Entries Tagged as 'Europe'

“Pinch me” London moments



Thames view

Do you ever visit a city, find something wonderful and just want to hold onto it? You think “if only I could stay here a little bit longer…” or “if only I could come back in a different season…”

I was back in Brussels last week and found myself telling old friends and colleagues how lucky I still feel to be living in London. I keep waiting to get jaded or for the little thrills to die down… but for the most part, they aren’t. And it freaks me out a little bit because if I’m completely honest: I’ve liked places I’ve lived before, but I’m not sure I ever truly loved them.

OK, yes, I’m starting to get tired of my commute across the city everyday and I don’t get excited about M&S anymore (you laugh, people of England, but M&S is a destination in itself coming from the European continent).  But by and large, I keep feeling like someone might come up to me and tell me I have to give my visa back…

Berry Bros London

I pinch myself when I find myself spontaneously smiling, as a reminder to appreciate it.  I realised it again tonight, coming home from a lovely blogger’s gathering. Bloggers are the worst for this… (and by worst, I really mean the best) They are some of the most optimistic, enthusiastic, up-for-anything people out there and I walked home feeling lucky once again to be able to do the things I do here.

So much so, I wrote a list of a few favorite “pinch me” moments from the past year:

  • Watching The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House
  • Walking through Hyde Park one day and realising I was on the path Maggie Gyllenhaal ran down during the first episode of An Honourable Woman
  • Driving over Westminster Bridge for the first time, gaping through the windshield at The Houses of Parliament
  • Spotting Simon Reeve in the Gap (don’t laugh, I love him)
  • Walking through Kew Gardens just as spring hit
  • Seeing a play at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
  • Taking in the view from the Duck & Waffle
  • Picnicking on Primrose Hill
  • Finding myself on the Tube in the evening, packed full of people, but no one says a word because everyone is reading. (Let’s not kid ourselves, the drunken Tube rides where everyone has had one too many and is speaking 100 decibels above recommended ear strength also happens…)
  • Reading that Kirsten Scott Thomas is living in my neighborhood as she prepares for her role in The Queen
  • Realising I can have a pint at The Holly Bush in Hampstead anytime I like
  • Everyman movie theatres
  • Charity drives (it might like to pretend like it isn’t, but by and large, London is a city that cares)
  • Living near a Whole Foods again for the first time in 10 years
  • Wondering how on earth I can see everything I want to see. This may sound like a negative, but despite a lack of endless resources and time, it is still the best kind of problem a spoiled person can have. If I’m honest, I got bored sometimes in Brussels. I never get bored in London. I may get tired. But not bored.
  • Constant firsts. Like discovering Somerset House, the V&A, Leighton House Museum, Daunt Books, Hatchett’s, Fortnum & Masons’s, Little Venice, Northcote Road, Sager & Wilde, Summer Cinemas, Spitalfields, The Churchill War Rooms, the view from Waterlow Park, Greenwich, Exmouth Market (the list goes on…)

Its big but its small. Its old but its new. Its overwhelming and familar.

And on days like today, I just freaking love it.

Pictures taken by JessOnThames over the last year

Super, Pretty, Funny n°48



Wilton Crescent

Only one weekend left before its back to reality… so I’m opting to stay in a state of complete denial, drink coffee (if only I’d remembered to buy milk), scour the internet for goodies, share some of my favorite reads from the holidays… and refuse to take down my Christmas tree.

Enjoy the first few days of 2015 and let me know what you’ve been reading!


The NYTimes matches its old headlines to Downton Abbey storylines

Bollywood goes to Bruges

Peppermint tricks us into staying cold

Bill Nye uses emojis to explain evolution

The Protojournalist

The NYTimes best recipes from 2014


Isla Van Damme returns to India

Jenna’s pictures from her travels across Asia! (Not to mention her usual pictures from South Africa!)

The style of this movie

The AirBnB offices in (clearly hipster) Portland


SNL’s Serial Christmas parody – it doesn’t get old

A bored actress does impressions in traffic

Tom & Lorenzo explain how crazy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is

This trailer

Photo taken by JessOnThames at Wilton Crescent in London

Goodbye, 2014. Hello, 2015.



St Pauls Kensington London poppies

Amsterdam Brussels Lisbon

St Michaels Mount Kew Cornwall

Rodin museum Seville Paris

Wilton Feurzabruta Geneva

Alcazar IMG_2617 Pipps

Sitting in a freezing London and thinking back on 2014, its nice to realise it was better than you thought it was.

Despite settling into my first full year in the big city, I managed to travel to Cornwall, Amsterdam, Paris, Geneva, Lisbon and Seville. I’ve confirmed my love for tiny European streets, ate my fill of Dutch apple pie, seen views in England that look like they belong in Italy, stood in awe of the Tower poppies, brainstormed on Lake Geneva, ate crepes in the pouring rain, toasted Southern European sunsets, wandered countless museum hallways, I’ve laughed with comedians and fallen in love (again) with Michael Palin (twice) and cooked two Thanksgiving turkeys. I bought my first pair of wellies. I saw the Book of Mormon and took three days to recover from the aches from laughing. I got to stand at the top of the Heathrow Air Control Tower and film in the National Gallery after hours. I started to find London’s many hidden villages and then finally made it to Duck & Waffle (where yes, I ate the duck & waffle…)

And not a single one of those things was on the books when the year started.

2015 on the other hand, is already looking much more planned. Trips to Sweden and France (twice) are already on the books. Hopefully a few more weekend trips will appear in there somewhere… (Iceland? Croatia?)

But when is it more appropriate to dream than on New Year’s Eve? What if I was given plane tickets tomorrow? I’d like to visit Japan, Namibia or Argentina. I’d like to travel to Australia and New Zealand. Basically anywhere that will get me really jetlagged and ignite that sense of adventure.

If the last year has taught me anything, it is that the travel bug grows stronger.

Wishing everyone a wonderful 2015.

Looking forward to hearing everyone else’s wishlists over on this month’s travel linkup. Take a look over on Emma, Kelly, or Rebecca‘s blogs for more.
**The blog is a little quiet these days but fear not, a bit of a rehaul is in the works!**

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