What a month September has been! For the first week, I was in London, then I went to New York the following week to celebrate my mom’s birthday, do a bit of shopping, go camping with my brother and his girlfriend, hang out with my dad over breakfast, play Scrabble with my grandma and meet up with a couple of friends. From there it was down to Boston for a week where I spent a few days in our office there and a few days attending the Inbound marketing conference. Then back to London for another week which included a fabulous dinner at Hibiscus which has 2 Michelin stars and was recently voted London’s second best. And now, as you read this, I’ll be in St. Lucia on my honeymoon, back to work on October 13. I’m writing this before I leave so I’m sure while you’re reading it I’m probably
lying on taking pictures on some tropical beach (or possibly sheltering from the rainy season weather with a good book)!
On another note, I’m taking over my the social media for dad’s small business, Sadler Garden Collections, for a while, so if you like gardens, birds and pretty things for outdoors, come follow along on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Also this month, I’ve posted far too many photos to Instagram so I won’t share all of them here, but here we go with a few. It’s a look at September through Instagram:
1. London transportation. Camden, in North London, used to be a pretty regular fixture in my life when I first moved to this city. I was dating a bassist who had a band that often played gigs in the Dublin Castle and Barfly, and if I wasn’t there watching them, I was there to watch one of their friends’ bands or find cheap dresses in the market. I went back with a colleague at the beginning of the month to do an interview with one of our partners and took this photo on the walk back to the station. If only there was also a black cab.
2. Sloe Gin. One evening at the end of August, Jorge and I were invited over to Danny and Lucy‘s new flat for a lovely home-cooked dinner. Earlier that day, they had been out in the countryside picking sloe berries and made us gin and tonics with some sloe gin (from the shop) so we could taste it. We both enjoyed it, so one night after work I picked up a bottle of this Sipsmith variety to bring home. We’re about halfway through it.
3. Central London. Even though I try my best to avoid the tourist crowds in London by walking through back streets and hanging out in some of the more local areas, sometimes you just can’t help a walk over Westminster Bridge. This was taken on the north side at the tube exit. I thought it was fun to be able to capture two major icons in a photo that makes them look like they are just side by side.
4. Hide and seek. Oakley occasionally likes to hop up on top of the pillows and fall asleep. Sometimes when he changes positions, he ends up buried in a pile of them and wakes up, emerging something like this. He looks pretty relaxed though with his paw sticking out and his chin on his arm, although his eyes have gone all squinty!
5. New Moo cards. I love Moo (and no, they didn’t pay me to say that…), and have ordered these mini cards from them for years. They’re fun to design with your own photos and you can get a whole pack of completely different designs if you want to. I thought I’d better have some ready for TBEX in Athens next month since there will be lots of networking going on!
6. Autumn in London. The leaves are turning now as we head into London. I love the days of crispy leaves beneath your feet, a refreshing coolness in the air and the first day you dig out the cosy sweaters. I always feel more inspired when Autumn hits. Of course it’s still 30+ degrees C (80+ F) in St. Lucia where I am now, but I’ll look forward to that Autumn feeling when I’m back! I took this photo a few weeks ago in Hyde Park, looking out over the serpentine and a group of swans..
7. Duke of York Square. Duke of York Square becomes a thriving little marketplace on Saturdays, a great location for people watching and they serve up some tasty food as well. You’ll see locals slurping oysters, some fascinating fashion and kids playing in the fountains. The Saatchi Gallery is right there as well, so after filling up on lunch of a mid-morning snack, I love to pop in and check out the latest exhibitions.
8. Sunday, laundry day. I think this is one of my favourite pictures of Oakley so far, even if you can only see his tail (which, my mom pointed out, make him look a bit like a strange coloured raccoon). I think it shows off his mischievous side (which makes the dull task of doing laundry on a lazy Sunday afternoon a lot more interesting).
9. Xavier Mascaro at Saatchi Gallery. Last time I was at Saatchi Gallery at the beginning of September, these sentinels by Spanish artist Xavier Mascaro were lined up outside, accompanying a larger exhibition inside. It’s still on till October 5 and worth stopping by and Sam Taylor-Johnson’s photography exhibition called Second Floor showing Chanel’s private apartment is on until the 4th as well.
10. Book break. Whenever I find myself on South Bank, I always make a little detour through the Leake Street graffiti tunnel (which has become more and more disappointing in terms of quality work over the years) on to Lower Marsh Street which has a little market on the weekends. This is where the Scootercafe is that I so love for drinking hot chocolate in their basement. This day, I was wandering along and spotted this guy relaxing with his book and thought I should be doing the same.
11. Colourful Camden. The same day I was in Camden and took the first picture above, I also took this one. There’s a street I passed while wandering around before the interview with a rainbow row of houses, all very similar, but all different colours. It reminded me a bit of Notting Hill, but the atmosphere of Camden is another world altogether from West London.
12. Dad’s PVC planters. While I was at my parents’ house in New York, my dad showed me some of his latest products and new ideas. He comes up with so many that these two planters here are old classics even though they aren’t that old. They are some of my favourite products of his. I love the way the bright white PVC makes the colours of the flowers pop. There’s more in his Etsy shop and quite a few designs that haven’t made it up there yet!
13. Making s’mores. My brother has a permanent campsite about an hour and a half from my parents’ place where he goes quite often. It’s pretty peaceful (except for party days) and they have two firepits. This one is for cooking and there’s another one for sitting around chatting. One of my favourite things to do when we went camping as kids was always to make s’mores by roasting marshmallows on a stick from the woods until they’re golden brown and then squishing them onto a piece of chocolate between two graham crackers so it melts into a gooey mess. Colin reinvented them a bit and now uses Reese’s and cinnamon graham crackers. Delicious!
14. Autumn decorations. My mom decorates around the house for each season and holiday that passes. I don’t know where she finds the time or energy for it but it always made (makes) home feel like home. She has endless boxes of seasonal goodies that are pulled out and put away again year after year, new pieces added in as she comes across them. This was a centerpiece on the dining room table, with candles on either side, ready for Fall.
15. Platter’s orange chocolate twist. Everyone who lives in the city where I grew up knows Platter’s Chocolates. I love their sponge candy (which is similar to a Cadbury’s Crunchie) and we would always get Easter baskets full of their chocolates. Attached to the candy shop is an ice cream parlour. I met up with a few of my closest friends while I was in New York to catch up over sprinkle-covered orange chocolate twists, complete with American flag wrapper around the cone. Believe it or not, this is a “small” (and no, I didn’t even finish half of it…).
16. A suburban laundromat. One of the things I enjoy doing with my dad when I’m home is to go for a long walk and chat about everything from travel to business. I guess I never really noticed it before, but this little laundromat around the corner struck me as somthing that might make an interesting photo. Turns out my mom occasionally took laundry there some 34 years ago when they moved into their first house together.
17. Boston Common moment. I tend to do a lot of walking when I’m in Boston (which, I suppose, is true anywhere I go except for North Tonawanda, really). But Boston is a very walkable city. I love the area around Boston Common and walked past it every morning and night on my daily commute from the Airbnb where I stayed (more on that later) to either the conference or the office. One day this woman was sitting there by the lake reading with her dog by her side, both looking very relaxed.
18. Skye, an Airbnb dog. I use Airbnb quite a bit these days when I travel. Even though it was a work trip and I could have booked a hotel, I prefer the local experience if it’s the right place and the right host which in this case it definitely turned out to be. I stayed at this amazingly whimsical place in the South End with the nicest guy called Gerald and his dog Skye who (even though I’m not much of a dog person) was lovely to have around. I’ll write a bit more about it later and share some photos of the quirky decor.
19. Boston’s Chinatown. One of my favourite places to explore in Boston is Chinatown, as it is in most cities. They’re always places of character, full of colours, unusual foods, fascinating translations of signs into English and people milling about in the streets. This is near the gates of Boston’s Chinatown, a small section of the city, but a vibrant area nonetheless.
20. A Book Break in Boston. I took this photo not far from the city’s famous Faneuil Hall where the hustle and bustle of tourists swept me across the street. This guy didn’t seem to mind though, so deeply engrossed in his book as he was. He’s sitting in front of a cool swirly grass area that I don’t know the name of but it was pretty cool. I was following the greenway through the city streets this evening until the darkness set in which is did soon after I took this photo.
21. Jimmy C at Liberty. The day I got back to London I went to check out Jimmy C’s commissioned work in the windows of Liberty. I liked the fact that you could see the Cosmic Hearts here but also a reflection of what’s across the street and people passing by. There’s street art at the Royal Opera House. It’s incredible how mainstream it’s become in the last five years or so.
22. Chef Claude Bosi at Hibiscus. As part of Malibu’s #BestSummerEver campaign, Jorge and I went to Hibiscus in Mayfair for an 8-course, 2 Michelin star tasting menu booked through my friends at Truly who kindly arranged for a surprise glass of champagne for us. While we were there, we got to meet Chef Claude Bosi, who is in the photo with me below. There’s more about this in Monday’s post, so I’ll leave it at that, but wanted to add it to the Instagram list!
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