Days spent lazing around

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday celebrations and are starting the new year relaxed and ready for new challenges. Oh I'm such a bad blogger these days. But I do have an excuse this time. On Christmas Eve we went out to listen the declaration of Christmas Peace and once we got back home my flu was really killing me. So days were spent in bed because of that, and then some more days in bed because I just felt like lazing around like a big old white cat. My laptop has a flat battery and a broken power cord and all my photos are there, so no photos today. Maybe you can go and entertain yourself on youtube like me. Go see Nouvelle Vague.


So, I'm back, and on the verge of falling ill again (I was miraculously saved from the flu earlier after all). It's taking me a while longer to recover from the traveling than I thought it would. My week in London was probably the most relaxing week I've had in years. I usually worry all the time, but being there alone, in the big city, there was nothing to be worried about (except the return to home and the reality where there's always unanswered emails), no timetables, no itineraries, just loads of time and always the Tube.

Treacle, oh Treacle. 110-112 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG.

My first days in London were filled with crowded places and some really friendly people. On Saturday I had a great time with Karen who gave me many gorgeous things that need a blog post of their own, ate a delicious pancake and found a little treasure from the Portobello Road Market (ah, you'll see all my London treasures later). My Sunday was dedicated to markets and lovely shops as well: Columbia Road, Cheshire Street, Brick Lane... Lots of oohs and aahs! Treacle was so amazingly cute in every possible way, and so was Shelf where there was the friendliest staff I've ever met. I wish we had shops and markets like the ones I saw in London in Finland too. Of course we have other things that London doesn't have, but I wouldn't mind swapping a thing or two.

Very quickly I got used to the crowds, it wasn't that difficult being an oddly quick walker and still skinny enough to be able to squeeze through little gaps. (Oh the other kind of gaps, I'm still minding the gap in my sleep.) Slowly I started to disappear, from myself too. I would find myself going up or down in long escalators, watching my reflection from windows underground or above, or staring at my red tights that became a sure way to spot me from a crowd. I heard people talk about my tights in three different languages (also in Finnish) without realizing that I may actually understand that they're talking about me. I went on London Walks (highly recommending those to all of you!) and one of the guides told everyone to just follow my bright red stockings.

V&A, I could've moved in there. Right next to the skeleton key section.

I spent days in museums, just wandering around. Tate Modern was supposed to be my last stop, but instead of yet another day in a museum I wanted some fresh air. London Walks it was, again. A very exclusive tour for two in Greenwich. A chilly yet a bit foggy day, and Greenwich was most beautiful. (A clever reader may know exactly when I was admiring the observatory in the park.) Seeing a more peaceful side of London was well worth the wobbly boat trip.

I enjoyed the crowds, the empty dark alleys where I shouldn't have been but accidentally walked into, the chilly weather, the neverending escalators, my little room in the attic and how after four hotel breakfasts the question "tea or coffee?" turned into "no tea, no coffee?".

Skinny but large. (With a bag.)

Two more days and then I'm on my way to London! And you know what? I've caught a cold. I'm not really ill yet, so I'm hoping that a lot of rest and comfort food will make it go away. But one thing I know for sure: being on a plane with a dripping nose is one of the least fun things I can think of right now. I've never felt as miserable as I did when I came back home from a language course via Paris. I have no recollection of the city at all. Three days of my life was wiped off my memory. I know I was in the Eiffel tower because I have a photo to prove it.

Before my throat got sore I managed to finish numerous projects. But since photographing clothes is really difficult without a tripod or a friend, the only thing I can show you now is my travel journal. It's about size A5 with 60 pages. Skinny but large. With a bag. I've kept telling you that books in bags are a great idea, but after our trip to Gozo with a travel journal sans bag I'm totally convinced that just about all books should have bags. How much ephemera is it possible to quite randomly collect in two weeks? A whole lot of ephemera.

A combination of charcoal and pearl gray linen felt right for a December trip to London. I know it's gray (and black!) here in Finland, and it was terribly gray in Warsaw a couple years back when I was on a little December trip there, so I thought a gray book set was more appropriate than a green one in London too. I'm sometimes a bit weird about colors. (And that's why I added a little red linen as end bands.)

All right, one more time: Please remember that TODAY is the LAST DAY to place orders you want delivered in time for Christmas! I will leave my Etsy shop open while I'm gone but all orders placed during my visit to London will be shipped Dec 15th and I can't guarantee that they'll arrive in time unless you live in Finland. I know this is the worst time of the year to abandon my shop like this, but I have very little power over my free time and I just couldn't give up the possibility to go to London.

If you're in London and would like to meet me (I know I would like to meet you!), drop me a line now (with some contact info please) or later and hope that I'll have the chance to read my e-mail somewhere. I already have some super exciting plans for Saturday, and they include some great company and at least a little stop right here.