First of all, how ya doing? Are you hanging in there ok? I genuinely mean it. I feel like that’s not being asked enough at the moment. People are just chugging along as if everything is normal now, but nothing feels normal. Here’s the best way I know how to describe it. Remember that scene in Ghostbusters II, where the city is business as usual, but there is an evil slime multiplying underneath the city, through every sewer, under every street? That’s exactly how I’m feeling. Like I’m portraying business as usual, but deep down I am being corrupted by this unstoppable pink slime of doubt about the future, about things never being normal again. How’s that for a sophisticated reference? Ghostbusters and slime… yup, I’m a 40 year old woman. Go figure.
This week I saw a few friends in London, all socially distanced meet-ups and masks were worn when required. And each conversation centred on one thing: needing a light at the end of the tunnel. That seems to be the thing we all crave the most. When will it end? It’s the one question we’re all asking. When will normal actually be normal? I read an article yesterday saying British Airways predicts travel won’t return to pre-Covid days until the year 2023. I read that, sat on the bed and just held my head in my hands and cried. I was so angry at myself for not realising how easy everything was before this. How going home, working abroad weekly or attending a music gig with the boyfriend were all things I simply took for granted and thought would exist forever.
We are so incredibly lucky that we have a roof over our heads, food on our table and no urgent worries about whether we will lose either of those privileges in coming months. But, I am well aware of so many of you that are not the same situation.
May I please urge you, if there is anything I can do, even just act as a friendly voice over the phone, to please get in touch. No one should feel alone right now. I know that’s a big statement. “Alone” has many definitions. In being away from my family, I’ve never felt more alone in my life. But, no matter how hard this all gets, I have faith in the human spirit and our ability to look after one another. Please, don’t forget about that and reach out for a helping hand before giving up. Please.
Now, because this is supposed to be a place of escape, let’s do just that. Here are the highlights of this past week. No more talk of Covid, loneliness or the questions of what comes next. This is what has been…
Monday’s picture is above. Steve and I went for a long walk, which is one of my favourites, and we came across the most magnificent field of wild flowers. As we approached the field it looked as if it were on fire. The vibrant yellow swayed in the breeze like wild flames. We stopped in awe of such a scene. I snapped this picture and we just stood there and admired the natural beauty of our surroundings and how lucky we were. Then, we turned a corner and found a field that was just as magnificent and featured a rainbow of flowers. I contemplated clipping a few flowers for a vase at home and then thought better of it. I could never recreate a scene that is more beautiful than this flower in its natural element. Born wild, meant to stay that way. We walked home, passing a few kids playing in the fields and my heart soared, remembering running through wild flowers as a kid with my three brothers, feeling like we were wildlings, with no one to answer to and no one to call us home in the middle of the day.
Now, for those of you looking to add a new element or two to your home decor, I’m happy to report that Sunbury Antiques Market is back up and running. The vendors are all back and they have quite the stash since lockdown has kept them from selling for so long! We have a list a mile long of things we need to get for the house, but I’m that annoying person that has to feel like it’s a “right fit.” I’m pretty sure I’m driving Steve mad. He’s convinced we’ll never buy anything. But, I want as many antiques as I can get my hands on to match the house. I want to avoid “new” as much as I possibly can. Saying that, we just bought two new sofas, so I’m not doing great with this whole concept so far.
Anyway, we did find some good bits. I was so tempted by a giant flamingo circular painting and a Louis Vuitton Cup bag, but left with neither under my arm.
For those in London or close by, Sunbury is a great option for just about everything. Over the years I’ve picked up so many bits and bobs for the house. Can’t recommend this day trip enough!
I swear I do more out here than just roam in fields of flowers. But, I do walk every single day, mostly in a dress and always with my tripod. There’s no doubt in my mind that the locals all think I’m a mad woman. Who walks dressed up and sets up mid field to capture their outfit? A narcissist, that’s who. Haha! But, I’m rolling with it and I love that locals now stop me to ask if I’ve seen this spot or that spot. I think they’re starting to understand more and more about what I actually do and how I share these photos. Anyway, I should just note that the dress in this picture is currently on sale and I adore it. It’s a summer favourite.
Back in London where I do feel more myself than I ever would have expected to be the case. Here I’ve always argued that I’m a country girl. But, being back in the city I feel like I’m returning home. I have missed The Big Smoke, more than I can admit. I miss the hustle and bustle. I miss being able to meet someone at a moment’s notice. I miss deciding to just jump on the tube and head into the city for my favourite glass of rose with a view of the river. Again, all things I took for granted, that I never will again.
So, I took the tube for the first time in five months, and that was terrifying, I’m not going to lie. I was so nervous. But, I stepped into Shepherd’s Bush tube, for the first time ever, as the only one going through the turnstiles. I kept looking around me having to remind myself that we were mid pandemic. Now, it should be said that this was at 10:30, well after rush hour. There were two people on the platform when I got underground. There were no people on my train. None. We got all the way to Tottenham Court Road before one person sat about twelve seats from me. And I wish I was brazen enough to have approached this man and requested he put his mask back on. I saw this happen again and again as I made my way in and out of central London. People would wear their masks for the authorities in the station. Then as soon as they got on the train, the mask was removed either completely or just moved down to expose both the mouth and nose. One woman got on the train, pocketed her mask and took out her lipstick to reapply. I was dumbfounded.
I won’t go on about it, but for the love of God, people, wear your masks properly and as the government recommends. We are required to wear them on public transport. And that doesn’t mean wearing it on your head, your ear, your neck, your chin or your hand. Wear it as a covering for your nose and mouth. That’s how it works!!!!!!
Anyway, why was I in London? Well, I was mainly coming to sort out some more things for the flat, but then went into the city to support The Orange Buffalo boys. Their truck is back open in Brick Lane and a few friends were coming down to show support for the best buffalo wings in London being back up and ready for consumption. You will see me doing this a lot, you guys. London is still my home and the restaurants, shops and hotel owners are my family there…and I will stop at nothing to support them and make sure they all survive and thrive off the back of this pandemic. So, get ready for me to inundate you with information on what’s open, what’s getting ready to open or how you can help establishments that are trying to open, etc etc. It’s just to say I love this community and want to support it any way I can, as long as it is safe and I can recommend it as something safe for you to do as well!
And then there was Friday. I stayed the night in the London flat and then got up bright and early the next morning to run over to Hersheson’s to get something done about this hair. The main man, Luke Hersheson, had offered to take this head of hair under his wing. How could I say no to that? This is the man that has crafted the locks of Gisele Bundchen, Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller and countless others. He’s a boy genius. You never say no to Luke. So, off I went to Harvey Nichols to have the long hair chopped to something other than the lazy locks I’ve been sporting as of late.
I can report that I am now walking around looking a little more put together. Luke gave me hair that I can wash and go! We spoke a lot about the importance of cut. I truly believe there are so many women out there that don’t know how a cut can transform everything. The idea is to find a hairdresser that can give you a cut that requires minimal effort to look chic. You ideally should be able to just wash your hair and walk out the front door. For me, that requires a sort of boho shaggy chic cut. It’s cut my routine in half, in the morning. I rough dry for five minutes and throw it up in a bun to dry the remaining 15% and I come out with hair that looks worthy of a Sports Illustrated Shoot. Ok, that might just be in my dreams, but I’m rolling with it. Thank you, Luke, my lockdown hair hero!
I will just say one thing about the mask situation, just in case anyone asks. Here in the UK, it is recommended that the stylist wear a shield. The woman getting her hair done does not need a covering. And I will say this… I was grateful for this practice as I was having a transformative cut. Luke needs to see my jawline and where things fall on my cheeks and chin. I am assuming things will change and masks will be required at some point, and when that point comes, I will gladly wear one. But, I probably would not have gone for such a layered cut if I were wearing a mask. I would have asked for a simple trim and left it at that. Please know that if the advice is to wear a mask, I always will do that. I am not trying to dodge any rules or best practices here. The salon was very socially distanced and I felt completely safe in the situation I was in. I always say, “use your best judgement.” My mask went straight back on when I stepped out into Harvey Nichols and didn’t come back off until I was in my car on the way home. I just felt the need to address that as I am 100% an advocate for masks and what they can do to stop this virus!
Ok, that’s all, folks. Have a great week…watch out for some great content coming from tomorrow and I’ll see you back here next week for a week in review!