One of the little perks of running my own freelance technical writing business is that most of my medical clients are in London so I do fairly regular trips down for meetings. The journey takes just over 1.75 hours from the North of England, which is pretty fast.
I like train journeys although the London trains can be a bit packed at times. With my ipad and keyboard tucked in my bag I can set up and work or have a play on my pinterest account, or just listen to music or an audiobook. I signed up for Audible a while ago and really enjoy listening to inspirational or self-help books. My latest one is Quiet by Susan Cain, a celebration of all of us introverts!
I book tickets to give me a long day in London and my meetings can be after 5pm when clinics are finished. I get in mid morning and then have time to visit somewhere for me – today its the flagship Paperchase store in Tottenham Court Road, which is one of the most fabulous places on Earth.
Forgot about the tube strike
When I arrived at Kings’ Cross the long line of people queuing for taxis reminded me that today was a tube strike. Fortunately I was only going within a 3 mile radius, so walking was the way to go. I like walking through London, seeing snippets of the city that I haven’t discovered yet. Today I went on a not-so-direct route to Tottenham Court Road to avoid the traffic, which was horrendous as extra buses and people taking their cars in had jam packed the roads.
I set off down Euston Road, passing the British Library, an unusually modern building for such an ancient and esteemed institution, the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital, nestling with a nearby skyscraper, and then headed left before University College Hospital to detour through the quieter streets, dotted with little parks. Today I also walked passed RADA, the world-famous drama school, the nurturing place of many international stars of stage and screen.
Retail therapy on speed
This particular Paperchase store is on three floors (yes, three!) and the top floor has wonderful wrapping papers that are much more like wall art. They also have a sale section at the top and a cafe shop on the second floor. I could easily spend all day in there.
Today’s mission is to buy a few sheets of the gorgeous paper, some alcohol inks and to resist buying yet more notebooks. I have a plan to improve a feature in my bedroom that I like but think it could be improved.
Years ago I had some fitted furniture put in, which is very practical and I still really like the style of it. Its creamy white with a farmhouse shaker style that looks calm and tidy. The fitted drawers under the window have a large sheet of glass on top, which catches the light nicely but also tends to collect little tiny bugs in the summer, which need cleaning off annoyingly regularly. My colour scheme is all cream and neutral so I want to buy some papers and put those on the unit top, under the glass to see how it looks.
If I don’t like it, I can just take the papers out and use them elsewhere. If it looks good, I can change the scheme every few months for a bit of colourful variety. Might also reduce the impact of the flies, so reducing cleaning time – always a bonus.
During my explorations in blogland I’ve come across loads of sites on organising that are really good and inspirational but others seem to focus on cleaning. Its good that other folk enjoy cleaning to this extent but I will never be one of them. I do what is necessary and I like things looking good but my spare time is precious and the idea of eating into crafting time is not appealing.
Bargains and a little bit of disappointment
Paperchase was as lovely as it always is. I sidestepped the notebook section and the cards and went straight up to the second floor. It was a hot day so a cold glass of water and a cappuchino seemed a good idea, sitting in the window and looking out onto the busy street below. It was too bright to take a picture – the temperature must have got up towards 20oC in the middle of the day, which was great for this time of year – and brilliant sunshine.
I bought some bargain paper sheets, just £1 each in a rich copper, some silver and aqua and a beautiful tie-died sheet with aqua and pink. I also succumbed to some calligraphy pens for my scrapbooking photograph project.
Sadly no alcohol inks though, which I want for my new project at the silversmithing course at Leeds College of Art.
Lunch in Regent’s Park
Today was such a lovely day, and as my meeting was not until 2pm, I decided to buy a picnic lunch and head to Regent’s Park, which is only 10 minutes from Harley Street, where most of my clients are.
Plenty of other people had the same idea and it was busy with other picnics and people exercising, strolling or just sitting and enjoying the sun on their face. Wonderful. The gardens were also amazing. A real riot of spring colour.