Monday, 15 August 2016

Happy Mondays #27

I have spent 97% of the last week watching the Olympics. Perhaps 98%. It's been intense. Olympics aside, it's been a pretty busy week actually. The beginning of the week felt like it was spent dashing between different meetings with different friends: coffee with one, before another coffee with another, and dinner with another. Then the end of the week came, and I crashed, and I got a sinus infection, and I spent the weekend confined to the sofa, popping Sudafed and, you guessed it, watching the Olympics. So apart from my disgusting summer cold, it's been a nice week of catching up with lots of friends I've not seen for way too long, and preparing for Simon's birthday week pt. 1 and some time away, hanging out on the North York Moors, and visiting friends up North. 

The things that have made me happy this week...

1. A trip to the Horniman Museum with Lisle
The Horniman Museum had long been a South London mystery to me until last Monday. Hidden away in the depths of Forest Hill, it's described as an anthropology and natural history museum...with gardens. We started off with natural history, exploring a large room rammed with taxidermy and models of animals (most of it was quite good!) One of the big highlights was the huge walrus sat in the middle of the room, as well as the extensive collection of birds and, my personal favourite, orangutans. Although the museum and gardens are essentially free, there are a couple of paid exhibitions (your visit would be a pretty speedy one if you don't go to these), so we paid extra to see the dinosaurs and go to the aquarium. The dinosaur exhibition was a bit of a let down, comprising mostly of fake dinosaur eggs and some bizarre art of dinosaurs feeding their babies. Having said that, there was a huge sandpit, craft and dressing up opportunities for kids - so maybe I was just too old to be there. The aquarium was definitely worth a visit, and we saw some really excellent frogs, jellyfish and seahorses. Last on list was to check out the African Worlds and Favela photography exhibitions. The photos from Rio were really great collaboration, poignantly representing the life of young people living in Brazilian favelas. The African Worlds exhibition was not quite as impressive; it had a very strong colonial feel, and was a bit of a strange mish mash of artefacts. A lovely lunch in the cafe, and a wander round the gardens, we left some very happy people. A definite must-see if you've got a spare few hours in South East London. 

2. Drinks & catch ups with friends
I've shared apple juice, peppermint tea, G&Ts, sweets and dinner with friends this week, and it's been wonderful. Since returning from South Africa, my schedule has felt pretty jam-packed and it was nice to make some time to catch up with friends I've not seen for months. I love that feeling when you see friends you've not seen in almost a year, and everything is the same and normal and you get on just like you always did. And that's pretty much what this week has been about. I always leave these friend dates making vague plans for the next time we'll see each other and, often, it doesn't quite work out in the way you hope it does. I'm determined not to let these meetings be as infrequent, and to make time for the dinners and theatre trips and picnics that we talked about, and not let real, grown-up life and work and study and job-hunting always get in the way! 

3. Flat prep
The more stuff I organise (or Simon organises) in preparation for flat of dreams life, the more excited I get about getting our keys and moving in. This week I've made a start of the necessary enormous clear out of things I don't like/need/want, filling up black sacks and charity bags and starting to pack my things in boxes ready to move. It's funny what things you end up accumulating over the years: I've found train ticket stubs from Milan, revision timetables from my A Levels, a lot of shells collected from god knows when, and plenty of clothes I forgot I had and wonder why I bought. My list of necessary and unnecessary, affordable and unaffordable, homeware is ever growing and I'm putting off actually buying anything until after our little staycation next week so I don't preemptively bankrupt myself. I can't wait to start moving all our things in, and making our little place our own. I very kindly received some little houseplants from my lovely friend Heather this week, so now I have big plans for a flat jungle. The opportunities are endless. I can't wait!

4. Holidays
The sun has been out for several consecutive days, I've got cheery bright orange nails, and I am feeling summery. Whilst I love sitting out in the garden, with a book and a beverage in the sun, it always makes me wish that I wasn't in Sussex but Spain, or Italy, or somewhere sunnier where I can swim and don't have to spend 50% of a sunny day hanging out washing. So it's just as well Simon and I will be jetting off on holiday ONE MONTH TODAY for 6 days of chill and fun and sun and beers and sightseeing. Boy oh boy am I excited. If that wasn't enough, we've got a trip to Yorkshire to look forward to this week! I'm looking forward to some nice walks on the moors, to day trips, to hotel breakfasts and to catching up with lovely, lovely friends. YAY! 

Happy Monday! x

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