remembering the little things in south africa.

having been away from all my close friends for a while it’s easy to forget how important they are. skype calls are amazing. texts with loads of kisses and love hearts never fail to make my lips turn up ways. but nothing is the same as sitting down for a fabulous chat with friends who know you really well. he friends who know where you have come from, what you love, what really makes you laugh, and what you want.

from the minute I arrived in south africa I fell in love with the country. spoilt each and every minute; from breathtaking mountains, coastlines and sunrises, to seeing the real life simba and nala and pride rock, then to amazing wineries and brilliant food. amazing happened every day. add my wonderful friends into the mix and life. is. amazing.

in all honesty i have been putting off new years resolutions since january – i have been waiting for the arrows of change to stop spinning or at least slow down so i can find my way. this trip has been the perfect place to start new plans and get excited about what might be in the year ahead.

i promise to post some more trip highlights. because there are so many. but for now i leave you with how i feel. reflective, incredibly lucky with some friendly feet behind me stirring me on.


that reflective feeling - table mountain

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my excitement for coat hangers.

i can’t begin to explain the excitement i have to use coat hangers.

to use a new clean white towel of my own.

to smell like normal lauren. the perfume, shower gel and fabric softener i like the smell of.

i’m so excited to work.

to go to the gym.

to have a routine.

to have enough money for cocktails and fancy dinners and top shop.

to put my *backpack out of sight for many months.

when i left sydney in july, i knew it would be a while until i started to work and settle down. but frankly, i didnt realise it might be quite this long. i travelled for longer then i expected, and then took longer then i though i would to a: choose a country to live in and b: find a job and home that i like.

its been almost too long; but finally i have succeeded.

please meet my new home in bermondsey, a 20min walk from london bridge.

i am so very excited.

*backpack only. not necessarily suitcase.

 

my new london pad.

 

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god jul från sweden.

hej hej from sweden, where the temperature was between -5 and -20. the snow was between 2 and 3 foot.

it really was a wonderful christmas. my lovely svenska sourina and her boyfriend mic made it to stockholm for a big fat swedish/persian christmas and with no euro family of my own, i got to tag along.

5 nights was in no way long enough to get through the gossip, and over the excitement of seeing a bestie in europe. once getting over the initial shock of a numb face, frozen snot and children dressed in so many layers they can no longer walk i realised how magical a very white christmas is.

there arent too may photos. each time i tried to take one it was so cold i thought my fingernails would fall off. plus mic takes the best shots ever so i left it to him. but i have posted a few favs.

here are a few highlights.

  • fika every afternoon. the swedish tradition of coffee and cake. together. this of course was topped with excellent company.
  • christmas eve. the feast and the presents. i was totally spoilt, thank you world.
  • the fashion exhibition at the fotografiska contemporary photography museum. and who better to go with then a pair with a keen eye for design and photos.
  • over eating. korv:saussage. lax:salmon. potatis:potatoes. glog:mulled wine. and of course the best swedish pavlova you have ever seen made by us.
  • iceskating. in the middle of the city. with sourina and her expert cousins. to the sound of bob marley. i am an amateur.

looking out to stockholm from photography museum.

lauren and souri.

the crane says the temperature. its -16. souris so rugged up her arms are sticking out.

souri and her swedish sausage.

mic's fromo. the result of -16.

christmas feast swedish style.

souri and grandma love.

that's our swedish christmas pavlova.

iceskating in the heat of stockholm.

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galavanting round blighty.

there is just so much fun to be had here. the temperature has dropped a balmy 7°C today and is set to be 2°C by friday. but, that has not stopped the delightful days rolling on. a few little highlights for you from the past week.

 

  • guy fawlkes bonfire night. i got to celebrate this twice – friday night in the park with lou and dan + entorage, and on saturday night in battle. i’m now well trained at standing in the mud in very cold wet conditions.
  • too many random afternoons with miss bec mungavin. somehow unemployment in london seems to equal red wine and cheese for us both.
  • going to inamo with justin (old friend from euro trip 2005). your table is a computer, from which you order, view the chef cam for live streems into the kitchen, and play battle ships against each other if you really must.
  • spitalfields markets and my fantastic coffee from nude and my new vintage fur coat.
  • borough markets at 9am. i cant believe i didnt make it here sooner. by the time i left i think i had brought something from every stand and felt like a right pie lord. many more visits to be had me thinks.

please meet my new fur coat. and my new headband.

oxford streets already dressed up for christmas.

 

lou out for bonfire night.

 

lauren and bec somewhere in soho.

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oh! i do like to be beside the seaside.

i met 2 lovely poles, agata and adam in morocco. they are the sweetest polish vets you would ever meet.
they also live 40 min from brighton and about 10 min from hastings in a little town called bexhill by the sea. so last weekend, i decided we should have a reunion.

it was perfect timing too – as it was guy fawkes fireworks night in battle (the place where the battle of hastings took place). to a mild 5°c we lined the town square for a procession of fire and random english folk dressed like its the 16th century. then for the grand finale we followed the crowed to the park for a massive bonfire, and most amazing fireworks display. then we drank too much wine.

lauren and agata on the hill top at hastings.

that's agata and adam waiting for brekkie.

and lovely brighton.

ooooo... the procession through battle.

 

and some more procession.

a rather large bonfire.

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london is my playground.

i cant begin to tell you how excited i was to arrive back here in blighty last week. i have been so excited to see friends, have girlie catch ups, get lost in the big smoke, be re-united with a bag of winter clothes and a ghd, and be in a place they speak english.
as i arrived in at gatwick airport looking for my luggage carosel, i had this strange feeling of arriving home away from home. big smiles.
i left london with a wish list of places to see and things to accomplish. arriving back i realise i have done it all and then some more. for now.
 
 its a bit of a time of reflection at the moment as i sort out my life, but the mean time london is my playground and im making the most of it.

 
 

aah - london in the autumn.

 

bec and jeremy at bob bob richard. super cool resturant.

 
 

our booth at bob bob had a press for champagne button. easily one of the coolest resturants i have ever been to.

 

chicken pie from bob bob - you can tell how much i loved this place.

the lovely jenny and ged brumby took me out for dumplings in waterloo

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bicycle porn.

its been a couple of weeks. im sorry.

i have been sleeping in. going to job interviews. going to yoga. getting lost in winding canals. swimming laps. people watching. bicycle watching.

for a lover of the bicycle, this is mecca.

for an ammiture like myself this city will get to you and convert you in all of its 2 wheeled brilliance. its a genius way of life. bikes pushing families of 5 kids in front carts, dogs on the back, beaming pink bikes covered entirely in plastic flowers. its only the beginning too.

i have eyed off all of the accessories required on my bike custard. a wicker basket. a new bell. an umbrella stand (it rains alot here). i have mastered the wedges and mini skirt too, next is texting, and drunken moments.

soaking up the days as a lady of leisure as they will surely come to an end. london bound next for playtime with some familiar faces and perhaps a little look into ad land.

Jeremy gets technical.

a floral adornement.

i love these little carts.

up close and personal with custard.

 

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