Welcome to Margate: Land of Dreams…

 

Sometimes the best things in life show up when you least expect them to, and I have been witness to this in the last couple of months. Although London feels like home now and I have found a kind of comfortable routine, everyday still feels in someway like an adventure. London has afforded me some amazing opportunities and now more than ever, I feel like I have complete control over what I can do with my life. I can choose everyday whether I get out of bed or not – and yes it is ok to stay in once in a while, to appreciate what it is to do nothing.

For some of you who don’t know, I recently left the job I started when I first arrived in London. I have kept my small part time job which I work online each week and was fully expecting time off to explore and hopefully be creative. My plans were thrown into the air when I was lucky enough to snag a small contract at the High Commission of Canada doing similar work to my previous contract in Paris. I have put my creative plans on hold to work at the HCC for a few months and come summer I will see what happens next.

 

In the midst of all these ever changing plans in my life, there is someone who has shown me a million and one beautiful things in the last couple of months who I want to tell you all about. Meet my boyfriend Steven. He drives a bad-ass car, is smart as a whip, has impeccable taste in music and movies and knows how to make me smile. For the last couple of months we have been swapping time in London and Margate adventuring, laughing and learning to roller blade(for him) and skate (for me).

We are both becoming pro skaters, as you can clearly see by the photos above, and Steve is hoping his newly formed soon to be ice hockey team will be up and running full steam soon . Here they are, the Margate Skulls, having a late night practice: (Go Habs Go!)

Margate is an adorable sea side town which I think should be turned into the new Brighton – to be fair, I’ve never been to Brighton but I know enough about to it to make this call.  With an old downtown full of funky retro vintage shops and handmade markets, a cup cake shop, England’s best fish and chip shop and plenty of little galleries and studios all next to a long beautiful beach, it has all it needs to thrive – now if only people would come.

Even after several weekends of walking through Margate, I’m not tired of it, and perhaps it’s because of who I am walking through it with but I still think there is something about this little place that deserves more. The tired main strip of old shut arcades makes me think that everything is just waiting to be awoken from its slumber. How could you resist this?:

I love hanging out by the water, and the first day that I spent in Margate, we walked along the beach collecting shells and Steven knew the names of absolutely everything. What I know as a shell, there being many versions, is known to him as the proper name. I’ve decided knowing things like this is important, and is what makes a person worldly and fascinating, so I think I will start reading more. I want to know things.

It was only a short while ago that weekends came and went, cold and rainy in London and now they feel like a vacation. The countdown is no longer for the weekend but rather for the dream to resume again.

I have lots of photos from Canada to show you all so I’ll be back tracking soon with those.

xx Spec

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I Planned For An Hour, Stayed For The Day: Deptford, London

Hi everyone!

I know you are probably shocked to find an update here as it very well looked like I would never write again. I had completely lost my desire to write when I got to London and was really struggling to find the excitement and creativity to write about things you would actually want to read about. I want to assure you that I have been very busy doing fun things all over London, but just couldn’t find the drive to write it all down in the right way. Today, however, I had a spontaneous day of exploring that reminded me how it felt to want to tell lots of people about something amazing, and I thought that this would be the best way to launch myself back into blogging, by making a new project for myself. I want to really explore London with no boundaries and visit areas that perhaps I wouldn’t go to had I not searched them out or stumbled upon them. I want to know many parts of London and not just my area.  Let me tell you about my day!

This morning when I woke up, I popped onto Facebook, as I usually do, being the addict that I am, and the top post came from Handpicked London, with a picture of a tube car turned cafe. With a little research, I found that it was The Deptford Project Cafe. The Deptford Project is a sort of artist collective, including Jail Make, a group of creatives who do amazing revolutionary projects,  Crafty Bitches, who run workshops for sewing, upholstery and many other wonderful things. Last of all, there is the Union Cycle Works which is a wicked organization that works with disadvantaged people, teaching them bike building and repair skills to get them involved in the community and other great projects.  On the weekends, next to the cafe, they hold a handmade craft sale as well – bonus!!!

My new bag skull who I will call Mo – can you guess why? (made by Little-Rose Designs)

Just based on my own poking around on the websites, I decided I would go check out the cafe and see what the Union Cycle Works was all about, as I am on the hunt for a bike to get me around this huge city more efficiently.

It didn’t take too long to get there by bus, and I was greeted by a huge street market full of clothing, house stuff  and fresh fruits and veggies. I walked up and down first checking out what there was, until I stumbled on the cafe in the old train car. It’s a really neat set up as it is hoisted quite high up, with a beautiful deck built around it, complete with a ramp for accessibility. The car has been painted a fresh coat of white and has refurbished furniture and crafty handmade chairs from old pallets set up both inside and out. I ordered a hot chocolate and sat outside, thanking the weather gods for letting us have such a warm day in November.

For the record, the hot chocolate was out of this world.

While I was sitting enjoying my chocolate heaven, I flipped through a pile of flyers sitting on the table and came across one for  a hair salon called Miou Miou that really caught my eye. I have been needing a haircut for a while now, and this flyer felt for some reason like a calling. I decided to take a chance and book in for today. They booked me in at 3, which gave me about another 2 hours to explore this new area. After walking around for a good while I stumbled down a charming half block long street with a cafe called Blossoming Together. Naturally, since the words arts and craft cafe appeared outside, I felt obligated to enter.  Once inside, I felt like I was stepping into someone’s cozy kitchen with comfortable chairs and home baked goods. It was lunch time.

I had a delicious soy cappuccino and a homemade pizza bread.

After eating my most delightful lunch, the woman serving me said I absolutely had to go downstairs to meet Francisco who was a shiatsu massage therapist doing free 15 minute trials. Now normally in my book of rules, meeting a guy names Francisco in a shop basement is a no no, but this time I made an exception. He talked over a couple of exercises to help me relax me Camino calves as I have started calling them, and then gave me a 20 minute massage which felt amazing. What a treat!

My new hair!

After the fantabulous relaxation lunch stop, I headed over to my appointment at Miou Miou where I had my hair cut by Keiko, who is from Tokyo, so of course I rambled on about how in love I am with Japan after my trip there 3 years ago. I love my new hair and Keiko brought back my fringe! How I missed you fringe!! I can’t say enough nice things about this salon, as it’s a lovely funky little place with style and charm and the cut is great!  They are new, so be sure to check them out and their prices are very reasonable and refreshing for London.

Thanks Miou Miou for completing my Deptford adventure today!

I’ll be back as soon as I can with a new adventure to tell you all about! London here I come!

Spec.

A foggy day at the Eiffel Tower…

Hi everyone!

So this past week I had the opportunity to go up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower! It’s been over 8 months since I arrived in this delightfully old world European city and this was the first time that I could really take it all in from above. I have been to several other areas, like Sacre Coeur, a church on a hilltop in Montmartre in the 18th arrond. where I have seen magnificient views of Paris, but there is something very different about being atop the Eiffel Tower. For one, it’s the only view of Paris that doesn’t include the famous tower itself. Since my camera is currently not working, I was forced to rely on my trusty iphone to take pictures, and it didn’t do too bad a job! I’m positive I will go back once the weather gets a little better and when I have my regular camera as well.

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I really loved going up the tower and it gave me a new outlook on Paris. It was nice to see it from above, a new angle to take it all in from.

Tomorrow I am heading to London for the weekend for a fashion blogger day so I’ll be sure to report to you on that just as soon as I get home.

Until then my trusty friends, take care and see you soon!

xo Spec.