Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Amongst the mess: diaries from when I was 13, 16 and 19. A letter I got when I was 13 from my friend Abby which described, in detail, how to kiss boys. The badge I wore out on my 18th birthday. A receipt for fancy dress that I wore on a night I don't want to forget. A train ticket from when I was in Germany on an exchange. A signed Hadouken ticket (cringe). My university ID. Tonnes of photos from my teens/early 20s.

I read a blog post recently that I can't stop thinking about. It's by Hannah Gale, and is titled The Strangest Thing About Your Late Twenties.

Reading it, it honestly could have been a trail of my own thoughts I related to it so much. The post describes how she feels that she has developed two versions of herself; the girl she was ten years ago, and the woman she is now. She writes about losing herself for hours in old Facebook photos, diary entries - anything to help her rediscover this person she remembers but can't quite believe was once her.

I do the same.. but I can remember more than one other version of myself. I feel as though I have several.

One thing I'm sure you'll gather from this picture is that I'm a sentimental hoarder. I keep everything from receipts for fancy dress I bought in sixth form (see the 'Party Seasons Gloucester' poking out from my notebook...) to my badge I wore out on my 18th birthday, to boxes and boxes of diaries.

It's the diaries that get me the most. I read them out aloud to myself sometimes, because it's as if they were written by a stranger - I turn the pages in anticipation of what's going to happen even though it's about my life. From the nervous thirteen-year-old writing about her first day at school back in England after being abroad for years, to the teen about to take her GCSEs, to the Sheffield Uni student getting over her first break-up...

Just as Hannah writes in her post, it's almost unbelievable to think that that girl - that all of those girls - grew into me.

I think I get scared that one day I'll forget. That I'll forget what it felt like to be 17, with my biggest fear being my AS Level results, with University and my future stretching out ahead of me, feeling like anything was possible. That I'll forget what it felt like to be a University student, living in a crazy house of seven in Sheffield and meeting a ton of new people outside of the bubble of my hometown. That I'll even forget the me of two years ago - new to London, starting my career and truly entering adulthood for the first time.

By diving into these past stages of my life I feel like I'm attempting to preserve the memories of the old versions of myself. As Hannah says, maybe we're even mourning them. I think about 17 year old me the most - she got to enjoy a lot of firsts. The first date with a guy she'd end up being with a long time. The first crazy drunken night out. The first summer away with friends. I almost wish I could meet her now and talk to her... which is crazy. Because she is me.

I'm thinking of doing more writing based on these old diaries I have - trust me, some of them are truly hilarious, some of them are devastating (2012 Lucy: stop texting boys who are clearly using you!). To be honest it's something I've been thinking about doing for a while - time give those old versions of myself some due diligence and then close the book, so to speak.

I'm going to a writing class this weekend (taught by Laura Jane Williams, who I cannot wait to meet) which will focus on writing from experience, so watch this space...

Do any of you do the same thing and recall previous versions of yourselves? Until I read Hannah's blog post I was pretty sure I was the only one who did this - as she says, I hope it's more human than I initially thought.


The Little Things

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Afternoon tea at Sketch, AKA life inside a giant pink marshmallow

I'm writing this with a cold flannel on my forehead, a blocked nose and a (now slightly lukewarm) mug of lemsip within arms reach. Needless to say, I feel like SHIT. (Also - why is it that when you're ill you feel like the entire world is out having fun without you? Instagram I'm looking at you here.)

I'm determined not to let having flu on a Saturday ruin my week though - especially as this week has been full of lovely moments. I recently read a post on Oh January's blog titled 'Little Things' and not only did it a) make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about all the tiny things that make life great, but b) it made me realise that I need to be taking better notice. I feel like the weeks rush past in such a busy blur at the moment I don't stop and reflect on all the things that have made me smile.

And so I'm going to do just that - from the little things to the bigger moments, here's what's made me feel pretty damn good this week.

Presenting to a room full of people first thing on Monday and not f*cking it up
Getting a seat on a quiet, fast tube on a morning when I'd overslept a bit
This American Life's podcast on coincidences
Rewatching Girls ahead of Season 6 starting
Getting red tulips sent to me at work
 People on my team offering to make me a cup of tea just when I needed one
Burning my new Diptyque candle
Getting a nice email from a client about a project I worked on
Buying two new books to read on my commutes to and from work
Going for afternoon tea at Sketch after wanting to go for so long
Booking a place on Laura Jane William's writing course in March
Being cooked a three course meal 
Reading all the comments on my last blog post
A colleague buying me lemsip when she was out on her lunch because she could see I was poorly
Prosecco and a writing sesh with one of my best friends
Going to text my boyfriend about where to go for dinner and seeing he'd text me about the exact same place

What's made you smile this week?

Welcome Back!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Well hello there!

It's been so long since I last blogged, that I genuinely just agonised on how to intro this post for a good 10 minutes. NICE ONE.

Sorry for my blogging absence. I'm not quite sure who I'm apologising to, although Google Analytics tells me that some absolute babes out there are still visiting this blog every month! I think I'm probably partly apologising to myself, after promising to write more frequently turned into not writing at all.

At the start of last year, I was really getting back into blogging, probably for the first time since I started back in May 2014. But something still didn't quite feel right. The format felt a bit tired, I wasn't really feeling the design anymore, and life just kind of happened. Y'know?

Over the past few months I've been clicking on the blog and feeling a little sad at how long ago my last post was. It's like everyone had decided to jump ship (everyone being just me) and I started to get the writing itch back.

Now, more than ever, it's so important to have fingers in more pies, for want of a better phrase. I did three years at uni studying journalism, and whilst that has definitely helped me on my career path, I certainly don't write for a living - but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be flexing those muscles on the side.

So I'm back. With a jazzy new blog design. Everything is a little bit neater, brighter and clearer, and whilst iPhone snaps will have to do for the time being, I'm saving up for a proper camera so that my photos can eventually be ON POINT, too.

I dragged my boyfriend Jon to somewhat of a 'Power Breakfast' at Clerkenwell Grind this morning to knuckle down on this post, give the layout some final tweaks and take several selfies in their adorbs pink bathroom help him give his blog a bit of a spring clean too.

Two coffees, a delish breakfast and several HTML-related breakdowns later, A Little Lucy 2.0 was born! I'm a big fan of the new look and it'll hopefully encourage me to blog more often.

So what sort of things will I be posting? A little bit of everything. A foodie post here, a book review there, with the occasional life ramble thrown in for good measure. I'm not going to stick to any weekly features for the time being - I'll just post what feels right.

I've got three more posts coming up this week - make sure you don't miss them by following me on Bloglovin' or signing up to email alerts (see - I've got all the mod cons now)!

L x

February Recap

Monday, 29 February 2016

Okay, so I took a bit of a "blogging break" this month (two months into your goal of blogging three times a week - good one Lucy), but I'm determined to stick to this series as I think they'll be fun to read back. I mean, this time it doesn't really count. February's not a real month really, is it? 28/9 days. Make your mind up hun. Happy Leap Day btw.

It may have been short, but it's been BUSY. There's been a lot going on at work and I've taken on a couple of projects I'm super excited about. Also, as you'll see below, it's been a month of eating and drinking like I'm Henry VIII.

Without further ado, here's my February recap. Now I'm off to take a lie down as I've just realised it's March tomorrow and wtf, 2016 you're going far too quickly.

Many A Cocktail Evening
Aaaand so it begins. I do love a cocktail evening though. Early in the month, I met Jon and two of his friends for ramen at Shoryu, and we wandered over to The Botanist in Broadgate Circle for drinks afterwards (see top photo). Believe it or not, this was my first taste of a Espresso Martini. Never looking back.
This month I also hit up the Riding House Cafe in Fitzrovia with my pal Alex, who has just moved to London. I absolutely LOVED this place. The inside is luxe and cosy in equal measure. We sat up at the bar, which legit made me feel like I was in Gossip Girl drinking in some five star hotel. Their cocktail menu was really unusual as well - liquors added to everything from green smoothies to herbal tea (see above). Definitely check it out if you're around Oxford Circus.

Year of the Monkey
I'd never really paid attention to Chinese New Year until 2016. This could be for a couple of reasons - one being my boyfriend is half Chinese so I'm a lot more exposed to it, and the other being it was time for my Asian spirit animal, the Monkey, to take centre stage. I got given this fortune cookie at work, and even though I know they're mostly just a bit of fun, it brightened up a relatively stressful day. Life is full of nice surprises...

Back In 5 Minutes
... This being one of them. On Valentines Day evening, Jon lead me through Shoreditch on our way to evening dinner. I had absolutely no idea where he'd booked. If you've clicked through to his blog though, you'll see he's a big foodie, so I trust his taste.
All of a sudden, I was seriously confused. Instead of leading me to the doors of a brasserie or a nice pub, he took me into a clothes shop. I got even more confused when the girl on the till smiled knowingly at him, before pulling back a black velvet curtain.
Hidden down behind the shop was a secret pop-up restaurant called Back In 5 Minutes. Decorated like a cosy Swedish living room with only enough seating for about 15 people, it was one of the most special dining experiences of my life. Jon had emailed in advance to let the chefs know of my shellfish allergy, and as a couple of things on the menu actually included oysters and scallops, they were kind enough to whip up replacement dishes for me. I had a gorgeous starter of goats cheese roulade with spicy butternut soup, whilst Jon tucked into his seafood. The main course still leaves my mouth watering. It was rhubarb risotto and truffled bean salad, with the tastiest cut of lamb I've ever had in my life. I could have eaten ten bowls of that stuff. Dessert was vanilla bavarois with strawberry jelly and a sprinkling of oats - perfect and light to round off the meal.
Back In 5 Minutes is part of the Disappearing Dining Club and I honestly couldn't recommend them enough.

Taking In Some Culture
I'm planning an upcoming post on things to do in London if you're skint, and *SPOILER ALERT*, heading to a gallery or museum is one of them. This month I visited the British Museum for the first time, and not gonna lie I was seriously impressed by this place. Did you know they have a collection of real Ancient Egyptian mummies? Or a huge section dedicated to Ancient Greek art? If that doesn't float your nerdy boat, the dreamy architecture sure will.

I Ate My Weight in Pizza
I shouldn't be proud of this, but I am. UNPOPULAR OPINION KLAXON, but I'm not really a "pizza person." I just don't really get it. I'd choose a Chinese or an Indian takeaway over a Dominos any day. But one place I'd had recommended to me over and over again was Homeslice, so when the opportunity came to try it this month, I threw my pizza caution to the wind and dived in.
Homeslice do 20" pizzas for £20, and you can choose two of their frequently rotating toppings if you've got a picky mate or just want to share the love. We went for the goats shoulder with cabbage and yoghurt on one side, chorizo on the other. MY GOD. I've been converted. It was the best pizza I've ever tasted, and I'm not an easy one to please when it comes to topping and dough. The goat shoulder and yoghurt side was especially delicious. Pizza fanatics and tentative eaters: this is your calling.

I Went For the Chop
Confession: I've not had my hair cut properly in over two years. I've always had a bit of an obsession with growing it, to the point where when I last headed to a hairdressers about a year ago, I begged the stylist not to take off any more than an inch. Cue a short term solution to a long term problem: damaged, ratty split ends that weren't going to go away without a fairly considerable snip. So after uhm-ing and ahh-ing for a couple of weeks, I did it, and had about five or six inches of hair chopped off. At first I was petrified but MY GOD IT FEELS GOOD. It's so nice to run your hands through healthy hair. So satisfying to put on a jacket or coat and not have to drag out my long ratty hair from underneath. So easy to wash. So easy to style. Much wow. Why didn't I do this sooner?

Flight Club Darts
(Excuse the snapchat photo, I forgot to take a proper one!) When a work colleague suggested darts for a social, I thought she'd mistaken me for a 45 year old who heads down the pub of a Friday for a pint with the lads and a packet of pork scratchings (to be fair, something I'd absolutely do). But no. This wasn't any old darts game. Flight Club are based in Shoreditch and host interactive dart board games with real time digital scoring and a Snapchat-esque webcam. You get a little group of you together to play in cosy little areas called oches, and there's an actual alcohol button. Considering I have the hand eye coordination of a drunk toddler, I was oh so pleased to fluke and win a game (see cheesy grin above). It's £40 for ten people in a two hour slot, too - very reasonably priced!

What have you all been up to this month? x