*Originally posted on February 25th 2012
So I was trying to do a photo report, this is/was my first one (and since I am now in the future – 2016 – it was apparently my last one too, maybe I should do one again soon)
Here you won’t find anything “writing” related (maybe only at the bottom of the page, where I compare myself of 2012, the Londoner and myself now, the world citizen one)
This is a simple story that lets you take a peek into what I did.
So I am making myself wake up with the help of Facebook. This is my BlackBerry which I adored until it broke down a year or so later, and I had to get an iPhone, after a failed attempt to get another Samsung. With Facebook my eyes are sort of opening slowly.
Then I open the curtains. Sometimes I open the curtains before the time when I need to get up. They say it is healthy to wake up to the natural sunlight (if there is one, especially in London).
Then I make the bed.
Then I usually do my hair or I don’t.
Then it’s teeth brushing, face washing.
Then it’s makeup time. I have been using BareMinerals since my sister introduced me to their eyeshadow. I haven’t used the eye shadows much, but the foundation and the powder have never failed me. But it’s a total bummer to wash the brushes all the time *sigh*
Then it’s breakfast time (I think I took this picture on a different day, so it shows a later time). This is also a gift from my sister and when the alarm goes off, it’s Stephen Fry telling me gently to get up 🙂 I still own that talking clock, but I don’t actually use it.
Fried eggs, and don’t ask me about the frying pan, please. This was when I just moved in (I am lying here, this was eight months in). I did replace it later though!
Fried eggs with open sandwiches with cheese (and butter). Back then, and still now sometimes, I try to make open sandwiches – the Russian style, as they have one piece of bread/toast less, then a traditional sandwich. In Russian we call it “buterbrod” which comes from German “Butter” and “Brot” – butter and bread respectively.
I take out the trash. There are three guys in our household, and I am usually the one to take out the trash *another sigh*. They used to be more nicer when I just moved in, now they’re more relaxed.
On my cheerful way to the Southfields Tube Station. I remember I would play “Contradanza” by Vanessa Mae on my iPod and it would set the mood for the rest of the day. Try it.
I take the morning “Metro” paper, oh it’s upside down, but I think I like that potato shot here. Everybody says it’s a crap newspaper, but everyone keeps reading it in the mornings, and Evening Standard in the evenings, since it became free quite recently, but wasn’t free when I first came to study in London, in 2008. I love reading the “Struck by Love” section (I think that’s what it’s called), where people declare their love for a stranger they made on the Tube, or another section where people thank other people for doing good deeds for them, like returning the lost phone for example.
Then it’s into the station! I bought this Oyster case in a small shop in Westfield White City, and it was with me until early 2015 when it was stolen in the Moscow Underground, which actually proved that I was in fact a tourist in my home city, not being able to watch after my belongings properly. Before this fabulous Oyster case I owned a free one, that I got in the MERC shop in our very own London’s Carnaby Street.
Then I am waiting for the right train, District line trains aren’t on time much, at least for me, but this week has been pretty good. Either I came on time, or the trains, we will never know. Also, no, this isn’t snow in February, rather an overexposed shot on my “point-and-shoot” camera, or at least I think so, because it does look like snow. Hmmm…
The article in the sunny spotlight is about how the temperatures can get up to 18C. That day it was +16C, and it was lovely and felt calm.
Progress test time at the English school.
I think I aced it.
During a short break I enjoy the view from my school’s window. Here we have Edgware Road going up to Marble Arch. Looks like a stunning February day to me.
My snack/lunch time.
Then it’s another lesson and my free time. I go to the New Look shop at the beginning of Oxford Street which is about ten minutes walk from my school. I try on this dress but I don’t take it as I wasn’t sure about my style choices back then (nor am I now, if we are being completely honest)
Then I go to Sainsbury’s Local, right opposite Marble Arch and get salted roasted peanuts for myself and for the squirrels. I still don’t know if they’re okay for squirrels, but I figured, since I can eat them, why not them? I cross the road and go feed them in Hyde Park. First the little furry friend eats the peanuts, but then when she (I think it was a she?) can’t have them anymore, she takes them from me and hides them in the ground, in the leaves and always comes back for more. I can only hope that she will remember where she hid them.
This is also Hyde Park, but another squirrel who tried to climb on me for her/his own convenience.
In this sunny weather all Londoners/Brits think it’s warm enough to sunbathe and have an al fresco lunch, so they go out into the sunlight, and they chat, they lay in the grass, near the lake, they feed the cheeky seagulls and dream of the actual summer.
Then it’s home time for me (at least today). This time I am taking a train to get to Clapham Junction, because I need to go to Asda.
Southern Trains sometimes go straight to CJ, sometimes with a short stop at Battersea Park.
I read Yahoo! News on my way into CJ. Right now, I guess it’s any news, but if you ask me now – I have no idea why I was reading about American “soccer” (whilst working at a football shop in the middle of London’s Oxford Street).
I pick up my shoes from a repair shop at Clapham Junction.
I do my big weekly shops here. Today it’s light grocery shopping. Some items on London shelves still remind me of my time in America, so I choose them. Sometimes I don’t.
Then it’s my time of a small talk conversation with the self checkout at Asda. She usually tells me there is an unexpected item in the bagging area and that’s why I hate her so much. Sometimes.
In the past years I try to eat my 5-a-day but it just doesn’t always work. I end up buying cupcakes (6 for 80 pence, crazy I know)
Here goes my hard-earned twenty quid. Bye-bye.
My walk home, after taking bus 39 from CJ to Murfett Close, funny name, I know.
The trees are in bloom, and it’s, I’ll remind you, blooming February.
Back in my Glen Albyn flat with a huge set of keys and a key ring from America, some sort of lacrosse team I believe, courtesy of my American sister.
As with so many decisions in my life, I make yet another smart one now and snack on a store-bought cupcake.
Then, as it’s Pancake day/week in England and Russia, I feel like I can suddenly bake well and mix that thing I’m holding in my hands. The eggs that I buy are always the good kind. The only thing I probably like to splash on, the happy eggs, free range, the fancy kind. Sometimes I even go to Waitrose and buy some regal eggs, fit for a Queen. Just what I do.
I keep documenting my average day as a student/part-time worker in London and this is what it looks like.
They say the first pancake is never the right kind, (as the saying goes) but in my case, it’s the second and the third. After the third pancake looks like it’s been chewed and spit out by a cat, I lose hope and decide to just fry some potatoes.
I am being lazy with my food (most of the time, back then and to this day). I love to cook when I know that no one is home, but it is usually never the case. I have always been sharing a flat with people. First it is my family, then it’s the flatmates. Cooking in front of a boyfriend is not so stressful, by the way, so I never had a problem there. Just saying.
I recently started drinking green tea (healthy living and all). Still adjusting. *It’s 2016 now and am now well-adjusted and drink expensive leaf teas, that don’t come in a teabag, not saying there’s something wrong with teabags, as I do love an occassional Earl Grey from Fortnum&Mason’s with a splash of whole (semi-skimmed, who I am kidding) milk.
It’s +16C outside which can mean only one thing – my British flatmates won’t turn on the heating. We save gas and water, because we are skint, but I usually add another fiver to the bill, because I am the one who needs it more than anyone. I hate it when it’s cold. Here we only put the heating on for a couple of hours in the morning, and for another couple in the evening, but if wasn’t here, they wouldn’t turn it on.
I bought this heater in Argos, it was a bargain – it worked well until it started not working. And also it sort of burned a piece in my blanket once when I was sleeping. I never told that to anyone. You know why, because they would think I am utterly stupid, and I was. It also burned a hole in the nicest bedding I ever owned – Marks&Spencer’s, the good kind. I was really sad.
Then I watch a TV-series on Channel 4.
Then I watch another series.
And it’s time to sleep and have another day that would be slightly different and slightly the same, but nevertheless exciting for me, because all these so called boring little things is what life is made of, and not just life, but life in London. Also, this was one of my very average days, maybe even under-average, because in my free time, when I wasn’t working after school, I would go to different parts of London, to discover them and find them beautiful, think them more beautiful than anywhere else, because that was … well.. London.
Thank you for reading x
Go check out my average day in New York City.