All Change

a31ce6ff3b58500abbf459f100de92e3

We’ve moved to London!

Over the summer, my boyfriend Jonny and I both got new jobs, me in Islington and Jonny in Oxford Circus. I got my job first and as soon as I did, we decided that we wanted to move to London, cat and all. I know a lot of people commute from Chelmsford but for us, the price we were paying to live in our house plus a monthly season ticket (£450!) each just didn’t make sense. Jonny had been wanting to move to the big smoke for ages and it just seemed like the right time.

Seriously.

Seriously.

So we gave notice on our house and started looking for a flat. We decided on Walthamstow, because it’s cheap (ish, it’s still London), close to Essex and it’s not on the Central line. We found a really lovely Warner flat, which are really common in this part of London apparently and are basically purpose-built Victorian flats. The flat is so much brighter than our little cave-house and the kitchen is about 3 times the size of our old one. We’ve even got a (shared) garden! Our commutes are pretty sweet now too, just 20 minutes for Jonny and 25 for me.

IMG_4994

My brilliant family helped us move but it wasn’t the smoothest of starts after they left- we soon discovered that there was no TV arial(!), the boiler leaked and the oven didn’t work. Also, I changed a lightbulb in the living room and for some reason that made every light in the house blow up. We spent our first night eating takeaway kebabs (which were actually excellent), in the dark while watching Gavin and Stacey on DVD because that’s all we could find, quietly weeping. But all these problems were soon easily sorted with an indoor arial, change of fuse and a polite but forceful letter to the lettings agent. Living in London has been great ever since.

We’ve been here almost three months so far and we’ve had a bit of an explore around the area. Walthamstow’s actually quite pretty; it has a beautiful canal that you can cycle all the way to Waltham Abbey on and it’s right near Epping Forest, which is really lovely for a walk. There’s a few things to see here too- God’s Own Junkyard near Walthamstow village is a weird showroom/shop devoted to neon lights that is free to enter and is absolutely amazing to look round on a Sunday. It even has a little courtyard garden and cafe that does sandwiches and nice coffee.

IMG_4991

I’ve eaten some great food since moving too. Last week, Jonny and I went to Street Feast, which has moved to Hawker House in Canada Water for the winter. There were some great stalls; not least Meringue Girls, where they were selling chocolate cupcakes with hot chocolate sauce, ice cream and a little meringue ghost on top. Absolutely amazing for £4. The spicy brisket buns and mini tacos were great too and I’m definitely going back soon to test out everything else.

Also, I’ve finally got into coffee! Well, lattes. I’ve been testing all the coffee places around mine and Jonny’s work and I so far rate Love Die Latte in Soho and Saint Espresso right next to work on Pentonville Road. And yes, I’ll finally agree, it does taste completely different to Starbucks (although I’ll always love a venti caramel latte).

Lastly I can’t write about food in Walthamstow without mentioning Jesse’s Cafe on the High Street whose strong tea and full English really sorted us out after some serious wedding drinking. It’s also mega cheap and always seems to be full of policemen, if that’s your bag.

IMG_5026

If I’ve missed a great part of Walthamstow or you’d like to point me in the direction of a wanky coffee place I’ll definitely love, let me know in the comments!

Clare xx

@ClareErin

Advertisements

2015 Resolutions

IMG_3283

Happy New Year!

Time to think of the ole’ resolutions.

I know a lot of people think NY resolutions are bollocks, but i kind of like the idea of them; listing all the things you want to change this year just seems to make sense to me. I’ve come up with 5, without having to resort to the usual healthy eating or getting fit ones.

My boyfriend has also asked if i can have one that involves me chucking old clothes to clear up space in the wardrobe, but that ain’t happening…

1. Remember birthdays and generally get better at keeping in touch with people. (Facebook doesn’t count!)

This is the main one because I SUCK at this. I am always the person sees you post the (now mandatory) “Thanks for the birthday love guys, I’ve been very spoilt” Facebook post, waits 20 minutes then writes a happy birthday message so it doesn’t look like I only remembered because YOU mentioned it. Don’t look at me like that, we’re all guilty of this.

I’m generally just quite bad at keeping in touch with people. I tend to refer to everyone I know or used to be close to as my friends, to which my boyfriend always patiently asks “Are they really your friend? When did you last see them?” which I think is a little rude, but I also think he’s got a point. I partly blame social media. I use Facebook and Twitter constantly so I therefore know what’s going on in most of my friends and acquaintances’ lives; I know when they’re seeing someone new, what they cooked for dinner and even (if they’re an over-sharing Susan) when they last went to the doctors. I comment on statuses and say congratulations when big things happen, so I feel like I’m still in the loop and socialising.

But I’m not really socialising. All my (real!) friends and I are very busy now, with boyfriends and babies and weddings and increasingly stressful jobs, so we see each other less and less. We are in our 30s, after all. I talk to people online and email occasionally but I probably physically see my friends maybe once a month, once a fortnight at the most. I’m lucky I’ve got a boyfriend at home, close friends at work and a twin sister and mum that I talk to all the time, or I would truly be a hermit. Remember when you said “When we all move out and get our own places, we can just go round each others houses and see each other all the time. We’ll probably save loads of money, too.”? Did that come true for anyone??

SO, I’m going to try and keep in touch with my friends better! It’s not as simple as announcing “You’re seeing more of me from now on, I’ve signed us up for a bowling league!”- as I mentioned, my friends are busy people, but I’m definitely going to check my calendar for birthdays, make an effort to text, email and send cards more, and just try and see people more. I did a kind of ‘soft launch’ of this by actually writing and sending out Christmas cards and I’ve downloaded a birthdays reminder app, so wish me luck!

2. Make lunches for work and waste less food

Speaks for itself really, but spending up to £5.00 a day on lunch when I have the food to easily make sandwiches or salad at home, honestly makes me feel a bit disgusted with myself. As does the constant ‘forgetting to freeze leftovers, so having to throw away half a pie’ situation. No more!

3. Look more groomed and glamorous

In my natural state, I am scruffy, curly-haired and honestly, a little spotty. I look alright when I put the work in, but I can’t always be bothered to make much of an effort beyond the exact same makeup every day and a quick hair straighten.

I would like to look more glam and grownup though so I’m going to make a conscious effort to improve myself in the following areas:

  • Care for my skin by taking my makeup off at night moisturising properly
  • Use all the colours in my new makeup palettes and not just the nude champagne one every day
  • Moisturise my legs everyday
  • Wear perfume more
  • Look after my hair and grow out my crop (although my boyfriend pointed at Shirley in Eastenders the other day and said “That’s just what your hair’s going to look like soon”, so looking forward to THAT)
  • Finally stop biting my nails

That’s actually quite a long list when you write it down, isn’t it?

4. Blog more

I do really like writing this blog, I just have a hard time actually getting round to it, or thinking of stuff to write about. I want to try and post things once a week, or at least once every 10 days if only because it makes me try and think of new things to cook.

5. Read more

I love reading and I did read quite a lot last year, but I would like to get through more books in 2015. I just find sitting reading a book quite anti-social when I’m not on my own so my boyfriend and I tend to watch TV together instead.

I’ve been reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson for MONTHS so I want to start by finishing that and then reading at least one book a month. I would like to put book reviews on here too, but my critique of books tends to be simply ‘hate, like or love’ so I’m not sure they’d be too long, but I might give it a try, which would add to Resolution 4! It’s all coming together!

I’ve kind of started on all the resolutions, except the reading and 5 days in, it’s going well! Has anyone else made any resolutions? Please let me know in the comments if you have.

I also saw this http://www.buzzfeed.com/alannaokun/im-so-im-so-proud-of-you#.sue51KK4do on Buzzfeed which is sweet but very ‘Pinteresty’ . It also has the worst name ever (The REMEMBERLUTIONS JAR!!) but I might give it a go.

I hope everyone had a great NYE and here’s to a top 2015!

Clare xx

@ClareErin

UPDATE: On new year’s eve (A super-fun night of Chinese, drinking and board games) my friends and I decided to start going to our local quiz night once a month. We shall see if this actually happens, but I’m hopeful!

ZIGGY UPDATE: Our little cat is now so friendly that he was referred to a ‘needy’ the other day! He follows me everywhere from the moment I wake up, demands to share all our meals and sleeps on the sofa, flat on his back like he’s sunbathing. I’m so pleased we got our water-loving weirdo, he’s a brilliant addition to our home. I’ve also found out that just before we got him, Ziggy got his old housemate pregnant and she’s now had 4 kittens. #PLAYA

IMG_3282

IMG_3286

IMG_3288

IMG_3272