Monday, 25 October 2010

Goodbye Hackney (but only for the weekend)

Sometimes you need to get away to make you want to come back.

This weekend was the first time that I have left London since I moved here. A night in Cambridge with my mum and my sister came at just the right time. I was feeling more than ready to get away from the big city, if only for a day, and had been looking forward to it all throughout a tiring week. The hour long train journey was a calming heaven; sat by myself listening to music and watching forgotten trees, cows and fields flash past.

First stop was breakfast with my friend Imogen, who has just started studying at the same college as my sister. It was lovely to see a friendly face. We drank hot chocolate and milkshake and ate scones and teacakes in 'Auntie's Tea Shop', a café from a bygone era of chintz and lace table cloths.

After breakfast and chat Imogen showed me her room (bay window, fireplace - jealous). As she walked casually through Pembroke's courtyard it struck me how at home she looked. I couldn't be happier for her that she is exactly where she wants to be. It was a lovely morning and sad to say goodbye when I headed off to meet my mum and sister for lunch.

When I arrived at my sister's house and into the arms of my family I felt all my week's worries float away. Over a warming lunch in Loch Fyne we three set about setting the world to right. After a wintry walk around Cambridge we headed sleepily back to Alex's room to watch The Apprentice (my guilty pleasure) before setting out again to eat pizza and watch 'The Social Network'.

The film was brilliant and made me take a fresh look at the way in which facebook has become a huge force in our lives. It is phenomenal really to think how a small college networking site conquered the world, and the undeniable way it has changed all of our lives. Physical distances become shorter, but it is interesting to stop and think whether the same (or perhaps the opposite, in fact) is true for emotional ones.

On Sunday mum and I spent the day together in London. For my weekend's homework I had been set the task of finding 5 different indigenous African magazines to bring in on Monday. It turned out to be far more difficult than it might initially sound. Goose and Chase spring to mind. I had already tried magazine giants Selfridge's and RD Franks with no results so on Sunday my wonderful mother drove me all around London, me jumping out at every single newsagent we passed. By the end of the day I never wanted to see another newsagent again, but I was still magazineless. I hate being defeated and felt awful about failing at the task, but there wasn't much more I could have done short of flying to Africa myself, and even a workaholic like me deems that beyond the call of duty.

Along the way we also stopped at pretty cafés and bakeries where we left a few 'Love Pink's as a promotion for Breast Cancer Awareness month. On our travels I spotted these glorious chairs outside a shop and instantly fell in love.

I had left a pink trail throughout Highbury, Islington, Stoke Newington and Hampstead, but it was time to head home to Bethnal Green (and cupboards brimming with Waitrose food thanks to mum).

It was a lovely weekend with lovely people. But putting my key in the lock it also felt good to be home. Because however difficult London can be sometimes, this is home. Home sweet Hackney.



  1. I had that magazine task too, I also failed, couldn't find them anywhere, such a wild goose chase!

  2. I know it really was! And by the way I thought I'd say - I've been allocated 'I love you' to write about as well! I haven't bought it yet but the name won me over and I'm looking forward to a trip to Selfridge's tomorrow to buy it, even if it is £6.50!! xx