Beautiful balconies and windowsills – 7

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London, UK

Someone did a great job of creating a bushy green jungle to look at from their basement flat!

Word on the water

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #81

Bookstores are magical places for me. I get lost for hours, attracted by the colourful covers, picking up one book after another, feeling their weight, reading the back and thinking about all the wonderful stories I have yet to discover.

While in London, we stumbled across Word on the Water, a barge which houses an independent bookshop on Regent’s Canal, close to where we were staying.  As we passed several times over the course of the next days, we got a peek into the rhythms of this lovely bookshop.

First time we passed by it was not open yet and a dog snoozing blissfully in its own armchair in the entrance. Later that evening, there were musicians playing a concert on the roof of the barge.  As the music drifted to our ears, we explored the shelves full of new and second hand books, in the cosy interior, trying to find some treasures. Another day, some students were staging a photo-shoot in extravagant glittery costumes.  I am grateful for independent shops, which bring life and joy to local neighbourhoods.

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Life along Regent’s Canal

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Despite the fact that I am a rather slow traveller, sometimes on a city trip it’s tempting to try and squeeze as much as possible into those few days of freedom and end up overdoing it.  So I’m very glad that last weekend in London we decided to spend our last day simply strolling along Regent’s Canal, instead of catching public transport across the city to visit another museum and rushing back to take the train.

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I love walking along Regent’s canal because it takes you outside the city madness and into a quiet world of it’s own, close to the water where another slower rhythm seems to reign.  Passing close to Camden Town reminded me of that stint in the spring of my first year at university when I would go running along the canal in the mornings with some friends from my hall of residence. I remember enjoying the morning light and watching the ducks, even though I was very much out of breath.

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This particular walk last weekend was beautiful, despite a few clouds covering the sky.  I loved looking at the small houseboats, imagining what it would be like to live in them or to plan a slow trip along England’s canals, living a life paced by passing the locks and taking the time to moor in unassuming places along the way…

Sunny London

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #80

Last weekend Paolo and I spent 4 days in London, a trip sparked, not by the wish to witness the royal wedding close up, but by Paolo’s gift for my birthday last year: a workshop with one of my all time favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert. The workshop was amazing and I am still processing all the magic that happened that day… It was the best gift ever!!!

Next to that we were really lucky to explore the city under the sunshine and blue sky.  I’m amazed by how much we experienced even though we took our time.  It was so much fun to roam the streets of my university days around UCL, go hunting for Caravaggio paintings in the National Gallery, catch up with dear friends, try delicious food in trendy new spots in Kings Cross, browse lengthily in second-hand bookstores, seeing Hamlet at the Globe theater and much more.