aaIMG_5736 aIMG_5340Danilo camden lock market camden night market food indie boys hipster exterior street london

Lately I’ve been feeling grateful for my friends. Friends who know you inside out. Friends who pick up on the quirks and mannerisms you haven’t yet observed. Friends who see your patterns and sequences and lay out the formula for you. Friends who tell you when you’re being too much, and when you’re not being yourself, because they know you in more ways than you know yourself.

Friends who tell you when you should make a move, and when you’re just being you and this will pass in two weeks. Friends who can’t quite tell because they see you every day, and your perspectives start to overlap. Friends who pick up when this is a big thing, and when this is the real thing, and when you need help, and when you’re holding back.

Friends who listen to your one problem and patiently analyse your one situation, although you already did this last week and nothing has changed. Friends who let you stumble grumpily into the sofa where they wordlessly provide you with breakfast before going back upstairs to get ready for work.

Friends who pop up once a year and manage to fill in the last 12 months, sharing your heartaches and high points, even though you’ve only got an hour, and the traffic was bad, and they’re out of Pimms. Friends who won’t remember that stuff by the time we meet again.

Friends who play music for you. Friends you play music with. The kind of playing where you don’t need to stop and communicate why you’re crying, because they’re crying too, because you hit the same point and you’re sharing the same memory and you’re on the edge of the same sadness, and you had to say goodbye together then, and you’ve got to hold each other up now.

Friends who stay on the line until you fall asleep. Friends who call you up half-drunk and even though you were about to go to bed, you go and make a full curry for them, because you love them, and one day you may need a curry of your own. Friends who pass by for a few months, suffusing your life with newness and laughter. Friends who stay, no matter how difficult and antisocial you get. Friends who love you, more than family, because how could family have possibly observed all the tiny things friends see? We grow up with our families, but we live our lives with our friends. Friends who endure.dead dolls house shoreditch east london brick lane night out interior wall designbIMG_4007

How To Be Happy

aIMG_9029 I’m a very happy person. I wake up in the morning and I’m happy to see the day. I go to sleep at night and I dream happy dreams. I spend most of my days alternating between laughter and “oh my god, this is amazing” levels of wonder. I’m not content, or fulfilled, or satisfied… but I am happy. I don’t get stressed, I never feel bad or annoyed with myself and any grievances or frustrations that crop up in life are very short-lived. People often say “why are you so happy?” and I don’t have one single answer, I just live a very happy life.

I recently read a post about being unhappy… I’ve never felt bad for no reason at all and it made me feel upset that there might be people out there going around feeling sad or moody or lonely, when in my experience it’s possible to avoid all that. So I’ve been trying to think about the things that contribute to my happiness. aIMG_7158 1. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. My room is filled with Moomins, crowns, sequinned clothing, musical instruments and pictures of Jimi Hendrix. These represent my favourite things and every time I go in it’s like a mini “yay!”.

2. Surround yourself with people that make you happy. Kind of the same as the last point! I’m very happy with the people in my life; most of them inspire me or at least amuse me. I don’t hang on to the boring or mean people and consequently all the people I know now I really cherish.

3. Find things funny. I spend about 50% of my waking hours laughing. I find everything funny; I’m a simple girl really and most of the things that could be stressful or worrying I find funny. The main thing I find funny is myself; my lack of girl knowledge, my hilarious clothing collection, my past efforts at blogs/songs/photography, the stupid things I do as part of my job (building elephants out of cardboard, listening to every recording of The Muppets and choreographing a dance to Ghostbusters are all things I did today). If you can find yourself funny you’re literally laughing your way through life.

4. See how lucky you are. It sounds corny but at least twice a week I’ll look around and just think “this place is awesome, these people are awesome, my job is awesome, this is great” and feel lucky. We have so, so much to be thankful for. I look back at my horrifically lonely, turbulent teenage years and I think “God, teenage Laila, you got the life you always wanted and deserved, well done you”.

5. Eat properly. Just eating 3 meals a day and sleeping 8 hours a night can make so much difference. If you regularly feel unhappy, try doing this for two weeks and you’ll be astonished at the difference it makes. Also: tell people you are doing this. Your friends love you (and if they’re anything like mine will call you up to make sure you are going to sleep at a good hour/bring you home cooked meals). vegan food at nightmarket camden lock 6. Incorporate the things you love into your life. It depresses me when people talk about things they enjoy as a seperate bit of their life. I love stupid clothes, going out for breakfast, making music and rehearsing with friends… so I include all these things in my day to day life.

7. Change whatever is making you sad. Seriously, just grow a pair and do it. Change jobs, cut your hair, call out the mean talk, whatever it is just figure out what it is and attack it as simply as possible. People go on about these things being hard and waiting for a good time to make changes that will make them happy. Here’s the thing; the sooner you do it the sooner it will make you happy. Don’t wait for things to reach boiling point or some mythical far-off date when things will be better; actively fight for that NOW. Time is precious.

8. Don’t do things that make you sad. Don’t wallow in your own misery or get out the box of your ex-boyfriends clothes or watch back a film that knowingly makes you cry. Some people may find they enjoy being sad sometimes but seriously I like to reserve my sadness for the things that are truly, unstoppably sad.

9. Have more confidence! I tell you honestly; the world wants to be your friend. Go out there and say hello.

10. The sun will rise tomorrow. As my Dad once told a very heartbroken and depressed Laila; the sun will rise again tomorrow. If you’re seriously in the midst of despair and nothing and nobody will comfort you, then go to sleep and know that tomorrow, the entire world will be new. autumn molesey wilderness forest exterior garden setting sun dusk evening A quick poll of my office and these are apparently the phrases I use most often:



“Oh wow….!”

“Get involved!”


“F*ck it!”

I think that pretty much sums up my attitude to life; be impressed by things, be grateful for things, go after life and take what you want from it and most of all don’t worry, be happy, f*ck it, it will sort itself out in the end. Here’s to happiness!