fact, it's the first media review on the Amazon entry too, which is cool.

I can still remember the day that I discovered that you never, ever have to be bored if you have a good book with you. It was such a good discovery, especially as I discovered it on a six-hour book journey. I love reading, and commuting to work every day means I now have time to indulge my habit!

(Picture taken by Alana on Weheartit)

Tuesday 14 June - Coffee nation

Current location: Soho
11.11am, Drinking coffee at work. Considering we get through so much crappy instant coffee, it's taken a while for us to upgrade. But now a friend at work has bought in a cafetiere and I have purchased some medium-roast, delicious-smelling, finely ground coffee, and we are good to go. No more need for naps come 11am.

(Images taken by - top to bottom - Seunghyun, Maison, Emily Caroline and Andi S, all from Weheartit)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Monday 13 June - Domestic goddess

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Eating dinner. Yep, pretty late. When I watched Julie & Julia yesterday, it made me want to make beef bourguignon (how good is that spelling?!). So today, with Andy arriving home late, I decided to give it a go.

Three and a half hours later – it was ready. Oh my. It was, without doubt, the best dish I've ever attempted (not to blow my own trumpet...But really, it was amazing). The in-progress picture doesn't do it justice, but if this blog had a smell, then you would understand how awesome it was. Might have been the whole bottle of red wine that went in it...

As well as making my new signature dish, I also managed to water the garden, put the washing on, do the washing up, clean our room, wash my hair and even fit in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. I think Andy was pretty surprised when he walked in the door to a clean house, clean girlfriend and dinner on the table. Go me.

Sunday 12 June - Tea and bed

Current location: Lewisham
11.11pm, Curled up in bed with a peppermint tea. I came back from the loveliest wedding weekend tonight, and the journey was loooong. But it was much better than on the way down, because I was in the carriage that had TV screens on the back of the seats, so I watched Glee all the way back, and then a very girlie film called Julie & Julia, which was basically about cooking.

I was super tired getting back to London and it was quite strange to call home and speak to Mum, Dad and Andy, who is staying down until tomorrow!

(Picture of mint tea taken from The Diary of a Procrastinator)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Saturday 11 June - The perfect wedding

Current location, Kenegie Home Farm, Cornwall
11.11pm, At Immi and Joe's wedding!! I think at this exact moment, I was dancing around to swing with everyone else, full of Cornish ale and home-reared beef.

I was having way too much fun to take many photos of the amazing setting (an orchard, a woodland walk, a field) or the beautiful bride (a vintage lace dress). Immi was absolutely glowing, while Joe was on top form and kept everyone laughing (and sometimes crying).

They had thought of everything, right down to the last detail, and I seriously cannot imagine a more beautiful wedding. Bunting galore, an entire cheese board and wedding cake made of cheese, handmade everything. It was stunning, and I felt so lucky to join in such a wonderful day of love, joy and beauty. Go Joe and Immi - love you lots. x