I am pleased to be able to write you this post from my new room in Hackney, London!
I had to correct that line; I had initially written, my ‘new home in Hackney’ – but I really struggle calling anywhere home except when back in Melbourne.
On Saturday just passed, I moved into my room in Homerton, Hackney. It’s a massive room, clean, with a double bed and lots of storage for my 3 tops and 4 pants that I bought from home. I went to Marks and Spencers and Primark (my new favourite store! Cheap does not even cover it!) and treated myself to a new bed spread, pillows, towels and little bits and pieces to make my room feel cosy; all for $200 – AMAZING! But putting my room together made me so incredibly home sick, I think it hit me that while I was settling into the room that would be my base for the foreseeable future, I was so very far from my own home.
Homesickness is such a bizarre thing. I wish I had genuinely felt it before so I knew what to expect. But I have never experienced such a hollow, sickening feeling as recognising that everything and everything you love so dearly is so far away. It’s amazing that in a massive city with a population of 8 million people, you can feel so very alone. I generally keep busy; it’s the times when you are sitting at home alone that are the worst.
Having said that, my new housemate, Scott, is absolutely wonderful. We get on fabulously and I already feel so comfortable around him and around the house, it’s a big relief after some of the nightmare scenarios I’ve heard of. The house has a big kitchen, living and meals area – unheard of in many apartments in London, believe it or not. My room even looks kind of adorable! Scott repainted it, bought all new furniture and a little lamp for me. Bless! I even have a new next door neighbour who is also, coincidentally (or not!), called Bianca and who, aside from her Ronan Keating and Taylor Swift obsession, is going to be a whole lot of fun!
I have made many new friends – lots of who have been introduced to me through people back home; so thank you all! I got taken to this incredible bar in Camden by my new found favourite friend, Andy, and it was so amazing that no amount of photos could have done it any justice – so here’s a photo of us drinking our cocktail instead!
So, at this place that’s decked out like a traditional Speak Easy bar, you bring a bottle of spirits along and your allocated bartender (a young strapping young lad called Davide from Italy, in our case) makes you custom designed cocktails based on your tastes! Safe to say, it was my first time drunk in the old city! We had cucumber and gin, apple and gin, hot gin, champagne and gin…. I never knew gin could be so versatile! The bar tenders, decor and music were all 1920’s themed and you enter through this tiny discreet door we walked past a couple of times. You truly feel transported back through time and it was such a wonderful night! We chased it up with some Mexican food and I felt like death the whole next day – this is why I don’t drink regularly!
Today I took myself to Winter Wonderland in Hyde park. I had been wanting to go since I arrived and today was the last day so instead of missing out, I went solo. I felt like a big creep walking around such a festive, family oriented place by myself, but it was so precious! Here are some snaps!
It would have been much prettier at night, but I was done in about an hour. I may have lasted longer if I had some friends – or some money… But I drifted around the market stalls and drank some more hot chocolate with amaretto and had a lovely time. After that I was close enough to the British Museum so I went and spent the rest of the day there. It was beautiful and free and it’s a good thing too because I only covered two floors out of five so I will have to go back to see the rest! Here is a picture of the King’s library. I’m probably going to replicate this library in one of my own homes ones day. No biggie.
One of the highlights of my adventure so far has been catching up with old friends, Jena and Chad, for breakfast and ending up spending a wonderful, impromptu day with them exploring around Notting Hill, Portobello market and Kensington Palace. Notting Hill is beautiful! All the colourful homes and doors! I even got a cheeky photo out the front of THE door from Notting Hill! #tourist
We walked all through the gorgeous Portobello Market and a got some adorable knick knacks. The colours and antiques and hustle and bustle of it was so so pretty. Loved it!
We then walked and walked through the beautiful streets admiring all the homes I would never be able to afford in my wildest dreams… and finally made it to Kensington Palace! Disappointingly we didn’t get a glimpse of Wills or Kate but the gardens were absolutely stunning and so green and it really felt like I was in the English countryside right in the heart of London. A gorgeous day.
I am on call tomorrow to start my first day of work and am very excited. I really doubt I will get a call seeing as it’s the first day back of the term, however, having booked two upcoming trips and having 40 quid left in my wallet, I’ll be glad to rock up and start earning the almighty pound! Next weekend I will be visiting Brighton and February is Dublin, Berlin, Krakaw and Warsaw. Some things to look forward to in my dark homesick hours.
Hope all is well back in Melbourne, my beautiful, beautiful Melbourne town.