I’m back! And these are some things I’ve done, and learnt from, in the meantime.

One of my housemates volunteers with a community theatre group. They needed help painting some of the set so I gave up a morning to help. I’d genuinely forgotten how calming I find it when I am absorbed my something creative for a few hours. I drew and painted this board of cogs, and felt so much happier because of it.

I went to Henley Regatta and got to wear a hat (I didn’t actually wear it with that checked shirt). I fitted in much more than I thought I would, which will teach me for being such a reverse snob.

At Cowley Road Carnival we chose mask making in the family craft area rather than daytime drinking in front of the stages. Had much more fun.

I moved rooms in my house. I now have a sofa! And room to spread out all the blankets I crochet.

My bike wheels were stolen. Bastards. But now that it’s my main method of transport, I was toying with the idea of using the money I made my selling my car to invest in a good bike. I guess that decision has now been made for me.

Some things to do in London

1. Drink chai latte in a trendy cafe in Shoreditch. Worry that enjoying this makes you a hipster. Get told that dating a boy with a sleeve of video game tattoos means you’re already there.

2. Think you can walk across the city in the same way you can if you want to get to the other side of Oxford. Walk for an hour, get no closer to where you want to go. Get on a tube anyway.

View from the flat, and some of the vehicles that stopped me sleeping.

View from the flat, and some of the vehicles that stopped me sleeping.

3. Be kept awake all night by the sound of traffic. Seriously, do people never stop going places round here? It’s 3am: stop driving.

This mirrors my own thoughts about food.

This mirrors my own thoughts about food.

4. Visit the Vikings: life and legend at the British Museum. Lose concentration and start thinking about lunch. Discover that people have been doing this forever. (This point sells the exhibition short. It’s actually really good: you should go. If you want a better write up, read the thoughts of the person I saw it with).

Harriet takes a break from taking photographs to be in one.

Harriet takes a break from taking photographs to be in one.

5. Be tourists by walking for hours taking pictures of the outside of everything, but not paying to go inside. Only go into the National Gallery to use the toilet.

Apparently this means wife cake (hurrah for Cantonese speaking boyfriends).

Apparently this means wife cake (hurrah for Cantonese speaking boyfriends).

6. Go to Chinatown and eat the funniest sounding pastry you can find.

7. Get on the bus back to Oxford because there is no place like home.

The week in photos

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The blanket I’ve been working on is looking more like a blanket now I’ve started to crochet the individual squares together. I spent a blissful Sunday morning listening to music and crocheting. As I found it so therapeutic, I’ve resolved to put aside time every week for just me, some good music and my latest creative project.

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I’ve also had time this week to hang out with my sister. It always amazes me how you can barely see someone for months on end and yet within five minutes of reuniting you’re laughing and chatting like no time has passed at all.

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Since I committed myself to run a half marathon in the Spring and felt under pressure to spend any free time running, I’d forgotten how much I enjoy a long walk.  Last week I felt really exhausted and just didn’t feel like a run. But instead of collapsing on the sofa and feeling like a failure, I dragged myself out of the house to explore a local meadow and take some photographs. After fifteen minutes of gentle exercise in the sunshine I felt so much better. I was reminded my body needs a variety of movement and I shouldn’t get fixated on having to go for an hour long run or nothing at all.

The Week In Photos

bigger walk in park

I don’t think there’s much that walking can’t fix: I walk when I’m stressed, confused, angry or just a bit down and after an hour exploring outdoors I always feel more like myself. I took this on Thursday after a bit of a miserable day. Discovering this beautiful park made it a bit better.

food for blog

Instead of just buying ready made soup I’m trying to make the effort to cook healthy food from scratch. Here’s courgette “pasta” with lentil and tomato topping.

 

bigger earrings for blog

I made these because I was wearing my hair up, and wanted a smaller than usual pair of black and gold earrings.

 

feet bigger

And of course – Spring! Saturday was the first time it was warm enough to take of my shoes and feel the grass between my toes. Blissful.