Like London but with American accents. Actually… everyone I knew in London had American accents anyway.
- Live with a to-go cup of coffee permanently attached to your hand.
- Order EVERYTHING. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, wine, shopping, clothes, weed, sex, love, movies, order ANYTHING anytime.
- Say, “I’m going on a yoga retreat.”
- Say, “I can’t sign any contracts this week because Mercury is in retrograde.”
- Say, “I’m looking for a healer. Do you know a good healer?”
- Use Oh my god to open or conclude any sentence to express sadness, joy, surprise, anger, boredom, pleasure. Oh my god yes!
- Say, “Oh my god we haaaaave to get some coffee together!!!!” and then never ever text.
- Not see your friends for three months even though you live on the same street because everyone in the world is too busy.
- Almost lose your sh#t because you just realized that the dinner you just said yes to is in BROOKLYN. Ugh.
- Bitch about how everyone is too busy and then hear some guy say, “Dinner?! Yes of course! How does three weeks from now sound to you?” after looking at his planner.
- Spend three weeks planning said dinner, send 3543 emails to get 4 fu#*%g friends together, an hour on the phone with the restaurant to get a good table at a decent hour (Ok, just, any table. Okay, 9:30. Ok.) and then…
- Cancel at 9:27 because “Oh my god I’m just so tired. Would you be upset if…”
- Give everyone the biggest hugs like you’re BFFs that haven’t seen each other for three years even if it’s only the third time you’ve ever met someone.
- Say “OMG I LOVE YOU” to someone you think is nice.
I’m doing 50 Things for a couple reasons. It started as a way to motivate myself to get out and DO things. All the things I started putting off when I became a true Londoner caught up in the grind of everyday life. The touristy things, the things that cost too much money, the things I didn’t do because I was working or tired. Life is like that - as much as you try to keep it fresh, to keep your interests blossoming, it’s hard to do that above and beyond your every day existence.
Here’s a classic example: I had a bottle of whiskey sitting in my kitchen for years. It’s quite a nice bottle and I always thought, I’ll save that for a special occasion. What was the occasion I was waiting for? I don’t really know, to be honest, all I know is that no occasion was good enough for my whiskey. Until I looked at it one day and realised that I was moving countries soon and if I didn’t crack into it then, when would I?
I shared the bottle with Will, Carla and Alex, some good friends of mine. Alex and I drank whiskey, ate roasted almonds and watched She’s All That on the couch. That was the occasion. And this list is like that - a reminder to enjoy things while you have them, because eventually they will go bad or end or they just won’t be there to enjoy anymore.
What a great few months I’ve had making the most of the time I had left in London. I’ve eaten at nice restaurants, seen beautiful art, had some amazing drinks, wandered areas of the city by myself, travelled, experienced things.
Maybe this will inspire you. Make a 50 Things ________ ! Do it for yourself, you don’t need to be leaving your city. Plan a trip, take some pictures, get out there.
The last five years have been so incredible and so many people were really against me picking up and moving to another continent. But I’ve lived in Notting Hill (and Camden! And Lewisham!) and I got a masters degree and I’ve been a music journalist and a diplomatic consultant (!) and met some celebrities and noteworthy people and made friends with some of the most interesting people in the world and travelled to 15 or so countries and I have a great boyfriend and I’ve just grown into myself in a way that is so special to me that I’ll never regret taking that risk.
I just rewatched Before Sunrise and Before Sunset in anticipation of seeing Before Midnight. These are pictures of two of the places Jesse and Celine walked to in Paris in the beginning of Before Sunset. They remind me of Katie, Sam and Felicity. What a lovely trip, and it’s the one year anniversary this week.
Anonymous asked: I think it's so great you are doing this!! Now make your Toronto list. ;-) xo - jules
Why thank you mystery Jules! I am making a Toronto list (very slowly) at 50 Things Toronto. Please make suggestions!!
I accidentally spent three days in Shoreditch / Clerkenwell / Old Street.
London areas I <3 Part Two
Here’s the thing: I really like Shoreditch. I have been, in the past, under the impression that Shoreditch is for hipsters and poseurs. I disclose this information to you now in case you too avoid Shoreditch in favour of safer places such as Notting Hill or more rough n ready places like New Cross.
It all started because I went to the dentist (don’t ask how it was because it was as bad as you think) and then wandered, ending up in Old Street / Shoreditch. I stayed in the area because I was due to meet my friend Lisa for dinner at Princess of Shoreditch, which was on my London bucket list.
And what an amazing day I had! Aside from finding some great spots I hadn’t clocked before, I also chatted with some very friendly people. It’s not like I’d never been to Shoreditch, I just hadn’t wandered around. I’ve always had a specific destination. So here’s what I did:
Nobrow Shop and Gallery
Comic book fiends and art lovers will revel in this amazing little store, filled to the brim with graphic novels, posters, postcards and other fun toys.
If you’re familiar with Shoreditch, you don’t need me to tell you about Hoxton Square. But if you’ve never been, it’s a lovely place to hang out, people watch and get a meal if you’re so inclined. In fact, I visited three days in a row while on my Shoreditchy vacay. Try some burgers at Red Dog Saloon if you want your tastebuds to THANK YOU PROFUSELY. I will also write about Happiness Forgets in another post.
I found this cute shop/cafe while wandering aimlessly and I’m glad that I did. Not only does it have robots you can buy (see above), along with other amazing stuff, the staff are incredibly friendly. I didn’t stop for a coffee, but I sure did pinch a few free postcards for myself.
I like the Boxpark concept - Shoreditch residents were not too happy about a mall being built in their area. They protested and a pop-up mall was born. Full of independent (and not so independent, ie Nike) retailers, the shopping centre built of shipping containers is quite a nice little diversion. Inside I found:
The English Tee Shop
I wandered into this pop up shop and was regaled with a glass of Pimm’s and some delightful chat with the store owner. I tried on a top, which I didn’t end up buying, but their t-shirts are worth taking a look at.
East Wing Collective
I found myself in this shop talking to a lovely furniture designer. The store was full of design goodness - there were many little pieces I would have liked to get my hands on… if I weren’t leaving the country in a few weeks with tons of crap to tote home.
Leather Lane is a historic little street in Clerkenwell, laid out in the medieval period. Now surrounded by tons of startups and cool digital businesses, it’s a great place to get an affordable salad for lunch. Just bring cash! I found these places in Leather Lane:
Beer Craft Co.
I should mention that I’m not a big beer fan. I like whiskey and red wine and other more indulgent drinks. But this place had charm. And delicious pie (see above). I’ve also been to the Islington branch and can tell you that it is also quite good.
I’m very upset that I only found this shoe shop now. It’s my own fault - I had five years of wandering around London time to happen upon it. Regardless I’m glad I at least found it now. Boasting amazing shoes and bags at unbelievable prices, this shop is heaven for shoe lovers. I got some really nice leather flats for £20 and a beautiful leather satchelesque bag for about £30.
If you are a fan of bookstores, as I am, check this one out. There is currently a (small) sale.
If you happen to be east, check out the Columbia Road Flower Market, London Fields and Sebright Arms pub for delish burgers.