Annotated London: A Walk Around Crouch End 4

A Walk Around Crouch End | Lix Hewett Photography

Back in June (hold tight, you’re going to be seeing a lot of “back in [month long gone]” bits this coming month), I lived in Crouch End, near the Harringay train station, for two weeks. In retrospect, I regret never walking into the library, which was on my way from the station to my house. Still, those first few weeks — months — were rough, so it’s understandable. I was very stressed. One of the days I was there, to make myself feel a little better and recharged so I could work, I went out for a photo walk around the neighborhood. That may be a generous term for how far I went, to be honest. Two-block radius, maybe. I was really busy, and stressed, and I didn’t want to get lost.

It was lovely, because Crouch End is really lovely, and it was summer, which is good here in England, not a braincell killer like it is in Spain, and I really needed it. And I took a lot of pictures. Which I am sharing with you today.

In case you haven’t heard of it before, which is entirely likely and I hadn’t either until I replied to someone’s tweet looking for a flatmate, Crouch End is a residential suburb in North London. It’s not super far out, but it is fairly far out. It’s zone 3, and you should never believe anyone advertising a room there that praises its transport links. In my experience you need a minimum of two transportation methods to get from Crouch End to anywhere else in London, whether it’s two buses or a train switching to the tube or overground switching to the tube. And the thing about trains is that they run way less often than buses or the tube.

The buses, though, have a whole “hail and ride” thing for sections of their route, which I’d never seen before in London. They basically stop at every corner if you press the button or someone’s waiting for it, which is very handy, especially when you’re carrying bags full of groceries from way down the hill. Those hills are steep.

Because of the hills and the tricky transport, you feel a bit like you’re in a bubble, and that feeling gets even stronger in a really cool way when you go to the shopping village. It has this vibe like you’re in your own actual town, and it has everything. It’s something I’ve missed since I moved to Hampstead — I love it here, and I’ve found some nice places, but nothing beats having literally every chain supermarket on the same street.

So that was very charming, though I have zero photos of it. Alas. What I have photos of is the block where I lived, which was entirely made up of residential houses and buildings. Very pretty ones. And flowers.

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Weekly Wishes (or): I’m Sick And It’s Crap 10

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Last Week

 
I resolved to: post every day, which I kept up till Thursday; edit 10 pictures every day, which I did… three times, to be generous; write comprehensive lists, which I fucking rocked, y’all; and think about TV, which I did a little bit while browsing my fandom spaces.

Today

 
I’m sick. I woke up yesterday with a weird throat, and within three hours I was feeling the kind of cold that had already made itself at home in my body — snotty throat, runny nose, general head fuzziness. By bedtime my nightstand looked like a box of tissues had exploded on it, and when I tried to sleep, I couldn’t breathe through my nose. So I sat up. And started feeling a little manic. And then I got up and showered and the hyperactive ginger cat came to nose around my room and hopped on my bed and let me scratch her little face and now I’m waiting for the sun to rise. I’m also congested. Very congested.

All I have to combat this thing is ibuprofen, and not even that much of it, so I’m hoping it’ll rush out of my system just like it rushed from warning (sore throats are my warning) to full-blown cold. If it doesn’t, I… well, then I’m fucked. The last time I had an ugly cold for a full week, I mainlined the first season of Game of Thrones, and while the idea of picking up a TV show I don’t care about and won’t want to keep up with and watching through the entire thing for a week appeals to me, I’ve got rent to pay and my finances are not stable enough to take a week off.

Shit, a whole week off. I don’t even know what that would look like. Wait, no, the idea is taking shape in my head. It would be lovely. It would look a lot like a normal week, only without stress. Why can’t I take a sick week? I always get more done when I let my brain switch off anyway. Let it happen, self. Let sickness be your guide.

Ugh, can’t. But I may well try. I’m going to crash mid afternoon anyway. See, the thing about me being sick is for a couple of awful, glorious days, all my other crap doesn’t seem to register. The sleep disorder, the eating issues, half the anxiety (except I’m still stressed), the limitations my brain insists on setting upon me… there is none of that. There is only feeling like death warmed over. It’s almost like being a normal person. It’s the great equalizer, in the most ass-backwards way you could use that term. Maybe I’m 24 years old and I can do anything!

Well, anything except set up an email autoresponder or something that tells people I’m taking a sick day/week. I can’t do that. I’ve got rent to pay.

It might be easier if I didn’t have a massive backlog of shit to catch up on, maybe. Possibly. Which is actually another reason I’m so annoyed this cold just suddenly dropped itself on me: I spent all weekend working on my Backlog Plan, a thorough list of everything I need to do to be fully caught up on work-related tasks by November 8 (as per my 25 Before 25 goal list). There are some things I don’t know how to list, but I filled up a few pages of my notebook and also worked out the entire revamp of my blog categories. I was getting somewhere, goddammit.

Not only that, but my coaching call with Lisette van der Valk (a one off; she had a thing going when she started her newsletter and I jumped on it; had no idea I’d feel so comfortable talking to her and actually come out of it with valuable… insights? Thoughts? Ideas for how to get to the bottom of crap?) on Friday morning — okay, evening, but I’d just got out of bed — got me realizing a lot of things about the way I work and how I’m most efficient and what works most efficiently for me. For instance, I used to always take a few minutes before getting on my laptop to pet my cat and update my to-do lists. This was back when I kept a single running to-do list — a to-do list that remains, to date, the one I’ve kept up with for the longest stretch of time, without changing formats and losing my momentum to the change.

What worked back then was plain loose pages that I cut out of my sister’s A4 squared paper notebooks and carried around inside an A5 notebook of mine — for convenience and something to lay the pages on to write on my lap, not because the notebook had anything to do with anything.

There was no design on them, nothing fancy: they were just a running to-do list with checkboxes and indents and even a list of daily tasks with dates next to them. I usually wrote these out in 10s or 12s so I could keep archiving pages, which I think is a major part of why this worked for me — it allowed me to start over on a regular basis. I’m one of those people who’ll start a notebook all excited and then after ten days it will start looking boring, or I’m not sure I like the way I’m writing on it, and I want a do-over. That didn’t happen with my to-do pages.

I stopped using that system when 2012 became 2013. I also stopped exercising. Can we say New Year’s Bad Decisions? What was I thinking.

Anyway, I also found that taking an hour at the beginning of my day to just think about things or talk to my best friend and dabble in my fandom spaces and not work could potentially be a good thing to do. In the future. For my sanity.

So anyway.

Weekly Wishes

 
Take it easy. You’re sick. Do what you have to do, and what you want to do, and don’t push yourself. Take naps. Stay fed. Eat the cheap stuff since you can’t taste anything anyway. Take this poorly-timed-but-could-be-worse opportunity to fine-tune your to-do list/schedule system, and maybe edit lots of pictures if your eyes allow, and write lots of words if your brain allows. You know you like how you sound when you’re sick so maybe make that new youtube channel you wanted and post an inaugural video where you just whine. Keep it under four minutes. Remember you want to actually stick with the channel and long videos are a pain in the ass to handle. Or don’t! You don’t have to vlog, you know.

Figure out the new dailies. Fuck apps. Just do it like you used to. Only with completely different goals, what with the new thing you’re trying for your sleep schedule and not really having trich except maybe once every two weeks and very, very, very sadly not having a guitar at your disposal. Consider redoing the exercise chart from 2012 too.

Help mom figure out how best to ship a coat internationally. If anybody wants to help, seriously, please do. I’m looking at standard Correos/Royal Mail delivery, and at DHL. Shit is really expensive but that coat was a treat and an investment and I need it stat. I’m obviously going to see if I can get more things in that shipment than just a coat, too. Anyone have experience with this stuff? Surely there are ways to send boxes full of clothes to people that are better/more affordable/safer than others? Please help me. SUPER IMPORTANT!!!! PRESSING MATTER!!! THAT I NEED HELP WITH!!!

Take naps. This needs repeating. I wonder what I’d have to do to get the ginger kitten to settle the fuck down and take a nap with/on me. What I can also do is snuggle in a corner of my bed, which is a sofa bed, with my laptop. Would be nice if I had a throw… and an armchair, but I can make do.

In Conclusion

 
This is going to be an interesting week.

How do you deal with colds and temporary sickness? If you’re a freelancer or small business owner, do you find it easy to take those days off?


Modeling: River Boat Shoot, Thames, Abingdon: Photos by Chris Drury 9

Back in August, my friend (I think I can call her a friend by now) Bethany Owen organized a little pinup and swimwear shoot on her inlaws’ boat on the Thames. It was a long, grueling day and also really, really fun because working with someone you get along with and who cares about how you feel is great. Obviously. But modeling for money can be severely lacking in the latter, which I’ll go into further in a couple of other posts I’ve got planned — one about modeling in general, and a follow-up to this one, because Bethany and I got a lot of pictures besides the ones the photographer took (I think she actually enjoyed herself after the first couple of times I arranged all the manual settings and handed her the camera!), and because I want to do that little ‘what you don’t see in the pictures’ blurb on all my modeling shoots, just like I did when I posted my bridal shoot photos from Pagli Rajkonna.

But today I am very busy and did not have a post scheduled, so I thought I’d begin by sharing these.

Photography: Chris Drury (editing and retouching for web by Lix Hewett)
Makeup & Styling: Bethany Owen
Model: Lix Hewett

Lix Hewett | Makeup & Styling by Bethany Owen | Photography by Chris Drury

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Photography: Casual Portrait Photography With Christine Cherry 37

Christine Cherry by Lix Hewett Photography | London Portrait Photographer

Is this my first time posting portrait photography on the blog? I think it may be! These are just some snaps I took at the end of a shoot with a fellow photographer — I actually modeled for her, and I shot these in about ten minutes just before she headed back to the tube station. You can see what we did together here and here.

I finally got around to editing the photos I took that day, and I wanted to share them here. I’ve got quite a sizable backlog of photos to edit, portrait and otherwise, and a new portfolio launching soon, so these posts are going to become a regular feature here in the coming weeks, months… possibly years. Photography is currently my least profitable line of work, but somehow, it remains my favorite. A sign that I need to keep working to make it profitable, right? Right.

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Tech: A Tale of Two Tablets (And A Smartphone) 1

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Next week I’m sending my first tablet back to Ciudad Real. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 — it has wifi but it doesn’t have any phone capabilities, which I didn’t have any need for when I bought it. I actually got a fair bit of crap for buying a tablet, because poor people don’t deserve nice things and also should be held to a higher moral standard regarding how they spend their money. Or I’m not really poor. Depends on who you ask.

The thing is that my mom and sister and I needed something, and I couldn’t afford to buy them — us — a new computer, so tablets were the next best thing. I already had my new MacBook Air to do my visual art work on, so a tablet covered most of our needs without being as pricy as a laptop.

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Weekly Wishes: The Week Ahead & The Week Behind 22

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Remember when I did these posts on a actual weekly basis? Yeah, I’m getting back to them. A lot of my upcoming content is standalone and not-time-specific rather than personal, so I’m taking a page from Nadine and dedicating a day to updating you all on the state of my life, same day every week — even if it’s not always the only time my life makes an appearance on the blog.

And so:

A 25 Before 25 List Update

 
A couple of weeks ago I finally finished and published my 25 Before 25 “bucket” list. Some of the items on that list are actively being worked on (catching up on design work, getting through my photography backlog, writing out a blog schedule, getting my inbox down to zero, clearing my ‘read later’ bookmark folder), and some are… being worked on in a weird tangential, possibly backwards way. To wit: instead of reading a book (fiction or non) or picking up a TV show, I watched a movie. This still counts as progress because it’s me making time for consuming media solely for the purpose of enjoying myself, and that’s a step in the right direction.

The one I’m not sure is a step in the right direction is what I’ve done with my sleep schedule. After a few disasters, I got up late on Saturday, took 5mg of lorazepam, and gave up. See, I keep trying to make myself get up early, and go to bed early, and I fail without exception. It’s terrible and it makes me feel bad — disappointed in myself, guilty, stressed. On Saturday, I realized I didn’t have a reason to get up early anymore as I’m actually more comfortable and more productive in my new room at night — before this, I always loved the feeling of morning at my desk, but I don’t care for it very much here. It feels less cold at night. I’m looking forward to winter, actually, just for the shorter days.

On Saturday, I woke up late and I told myself that it was fine. I thought, it doesn’t matter when I get up as long as I do, and I get shit done when I do. It’s pointless and painful to set myself up for disappointment every single night. I need to give into my body and let it just sleep and get up naturally, if only so I can have a proper idea of what it needs without the pressure of forcing it into a standard schedule. Tons of things don’t work for me the way they do for other people; maybe it’s time I figure out what does with sleep.

So I may well have properly failed that goal already. If this works for me, I’m calling it a win.

Other Things I Did

 
I wrote some posts. I thought about poetry and reread some of my old work. I edited some pictures (see below for more on this). I made time for fanfic. I cooked chicken in the oven and didn’t set anything on fire and it was good! I also bought raw bacon and eggs, haven’t dared make them yet. I haven’t used a frying pan in a year. Now that I know the oven does work — I’ve also been baking half-baked baguettes on a regular basis; the only thing that’s been tricky is corn on the cob — and I can spend a little more money on groceries because I’m paying rent weekly and saving on Starbucks (I’ve finally adapted to my new desk) I’m thinking about attempting to bake. Start cheap, with cream biscuits probably, which I’ve made many times before, and make my way up to pies (this one maybe. Smitten Kitchen is my go-to recipe blog). I may well blog it. My eating habits are simple and picky and lazy and boring, but it can’t hurt. It probably won’t hurt my wallet, either. I buy a lot of sweet things.

I was actually thinking about starting a series calling these posts A Lazy Eater’s Diet Staples (and A Lazy Eater Goes to [Café/Restaurant]) but I don’t actually want to call myself [adjective] Eater so that’s a bust. Fun idea, free to a good home. I’ll just use my name instead, and warn people that I’m boring in the copy.

I also got cappuccino, decaf, which is helping me miss Starbucks less. I need a teaspoon. And a mug, probably. And a laundry hamper.

Weekly Wishes

 
I’d like to post every day. I have most of the content ready: photos from a shoot with my friend Bethany on a boat (the ones from the photographer, which I had to edit for web as his web-ready edits were too small and had a giant watermark on them; there will be another two posts with photos from my camera that I set up and Bethany took, and behind-the-scenes photos and notes, but I’ve only edited one of those so far); 50 photos from a walk around Crouch End, which were going to be posted all under “A Walk Around Crouch End” but it’s 50 photos, do I need to break them up? How do I break them up? I tried to paginate my #bloggersfestival post and it didn’t work. I’ve got a sponsored post and would like to put up an outfit, though I need to pick a set of pictures and edit them for that. I have a number of things to review.

When I went to withdraw my rent and stock up on chocolate this afternoon, I kind of decided on a place to be my very first café feature on the blog. Think I may even order food there. I haven’t chosen my first place to photograph and write about for another project, but I’ve sent a couple of emails to that end.

I need to write comprehensive lists. I keep starting and getting stuck because I’ve got so much in my head. I think the most terrifying list — the one breaking down my photography backlog in small batches — will be less terrifying if I set a goal to edit 10 pictures every day. So I’m going to do that.

I’m also going to think about TV. It sounds silly, but really. I have to. I need to check out what’s new this fall, and what’s going on with all the shows I fell behind on. I miss The Good Wife, which I stopped watching just before my second favorite character started getting proper screentime, and it would be nice to indulge that fictional character crush. (My second favorite character was/is Cary. After Alicia, naturally. I ship them together, too.) I miss Pretty Little Liars. I miss being into things. It was nice. Painful, sometimes, but nice. Also thinking maybe one of these days I’ll finish watching The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, now that I’m not all caught up in it emotionally and no longer care that they did the stupidest goddamn things re: Lydia’s storyline, and possibly watch Emma Approved. And gymnastics? Lots of stuff waiting for me, as you can see. My USB stick is going to get a workout, I am determined.

It would be great to catch up on email, make a Read This post with links from my bookmarks and write up some email templates. Keep editing pictures. Keep designing. Pick up a modeling gig, if I can find one. Write some more posts. Finish the one I’ve had running around my head for two months. I may try to spend time with someone other than myself, if I can swing that. Anyone want to check out the café I picked for my feature with me? It’s near Belsize Park and has pretty standard coffeehouse prices.

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to hope really hard that my website doesn’t take much longer to be completed, and maybe start redesigning my own blog via mockup instead of by searching for themes and going straight into the CSS. I want what I want. It’s very important.

So how was your week? Any exciting plans for this one?


Watching: Begin Again (2013) 3

Last night, for the first time in literally two years, I watched a movie. A whole one. In one — okay, I did take two lengthy Internet breaks, but still finished it within six hours of starting it, which is huge for me.

The movie was Begin Again, and I found it rather underwhelming.

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I should probably have expected it given it was written and directed by the same person who wrote and directed Once. Now, I know, okay, I know it’s weird that I didn’t like Once, but it’s my prerogative to be bored to near sleep by movies, and Once was basically a lot of super repetitive music that I wasn’t that into, telling a story that I wasn’t that into, showing little in the way of past or future or context for its characters, and giving them an understated ending… which I’m never that into.

With Begin Again, at least I was into the music, and the location, and Keira Knightley. I actually like Mark Ruffalo, too, generally speaking. In this movie, he plays a washed-up record label exec who most plot summaries forgo telling us has basically hit rock bottom in his personal life and has some alcohol problems. At the beginning of the movie, when he finds Keira playing a song at a bar, he’s drunk to the point where I’d honestly be really uncomfortable in Keira’s position, if he came up to me talking about how he wants to sign me and waited for me outside the bar. I’d be very, very uncomfortable. I might say sure to having a drink with him because in uncomfortable situations, I tend to let myself be strung along for a while until I notice I need to get the fuck out of dodge, but I’d be uncomfortable.

I will say for the movie that the first five minutes paint a very clear picture that it’s not going to be the rom com you maybe expected from the poster. And it’s not. It’s about how the dude I described above sees this woman playing this song, and he decides he wants to sign her but actually he no longer has any power at his company because his business partner is tired of dealing with a perpetually drunk idealist, and that doesn’t work out but they come up with this idea to record an album with the city as their studio. And Keira’s friend’s equipment that he’s picked up from studios that are closing up. I’m not sure what either Keira or her friend live off of. Mark Ruffalo’s life is fairly contextualized, but Keira’s is pretty fuzzy.

Not necessarily a big deal, that. You get a nice little drama with a hopeful ending and a few sweet songs (which I actually really enjoyed despite Keira’s voice sounding a little less than live), and everyone goes on their merry way. That’s fine if you’re into that.

The reason I was disappointed is… I’m not. I like happy endings and big sweeping romance — not heroic gestures, but swelling music and a kiss is nice. Even when I’m not that into the relationship between the leads, and this one is the kind you don’t get that into, a bit of triumph that’s had some buildup is good. But what Keira gets out of New York is a relationship that suddenly dissolves, and a live-ish album that sells 10,000 copies on its first day of being up for download, online, on her terms. Only she doesn’t want to record an album. She tags along with her musician boyfriend, and it’s implied that sometimes they work together, but she’s just tagging along. The scene where she actually says those words may have been her downplaying her role for the record label execs, but I didn’t get the impression that she wanted to put music out. She cared about integrity and authenticity, but she sounded more like a music fan than a musician there.

In fact, the beginning scene where she plays the song is brought on by her friend (James Corden, who I also like*) putting her on the spot and making her come onstage completely unprepared and despite her saying no multiple times. She actually does kind of get strung along the entire movie, come to think of it. So at the end of the movie, she has an album out and maybe enough money to pay the musicians. And what is she going to do next? There are some vague plans to repeat the city studio thing over Europe, but in the meanwhile? What does she want to do? I’d like to know.

At least she has a face, I guess. And she’s cute when she’s not telling Hailee Steinfeld that she dresses very, very sexy, cough cough slutty cough, and the problem is that she leaves nothing to the imagination and the boy she likes won’t be interested in her that way. Because it was completely necessary to slutshame the teenage daughter, and use her revealing way of dressing as lazy short code for “going off the rails” and “needs a father figure” (clearly stated, because it makes so much sense).

Hailee Steinfeld, though: also really cute. Really the only person in this movie I don’t like is Adam Levine, and he grows facial hair to look varying degrees of douchebag throughout the film, which I did find funny. But I haven’t liked him since that one 99 Problems incident on The Voice with Christina Aguilera, up to which I’d had quite a crush on him and his cardigans on that show. After (during) that incident, my crush crawled into a hole and died.

And on that note, the other thing that rubbed me wrong about this movie was the way the few characters of color were positioned and introduced. There’s Mark Ruffalo’s partner, who’s presented as ungrateful to Mark Ruffalo and a sellout, a bit like a villain; there’s Cee Lo Green, who is very grateful to Mark Ruffalo because apparently Mark Ruffalo gave him his big break, and he helps fund and promote Mark and Keira’s venture; there’s the pretty girl at the record label that Adam Levine leaves Keira for, even though it doesn’t last (these sellout music industry people, so fickle); and there’s the two musicians in the band of misfits Mark and Keira put together, which is composed of them and three white people, and guess who get names and mini introductions and Keira saying she’s making money to pay them and who don’t? It was so glaring. I want to give the benefit of the doubt and think maybe the mini intros for the two black guys were cut in post-production, but come on, really? Really?

My favorite bits were — James Corden and Keira Knightley being longtime friends, I found that really cute; and the movie does do that thing I love so much where it elevates “banalities” (as it calls them) into something worthy of attention by setting them to music — though it mostly only manages that at the beginning and during the scene where it outright talks about how setting banalities to music makes them seem deep and emotional all of a sudden. I’ll give them that.

So basically: watch this movie if you liked Once, probably. The faces are more familiar and the voices a little less raw, if I recall Once correctly, but the cinematography and the general understated realistic (eh) slice-of-life feel (or lack of context and purpose, which is how I read that aspect of these movies, unfortunately) are the same.

Personally, as far as Begin Agains go, I’d rather listen to Taylor Swift.


Poetry: The Last Poem I Wrote Before I Quit Writing 1

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November 2012

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You’re standing in front of a cliff. You’re standing in front
of something steep and you have to climb it. The ultimate metaphor, the go-to
for pop songs and speeches alike. Your two thumbs go for it.
Can you imagine truly being outside, and having
to sink your nails into soil and the space between pebbles,
the dirty side of the great outdoors? Maybe in the right outfit, you say.
Outfit is the wrong word. It’s not. I’m not talking about equipment. We go
back to the stand-in issue, the simile and the allegory and the— Channeling,
you say. I call it channeling. For as long as the world’s gone round, there’ve been
heroes. Some lives are less stained than others. Some lives are larger. Some
people are eclipsed by their own talents. And would you like to know them?
Would you like the record to reflect the disparities between
man and feat? Human and feat. Either way. It’s a tricky subject. And
choosing yes won’t change a thing. Most likely not. What if they don’t exist? What if
they’re a creation? Aren’t they all? But we call some history, we call some real.
We put up a sign and it says, ‘here’s a true story.’ Precisely. We claw out their eyes.
Snow’s falling and we’ve clawed their eyes out. We’ve climbed their point of
view and stuck a flag at the top. And there’s snow on the flag. There’s snow on the top.
It melts by summer. The log is done for but the snow has gone. It won’t rain
for another eight months. You’ve come down and you’re standing
in front of something steep and it’s dressed so you can climb it. You’re dressed
so you can climb it. The ultimate metaphor. The go-to for everything.
Your two thumbs go for it.


Events: #bloggersfestival with Scarlett London 43

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A couple of weekends ago I finally made it to a bloggers event! Alert the authorities, I know. I usually say I’m going to go and I’m excited until about four days before the thing, when I realize I’m short on money and would rather stay home and save on transport. The weekend of #bloggersfestival, the northern line — the easiest, most straightforward way for me to get to the event — was closed between Golders Green and Camden Town for repairs in Hampstead, too, but I actually spent less on buses than I would have on the tube even though I had to take two separate 168 buses on the way back because the first one randomly cut short at Camden Town, only announcing its shortened route when it was already past King’s Cross. Can you get a refund if a bus does that? I chose to walk extra to avoid a second bus fare; it’s just unfair.

Anyway, I went despite this! And I’m really lazy about walking, so that means I was extra brave. Go me. I was really encouraged by the way Scarlett from Scarlett London organized everything and kept sending out reminders to guests, and the #bloggersfestival hashtag actually having people talking about it.

The walk didn’t feel nearly as long as I expected — I keep thinking “10 minutes” as per Google Maps will feel like a long walk, but it’s actually a breeze at this point. One day I’m going to check the time it takes me to get from my flat to the supermarket (either supermarket) and see if it’s actually ten minutes. It feels like five, tops. It feels nice. On the walk from the 168 bus stop near Southampton Row to Tottenham Court Rd, where the event was held, I actually came across a large party all dressed for what I assume was a wedding, judging by the women in matching golden dresses and also the fact that they were having their group picture taken on the steps of a church. I lingered for a couple of minutes to take pictures, naturally, though in retrospect I kind of wish I’d lingered longer and taken more.

I did take a ton at the event, though; it was a cool practice run for event photography, which is one of the reasons I wanted to be there. The goodie bag wasn’t awful, either, and the cupcakes were delicious. I clearly should have taken more. And more sugar cookies. I’m going to have to make the trek to Marks & Spencer or something at some point, because the two supermarkets within easy walking distance of my flat are totally failing me in the sweet pastry department. I want some damn cupcakes that have actual icing on them and don’t cost an eye; is that so much to ask?

Anyway, the event. Prepare for lots of pictures.

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The State of My Sleep Schedule As Illustrated By Feather & Black’s Sleep Book 5

This post began last Thursday, when I was fighting a website theme after an all-nighter (the key was in the documentation) and thinking about writing this post, only I was too busy so I jokingly asked my best friend if she was up for guest-posting on my blog about my sleep schedule issues, by which I meant write this post so I didn’t have to.

So in the immortal (because it’s in the chat log) words of Annemari,

“Sometimes I wake up and Lix will still be up. Sometimes I spend the whole day wondering where Lix is and then she comes online around 7 PM and says she just woke up. But she’s been a lot better at it lately! The end.”

Thanks, babes.

I want to say ‘a lot better’ fell by the wayside this week, but I guess if you compare this week to last year, or the year before, it’s still a massive improvement. I’ve only got up after 6 PM about four times in the four months since I moved to London. But I’m still a lot more likely to get out of bed on the wrong side of noon than the right one, and I’m still here, writing this post at 4:30 AM and contemplating another all-nighter, because the last one reset my sleep schedule so nicely, if by ’nicely’ you mean ‘not at all.’

But I want to be tired again! I don’t want to toss and turn for three hours like last night, which would come down to the same thing as going to bed at 6 AM, which means I will wake up at 1 PM like this morning, and then I won’t be able to sleep tomorrow night, either.

So on that note, I am going to liveblog my reading of an ebook that Feather and Black, the bedroom retailer, put out about Britain’s sleeping habits. You can download the ebook for free here, and you can even opt out of signing up for their newsletter while you do it. Sweet. Good stuff.

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