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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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.

Simple pleasures of Brighton

*The amazing colour palette of the cabins by the beach

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*Amazing cakes. I love that most cafés have home-made cakes. There were so many different types, leading to serious dilemmas on what to choose (and the risk of overdosing on sticky toffee pudding… but that’s another story)

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*Waking up to the sound of the seagulls. Whether it was raining or shining, there was no denying that we were close to the seaside

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*Walking on the beach, accompanied by the sound of the waves, no matter what the weather

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Healing walks on the beach

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #69

In Brighton, we enjoyed long walks along the beach, each step keeping us firmly in the present with the crunch of the pebbles, the cold sea wind on our cheeks, the waves crashing over and over again on the shore… We looked for pretty stones  until our pockets bulged with their imperfect shapes and their fascinating greys, oranges and blues. After a cloudy day, the sun came out, illuminating the abandoned pier with its last rays. It was good to be reminded how deeply healing being by the beach, no matter the season.

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On my way to Brighton

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JOYFUL GRATITUDE #68

Long weekends are the best! Heading off to Brighton with my dear friend Eva, a few days to breathe in the sea breeze and take the time to get to know the city. I last went during my student days when I lived in London (over 15 years ago… what??!!!) so I’m really looking forward to (re)discovering it.  So far our plans include perhaps going for a hike if the weather isn’t too cold, but we’ll settle for spending our days in bookstores, museums or cafés with tea and scones if we really must;)