London Series: Year 2 (2009)

The year I took my best friend to Portugal, my brother came to London and we visited André in Madeira! 2009 was a memorable one.

2009 started in a party mood having my work Christmas party a little out of season. We went out to the enjoy the London park life in Hendon and Hampstead Heath and strolled in central London.

February was eventful with drinks at work, a lot of snow, Valentine’s day, my boyfriend’s birthday in Southend-on-Sea, Carnival at Guanabara and some London shots.

In March we went to central London, walked through Epping forest, fed squirrels in Hyde Park, got drunk at Guanabara and watched stand up comedy in Portuguese in Brixton.

April was super special as I took my best friend to Portugal. We had the best time!

In May we visited Little Venice and Cambridge.

June saw my brother in London, I had a great time on my Birthday and we went to Portugal to celebrate our anniversary.

July was fun, I went to the pub and to the roller disco with the work lot.

August was sunny and wet and we enjoyed it at the park.

September was the month we visited André in Madeira and had a blast.

In October we were tanned and it was time for a “bad taste” house party at Filipa’s and to make sushi at home.

November was another sushi at home month, we went to Camden and watched more Portuguese stand up comedy in London.

December is the month for all the Christmas parties. In 2009 we spent Christmas in Portugal again.

Another great year! Loved you loads 2009. Hope you all enjoyed all the silly selfies. Brace yourselves for more from 2010 coming soon.

In the meantime if you have missed it you can go check 2008 in pictures.

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Dating the Popular Kid

Back in secondary school I was pretty good at being invisible. I was a good student for the most part of it and kept myself to my small group of friends.
Other than when I was playing foosball I didn’t really hang out with the popular kids.

Against all odds one of the popular kids wanted to date me. I thought it was a joke but decided to say yes to find out what that was all about.

He was super romantic and our cinema date watching Daylight with a couple of my friends was great. He even got me a blue bracelet as a first date gift!

Back in school we officially became a couple! Some of the popular girls (including his ex) were not impressed and I went from being invisible to having “haters”.

It was all new for me and I don’t think I was enjoying it.

Thankfully he broke up with me a couple of days later. I can’t even remember what the reason was but it was good to go back to normal life in school after that brief dating experience.

Funnily enough we got back in touch years after we left school and he did remember our dates. Better than me actually. In his mind the fact that we got back in touch had some kind of special meaning. In my opinion it’s just what happens when everyone is on Facebook. Still it was cool to talk about our school times and our very brief dating story.

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London Series: Year 1 (2008)

This year in March is my 10 year anniversary of moving to London! Can’t even believe it has been this long. To celebrate I will be creating a “London Series”. I am sharing the highlights of each year in pictures.

On the 4th of March 2008 I moved to London with my boyfriend. We had no job and no bed to sleep in but we didn’t give up!

In March we had a couple of new homes after sleeping on the floor for a week at my auntie’s place. First one was in Kilburn and the second one in Willesden Green.

Settled down in our new place, April was a month to explore Brighton and London.

In May we visited Windsor, had the crazy idea of going to France for lunch, got a tan in Hyde Park and spent a weekend in Southampton!

In June the Euro was on so we watched a fair bit of football and celebrated Portugal day at the park eating sardines.

In July we moved to Hendon, went on a day trip to Winchester where we met Tochas (a famous comedian in Portugal) and enjoyed another Summer day at the park.

In August we didn’t do much.

September was a great month. We went back to Portugal for the first time to spend time with family and friends.

In London we were tourists again and partied hard.

October was another busy month. I organised my best friend’s birthday, visited Oxford, went out bowling with friends from my new job, went to Southfields to spend time with André, went out for drinks and it snowed!

In November we went to a Karaoke place with the Portuguese group and I went bowling again with the work lot.

December was a busy month with all the festivities.

And we went back to Portugal for Christmas and NYE.

This was 2008 in pictures. It was a very special year. I really enjoyed this trip down memory lane and I am looking forward to going back to 2009.

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What a Monday

Monday was tough.

First of all I don’t really like moving so when I was told I have to relocate to a new desk later in the day I was not thrilled. But as I knew it was going to happen at some point I just had to deal with it and try to get an OK new desk.

I was pleased to be able to have a window desk as I enjoy the daylight and having more room for my stuff on the windowsill. So things were going fine.

When I moved to the new desk there were loads of things left behind. Rubbish on the floor and dusty things on the windowsill. The guy did not bother picking any of it up even after having me asking him to check it. He left me to do whatever I wanted with all the crap left behind. Nice. What a gentleman.

As I like to keep my working environment clean and tidy I started cleaning my new desk. I found wrapping paper in little pieces all over the desk and started wiping it. It was then that I realised that there were also mice droppings all over the desk! I get the mice issues, I have had them before in the work place but working at a desk full of mice droppings?! That is just disgusting.

Funnily enough I had never seen any mice droppings around my desk before and I was not sitting that far. This was probably because we kept it tidy and relatively food free.

Maybe I am being naive but I find this type of behaviour absolutely shocking and inadmissible in a shared space. The same goes for people who don’t wash their hands after doing their business in the toilet. And no, sprinkling your fingers with water does not count! Please use soap.

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Planning my Birthday

My birthday is coming up in June and I am not about to spend it in London so I have already started planning my birthday trip for this year.

Last year I celebrated my birthday in Copenhagen. That was a little different as I usually pick a beach destination but I loved it and even visited some beaches not far from the capital.

This year I fancied going back to a beach destination and was thinking about the Greek islands. For my 30th I was in Milos and absolutely loved it. As I am only going away for a week I was looking for a place with direct flights from London and was planning to go to Mykonos.

Unfortunately the flight prices were a little high at almost £400 return for two! That made me go back to Skyscanner to look for a cheaper destination. Croatia had some decent priced flights and we had been meaning to visit Croatia.

Before setting the destination in stone I quickly browsed for car rental and accommodation prices to ensure staying there wouldn’t be super expensive. Both were surprisingly cheap so the decision was made.

The dates were picked based on the flight prices and once we got the time off approved I bought the flights. £160 return flights for two to Dubrovnik booked in the end of January.

Yesterday I booked accommodation for the 7 nights and my boyfriend sorted out the car rental.

As we want to explore the area as much as possible I ended up booking 3 different places. Dubrovnik will be our house for the first couple of nights. I will be spending my birthday there. After that we are driving a couple of hours North to Orebic and staying there four nights in a 4 star hotel by the beach. If we get the chance we might get the 15 minute ferry to Korcula. The final night will be in Slano just so we don’t have to do a super long drive to the airport.

Accommodation booked has a free cancellation policy (in case I change my mind) and came to £500 for the 7 nights. The car rental without additional insurance was less than £70!

Both travel and car rental insurance are on annual plans so we don’t have to do it every time we go away and it turns out cheaper this way.

So far we have spent about £730 on flights, accommodation and car rental for a week in Croatia. With the advantage that we know where we are staying and planned it according to what we like to do. I wouldn’t be able to deal with package holidays that don’t tell you where exactly you are staying!

If you have been to Croatia and have some tips on things to do and see around the spots I am staying at please let me know!

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Life without Social Media

“The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other.” – JR

Yes, I have managed to survive a month with barely any social media! For anyone that has not read the original post on this subject I have deleted Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook from my phone on the 1st of January.

To be completely honest with you the first few days were a little hard. It felt like I was missing out. The FOMO (fear of missing out) was real. Not only that. it was also weird not taking pictures of everything I was doing to share on social media.

Immediately my phone’s battery started lasting a day instead of 6 hours! After a week or two I started thinking less about it. Thoughts of re-installing the apps were less and less frequent. I was more productive when it came to writing on the blog and was also editing or taking pictures more often. Listened to more podcasts, more audio books and kept up to date with all the blogs I follow.

Facebook

Facebook was available on my laptop and I checked it every couple of days. For birthdays and to post on the blog’s page. Usually no longer than 5 minutes at a time. This one is probably not going to make its way back to my phone.

Instagram

Instagram has been completely out of my life this month. I thought about checking for direct messages or any comments but did not give in. In my case Instagram was the biggest time waster out of all the social media apps. It has been great not being on it constantly so I am actually considering not going back to using it on a regular basis. Might not even go back to having it on my phone.

An interesting fact about Instagram was that exactly after two weeks of not logging in I started receiving emails enticing me to go back. These emails contained a summary of some of the activity going on in my account and what the people I am following have been up to. Don’t recall ever telling Instagram to remind me of its existence in case I lost interest…

Snapchat

On Snapchat I might also have unopened messages but have not logged in to check them or to check whatever my friends have been up to on there. I will probably just check this one on my tablet every now and then as I don’t think it brings any value to my life. Anyway I was mostly using it for the funny filters whenever I was extremely bored.

Linkedin

Almost forgot I have also uninstalled LinkedIn. At the moment as I am not looking for a new job I will also leave this app out of my phone.

In conclusion I am super glad I have gone through a month with little to no social media. I have learned to be more present, I feel less stressed, more productive and I found out that it is possible to enjoy a nice meal even if you are not sharing it on social media!

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Being Social

“If you’re satisfied with your social life, according to psychologists, you tend to be satisfied with life in general.” Robin Marantz Henig

Spending time with friends is one of the best things in life. Usually I would rather spend one on one time with a friend than attend some random party. I love a good conversation.

I was once a little anti-social. When I was growing up I really enjoyed spending time in my own company and avoided social events. Being shy did not help. Not saying that I am now a super sociable person but I do enjoy going out on the odd occasion.

Lately I have spent some quality time with friends and every time I get to do that I feel that I am in a better mood and generally happier.

Pancakes

Right at the end of 2017 I got to catch up with someone who used to work with me. We went to eat some delicious pancakes and managed to do a quick catch up on work related subjects and life in general. Unfortunately as he is always late we ended up having little time to chat.

Chilling at Home

After not seeing him since last Summer I got to finally catch up with this one. He is not the best at keeping in touch but decided to tell me last-minute he was around that day. It was perfect because I wasn’t feeling like going out anyway. We went out just to grab a drink and to smoke and then sat on the sofa catching up on the last few months of our lives. I enjoyed the company. Hopefully this year he will be better at showing up.

Pool

Last-minute as well I decided to go out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. He was going away for the weekend but had no real plans for the day so we ended up playing pool for hours at a pub not far from my place. I hadn’t played pool in years so I had no clue how to play it. Thankfully he was patient enough to teach me. It was nice to do something new and the conversation was great too.

Coffee and Cake

A cold and rainy day was perfect for coffee and cake with one of my besties. Good to chat at the café by the park watching the squirrels and ducks on the wet grass.  Great to avoid the weekend blues and to catch up on whatever we didn’t have time to talk about during the week at work.

Shoot and Lunch

After a while with no days off together we managed to get a Saturday to spend some quality time together. As the weather was bound to get wet again in the afternoon we got out of the house after breakfast and headed to Kings Cross to shoot some pictures. Just a short train ride away was the light tunnel of Kings Cross. There are no instructions online as to where exactly this tunnel is so we walked back and forth for ages and did not find it!

We gave up and decided to wander off to Gasholder park. After taking a few pictures we started to get hungry and decided to head back to find a Thai Restaurant. On our way to the restaurant we accidentally found the light tunnel!

Lunch was delicious and afterwards we had coffee at this quirky Moroccan coffee shop. As the rain was settling in we headed back to the train station to go home and do a little bit of “laptop club” (when we work together).

I am hoping 2018 carries on like this and I get to spend more quality time with my friends.

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