this tuesday just passed, i headed out to london with my friend josh to visit the D&AD new blood exhibition alongside a 4 day stay in the city. first things first, i've been a 'bad blogger'; and by that, i mean i just really didn't bother to take any photos. i thought i might get some snaps of the exhibition, places i visited, or even some ootd posts, but in reality, i just found that i wasn't interested at all in reaching for my camera when i could simply just be getting on with living life, speaking to people and experiencing things rather than trying to capture them, so apologies for not having more to share, but unfortunately my blog doesn't always come first.
so, moving on! what did i get up to? a bunch of stuff, really, and boy did my feet know about it by the end of friday! we arrived at around 3pm on the tuesday, quickly heading out for a look around the V&A before it shut, which (for me) was mostly something of a haunting experience because, for some silly reason, i find it wildly bizarre that all the people in the paintings actually existed. just me? i thought as much! after that we hunted down a prezzo and stopped for (some pretty blummin' good!) food before heading to oxford street for a quick couple of hours of shopping before everything shut at 10pm.
we were up bright and early on wednesday, leaving at 9am to visit the national gallery where i marvelled at the insane talent people did and still do possess, before (naturally) gravitating towards the bookshop and picking myself up a signed helen hancocks picture book – yippee! – which will now sit proudly beside my signed oliver jeffers book, heh. afterwards we took a stroll down to buckingham palace before heading to the d&ad new blood exhibition to see what was going on and to stop by to see how the teesside third years were getting on. part of new blood involved talks from various design and illustration industry members, so that evening we attended a q&a hosted by mr bingo which involved free beer and wildly hilarious content from mr bingo himself, and was altogether an entertaining, educational and humbling experience – and it was also free, so cheers, d&ad!
after a pretty busy week, friday was set aside for shopping and taking it easy. after leaving our suitcases at king's cross, we headed out to camden to have a browse around the market. it was a lovely place to stroll through with the sun beating down at around 27 degrees, and the smells of all the various foods being sold there was just mindblowingly good; we didn't get around to trying any, however, as after a browse around we headed out to primrose hill to chill out for an hour or so and indulge in some well deserved down time. after we'd rested up for a while, we headed to regent street with the intention of doing some shopping, but with the afternoon heat and the hectic crowds, we actually ended up grabbing an impromptu mcdonald's before heading to cavendish square to once again have a sit down in the glorious sunshine before heading back to king's cross at around 7pm.
i've always been a bit iffy about cities, and since my new york visit, i'd cemented my idea that city life just wasn't for me at all, however this visit to london has changed that for me... somewhat. i've discovered that when i stay away from the tourists, a city can be pleasant. i don't enjoy fighting through crowds, and for the most part, tourist hotspots just don't do it for me, so it makes sense that to force myself into those situations would result in me being miserable and irritable, i just hadn't realised it sooner. i think the fact that the weather was fabulous throughout our entire visit and we visited a bunch of different places within london really helped to open my eyes to what a city can be like in its entirety, as it's not all chaos and an apparent lack of manners, however if you spend all your time on oxford street, that's what it appears to be, and i think that was my main issue with new york: i was behaving like a tourist (also, the weather was bloody terrible.)
i'm not saying i want to up sticks and take myself to london, but i am saying that city life is something i'd now at least consider. visiting new blood helped to reinforce the idea that in a year's time, that will be me, and i'll be the one graduating, potentially having to make some drastic life decisions that may or may not involve having to move to a city to pursue what i want to do, and after making my way around london, i'm feeling a lot more confident about the idea of having to sacrifice a quieter life up north to do so. so, all in all? london has been a massive learning curve for me, one that i think came at a pretty good time, too. here's to the next year.