August 29, 2015

London in ten days and ten facts - part 3

  • Tube strike
We happened to be in London during the latest tube strike, and for the first time I had to find out how to move and reach places using the bus. I must admit I thought it would be harder, I actually managed to go everywhere with the famous double deckers. My boyfriend and I even managed to get to a pub in Hammersmith that was hosting an open mic (he played, I filmed). 
The thing I love about traveling in the streets instead of under the ground is that you get to see places you've never seen before and adjust the map that's in your head so that you are able to go everywhere more freely without losing your way.

  • My boyfriend plays guitar
Yeah, have I ever mentioned that? He plays guitar and sings and writes his own songs. I absolutely love everything about that, except maybe the fact that we can never travel light because of all the equipment he needs to bring with him. But that's not a big deal really, because every time I see him performing I just feel so proud to be his girlfriend and I don't care about anything else.
We spent time in some parks sometimes, so he could sing freely and rehearse his songs while watching the birds and the trees and the sky.

We've met in London two years ago, even though we are both Italians. We were introduced by a couple of sisters that are good friends of mine and had just got to know him because that summer they were all enrolled at the same music school in Kilburn. I'll never thank them enough. If it wasn't for them, I would have never met the incredible guy that now is my beloved boyfriend. A couple of things that made me fall for him were the fact that he dreamed of moving to London and that he liked Ed Sheeran. As you can see, music and London play an important role in my life.

  • Les Mis
There's one last thing I wanted to talk about, and it's my love for Carrie Hope Fletcher and Les Miserables.
The two things started separately, as I subscribed to Carrie's channel long before she was chosen to play Eponine, and my love for Les Mis built up through time, because I'd seen a film about it and I liked it and because when I watched the first episode of Glee I fell in love with the song they used to introduce Rachel, which was Eponine's On My Own.
I'd managed to get tickets to see the show two years ago, and it was the most amazing experience, so you can guess how happy I became as soon as my boyfriend bought our tickets. We saw the show on our last night in London, right before we had to catch our flight. We made the best out of our time, bought some merch and ice cream and went to the backstage door to meet the cast. We chatted a bit with Carrie (you have no idea how much I love her and admire her and respect her) and took a couple of pictures with my  boyfriend's iPhone ('That's what iPhones were made for' said Carrie, when we told her that we had a professional camera with us but we could as well use our mobile to take a selfie).

I think I'm going to film a video about Les Mis and upload it on my channel, and maybe also film a video dedicated to Carrie (that sounds a bit creepy but oh well).

If you are still here and managed to read through all of this and survive, thank you. Here's a cookie, just for you.

Marti xx

August 27, 2015

London in ten days and ten facts - part 2

  • Shopping
My boyfriend and I, we both love shopping. We often spend the day at the mall when we have nothing to do. It's great to have a boyfriend that doesn't despise shops, because I wouldn't be able to force him to visit a shop, so it's easier and lovely for both of us to spend time together this way.
We both love Topshop/Topman and many other places that can be found in Oxford Street and Regent street, but this time we spent much time visiting Carnaby street and all the other tiny streets all around. I had only been there once, and I loved to go back there and find many interesting places, such as Toms, Jack Wills or Benefit. That area is really nice and cured and definitely less crowded when compared to Oxford Street.

  • Waterstones
I've already mentioned the fact that we both love shopping, but one thing I didn't say is that the place where we spent most of our time was not a clothing shop but a bookstore. We love to read and find out new authors and write down on a piece of paper some interesting titles that we happen to discover. London is packed with bookstores and we entered each single one of them (well, every single one of those we met while walking around). Waterstones is our favourite group of bookstores, unfortunately it has no shops in Milan otherwise we would be there every other day.
I only bought two books, although I saw a thousand interesting titles. The first one I picked up was Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher, because I love her and her other books and I couldn't wait to read it. The second book I picked up was on the deal shelf (I don't remember how they called it, it was a shelf with all the books they were trying to get rid of because they were all bent and scratched), it's called The Land of Decoration and I only paid it £0.99 (I love to save books that have been mistreated, I always look for them when I go to flea markets or similar places).
I just said I bought two books, well, my boyfriend picked up about six or seven for himself. Needless to say I'm going to read them after I've finished mine.

  • Food
Any Italian, and probably even many British people, would think I'm mad if I ever told them that when I'm not in the UK I miss the British food. I live in the country that invented everybody's favourite recipes, from pizza to ice cream to spaghetti, and I would never live without them. I'm proud of knowing how to prepare the perfect lasagne or tiramis├╣ and I love Italian food as much as most of the world does. But in Italy there's no Starbucks, no Costa Coffee, no Pret a Manger, no Nando's. And I love all of these places and many more. When I'm out in Milan I always think it would be cool to be able to stop at Costa for a fancy coffee or get a takeaway sandwich at Pret, but I can never do that. Italy has close to no food chains, and most of the places in Milan are either expensive or low quality. I explored the city centre long enough to know where to go when I need to get something on the go, but honestly it's not the same thing.

[To be continued]

August 25, 2015

London in ten days and ten facts - part 1

  • Our home
We spent our nights in a beautiful apartment close to Oval tube station. I'd never been there before, but since day one the place really impressed me and my boyfriend. Some people we know let us sleep in their room while they were on holiday as well. We shared the apartment with their flatmate. The place was lovely both from the outside and inside. Our room was white themed and there was a huge bow window in front of our bed. I've always wanted to spend some time in a place like that, and finally had the chance to do so. The apartment also had a beautiful tiny garden that added a touch of loveliness to the place. I really wish I could call a place like that 'home' for a longer time. I hope my boyfriend and me will end up living in a place like this sometime in the future.
A couple of nights, while walking home from the tube station, we met a tiny fox. It has been a stunning experience for me, as foxes are some of my favourite animals and I'd never been so lucky to meet one on my path before.

  • Wonderful buildings
I'm a sucker for brilliant buildings, I love many different styles and characteristics. In London it's easy to find beautiful houses, skyscrapers, theatres and everything that has to do with architecture. I really enjoy the way architects have been able to mix ancient buildings and monuments, such as the Tower of London or St. Paul's Cathedral, with brand new ones like the Shard or the London Eye.
Everything, from churches to simple detached houses, catches my attention.
I'm not good at taking photos of humans but I really like how buildings turn out, especially when the light helps the camera. I like both the days when the sun is shining and the sky is blue and those when the clouds are heavy and it looks like is going to rain. The light that shines right before thunderstorms is my favourite of them all.

  • My favourite picture
During the time I spent in London, I was trying to improve my skills with my new Canon, therefore I tried to take some quality shots. The one I like the most is the following.

It's really easy and there's nothing particularly interesting in it, but I like the combination of colours (red and grey are some of my favourites, and my bedroom colour theme as well) and the sharp shape of those Chinese lanterns in contrast to the blurred background.

  • My favourite view
Okay, this is really hard. Every time I come back to London I end up in new places and each of them is equally wonderful to my eyes, but I remember the first time I've been to London, the first place I visited was Trafalgar square, and I remember looking at the lions, looking down the street that's behind them and thinking, 'This is the place where I want to spend the rest of my life.' From there, you can see the Big Ben, the Parliament, the double decker buses and many British flags. All the traditional symbols of London can be seen from that exact spot. Back then, looking at all of those things made me realise that, after all those years of waiting patiently, I was in London for real.

[To be continued]