Islington

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A couple of years ago James and I came up with “James And Laila Day” as a way to keep our close relationship despite our increasingly busy schedules. We see quite a lot of each other anyway – it helps that we work together and live about ten minutes apart – but why not have an extra day out for the hell of it?

This was actually one of the worst JAL Days in history. I’m pretty sure I was still hungover from NYE and we ended up sacking off shopping on Oxford St as it was rammed (unsurprisingly) as well as chucking it down with rain.

We decided to stay local in Islington instead! The best part about staying close to home was an afternoon dash home to change my extremely wet feet and tights and digging out my boots :) Apart from the thawing out/outfit change, our day involved brunch at Sawyer & Gray, shopping along Upper Street, dinner at Joe’s in Kentish Town and a trip to the Boulougne Bar, our local Victorian gin parlour. Plan B worked out a lot better!

PREVIOUSLY ON JAMES AND LAILA DAY: CAMDEN // SAILOR // CHRISTMAS // LUTYENS HOUSE // HALLOWEEN // KENTISH TOWN // CHINATOWN // CAMDEN PASSAGE // COUNTRY FAIR

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Camden Day

aIMG_7248ImageImageLast Friday was James And Laila Day! Regular readers will probably have read about James before as we spend so much time together. In the absence of any kind of formal anniversary we decided to start James and Laila Day – one day per month devoted to not working together and instead hanging out and having fun. As it was my turn to plan James and Laila Day I decided to share some of my regular haunts with James. I live and work in Camden and it’s always been this bit of London that feels most like home to me, despite being born and raised in the south. I go for a daily walk around the markets and often stop in after work on my way home as well.

We started off the day with an amazing breakfast and then wandered down to the market stopping at all my favourite food shops on the way, including my favourite ice-cream shop. I follow a very weird diet and it can be hard to find foods I can eat, so I’m very lucky we live by some awesome health food shops.  The first couple of pictures are taken down this little road with brightly painted houses. There’s about five of these pretty coloured streets on the route from James’ house to the market, in my head I call them rainbow roads and they remind me of the town in Edward Scissorhands.ImageImageImageThe rest of these photos are from Camden Market! Camden is divided into about 6 different markets and once upon a time each bit of market had it’s own specific focus; these days they do broadly stock variations of the same thing but there’s still some individual flavour between them. The three biggest markets are Camden Locks (arts and crafts), Stables Market (subcultures and imported fashions) and Horse Tunnel Market (vintage and antiques). It was such a gorgeous sunny day and even though I visit the same places every other day, it was fun sharing that part of my day with James. I should be employed as a tour guide as I know the whole layout so well by now.

After the market we went to Honest Burgers for dinner (no photos!) and whilst the chips and drinks were amazing the no-meat option was essentially a vegetable pakora in a bap; definitely not recommended. We also went to our favourite pub and the cinema, needless to say we were pretty tired when we traipsed home later but happy and content. It’s so important to spend quality time with your friends, especially if (like me) most of your close friends also double as artistic colleagues. It’s easy to fall into the habit of just hanging out post-rehearsal and never doing activities purely for fun so I’m so glad we started this tradition. Here’s to the next James and Laila Day!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Foxes


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I live in a countryside area of north Surrey by a river, and regularly encounter foxes, badgers, swans, geese and ducks. James is very much a badger guy but I am particularly fond of the foxes: the beautiful colour of their fur, the elegant way they move and their crafty reputation. I smile whenever I drive past them. At the moment there’s lots of young foxes in the streets near my house, sometimes when I head home I catch them playing.

I am upset whenever I see a dead fox on the road – up to 50% of the UK fox population are killed by cars! They are not vermin and pose very little threat to humans, and frequent calls to instigate a fox cull are spurred on by sensationalist and impartial media reports. Did you know for every one attack on humans by a fox, there are over 5,000 from domestic (i.e. trained) dogs?

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So here is my fox t-shirt – I bought this from Aubin & Wills (as well as a matching fox mug) shortly before they closed in January and everything was about 85% off (hallelujah). I made the skirt with my Mum: the fabric is covered in African animals and was originally bought by my Grandma in 1960s Ethiopia! (and some bows here). Lastly my new necklace is from my recent trip to Liverpool, found in Little Red Vintage.

Do you have a favourite fox? I’m partial to Mr Tod from the Beatrix Potter books as well as the Janacek opera The Cunning Little Vixen (incidentally that animated version is amazing) and whatever the fox in Farthing Wood was called. Possibly he was just called Fox. For more on foxes read here.

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Image  (Credit PETA)

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Mishmash

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My blog is now officially a month old as of Saturday! Thank you if you’ve been reading and especially following/commenting – it means a lot to me. Any feedback or suggestions let me know! Image