I’m writing this from the airport departure gate, waiting to board a flight to Barcelona to this month and begin the next surrounded by travel bloggers at TBEX in sunny Costa Brava.
April is always a refreshing month in London. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom creating a pink canopy over a street I walk down daily on my way to work, the weather is inviting and I spend more time outdoors with my camera, wandering around the city. The past few weeks have been filled mainly with long walks, colourful houses and beautiful flowers.
Here’s a look back at April via Instagram:
1. Liberty London birdhouses. I could spend hours walking around Liberty in London, the iconic mock-Tudor building on Great Marlborough Street full of beautiful stationary, carefully curated designer collections, quirky kitchen goodies and a haberdashery full of their famous fabrics. While they wouldn’t quite hold up outdoors, I had to take a photo of these birdhouses that use the famous fabric in their designs. I figured my dad (who makes birdfeeders you can actually use outside) would be amused by them.
2. Crayola Chelsea. Lately, I’ve really been appreciating the colourful houses I walk by every day. Maybe it’s the changing weather? I know not every area of the city is this full of brightly painted brick and I’m trying to enjoy it while we’re living here. I was with Jorge when I took this one. It’s somewhere between King’s Road and Chelsea Green, I think!
3. Sleepy Oakley. Is this not the best sleeping position ever? Halfway out of his bed, Oakley decided to fall asleep again and stayed like this for a good 20 minutes snoring all the while. He never fails to amuse me.
4. Nature in King’s Cross. I blogged about my long walk from Camden up to Primrose Hill and down the Regent’s Canal to Euston. This was taken in King’s Cross, just behind the station and the jumble of tourists heading to the Eurostar. There’s a little nature reserve nearby which was unfortunately closed. This was on the roadside, where the sun was striking in just the right spot. (in the shop)
5. Spring is here. I took this one morning while walking to work on one of the back streets near Gloucester Road where a beautiful cherry blossom tree was dropping petals like crazy, creating a pretty pink blanketed pavement. The tree was taken over by green leaves a few days later, ready for summer.
6. Pastel Chelsea. And again with the colourful houses of Chelsea. This is a side street off of King’s Road not far from Paul where I always stop for a tea. I think was actually on my way to the tube to head up to Camden to start my long walk this same day.
7. Bedtime. I’ve decided that Oakley is easiest to photograph when he is sleepy – otherwise he comes out a big creamy blur when he’s flying around the room. There’s that bed again. At least he’s completely inside of it this time!
8. Liberty London. Ah Liberty.I like this shot in black and white. Like I said in point number one, I could spend hours here (and if I had it, more money than I care to think about). In fact, I just went to pick up some fabrics for a new project I have in mind. Not sure when I will have time to start it, but I’ll share when I do!
9. Blue doors of Balham. I went to Balham for the first time this month – another long walk from Chelsea, past Battersea Park, through the highly residential, suburb like streets in between until I was finally tossed out onto the high street. I spotted these double blue doors on my route back home. Now, every time I look at this photo, I play a little round of spot the difference between the two sides. (in the shop)
10. Regent’s Canal, Camden. Along the same walk mentioned above, I was passing under one of the bridges that cross over the canal just before Camden. The sun was bright in the sky and created a silhouette of an oncoming boat. Their faces and clothing came into clear view a few seconds later. (in the shop)
11. Chelsea green. This little nook is a great escape from the bustle of the King’s Road. It’s full of little cafes and independent specialty shops with a small green space with benches in the middle. It’s got nothing on nearby St. Luke’s Gardens but it was looking especially pretty this day with its tulips and flowering tree.
12. New toy!! I’m super excited for this one (if you can’t tell from all of the exclamation marks)! It’s not in my posession yet, but my parents bought me a super early and amazing Christmas/birthday present for this year (both of which are in December). Aren’t they awesome? They’re holding it hostage until I visit in May and bring it back to London with me. It’s this early so I have it to take to Kenya in August. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!
13. St. Luke’s Gardens, Chelsea. When we leave Chelsea, this is definitely the place I will miss the most (among many many other things which I will write about in detail when the sad day comes). I’ve come to love this little green oasis that has been cared for so diligently by the gardeners and always full of beautiful flowers, an empty bench or patch of grass on which to drink my tea, read my magazine and soak up a bit of sunshine.
14. Battersea Power Station. On my long walk from Chelsea to Balham the other day, I walked back across the Thames over the Chelsea Bridge. The Battersea Power Station has been under construction for some time now. I loved this little glimpse of the building itself and the power of the big red cranes that tower over it against the blue sky.
15. Flower stand in Battersea. On the same Chelsea to Balham Walk, I passed by Battersea Park and there was a flower stand on a corner nearby just bursting with colour. I would have loved to take a bunch of these home, but it was at the beginning of my walk rather than the end so I’m not sure how they would have looked some three hours later after being juggled with my camera along the way.
16. Pink flower mini blank photo cards. I’ve been enjoying snail mail a lot these days, sending little notes off to friends just to say hello or wish them luck or share a funny story. These are from one of the mini photo notecard collections in my Etsy shop that I made with prints of my orginal photography (cut with a craft knife and glued to 3×3 inch cards. They come in cute boxes of five around 20 different themes.
17. Regent’s Park. Jorge and I finally had a day off at the same time and managed to head over to Regent’s Park to catch a glimpse of the pretty cherry blossoms before they drop their flowers. It was a peak weekend and we also had some bright sunshine and warm weather. We walked across the whole park, back home via Great Portland Street for lunch in St. Luke’s Gardens closer to home.
18. Cat in Lavender Hill. This little guy came running up to me on a walk through Lavender Hill. He had a collar and I saw a ragged-looking cat bed on the front stoop of a nearby house. He was pretty rough and tumble compared to Oakley but was just as affectionate, twisting around my legs and looking for attention (and/or food…).
19. A secret garden. It’s always fun to discover a secret garden in London, especially one that is minutes from where you’ve worked for the last three years! We decided to try something new for an after work G&T and stumbled upon this little gem. It was pretty quiet and the food was not cheap, but anywhere you can sit outdoors around there is more than welcome.
20. St. George’s Day roses. It’s a Catalonian tradition on St. George’s Day every April 23 for a girl to give a guy a book and a guy to give a girl a rose. I was lucky enough to get four this year. Since St Jordi’s is Jorge’s “saint’s day”, we always celebrate. I got him a design book, in case you were wondering!
21. The love door, Chelsea. This has to be one of my all time favorite London doors. It’s on Oakley Street in Chelsea (where Oakley’s name comes from), just near the Albert Bridge (my favorite bridge in London). I always wonder about the story behind it and who lives there…anyone know?
22. Number 57, Chelsea. Here we go with the colourful houses again! This one is also in Cheslea, on one of the back streets. It has the same fox door knocker as my favourite blue door on Columbia Road where the flower market is on Sundays. I love the way this bright green door pops against the blue brick. I think I’m developing a collection.
23. Duke of York Square Saturday market. Every Saturday, the Duke of York Square on King’s Road comes to life with market vendors selling everything from oysters to macarons to Chinese dumplings. This time of year, when the weather gets warmer, it gets busier as people come out to enjoy the sun while eating lunch before. I’d recommend the raspberry-filled donut holes from the table near Jigsaw. Jorge loves the chorizo sandwiches and the crepes are delicious too.
24. Oakley, stalking. Oakley loves to stalk. He hides under anything like this robe hanging from a closet doorknob, waiting to pounce on whatever toy is creeping along the floor. Reminds me of hide and seek as kids. As soon as he pounces, he runs off to hide again, leaving his prey to escape…I don’t think he’d do well in the wild…
25. Man in Moon Passage. Don’t you just love a creative street name? It’s so much more interesting than Main Street or 2nd Avenue. Man in the Moon Passage is in central London near Piccadilly Circus, but there are a ton of streets names with personality in this city like Back Passage, Bob Marley Way, Flowers Close, Ha-Ha Road, Shoulder of Mutton Alley, Cumming Street, Sandwich Street and so many others!
26. Social media ideas. I’ve been busy brainstorming a ton of new ideas for social media. With my own etsy photography shop and my dad’s small creative business in mind, I’ve pulled together some 16 pages full of 124 ways to engage on social media this May in the form of a daily planner. It’s listed as an instant download in my shop and is something I’m planning to continue each month going forward. My inner geek loves this stuff.
27. A pile of cherry blossoms. Ah, the joy of coming across a pile of still-pink cherry blossoms swept into one spot. Of course I had to take a shoe shot in typical Instagram fashion. With all of my walking adventures, the lilac converse have been getting quite a workout this month.
28. A glimpse of St. Paul’s. On one of my more recent excursions around London, I spent a Saturday morning amusing myself in Maltby Street and Borough markets. Enticed by all of the delicious food and being completely indecisive, I think I ate three breakfasts that day. Oops. After the markets, I headed up over the river via Southwark Bridge and caught this glimpse of St. Paul’s Cathedral through the yellow design along the edge. (in the shop)
29. City of London bench. Further up into the city after my walk over Southwark Bridge, I came across a hidden, walled garden sunk lower than the street. It was completely empty. If I lived or worked anywhere nearby, I’d spend a lot of time there. This bench was nearby and a reminder to both stop and smell the flowers and to take a moment to sit and reflect once in a while.
30. In Kingly Court. Between Carnaby Street and Ganton Street in central London is a little courtyard called Kingly Court. It has changed a lot over the years since I moved to London and is now mainly full of trendy restaurants. I stopped there to sit for a bit with my face to the sun and to drink a green tea-passion fruit – mango juice which was delicious. I’d highly recommend one if you’re in the area! This little inscription about trees was at my feet.