My two dear friends Kristin and Filip got married in Stavanger, Norway earlier this spring and I had the privilege of capturing them saying yes and celebrating the day with their friends and family. I was pretty much the only non-Norwegian speaking person there so I didn’t understand much of the words but actions are often louder than words (duh), so this time round I got the idea by just observing people. My camera gave me the perfect excuse to do just that.
I’m struggling a bit to find my routine at the moment because there is none, the only constant is the number of balls in the air that I sometimes manage to juggle better than at other times. I spend about one-third of my time in an office with other humans, one-third traveling and the rest at home at my desk. The latter is currently (and now in particular!) driving me nuts, but fingers crossed it’s a phase that will pass soon.
Anyway, back to the reason for this post: A colourful recap of the last few weeks powered by my photo roll. I was at the Leipzig bookfair and if you’re German and into books, here’s a selection of reads that I’ve either just finished or that are piling up on my bedside table and don’t get the attention (and time) they deserve.
The last four weeks from my phone’s perspective were freezing cold (Cambridge), extremely easy and sunny (Barcelona), very inspring (Oh Comely and Wonderland Magazine), caffeine-infused (Ginger and White and The Vintage Emporium), full of careless and possibly embarassing dancing (XOYO and The Blues Kitchen) and enriched by some new impressions of London (The RAF Museum in Hendon and some lake really far East whose name I’ve forgotten, but it was the most refreshing and beautiful road trip.)
The last four weeks from my perspective felt very long and draining, very laptop- and deadline-intensive but as I’m writing this, I can feel the sun tickle my skin and in another few weeks’ time, all the
important student problems will have faded away and we can hopefully all lounge around in parks and eat ice cream 24/7! You can follow those and other adventures on here.
Having spent last week in sunny Barcelona, I’m now slightly overwhelmed (maybe even depressed) when checking out the amount of sunny material while getting on with that rather dull version of life in London. The photos are a bit of a taster of fancy places to hang out in the city that blew my mind on absolutely every level. Admittedly, that wasn’t all too hard thanks to the of the lack of research and expectations from my end. Instead, I let the experimental surfer- and skateboarder-spirit do all the work.
The Mercat de la Boqueria is perfect for a bit of late morning hunting for inspiration. Colourful candies are arranged spectacularly and the way meat or fish is presented can only be described as very off-beat, I’ll spare you the photos. You’ll find the best best best (!) burger at Kiosko at the Marquès de L’Argentera. The place is a mix of a large living room and an American diner. Add a beautiful burger with local Catalan cheese to that picture and you’ll be one happy traveller.
Now we come to the long list of hipsteresque cafés that my friend handed to me. There is Cosmo, which quickly became my favorite, its walls are covered in eccentric and unique art works, tables are decorated with dried flowers and somehow my journal was nearly filled by the end of that visit. So you could say it’s quite an inspiring environment. There’s Babelia, a mixture of a second-hand book store and a tearoom (needless to say I was hooked), Lukumas in the coolest neighbourhood called Gracia with homemade donuts and a bit of Scandinavian-style furniture. No, not Ikea, the good stuff.
And then there are all the ice cream places, the tapas restaurants and the juice bars that are equally great and add to that spring feeling that we seem to miss out on in the rest of Europe…
I’m reading this book at the moment where A. N. Wilson doesn’t even attempt to paint a grand and united picture of London history that doesn’t exist: To cut a long story short, unlike New York, our favorite city is a wild mix of a number of different boroughs that were initially quite far from today’s zone 1. This gradual development might be part of what attracts people to the city. Everyone can find their own niche here, forget a ready-made concept of what urban culture has to look like, people from all sorts of backgrounds come, shape it and give it a new identity. The constant, even compulsive process of getting this ‘new identity’ is old, though, it’s attached to the city like Kensington Palace or Westminster Bridge.
So it happens that some Occupy protesters are listening to small concert in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, fashion bloggers are shooting photos around Somerset House, some ladies are enjoying the first signs of spring at the V&A, a family is posing at Russell Square, highly concentrated pals are playing chess on Brick Lane and two dogs are falling in love with each other. London, once and for all, we love you because you don’t make any sense – in the most beautiful of ways.
The Easter break is officially over now and I somehow managed to turn it into a daily marathon of which day can be packed with the most exciting and less exciting plans to add and then tick off my countless to-do-lists (I hope I’m not the only one regularly failing in ticking off part…) However, there will eventually be some time soon for a proper holiday!
Anyway, on one of the rare days off – in fact, about 10 hours after I came back from Oxford – we took a bus to Cambridge which, the moment we took our first steps, felt like different universe (with a lot of bikes.)
Picking green spots to sit down while listening to Bon Iver and watching some students rowing with tourists became our most frequent activity, right after hanging around in pubs and drinking tea. Now that might sound a little too chilled out, but we actually managed to catch a glimpse of the most beautiful attractions.
It was quite amazing to see how a city that close to London can have such a different touch. Cambridge has that snobby, nerdy smack that makes it incredibly attractive for days out but in terms of down-to-earth-ness, diversity and real life, I much prefer lovely London.
By the way, the title is inspired by a book by Hannah Green which deserves a blog post on its own. I’m planning to do a weekly book review project and I will get started right after I’ve successfully overcome the massive ocean of deadlines, promise! x