Over a month has passed. Things have happened.
First of all, there was my birthday which brought forth a week of celebrations and events. Most of which I was just tagging along for. They brought fun, new people, new things, some drama and the chance to leave my own four walls for a change. And also a new age next to my name, of course. Being 30+ wasn’t well received by me and I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that I’m an adult. On my actual birthday, I went to a concert. It wasn’t “my” band but it was a concert. In a tiny club. The kind of gig I went to in my 20’s. And it was fun but my back reminded me of not only my age but also my weight. By the end of the night, I’m pretty sure some people were slightly disconcerted by the positions I took on to make it stop feeling uncomfortable. Sorry!
Moving on before I feel like a granny…
After the birthday shenanigans (this word makes me feel even more like a granny!), it was back to work and for some reason, I found it really hard to get back into the routine of it. I spent two weeks sleep-walking and used every single free minute to nap, even falling asleep at my desk a few times. I was starting to worry that something was seriously wrong but then I got the results from some of my blood tests. Apparently, my former doctor was a bit of an idiot because she said that my thyroid was totally fine and nothing needed to be done. That wasn’t so long ago. Well, now I’m glad my new doc insisted we test it all again when I switched because she said the values were still much, much too low. So we upped my dosage and hope that’s enough. She also asked me straight away if I hadn’t noticed anything, wasn’t feeling tired. I told her I was, very much so. She said it’s common with a low thyroid function like that. Go figure! I’d asked my former doc about it and she said fatigue never had anything to do with the thyroid. I’m so glad I finally got my act together and switched. I feel so safe and comfortable with the new doc! Not only is she really sweet and actually listens to what I say, I also feel like she actually remembers my case and knows what she’s doing. I may talk to her about the waves of depression I still encounter somewhat regularly. But I don’t know yet…
Anyway, so after two weeks of work, it was finally back to London again!
Still feeling tired, I hadn’t made many plans. I spent almost the entire ride asleep and felt like I’d been hit by a truck when we arrived, so Saturday turned out to be Shopping Day as I had no energy to come up with any interest in sightseeing.
I’m not gonna recap every single shop we went to any everything I stuffed my face with but there are two culinary things I absolutely have to mention:
One would be the most delicious and most decadent strawberries I’ve ever had. We saw them on display at Godiva on Regent Street. They had them dipped in white or dark chocolate and their sight was enough to make my mouth water. I figured they’d be a bit pricey, Godiva and all, but we didn’t even ask for a price before we bought them. Well, turns out they were 10 GBP for about six or seven strawberries. Oops! My mom also bought some delicious dark chocolates for herself and paid 6 GBP for five. But shockingly, I’ll have to stay they were so worth it! Maybe because it’s Winter and it’s rare you get delicious strawberries. Or maybe my taste buds just wanted to love them because they were so expensive. I don’t care, because…yum!
The other thing was another really good Italian restaurant that we found in a little street just off Regent Street. What I love about London is you can be right in the center, surrounded by people and chain stores, but then you turn a corner and you’re almost by yourself and you find the cutest little stores and restaurants. Just like this one. I think it was called Bella Italia or something equally cheesy. It was tiny, a bit shabby, had rude staff but it won me over immediately because it had the most delicious veggie risotto with green asparagus. So, so delicious, possibly the best Italian food I’ve ever had. Sadly, I couldn’t even finish it because the amount of food they serve you is huge. I’d meant to try their homemade desserts, too, but nope!
For the rest, I’m gonna be one of those bloggers and present you my shopping loot. But beware, most of it is very girly…
1. – 4. Books! The annual Waterstones loot is pretty small this year. I ‘parked’ my mom in the café in the basement and meant to spend hours browsing shelves. But then I kind of lost myself and needed to pee and also wanted a drink really badly, so I figured four books would do. I got The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro, Black Roses by Jane Thynne, The Mammoth Book of True Hauntings by Peter Haining and Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern. Only when I took this picture did I notice that all my purchases were very ‘red’, judging by the cover, the first two even looking very much alike. I don’t know what that says about me. Ha! The one by Justin Halpern was the only one I really had on a mental checklist because I’ve been hunting for it for a while and only found a German hardcover version. I’ve heard so many good things about it and can’t wait to start it.
5. Duets by Frank Sinatra. Actually, my mom bought this but she gave it to me to import to my iTunes library, too. I’d heard about this album before we left and when I saw it in HMV, I pointed it out to my mom and she instantly bought it. True fact: I love swing music a lot and this one’s so good!
6. AFI – The Lowdown. I have no idea why I bought this other than…frustration?! I’d meant to buy Knife Fight, the movie Davey Havok has an appearance in, but couldn’t find it in any HMV or elsewhere. Apparently, the UK didn’t get it, either. Then I thought I’d browse the shelves for some good old AFI, hoping I may find a single, EP, vinyl or something else I don’t have, yet because it is UK only or something. But there was nothing. And then I saw this thing. I don’t know if these kind of CD’s are a UK thing but I’ve never seen them elsewhere. Usually they consist of two or more discs that have some random person telling the band’s story and then some interviews that you’ve heard a million times before. They also come with all kinds of cheap, low quality bonus stuff like posters, stickers or whatever. I knew it wouldn’t be something I’d ever listen to. But now I have another item that says AFI sitting on my shelf. And it was only 7 GBP or something, so it’s alright.
7. Ah, one of my highlights of every London trip! A visit to House of Fraser, particularly their Urban Decay counter. UD is one of the brands that are really effing hard to get in Germany, even online. So every year, I look forward to treating myself to one or two of their goodies. This year I’d meant to check out the Naked 3 palette but they didn’t have it, yet. Then I looked around and found about a million things I wanted to buy. And finally, I ended up in front of their DIY palettes. The empty cases alone are so pretty already! And UD eye shadows are just amazing, really highly pigmented and good quality. So I like that I can buy them without having singles rolling around my makeup shelf now. I bought a case and two shadows for now (at 14 GBP each, I figured I shouldn’t buy one for all four slots yet…), Maui Wowie and Loaded. There were so many shades I loved but I went with two that I could actually use together for some looks. They were a little hard to get out of their cases and move into the palette but once they’re in, it’s easy to remove and replace them if you have to. Seeing as I didn’t really do much since London, I didn’t get to use them yet. But I still stare at them and secretly fall in love a bit more each time.
8. Ciaté Caviar Manicure. Our hotel was in Wimbledon. When we got out of the tube station and wanted to change for a train, we learned the train platform was closed, so we had to go outside and look for a bus. On our way to the bus stop, we found that Wimbledon High Street actually offers a loooot of nice shops, too, including a TK Maxx. I can never resist a TK Maxx. For a Shopaholic like me, it’s like a wonder bag. You never know what you find inside. I fell in love with about ten different bags and other things but stayed strong and didn’t pick anything up. Until I got to the cosmetics section. As usual, it was full of a lot of skin care products, soap, etc. In short: Things I don’t get excited about. But then I came across a display that had a lot of nail polishes. Including this one. I’d heard about Ciaté and especially this Caviar Manicure before but it’s just way too expensive for me to buy and experiment with. But they sold it for 7 GBP so I picked one of them up. They had three different ones and I got the Tutti Frutti one which came with a baby pink polish and sort of rainbow colored pearls. I didn’t have the patience to experiment with it, yet, but it looks easy enough.
9. Deco wet bubble balls-whateverness. What looks like a little bag of weed in the picture actually is something that I hope to be really fun. On our way to Waterstones, we came across a small Christmas fair that was organized by a church. It was so much cuter, better and more seasonal than any of the big Christmas fairs we have in Germany or the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Basically just a dozen stalls selling handmade crafts and seasonal goods. One of those stalls didn’t really fit in because it was guy who only had a display with these bags and a bowl with little bubble balls in them. The bowl had a sign that said ‘Touch Me’ and when I did, I squeaked because the little bubble balls were wet and felt a little creepy under the touch. Sort of like the bubbles in Bubble Tea. The guy explained that you just add water to the tiny crumbles in the bag and they grow into those bigger bubbles and then you can use them as decoration, for example in a vase. I haven’t used them yet because the space where I usually have some flowers is occupied by the Christmas tree right now but if I remember, I’ll take a picture once they’re set up. I got them in black and I hope it’s gonna look pretty cool with white or pink flowers.
10. HOOTY! The other thing I couldn’t resist buying in TK Maxx. It’s just one of those plush animals that you can heat up in the microwave. I get terrible period cramps, especially in Winter and I also like to take a warm water bottle or something similar to bed with me when it’s cold, so Hooty had to come home with me. Plus, he smells of lavender! He was only 7 GBP, too, so who could resist that price and those eyes?
Not pictured: Maitresse Eau de Perfume by Agent Provocateur. I bought Flash by Jimmy Choo a few months ago and I love its scent but I get allergic reactions wherever I spray it. So I needed a replacement, and fast. I was looking around the duty free shop on the ferry and couldn’t really find anything. I tried all the different scents by Agent Provocateur but wasn’t impressed, then moved on and looked at other stuff. Somehow, I ended up sniffing the little paper strip with Maitresse on it again and again and fell in love with its scent. It seemed like one of those perfumes to me that doesn’t overwhelm people, isn’t too sweet or too heavy and I thought it’d be really subtle. Well, since then two people have asked me about it and kept sniffing me, so I guess subtle doesn’t quite cut it. Ha! But the reactions were completely positive, so no complaints from me. I think it may just be one of my favorite perfumes I’ve bought over the years.
So…that’s it! Sorry, no cool London photos or anything. Just visual proof of my shopping addiction!