This past weekend, I went to a UCLA alumni event that a couple of the people who work in my building were staffing. After the event ended, the other intern from my office invited me to go out with her and a friend she was meeting. It should have been awkward, but it was incredibly fun, and we ended up staying out way later than I intended, eating pizza and drinking pints and having a blast. 

I was feeling a little under the weather today, and even though my coworker was too, she spent part of her lunch break taking me to the pharmacy nearest our office to help me find the ibuprofen and paracetamol, and then insisted I buy a multivitamin too. 

I’m just really grateful to know that I work with such lovely people, and that we’ve developed such genuine friendships in such a short period of time. 

Oh October

The start of this month has officially brought a change of season to London. For the last six or seven weeks, it’s been relatively warm and mostly sunny, but it seems that’s done with now. Last week was the first time I’ve had a proper struggle with the weather. The rain started in earnest, the temperature dropped a solid ten degrees and the wind is not kidding around. 

As far as cold goes, I’m handling that part pretty well. Cardigans under jackets and keeping a scarf in my work bag have gone a long way. But the rain is a struggle. On Tuesday. it started to drizzle as I was on my lunch break, and by the time I was walking back to my office it was pouring biblical proportions of water in Bloomsbury. As it turns out, flats are not actually wet-weather approved footwear. Noted. 

After a week of rough weather, my coworker took pity on me and took me raincoat shopping after work on Thursday. She’s British, so she understands exactly what I’ll need in terms of outerwear, and where to get it. We went to three different stores before eventually finding a heavy duty (and half price!) coat at Mountain Warehouse. Although it’s an aggressive shade of purple that I would normally be totally put off by, it’s relative cost and removable inner fleece jacket won me over in the end. I haven’t put it to use yet, but I’m confident it should hold up really well.

To celebrate such a successful shopping trip (and because she had an extra ticket), my coworker invited me to go with her to the gala screening of Men Women & Children. [Side note: this month marks the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival. There are a bunch of films being shown all around the city, and there are a number of large-scale premieres being held for the event.] 

As it turns out, when you attend a gala screening, you actually walk on the red carpet to get into the cinema. Which is exactly how this picture happened: 

To be clear, this is a blurry selfie of me and my coworker, standing on the red carpet (in the rain), taken for the express purpose of capturing Ansel Elgort behind us. You know, one of the stars of the movie, who was casually five feet away taking pictures with his legions of screaming teenaged fans. 

Anyway, the screening was preceded by a Q&A with the director, producer, and two of the stars (including good ol’ Ansel back there), and there was free water and chocolate at every seat! The movie is a little on the depressing side, so Holly and I went out for Chipotle after. 

After a week of crap weather, the combination of finding proper clothing, going to the movies with a friend, and getting a taste of home was exactly what the doctor ordered! 

iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days.  iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .
Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days. 

iwriteaboutfeminism:

Speakers address the crowd .

Saturday, October 11th

My heart is with Ferguson, today and all days. 

(via laughingcrying)

I love my little hipster kitchen. 

Street sign I pass everyday on the way home from the tube station. It makes a lovely reminder. 

We need to talk about Borough Market.

Borough Market is basically my religion. This is not an exaggeration. I make my weekly pilgrimage every Saturday to this fantastic place where I eat bread and wine to nourish my soul. Okay, so maybe sangria and sourdough samples don’t exactly count as communion, but still. 

To be clear, Borough Market is a weekly food market in Southwark. This place is such a London institution, it just celebrated its 1000th birthday a couple weeks ago. Seriously, one thousand years. In comparison, the oldest maintained site in Riverside is a cemetery dating all the way back to…1871. Good effort, California, but you lose this round. 

Anyway, I like to go to Borough Market on Saturdays, because normally I don’t work on Saturdays and since Saturdays are the market’s last day of the week, that afternoon is your best chance to get something extra cheap. Here is my summary of today’s haul:

  • Sweet potato fries
  • Gnocchi with pesto, olive oil and freshly grated parmesan
  • a giant fudgey brick of a brownie
  • Greek orange blossom honey
  • 6 plums (for one pound, cause I get the deals)
  • Samples of the following: pistachio turkish delights, cow’s milk cheese, three kinds of honey (wild flower, thyme, and orange blossom), paella, fresh baked rye bread

I ate the pesto gnocchi as I walked around, because (1) I was really hungry and (2) fresh pasta always deserves your immediate attention. This is the only dish I’ve gotten more than once at Borough Market. Normally I try to challenge myself to eat different things because there are basically infinite foods available and you, personal growth through your stomach or something like that. But this gnocchi with pesto is one of my favorite things I have ever eaten. The stall that makes it is called La Tua Pasta, and everyone that works there is Italian, which explains why they make the single best pesto I have ever had outside of my homestay mom’s kitchen in Florence. I have an embarrassingly emotional connection to good pesto, and this is the BEST pesto I can get outside of Italy. Honestly I want to cry trying to explain how good this meal is: to me, it tastes like Italy and that’s basically the same as a warm hug from someone you really, deeply love. I’m gonna start drooling writing this. It’s really delicious, and they freshly boil the gnocchi to order, so you have to eat it pretty quickly otherwise the little cardboard container they put it in will pretty much dissolve. And it’s not like I’m gonna wait to eat something this good. 

I sampled all the honey because I use fancy honey to make oatmeal in the morning to make myself feel like I’m not as broke as I am. I pay two pounds for a month’s worth of plain rolled oats, and then I pay double that for a month’s worth of semi-gourmet honey and tell myself I’m somehow both fancy and healthy. It works out in the end. I just finished a jar of wildflower honey that was frankly delightful, but the nice Greek boy working at the honey stall I frequent talked me into buying the orange blossom variety this time around, and I think it shall work quite nicely. It’s not as floral as the other kind (duh), but that might be a nice change for a while. 

I bought the plums to eat throughout the week whenever I feel like it. For the most part, the only fruit I buy at the grocery store is clementines (you can get two medium sized bags for three pounds) and apples (six small ones for a pound). Everything else is a little too expensive, or comes in weird quantities that are a pain. By getting other fruit at Borough Market, I get to pretend that I’m ~supporting local farmers~ and it also forces me to vary my diet. Two weeks ago, I bought figs, last week I got the bargain box (which happened to include bananas, limes, and peaches), and this week I went for the plums. 

I’ve been craving sweet potatoes lately, and Ari Shapiro tweeted about the British needing to get on board with sweet potato fries, so when I saw them on sale today I had to get them. They were delicious and salty and only a little crispy, so I saved most of them to eat when I got back to my flat, at which point they were perfectly soft, as all sweet potato related foods should be. 

I don’t think I need to explain the brownie. I’m eating it right now, and it’s fantastic. I don’t normally like brownies, but when they’re as thick as a deck of cards and half the size of a normal novel, I can make exceptions. 

I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow drinking a cup of milky earl grey with my legs under the blue and white patterned comforter of the single bed in my shoebox room of this endearingly dingy flat in East London has become my heaven. 

The mural by my bus stop, along the side of an international supermarket. I’ve got big pink hearts in my eyes for East London.