After what can only be described as a challenging week, I feel like new again. On the 2nd of April I moved into a new flat – my own flat, and while that’s brilliant and I’m really excited about it, a lot more has managed to bring me down in the week that’s followed. It’s weeks like this that also affect me the most with grief and missing my mum an awful lot. I miss her all the time regardless, but when something brilliant happens (like moving in) she’s the first person I want to tell. Simultaneously, when something bad happens, she’s the first person I need.
So I’ve had a very emotion-filled week, and thankfully I already had a weekend in London planned. This honestly couldn’t have come at a better time. On Friday morning I took the train in and though it was delayed, I made it into town in time to be interviewed by my friend Samar for a documentary she’s creating which was a new experience for me! It’s not like I’m a stranger to being in front of a camera but an interview is something I’ve never done and I really enjoyed it.
I then took a wander around London and visited the Photographers Gallery (I could spend all my money there) before heading to East London where I met up with my friend Simon to then get back behind the camera again which felt bloody brilliant.
It’s been an extremely long time since I’ve been in the studio and it felt very good to be back. Later that evening I met up with friends on the Southbank for dinner which was followed by a crazy couple of hours in the arcade (turns out I’m still very competitive (and good if I may say) at air hockey!), which was so much fun.
Saturday’s plans were already booked long in advance, and I spent some time rushing from Wimbledon to Kingston after stupidly taking the bus in the wrong direction…
Once I arrived at Kingston I found my friends queuing outside Banquet Records where we were about to see Pvris play an acoustic in-store session. Lynn Gunn, their lead singer, sounded even more stunning live than she does on their albums which was impressive to say the least, but I also got to see how humble and good natured she is which is sometimes a rare quality to find in such talented people nowadays.
It was great to finally hear them live, and after a spot of lunch my friends and I headed up to Kew Gardens as I’d suggested it may be something nice to do if the weather was in our favour. Thankfully, it was. It was wonderful to walk round the gardens, Kew Palace and the various greenhouses (I’m sure there’s a fancier word for them but it isn’t springing to mind), and we really did walk for miles and miles. After we were too exhausted to move anymore and it was close to the Garden’s closing time my friends and I parted ways as they were driving home and I staying in London.
In the space of an hour the scenery around me switched from countryside back to cityscape and soon I was back on the tube to the city. With some time to spare before meeting up with another friend for a much needed catch up I took a stroll on the way to London Bridge and watched the sun set by the Thames – it’s so easy to fall in love with London when the weather is as perfect as it has been this weekend.
At this moment I took my new favourite instax photograph. After a hearty Breakfast Club dinner and a chinwag to try and set the world to right I headed back to Wimbledon for the night. Sunday was another day already planned out as it was a big day for theatre-land: the Olivier Awards. In the last few years I’ve gone to these events because it’s always a fantastic day and this year was no different.
At midday we made our way to Covent Garden’s beautiful piazza in the glorious sunshine to see some of our favourite musicals performing in the piazza and to watch the Awards Ceremony screened live in the evening. I love these events because we can just be ridiculously over-enthusiastic about theatre and it’s the perfect crowd to do so in. A very happy, sun-filled day was had by all.
Now at this point you may be wondering why this blog is entitled as a 52 Weeks Project blog when it’s been all about what I’ve been up to this weekend, and maybe you’re wondering why no fancy posey portrait has appeared. Maybe you don’t care, and that’s fine too though. In all honesty, I haven’t had a moment to take a fancy photo for the project this week, and for a while I stressed about it. Then I came to London and stressed about it a little more.
Then I thought, oh well. This project is for me so I can change things if I want to; so this week is an inner portrait in a way. I’d been thinking a lot over the weekend with my love for London coming back about how bizarre it is that a city, any place, can change a person so much. In September 2013 I moved to London feeling like it would be the beginnings of this great new wonderful life. Instead the months following that broke my heart in more ways than I can count.
After my mum died the first few visits to London after that were really hard, especially while I was staying in the flat where I found out about her death. My safe haven had turned into a small hell, and slowly most of the city did too. Sadly a lot of my memories there are of grieving and crying. Then I have weekends like this past one that’s so full of friendship and fun and laughter, and I feel my broken heart being stitched back together somewhat. It sounds incredibly soppy I know, but it’s true. I’ve got a long way to go with the grieving process and I’m nowhere near wholly ‘ok’ again, but if I can fall back in love with the city where I became broken, I think I’m heading in the right direction.
So there’s no official photo for the project this week, but I’m happy enough with my words to cover the base here.